Mapping spatial distribution of racial composition visualizes on-the-ground socio/demographic conditions. In this paper, we compare different types of race maps in order to identify the one that shows a spatial distribution of the racial mix in a most effective manner. We consider three data models, census tracts, census blocks, and a grid, as well as three mapping methods, race percentage, diversity/dominant race categories, and dots. Through examining a series of examples we arrived at the following conclusions. (1) Tract-based data should not be used to visualize racial demography because significant within-track spatial variations exist. (2) Grid-based data results in the best maps but block-based data can also be used. (3) Percentages maps visualize racial demography poorly and should not be used. (4) Diversity map is the best choice for mapping larger areas, while a dot map is the best choice for mapping smaller areas.
Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity