Mapping America: A Mapping Tool For Us All

The New York Times has published an extensive interactive mapping tool called “Mapping America: Every City, Every Block” that allows you to analyze data from all over the country. The data comes from an American Census Bureau study called the American Community Survey, which was released on Tuesday. The survey details characteristics from a sample of one in ten Americans between 2005 and 2009.

Mapping America.JPGHow can you get started exploring the new map?
Check population statistics for your hometown, for the city you live in now, or for any place in the U.S. that interests you. Pick an area and find out information such as: What percentage of the population is Hispanic? How has the median household income changed since 2000? What is the percentage of same sex couples? What percentage of elementary students attends private vs. public schools? You can discover the answers to all these questions with the same NY Times mapping tool!

What is the benefit of the interactive map? How is it different from maps produced by the Census?
The U.S. Census Bureau states that the benefit of the American Community Survey is that there will be updates every year, so people will not have to wait a decade for new information. Note that the recently released data are not linked to the Census 2010 population counts.

The New York Times has also published several articles presenting valuable reflections and analyses of the survey’s results. Read about new immigrant settling patterns, the growing gap between white and minority graduation rates, and segregation trends in major cities.

Easy-to-use and easy-to-access mapping tools such as Mapping America are becoming much more readily available these days. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to learn about the world and the people around you.

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