NHGIS recently launched a pair of web maps highlighting the available GIS files and striking changes in boundaries over time for two popular geographic levels. The ‘Census Tract’ map displays data for years 1910 to 2014, and the ‘Place’ map depicts data for 1980 to 2014. With each year listed as a separate layer, users can easily toggle specific years on and off to visualize the data.
Associate Professor of History and MPC Faculty Member J. David Hacker made headlines in 2011 when he published a groundbreaking study of the total number of U.S. Civil War dead. Hacker argued that the widely-accepted figure of 620,000 was far too low. Using IPUMS, Hacker showed that the number of dead was at least 750,000—if not more. His article, “A Census-Based Count of the Civil War,” published in Civil War History, was introduced by the editors in the issue as “among the most consequential pieces ever to appear in this journal’s pages.”
Few demographic historians expect attention from mainstream press when they publish their research, but Hacker’s study attracted national interest, including interviews with the New York Times and National Public Radio.
How and to what extent do our leaders and decision-makers need to address migration as a climate change issue? This issue was at the forefront of our minds recently when we had the unique opportunity to attend the 21st annual climate talks, known as the Conference of the Partners (COP21), in Paris, France in November and December of last year.
We participated in COP21 as part of a wider delegation from Minnesota that included past and current Minnesota state representatives, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, and several other representatives from government and non-governmental organizations. Like previous meetings, the goal of COP21 was to convene a meeting of world leaders and to negotiate a global climate treaty, laying the groundwork for preventing global average temperatures from rising no further than a maximum of two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.