Category Archives: demographics

Visualizing the 2016 Presidential Election in Alachua County, Florida

Update: Scroll to bottom of page for interactive map of election results.

The 2016 presidential election was truly an historic event. While Clinton’s popular vote lead continues to rise (more than 2 million as I write this), Trump currently has the Electoral College lead. One result of this election is it’s polarization of American politics and society. Numerous reports of hate crimes and violence towards marginalized groups have been reported since election night. I count myself among those who are concerned over this rise, and I continue to look at various ways to support my local community during these difficult times. It is my hope that some of the following analysis will help folks identify like-minded neighbors.

One way I and others can help is through the use of counter-mapping to make sense of this election in our local vicinity. Counter-mapping refers to the use mapping technologies for non-elite purposes, and is increasingly acknowledged as a primary tool for subverting establishment politics and corporate interests. The first step in accomplishing this is to acquire data. In this case that means information on voting precinct boundaries and election results. Fortunately, the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections has a Google map of precincts and has posted the election results. It is a relatively straightforward process to take the Google-based KML data and convert it to a shapefile for use with GIS software (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS). Similarly, converting data between PDF and Excel is pretty straightforward.

The following map shows the location of voting precincts in Alachua County in relation to town boundaries. (Click maps for enlarged versions)precincts-and-towns Continue reading

Geovisualization of New Jersey Property Values

This post concerns the visualization of property values. I am working on this for an upcoming project on the African American experience in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and particularly the 1970 riot. Part of this research focuses on the socioeconomic experiences (e.g., access to property ownership, property values) of various groups ithroughout the 20th century. Property ownership remains part of the “American Dream” and lured African Americans to many northern locations, places promising a more equitable society. A promised often denied.

One goal for this project explores geovisualization. Geovisualization, short for geographic visualization, is the visual representation of geospatial analyses. This increasingly involves the creation of interactive displays to share location-specific data. This post is not a nuts-and-bults how to, but it does outline the general steps and process for producing some interesting images of property values.

Continue reading

Visualizing Population Change in Detroit, 1930-1970

This is the first post in a general effort to be more active in regards to my blogging activities during 2011. This post is inspired by two things; my research into race riots as part of my larger PhD project, and a recent New York Times article about tracing New York’s shifting ethnic population. You can view the newspaper article here.

The following five images show general population growth across Detroit during a 40 year span. This period marked rapid and profound changes in the racial make-up of Detroit. A large influx of African Americans from the US South has long been seen as one of several causes for racial strife in the city. The growing racial intolerance degenerated into racially charged collective violence in 1942 and 1967 when race riots occurred.

The following images were made with ArcGIS 10 using shapefiles and population extracts from the US census. This informaiton is free to download at the National Historical GIS. Each dot represents 100 individuals. I apologize for using black and white colors to represent Euro and African Americans, but it works for a quick visualization like this one. I have also included the total population and numbers of black and white residents in Wayne County for each year (source: US Census).

Total Population: 1888955 – White: 1755022
Black: 131747 – Other: 2186