Monday, April 16, 2012

Visualize U.S. demographics using Google Maps API for Business

Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog.

In April 2010, 89 million U.S. households returned a census form in which they answered ten basic questions. Once collected, aggregated, and published, the 2010 U.S. census provided rich insights into the makeup and distribution of the U.S. population. However the resulting demographics, which cover all 50 states, over 3,000 counties, over 70,000 census tracts, and over 200,000 block groups, are extremely challenging to obtain and visualize on a map.

Today we are making U.S. demographics visualization accessible and easy for our Google Maps API for Business customers with the launch of the new Demographics Layer in Maps API v3. The Demographics Layer enables Google Maps API for Business developers to add visualization of U.S. demographics provided by Nielsen to their Maps API applications.

Developers can select from 34 statistics to display on the map at state, county, census tract or block group granularity, including:
  • population
  • age
  • race
  • marital status
  • housing status
Data is available for 2010 and 2011, in addition to projected data for 2015 and 2016.

Google Maps API for Business applications using the Demographics Layer can control how the data is styled, such as defining color thresholds or gradients, and also define style rules based on expressions across statistics that are evaluated in real time. For example, by defining a gradient style based on the expression “population / area” you can visualize population density on the map.



The Demographics Layer is now available to all Google Maps API for Business customers for use in internal applications. For more information on how to add the Demographics Layer to your applications please see the documentation. If you are not an existing Google Maps API for Business customer and are interested in using the Demographics Layer, please contact the sales team by filling in this form.

We hope the Demographics Layer provides your business with the intelligence you need to put your own data into context, and empowers you to make smarter business decisions going forward.