Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

You are your own geographer as I am mine:
Rather than presuppose that a specific set of officially defined geographic boundaries is a correct way of capturing a citizen’s context, let study respondents define the boundaries for themselves, through a series of steps capturing what towns and cities people identify with most, from a local scale to a more global one.

While one might quibble with the methodology, the results are certainly intriguing so far. Based on the responses of over 50,000 contributors since 2005, the current map shows a fascinating patchwork of influence-areas that are not highly consistent with well-known geographic conventions such as state boundaries ....

Just how valid is it to cluster voters or citizens by state or by media market, as I have done in some of my own work, when citizens’ ‘perceptual’ regions may look so different?

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