Thursday, August 25, 2011

Data: Thematic Maps for Population Census - US Census Bureau

US Census Bureau is an online resource which keep track of various datasets which are related to quality data about the United State's people and economy. They collect data related to population economy, government community service etc and make the data available online over the web. The US Census Bureau is a part of U.S. Department of Commerce.

One such site that the bureau maintains is total population census. A thematic map is available which helps to generate a colored map based on population-per-county/state/city/region. The map that is rendered is a interactive and gives additional information when clicked on any region on the map.

The dataset that is available to download is the population estimates(latest being 2009) for the country/state/county/region. One has to generate a particular query to be fired so that the resulting thematic map can be generated.

The site also provides accessibility to download the data in form of xls or plain text document. It also gives the ability to download the map as a pdf.

I found this to be a good example showing casing datasets - first of all the maps are interactive and second the feature of ability to download both map and data in .xls format makes the accessibility very easy. Even with such loaded features I found the website to be relatively fast. The maps are generated using a ThematicMapsFramesetServlet and the site is predominantly designed using JavaScript. The site also provides the ability to change theme for the map and the ability to reposition based on street, zip-code, lat-long's etc. which I found to be pretty cool.

The link to the site can be found here