Surname Search - Surname Population Density & Income Distribution

This application was developed for my undergraduate honors thesis and was accepted and published at EuroVA 2014. The work was supported partially from an award from U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s VACCINE Center and a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK EPSRC. It received surname input from the user and output a population density map and income distribution for that surname.

The application combined Java web services and MySQL on the backend and HTML, Javascript, d3.js, jQuery, and the Google Maps API on the frontend. The application also utilized Java to precompute surname population densities and income distribution. The precomputation for the surname data utilized a phonebook database to link surnames to latitudes and longitudes. Each surname within the database estimated the density utilizing a kernel density estimation function. With the surnames precomputed, when a user entered a surname, the web service simply looked up the precomputed data and returned it to the frontend. The frontend displayed the population density heatmap on top of a Google map of the United States and utilized D3.js to display the income distribution and a similar names word cloud.

I extended previous work that computed a population density heatmap based on a surname. My contributions and results from the project include:


Screenshots

Ibarra Surname Density - Regular Search

Ibarra Surname Density - Probabilistic Search

Kimes Surname Density - Regular Search


External Resources