Census Data Visualization in Google Earth

Population Density/Census Maps in Google EarthAn excellent case of visualizing data sets is this collection taken from US Census data showing population densities, median ages, and male/female ratios. There are two levels of data, one at the county level, and a higher resolution level at the census block level with a file for each of the 50 states. The results are polygon maps overlayed over the satellite photos in GE. These awesome visualizations were produced by Juice Analytics which provides data analysis and visualization services. For example, look at the state of Florida population density (white highest density, black lowest), and the Florida median age (white 46 year mean or higher, black 29 years mean or lower).
This geospatial data shows both…

This geospatial data shows both the shape of the census units or counties as polygons, and the color represents the number associated. In aggregate you can quickly get a picture of meaningful information. When you turn on other layers in Google Earth the data can be better understood. For example, my daughter was asking why the population density was so low (black) in the western part of North Carolina. I turned on the Parks and Recreation layer and you could immediately see why no one was living in that area. In fact, you could see other areas around the state which were parks and therefore had low or zero population density. You can turn on the Roads layer, and the Populated Places layer to understand the geographic references to the data better. There are many other layers to explore in relation as well. This is great stuff!
Check out Juice Analytics’ Absolutely Google Earth which is a collection of useful links for serious Google Earth users. You can find some of these links in Google Earth Blog’s Reference Links Page. Saw this first via OgleEarth. Digg it!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. marquesy says:

    verry good

  2. Thanks for the post. The work at Juice Analytics inspired me to generate more Census-based data layers. I’m making good progress and posting work over at http://censuskml.blogspot.com/. Visualizing Census data this way seems to have tremendous potential.

  3. As I commented on before, I’ve been working on putting Census data into Google Earth. I have just branched out into Federal Election Commission data. This data source is quite interesting and I’ve shared some of the KMZs at this url http://censuskml.blogspot.com/2007/04/fec-data-kmzs.html

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