I wanted to represent America in terms of its poverty level, based on many different data points. Because develop countries like the United States are so often modeled in terms of their wealth, I thought it’d be interesting to see the flip-side.
I downloaded a text document of coordinates (latitude, longitude) of about 120 major U.S. cities. I used these coordinates to send an API request to broadbandmap.gov, which returns various domestic statistics based on said coordinates, including the percentage of people living below the poverty level. I turned these data into points, one for each city, to be plotted on the canvas. Small blue dots refer to cities with low poverty (under 9%), medium white dots refer to average poverty levels (10-17%), and large red dots show those with high poverty (above 17%).
I originally intended to overlay these points over a map of the U.S, but after running the program, I noticed that the points themselves make a fairly recognizable map of the country. I like how this representation somewhat abstracts to the country, but still allows it to be recognizable. And, of course, the red, white, and blue points play at the nation’s patriotism amidst such impoverishment.
Video: http://vimeo.com/29674490 (Sketch starts at ~10 seconds)