A Racial Map of Your Neighborhood.

Matt Ygesias pointed to The New York Times' extraordinary interactive block-by-block census map, and I have to second his judgment of its awesomeness. You should really take a look at your city to see what it looks like. You can go anywhere in America. Since Matt made a point about D.C., I'll give you a picture of a place I used to live, Philadelphia:

Philly census map.jpg

The green dots are whites, the blue dots are blacks, the yellow dots are Hispanics, and the red dots are Asians. What's extraordinary is how you can find places where one street creates a crisp dividing line, with one group on one side and another on the other. See that diverse area to the left of the "P" in Philadelphia? That's University City, where Penn is. But keep going west and you're quickly in West Philly, almost entirely black. Go the other direction, and you're in Center City, mostly white. Head south past South Street on the west side of Center City, mostly black, with a growing Asian presence. But jump east across Broad Street, and some tracts are as much as 94 percent white (those are South Philly's Italian neighborhoods).

This isn't anything you don't have a sense of if you live there, but it's remarkable to see it laid out so starkly. As I said, you should check out wherever you live -- the feature has the whole country. And one other thing: For all the talk of the Death of Newspapers, we should give the Times credit. They create some of the best interactive data visualizations out there. Of course, they are able to invest in it, whereas the Grand Forks Herald doesn't have that kind of money to spend.

-- Paul Waldman

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