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Vox knows why SA is still so segregated

Jason Norwood-Young
Jason Norwood-Young
2021-04-15

Vox’s 10-minute history lesson on South Africa’s segregated past — and present — might be familiar to readers of Naked Data not just for a story we know all too well, but also because the maps look strikingly familiar. Adrian Frith’s 2015 Dot Map is one data visualisation I keep going back to, because it makes the spatial apartheid that continues to dog South Africa blatantly obvious. The maps in Vox’s look almost identical, but if you study them for a bit you’ll notice some differences — at a certain zoom level Adrian’s dots represent 25 people, while Vox’s represent 30. Vox also chose different background maps. So I reached out to the video producer Christina Thornell to ask about it. It turns out that they couldn’t get hold of Frith to use his maps, and so had another cartographer, Stephen Smith, recreate the work. (We won’t mention that the drone photography is very reminiscent of Johnny Miller’s work.)

Vox’s visual of Strand compared to Nomzamo
Adrian Frith’s version
Jason Norwood-Young
  • Journalist, developer, community builder, newsletter creator and international man of mystery.

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