Understanding and obtaining Census data for geospatial mapping and analysis projects

Powerful maps and analysis of demographic and socioeconomic data can be performed using GIS software, but wrapping one’s mind around the types of data available, its limitations, and how and where to get it can take some time. In 2016 an introduction to the U.S. Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data available was provided on the former Geospatial Mapping blog to familiarize students and faculty with these data. Since that time, the Census Bureau has transitioned from providing data on its former American Factfinder website to its data.census.gov website, and has produced an informative webinar series, past recordings of which are available online.

The following five recorded webinars provide a comprehensive introduction to the Census, the ACS and using data.census.gov for faculty and students. For assistance accessing and mapping this data, contact GIS Academic Computing Consultant, Neil Curri.

  • A Brief History of The Census 1790-2020 (9/15/2020)
    Census history is American history and our data tells the story of our nation. This presentation looks at the history of the Census Bureau and traces its development over 230 years. It also discusses the fascinating people and technologies that changed the way we collect and process information.
  • Introduction to the American Community Survey (9/11/2019)
    Discover the detailed social, economic, and housing statistics that the American Community Survey (ACS) provides for every community every year. You will learn about basics of the yearly estimates and datasets produced from the ACS, resources available on our website, and how to access ACS data products through a variety of tools.
  • Understanding Statistical Geographies (2/16/2021)
    Over the decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has developed a variety of statistical geographies that include census tracts, block groups, blocks, and census designated places. This webinar will explore these statistical geographies in detail by reviewing their origin, how they have changed over time, and how they can be used to analyze the soon-to-be released 2020 Census data.
  • data.census.gov: Navigating a New Site for Census Bureau Data (9/5/2019)
    Discover how to use data.census.gov, the new site to access Census Bureau data. In this webinar, you will learn how to access tables, maps, and profiles using multiple search methods. We will also share tips and tricks and demonstrate how to download data, customize your table view, and share your results.
  • data.census.gov Today: A Comprehensive Overview (9/9/2020)
    Whether you have been using data.census.gov, or are a newcomer to the site, this webinar has something for everyone! Join us on September 9th to learn how to search for and download data, use the map feature, and customize table views on data.census.gov. Our presenter will take participants on a walk-through of the data tool, share helpful learning resources, and address the most commonly asked questions. We will also show the latest feedback and how your comments drive our development of the site.