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Web-Based Map Allows ­sers to See Intricate Patterns in ­.s. Population

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Four views of the New York City area, each highlighting different demographic patterns.

RTI International's synthetic population viewer allows users to visualize demographic data for any U.S. location.

Credit: RTI International

RTI International researchers say they have developed a free, Web-based demographic mapping site that enables users to see stark racial boundaries, subtle shifts in income, and detailed patterns of race, age, household size, and income for any location in the United States.

"This new era of complex, synthetic household data enables fine-scale, multidimensional demographic patterns and microcommunities to emerge from simple-to-use, Web-based maps," says RTI's Bill Wheaton.

The interactive map contains a representation of more than 12 million households and more than 280 million individuals in the United States. "By representing each and every household as a point on the map, a wealth of complex patterns becomes apparent," Wheaton says.

He also notes the map shields privacy by not displaying actual households in their precise locations. "The underlying data can be used in computer simulations to track the spread of infectious disease or to understand how transportation networks are used, how people make choices about where to live, how a given intervention might affect obesity, how best to optimize supply chain operations, and many other uses," Wheaton says.

From RTI International
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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