Redlands, US: An Esri project maps “food deserts” across the US, according to ContraCostaTimes.com report. Esri cartography product engineer Jim Herries has mapped people’s proximity to food sources since March and users can view maps at Esri’s ArcGIS website.
According to the map, most Redlanders live within a 10-minute drive or a mile walk to a grocery store. Herries said that everyone does not have a car. So, it is important for policy makers to know that there are several food pantries for the needy, but how do people reach there.
Herries and others at Esri are hoping to contribute solid data to such questions and help debates be “quantitative” rather than emotional and anecdotal, Esri commercial solutions director Simon Thompson said. However, Herries and Thompson agreed that the term “food desert” can have a negative connotation and trigger emotion.
“The whole strategy here is to define one level of food access at a time,” Herries said.