Friday, August 30, 2013

Census Map by Race for Dunwoody and Sandy Springs

A guy in Virginia with lots of time on his hands (or a healthy grant) put together a map.  The map uses one dot per person, and the dot is color-coded by race of  each person.  It is an interactive map.  See HERE.

From the web site......

The Map

This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. The map displays 308,745,538 dots, one for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census. Each dot is color-coded by the individual's race and ethnicity. The map is presented in both black and white and full color versions. In the color version, each dot is color-coded by race.
All of the data displayed on the map are from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 Summary File 1 dataset made publicly available through the National Historical Geographic Information System. The data is based on the "census block," the smallest area of geography for which data is collected (roughly equivalent to a city block in an urban area).
The map was created by Dustin Cable, a demographic researcher at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Brandon Martin-Anderson from the MIT Media Lab deserves credit for the original inspiration for the project. This map builds on his work by adding the Census Bureau's racial data, and by correcting for mapping errors.

The Dots

Each of the 308 million dots are smaller than a pixel on your computer screen at most zoom levels. Therefore, the "smudges" you see at the national and regional levels are actually aggregations of many individual dots. The dots themselves are only resolvable at the city and neighborhood zoom levels.
Each dot on the map is also color-coded by race and ethnicity. Whites are coded as blue; African-Americans, green; Asians, red; Hispanics, orange; and all other racial categories are coded as brown.

Shades of Purple, Teal, and Other Colors

Since dots are smaller than one pixel at most zoom levels, colors are assigned to a pixel depending on the number of colored dots within that pixel. For example, if a pixel contains a number of White (blue dots) and Asian (red dots) residents, the pixel will be colored a particular shade of purple according to the proportion of each within that pixel.
Different shades of purple, teal, and other colors can therefore be a measure of racial integration in a particular area. However, a place that may seem racially integrated at wider zoom levels may obscure racial segregation at the city or neighborhood level.
Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, and north Brookhaven

Metro Atlanta Race Dot Map, north/south racial divide Buford Hwy corridor also visible.



Monday, August 26, 2013

Dunwoody City Council Elections and Debates

This the week for those of us considering a run for city council to file the paperwork.  As of today it seems as there are at least two people interested for each of the three spots.  That means people will need to evaluate the candidates before making a decision.

I was recently alerted to the idea of small debates based on your district.  By example, District 1 (west side) would have a public event open to District 1 candidates only. In this year's election voters in Dunwoody have one item to vote on, just one.  It will be a ballot with one question - for whom do you want to vote for from your district to be on city council?  Nothing else on the ballot - one question.  So why do we need citywide debates?  Maybe the DHA need not host an event.  If I can't vote for someone in District 2 and 3 why should I bother attending a debate where they are present?

The setting would be more intimate.  The questions would require more detailed answers.  You could really get a good feel for each candidate.  Of course there is no way to keep out attendees from other districts, perhaps showing up to support or sabotage a candidate.

There are no rules or guidelines for these micro candidate sessions.  Nowhere to hide.  District 1 can have Ernie's Barbershop sponsor the first event.  Ernie pays for the venue, and people show up.  A moderator can ask questions and the candidates can answer.  With what seems to be enhanced interest in city politics is it time for small town hall type candidate forums? Do we need one large event?