Monday, November 16, 2009

Map - Wisconsin Unemployment by County

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is the first fruit of an experiment to fully automate ReformDem maps. It's based on the work of Nathan Yau, who uses Python scripts to do all the heavy lifting for the choropleth maps on his very impressive blog, FlowingData.

Previously I've used a spreadsheet to calculate RGB color values for each county, and a paint program to manually apply them to a blank map. The results are nice, but it takes about half a day to make one map. If I can get the rest of the bugs worked out I should be able to make maps in a matter of minutes.

One interesting thing to notice in the map above is that Menominee County has one of the highest unemployment rates in Wisconsin. Menominee County is basically the Menominee Indian Reservation, and, as you can see from Nathan's national unemployment map, counties with high Native American populations also tend to have very high unemployment, and are among the poorest areas in the US.

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