An Overview of
Our Urban Studies Database Project


The IDEA-GLAMA Research and Information Network was formed during 1993-1997 as a working partnership to help maintain and update the existing database of information on ethnic and religious diversity in the Greater Los Angeles Metro Area (GLAMA); the Inland Empire (parts of Riverside & San Bernardino counties); and part of Ventura County (urban spill-over from Los Angeles County).  The basic idea was to have at least one organization in each region that would accept the primary responsibility for on-going fieldwork and database management within their region.  They would be the primary providers of new information about their region to other members of the network.  This was only partially successful at a time when the Internet and CD-ROM technology was not yet available.

Today, we have already begun the process of updating the original IDEA-GLAMA Study on Ethnic and Religious Diversity (1990-1993), and we would like to invite our old associates to join us in this endeavor by becoming our partners and contributing $1,000 per year to facilitate on-going research and information updates and to help maintain a new website that will house both the old as well as the new information and services:  

I will serve as webmaster for the first year, and the IDEA-GLAMA Research and Information Network Executive Committee (to be appointed in the near future) will select one of our partners to serve as webmaster yearly thereafter.  If we can interest at least 10 partnership organizations (mainly Christian educational institutions) in joining the revitalized IDEA-GLAMA Network, then we would have a minimum of $10,000 a year to cover basic operational and development costs.

We need to modernize our research and information capabilities to provide state-of-the-art Internet services for the IDEA-GLAMA Network via a new website that would be designed for that specific purpose, using the online SearchEngine (designed by Alan R. Young) but with improvements to its search capabilities and with a mapping interface (such as MapQuest) as part of the church lookup screen.  I have already begun the process of creating new computer-generated maps showing the ethnic-race-ancestral diversity of GLAMA by 2000 Census tracts and zip codes.

Our strategy is to motivate professors and their students (mainly in the fields of social sciences, urban, intercultural and missiological studies) to use the new website for research projects and conduct fieldwork in selected physical communities (zipcodes, cities, subregions, etc) and/or ethnic communities; the resulting research reports, theses and dissertations would be posted on our website and together we would continually update the materials that I have already posted to the website about each of the ethnic communities (community studies) and religious groups (profiles or case studies).  To see what we have done to date, go to the following webpage:  A Survey of Sources on the Historical Development of Religion in Los Angeles, 1846-2007.

We plan on paying our technical support specialist (Alan R. Young) a flat monthly fee (to be determined) to maintain the website plus covering additional costs for adding new features to the website and keeping up with the latest available technology.  Plus, Mr. Young will be paid a royalty for using his improved SearchEngine on our websites, starting with the redesigned IDEA-GLAMA Database website.

We would like to add a new website each year for other major urban areas in the USA, such as Chicago where we already have a working church database of over 7,750 listings, which have already been classified using the PROLADES Classification System of Religious Groups by Major Traditions and Family Types.

We would like to make the same appeal to educational institutions and professors in the Greater Chicago Metro Area to join the CHICAGO Research Network using the same strategy described above for GLAMA.  Each year new major urban area websites would be added, such as:  The San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, New York City, Miami, Atlanta, etc.  Also, this can be done overseas for major world-class cities in the Americas, such as Bogota, Caracas, Buenos Aires, etc.   We have already done this for the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during 1986-1997, one of the largest urban areas in the world with an estimated 20 million people.

The minimum operating budget for each of these new websites and joint research efforts would be $10,000 to cover basic operating expenses and technical services.  

What we have already accomplished for the IDEA-GLAMA Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity has not been done yet for any other major city in the USA, and now the challenge is to provide users with a new website model as a delivery system for the information already collected, processed and packaged. Our current SearchEngine design for the IDEA-GLAMA and PROLADES Religion-In-The-Americas (RITA) databases is a primary part of that new delivery system!



Clifton L. Holland

President of IDEA Ministries and Director of PROLADES

28 June 2007


"An IDEA worth Sharing!"
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