Monday, September 23, 2013

USDA ERS releases "Charting the Essentials"

USDA's Economic Research Service this month published a delightful set of exhibits for food and agricultural statistics, titled "Charting the Essentials."

I especially like the maps.  For example, maps using the widely known definitions of "metro" and "non-metro" counties have the disadvantage of obscuring important rural areas within counties that are defined as "metropolitan."  As a remedy, the new ERS chart series provides this nice map of urban and rural areas, with much smaller resolution.

Similarly, it is interesting to see the contrast between the comparatively concentrated geographic location of crop production in the Midwest and California and animal agriculture production all over the country.  These maps use dot displays for the density of production value.

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