Category Archives: Census Blocks

Creating & Using Location Shapefiles

.. GIS tools and methods to develop and update location shapefiles .. location shapefiles are essential to most GIS applications. Location shapefiles, or point shapefiles, enable viewing/analyzing locations on a map and attributes of these locations such store or customer ID, street address, city, date updated, value, ZIP code and wide-ranging attributes about the location. This section reviews tools and methods to develop and use location shapefiles. See more detail about topics covered in this section in the related Web page.

Viewing/Analyzing Store Locations in the Dallas, TX Area
The following graphic illustrates how store locations can be shown in context of other geography and associated demographic-economic attributes. This view shows store locations (red markers) in context of Dallas city (blue cross-hatch pattern) and broader metro area. Markers shown in this view are based on a location shapefile created using steps described below. The identify tool is used to click on a location and show attributes in a mini-profile.

.. view developed with ProximityOne CV XE GIS and related GIS project.

View the locations contextually with thematic patterns by tract or other geography. Combine views of store, customer, agent, competitor and other location shapefiles.
The following view shows patterns of median household income by census tract.

.. view developed with ProximityOne CV XE GIS and related GIS project.

Development of location shapefiles often starts with a list of addresses. Locations are not always address-oriented; they might be geographically dispersed measurement or transaction locations — having no address assigned. In applications reviewed here, locations are organized as rows in a CSV file. Each CSV file contains like-structured attributes for each location. The example used in this section uses store locations located in the Dallas, TX area.

There are two basic methods used to create location shapefiles: 1) geocoding address-data contained in the source data file or 2) using the latitude-longitude of the location included in the source data file record. The focus here is on option 2 — using the latitude-longitude of the location already present in the source data file.

Creating a Location Shapefile
The process of creating a location shapefile uses the CV XE GIS Manage Location Shapefile feature. With CV running, the process is started with File>Tools>ManageLocationShapefile. The following form appears.

.. ManageLocationShapefile feature/operation in ProximityOne CV XE GIS.

CV XE GIS provides other ways to create location shapefiles:
• Tools>AddShapes>Points — click points on the map window canvas.
• Tools>FindAddress — creates a single point shapefile based on specified address.
• Tools>FindAddress (Batch) — creates a point shapefile based on specified file of address records.
See details in User Guide.

Steps to Create a Location Shapefile
The process of creating the shapefile “C:\cvxe\1\locations1pts.shp” can be viewed by clicking the Run button on the form (with CV running). Two input CSV structured files are required:
• data definition file
• source data file

There are two sets of illustration location input files included with the CV installer:
• locations1_dd.csv and locations1.csv (7 locations in Johnson County, KS)
• locations2_dd.csv and locations2.csv (252 locations in Dallas and Houston)
These files are located in the \1 (typically c:\cvxe\1) folder. The marker/location shapefile used in the map shown above was created using the lcoations2 input files.

Data Definition File
The Data Definition (DD) file is an ASCII/text file structured as a CSV file. It may created with any text editor. The DD file is specific to the source data file. But in the case of recurring source data files for different periods the same DD file might apply to many source data files. There are several rules and guidelines for development of the DD file:
• there is one line/record for each field in the source data file.
• each line/record must be structured in an exact form:
.. each line/record is comprised of exactly 4 elements separated by a comma:
.. 1 field name for subject matter item
– must consist of 1 to 10 characters and include no blanks or special characters
.. 2 field type: C for character, N for numeric
.. 3 field length: an integer specifying the maximum with of the field
.. 4 maximum number of decimals for field (value is 0 for character fields)
The DD File must include three final fields:
LATITUDE,n,12,6
LONGITUDE,n,12,6
GEOID,c,15,0
The structure of these three DD file records must be as shown above. The source data file, described below, must have the LATITUDE and LONGITUDE fields populated with accurate values. The GEOID field may populated with either an accurate value of placeholder value like 0.

Example. Data for each store for the default DD file name “C:\cvxe\1\locations1_dd.csv” include the following fields/attributes:
  NAME,C,45,0
STORE,c,15,0
ADDRESS,c,60,0
CITY,c,40,0
LATITUDE,n,12,6
LONGITUDE,n,12,6
GEOID,c,15,0

Optionally create a DD File using the Create DD File button on the form. Clicking this button will create a DD File containing attributes of the dBase file specified in the associated edit box. The DD File name is created from the dBase file name. If the dBase file name is “c:\cvxe\1\locations1pts.dbf”, the DD File will be named “c:\cvxe\1\locations1pts_dd.csv”.

About the GEOID
The GEOID is a 15 character code which defines the Census 2010 census block containing each location. The GEOID is generally assigned by the ManageLocationShapefile operation and is one of the important and distinctive features of this tool. The GEOID is used to uniquely determine, with the GIS application, any of the following: state, county, census tract, block group, or census block.

The GEOID, as used in this section, is the 15 character Census 2010 geocode for the census block. The GEOID value 481130002011012 (see in location profile in map at top of section) is structured as:
state FIPS code: 48 (2 chars)
county FIPS code: 113 (3 chars)
census tract code 000201 (6 chars)
census block code: 1012 (4 chars) (block group code: 1 — first of 4 characters)

About the Source Data File
The Source Data File is an ASCII/text file structured as a CSV file. It is typically developed by exporting/saving an Excel or dBase file in CSV structure. There are several rules and guidelines for development of the source data file:
• fields must be structured and arranged as defined in the DD File.
• character fields must not contain embedded commas.
• final items in record sequence must be:
.. LATITUDE – must have accurate decimal degree value; 6 digit precision suggested.
.. LONGITUDE- must have accurate decimal degree value; 6 digit precision suggested.
.. GEOID – this may be 0, not assigned or the accurately assigned GEOID value.
– optionally create/rewrite the GEOID used in the new shapefile.

Updates; Combining Vintages of Location Attributes
Location based data might update frequently, even daily. The recommended method to add, update and extend the scope of location-based data is to create new address shapefiles corresponding to different vintages or dates covered. The structure of the files must be the same so that they files can be used together or separately. Suppose there is one set of data covering year to date and a second set of data covering the following month. The ManagePointShapefile operation would be run once for each time period. Two shapefiles would be created. These shapefiles may be added to a GIS project and used separately or in combination to view/analyze patterns.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Examining Houston Metro Demographic-Economic Characteristics

.. tools & data to examine metro demographic-economic characteristics .. this Houston, TX metro focused section is one of several similar metro sections that will be covered in weeks ahead.  Each metro-focused section provides a summary of tools and data that can be used to view, rank, compare, analyze conditions and trends within the metro and this metro relative to other metros, regions and the Nation.  The ready-to-use GIS project/datasets provide the basis for extended data/geographic views and analysis immediately.  See more detail about topics covered in this related Web section.

Relating your data to demographic-economic characteristics and trends in a region involves more than information provided by a report or set of statistical tables. It is important to use your data to be able to identify areas of missed opportunity and competitive position. It is important to have a “10,000 foot” view as well as understanding individual neighborhoods and market/service areas. Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, with the right set of geographic, demographic and economic data can facilitate decision-making through the use of visual and tabular data analytics.

This section provides information on installing and using the Houston Metro Demographic-Economic GIS software and project/datasets. This same scope of data, tools and operation is available for any metro, state or combination.

10,000 Foot View
The following graphic shows patterns of median household income by census tract for the Houston metro area. This is the start-up view when using the GIS tools and data described below. The color patterns/intervals are shown in the highlighted layer in legend at left of map window. Use the GIS tools described below to develop thematic pattern maps for a range of data and criteria.

.. view developed using the CVGIS software.

See more about census tracts; see tracts main page.

Several additional views follow, developed using this same GIS project. These views illustrate different levels of geographic granularity and patterns of different subject matter.

Median Household Value by Block Group
See more about block groups; see block groups main page.

.. view developed using the CVGIS software.

Population/Housing Unit by Block
See more about census blocks; see census block main page.

.. view developed using the CVGIS software.

Zoom-in to Sugarland/Fort Bend County
See more about cities/places; see cities/places main page.
Access data for any city using interactive table.

.. view developed using the CVGIS software.

Further Zoom-in Showing Street/Road Detail
See more about streets.

.. view developed using the CVGIS software.

Additional Information
See the related Houston metro Situation & Outlook Report.

Using the GIS Software and Project/Datasets
(requires Windows computer with Internet connection)
1. Install the ProximityOne CV XE GIS
… run the CV XE GIS installer
… requires UserID; take all defaults during installation
2. Download the Houston Metro GIS project fileset
… requires UserID; unzip Houston Metro GIS project files to local new folder c:\p1data
3. Open the c:\p1data\us1_metros_houston.gis project
… after completing the above steps, click File>Open>Dialog
… open the file named c:\p1data\us1_metros_houston.gis
4. Done. The start-up view is shown above.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Creating Custom School District Maps

…tools & data to map & geospatially analyze school districts. Ready-to-use state-by-state GIS projects may be downloaded enabling you to view and create custom maps almost instantly. Benefit from the power of using GIS software to perform tasks not available on Web-based mapping options. Use the latest school district and related shapefiles. See more information about using these resources in this related Web section.

Federal Revenue per Student by School District
Create views similar to the one shown below. Optionally combine layers as illstrated here by showing four Texas metros.

.. view developed with CV XE GIS and related GIS project.

Extending Reference and Analytical Possibilities

Texas by School District
Examine reference maps at the state, regional or local level. Optionally combine with roads/streets and other layers.

Patterns of Economic Prosperity by School District
Select from many ready-to-use demographic-economic subject matter items to create custom pattern views.

Drill-down — Houston Metro Area by School District
Zoom-in to a school district of interest. Set attributes of district as shown here.

County/School District
Visually examine the boundaries or school districts and counties. This view shows Harris County, TX area; select a county of interest.

Drill-down to Street Level
Add road/street and other layers. Drill-down within Fort Bend ISD, Houston metro, showing general earth surface features with streets layers. Mouse used to click on street (see pointer) and display mini-profile of street segment attributes.

Use for Analysis, Reference or in the Classroom
Schools and teachers: consider using these resources for classroom use. Familiarize students about how GIS resources can be used with a minimum of learning time and no cost. Enable students to use their own geography and adapt that learning to more general geography. See related Mapping Statistical Data ready-to-use GIS projects.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Tools to Analyze County Demographic-Economic Characteristics

.. demographic-economic characteristics of counties are essential for business development, market analysis, planning, economic development, program management and general awareness of patterns and trends. This section provides access to data and tools to examine these data for all counties in the U.S. This annual update includes geographic area characteristics based on ACS 2015 data.  The tools/data are organized into four related sections summarized below.

1. General Demographics
View interactive table at http://proximityone.com/us155dp1.htm
Patterns of School Age Population by County
Use GIS tools to visually examine county general demographics as illustrated below. The following view shows patterns of percent population ages 5 to 17 years of age by county — item D001-D004-D018 in the interactive table. Create your own views.

… view developed using the CV XE GIS software.

2. Social Characteristics
View interactive table at http://proximityone.com/us155dp2.htm 
Patterns of Educational Attainment by County
– percent college graduate
Use GIS tools to visually examine county social characteristics as illustrated below. The following view shows patterns of percent college graduate by county — item S067 in the interactive table. Create your own views.

… view developed using the CV XE GIS software.

3. Economic Characteristics
View interactive table at http://proximityone.com/us155dp3.htm 
Patterns of Median Household Income by County
Use GIS tools to visually examine county economic characteristics as illustrated below. The following view shows patterns median household income by county — item E062 in the interactive table. Create your own views.

… view developed using the CV XE GIS software.

4. Housing Characteristics
View interactive table at http://proximityone.com/us155dp4.htm 
Patterns of Median Housing Value by County
Use GIS tools to visually examine county housing characteristics as illustrated below. The following view shows patterns median housing value by county — item E062 in the interactive table. Create your own views.

… view developed using the CV XE GIS software.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

Developing Geographic Relationship Data

.. tools and methods to build and use geographic relationship files … which census blocks or block groups intersect with one or a set of school attendance zones (SAZ)? How to determine which counties are touched by a metropolitan area? Which are contained within a metropolitan area? Which pipelines having selected attributes pass through water in a designated geographic extent? This section reviews use of the Shp2Shp tool and methods to develop a geographic relationship file by relating any two separate otherwise unrelated shapefiles. See relasted Web page for a more detiled review of using Shp2Shp.

As an example, use Shp2Shp to view/determine block groups intersecting with custom defined study/market/service area(s) … the only practical method of obtaining these codes for demographic-economic analysis.

– the custom defined polygon was created using the CV XE GIS AddShapes tool.

Many geodemographic analyses require knowing how geometries geospatially relate to other geometries. Examples include congressional/legislative redistricting, sales/service territory management and school district attendance zones.

The CV XE GIS Shape-to-Shape (Shp2Shp) relational analysis feature provides many geospatial processing operations useful to meet these needs. Shp2Shp determines geographic/spatial relationships of shapes in two shapefiles and provides information to the user about these relationships. Shp2Shp uses the DE-9IM topological model and provides an extended array of geographic and subject matter for the spatially related geometries. Sh2Shp helps users extend visual analysis of geographically based subject matter. Examples:
• county(s) that touch (are adjacent to) a specified county.
• block groups(s) that touch (are adjacent to) a specified block group.
• census blocks correspond to a specified school attendance zone.
• attributes of block groups crossed by a delivery route.

Block Groups that Touch a Selected Block Group
The following graphic illustrates the results of using the Shp2Shp tool to determine which block groups touch block group 48-85-030530-2 — a block group located within McKinney, TX. Shp2Shp determines which block groups touch this block group, then selects/depicts (crosshatch pattern) these block groups in the corresponding GIS map view.

Geographic Reference File
In the process, Shp2Shp creates a geographic relationship file as illustrated below. There are six block groups touching the specified block group. As shown in the above view, one of these block groups touches only at one point. The table below (derived from the XLS file output by Shp2Shp) shows six rows corresponding to the six touching block groups. The table contains two columns; column one corresponds to the field GEOID from Layer 1 (the output field as specified in edit box 1.2 in above graphic) and column 2 corresponds to the field GEOID from Layer 2 (the output field as specified in edit box 2.2 in above graphic). The Layer 1 column has a constant value because a query was set (geoid=’480850305302′) as shown in edit box 1.3. in the above graphic. Any field in the layer dataset could have been chosen. The GEOID may be used more often for subsequent steps using the GRF and further described below. It is coincidental that both layers/shapefiles have the field named “GEOID”.

Layer 1 Layer 2
480850305302 480850305272
480850305302 480850305281
480850305302 480850305301
480850305302 480850305311
480850305302 480850305271
480850305302 480850305312

Note that in the above example, only the geocodes are output for each geography/shape meeting the type of geospatial relationship. Any filed within either shapefile may be selected for output (e.g., name, demographic-economic field value, etc.)

How it Works — Shp2Shp Operations
The following graphic shows the settings used to develop the map view shown above.

See related section providing details on using the Shp2Shp tool.

Geographic Relationships Supported
The Select Relationships dropdown shown in the above graphic is used to determine what type of spatial relationship is to be used. Options include:
• Equality
• Disjoint
• Intersect
• Touch
• Overlap
• Cross
• Within
• Contains
See more about the DE-9IM topological model used by Shp2Shp.

Try it Yourself

See full details on how you can use any version, including the no fee versin, of CV XE GIS to use the Shp2Shp tools. Here are two examples what you can d. Use any of the geospatial relatoinships. Apply your own queries.

Using Touch Operation
Select the type of geographic operation as Touch. Click Find Matches button. The map view now shows as:

Using Contains Operation
Click RevertAll button. Select the type of geographic operation as Contains. Click Find Matches button. The map view now shows as:

Relating Census Block and School Attendance Zones
The graphic shown below illustrates census blocks intersecting with Joyner Elementary School attendance zone located in Guilford County Schools, NC (see district profile). The attendance zone is shown with bold blue boundary. Joyner ES SAZ intersecting blocks are shown with black boundaries and labeled with Census 2010 total population (item P0010001 as described in table below graphic). Joyner ES is shown with red marker in lower right.


– view developed using CV XE GIS and related GIS project; click graphic for larger view

See more about this application in this related Web section.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

National Children & Education Statistics Program Updates

.. NCES Program updates .. tools, data & methodology to examine national scope children & education .. school, school district & extended geographic-statistical data with drill-down to school and intersection level. See more about the NCES Program below.

New this Week
ACS 2015 school district demographic-economic interactive tables
– view, compare, analyze selected/all U.S. school districts
– more focused blog updates coming soon.

School Districts with Highest Median Household Income
Use the interactive table to examine economic characteristics of school districts. Below is a list of the 10 school districts having the highest median household income developed using the Economic Characteristics interactive table. Develop similar views for metros and states of interest.

– ranked on item E062 — median household income.
– click graphic for larger view.

Use GIS tools to develop thematic pattern maps such as the one shown below with NCES GIS projects. Select from hundreds of statistical measures. Create your own regional;/district views. Integrate other data.

Patterns of Economic Prosperity by School District
– median household income (item E062 in table)

– view developed with CVGIS software & related GIS project and data.
– click graphic for larger view.

See the School Districts Economic Characteristics Interactive Table.

About the National Children & Education Statistics Program
The National Children & Education Statistics (NCES) Program provides access to tools, data & methodology to examine national scope children’s demographics & education-related characteristics. These resources enable stakeholders to view and analyze detailed geographic and statistical data at the school, neighborhood, community, attendance zone, school district and higher level geography. Integrate these data with drill-down demographic-economic data to the census block and intersection levels. Examine characteristics of schools, school districts and education data with related and higher level geography including urban/rural, cities, counties, metros, state and the U.S.

See NCES Main Section.

Contents: Summary of NCES Program Resources
Click a link to view more detail on a selected topic.
Updates: New Resources, Events & Related Topics
Analytics, Blogs, Studies
Using Software Tools & Datasets
01 Mapping & Visual Analysis Tools
02 School District Annual Demographic-Economic Data Resources
03 Children’s Demographics & Living Environment by School District
04 School District Enrollment & Operational Characteristics
05 School District Finances: Sources & Uses of Funds
06 School District Geographic Size & Characteristics
07 School District-ZIP Code Area Relationship Table
08 K-12 Public Schools
09 K-12 Private Schools
10 K-12 Public School Attendance Zones
11 K-12 Public Schools by Urban/Rural Status
12 Census Tract Demographic-Economic Characteristics
13 Metropolitan Area Situation & Outlook Reports

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

State and Regional Decision-Making Information

Organized on a state-by-state basis, use tools and geographic, demographic and economic data resources in these sections to facilitate planning and analysis. Updated frequently, these sections provide a unique means to access to multi-sourced data to develop insights into patterns, characteristics and trends on wide-ranging issues. Bookmark the related main Web page; keep up-to-date.

Using these Resources
Knowing “where we are” and “how things have changed” are key factors in knowing about the where, when and how of future change — and how that change might impact you. There are many sources of this knowledge. Often the required data do not knit together in an ideal manner. Key data are available for different types of geography, become available at different points in time and are often not the perfect subject matter. These sections provide access to relevant data and a means to consume the data more effectively than might otherwise be possible. Use these data, tools and resources in combination with other data to perform wide-ranging data analytics. See examples.

Select a State/Area

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
D.C.
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Topics for each State — with drill-down to census block
Visual pattern analysis tools … using GIS resources
Digital Map Database
Situation & Outlook
Metropolitan Areas
Congressional Districts
Counties
Cities/Places
Census Tracts
ZIP Code Areas
K-12 Education, Schools & School Districts
Block Groups
Census Blocks

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.