The Statistical Atlas of the United States is a treasure trove for data lovers produced by the Census Bureau — but the last one to made dates back all the way to 2000. So Nathan Yau decided to make his own, using just publicly available data. It's amazing.
"With more data than ever, it seems like there should be one. Maybe that's why there's isn't one," muses Yau on his blog, Flowing Data. "Too much data, too much of an undertaking, and too many bureaucratic decisions to make... I got to thinking, hey, I could do that."
And he has. Aping the first version of the Atlas, created way back in 1874, he's unearthed publicy available data from government websites across the U.S.. In turn, he's created maps that describe the country in great detail. There are maps showing geology, weather and land use; population, race and ancestry; education, income and disability; death rates, cancer incidence and heart disease; road links, ferry crossings and railroad routes.
In short, his modern take on the Atlas describes the U.S. in as much detail as most us would ever care to need, combining 1874 styling with up-to-date data. It's quite something. You can see some of our favourite pages here, or explore all of Yau's work over at Flowing Data. [Flowing Data]