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.
Historical demographic data has been a big part of the Minnesota Population Center’s history. The MPC can trace its own lineage to the Social History Research Laboratory in the University of Minnesota’s History Department. Current MPC Director Steven Ruggles, and one of the MPC’s founding faculty members, Rus Menard, led a project to create a 1% sample of the United States’ 1880 census. Starting in 1988 the data was entered by professional data entry personnel reading microfilm. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the 1880 census was the first complete-count census that the historical census team at MPC worked on. The complete-count 1880 census was entered by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints volunteers, introducing us to the challenges of working with data sources created by enthusiastic people around the world.
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.