Smith College Spatial Analysis Lab

What does your policy look like?

feb2007_webpage_AnswerBack in February 2007 I asked one of my student assistants to generate a new map for the mystery map series.  At that time I was very interested in visualizing administrative policies manifestation on the landscape.  All too often, policies are created and enacted without any insight as to how they will overlay on the physical landscape.  We decided to map Smith’s smoking policy knowing that the scent of springtime flowers would soon be mixing with swirls of second hand smoke..

Smith’s own smoking policy “recognizes that using tobacco products is harmful to the health of tobacco users and that exposure to secondhand smoke poses a health risk to non-smokers.”  Why then is smoking allowed on campus?  Looking back on the map and doing a quick calculation reveals that only 10% of the areal extent of Smith Campus is smoke free.  eek

The University of Michigan Health System lays out a strategy (not to mention, rationale) for setting up smoke free environments.  Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton runs a smoke free campus.  And, just recently, the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs is recommending a tobacco free military!

Okay, enough on the smokers.  It seems to be a tough habit/addiction to kick and I am certainly not without my own habits and addictions (caffeine).   But, it certainly is interesting to see what these policies look like in map space….

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