31 posts
Privacy algorithm could lead to Census undercount of small towns

To increase anonymity in the Census records, the bureau is testing an algorithm that removes real people and inserts imaginary people in various locations. As you can imagine, this carries a set of challenges. Gus Wezerek and David Van Riper for New York Times Opinion ask what effects this could have on small towns. Tags: census, counting, New York Times, privacy

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Squirrel census count in Central Park

In 2018, there was a squirrel census count at Central Park in New York. New York Times graphics editor Denise Lu participated in the citizen science project “to collect the kind of data that underlies the work I do every day.” Lu did a short but interesting piece on her experience counting squirrels. You can download the data via NYC Open Data. Now I’m wondering if I should apply to...

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Counting and illustrating Game of Thrones deaths

Shelly Tan, for The Washington Post, has been counting on-screen deaths in Game of Thrones over the past few years. As the season ended, Tan described her process in an entertaining Twitter thread: This graphic had a lot of numbers, so here are the final ones: – 5 years of working on this project– 6887 deaths– 290 character illustrations– Far too many hours of sleep lost And now, at the...

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Challenges ahead for the Census count

The 2020 Census is coming up quick, but there’s still a lot up in the air. There’s no director, the bureau has to adjust to budget cuts, and a new digital system that promises to save money hasn’t been fully tested (because of lower funding). Exciting. Alvin Chang for Vox explains in more detail — with cartoons. Tags: census, counting, Vox

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Making the Count

The 2020 Census approaches, and with budget cuts, resignations, and so much stuff up in the air, there’s cause for concern. How will the accuracy of the count compare to others? The distribution of billions of dollars rides on the estimates. The closer the counts are to reality, the more fairly money distributes to communities. Let me explain. Imagine we have some amount of money. It’s straightforward to split that...

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Counting large crowds

So the inauguration was on Friday, and there’s been some disagreement about how many people showed up to the event. It turns out, as one might expect, counting thousands of people moving in and out of a space without some kind of counting mechanism like turnstiles is tricky. The New York Times provides a bit of background. Tags: counting, estimation

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