Lab: Population Density

Lab Files Needed: Mississippi Roads Shapefile, Desoto County Boundary Shapefile, Desoto County DEM, Mississippi Population Density, Shelby County Boundary Shapefile, City of Memphis DEM

Data within the attribute table often presents the most important information of an ArcMap file. In the instance of census data, this is absolutely the case. This lab will examine population data for each county in the entire state of Mississippi and strategies for representing that data in a purposeful way.

  1. Add the “County10PopnHou” Shapefile to a blank map.
  2. Right+Click on the layer in the Table of Contents and select Properties. Navigate to the Symbology tab and select categories, unique values, and add the population data to the list (reference the pdf in the same folder for a breakdown of the attribute table data). Choose a monochromatic color ramp to illustrate the population data.
  3. Notice that each population is given a unique color in the color gradient. Recognize though that the intensity of color only signifies where the county ranks relative to the other counties in terms of population. This is different than the color indicating the population intensity amongst the counties.
  4. Still under symbology, utilize the graduated colors option and adjust the classification numbers and breaks. Examine how each symbology parameter affects the way the data is represented.

For the completion of this final lab assignment, create an 11×17 layout and export the map to a known scale. Be sure to put a title, scale bar, scale text, and north arrow in the layout. Save it as a pdf and submit via email as “lastname_firstname_lab03”


Lab Observations:

Each of the symbology techniques represents the exact same data in a unique way. This has important ramifications for the maps we create. In the data used for Lab03, what represents the most accurate way of representing the population data across all Mississippi Counties?


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