I put off posting this week because I could not figure out if I loved maps of places that do not exist, or if I think they are a waste. What I finally realized is, I like them for the artistic value that is typically associated with them, I do not like them as maps themselves. Especially, if we are talking about historical maps.
What use is a map of a place that does not exist? Especially in history!
After reading Erin and Michael’s’ blog posts this might be a good time to mention- I hate video games. Ok, hate is a strong word- I don’t like them. I think they are a waste of time, but that is just me.
One of my friends posted an article the other day on incarceration rates in Milwaukee. I know Milwaukee has a one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, but to break it down by zip code illustrates the importance of the smaller areas of measure. There are areas of Milwaukee that have property values over $1 million right along side the zip codes that have the 3rd, 4th and 7th highest incarceration rates in the country.
Besides the arguments that can be made about the justice system in our country, to me the use of zip codes show how segregated the city really is. Having lived there and driving through bad area, good area, bad area, good area, medium area, college area and back everyday I witnessed first hand the clear lines that are drawn. By using zip codes as smaller areas of measure you can clearly see the dividing lines without physically needing to be in the space. It could be argued this is better for sociologists than historians, but if you are able to research data from a time period you are interested in, the statistics from one zip code versus a neighboring code could yield interesting insights.