Participant Profile    (1CK)

Name(s): Joseph Ferreira, Jr.    (1CL)

Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology    (1CM)

Title or Subject of Initiative, Project, Program, or Other Effort Relevant to Meeting: (1) Intelligent Middleware for Understanding Neighborhood Markets (1) Virtual Regional Data Repositories    (1CN)

Nature of Effort: I’m interested in prototyping and testing intelligent middleware approaches for sharing data within metropolitan areas. The goals are (1) to be more effective, scalable, and sustainable than the traditional ‘data center’ approach, (2) to use tools and methods that provide a mechanism for accumulating local knowledge about neighborhood-scale land use, ownership, and market potential, and (3) to use that knowledge to re-interpret administrative datasets and develop customized analyses of neighborhood conditions and market potential.    (1CO)

Current Status: Current work involve MIT, the Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Boston Foundation, MassGIS, and Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development. Initial efforts are being funded in part through the Brookings Institution’s Urban Markets Initiative.    (1CP)

URL (if relevant): None, yet, for this project. is an example of past projects that involved geoprocessing web services conforming to Open GIS Consortium and FGDC protocols.    (1CQ)

Purpose and Audience (Ends): The collaborators include local and regional agencies with in-house GIS expertise and significant experience acting as ‘data centers’. These agencies are ready and willing to collaborate with MIT in the development and testing of data-intermediary approaches that can facilitate both horizontal data sharing across agencies and towns and vertical data sharing among regional, local, and neighborhood organizations. They have been working for several years with the Boston Foundation as local partners in the National Neighborhood Indicator Partnership and they are interested in methods that can enhance the reusability of administrative data and streamline its integration with locally generated neighborhood data, to permit customization of neighborhood indicators and analyses.    (1CR)

Brief Description (Means): The project develops and tests prototype tools and methods for sharing and augmenting the data needed to understand neighborhood markets and community development options. University expertise is tapped to design next-generation tools for data sharing. University researchers, local and regional agencies, and community organizations collaborate closely in prototype development and in several workshop and class projects that test the practicality of the new methods. Advisory Board input and continued involvement in related national efforts provide useful input and several outreach and communication channels.    (1CS)

Brief Narrative of History, Current Status, Plans: MIT and MAPC are beginning the Urban Markets Initiative project on July 1. MAPC is in the initial stages of developing a ‘regional data repository’ and hope to use ‘next generation’ community statistical system approaches in order to make more of a ‘virtual’ data center with distributed data repository and an MAPC focus on value-added middleware.    (1CT)

Relevant Background Documents (with URLs, if available): (not yet)    (1CU)

Contact information: Address: Prof. Joseph Ferreira, Jr. MIT Room 9-532 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4307    (1CV)

Telephone: 617.253.7410; Fax: 617.253.3625 E-mail:    (1CW)