Unpacking the Tenderloin:
Reality vs. Reputation

2021 / Data Visualization
A group project created for my Intro to Data Journalism class. This project is an outline of a proposed data journalism story comparing the data behind San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood with its extreme reputation.

The Tenderloin has a long-standing and extreme reputation as an underserved, underdeveloped and often unsafe area. We aimed to uncover whether some of the statistics depicting the area—from crime rates to public works funding—match up with the dismal picture painted in the public eye. We collected and analyzed data from datasets online to create the visualizations below, using Flourish and Carto.

Media Portrayal. This visualizes the sentiment about the Tenderloin expressed in over 20 news media articles and headlines.

We used the Google Cloud Natural Language API to collect quantitative data about the positivity/negativity of and the strength of the emotion present in the text. The majority of the stories and headlines we analyzed contained negative emotion, which aligned with the general negative perception of the Tenderloin we knew existed.

Housing. This visualization looks at the number of eviction notices in the Tenderloin, as well as within the broader context of the city. Hovering over each row reveals a further breakdown of eviction notices by neighborhood.

Note that for both this visualization and the one below, we could not accurately account for population differences across neighborhood because official population data is only available through the census, and the most recent census data available is from 2010.

Crime. These side-by-side line races consider crime reports across police district versus neighborhood. The Tenderloin receives extreme attention in the media and online for being “plagued with crime,” but the neighborhood falls near the middle of all police districts in the left chart.  

Public Works. This map illustrates an aspect of public works funding in the Tenderloin and across SF: the density of ‘pit stops,’ areas that provide clean and safe public toilets, sinks, and used needle receptacles.