Can we make inferences, connections about the distribution of modern digital services Newark compared to the historical redlining maps? What can we say about digital redlining here? If this was a game, what does this board suggest about the way such a game is played, who makes the rules, who has to play?

To explore these relationships in this Make we will construct a map we can compare with the H5P juxtaposition tool.

First you should download a copy of the base map for the 1939 Essex County HOLC map:

Save a copy of this image of the Essex County redlining mao to use as your base map

You will next need to create a screenshot image of the same area (we suggest going a little bit larger than the are on the original map) from one of the map sources listed for NetNarr Week 11 (learn how to capture a screenshot here).

See below for a walk through of the process of creating your Game Board:

To create a comparison map, you will need to get your map in the same size as the original map. You can use any graphics editor that allows you to work in layers (Photoshop, The Gimp); her we provide instructions for the free web based image editor.

Pick the second option to Open an Image from the Computer, and use the HOLC Essex County map you downloaded above.

Next we want to add our second map as a layer; in pixlr use Open Image as Layer from the Layer menu

Open your second image as layer

You can only see this new layer because it is sitting on top of the base map.

New image on top

We will use the opacity settings so we can partly see through it. Click the bottom left button under layers for toggle layer settings:

Slide the opacity to about 30-40%- look for landmarks like the Hackensack and Passaic rivers that you might be able to match.

Lower the layer opacity so you can see through it

Next, select Transform from the Edit menu.

Hold the shift key to resize from the corners to make the map bigger or smaller (the shift key preserves the image proportions) and slide it to align the rivers.

Transform and move the image to align with landmarks, such as the rivers

When aligned, return to the image opacity, and restore its settings to 100%. Now you have your map layer aligned with the original redlining map.

Use the crop tool to select around your map area, press return to crop the image:

Use the crop tool

Now under File, select Save to download a copy of your resized map to your computer.

You have the two image files now to put into the slider creation tool at H5P (you will need to create a free account here).

Follow the link to create H5P content.

Enter a description title, and for Content type, scroll down to select Image Juxtaposition

Use the form to add your to images, and publish it to H5P – it will provide a URL at the end you can use for the response to this Make

Example for "Digital Redlining: The Newark Game Board":

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10 Responses for this Make

  • Cell Towers
    by Patrice (@blaqueBeauty_30))

    I looked at the many cell towers that are being used in Newark by many different cell phone companies. Newark has many more cell towers than some of cities. However if you narrow the companies down to like Verizon, Newark doesn’t have as many Verizon towers than Union has.

  • Newark University Map
    by Vanessa Castrillon (@nessacastrii))

    For my correlation, I see that times have changed. In the 1939 map, you can see that there is a big red area which means that people would prefer to not make any type of business or profit with. But, if you can see in 2018, there is a University of Medicine and Dentistry but, more… »

  • Got to catch them all
    by Jasmine (@JasmineDA18))

    I looked at the pokemon map compared to the maps of Newark, to the Newark Pokemon map.  They ended up matching up and gave me a great overview of the area.

  • T-Mobile Towers in Newark, N.J.
    by Marissa Candiloro (@RissaCandiloro))

    In 1939, much of Newark, N.J. was a no-go zone, but in looking at T-Mobile cell towers in the area, you might not know that. T-Mobile certainly does not shy away from working in Newark, and this actually is because of the goals of the company. T-Mobile’s original goal was to bring affordable service to more… »

  • Population Density for Essex County
    by J. George (@Justinsightfuls))

    An example of the population density within Essex County. The heat map shows the variation between white, black, and hispanic races among others.

  • Newark License Plate Reader
    by Eniola Asebiomo (@eniasebiomo))

    Newark and even Elizabeth (not shown on the map)  have a higher concentration of traffic cams and license plate readers than neighboring townships. I’m not sure why, if maybe there is a higher rate of stolen cars in this area compared to others or not.  I do notice a slight correlation though.

  • NJ Transit and Redlining Maps
    by Tiffany (@tiffsanto))

    For this I used a screenshot of the Transit rail from Newark into other locations nearby and comparing it to the Redlining. It seems to me that there is more of a means of transportation in a lower income area versus a higher income area. If this was a game, you would be able to more… »

  • Comparing LPR Locations in Newark to Areas of Inequality
    by Kelli (@helterskelliter))

    In researching whether or not a kind of redlining is still present in Essex County, specifically in Newark, NJ, I noticed a possible correlation between License Plate Reader (LPR) camera locations and the location of Newark’s poorer areas. According to the LPR map, there is a cluster of license plate reader cameras located in the more… »

  • McDonald's in Newark, NJ
    by hailey (@stryii))

    This map aims to show the location / cluster of McDonald’s in Newark, NJ. The amount and close proximity of the fast food chain, while making meals more convenient and affordable to eat, also are poor for a person’s nutrition. The “hazardous” redlining area of Newark therefore are subject to more unhealthy eating habits, as more… »

  • Free Wifi vs Redlining in Newark NJ
    by Katherine Marzinsky (@KMarzinsky))

    This entry compares the 1939 redlining map of Newark/Essex County NJ with a modern map of free Wifi points (obtained from ) in Newark/Essex County NJ.

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Creative Commons License
This work by Alan Levine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


  1.  Week 11.0: The Game Board of Digital Redlining – #netnarr
  2.  Gaming the System – helterskelliter
  3.  Class Exploder: NetNarr Lesson on the Gameboard of Digital Redlining – CogDogBlog
  4.  My #Netnarr Reflection – CogDogBlog

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