DemLabs blog

Build safer bridges with tax payer moneys rather than walls.

Better roads and bridges help all Americans. Make it easy for people to see how they gain from President Biden's investment in infrastructure.

How are your tax dollars being spent? Better roads, bridges, schools and healthcare - or for tax cuts for billionaires?

A bridge collapse reminds of the urgent need to invest in our infrastructure. Check on the conditions of the bridges you cross, and remind your elected official to support President Biden's plan to upgrade American infrastructure. It's your tax dollars!

Customize this map and template locally for your district or state. Find out how here.

Building bridges, not walls

Build more bridges and not more walls
Share this StoryMap freely with this link. Share as a GIF.

Infrastructure roadmap

"President Joe Biden urged U.S. governors on Monday to ramp up their construction plans as his administration rolled out a guidebook for accessing the nearly $1 trillion made available by the bipartisan infrastructure deal. “You know how to build roads and bridges,” the Democratic president told them. “Well, we got a hell of a lot to build.”

After the meeting, a pair of governors described infrastructure as a place for bipartisan cooperation and stressed that it was important for states to be able to spend money as they see fit. “In terms of the infrastructure, the magic word from the governors is give us flexibility, hold us accountable, but we know how to invest in infrastructure and, trust us, and we want to partner with the administration,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican and chairman of the National Governors Association." - PBS

Personalize data

People are most concerned about how things affect them. Make it easy for them by letting them find out quickly - on a phone or a laptop. This StoryMap has details more than 600,000 bridges and can be accessed with a link or by scanning the QR Code above. Clicking on a dot provides bridge details. The map is designed with ArcGIS Online with data from the U.S. Dept of Transportation. Only bridges with over 100,000 daily passengers are shown initially with more bridges appearing as you zoom into the map. This avoids overwhelming people with too much information upfront. Try it for yourself.

This map is easily customized to show conditions for just a specific district, city or state. Find out how here.

Make it easy for people to see how government spending helps them
Share as a map

Storytelling with data

Make your story interesting by making it easy for readers to find the details they're most interested in. You can, for instance in seconds check the condition of any of 600,000 bridges. This StoryMap is made more visually appealing with a video clip from an EarthCam about the Bay Bridge and cartoons from Political Cartoons.

This project has three components that can be shared on their own, or combined into a story. The components can be freely shared as links or embedded in a website.
Map - with roads, bridges and state boundaries.
StoryMap - which combines the map with a friendly user interface, narrative, images and videos.
Web App - The map packaged as handy reference guide without the narrative, but with a splash screen.

Storytelling with maps and data using ArcGIS Online, StoryMaps and WebApps
Share as a WebApp

TakeAway: Make your message more interesting and useful with data-rich maps.


Image credit: Subaru


Invest in infrastructure

Democrats push for infrastructure spending

Republicans block infrastructure bill

President Biden pushes infrastructure bill through

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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.