Thinking Spatially: Mapping Politics and Polarization

Six maps of the US showing alternative versions of 2016 presidential election data

September 25, 2020
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. CDT

A Virtual Event

Join us at the 3rd annual Thinking Spatially symposium as we explore the topics of Politics and Polarization, a defining characteristic of today’s political climate. Geographic relationships may help to provide clarity in the factors related to political discourse. What are the drivers of polarization and how do they affect political perspectives? Can maps help us to interpret the divisiveness more efficiently? Speakers will present work that examines polarized politics and how geography offers additional perspective on regional ideology. Additional presentations will provide overviews of data, tools, and software resources available at the University of Minnesota. This includes an introduction to Esri Story Maps.

Thinking Spatially: Politics and Polarization is for everyone interested in politics, partisanship, idealism, voting patterns, racism, civil rights, community development, mapping, and more. All faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to join us at this free event via Zoom. 





  • A Reckoning with History: The Mapping Prejudice Project
    Kirsten Delegard

    Project Director and Co-Founder, Mapping Prejudice Project
  • Beyond Who Won: Mapping Political Change with Voting Data
    Tim Lindberg

    Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota Morris
    Stephen Crabtree
    Associate Professor of Geology, University of Minnesota Morris
  • Maintaining Minnesota’s Precincts: How the Lutefisk Gets Made
    Brad Neuhauser
    GIS Specialist, Elections Division, Office of Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Data Management Considerations for Community-Engaged Mapping Projects
    Melinda Kernik

    Spatial Data Analyst and Curator, University of Minnesota Libraries and U-Spatial
  • Spatial Gerrymandering: Can it be Avoided?
    Amelia McNamara

    Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Sciences, University of St. Thomas

10:30 a.m. BREAK


  • 10:45 a.m. Equitable Economic Development and the Road to Recovery: A Case Study with Esri’s Community Analyst
    Jeff Matson

    Community GIS Program Coordinator at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)
  • 10:55 a.m. IPUMS: Census and Survey Data
    Tracy Kugler
    Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation
  • 11:05 a.m. Online Mapping Databases and Tools
    Ryan Mattke

    Map & Geospatial Information Librarian at the UMN Borchert Map Library
  • 11:15 a.m. Communicating with Spatial Data in Story Maps
    Shana Crosson

    Academic Technologist, LATIS, CLA


Spatial Data presenters will break into separate Zoom meetings and attendees may join any meeting to ask more specific questions about their data resources. Attendees may pop in any out of any of these meetings throughout the half hour meet and greet. The Zoom meeting links will be provided during the event.


Sponsored by: Institute for Advanced StudyU-SpatialUMN Libraries/DASH, and LATIS.