Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Divided America

A couple of months ago, my Black Politics professor showed us this incredible Flickr page. Eric Fischer (who seems to be some sort of digital cartographer) mapped Census 2000 information on to some major American cities to show the racial and ethnic divisions within cities. It's pretty mind-boggling stuff. Some cities are worse than others. For a sampling, here's Detroit, Atlanta, Miami and Newark.

Today, the NYTimes released this cool feature, with more recent data, where you can map towns and districts, even blocks, by race and ethnicity, household income, the furthest education received, and more fun stuff like that. I poked around a bit, and it's a very impressive way of communicating information. I checked out Teaneck- the black-white divide on either side of Washington Ave. and Teaneck Rd. is ridiculous. I also checked out 21218, Hopkins' zip code. About two blocks east of campus, there's an abrupt change, with basically no transition, from the racially mixed zone (probably primarily college students) to almost 90% black.

I don't have much of a comment. Racial zoning, intentional or not (that's another discussion entirely) is a real issue in America, and these maps use really some cool technology to show us a visual representation of that.

UPDATE: Sorry I didn't include this earlier: Heather Horn at the Atlantic rounded up people commenting on Fischer's maps.

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