Friday, August 30, 2013

A Racial Dot Density Map of Davidson County

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Racial dot density map of Davidson County
  • Racial dot density map of Davidson County

Anecdotally, we all know the racial divides of Nashville: North Nashville is black, while the southern part of the county is overwhelmingly white. The southeastern part is Latino and a mix of other ethnic groups. This map from the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service puts a very interesting view on it.

(The Key: "whites are coded as blue; African-Americans, green; Asians, red; Hispanics, orange; and all other racial categories are coded as brown.")

This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. The map displays 308,745,538 dots, one for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census. Each dot is color-coded by the individual's race and ethnicity. The map is presented in both black and white and full color versions. In the color version, each dot is color-coded by race.

All of the data displayed on the map are from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 Summary File 1 dataset made publicly available through the National Historical Geographic Information System. The data is based on the "census block," the smallest area of geography for which data is collected (roughly equivalent to a city block in an urban area).

The map was created by Dustin Cable, a demographic researcher at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Brandon Martin-Anderson from the MIT Media Lab deserves credit for the original inspiration for the project. This map builds on his work by adding the Census Bureau's racial data, and by correcting for mapping errors.

I've attached a view of Nashville and it's fascinating to see where pockets of different groups reside beyond our thumbnail views of the city, but if you go to the site, you can zoom in and out of every spot in the U.S. It's an interesting way to look at the country.

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