Tag Archives: american community survey

Data and code for my columns

I would like to share the original data and code I use in all of the, well, software and code column.  I’m using Figshare to host all of this, and will try to keep it organized by column. Here is the data and original code for the first column, with the column found here and the  second column found here.  Thanks!


Introduction to Software and Code Forum

The purpose of this forum is to highlight the tools of the trade, our methodological toolbox, if you will.  With so many scientists in so many disciplines contributing to the area known as “Spatial Demography”, we all have our old stand by routines, our tricks and our tips for new researchers.  This is how I see this column evolving.

I will try to routinely post how-to guides to various techniques of spatial analysis and spatial statistics using the tools I know.  This should include primarily open source computing applications, with lots of annotated code, but occasionally commercial or proprietary software will be highlighted as well.  The first column for my area, for example, shows how to use the free R software package to read ACS data downloaded from American Factfinder, join it to a shapefile and conduct exploratory spatial data analysis using some standard methods.  Future columns will continue to use R for various other programming and analysis examples and expand into other languages and platforms as time goes by.

While I’ve managed to come into contact with lots of different platforms and software over the past decade, I welcome those among us who make a habit of writing code, developing software, or even like to tinker with every program under the sun that will open a shapefile to contribute to this area.  I welcome brief discussion for the forum, but would also welcome longer pieces of 1,000-3,000 words for publication in the regular column for this area.

I am very excited to be involved in this journal dedicated to our particular area of expertise and interest and personally look forward to growing our shared knowledge base over the next few years.



Handling Data Quality Information of Survey Data in GIS: A Case of Using the American Community Survey Data

By: David W. Wong and Min Sun

Abstract: Many survey datasets have relatively high levels of error. The American Community Survey (ACS) data disseminated by the U.S. Census Bureau offer critical socio-demographic data of the U.S. and include a margin of error to indicate the reliability of an estimate for each census unit. Such feature-based reliability data should be incorporated when using ACS data in GIS such that users are informed of the data quality. This paper provides a brief review of the ACS data. Challenges to the use of ACS data quality information in GIS are discussed. The paper briefly reviews a set of mapping tools packaged as an ArcGIS extension to tackle some challenges in incorporating the data quality information in ACS data. These mapping functions can also be used to handle other survey spatial datasets with reliability information. The extension provides a foundation to build additional GIS tools to handle and analyze survey data.

Full Text (PDF)