City of Madison Growth

June 2nd 2014

As often seems to be the case with data, the question I ended up answered was not the question I started out with. Greg Kramer pointed me to the City of Madison data website, where you can download data about the city. Being naturally curious, and living in a home whose value was recently re-assessed, I started out with property values.

Within a few minutes I had built some great visualizations mapping where property values fell or rose from last year. (Bearing in mind this is the city's assessment of property values and therefore only bears a slight resemblance to actual property values), using both Power View & Power Map.

As I was playing with the data, I noticed that the city maintains a "Year Built" for each property. Taking this and adding it to a timeline in Power Map, I discovered I could effectively map the growth of the city over the last 114 years.

Of course, since the city only maintains a year built for properties that currently exist, there is no data for properties that have long since been torn-down. This is especially important in neighborhoods like the Isthmus, where space is limited and many properties have likely been torn down and rebuilt over the last 114 years. However, one useful feature of Madison is that much of the city is "original" - rather than rebuilding existing neighborhoods, the city simply builds new neighborhoods. (Something you can see in my visualization). Therefore you can still get a really good picture of how the city has expanded over the years.


Best viewed in 720p. Please note that the video has no sound.

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Visitor Comments

That’s really interesting, it went a little fast for my liking, it would be good to be able to study the map a bit closer - maybe you should also put a marker on the area you live in too.

Posted by Linda Murphy on 3rd Jun 2014

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