About This Tool

This tool is designed to facilitate exploration of the distribution of summer programs and related resources, as well as key demographic characteristics of the general population and student population, in the city of Denver. Summer programs are pulled from the Blueprint4Summer (B4S) Colorado website. In addition to the detailed information in the sections below, some general highlights you should be aware of regarding this tool are:

  • Within each of the main tabs (Summer Programs, Public Resources, etc.) there are sub-tabs. These include "Map" tabs for map-based visualizations, "Data" tabs with data tables containing the information being plotted, and "Summary Analysis" or "Visualization" tabs containing report-style visuals to aid in answering key analysis questions.
  • All maps and most graphs are interactive! Hover your mouse over points or regions for more information, and zoom and pan on the images to see closer details.
  • In the Summer Programs and Public Resources tabs, you can click on neighborhoods to add them to the "neighborhoods" list in the filter sidebar on the left side of the screen. (This is in addition to typing the neighborhood name into the sidebar).
  • You can download maps and data tables using the "Download" buttons at the bottoms of the pages. You can also download any interactive plot: hover over the top of the plot to see a pop-up menu, which has an option to save the plot as an image.

Viewing Demographic Information

In the "Summer Programs" and "Public Resources" tabs, you can select a demographic variable and the concentration of that demographic group across the city will be visualized on the map (along with the resources themselves). Select demographic variables in the left sidebar. Demographic data comes from the American Community Survey from 2011-2015, the most recent available data which is aggregated to the neighborhood level.

In all maps, you can also obtain demographic information about a neighborhood or census block group by hovering your mouse over that region in the map. The census block groups only appear in the "Access Index" tab.

Summer Programs Tab

The "Summer Programs" tab shows all summer programs listed on the Blueprint4Summer website, which catalogs summer programs in Denver. Programs appear as yellow dots in the "Map" sub-tab, and the left sidebar allows you to filter programs by category, cost, and whether the programs have stated that they can accommodate special needs students. You can also filter by the neighborhood in which the program occurs, either by typing in a neighborhood name in the left sidebar, or by clicking on the neighborhood on the map. Selection of multiple neighborhoods is allowed, and a thick gray outline will appear around the selected neighborhoods on the map.

Hovering over a yellow program dot will display information about that program. Since some programs occur at the same location, all program locations have been slightly offset from their original, exact location in order to prevent program dots from landing directly on top of one another. You may have to zoom in to see the program dots separate from one another, however.

Public Resources Tab

The "Public Resources" tab shows public resources in the city of Denver that students might access during out-of-school time: parks, playgrounds, rec centers, libraries, athletic fields, and pools. All data is sourced from the Denver Open Data Catalog. Resource names and (limited) characteristics appear if you hover over the dots in the map. You can filter the resources to those located in a specific set of neighborhoods, precisely as in the "Summer Programs" tab.

B4S Searches Tab

The Blueprint4Summer website has been used by the families of students and other users in order to search for summer programs. This search data, which we obtained via Google Analytics, is a proxy for the demand for programs. Meanwhile, the current programs indicate the supply. The summary tab displays the number and percentage of searches based on the search specifications. The "visualization" tab has driving questions that help visualize the supply and demand relationship.

Access Index Tab

The Access Index tab displays our access index, which returns a score from 0-100 for every block group, and describes the access from the centerpoint of that block group to summer program sessions in Denver. As in the Summer Programs tab, summer programs are also shown as yellow dots, to give additional context for the Access Index scores.

In the Access Index, 0 refers to the lowest access in Denver and 100 refers to the highest. Access is based on the sum of travel times to all program locations, adjusted by the decay function below, multiplied by the number of sessions at each location. Separate indices have been calculated for each program type and cost threshold, and distances have been calculated using both driving and transit times. You can specify in the left sidebar which types and costs of programs to include for the visualized index. Here are the equations for the Access Index:

Decay function: Decay Function

Access Index: Access Index Equation

The overall driving and transit access index refers to the average score for each type of program, at any cost. Driving and transit access results are shown on the same 0-100 scale; given that transit times are always longer than driving, transit access is categorically lower than driving access.

As expected, access index scores reflect primarily the concentration of sessions in Denver, as well the accessibility of highways and relatively quick driving travel to these sessions. In addition to the transit index returning lower scores overall than the driving index, transit access also tends to be more concentrated, with fewer block groups being in close proximity to a large number of sessions and having an access index score greater than 10.

For more details about the calculation of the access index, please see the report that accompanies this dashboard.

Credits and Contact Info

This web-based interactive tool was originally created during the Summer 2018 Data Science for Social Good program at the eScience Institute at the University of Washington. The team members involved in creating it were:

  • Sivan Tuchman, Project Lead (Center on Reinventing Public Education)
  • Jose Hernandez, Data Scientist (eScience Institute)
  • Karen Lavi, Data Scientist
  • Joe Abbate, Student Fellow
  • Sreekanth Krishnaiah, Student Fellow
  • Kellie MacPhee, Student Fellow
  • Andrew Taylor, Student Fellow
  • Haowen Zheng, Student Fellow
One year later, Sivan, Kellie, Andrew, and Haowen have updated the tool to reflect data current as of Summer 2019.

This tool is built using R Shiny, and the code is available on GitHub. Sivan Tuchman (stuchman@uw.edu) is the primary contact for any questions related to the tool.

Note: Searches with distance set to 20 miles are excluded in this plot, as 20 miles was the default search distance and appeared abnormally often.

Note: Only top 20 zipcodes in terms of the number of searches are shown.

Download Map (Takes About 10 Seconds)