If you have been blown away my zooming around Google Maps, the possibilities of combing that data with other data is starting to become wonderfully dizzying. Crime data and Google Maps. Housing and Google Maps.
Well here is another one– gCensus nicely combines US census data and Google Maps. As you zoom and pan you way around the country, the site dynamically generates population, land area, water area data for the map in view. So as you zoom and pan around, the data changes with the map.
So for example, jumping to the map pin for Phoenix, we see that it clears the 3 million mark in population with more than 1.2 million housing units (at the rate the houses are popping up here, that should be one of those spinning odometers).
On the other hand, my hideaway in Strawberry, AZ is a place of a few orders of magnitude less crowded:
And you can zoom in rather close to get ideas of population density as you zoom around the streets of Phoenix:
What would be really cool would be to do some screen casts as one pans and zooms around the maps. Or can this be a project for students to study urban patterns and do presentations voiced over a gCensus mapped region? Or what about setting up some basic math exercises on area, density calculations?
I’ve done small technologies loosely joined- this is more like big data sets nicely joined. And once more, the value of entities with the data to create APIs that expose the data for clever re-use like this.
Tip of the bloghat to ResearchBuzz
The post "gCensus: A Tale of Two Cities" was originally pushed out of the bottom of a purple jar of Play-Doh at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2005/07/gcensus/) on July 12, 2005.