Map: Home Range of the Detroit Pheasant

DETROITography

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For the last few years I’ve been thinking about Detroit’s most interesting bird around Thanksgiving time. Living near Brush St. and I-94, my dog and I would regularly see a male pheasant patrolling the vacant lots next to the expressway. This year I started working on the Eastside and on an almost weekly basis came across a pheasant flying in front of my car along Ferry St. before Mt. Elliott.

I started scrapping any and all online media that mentioned pheasant sightings in Detroit and included the data from WDET’s crowdsourcing (read more on the history of Detroit pheasants here too). For the analysis I had 109 sightings of roughly 300 pheasants in Detroit between 2002 and 2016. Some sightings were likely the same pheasant seen over and over again while others were just a lone bird out looking for food beyond its normal range.

Using inverse distance weighting…

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Map: Detroit Murals in the Market vs. Graffiti Tickets

DETROITography

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The city has ramped up ticketing for blight violators and that includes properties with graffiti. In some reported cases the graffiti tickets included sanctioned murals and street art, for example Eastern Market, Brooklyn Street Local (restaurant), and the Grand River Creative Corridor. Those tickets led the Mayor to apologize and dismiss all graffiti tickets for murals and signs.

As the artwork for Murals in the Market 2016 has started coming together. I started wondering how many of these graffiti offenses involved buildings in Eastern Market, where there is already a high number of sanctioned murals.

In some cases there have been buildings with both a new mural wall location and a graffiti ticket, but the majority of those have been dismissed graffiti tickets for sanctioned murals. There were 28 graffiti tickets in Eastern Market between 2015 – 2016 and 14 have been dismissed. The majority of businesses ticketed for…

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Map: Geography of Baseball Diamonds in the Detroit Region

DETROITography

terrapattern-baseball-detroit-regionTerrapattern recently launched to investigate typologies of similar places across cities via satellite imagery.

“…the Terrapattern prototype is intended to demonstrate a workflow by which users—such as journalists, citizen scientists, humanitarian agencies, social justice activists, archaeologists, urban planners, and other researchers—can easily search for visually consistent “patterns of interest”. We are particularly keen to help people identify, characterize and track indicators which have not been detected or measured previously, and which have sociological, humanitarian, scientific, or cultural significance.”

I decided to click on the baseball diamond at Tigers Stadium to see what places were similar in “Detroit” – Terrapattern’s sample area for Detroit includes a broader area beyond the city limits, but also cuts off the Far Westside.

terrapatttern-baseballThe result is this great geographic plot of similar images and a series of snapshots of other baseball diamonds. Terrapattern even gives you a nice GeoJSON file to play with if you…

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Map: Property Praxis – Speculation in Detroit

DETROITography

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Land in Detroit has been widely covered in the media as the city and it’s residents have grappled with widespread subprime mortgage lending, myriad tax foreclosures, and targeted blight removal.

The primary connection between these major crises and efforts in Detroit is property speculation.

At least 20% of land in Detroit is owned by property speculators, defined by the amount of property they own that is not registered to an owner that lives in the same neighborhood. Property speculators benefited from the new inventory of property created by the mortgage crisis, but in turn fueled the decline into blight of once intact neighborhoods.

This collaborative mapping project is not the first to examine individuals and corporations that have held large swaths of land in Detroit, but it is the first to examine the true extent of property speculation by digging into the records of shell companies and LLC that…

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Map: Park Acres Per Resident in Detroit

DETROITography

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A while back I saw this analysis completed by the WNYC Data News team on park access and wanted to recreate it for Detroit.

There has been a lot of change with parks over the years from the near closing of 50+ parks during Mayor Bing’s time, to an influx of funding to keep them open, then the widespread adoption of parks by community groups, now the new parks master plan, and $11.7 million being dedicated to 40 smaller neighborhood parks this summer.

The map was created by giving every census tract a half-mile buffer and then calculating how many acres of park space fell within those extended boundaries for each census tract. Those acres were then matched to the number of residents living within each census tract.

Some of Detroit’s more populated areas have much smaller parks. With more people and smaller park spaces that leaves fewer acres…

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Map: Children’s Traffic Fatalities in Detroit 2004 – 2014

DETROITography

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In rethinking the Detroit Geographic Expedition and Institute’s (DGEI) maps on “where black children get run over” and “citywide patterns of child traffic deaths and injuries” it became apparent to me that the pattern was partially due to the distribution of children in Detroit (map). For example Southwest has a higher density of children and also more traffic fatalities of children. However, there are some anomalies, such as the higher numbers on North-South streets in the Lower Eastside, on John R. North of Highland Park, and on Conner near the City Airport.

Detroit is known its high infant mortality rate, high rates of gun violence, and poor education system that all contribute to a harsh environment for children. How do we better protect the children in our neighborhoods from cars?

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Map: Detroit’s Digital Divide

DETROITography

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I’ve often shared information here that notes 40% of Detroit households have no access to internet, both broadband and cell phone access. In a city that faces countless issues with connectivity and communicating with pockets of people spread across a large area, there is great potential for internet to bring Detroit together, improve communications, and equalize access – jobs, education, resources, etc.

The latest numbers from the 2014 American Community Survey show Detroit has 95,825 households or 37% of all Detroit households have no internet access. The city sadly ranks #2 nationally for cities with over 50,000 households. The logical next step in saying that 37% of Detroit households have no internet is to then ask where are those households located? Who is impacted?

From the above map you can see the obvious outline of Detroit with low broadband internet access. Downtown, Boston-Edison, Grandmont-Rosedale, Palmer Woods, and a handful…

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Map: What is Greater Downtown Detroit?

DETROITography

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This is somewhat of the same old story where different groups of people with a lot of money don’t agree on what boundaries matter.The question is really less: “what is Greater Downtown” and really more “What will Greater Downtown become?”

Downtown

There have been a slew of recent articles noting the growth and expansion of Detroit’s “heart.” Whatever that means. Bedrock Real Estate and Rock Ventures have pushed the Quicken Loans Downtown plan with Capital Park quickly being renovated, assumedly with the Woodward Corridor being next (M1 streetcar). Dan Gilbert has said that its time to start going vertical Downtown before office space runs out and seems to have firm plans to build skyward on the old Hudson’s site.

Midtown

Always in the news for the events, cultural attractions, and new happenings, Midtown doesn’t have as much new development left except around the edges. There are a handful…

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Map: United Strohs of America

DETROITography

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Detroit’s iconic beer brewer has a storied past of fire brewing beer in copper kettles, switching to near-beer during Prohibition as well as ice cream to finally losing all of its billions of dollars after the company tried to take on national brands without the necessary budget.

Currently Stroh’s is distributed 126 zipcodes in 21 states. The Stroh’s brand is now under Pabst, which manages a number of small yet iconic beer brand names.

My colleague Matt Elliott and I began wondering where can you get Strohs in Detroit right now? Is it on tap anywhere?

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