Web scraping and the geographical analysis of African-American Seventh-day Adventist churches

Authors: Nathan Burtch*, George Mason University
Topics: Religion
Keywords: Religion, Adventism, scraping, African-American churches
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Maryland A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Seventh-day Adventist Church has published Yearbooks and Statistical Reports on a near-yearly basis since the late 19th century. These reports, along with a robust denominational search feature, have been collected online by the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research for the Adventist Church. Using R, a script was created to web scrape church locations within the United States from the website. These locations were then loaded into ArcMap for geovisualization and analysis. Among the patterns observed is the organization of regional conferences that overlap the regular geographical hierarchy of church administration. These regional conferences were organized for African-American Adventist churches. This organization of churches led to increased growth of church membership and a larger voice for African-Americans in the administration of the Church.

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