Urban Transition Historical GIS Project

The Urban Transition HGIS Project, organized by John Logan, explores city development in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century.  This research involves creation of historical GIS maps of U.S. cities and draws on 100% data on residents to study segregation and neighborhood change in the decades 1880-1940 when the United States was becoming a predominantly urban nation.  Maps and data are available to be viewed on-line or downloaded.  Follow the link below to find technical information on how maps were developed, to download data and maps for counties and enumeration districts in 1880, and to enter a web-based GIS system that (at various zoom levels) will display patterns of racial/ethnic and class composition even down to the level of individual buildings.

Work is continuing with support from NSF and NIH to extend this system to all decades 1900-1940 for the nation's largest cities, and to use these spatial data to study patterns of segregation and neighborhood change.  

In a separate project we have tracked large samples of residents of New York City and Chicago in 1920 back to the census years of 1900 and 1880 (often including their parents in the earlier year).  We plan to extend these linkages forward to 1930 and 1940, taking advantage of the 100% microdata that are now available from the Minnesota Population Center.  The pilot project where we first experimented with linkage methods is represented by a separate project webpage, Linking New Yorkers over Decades.  It shows how families can be tracked over time, including their movements to new and different neighborhoods in the city.


Project Team