Things to See and Do

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					Things to See and Do

On the Missouri Census Data
Center Web Site

                        JGB, May, 2008
             What to Look For
 MCDC Highlights (home page news)
 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)
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.
What (Some) Users Tell Us About Site
   It’s not that easy to use for first time or casual
   There is quite a bit of jargon & acronyms: SF’s,
    ACS, PUMAs, MOEs, BEA, dp3_2k, sample vs
    complete count data, block groups, …
   The profile reports are very helpful and are well-
   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.
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 don’t really expect anybody to read all
  those Readme & Usage Notes files, do
 Uexplore/Dexter is the coolest app on the
  web (except maybe for geocorr).
      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.
Quick Links
Navigation Bar

Displayed on the right side of most
MCDC web pages
ACS Profile Reports (2006)
   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.
You select up to 4 areas
And the profile report magically appears…
    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.
 Note link to a Usage Notes page.
It’s 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

    Hint: Where would you never go unless you
    were absolutely desperate?
   Read the friendly Usage Notes.
     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
 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
SF3 Profiles: Our “Best Seller”
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).
Sf3 Profiles: The Missouri menu page…
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
“Drill down” on the P87 Table Links
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.
Circular Area Profiles
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”)
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.
CAPS web page
Sample CAPS report
Interested in gory detail?
Then Detailed SF3 Profiles
      Should be of Interest
From the 2nd menu page choose the city and the profile
MCDC/OSEDA Missouri County Data Map
Click on Jackson county to get this…
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 area’s 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.
Clicking on the acsprofiles link takes us to where we came in…
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; e-mail the
Applinks Master Menu
 You can get here from our Quick Links
  box. It’s 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
 Note that we have included the usage
  notes right there on the main menu page.
    (Saved you a click!)
Took us 3 clicks to get here:
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.
Geography at the MCDC
   Is very important. It is one of the house

   For the most part, we are talking about census
    geography, i.e. geographic entities recognized
    by the Census Bureau and used in their data

   We start here with two Quick Links and later
    we’ll see two more key links, including one to a
    sophisticated GIS-based site. (MCDC Mapper)
 A user favorite since 1996.
 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)
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.
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.
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.
End Quick Links

For more things to see and do
see the NB2 portion.

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