Anthony-Northside Neighborhood Living Quality

Student studying a thermal image on a cell phone

The goal of this project was to map the quality-of-life for Muncie neighborhoods, and specifically to map the living quality for the Anthony-Northside neighborhood using GIS and remote sensing techniques. Four general categories of living quality indicators were evaluated for each house in the neighborhood and fifteen maps were created in this project: one map for Home Insulation; two maps for Home value and Lot size; one map for Lot Greenness, ten maps for its adjacency to community amenities, and one Overall Living Quality Index map.

Home Insulation for each house was evaluated from a thermal infrared image collected by students using a FLIR One thermal camera. Home value and lot size were obtained from Lot Greenness was assessed based the greenness percentage in each lot, which was derived from the USA NAIP NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) imagery. Proximity to community amenities including Clinics, Schools, Libraries, Restaurants, USPS Mailboxes, Bus Stops, Parks, Bike Trails, Recreations, and Fire Stations were analyzed using Network Analysis in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online. The values of all indicators were scaled to categories of 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest living quality and 5 being the highest. The Overall Living Quality Index was obtained by averaging all fourteen living quality indicators.

Explore some of the story maps created using the collected data.
Image Gallery

Faculty Mentor: Jason Yang
Department: Geography
Community Partner: Muncie Action Plan, Anthony-Northside Neighborhood Association
Course: Advance Remote Sensing – GEOG 437

The Muncie Challenge

Take the Muncie Challenge!  Students in the Community Collaboration and Service Learning in Wellness Management class spent spring semester (2020) talking with Muncie residents to uncover what they love about their city and then working with some of those same residents to help others experience Muncie in a new light and find ways to make Muncie a little better each day. Students had fun and found a new appreciation for Muncie.  They then got to share their perspective on how others can take advantage of the great places they learned about.  Students can take what they learned and put it into practice where ever they find themselves in the future.

So what is the Muncie Challenge?  The Challenge encourages you to take action in 10 areas.  These include: Eat, Connect, and be Social; Get Moving; Show Your Community Pride; Enjoy Muncie Parks and Markets; Connect Professionally; Experience Muncie Culture; Give Back to your Community; Jump into the Arts; Learn and Grow; and Use the Cardinal Greenway.  You can participate at 3 levels.  First, try one or two activities in each area or “Give it a Go.”  The you can do some more or “Take a Step Further” and “Make it a Habit.”   Download your passport and get started today!

Faculty Mentors: Jane Ellery
Departments: Kinesiology
Community Partner:
Student Team:

Assigning the Living Quality of Muncie Neighborhoods Using Remote Sensing and GIS

map thumbnail of the neighborhoodSocial well-being and quality of life can be measured using indicators like income, housing, education, health, and the physical environment of an area. In this immersive learning Building Better Neighborhoods project, students evaluated the quality-of-life for residents in the Riverside-Normal City Neighborhood in Muncie. They assessed the living quality for each housing unit in the neighborhood, including the building’s health, physical environment, and its adjacency to community amenities and hazards. Features, such as driving and walking distance to nearest grocery stores, parks, and other amenities, were derived from existing GIS layers or extracted from high-resolution aerial photos in the GIS lab at Ball State University. Additionally, the students used smartphones equipped with thermal infrared cameras to collect information on structure heat loss, road conditions, and lawn health. The students integrated the collected data into a living quality geodatabase of Muncie neighborhoods for further analysis. Explore some of the story maps created using the collected data.

Faculty Mentor: Jason Yang
Department: Geography
Community Partner: Muncie Action Plan
Student Team: William Cape, Nathan Gagnon, Becca Garrett, Elante Ingram, Aaron Jones, Connor Kurtz, Benjamin Lutz, Riley McCreary, Ben Meyer, Patrick Ollier, Nathan Santichen, Jonathan Strang, Erick Wilson, Clay Zeigler

VIDEO: Primacy of Place: Whitely Neighborhood

Muncie’s Whitely Community Council is recognized as the most productive and inspiring neighborhood association in Muncie, due in large part to the tireless leadership of Cornelius and Mary Dollison and other committed members of the Whitely neighborhood. Since 1966, the Council has overseen improvement projects in seven strategic areas: safety, education and health, infrastructure, employment and business support, neighborhood pride and event planning, resource development and fundraising, and advertising and public relations. The council meets on the second Monday of every month, with a consistent attendance of 60-70 individuals.

Muncie’s Primacy of Place Video Series was produced by Ball State Student Media and funded by the Ball Brothers Foundation. The series explores six main ‘pillars’ of quality of life: Parks and Recreation, Neighborhood Development, Farm to Table, Volunteerism, Education, and Philanthropy.

Research and practice shows the single most important element in strengthening local economies is attracting and retaining talented individuals. This requires not only good jobs and schools, but attention to the quality of life in individual communities. Primacy of Place describes a community’s strategic decision to dedicate resources to improving life experiences for residents, businesses and visitors. Read more about Ball State’s Primacy of Place initiative.