Race Maps: San Francisco Color-Coded, Literally

Categories: Local News
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:

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.

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.

Miami -- fischer map.jpg
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.

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:

Eric Fischer
Which way did they go?

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

My Voice Nation Help

Now Trending

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.