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Dandelion Diaspora
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Dandelion Diaspora

Like a gust of wind that blows dandelion seeds toward any and every direction, catalysts for immigration can send new Americans to unlikely places. More and more immigrants are bypassing traditional ethnic enclaves in Chicago and settling in the suburbs. Maps and data offered some insight into the migration patterns.

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The Story Behind the Project

Once predominantly white, Chicago’s suburbs are now a mix of immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as Eastern Europe. The Dandelion Diaspora showcased this diversity with colorful maps and interactive bubbles.

Team member Forrest Blount, a co-founder of Lex Spot, an immigration services information website, was a bit of a migrant himself. He traveled the farthest to get to Chicago Migrahack, surviving much a much delayed flight from Boston and a layover in Miami to get to the event – and was still cheerful through it all.

In a blog post about Migrahack, Forrest said that he joined Dandelion Diaspora because he was attracted to all the data the group was working with. Here’s what he learned:

“Data is phenomenally important and building better tools to explore it is, I believe, incredibly valuable, but without capturing the human stories that lead to the spreading and discovery of new datasets and tools, these projects are fundamentally limited.”

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