The Civic Federation
Established in 1894, the Civic Federation is a non-partisan government research organization “working to maximize the quality and cost-effectiveness of government services in the Chicago region and the State of Illinois.” On this site, visitors can learn about the Federation’s research programs, the Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability (IIFS), and updates on Chicagoland governance. The section dedicated to the IIFS is most useful, as it contains research reports on the state of Illinois’ budget, infrastructure, and related matters. In the Press Room, visitors can take advantage of basic primers and fact sheets which include “Cook County Property Tax Primers” and “How Does the City of Chicago Spend Your Tax Dollars?” The Library area contains all published reports dating back to 1993. Visitors can search through these offerings by Issues, Government, and Report Type.
Iowa Maps Digital Collection
The Iowa Digital Library has done the cartographically inclined a great service by digitizing hundreds of maps from the Hawkeye State’s grand and glorious past. On the homepage, visitors will be treated to a moveable feast of maps, including one of Scott County from 1875, a stylized map of the University of Iowa campus from 1943, and an official railroad commissioners map of the state from 1915. Visitors can browse the maps by state, county, township, town, or country via a series of drop-down menus. Additionally, visitors can browse all of the maps by time period, advertisements, publisher, or contributing institution. Persons with an interest in the history of cartography, United States history, or other related subjects will want to make multiple visits to this site.
NAACP Interactive Timeline
This interactive timeline from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) highlights interconnected events from the past 100 years of African American history. Visitors should start by selecting a year from the Milestones map. The important event from that year will shown in a visual web, connecting it with other events around the United States in the Impact map. Clicking on More Info after opening a year on the timeline will direct users to a wealth of related information, including history, impact, important people, rich multimedia, and related resources. The well-tooled design of this site means that the seemingly few individual top-level years lead to a deep understanding of struggle for fair and equitable treatment of minority Americans, and of how individual laws, protests, and other events interacted with one another to lead to today’s United States.
Pew Research Journalism Project: Twitter News Consumers
How do adults get their news? Based on a recent study from the Pew Research Journalism Project, approximately 8 percent of all adults in the United States get their news through Twitter. It’s an interesting finding amidst many in this report sponsored via a collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The report looks at a wide range of topics, including analysis of conversations on Twitter around major news events, exploring how people discuss major issues via this particular form of social media. Interestingly enough, the report notes that the majority of those polled (85 percent) get news at least sometimes on mobile devices and that Twitter news consumers are younger and more educated that both the overall population and Facebook news consumers. Visitors can read the complete report here and also peruse additional reports such as “News Coverage Conveys Strong Momentum for Same-Sex Marriage” and “Twitter and the Campaign.”
[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 46, November 15, 2013]