Category Archives: ZIP Code Areas

VDA Mapserver: Comparing Census Tracts & ZIP Codes

.. for small area demographic-economic analysis, census tracts and ZIP code areas both have their advantages and disadvantages.  While the same scope of subject matter data are available from the American Community Survey (ACS) and ProximityOne current estimates and projections for these geographies, it can be difficult to view how the geographic areas visually relate or intersect in a map.  A flexible solution, accessible by any Web browser, is the Virtual Data Analytics (VDA) Mapserver.  See details.  You can start using VDA immediately with nothing to install.

Visual Data Analytics Mapserver
The VDA Mapserver is a learning resource, a tool that you can use for interactive mapping and geospatial analysis using only Internet and a browser. The VDA Mapserver is set apart from related tools due to the scope and style of accessing data for wide-ranging geography and frequently updated demographic-economic subject matter data. Use the unique combination of Federal statistical data with proprietary current estimates and projections.

Other geographies and subject matter will be reviewed in subject posts.

An Illustration: ZIP Code Area 85258, Scottsdale, AZ

– click for larger view.

The above shows a zoom-in to ZIP code area 85258 in Scottsdale, AZ. A step-by-by description of how to develop this view is shown in this section of the VDA guide.

As shown in the graphic, ZIP Code area 85258 intersects with 8 census tracts. ZIP code areas and tracts are not coterminous. On average there are approximately 2.5 tracts per ZIP code area. But there are more than 150,000 intersecting combinations of ZIP Code areas and tracts. See intersecting areas and interactive table.

Learn more — Join me in the Situation & Outlook Web Sessions
Join me in a Situation & Outlook Web Session where we discuss topics relating to measuring and interpreting the where, what, when, how and how much demographic-economic change is occurring and it’s impact.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for national scope statistical programs and 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.