The goal of this assignment was to create a map that could accurately show the how the population of Ireland was dispersed throughout its twenty six counties. In order to accomplish this task it was necessary to create fusion tables incorporating statistical data of Ireland’s population as well as geographic data showing each of Ireland’s counties. The fusion table can organize this data into an intensity map that can show the location of each county as well as each individual population. The population would be represented by shades one color. The darker the shade higher population of the county.
We were provided two links: The Irish Population by county in 2011 and Irish KMZ data file. The first link was a chart showing each county name, its population, as well as how many males and females lived there. The second was a KMZ data file which is the name of a file that has keyhole markup language in it. This language provides us with geographic information on internet maps. In more basic terms, it’s a google earth file. Given these two files, we were able to use fusion tables as a tool to create the map we wanted. Each file was turned into a fusion table. The Irish Population file was turned into a table showing each counties demographic data. The other file was turned into a google earth map. Now we had to combine the two tables. In order to do this we first had to make sure that they would align correctly. All the county names in both tables needed to be checked to make sure they were the same. In two cases, they were no. In one case the county Laois was spelled differently in each map. In the other case, the country Tipperary was divided into North and South Tipperary on one table and not on the other. After fixing these two errors the two fusion tables were merged and the intensity map was created.
After looking at the map there were a couple patterns that I noticed. Areas surrounding the three largest cities, Dublin, Galway, and Cork all had the darkest shade of orange meaning that they had the highest populations. This makes sense because populations tend to gravitate towards cities. There are more job opportunities there and are a center for commerce. Another pattern I noticed was that counties with the lightest shades of orange (lowest population) were all in the center of the country. This could be due to the fact that there aren’t large cities in the interior of the country. Also farming is much more common in the center of the country meaning the population is more spread out.
In conclusion, I think that this map is very informational for showing Ireland’s population distribution. The intensity map could be even more informational if it incorporated more in depth demographic data. It would be interesting to see the age distribution throughout the country as well as gender distribution. This assignment taught me a lot about fusion tables and it also helped me learn a little bit more about the country I am living in.