Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Latin America: Population Distribution

This map depicts population distribution in Latin America. As mentioned in the description of the previous graphic data, most people settle near the cost. The data illustrated in this interface is also very useful for my research. All the layers depict important variables within my geographic subfield: human-environment interactions. I like how the interactive database has multiple physical base layers such as lakes and rivers as well as more human-constructed physical variables such as national parks. All of these variables overlay the population database which is very nicely done. I like the way this database is formatted better than the previous one on biodiversity distribution. The layers are much easier to see and the format is more organized.
In terms of using this information for my own research, you can draw inferences from this data. As a result of changes in population distribution, one can conclude that due to economic as ell as social and security developments that are affecting Latin America (as in many other places in the world) recently, the focus in Latin America in particular, is now the change from net immigration to emigration, a common research pattern in geography. This graphic data would be even more useful if it would show these particular patterns (immigration vs. emigration) as separate layers overlaying the population database.
If extra (immigration/emigration) layers would be added, it would also be useful to incorporate demographic information (i.e. census) in order to infer who (ethnicity-wise) is (in a recent context) emigrating. You would then be able to correlate this with economic data (i.e. recession statistics) to infer where and why populations are recently emigrating.
I am definitely planning on using this interactive database for my research. I enjoyed exploring it.

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