Geographic Information Science (GIS)

Groundwork Milwaukee's GIS program recognizes the inherently spatial quality of the organization's core mission to revitalize dormant urban spaces toward improved social well-being.  With that mission in mind, GIS programming aims to leverage existing geospatial data from public agencies in tandem with information provided by neighborhood voices through participatory asset mapping and interactive story telling to develop community supported interventions.  By incorporating GIS in the process of planning and implementation, Groundwork will have a new medium with which to tell our powerful stories of dynamic spaces and neighborhood heroes.  In addition to operational support, Groundwork will offer GIS youth programming that establishes technical foundations and contextualizes students within the broader geographic history of their city and beyond.   


In 2017, the Milwaukee Common Council launched a Promise Zone initiative with the aim of concentrating city resources on a few Milwaukee neighborhoods disproportionately challenged by violence and economic stagnation.  The regions defined by the Common Council are not coincident with existing neighborhood or aldermanic district boundaries.  Rather, they are defined by selected measures of social and economic well-being.  Consequently, the boundaries for these Promise Zones are not widely published.  Since Groundwork has a long history of involvment in the areas now known as Promise Zones, we are offering the below resrouces to assist others with mapping possible investments.  

Promise Zone 'shapefile' and 'kmz'

Click the below links to download a 'shapefile' (for use with ESRI products) or 'kmz' (for use with google products) for download:

1.) PromiseZone_2017.shp

2.) PromiseZone_2017.kmz

Promise Zone Map Series

Click the below links to download static maps of each promise zone:

1.) Greater Old North Milwaukee, Promise Zone 1 ('pdf')

2.) North Division / Harambee, Promise Zone 2 ('pdf')

3.) Near South Side, Promise Zone 3 ('pdf')

4.) Washington Park, Promise Zone 4 ('pdf')

5.) All Promise Zones ('pdf') 

Promise Zone Interactive Web Application

The purpose of this interactive mapping application is to assist users in determining the boundaries of Promise Zones.  You can easily zoom in and out to identify street names and aldermanic district boundaries or use the search tool to determine whether a location of interest falls within a Promise Zone.  Click the icon in the upper right to enter full screen mode. Or click the 'launch' button to launch the app directly.