Fusion tables are used to combine tables and present your data in a more meaningful manor. Obviously you have to get your initial information from somewhere. For this example I used the CSO (Central Statistics Office) data from the 2006 Census and 2011 Census. For each year I looked at the total population and the population aged 15 and over that had lost or had given up their previous job. To present this data more graphically I also required a table containing geographical information for the counties of Ireland. This file was available on the Irish Independent website. A link to all datasets used can be found below.
Depending on your data source you may need to clean your data. Once you have a clean data file you need to save the file as a .CSV (Comma Separated Values) file.
Irish KMZ Datafile – There is no need to save this file in CSV format. http://www.independent.ie/editorial/test/map_lead.kml
Analysing your data will explain what the data is saying. This can be simple calculations looking at the average or medians (mid-point) of some parts of your data, which makes the data more understandable for your audience. The analysis below compares the population in Ireland in 2006 and 2011 showing the percentage increase in each county. A further analysis also compares the unemployment rates in each county for the same time periods.
To calculate the unemployment rate I also needed the total population that was eligible to work. This information can be found on the CSO website.
Creating Fusion Tables
- You need to have a Google Drive account.
- Add the Fusion Tables app
Settings, Manage Apps, Connect to more apps
- Create Your Table
iii) Google Fusion table
- After following the steps above you will be prompted to import and name the relevant files.
- Repeat steps 3 & 4 above for each table.
Follow the steps below to merge your data tables.
- Open one of the tables you wish to merge.
- From the “File” menu choose Merge.
- Select the second table you want to merge.
- Select the variables that are matching, this is how the tables join.
- Choose which variables you want displayed in the new merged table.
- Fusion Tables automatically create a new table containing the new merged data.
After merging the total population data with the Counties KMZ file you can show the population of the country by the size of the population in each county by assigning a colour code. See image below. The image below shows two heat maps created with Fusion Tables, each showing the population by county, one for 2006 and the other 2011.
Editing the Map
The colour scheme is assigned to each county based on the size of its’ population. This can be edited using the Change Map Function on the Map of Geometry tab. From there you can assign the ranges and colours you wish to use.
POPULATION 2006 v 2011
The maps above are showing the population spread by county in Ireland using the CSO Census data from 2006 and 2011. In 2008 Ireland suffered a huge property and financial crash triggering one of Ireland’s worst recessions, a recession that Ireland is only starting to come out of seven years later. During the time period 2008-2014 it has been widely reported that during the recession emigration levels has depleted the smaller counties of Ireland. But looking at the census data from 2006 and comparing it with 2011, there was an average national increase of 8% across all counties. Laois recorded the highest level of increase at 20%.
In 2006 over one in three counties had an average population of between 54,000. In 2011 this dropped to just over 25%. Excluding Dublin and Cork, who have a combined population of 1.8 million, the remaining counties have a median population of 136,640.
As mentioned above the Irish population had an average growth rate of 8% between 2006 and 2011. When comparing the Population Aged 15 Years and Over, at the time of the 2006 census, the Irish economy was booming and employment rates were high. When the bubble burst in 2008 the small towns and counties where hit the hardest with job losses. In 2006 the country had an unemployment rate of 4.9% by the time of the 2011 census the rate had more than doubled to 13%. The map and chart below compare the numbers of those unemployed in 2006 and 2011 by county. The contrast between the two is staggering. Counties saw their unemployment numbers more than double, in some cases they trebled. Roscommon in 2006 had registered unemployed population aged 15 years and over of 1,385 by 2011 this figure was 5,409, an increase of nearly 400%. The average national increase was 290% for the time period covered. This was devastating to rural areas.