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Library Deserts of Michigan

2022: Day 8 (OpenStreetMap)

Nov 8, 2022

A couple of caveats before sharing this map: It was made fast. That's the point of the #30DayMapChallenge. This means that thorough analyses aren't realistic. A couple of things make the percentage shown here very much an overestimate. Read the asterick in the map. In addition to that, a lot of the library deserts here are just trees. Michigan is a super densely forested/farmed state with huge tracts of land with no cities or people etc. Just happy little trees. With more time, a more accurate number could come about by, for example, subtracting these forested areas from the deserts. That would reduce the percentage there.

Tool: ArcGIS Pro



  1. Use Overpass Turbo to export OpenStreetMap data: Navigate to area of interest > click Wizard > type "amenity=library" > click Build and Run Query > Export to GeoJSON

  2. ArcGIS Pro > JSON to Features > Point

  3. Change coordinate system to NAD 1983 Michigan GeoRef

  4. Add Countries layer > Definition Query NAME = 'Michigan'

  5. Clip Libraries to Michigan

  6. Create 10mi buffer around libraries (planar, dissolve all)

  7. Erase buffer from state of Michigan boundary

  8. To calculate estimated population affected: added census tracts from Esri’s Living Atlas > Summarize Within population sum within the erased buffer. Divide sum by current state population (10,050,811)


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