UNIT 8 - SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA

UNIT 8 - SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA

Compiled with assistance from Hugh Calkins, State University of New York at Buffalo


For Information that Supplements the Contents of this Unit:

Information in Social Context (Chrisman/U of Washington)
Resources for Geographers -- WWW sites for geographers; sources of geographic information; social science information gateway.
B.C. Statistics -- Quick facts; infoline; subject areas including: population, labour/social, business/economic; 1996 Census info.
Statistics Canada -- Canadian statistics on: the land, the people, the economy, the state; internet services at Statistics Canada; other statistical web servers.
U.S. Census Bureau -- Official statistics; access tools; subject search.
Government of B.C. Homepage -- Links with hospitals, ministries, crown corporations, municipalities, etc.; subtree of federal and international government links.
International Data Base (IDB) -- Summary Demographic Data (US Census Bureau).
International Dataset Guides (CIESIN) -- World resources; US national, social and environmental databank; EuroMab ACCESS; world tables; global population database; etc.
World data sets (CIA)
Socio-economic Data and Application Centre (SEDAC) (CIESIN)
Graphics Illustrating Socio-economic Data -- Business related analysis; employment; housing; population density (DDViewer -- CIESIN)
Organizing Attribute Data (Foote and Huebner/Geographer's Craft) -- Flat files and spreadsheets, hierarchical files, relational files.
TIGER -- Coast to coast digital map database (US Census Bureau)
US Demography Homepage (CIESIN) -- Information gateway; applications development (e.g. integrated population, land use and emissions data; visualization and analysis of integrated assessment models of climate change); SEDAC data products and discussion lists; etc.


  • A. INTRODUCTION
  • B. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA FOR GIS
  • C. SOURCES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA
  • D. US CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING
  • E. TIGER
  • F. LAND RECORDS
  • REFERENCES
  • EXAM AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • NOTES

    It may be useful to illustrate this unit with several different examples of the data products described, including examples of census products such as summary reports, maps and even digital tapes.

    UNIT 8 - SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA

    Compiled with assistance from Hugh Calkins, State University of New York at Buffalo

    A. INTRODUCTION

    Socio-economic data

    Aggregate and disaggregate data

    Cross-sectional and longitudinal data

    B. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA FOR GIS

    Sources of socio-economic data

    "Geography"

    Issues in using secondary socio-economic data

    C. SOURCES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA

    Population census

    Economic census

    Agricultural census

    Labor force statistics

    Land records

    Transportation and infrastructure inventories

    Administrative records

    D. US CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING

    Process of taking the census

    Content

    Processing of returns

    Geographic referencing

    Census reporting zones

    Availability of Census data

    E. TIGER

    Development

    Content

    Marketing TIGER files

    Non-census uses for TIGER

    F. LAND RECORDS

    Issues in land records modernization

    REFERENCES

    The Bureau of the Census, US Department of Commerce produces numerous documents on the Census and its products, including TIGER. Factfinder for the Nation describes data available from the Census Bureau. Census '90 Basics describe the content, geographic areas and products of the census. Similar material is available from appropriate organizations in other countries, e.g. Statistics Canada.

    Marx, R. W., ed, 1990. "The Census Bureau's TIGER System," a special issue of Cartography and Geographic Information Systems Vol 17(1). Contains several articles providing details on the contents and database structure of TIGER.

    Kaplan, C.P. and T.L. van Valey, 1980. CENSUS '80: Continuing the Factfinder Tradition, US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. A good review of Census applications.

    Richards, D. and P.M. Jones, 1984. "General sources of information," in R.L. Davies and D.S. Rogers, eds., Store Location and Store Assessment Research, John Wiley and Sons, New York, Chapter 4. This chapter reviews sources of socio-economic data in both the US and the UK.

    Marx, R.W., 1986. "The TIGER System: Automating the Geographic Structure of the United States Census," Government Publications Review 13:181-201. Discusses the development of the TIGER system

    Openshaw, S., 1977. "A geographical solution to scale and aggregation problems in region-building, partitioning and spatial modelling," Institute of British Geographers, Transactions 2(NS):459-72.

    Openshaw, S., and P.J. Taylor, 1981. "The modifiable areal unit problem," in N. Wrigley and R.J. Bennett, editors, Quantitative Geography: A British View, Routledge, London.

    EXAM AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1. Confidentiality is a major issue in the US Census, and the need to preserve privacy conflicts directly with the need for disaggregated data for numerous purposes. What are the factors to be considered in trying to reconcile these conflicting needs? Is the balance affected by use of GIS?

    2. Devise a scheme for creating and maintaining a constantly updated digital file of all streets and associated address ranges etc., i.e. a perpetually current TIGER. What would be the costs of the scheme, and what advantages would it have over the current situation?

    3. "The concept of a decennial census was devised almost two hundred years ago and has become increasingly inappropriate to the modern age". Discuss.

    4. A spreadsheet (such as Lotus 1-2-3) allows the user to perform a variety of functions on tabular data. Discuss the possibility of a "geographical spreadsheet" - what would it do, and what applications would it have it?


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