Boston Public Library
Government Information

Social Sciences Department, 2nd Floor, McKim Building, Central Library, 617-859-2261

Posts Tagged ‘neighborhoods’

Four Interesting Data Visualization Sites

Posted on August 18th, 2013 by Gail Fithian in Government Information

Cool data visualization pages proliferate.

Probably the most graphically stunning is A Handsome Atlas  from Brooklyn Brainery, with its colorful and imaginative visualizations of nineteenth century census data.

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks  takes data from the US Census Bureau’s 2007 through 2011 American Community Survey to map  income data on income and rent. Data can be displayed by street address, zip code, census tract number, or city, and comparisons to state medians are also shown.

Bostonography was developed by two “cartography geeks”. It  includes maps on themes such as distances to liquor stores and Dunkin’ Donuts locations.  The site is also attempting to define some of Boston’s disputed neighborhood boundaries by crowdsourcing  “collective definitions of Boston’s neighborhoods by its residents and those who know the city well.”

Gapminder bills itself as  “a non-profit venture – a modern “museum” on the Internet – promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.”  Its data page contains visualizations on 513 socioeconomic indicators by country. The same data is also available to download to spreadsheets. The rest of the site is also worth checking out, particularly the Joy of Stats documentary.

Boston Puts Its Data Online

Posted on February 22nd, 2013 by Gail Fithian in Government Information
 2010 Census data is now available by neighborhood from the Boston Redevelopment Authority

For the first time, the public may access the data that made up 134 reports on Boston’s neighborhoods, planning districts, the 2010 Census, and the 2005-2009 American Community Survey.  

The 2010 Census includes information on population, sex, age, race, housing occupancy and household type; the American Community Survey features more detailed characteristics such as place of birth, employment status, and languages spoken at home.  For example, to find Brighton’s median household income, enter “Brighton median household income” into the search bar on the Boston Data Portal, then click “Brighton, neighborhood data: American Community Survey 2005-2009″.  After downloading the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, click the “Economic” tab;  Brighton’s “Median Household Income”  is listed first.

Students, researchers, and others seeking economic, demographic, and housing information about Boston’s neighborhoods now have data at their fingertips.

The release of the data is part of Mayor Menino’s strategy for open government and transparency.  The BRA Research Division will make the data for future reports available via the Boston Data Portal.