Mapping Inequality

Rob Nelson

Rob Nelson is the Director of the Digital Scholarship Lab and Head of Digital Engagement in Boatwright Library. He also teaches a course related to antislavery and slavery in the United States and about the digital humanities. He has led many digital mapping projects that showcase how lower-income and minority neighborhoods have been impacted by redlining (racially-motivated lending discrimination).

“For a quarter-century, the federal government provided funding for cities large and small to clear blighted slums in order to make way for public housing, highways, industry, and commerce. No doubt we could point to positive outcomes of these programs, but we can’t ignore that hundreds of thousands of families were displaced from their homes and neighborhoods in the process.”

“When you drill down into the data, you learn a lot about the racial implications of these projects. For example, in Baltimore, 74% of the more than 8,600 families displaced were families of color. That’s a trend you see throughout.”

Contact Sunni Brown (, director of media and public relations, to connect with Nelson.