As explained by Mark Monmonier in “How to Lie With Maps”, data can easily be skewed when a researcher converts it into a map. By fiddling with the settings on a map, one can portray two completely different stories with the same data. By merging Connecticut Census Data with School District Data in our class, we were able to combine the two sets of information and create maps. However, it is evident that different maps can be made in order to show differing stories.
For the purpose of this post, I focused on the Percent Minority Data (2009-2010) for Hartford and the surrounding towns. In the map on the left, one would assume that there is widespread racial diversity throughout the towns. In order to create this effect, I changed the map settings so that there were six shades of maroon; each shade signified a certain percentage of minorities in a specific town. Because there were so many shades, the map portrays a large number and range of minorities in Hartford and the surrounding towns. The designations for the colors and percent minorities can be found in the key to the left.
In contrast, the map on the right portrays sharp racial differences between Hartford and the surrounding towns. While Hartford and Bloomfield are shaded black, all of the other surrounding towns are shaded gray. This portrays stark differences in the racial makeup of Hartford and the surrounding areas. I made the map look this way by only using two colors: black and gray (see the key to the right). This effect was further portrayed by the fact that I designated the towns with 0-90% minorities to be colored gray, while the towns who are comprised of 90-100% minorities to be colored black. It does not look like there is a wide range of racial diversity in this map, as it does in the first map.