Every weekend in summer (and hopefully fall to if I can find people to help run mapping meet ups while I'm up North), I will lead a group of volunteers to map a group of neighborhoods. We'll meet up a public park, I'll explain the project, and then I'll send out pairs of volunteers with a black and white street map of a 5 by 10 block area. I'll give you a clip board, some colored markers or pencils so you can record the pavement quality and width of the street (is the pavement poor, moderate, or good quality for cycling? is the road wide enough for you and a car to travel side by side in the same lane? Or it is narrow?). Also I'll have to mark off any bike lanes (there's a few in the city now), shared lanes, or bike trails (Levee, Audubon, etc) in the area. We'll meet back up at the park two hours later and I'll collect the maps and supplies from you. Then if you have time, we can hit up happy hour at some local bar!
After the meet-up and you leave to go on with your normal life, I'll start digitally recording all the data in either GIS (geographic information systems software), or with Adobe Illustrator (that's a graphic arts program). After we collect data for all the neighborhoods of the city and I have it all digitally recorded too, I'll start working on a final map to be published. Hopefully, depending on how much we get down in the summer, I'll have a map ready to be printed and distributed by sometime between March and next July.
Between now and next year when the final product is out, I'd like to get a core group of volunteers together to be a planning/advisory team. We'll make decisions about final layout, meet-up locations, finding grants, and distribution plans. If you'd like to be in this group, please shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you sometime this summer! Thanks!