Is race real and should we use racial data in GIS analysis? Should the government stop collecting race data?
A lot of maps and GIS analyses use race data, collected from the census or other sources. The 2000 census form has two questions relating to ethnicity and race:
1. Is Person 1 Spanish/Hispanic/Latino/?
2. What is Person 1’s race?
Whenever we analyze spatial distributions using GIS we often throw this data in as an explanatory variable.
But many people are deeply disturbed by race data, and some professional organizations have issued warnings about using it, and have even called for the government to stop collecting it.
More on the flip.