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Census Dotmap

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What's all this?

This is a map of every person counted by the 2010 US and 2011 Canadian censuses. The map has 341,817,095 dots - one for each person.


I wanted an image of human settlement patterns unmediated by proxies like city boundaries, arterial roads, state lines, &c. Also, it was an interesting challenge.

Who is responsible for this?

The US and Canadian censuses, mostly. I made the map. I'm Brandon Martin-Anderson. Kieran Huggins came to the rescue with spare server capacity and technical advice once this took off.


I wrote a Python script to generate points from US Census block-level counts, and then generated the tiles with Processing. Here's more detail for the interested.

I don't see dots. I see smudges.

The dots are very small. Try zooming in.

Nobody lives in Central Park/Pier 12/County Lockup/Abandoned Themepark.

The census reported that someone lived there.

This says someone lives in the middle of a lake.

The census reported that someone lives in a block which includes a lake, and that's where their dot was randomly placed. Also, some people live in the middle of lakes.