Churches in Lakeland, FL

Last Edited: Dec 2, 2013

The other day I noticed that the Wikipedia page for Lakeland, Flordia (here) did not provide an accurate picture of the religion in the region. There is no mention of Christianity, the largest religious group in the area. I wanted to change that. Rather than depend on the information collected by City Data (I know nothing of the website), I decided to perform my own informal analysis.

Procedure

Identifying the beginning and ending of communities is almost impossible without the aid of some objective criteria. I determined that phone-numbers and addresses would provide enough of a criteria.

I scraped information from YellowPages (here) with the term 'Church' for 'Lakeland FL'. I relied, in part, the YellowPages' algorithm. They organize and filter results based on their data. I left the results sorted by most-relevant.

I scraped the first 10 pages of Yellow Pages results. I noticed that the 11th page was no longer in Lakeland, but in other nearby cities. Although the 'distance' criteria appears useful,it has poor results since Lakeland is not a circular town.

The scraping was done with Java and JSoup(1.27). I recorded the name, street address, and phone number from the listing. I did not include denomenation or city data.

The script is available at the end of the page.

I saved the resulting data in a CSV file and then imported that file into LibreOffice as a spreadsheet. I removed duplicate entries and cleaned up some of the data.

Results

After removing duplicates I ended up with 298 entities which Yellow-Pages designated as 'Church'. Most of these are indeed churchs of the typical sort. Some may be called so under some controversy. I do not posess the endword on the matter, so I have left all the churchs in the data.

298 is a rough guess at the number of churchs in Lakeland, FL. I do not believe the number is far off. More christian religious groups may exist without web-presence, just as some groups may not be considered churchs in the typical sense.

The results are also available below.


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