Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun Friday: Name Mapper

The Baby Name Wizard website, which is the self-proclaimed "expert source for baby names", recently added a mapping application to their site. Their NameMapper came out in 2008, and it shows geographic name trends from 1960 to 2007. The NameMapper has two visual outputs: a map display and a timeline. The name database was created using reports from the Social Security Administration.

The following image is a map display of the popularity of the name Jack in the U.S. in 2007:

The monochromatic scale indicates the relative popularity of the name based on a ranking of the top 100 names in each state for that year. NameMapper also tells you the peak, or highest historical ranking, of that name. The name Jack peaked in popularity in Minnesota in 2005.

The timeline output option allows you to sort name statistics by income, population density, Republican/Democratic voting tendency, and name region. The results are based on an analysis of state-by-state naming tendencies, with an emphasis on names that are either more or less common in that state than in the nation overall, and groupings are determined by shared naming patterns. The timelines can be represented by shaded boxes, graphs, or circles. The following is a shaded timeline of the popularity of the name Jack based on name region:


Finally, the Super Multi-Map output allows one to observe the popularity trend of a given name in each of the 50 states from year to year. The following image is a Super Multi-Map for the name Sarah.