Resources for Mapping Census Data

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Written by: Katy Rossiter

Mapping data makes statistics come to life.  Viewing statistics spatially can give you a better understanding, help identify patterns, and answer tough questions about our nation. Therefore, the Census Bureau provides maps, including digital files for use in a Geographic Information System (GIS), and interactive mapping capabilities in order to visualize our statistics.

Here are some of the mapping resources available from the Census Bureau:

The Census Bureau is working to provide even more mapping tools to the public and the beauty of our statistics is that they are available for others to use. Media, such as the Atlantic Cities, other federal agencies, academics and private sector companies all use them to create maps the public relies on. You can use them, too.

We now have a resource available for finding maps and mapping tools that are produced outside of the Census Bureau. Visit the following link to see a list of websites, which contain map viewers, shapefiles and other tools to aid data users utilizing their own mapping software.

Accessing our statistics to create these maps is easier than ever before with last year’s release of the Census Bureau’s first application programming interface, which allows developers to use American Community Survey and decennial statistics to create tools, such as maps. You can view some of the maps already created by developers here.

If you have a useful, free website that allows users to map census data at the national level, email us at geo.geography@census.gov and we may add it to our list.

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