These maps show Depression-era redlining in Baltimore and other U.S. cities - Baltimore


Jan. 3, 2017 12:46 pm

These maps show Depression-era redlining in Baltimore and other U.S. cities

National Geographic named “Mapping Inequality,” which Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland researchers worked on, one of its “Best Maps of the Year.”

HOLC's map of Baltimore.

(Screenshot via Mapping Inequality)

Maps that detail the contours and boundaries of housing discrimination during the Great Depression were among National Geographic’s Best Maps of the Year.

Johns Hopkins historian N.D.B. Connolly was one of the academics behind “Mapping Inequality,” according to the JHU Hub, as one of a group of professors from four universities that brought maps from the National Archives online. A team from the University of Maryland’s Digital Curation Innovation Center led by Richard Marciano also played a big role.

See the maps

The project collects hundreds of maps from the federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, showing redlining in the 1930s in cities like Baltimore. Real estate agents that rated investment risk of a given neighborhood using the presence of ethnic and racial groups among the criteria. This made it very difficult for people in minority neighborhoods to take out loans for a home.

“It’s a troubling legacy that’s now more open to study by academic and amateur historians alike,” National Geographic’s Greg Miller writes.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is Market Editor for Baltimore and DC. A graduate of Northeastern University, he moved to Baltimore following stints in New Orleans and Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Baltimore Fishbowl, NOLA Defender, Times-Picayune and the Rio Grande Sun.

  • Craygor

    I’m glad to see this published, though this has been know about since the 1950’s. Why has the city government, that has been solely controlled by 1 political party for 50 years, not correct this discrimination legacy?

  • bosco222

    Free to anyone who asks. Homeowners Loan Act polygons straight from the 1935 Security Map. File formats available include shp and kmz. Green, yellow, blue and, of course, red. Just email chamgreen102 at gmail.


Sign-up for regular updates from

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!