Friday, December 17th, 2010
7

Cartoon Explains Census Math Sampling!

We've all been enjoying the Times' block-by-block flash map thing of America. But let's not forget that it's based on sampling. Here's a cartoon about that!

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7 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#1,720)

Let's also not forget that the NYT's map was ripped off from Eric Fischer's work (who in turn got the idea from Bill Rankin, but at least he gave credit)

rolandcrosby (#1,480)

I love Rankin's work, but it's not like he invented the idea of a dot density map. I've spent the past few months dicking around with ArcGIS for school, and it surprised me how straightforward it is to produce this sort of map from census data. I can't think of a better way to present multiple density variables on a single map…

pemulis (#903)

Hell yes to Susie Cagle.

joshc (#442)

It's interesting that she thinks that 1/6 is a small number, as far as surveys go.

abbyjean (#508)

jesus fucking christ what an ignorant criticism. we can only know anything by getting data from every single individual! so if anyone is born, throw out the entire census! shut up.

foon (#9,099)

@joshc, 1/6 is a small number for a small population, like these specific blocks in Berkeley. For a large population, like the nation, it's a big number. It all comes down to how certain you can be about a given conclusion. When you ask one person and extrapolate the answers for five other people, you're not very certain. When you ask one million and extrapolate the answers for five million, you can be reasonably certain (if those one million are randomly chosen).

yasdui (#244,930)

love Rankin's work, but it's not like he invented the idea of a dot density map. I've spent the past few months dicking around with ArcGIS for school
magic

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