Make maps of the United States using demographics data
May 2, 2010 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Make a Map is a website that lets you create your own maps of the US and areas thereof using various demographics data. It's still in beta stage but it's got all of the US (at least everywhere I've thought to look) and so far has datasets for median household income, population change 2000-9, population density, median home value, unemployment rate, average household size and median age. It's fun to use and taught me a great deal about my home city. The sitemaker, ESRI, also has a pretty good free globe map software, ArcGIS Explorer, for which you download map layers and add-ins.
posted by Kattullus (13 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
I should note that ArcGIS Explorer doesn't have the wealth of material on offer Google Earth does, but I did find it a pleasing alternative (it's not really trying to compete, as far as I can tell).
posted by Kattullus at 12:16 PM on May 2, 2010

posted by Dick Laurent is Dead at 12:21 PM on May 2, 2010

IMO Social Explorer does this a lot better.
posted by ofthestrait at 1:36 PM on May 2, 2010

My sister is going to the Pratt Institute this fall to study city planning and I just sent her a map I made of the school's environs so that she can get some very macro idea of what the neighborhood is like. This site is more useful than I realized.
posted by Kattullus at 1:37 PM on May 2, 2010

This is really interesting.
posted by selfmedicating at 2:50 PM on May 2, 2010

ESRI also make ArcGIS, which seems to be the tool of choice in the world of planning. Wikipedia claims they have 36% market share - from my experience it's more like 95%, which is a bit unfortunate as it's expensive, and although you can do wonderful things in it, it has tons of bugs and indiosyncratic kinks as it has been around since the late 70s. For example, one of the constrains on naming certain types of files is that there is a 13 character limit cos some piece of code is still in fortran.

This site is cool though - the more map tools that are available the better!
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 3:08 PM on May 2, 2010

This is good.
posted by ambrosia at 4:07 PM on May 2, 2010

So, on the less-ESRI side, GeoCommons, IndieMapper, and MapBox (selflink) are of interest. They do variations of this same thing, except often with a whole lot more flexibility and openness.
posted by tmcw at 4:09 PM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

And on the non-esri, non-web-map side Geoda and QGIS are nifty free or open-source tools for map making.

If anyone knows people who are making QGIS plugins I would love to get connected.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:59 PM on May 2, 2010

Pretty cool, though the limited dataset and apparent lack of extension API means I don't know how much I would use it.

Also, +1 to Social Explorer for sizing itself to the browser window instead of requiring scrolling to see the controls. Full-window isn't right for every app but for maps, it is.
posted by pengale at 9:21 PM on May 2, 2010

ArcGIS is what the Census Bureau uses for all their mapping -- at least it did about 8 years ago when i worked there.
posted by empath at 1:03 AM on May 3, 2010

How come none of these sites have neighborhood-level data? I've seen this before, perhaps on the Census TIGER site, so it's definitely out there.
posted by crapmatic at 7:57 AM on May 3, 2010

How come none of these sites have neighborhood-level data?

The first link has block-group level data if you zoom in far enough.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:22 AM on May 3, 2010

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