Reflections on mapping census 2000

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12 Scopus citations


Mapping Census 2000: The Geography of U.S. Diversity is an atlas containing 75 maps and presenting county- and state-level data for Census 2000. Cynthia Brewer and Trudy Suchan rapidly produced the atlas in the Population Division of the U.S. Census Bureau using ArcInfo 8.1 prerelease software. Redistricting data, on which the atlas was based, were released in March 2001 and the full-color atlas went to press in July 2001. It is the first decennial atlas produced by the Census Bureau in 80 years. Race maps in the atlas are designed to present the new Census 2000 data that include counts of people who indicated more than one race. Choropleth classifications are constructed to facilitate comparison among maps in series for all race/ethnicity groups, both large and small. Map series share breaks that are adjusted to include meaningful breaks based on overall U.S. percentages for individual groups. Additional shared meaningful breaks, such as "no change" and "50 percent of the population" also anchor classifications. Maps of prevalent groups and diversity provide syntheses of race/ethnicity data. Maps were evaluated at numerous levels in the Census Bureau, with issues from topic selection to page layout to title wording debated by many people. The essay describes the production processes, agency standards, and cartographic principles that come together to present these new data in an atlas that is a colorful showpiece.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-235
Number of pages23
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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