GeoCarta Has Moved

Dec 29, 2005

Newspaper Chain Uses Map To Dispute Assumptions About New Orleans Dead

The Knight Ridder newspaper chain has been doing some, "investigative mapping" of the dead in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. All the chain's papers are carrying the same story, but you can read it in the Contra Costa Times. Here's what they did:
The addresses where bodies were recovered were compiled by Louisiana state officials and released earlier this month. Knight Ridder charted the locations on a map of Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, then compared them with census data on income in those neighborhoods. The analysis excluded 216 bodies that were recovered from hospitals and nursing homes, as well as 63 recovered at collection points where people had dropped off bodies in the days after the storm; those victims probably came from locations other than the census tracts where they were found.
While data about all of the victims in New Orleans has not been released, here's what the newspaper chain concludes thus far about the victims:
  • They weren't disproportionately poor.
  • They weren't disproportionately African-American.
  • They were disproportionately old.
  • Many did in fact, have access to their own transportation, but apparently chose to ride the storm out.
  • About 67 percent of the mapped deaths fell in the central and western portion of the city, an area thought to have flooded primarily because of the failure of man-made structures.

It would have been nice for Knight Ridder to have actually published their map. So far, I've not been able to find it. I guess that's to be expected from a media company that is still publishing on paper.