USA Facts and GIS

Check out usafacts.org to see the data.

A Perfect Match

It makes sense that a fact cache concerning the revenue of the federal and state governments in the USA would benefit from GIS. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Maps are intuitive. We humans have been using maps for ages, and more recently we’ve been using them for more than just getting from point A to point B.
  2. Data on usafacts.org are inherently location-based and can be shown by region, state, or city.
  3. Maps provide an apolitical lens of interpretation. They take you a step closer to understanding by providing a spatial representation of the relationships between data.

Some Examples

Usafacts.org contains many useful data, but one item in particular, tax revenue, could be particularly revealing.

When you click on the “Property Taxes” portion of the “Total Revenue for 2014” breakout table, the site displays a dialog box with the amount of property taxes and how much the State and Federal levels have received by percentage. What if you could see by region how much each state or city contributed to the tax revenue? Determining where property taxes are high could help home buyers determine where to live. Property taxes could be paired with census data to show trends in homelessness, crime, and poverty. This data could be compared to other values to give a more holistic view of how economic factors contribute to social conditions.

 

Joelle Prokupek is a writer/editor inspired by good design and engaging business narratives.

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