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Topher1

Population Density Maps of GA's smaller metros

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What I've done here is created maps for GA's tier 2 metros that show where the population centers are in each region. Each metro is done on the same scale, both geographically, and numerically. The numerical scale chosen is somewhat arbitrary, but I think it does a decent job distinguishing between rural, suburban, and dense-suburban. A different scale would be needed for larger cities (ie Atlanta), because this scale doesn't really distinguish between dense-suburban and truly urban...

The maps are broken down by census "block groups" which are considered a pretty small block. After getting the maps for each county from census.gov, I just copied and pasted the metros together in Photoshop... I'm sure some other mapping experts here (Brad) may have access to an easier method than what I used, but hey, I love maps, so this is kinda fun ;)

For all 4 metros, I used the census-defined CSA counties. Since Augusta doesn't add any counties in its CSA, the MSA definition is used for Augusta.

The scale reads as follows:

Off-white: 0 - 124 persons per square mile (ppsm)

Yellow: 125 - 287 ppsm

Pink: 288 - 629 ppsm

Orange: 630 - 1123 ppsm

Red: 1124 - 1559 ppsm

Dark(ish) Red: 1560 - 2265 ppsm

Darkest Red: > 2265 ppsm

Known problems with mapping method:

1) The scale: Like I said before, I'm really trying to show the difference between rural and developed areas. These maps do not reflect the differences in urban densities in the inner cities.

2) The latest block group data available to me is from Census 2000. Several counties have grown by statistically significant amounts since then (Houston, Columbia, Lee, Bryan, Aiken, etc...).

3) The gray areas surrounding each map are just extra stuff that I'm too lazy to photoshop out ;) Please excuse any messiness around county lines.

The maps are posted in the next post...

Augusta MSA:

augusta8nb.jpg

Columbus CSA (Columbus MSA + Auburn/Opelika MSA + Tuskegee Micro):

columbus1gc.jpg

Savannah CSA (Savannah MSA + Hinesville/Ft. Stewart MSA):

savannah1dp.jpg

Macon CSA (Macon MSA + Warner Robbins MSA + Fort Valley Micro):

maconcity7ma.jpg

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Nice job topher - I would say that is a good & tricky job of pasting the counties. But it unfortunately does look like Augusta gets the sprawl capital of non-Atlanta, GA.

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I was surprised at how compact Columbus appears to be.

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What about Peach County, Ga for Macon-Warner Robbins. From what I hear, quite a bit of construction is happening out that way as well. I'm interested in seeing how it compares next to Houston county...if that's possible of course, I know data is limited.

BTW, I think you (topher1) did a great job in putting this together, I love looking at maps like these. Just a tip for future reference, I'm sure you may not had this much time but, city labels over the denser areas would be nice to show to give a better point of reference. I actually took a GIS class in this sort of thing

And IMO Augusta does take #1 Non-ATL Sprawl, but Macon comes real close also.

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^ I wasn't sure if Peach was included in the CSA or not (it's not in Macon's or Warner Robin's MSAs), and I checked to see if the density stats yielded anything interesting, but decided to leave it out for now... I'm sure 2005 maps would actually show some density in the county

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll keep the labeling in mind. I'll probably do more maps like these whenever I have a slow day at work again (whenever that will be), so I'm open to additional suggestions (smaller metros for now)...

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Excellent work Tropher1. Thank you so much for your informative contribution to the Georgia forum.

I had no idea of what pattern the other cities in Georgia were growing.

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I was surprised at how compact Columbus appears to be.

Columbus is super dense because Muscogee County is very small. I think it is one of the smallest counties in the state.

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Great job with the maps. I didn't realize how sprawled out Augusta is. I guess a lot of it has to do with the swamps and factories to the east of the city and Ft. Gordon to the southwest. Oh, and the fact that people like living in the Augusta area, but don't want to contribute money to our corrupt government by living inside Richmond County.

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Edited the maps. They now reflect the entire CSAs of Macon, Columbus, and Savannah (Augusta doesn't have additional CSA counties), and have population centers labeled (correctly I hope).

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And here's my take on the sprawl/non-sprawl issue.

Of these cities, Augusta is the one that saw the most post-WW2 growth (by a long shot) because of SRS. The growth style (post-war suburbs from 1950-2000) reflects that.

Columbus and Savannah are just now beginning to post growth numbers equaling (and surpassing) Augusta of the past 50 years. Newly booming suburban areas, like West Point and Smith Station (?) near Col. and Pooler near Savannah will make maps these more similar by 2010.

Macon is a different beast, because Warner Robbins has been booming for a long enough now that it has tried to disassociate itself from the city... I wouldn't be surprised to see Macon more connected to Warner Robbins (like Augusta-Aiken) and also much more sprawled up I-75 by 2010...

As for Augusta, the area between Augusta-Aiken will be denser, N. Augusta will spread into Edgefield Co more, and the Columbia Co. sprawl monster will densify and extend further out by 2010...

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And here's my take on the sprawl/non-sprawl issue.

Of these cities, Augusta is the one that saw the most post-WW2 growth (by a long shot) because of SRS. The growth style (post-war suburbs from 1950-2000) reflects that.

Columbus and Savannah are just now beginning to post growth numbers equaling (and surpassing) Augusta of the past 50 years. Newly booming suburban areas, like West Point and Smith Station (?) near Col. and Pooler near Savannah will make maps these more similar by 2010.

Macon is a different beast, because Warner Robbins has been booming for a long enough now that it has tried to disassociate itself from the city... I wouldn't be surprised to see Macon more connected to Warner Robbins (like Augusta-Aiken) and also much more sprawled up I-75 by 2010...

As for Augusta, the area between Augusta-Aiken will be denser, N. Augusta will spread into Edgefield Co more, and the Columbia Co. sprawl monster will densify and extend further out by 2010...

Columbia County is the best county in the Augusta area. Evans is the best city in the Augusta metro.

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I like my West Augusta location. I am right next to the National Golf Course. Convenient to shopping, nightclubs, restaurants, ect... I think it's the best spot in the Augusta area.

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Evans is about my least favorite place in the Augusta metro. Aiken is actually my favorite place because of its active, beautiful DT area and landscaped streets. North Augusta has grown on me and is becoming pretty hot for gays and lesbians in the Augusta metro. The hill (Summerville) area of Augusta is another favorite. Probably the most beautiful section of town and one of the most beautiful in Georgia. I used to get Oohs and Aahs from friends from Atlanta when I took them on tours through Summerville.

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Yeah I have to say that Evans definitely NEEDS to calm down and let the rest of the Metro Augusta catch up. I would rather see N. Augusta and Aiken densify and merge so that it won't look as sprawled.

N. Augusta is nice to see what happening there. There are some things that needed to go there and still are needed (Target for example), but other wise I would say they are in pretty good shape too. So is Aiken, The 2nd Walmart may be starting to push it, though.

S. Augusta on the other hand, will bounce back soon, I believe that. Strides are already happening to make this possible. They will realize where most of the money in west Augusta businesses is really coming from.

Downtown also has alot of potential, that is if we do something with out commissioners and government. Residential complexex and lofts would be great for downtown, and like it has been said more residential = more people = more business opportunity.

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I was kind of surprised by Columbus myself. Great to see it's so compact. I thought Savannah would be a little more compact than it is.

Thanks for the work, Topher! :thumbsup:

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Columbia County is the best county in the Augusta area. Evans is the best city in the Augusta metro.

Yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and respectfully disagree with you on that one.

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Evans isnt an incorporated city. Its also suburban paradise out there.

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Aiken County is obviously the best county in the Augusta metro. :D

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Aiken County is obviously the best county in the Augusta metro. :D

You know I wouldn't totally disagree with that statement. North Augusta has really gotten its act together in the past few years and Aiken has always been a cool town.

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