Tag Archives: thematic maps

Using GIS & GeoDemographics

.. join us in the GIS & GeoDemographics self-paced, online course.

Visual representation, maps, of demographic data by geographic area can be exciting and rewarding. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can bring maps alive. Creativity is boundless. The banner at the top of the corresponding Web section presents a static view of a map rendered using GIS. This map shows the Los Angeles area by census tract. For the analyst or stakeholder, it shows something more — the percent Asian citizen voting age population by tract, overlayed with Congressional District boundaries and codes. It shows relationships, patterns. Using the power of GIS, the zoom level, colors, legend, and labeling can all be changed immediately. You, the GIS user, are at once analyst, artist and storyteller. In control of your medium, canvas, you further your benefits from use these software and data by making dynamic presentations in collaborations. Make compelling arguments. Capture your views and blend them with words and charts into documents. Welcome to the world of GIS and geodemographics.

Mapping census block demographics
The graphic shown below illustrates use of GIS software with the TIGER digital map database census block shapefile to show census blocks for two Ohio counties in context of 2018 CBSAs/Metros. Clicking on a census block (see pointer) shows a mini profile for that block.


– view developed using ProximityOne CV XE GIS and related GIS project.

Using GIS & GeoDemographics .. about the course
Examining geographic-demographic-economic characteristics, patterns and trends … researchers, policymakers, journalists, administrators, students among others. How can you most benefit from using the TIGER geographic data to meet your objectives? These data are available at no cost. Join us in the Using GIS Tools & GeoDemographics online, self-paced course. Learn all aspects of using the Census Bureau TIGER files and related Census-sourced and other Federal statistical data. Augment your professional skills; participants receive all required data, methods and tools. Your personal session is developed and coordinated by Warren Glimpse. You receive the GIS course certificate upon completion. The course may be started at any time and includes requisite Windows-based CV XE GIS software. The course assumes the participant has basic familiarity with a Windows computer, Internet and spreadsheet operations. No GIS related experience is required. Experienced GIS professionals also benefit by learning about the use and nuances of Census-sourced data and integrating these with other data. The structure includes four segments that typically require 2.5 hours each. It is feasible to complete the course in a day or two though we suggest two weeks.

Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with TIGER … integrate/analyze data from American Community Survey (ACS) or the decennial census (Census 2010) (Census 2020) into TIGER files to make thematic maps. Merge data from other statistical programs. Geocode your address-based data and add the geocoded data to a GIS project/map view; examine patterns. View your market/service areas and assess competitive position, unmet opportunities. Learn about procedures and strategies to develop GIS projects that meet your needs. Acquire the tools and data to perform these tasks without spending more — provided as a part of our course.

The course is not just about TIGER and demographic-economic data. It provides a well-rounded framework for how to use GIS. While TIGER is a focus, we review procedures to access and use thousands of public use shapefiles and GIS files that may be useful to you. It provides a well-rounded framework for how to use GIS.

Enroll today …
Click the enrollment button/link (opens new page) to enroll now ($395). We will contact you and provide next step information.   Questions? Call us at (800)364-7656.

Data Analytics Web Sessions
Join me in a Demographics 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.

Creating Thematic Pattern Maps

Decision-making can be influenced by a thematic pattern map that conveys a strong message. Thematic pattern maps can often transcend spoken language and facilitate communication on an issue. The speed at which humans consume and interpret visual information is far faster than possible with tabular data presentation. Our ability to recall a visual message/graphic exceeds that of recalling tabular data. See corresponding Web section.

An important feature of GIS tools is the ability to modify the appearance of a thematic pattern view. A thematic pattern view is a rendering of the data by colors and patterns to reflect different data values. The flexibility to perform these operations is often not available in Web-based mapping tools. Desktop GIS tools offer more control over using the data and performing geospatial analyses. The ability to change the pattern appearance may be desired to show different colors/patterns representing data values and/or change a data value range corresponding to a color/pattern.

This section builds on the U.S. by County & State Daytime Population GIS project (view that section) and illustrates steps that you can use to modify the appearance of the thematic pattern. The GIS project can be downloaded and used with GIS tools as described in that section.

Visual Analysis of County Employment-Residence Ratio Patterns
The following graphic shows patterns of the Employment-Residence (E-R) Ratio by county for the Atlanta area (Atlanta metro bold outline). See more about the E-R Raiot.

View created with CV XE GIS. Click graphic for larger view.

Modifed Pattern View
The next view shows patterns with a different range of values. See color pattern/data ranges in legend panel at left of map. Comparing the view below to the one above, the number of intervals has been reduced from five to three and interval values have been modified. We might want to make this change to have a view that shows more succinctly which counties have an E-R value greater than 1 versus less than 1. To account for counties that are close to the value of 1, a narrow mid-range section/interval is used. Is the view presented below “better” than the view shown above? The bold red and blue in the upper view are more dramatic. But the issue here is less on making the most impactful view and more on the mechanics of how to make changes to the pattern view. There are many factors that go into making the most impactful view, a topic for another time.

Using the Layer Editor to Modify Map Appearance/Pattern View
After installing the CV XE software and the GIS project, the Daytime/E-R Ration project is opened. Next, the CV XE Layer Editor is used to change the appearance of the county E-R layer. To start the Layer Editor, double-click the name “County E-R Ratio” in the legend panel at the left of map (see in view above). The Layer Editor form appears as shown below. Using the Layer Editor, the first step is to modify the Section settings. Two intervals are removed and the range values settings are changed as shown below.

Next, while still in the Layer Editor, click the Area tab to modify colors. The new colors will be a muted blue, lighter yellow and orange (choose any).

Next, in the new settings, the outlines (county polygon boundaries) are all set to black as shown below.

The final step is to click the OK button and the modified view is shown. This action closes the Layer Editor form and the map view is refreshed. See Modified Pattern View shown above. If this view is not as expected, similar steps can be repeated. Exiting CV XE at this point will not save the setting for a project that is subsequently re-started. In this example, the project might be saved with the name (File>Save Project As) “c:\daytime2013\daytime_pop_2013new.gis”. The view shown in the modified version above has been included in the project installer and is named “c:\daytime2013\daytime_pop_2013a.gis”.

Using the Modifed Pattern View
Use the Pan/Drag tool on the toolbar to drag the map view to the Houston area as shown below. In this example, the Metro layer was modified. The CBSAFP (Core-Based Statistical Area FIPS code) value was modified to CBSAFP=’26420′ … changing the code 12060 for the Atlanta metro to 26420 for the Houston metro A view can be created for any area .. one county, any region, a state or the U.S.

The same methods of modifying a view using the Layer Editor can be performed on any shapefile layer in any CV XE GIS project. A related section will illustrate how similar steps can be applied to develop a trend view of demographic change using this same project.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse, developer of the CV XE GIS software, is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is developer of the Columbia, MO GBF/DIME used as the prototype for the Census Bureau TIGER/Line system. 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.