Selected Boulder residents in Google Fusion Map

[Contributors: Erik Feiereisen, Li Xie, Grace Giffin]

This map shows all the households we entered on the spreadsheet (as described on the previous page.) Notice that we just said “households,” not “individuals” – we did not realize this, but it turns out that Google Fusion tables only maps one instance of each address, so multiple people living in the same household don’t show up. That’s a bit of a bummer, since it makes it harder to see patterns. But on the other hand maybe it could be useful too – it all depends on what you’re trying to understand. For example, if there were three big Italian immigrant families living in a neighborhood, would you want to show all the family members to emphasize how many people from Italy lived there, or would you want to just show the heads of household, since it’s still only three family units, which doesn’t exactly make for an Italian neighborhood?

There are some other limitations too – for example, you can’t interactively toggle how the dots are colored, the creator of the map has to decide that by creating “buckets” (which can only have numeric values, which is irritating, but that’s neither here nor there.) 

In the map below we are using the following color scheme:

Blue: Native born (Colorado or some other U.S. state)
Red: Germany
Pink: Sweden
Yellow: England
Green: Other foreign
 
If you click on a dot you see a little card showing you some basic information about the household head. 
 

There wasn’t really a very clear residential pattern by birthplace. We suspect that that’s because this is central Boulder – although lots of working-class people lived in Boulder in 1920, there isn’t a great concentration of occupations (like miners) that drew heavily on specific immigrant groups. But that’s just a guess – we should create other maps to figure that out.

Since the vast majority were born in Colorado, we decided to look at only those who were first and second generation immigrants (that is, they had moved to the United States from some other country, or else one of their parents had.) We made that map with BatchGeo, and you can see it on the next page.