The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Commonwealth #4: An Animated History

I ran across the neatest tool on my favourite data mining blog: A tool which will illustrate graphically the development of any given area. I'd like to thank the kind folks at Trulia for putting this incredible tool together.

Click the image to view an animated history of Fairfax County.

It's interesting to see that Fairfax County is almost completely deserted up until the early 20th century. From reports I've read, the county was primarily farmland up until the 1960's, but wasn't aware that it was this deserted. It's possible that some data points are missing, though: For instance, I'm not sure that our county tracks property records from before 1900. At least, I haven't found any evidence in the property assessment database that would indicate that it does. If you know of any old houses near you, try punching in the address and see what you get! I'm very interested to hear your results.

In any case, this provides a very intriguing look at the history of our fair County. I hope y'all enjoy it!

Brian's Commonwealth of Virginiana is Copyright © 2007, Brian C. Ledbetter, except where otherwise noted.



#1 Shawn 12-Jun-2007
Great tool by Tulia. It's amazing what they can put out there now.
#2 Brian C. Ledbetter 13-Jun-2007
No kidding! If I get time, I'd love to check out some other areas of the Commonwealth to see how things compare.

A shuttle bus driver I used to be acquainted with, when I worked in downtown Alexandria, used to talk about the area of Fairfax County that I live in, as he'd been in the area for most of his life. Back in the '60s, he would tell me, he worked for the local fire department, and told me that the main street I live off of was mostly country farmland, and the police were always getting called out to this house or another due to various family feuds (usually involving alcohol and guns).

It is [i]utterly[/i] amazing to see his story validated in such a clear and concise manner!

#3 Rooster 13-Jun-2007
F--- Virginia, show me something worth watching. "The Commonwealth". You love saying that, huh?
#4 Brian C. Ledbetter 13-Jun-2007
As they say, Roost: "Love it or leave it."

I prefer the former.

For what it's worth, we've been known as a "Commonwealth" ever since our first Constitution was written, mostly due to our ties to English Common Law and also in tribute to the short-lived English Commonwealth of the 17th century, and as far as I'm concerned, we shall forever remain one.

Or something like that. ;)

Thanks to the Avalon project for their excellent transcription of the Constitutions! I think I need to put together local copies of these fine documents, and cross-link them to background information on why things are how they are.

Powered by Snarf ยท Contact Us