Land use and land cover data and the mapping of population density.

M. S. Monmonier, G. A. Schnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Maps of population distribution can be highly aggregated or detailed, simple-to-construct or tedious. The choropleth map, with density estimates for political or enumeration units represented by area-shaping symbols, is the most common portrayal, and often the most abused. Among the other problems, great internal variations in populations density often render the data, their classification and their representation meaningless and subject to misinterpretation. Traditional attempts at refinement, the dot map and the dasymetric map, are precedurally imprecise. Moreover, the land use data required for the accurate placing of dots for the former and re-drawing of areal-unit boundaries for the latter are not readily available. Nonetheless, the choropleth map has the indispensible advantage of area units - census tracts, counties, states, or entire nations - that are inherently meaningful for policy-related studies. Recognizable yet inhomogeneous areas should be sought and accommodated rather than suppressed or ignored. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Yearbook of Cartography
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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