Digital Geography

How many people live in this area?

Not long ago I was tasked with finding out how many people live within an arbitrary polygon. In this particular case, the polygon represented the portion of the United States within a drive-time of 10 hours. For this example, the polygon(s) can be anything you wish. This post will act as a tutorial of sorts on how to answer questions like these using python. Sorry to my Deutsch Freunden on this site, but this will be a U.S based answer as using the Census API is a key part of it. This is a classic case of the modifiable area unit problem.…