Monday, April 03, 2017

The Northern Irish Divide

Dot maps are a great way to visualize racial segregation. They can also be really useful for visualizing religious and political divides. The Detail has released a new interactive dot map which shows how twenty years after the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants still choose to live in separate communities.

The N.I. Region Map uses historical census data to visualize where Catholics and Protestants have lived in Northern Ireland over the last 50 years. The map includes the census results for 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011, which means that you can view a dot map layer visualizing where people of both religions lived in each decade since 1970. By progressing through the different decades it is therefore possible to view how much integration has taken place between the two different religious communities over recent years.

You can read more about the project in The Detail's article, Data mapping highlights Northern Ireland’s divisions ahead of Brexit. The Irish Times is also working with The Detail to explore some of the issues that arise from the new map. A good introduction to the Irish Times' coverage of the map is their article Two tribes: A divided Northern Ireland.

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