Mapping Inequality


Mapping Inequality and Neighborhood Atlas are two mapping tools that help students, educators, and researchers explain the underlining economic dynamics which gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement. While Mapping Inequality documents the rating system that condemned black communities to economic decline through redlining, the Neighborhood Atlas reveals how communities continue to be burdened by housing and economic decline.

About Mapping Inequality

Mapping Inequality is a website that provides essential information on the federal government's Home Owners' Loan Corporation. Between 1935 and 1940, the federal government utilized data from real estate appraisers, lenders, and developers to evaluate and rate residential neighborhoods. This rating system was a racially determined visualization system that color-coded maps. Black communities usually received the lowest level, presented by colored-coded areas in red. These designations did not consider economic class and often assumed all homes in black communities (regardless of home structure) were hazardous. 

This map image illustrated the red-lined areas in Cleveland, Ohio. As you review the following Social Explorer maps, keep in mind the early mapping of black communities as unsafe.



This map is taken from the site Mapping Inequality- a collaboration between various universities, including: University of Richmond's Digital Scholarship Lab, the University of Maryland's Digital Curation Innovation Center, Virginia Tech, UC Irvine, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Mapping Inequality updates the study of New Deal America, the federal government, housing, and inequality for the twenty-first century. It offers unprecedented online access to the national collection of "security maps" and area descriptions produced between 1930 and 1940 by one of the New Deal's most important agencies, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation or HOLC (pronounced "holk").

For more information on other cities, click the hyper link for Mapping Inequality.

About Neighborhood Atlas/Area Deprivation Index (ADI)

Neighborhood Atlas builds its mapping on the Area Deprivation Index (ADI), a measure created by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) over three decades ago. It allows for rankings of neighborhoods by socioeconomic disadvantage in a region of interest (e.g. at the state or national level). It includes factors for the theoretical domains of income, education, employment, and housing quality. It can be used to inform health delivery and policy, especially for the most disadvantaged neighborhood groups.

The ADI Map allows students and researchers to view a state by areas of economic levels. The map ranks neighborhoods relative to other local, state, and national locations. Students can also input specific addresses to view neighborhood economic ranking for their community. The ADI Map provides an incredible opportunity to overlay Mapping Inequality with more recent data on various communities, cities, states, and regions. 


This map is taken from the site Neighborhood Atlas- a collaboration between National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Medicine.  

Neighborhood Atlas brings the economic lives of current black Cleveland residents to life through this visualization of socio-economic levels via geo-location.