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Things to See and Do On the Missouri Census Data Center Web Site JGB, May, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Things to See and Do On the Missouri Census Data Center Web Site JGB, May, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Things to See and Do On the Missouri Census Data Center Web Site JGB, May, 2008

2 What to Look For MCDC Highlights (home page news) Census Bureau Access to data from the Census Bureau and other public sources Specializing in Missouri data, but… Most of our more current data are available for the entire US Many dynamic web apps that let you select the exact data you want Large data archive accessible via web query tools (Uexplore/Dexter)

3 Be Sure Not to Miss… MABLE/Geocorr geographic utility MCDC Mapper dynamic map application(s) Population Estimates: page/web apps (including pop projections for Mo) American Community Survey (ACS) page ACS Profile reports The Questions/Comments buttons at the bottom of most pages.

4 What (Some) Users Tell Us About Site Its not that easy to use for first time or casual users. There is quite a bit of jargon & acronyms: SFs, ACS, PUMAs, MOEs, BEA, dp3_2k, sample vs complete count data, block groups, … The profile reports are very helpful and are well- documented. You can get data here you cannot get anywhere else, but you have to know where & how to look. The A to Z index needs work.

5 What (Some) Users Tell Us (2)…. I would rather eat glass than try to figure out what Uexplore/Dexter is all about. Disappointed to learn that so much of your data is so old (2000 census) You should do more maps and charts. You dont really expect anybody to read all those Readme & Usage Notes files, do you? Uexplore/Dexter is the coolest app on the web (except maybe for geocorr).

6 Common Misconceptions about the MCDC web site All you have is (decennial) census data. All you have is data for Missouri. You guys can tell me what all the data mean and can even do economic forecasts over the phone. You have current data for census tracts and ZIP codes The MCDC site is really just OSEDA with a different set of style sheets.

7 Quick Links Navigation Bar Displayed on the right side of most MCDC web pages


9 ACS Profile Reports (2006) Quick Links Currently (it changes over time) the first entry in the Quick Links navigation box. ACS=American Community Survey. The ACS is like a decennial census, only every year and with MOEs. MOE=Margin Of Error, a measure of the limitations of the data due to sampling error. Modeled after the Data Profiles available from the AFF (Census Bureau) web site.


11 You select up to 4 areas

12 And the profile report magically appears …

13 Features of the ACS Profile Reports 4 broad-subject sub-profiles (D/E/S/H) Multiple areas makes comparison easier. Note the Move cursor over a value for one second.. directive. Try it. ( Does not work if window does not have focus.) Note that we have Numbers and Percents. Compare this with Data Profiles from AFF. Try clicking on one of the table titles. Usage Notes Note link to a Usage Notes page.

14 Its a Feature, Not a Bug The values in the report are displayed in 3 different styles. Bold, normal and nearly invisible. Where would you go to find an explanation? Hint: Where would you never go unless you were absolutely desperate?

15 RTFUN Read the friendly Usage Notes.

16 Features of the ACS Profile - 2 Lots of links: to metadata, to data archive, to main menu page, to charts, etc. An entire row of links at the bottom of the page. You should try them all at least once. Note that one of the links will take you to the ubiquitous Dexter. Excel users can do a Select-all/Copy/Paste sequence to convert the report to an Excel spreadsheet.

17 SF3 Profiles: Our Best Seller

18 SF3 Profiles… Old-style drill-down menu system to select a single geographic area. Slight Missouri bias: more geog. levels available for MO; KS and IL also have more (census tracts and block groups). Data is based on the 2000 Census, something the Bureau calls Summary File 3. Code name is dp3_2k profile (data profile based on sf3, 2k census).

19 Sf3 Profiles: The Missouri menu page…


21 SF3 Profile Features, Notes Gets the most hits of any of our dynamic web apps. About 20,000 hits per month in Has many features similar to the acsprofile app. Like links to a Usage Notes page and a similar related links bar at bottom. SF3 tables column contains drill-down links. Try clicking on the P87 link in table 22. Poverty

22 Drill down on the P87 Table Links

23 If You Enjoyed SF3 Profiles…. We have others that are similar. We have trend profiles that display data for two points in time (censuses). We have data based on SF1, also a meaningless acronym. For details follow the Profile Products (2k) link in the Navy Blue Navigation Box.

24 Circular Area Profiles

25 What is CAPS? CAPS (circular area profiling system) is a dynamic web app where the user fills out a form identifying a point (typically based on an address or street intersection) and 1 or more radii of concentric circles. The program tries to approximate the circles based on the center point and radii by choosing all small geographic areas whose centroids fall within the circle. The census data for these small areas is aggregated and the results displayed in a report that has the same content as our sf3 (dp3_2k) profiles.

26 Notes re CAPS Not very accurate for small circles (<1 mile usually not good). Uses almost all 2k census data except for a recent pop estimate and a 5-year projection. Front-end page provides links to on-line geocoders that let you enter an address and get lat-long coordinates. We recommend that you use these geocoders and use copy/paste to enter the coordinate values into the boxes on the CAPS form.

27 CAPS web page

28 Sample CAPS report

29 Interested in gory detail?

30 Then Detailed SF3 Profiles Should be of Interest


32 From the 2 nd menu page choose the city and the profile


34 MCDC/OSEDA Missouri County Data Map

35 Click on Jackson county to get this…

36 Missouri County Data Map Is just a front-end for the applinks dynamic web application for Missouri counties. There are many applications you can invoke on the web where the URL can be readily derived from an areas FIPS code(s). Most of the links are to our stuff, but several important ones are not. If we could get the world (and the Census Bureau in particular) to create URL-able web applications we could link to much more.

37 Clicking on the acsprofiles link takes us to where we came in…

38 Suggested exercises for would-be data literate persons (especially Missourians) 1. Choose your favorite county off the Missouri county data map. 2. Follow every one of the application links, even the one to Stats Indiana. 3. Be sure to follow all the links to usage notes and other online help pages associated with the applications. (fat chance) 4. Even follow the 2 links at the bottom. 5. Tell your friends/colleagues; the link.

39 Applinks Master Menu You can get here from our Quick Links box. Its just below Mo County Data Map. Use the latter (MCDM) if you just want apps for Missouri counties. Use the Master Menu when you want a different kind of geography or a state other than Mo. Note that we have included the usage notes right there on the main menu page. (Saved you a click!)

40 Took us 3 clicks to get here:

41 Note That… We have a different list of applications for this non-Mo place. Applinks has logic built in to know which links should work. Note links at the top of page to parent geography (US >> Illinois), and at the bottom to a menu of sibling geography (other places in same state). Follow the link to Illinois. Note the menu bar at the top of the state page that takes you to menu pages for 4 kinds of sub-state geography.

42 Geography at the MCDC Is very important. It is one of the house specialties. For the most part, we are talking about census geography, i.e. geographic entities recognized by the Census Bureau and used in their data products. We start here with two Quick Links and later well see two more key links, including one to a sophisticated GIS-based site. (MCDC Mapper)

43 MABLE/Geocorr(2k) A user favorite since Geographic utility that generates lists of geographic codes/names and shows how different layers are related. Uses algebra instead of geometry. The (2k) refers to the current version that uses 2000 census blocks as the underlying basic unit. There is also a 1990 version. (Linked to)


45 Some Things Geocorr Can Do List every county in 12 states with their FIPS codes and tell you what metro area they are in, if any. List every ZIP code (ZCTA) in Missouri and tell you what portion of it is rural. Create an Excel file for the entire U.S. showing how counties relate to PUMAs. Generate a list of every CBSA (core-based statistical area) in all or selected states and show their 2006 estimated population.

46 To Learn More about MABLE/Geocorr It has its own ppt tutorial, linked to from the application page. MABLE is the underlying database used by the geocorr engine. The MAGGOT file (linked to just above the twin Geocode select lists) provides background info re all the geographic units. The help and examples pages are linked to from the application page as well.

47 A Cure for the Common Codes Nothing complicated. Just a handy place to go for all your geographic coding needs. A menu page with Usage Notes and links to the geocode pages for each state and for the U.S.


49 End Quick Links Portion For more things to see and do see the NB2 portion.

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