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Monday, September 27, 2010

Race Maps: San Francisco Color-Coded, Literally

Posted By on Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge Can you see your house from here? - ERIC FISCHER
  • Eric Fischer
  • Can you see your house from here?
Eric Fischer
Can you see your house from here?
When San Francisco is mapped by ethnicity, is it a pretty picture? Aesthetically, yes. But the deeper implications are less rosy.

Oakland computer programmer Eric Fischer has made a ripple on the Internet with a series of color-coded creations juxtaposing 2000 census data on maps of various American cities. Epitomizing the saying "A picture is worth 1,000 words," newspapers and websites across the realm have leaped to publicize readily available, decade-old data because Fischer's maps present such compelling imagery.

To wit, Detroit:



click to enlarge Take him to Detroit! - ERIC FISCHER
  • Eric Fischer
  • Take him to Detroit!
Eric Fischer
Take him to Detroit!
Since "white is pink and "black" is blue, the racial striation of Detroit is as simple as ... pink and blue.

click to enlarge When in Baltimore, say hello to David Simon - ERIC FISCHER
  • Eric Fischer
  • When in Baltimore, say hello to David Simon
Eric Fischer
When in Baltimore, say hello to David Simon

Baltimore is also a city where race relations are less than sanguine. And, as seen above, black and white neighborhoods tend to be strictly distinct.

click to enlarge Bienvenidos a Miami - ERIC FISCHER
  • Eric Fischer
  • Bienvenidos a Miami
Eric Fischer
Bienvenidos a Miami

Miami, meanwhile, presents its own versions of highly ethic enclaves; Latin, black, and white neighborhoods are still very well defined.

Which brings us back to San Francisco. The city's massive Asian population keeps our city's map from resembling some of those above -- but it's still fairly clear that a number of minority residents are concentrated in tiny enclaves. The forthcoming 2010 data, if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, will show fewer and fewer poor minorities in San Francisco's colorful hodgepodge.


click to enlarge Home sweet home - ERIC FISCHER
  • Eric Fischer
  • Home sweet home
Eric Fischer
Home sweet home

You can see all of Fischer's maps here. If his name sounds familiar, perhaps it's due to the ink he received when he created a series of maps contrasting where locals and tourists visited in various cities, based upon uploads to Flickr. Here's San Francisco -- Reds are tourists, blues are locals, and yellows are undetermined:

click to enlarge Which way did they go? - ERIC FISCHER
  • Eric Fischer
  • Which way did they go?
Eric Fischer
Which way did they go?


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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