Combing through a long list of confusing ward and precinct numbers followed by a slew of vote totals is enough to make most of us go cross-eyed, but if you want to know how individual neighborhoods voted that is often the only way to learn. However, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have done the number crunching for Allegheny County this year and have laid it all on an interactive map.
“To pull data at this level of geographic details is really complicated so putting that data out in a way that is more accessible for folks that want to do their own work with it is a key thing we want to focus on,” said University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) project manager Bob Gradeck. The data was crunched by the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Community Information System, which is part of the UCSUR.
The only map published so far focuses on the presidential election, but according to Gradeck data on voter turnout and voting in other races will come soon.
“You can drill down to the election district which is pretty small… and they can compare that to past elections which is pretty interesting,” said Gradeck.
Gradeck says this is the type of work the center does on a regular basis with other data sets that are publicly available but not always very usable in a raw form.
"I think this just helps [residents] interpret what they are seeing. It helps them understand a little bit more about the kind of communities where they live. It’s just interesting in a lot of different ways,” said Gradeck.