Several weeks ago, I posted an article on the importance of humanizing data so that people better understand the stories that lie behind the numbers. Sometimes these data can help us uncover profound truths about ourselves as well as provide insights into society as a whole.
The internet has been all a buzz about the recent release of the 1940 Census data. After 72 years, the confidentiality of the 1940 Census has been lifted, and all of the information within it is now available to the public. What makes this decade’s release of past census data special is that all of it is online for free, in JPEG image format, for our viewing pleasure. Everything from people’s names, income, and what they did for a living 72 years ago is available for any pajama-wearing internet surfer. No more dealing with microfilm, magnetic tape, or online genealogy subscriptions, things that can be annoying and require effort to glean any insights from. For the casual genealogist, like myself, this was good news. Continue reading