In my previous post, I described my project on visualizing patterns of US social safety net provisions over time. During the past several weeks, I took a deep dive into R visualizations to develop a GIF which animates changes overtime in US cash assistance generosity (i.e. the value of the assistance recipients receive on average) by state. In the GIF below, you can see the map cycle through the level cash assistance generosity for each of the lower 48 states from 1994 through 2014. The lighter shades indicate states with less generous cash assistance programs, while darker shades indicate states with more generous programs.
A quick study of the map reveals both the trend of state cash assistance programs becoming less generous overtime and some regional patterns in the levels of cash assistance generosity. For example, southern states tend to have the least generous cash assistance benefits.
This map uses a slightly different coding logic than the map I shared in my first blog post. The process of troubleshooting through these different choropleth mapping options was very helpful in learning R and provided me bonus tools for thinking through my future visualizations projects. Moving forward, I would like to create similar maps for the other nine safety net programs in my data set in order to observe patterns of provision across US social safety net programs collectively. I also hope to find ways to visualize associations between the safety net programs and different societal/wellbeing outcomes (e.g. child poverty rate).
In the video below, I reflect further on my time at the Studio and my process of exploring digital scholarship in my own research.
 The US federal program for cash assistance is known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) through 1996 and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) post 1996.
 I filmed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Please forgive the wind noise. In my first time playing with iMovie, I did my best to minimize the background noise.