Parker Blog Post #6

Global map showing the spread of Cholera
Mode of Communication of Cholera by John Snow

The first map, which was produced by Alexander Keith Johnston, is a thematic map showing the spread of Cholera throughout the world. The first thing I noticed about this map was the red lines going across the map. This map reminded me of previous maps I had seen showing trade across the planet. The reason for this is that the red lines seem to follow similar travel patterns that seem similar to exports from country to country. Much of the spread from Europe to the Americas occurs between the western border of Europe and the northeastern parts of the United States. From the northeastern parts of the United States, we can see lines that connect to much of the west as well as the south and eventually down to South America. In Europe, we can see many red lines of Cholera interconnect between Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Besides these red lines, we can also see two major red plots of Cholera. One in India and the other in modern-day Egypt/Saudi Arabia. One thing that I think is important to point out for Cholera and diseases, in general, is that they tend to thrive in the heat, and both of these regions of the world see some of the hottest climates of any region in the world. These two regions are close to the equator and the author of the map even makes a point about the Egypt/Saudi Arabia region being the “hottest space in July”.

Jumping to the next map, we see a map detailing the presence of Cholera in areas of a city. What I noticed in this map was the black lines that were heavy in some areas, but missing in others. I inferred this as showing the presence of Cholera in different areas. We see that the most amount of Cholera can be found on Broadway street, which looks to be the most important and central road on this map. The most surprising elements of this map to me are how places that I would think would be at high risk for contamination, don’t seem to have that high of Cholera, like the brewery or workstation for example.

Student Weekly Posts – Jeal

This week covers hows cartography can lend itself to a fuller understanding of disease spread, and its connection to society itself. Above on the left we have John Snows Map of Cholera spread in conjunction with tainted water pumps in London in 1855. And on the right we have a section of Alexander Johnstons’ map of global disease and health from 1856.

Both map types are mainly thematic, with each one expressing its given themes and purposes in varying contexts. It must be said that both maps do include accurate referential factors. For example, John Snows map gives an accurate contemporary street layout for 1855 London. Similarly Johnston’s map depicts a fairly accurate representation of geography and layout of the major islands and continental landmasses of the world. What we could gleam from this is that realistic disease mapping requires a fairly accurate referential aspect in order to convey accurate information about any given scenario.

In order to convey their message these maps are chock full of information, with some being less or more important then others. In our John Snow map we see not only street names but also at times building/ area names. Through the eyes of a contemporary viewer these could obviously be useful in determining not only where exactly this map depicts but also which areas are most seriously affected. While the non-cartographic elements of Snows map are mostly useful to a viewer, a significant amount of elements in Johnston’s map seem unnecessary. While useful in a typical referential map the inclusion of both country and major city names seems pointless, going so far as labeling certain states in the US and including rivers. These elements clutter the map, making it not only harder to decern the actual intention of the map but also which words and labels apply to which element.

As for cartographic elements the maps become more interesting. Snows use of black bars as indicators of individuals infected with Cholera makes the map incredibly simple to read. Large collections of black bars indicated regions of high Cholera concentration, the labeling of water pump location and their close proximity to these high concentration areas can begin to give the viewer some idea of the issue plaguing 19th century London. With its massive population it’s no wonder that diseases like Cholera could run rampant through the city. A growing poor population, jammed together in close proximity along with poor hygiene and poor waste disposal make it fairly clear how contaminated wells could lead to a Cholera epidemic. Interestingly, Cholera spread is also seen as a cartographic element in Johnstons map of global health and disease. Cris-crossing the map we see red lines labeled “Cholera”, some even including the year a local epidemic began. We also see blue lines indicating other illnesses such as Yellow Fever and Dysentery which seem at the time to be prevalent in most parts of the world. Finally Johnstons also labels some regions as generally healthy or generally unhealthy, though the factors by which he determines this are unclear.

While these maps differ in design their intentions and purposes give us useful ways of understandings how disease spreads not only through a small population such as a neighborhood in London, but also through the global population. Cartography seems to not only be a useful tool in geographically mapping areas but also in understanding and visualizing social effectors.

Blog 5 – Boraks

In the redlining map, the city of Omaha is split into sectors based on the state of the neighborhoods.  Redlining maps were used to determine mortgage rates and if you could even buy a house starting in the 1930s.  Each sector is labeled with a letter (A,B,C,D), with A zones being the “best,” B zones being “Still Desirable,” C zones being “definitely declining,” and D zones being “hazardous.”  There are 15 districts total, which we know from the red numbering in each district.  Using these districts, we can create roughly 4 different areas of Omaha. The northern and southern parts of Omaha are in the B zone, with a bit in the southern zone being in the C and D zones.  Western Omaha is  primarily in the A zone with a bit in the B zone.  Lastly, eastern Omaha is predominately in the C zone with a bit in the D and B zones.

The second map displays racial diversity in the city of Omaha.  Each dot represents 150 people and the color represents the race of those people.  The light blue dots represent white people, the orange dots represent black people, the red dots represent hispanic people, and the dark blue dots represent asian people.  These dots can be split into 3 distinct groups.  The west has predominantly white dots, the north has predominantly black dots, and the south has predominantly orange dots.

Combining these two dots paints an unsightly picture.  In the areas with B, C, and D tier loans the dots are orange or red in color.  One conclusion that we can draw from this realization is that areas with more people of color were given worse loans in 1930.  If you lived in one of the lower ranked districts, then it didn’t matter how nice your house was.  If you lived there and wanted to move it would be nigh impossible because of the implicit biases created by the redlining map.

Blog 7 Eller

I find this map very interesting because of how it is multi-faceted it is. At first glance, you see the distribution of global health and disease. Then, after looking in the corners, there are graphs that talk about the value of life. The value of life is  a monetary worth used to measure the potential gain of keeping away from a fatality.[1] It is also hinted as the expense of life, benefit of impeding a misfortune and proposed cost of redirecting a misfortune. The map depicts the value of life in both cities and countries. I find this intriguing because of the research that was put into it. “Third World” countries and less populated countries seem to have lives that are valued higher.

 For example, Senegal is much higher on the graph than the United States. But when we look at the cities and towns, New Orleans, a United States city, is second. That aspect is confusing me. I think these non cartographic elements of the map really add to the overall work. Although I don’t fully understand it, it is interesting to see the mapmaker’s point of view and their thoughts on the subject.

Thus map was created by Alexander Johnston and was made in 1856. I think the message of this map is to depict the various causes that we as a human race are dying from and where. It also is successful in displaying the graphs of comparing the values of life in countries and cities.

The article focuses on the cholera outbreak through water in the United Kingdom.

While the John Snow map focuses on a much smaller section of the world, both maps can be seen as similar due to the fact that they both focus on the spread of disease within specific locations. Johnston’s is at a much larger scale and depicts other subjects, but a large focus was disease, similar to Snow’s where he marked the locations of cholera outbreak on certain streets.

Straub Student Weekly Blog

As childish as this might sound, this week’s readings really drew me back to a forgotten memory from my childhood. One of my favorite games to play as a kid was “Plague Inc.”. In this game, you have a base map of the entire world, breaking it down into countries. The goal is to infect the entire world with your disease. One thing that became very clear about the game, is that it was always difficult to infect certain regions. There is much overlap between the tactics of that game, and the study was done on the map below.

Here, we view the world and track disease patterns/ spread. Obviously, symptoms like population, health care, and more are very important factors. What I had often not considered is the effect of climate. Here, we see the thematic map showing the uneven distribution of diseases, primarily showing the impact of latitude. The mapping was relatively intuitive, as media often displays this transportation of illness across the globe with a red line, that highlights the spread.

The other map, by John Snow, showed the infection spread in a different way. Here, we are diving into a closer look into the issue. We get a view into waterways, and how the town was structured around it. Here, this information helps us more accurately gauge the impact of “foul water” on the people in the area.

To bring it back to my opening topic, these trends of the impact of water and climate were critical for the “success” of infecting the whole world. These maps gave us critical information on how disease spreads, and how we can perhaps learn/ adapt. Obviously, this is a very relevant conversation these days, and we conduct much more in-depth studies now as to how infections spread. Even Creighton’s (poor attempt at a) COVID dashboard relays information as to the spread among our community. These maps are incredibly useful in realizing useful trends, and deducing how best to move forward. As for the game, it was sadly taken down given the controversial nature of killing the global population through a deadly pandemic in our current environment.

Blog post #6

In 1856 Alexander Keith Johnston created the map titled “The Geographical Distribution of Heath and Disease in Connection Chiefly with Natural Phenomena”. This map sought to map out dieases such as diarrhea, remittent rever, cholera, and dystetary all across the globe. Johnston sections the world by using parellel lines outlining the equator, this suggests that he believes that these diseases are most common in this area. This is likly true as Europeans jouneying to this area had no previous contact with new dieases so they got sick much more often. In the bottom of the map he includes a couple chats, one to measures the value of life by which I believe he means which places are most likely to lose lots of people to disease as well as a chart measuring how lethal cases of consumption and rheumatism are in different places. Johnston is very concerned about the wider view of disease and how race and geography/climate factor into it. This map argues that the very tropical and hot climates on earth are the most likely to hold diseases which will be fatal to white europens, while I don’t think this is a controvertial opnion I believe its subtely trying to put down these locations. I am not sure exactly what Johnston is trying to say weather its that we don’t belong in these places or that these places are evil I don’t know. It is possible I am reading way too much into this but I thought I’d give it a shot.

in 1855 John Snow (you know nuthin jon snow) created a map which documented the cases in a cholera outbreak in London. The purpose was to see if certian water pumps had any correlation to where the virus spread. A similar map was created Edmund Cooper and showcased by Steven Johnson in his book “The Ghost Map”, both maps plotted cases and water pumps to try and find a connection. Snow interviewed the affected families and found that there was a solid connection to a specific water pump which was likely ground zero for the outbreak. These maps were arguements for the start and spread of a disease in London at the time and they provided an easy to understand and create display of important findings. While these maps are similar to Johnston’s in that they both deal with mapping disease, the London maps are much more small scale and more precise while Johnston’s is very widescope and general. Using maps to track and keep data on the spreading of disease is facinating and very smart as it so easily fits into the format of mapping.

Redlining and Interpolation

  1. The patterns I see between mortgage companies and locations that supply lendees in Philadelphia is that the areas where one is present in a large number so is the other. They appear to have a very close correlation and there seems to be three main clusters which demonstrate this connection.

2. The regions with the highest interest rate were primarily in the bottom left of the map or the southwest section. They are still fairly close to the middle but I think it’s fairer to be a bit more specific. These high-interest rates line up with the areas labeled dangerous because of the bank’s lack of faith in the loans being paid back.

3. There is an indication that HOLC maps caused redlining in that places with the highest interest rates are all relatively close together in sections of Philadelphia. Because of this clear grouping, it seems that redlining was already in practice, or it’s possible that it had just begun.

4. An additional data layer that might supply evidence of discriminatory housing would be showing the average income across Philadelphia or possibly what the property value of the buildings is.

5. One map that I think shows redlining in Philadelphia the most clearly:

Parker Redlining and Interpolation

QGIS mapping of datapoints
  1. What patterns do you see between mortgage companies and
    locations that supplied lendees in Philadelphia? The pattern that I see between mortage companies and locations that supplied lendees in Philadelphia is that when there is a large presence of one, the other followed suit. You can see on the three major focused areas that they are very heavily concentrated areas for mortage companies and the lendees.
  1. Which regions had the highest interest rates? The southwest section of Philadelphia had the highest interest rates. When you look at this map you can see very clearly that the darkest shades of the city are in the southwest corner of the map.
  2. What indication do you see (if any) that HOLC maps caused redlining (as opposed to
    mapping preexisting discrimination). If none, what additional historical evidence do you
    think you might need to establish this relationship? I could see HOLC maps having a role in causing redlining judging by the fact that the lendees with the highest interest rates are very concentrated to very specific areas of Philadelphia. By grouping lendees together, it could be plausible that redlining was either just starting or already underway.
  3. What additional data layers do you think might supply evidence of discriminatory housing
    policy/segregated urban development that you don’t have access to in this exercise? I think some variables that would be interesting to see would be average wait time for a loan application response, ethnicity percentage at this current time and over time, and median income per area.
  4. Create one clear, legible map that you think best demonstrates the most compelling
    visualization of redlining in Philadelphia.
My compelling visualization of Philadelphia

Week 7-Naegele

The black-owned Berean Savings typically loaned to heavily black-dominated comments only while Metlife loaned to everyone but did not cover as many black-dominated sectors as Berean Savings.

I think that the contrast of the percent populations of black Americans in the hazardous zones on the HOLC is the best representation for redlining as even if you did not know what any of the data was you could see a very clear connection between the two.

HOLC map with percent black in purple (this is my best map)
Berean and Metlife loans

The regions with the highest interests rates were those labeled as hazardous by the HOLC and thus were the communities with the highest percentage of black Americans. The lowest was in the blue or green zones with the highest populations of white Americans.

I would say that it did cause discrimination. The map of higher interest rates shows this clearly in relation to HOLC areas and higher interests rates. It can also be seen with the two loan companies with the black-owned company mostly focusing on black-dominated areas and the white neighborhoods only using MetLife the white-owned company. I believe that historical evidence only further emphasizes this point that HOLCs were used to further discrimination so it could be possible to miss but not probable without the existing historical context. The problem would come in if you did not dig deeper than the number of mortgages in each area and did not see the interest rate data.

I believe more data showing, as we talked about in class, the different HOA’s individual rules barring black Americans from moving into neighborhoods; basically napping which areas had those and the number that was in each area. I also think another one would be the influx and efflux of areas residents according to their ethnicity and race or a visual of white flight.

Interpolation of the interest rates for each loan
Heat map of mortgages over HOLC

Blog week 8- Binder

John Snow’s map of the 1855 London Cholera outbreak.

John Snow’s map of the 1855 Cholera outbreak in London changed the way disease was understood. Steven Johnson’s book The Ghost Map compared Snow’s map to a similar map created by Edmund Cooper that looked at the relation of cholera deaths to a mass grave located nearby. While Cooper’s map did not have the correct cause of Cholera, both men tried to find the source of cholera in a similar way- by creating maps. Their maps were their arguments for the cause of cholera. By talking to the families of his patients, Snow realized that every family that was sick got their water from the same water pump. His map leaves out other water pumps and highlights the relationship between the Broad Street water pump and the cholera deaths.

Johnston’s map of Health and Disease

Alexander Keith Johnston’s 1856 map of “The Geographical Distribution of Health and Disease in Connection Chiefly with Natural Phenomena” tries to map the prevalence of cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, and remittent fever around the world. By including climate categories, he is trying to suggest that latitude is somehow related to diseases. He also includes charts of the value of human life and rates of European mortality in colonial cities in an effort to show where the disease is more common. Johnston draws lines tracing the path of diseases across land and down coasts. He classifies different parts of the world simply by what diseases he believes to be most common there. His map is of a much larger scale than Snow and Cooper’s maps and instead of trying to find the source of a specific outbreak, Johnston is attempting to order the world by what diseases are more common in different places.  The inclusion of charts of the “value of human life” in different countries shows how Johnston’s map is much more race-based than Snow’s map. While both maps are attempting to trace disease, Johnston insinuates that different people are more prone to diseases while Snow just argued the connection between cholera deaths and the water sources each of the families used.

The Value of Life charts on the bottom of Johnston’s map

Maps are arguments and The Ghost Map illustrates Cooper and Snow’s competing arguments about the source of the cholera outbreak. Alexander Keith Johnston presented a very different argument of disease with his map as he insinuated a relation between location and race and disease. John Snow is remembered for his contributions to epidemiology while Johnston is not as prominent.