US map displays one dot per person

Image Copyright, 2013, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (Dustin A. Cable, creator)
Image Copyright, 2013, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (Dustin A. Cable, creator)

Go ahead. You can say it: “Again with the maps?” And this one isn’t even new. It’s several years old. But it’s no less intriguing for the detail and information it presents.

As hard as it is to believe, this interactive map consists of one dot per person as counted in the 2010 US census, with each dot color coded according to race. Turn on the map labels, zoom in, and you can examine cities block by census block. The map’s creator offers a full explanation of the map including details of why some odd colors appear and why some dots are located in parks, lakes, or cemeteries.

11 thoughts on “US map displays one dot per person

  1. After so many years of “red states vs blue states” data, it is cool playing with this population map. I zoomed in on home… Pretty spot-on in number, racial dots reflect a recent pork slaughterhouse addition, and after reading closer, understood the dots in the MO River or in heavy woods, industrial parks, RR yards, etc. Thanks for finding and sharing another good one!

    1. It’s a fun map, isn’t it? And yes, so refreshing not to be looking at a red and blue political map. It looks accurate in what I remember about neighborhoods in Oklahoma City. I can’t speak to Denver, since I’m really only familiar with the far north suburbs here. I had to read the explanation too, to understand the dots in a large tract of undeveloped land near here.

  2. Really you’d think they had something better to do with their time, surely somebody did this as an exercise in futility and fun, or some such nonsense, and wasn’t paid to do it.

    But I’ll bet not! I’ll wager some civil servant got paid big heaps for this useless piece of information. The unmitigating gall of some is truly mind staggering.

    ………Scratches head and exit’s stage right in complete ment……..

    1. Nothing so nefarious as that. It was compiled by Dustin Cable at Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. Possible part of a graduate research project or some such.

  3. The hard part about geographical data, I submit, is the collection, not the display, and there are many good reasons for collecting it. The founders were prescient in making that 10-year requirement.


    1. The big cities are really dense compared to the wide open spaces.
    2. The strip from Boston to Norfolk amounts to one big city. (It has been called Megalopolis.)
    3. The racial concentrations are where I expected them to be.
    4. The Interstate Highway system has altered the nation’s population distribution. I can discern some of it in the data.
    5. There is still one heck of a lot of open spaces.
    1. My impressions are/were very similar to yours. And it takes only the briefest glance to understand why I prefer living in the western half of the country. The difference in population density is striking. Of course, all that “open space” isn’t the same as empty, vacant, or unused space. Farming and ranching require large tracts of open space, as do parks and wilderness areas, solar and wind farms, etc. Driving from Okla. City to Denver ten years ago, I noticed only one small stretch of land that wasn’t fenced. I’m glad I won’t be around to see the western half of the country as densely “dotted” as the eastern half is now, if it ever comes to that.

      1. Both you and Jim point out some interesting info. We need a lot of open space for food productions – (and for places to escape and breath without a crowd – a human right/necessity as far as I’m concerned!)
        Great find! (Probably analysis/generated by computer. Examining data…to sell to marketing groups and politicians?)

        1. Open space is absolutely necessary. When I lived in the Northeast, I used to joke about the people who lived there — because obviously they were unaware of the space out west. And I considered it a closely guarded secret, because surely if easterners knew about it, they’d leave that rat race they call life and get out of there! So, shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.

          The map was generated by a university research group. No telling what their intent/purpose was, but the commercial applications are obvious.

... and that's my two cents