GrubZone is a Food Desert GPS Navigator that allows the user to navigate through different sections of East Harlem according to income and decade to view what are the worst effected areas that are severely lacking in Supermarkets or fresh foods. When I brainstormed the idea for this project, I thought of making an app where a user could easily see what were the areas they could purchase food from. I didn’t really want this to be a project about educating people on what to eat, however, especially if those factors were based on something that was completely out of their control. I wanted my project to be educational, but to also be used by Politicians to set up viable options for the people who were effected the most by not having affordable food options.
My early mock ups were somewhat confusing but overtime, I pulled back and came to realize what I had wanted to say about my project was less about how people ate, and more about a story of a diverse community and how these food vendors were failing them, or rather; a story about a small neighborhood that over the course of several decades was changing because of money and outside interests and how these factors only not forced a community to move from their homes within a city, but forced them to change the way they ate. It was a story that had been told many times before, but I never really heard it spoken about in depth in a while and in the context and vein of food, although there were those who had done it before me, and had done it even better. Food was something that affected us all, especially those of us who, after leaving school, would need to find work tomorrow to survive. It was one of the many ways that class took shape in the form of conversation on in New York City. I didn’t expect to successfully catalogue all of this in one app, but I was hoping that whomever came across my app would understand the context in which they were viewing it in.
So there were lots of things that I would have done better in my project, which can always be said for everything, and especially so in this case. I could have made my map much more clear, I would have probably fixed the controls and tried to study more supermarket chains within the area. Of course, the streets could have been aptly labelled. It’s still very much an incomplete project in my eyes, but if I were to push this further, I would try to visit more places, possibly interview people, and gather more data.