Last month, I wrote about the fun and the pitfalls of viral maps, a feature that included 88 super-simple maps of my own creation. As a follow-up, I’m writing up short items on some of those maps, walking through how I created them and how they succumb to (and hopefully overcome) the shortfalls of viral cartography.
One of the most interesting data sets for aspiring mapmakers is the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Among other things, that survey includes a detailed look at the languages spoken in American homes. All the maps below are based on the responses to this survey. For instance, Mandarin, Cantonese, and other Chinese dialects are separated as different responses in the data and were treated as different languages when constructing these maps. If those languages had been grouped together, the marking of many states would change. In addition, Hawaiian is listed as a Pacific Island language, so following the ACS classifications, it was not included in the Native American languages map. The spelling of each language is based on the language of the ACS.
Read the rest here