Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lab #8

These maps show the percentage of a certain race by county. The first map shows the percentage of people having origins in any of the Black racial groups in Africa, or categorize themselves as African-American, Afro American, Nigerian, or Haitian. It is seen that there is a light distribution of Blacks all over the country, a higher distribution in southern California as well as the California Bay Area, but the heaviest distribution of the Black population by far, is in the South.

The center map shows the percentage of Asian races by county. People in the Asian race group refers to people having any origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. It includes Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, or "Other Asian". The distribution of Asians across the country is not centered in any specific region. It is spread out more so that the other two maps. There appears to be a heavy Asian population all over California, in Northwest Washington, concentrated in some small counties in the middle of the country, and then a heavier concentration in the Northeast area from Massachusetts to Virginia, and then smaller concentrations again, scattered all over the Eastern coast.

The last map shows the distribution of "Some Other Races" was added to include people who were unable to identify with the following five categories: White, Black, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. "Some other race" includes Moroccan, South African, Belizean, or Hispanic origin. The distribution of "some other races" is distributed lightly and evenly throughout the country, but concentrated heaviest in the West. The Southeast area from Texas to California, then up the California coast up to Washington shows the highest percentages of "Some other races".

The information provided by the census gives us an idea of the distribution of races in the United States. The maps show that California has the highest racial diversity, and the rest of the country to a lesser extent. When looking at the census information, I realized that a lot of people would have a hard time fitting themselves into a category of the 2000 census, therefore many people are bunched into this motley crew named "some other races".

My overall impressions of GIS are quite positive. Despite the long hours sitting in front of a screen, frustrated with the labs that are difficult and confusing at times, I found that when I finally knew what I was doing, I liked it so much that all those struggles made it worth it. I have found that I really enjoy the challenge and have become quite excited about it. I really enjoy being able to convey ideas through maps, and using and building maps in an assortment of ways. So much so, I have become a nerd showing my friends and family the maps I made. I am hoping I did well enough to claim GIS as my minor and look forward to hopefully becoming an amateur cartographer a year from now.