Tag Archives: TX

Creating Maps & GIS Projects

.. follow these steps to create custom maps & GIS projects .. while maps are “everywhere,” there is a continuing need to make new maps. Reasons for this include changing underlying geography, new features (like stores or customers to be viewed), visually examining geographic relationships not available elsewhere (e.g., census tracts and ZIP codes), different geographic depictions for an area (smoothed versus precise vertices) and other reasons. A map can provide view(s) that relate to geospatial analysis; map visualization can be indispensable (showing road features adjacent to selected properties).

View of Initial Map Objective — University Park, TX; Dallas Metro area
Census tracts (black boundary) shown with census tract code as label.

— view developed using CV XE GIS software

Follow steps in this section to make a map like above for any area in the U.S. This section provides an overview of how to use the CVGIS software to quickly build a map. It is actually more than a map, it is the process of building a GIS project. A map is one rendering that can be displayed, and optionally published, using a GIS project. Map/GIS project development steps reviewed here can be performed using the no fee CVGIS software and no fee data resources, CVGIS Levels 1 and higher can save the GIS project and have additional geography available. With geographic extension, the process illustrated here can work for any place in the world. A GIS project is a file itself that contains references to map files (shapefiles) located on your computer. Once a GIS project has been created and saved, it can be immediately opened with CVGIS using the File>Open operation. After turning your computer off, and restarting it, the GIS project can be re-opened to display the same view as saved in an earlier session.

No Previous GIS/Mapping Experience Required
This section is designed for use by anyone including those with no previous GIS/mapping experience. Requirements are a Windows computer and Internet access. This section is a part of a module used in the Certificate in Data Analytics and the CVGIS Certification Programs. Developers can also benefit from this and related tutorials to learn more about how GIS can be integrated with other data analytics tools and methods.

Making Maps Steps
The objective of this session is to develop a map (and GIS project) to view characteristics of census tract “48113019301”. The first step in making a map (GIS project) is to have a clear objective. This 11 character geocode uniquely identifies this Census 2010 census tract among all other 73,057 tracts in the U.S. See more about census tract geography and geocodes. While this application shows a process for adding only two layers, it could be extended by adding more. Similarly, while this application uses a census tract boundary files (shapefile), alternatives are census blocks, block groups, ZIP code areas, among others.

These steps should take an inexperienced user 10-15 minutes to develop a new CVGIS project view. If anything becomes confused, close the program and start over.
Step 1. Install CVGIS (1/1/2017 or later version)
Step 2. Open Base Project
Step 3. Get Census Tract Shapefile
Step 4. Get Roads Shapefile
Step 5. Modify Map View
Step 6. Optionally Save GIS Project

The view should now be similar to the view at the top of this section.

Next Steps
Try the process yourself with geography of interest to you. View/use other “Creating Maps & GIS Projects” tutorials to learn about:
• integrating subject matter
• developing and using thematic maps
• creating site profiles

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.

Evolution of Census Tracts: 1970-2010

… examining statistical area geographic change … in the world of small area demographic-economic data analysis, census tracts are often a preferred level of geography. Subdivisions of counties (or county equivalent), census tracts cover the U.S. from wall-to-wall. Each county is comprised of one or more census tracts. Averaging 1,200 population, tract geography often corresponds to neighborhood areas. For Census 2010, there were 73,057 census tracts defined. Their reasonably static geography between each decennial census is an important feature for many applications. See related more detailed Web section

Annual census tract demographic-economic updates from the American Community Survey 5-year estimates (ACS0913), make census tracts even more appealing. But it has not always been that way. And, longitudinal comparison of demographic-economic change at the tract level can be challenging where tract geography and codes change with a new decennial census.

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the census tract. Extensive use of the census tract started with the 1970 census and has evolved since then. This section illustrates how census tracts evolved between 1970 and 2010 using GIS resources. A GIS project was developed that includes census tract shapefiles for each census 1970 through 2010.

Visualizing Demographic Patterns by Census Tract
The following graphic shows patterns of economic prosperity by Census 2010 census tract in the Dallas, Texas metro area (Dallas metro component counties & demographic change). Census tract geography and demographic patterns are reviewed for part of Collin County. The following view shows median household income (MHI), based on ACS 2013 5-year estimates, by census tract. See MHI intervals/colors in legend at left of map. Boundaries/patterns are shown for Census 2010 tracts “0316.??” (black boundaries) in context of 1970 census tract “031600”. Historical views of this area, illustrating how tract boundaries have changed over time, are shown later in this section.

– Click graphic for larger view showing Census 2010 tract codes.
– View developed with CV XE GIS.
Click to view tract area (red boundaries) in context of broader region

1970 Census Tracts
A very small part of the U.S. was covered by 1970 census tracts.
The following view shows 1970 census tracts with orange fill pattern.

  View developed with CV XE GIS.

1980 Census Tracts
A larger part of the U.S. was covered by 1980 census tracts. The following view shows 1980 census tracts with orange fill pattern.

  View developed with CV XE GIS.

A Brief History
Initial census tract data was with the 1910 census and included a handful of cities. Starting with the 1940 census, census tracts became an official statistical geography tabulation area. Starting with the 1970 census, and the first more extensive data in machine-readable form (magnetic tapes used with mainframe computers), census tracts became a more popular geography for the analysis of small area data. For both the 1970 and 1980 censuses, census tracts did not fully cover the U.S. For the 1990 census, census tracts and the quasi-equivalent “block numbering areas” (BNAs) covered the U.S. wall-to-wall. Starting with Census 2000, BNAs were retired and transformed into census tracts. Use of census tracts for demographic-economic analysis has continued gain in popularity. Now, census tract estimates are available annually from the American Community Survey 5-year estimates (ACS0913). Access ACS 5-year estimates via interactive tables.

1970 Census Tracts: Collin County; Dallas Metro
1970 census tract “031600” shown with bold black boundary.

  View developed with CV XE GIS.

1980 Census Tracts: Collin County; Dallas Metro
1980 census tracts 0316.?? (same general geography as covered by tract “031600” in 1970) shown with bold black boundary. This view shows tracts labeled with the 6-character census tract code, unique within county.

  View developed with CV XE GIS.

1990 Census Tracts: Collin County; Dallas Metro
1990 census tracts 0316.?? (same general geography as covered by tract “031600” in 1970) shown with bold black boundary. This view shows tracts labeled with the census tract “base” plus “suffix” code separated by a decimal point. In 1980, note that there is no 1130.01 or 1130.02 as shown above for the 1970 vintage tracts . The codes 1130.03 and 113003 are equivalent. The 6-character, no decimal version, is preferred in all cases when used as a geocode.


  View developed with CV XE GIS.

2000 Census Tracts: Collin County; Dallas Metro
2000 census tracts 0316.?? (same general geography as covered by tract “031600” in 1970) shown with bold black boundary.

  View developed with CV XE GIS.

2010 Census Tracts: Collin County; Dallas Metro
2010 census tracts 0316.?? (same general geography as covered by tract “031600” in 1970) shown with bold black boundary.

  View developed with CV XE GIS.

Equivalencing Census 2000 and Census 2010 Tract Geography
As shown above, the area covered by Census 2000 tracts 1130.15 and 1130.18 become Census 2010 tract 1146.00. Comparing the above map views for Census 2000 and Census 2010 shows (upper left tracts) shows Census 2000 tract 031644 is split into Census 2010 tracts 031656, 031657 and 031658. To compare demographic change for Census 2000 tract 031644 requires combining data tabulated for Census 2010 tracts 031656, 031657, 031658 and other partial Census 2010 tracts intersecting with Census 2000 tract 031644. See more about these relationships at Census 2010 Demographics for Census 2000 Geography. Use the interactive table in that section to view the relationship among these tracts. The graphic shown below illustrates use of that table. A query has been placed on Census 2000 tract 031644 (see button below table and query value 48085031644). The table nowe shows rows only for Census 2000 031644. See the corresponding Census 2010 tracts in columns to right.

The following graphic shows the relationship between these tracts.

To replicate this view in the interactive table, follow these steps:
• Click ShowAll button below table.
• Key in Census 2000 tract code 48085031644 to right of Find in GeoID00 button.
• Click Find in GeoID00 button.
• The view above appears in the table.

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.