Monday, July 24, 2017

Population Density 2: Old and New New England

Digging through old census data, I realized that Wikipedia has some really amazing town-level historical population data, particularly for the Northeast, thanks to one editor in particular typing up old census reports by hand. (And also for French communes, but that's neither here nor there.) I'm working on pulling it into shape for the whole country, but this is the most interesting part.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Population Density 1: Do cities have a land area? And a literal use of the Joy Division map

I've been doing a lot of reading about population density cartography recently. With election-map cartography remaining a major issue, there's been lots of discussion of them: and the "Joy Plot" is currently getting lots of attention.

So I thought I'd finally post some musings I wrote up last month about population density, the built environment, and this plot I made of New York City building height:

This chart appears at the bottom of this post, but bigger!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What is described as belonging to the "public" versus the "government?"

Robert Leonard has an op-ed in the Times today that includes the following anecdote:
Out here some conservatives aren’t even calling them “public” schools anymore. They call them “government schools,” as in, “We don’t want to pay for your damn ‘government schools.’ ” They’re afraid to send their kids to them.
I'm pretty interested in the process of objects shifting from belonging to the "public" to the "government." In my 2015 interactive at the Atlantic about State of the Union addresses, I highlighted the decline of "public" from one of the most common words out of president's mouths into a comparatively rare one. And this is a shift that large digital libraries can help us better understand.