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Visual analysis with ProximityOne tools
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visually analyze clients/markets
site analysis using 1 mile radius


$median household income
patterns by census tract - Houston

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113th Congressional Districts

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US Asian Indian population 2010

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geocoded students and school
McKinney ISD, TX

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geocoded students and school
with tax parcels & streets

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high school attendance zones
with schools by type

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%high school graduates by
census tract - Puerto Rico

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Austin, TX MSA counties &
places 10K+ population markers

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Appalachia counties (green) &
coalfield counties (orange)

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China provinces percent urban &
cities (markers) by state plan

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Honolulu census tracts (red)
& census blocks

Central Park area NYC

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Kansas City Metro & Counties
Home Depot locations (markers)

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World Cities; focus on Spain

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Data Analytics Blog
Power of Combining Maps with Data

Support & Technical Assistance
help using these resources

Mapping Block Group Data
-- examining neighborhoods, market areas and sales territories
-- visual/geospatial analysis of Census 2010 & American Community Survey Data

Demographic-economic patterns and characteristics can often be "masked" when using larger geographic areas such as counties and metros. Using data for small area geography such as census tracts and block groups can help identify clusters and areas of interest. Now, demographic-economic data for block groups (217,000 areas averaging 1,200 population covering the U.S. wall-to-wall) are tabulated annually from the American Community Survey (ACS). There are hundreds of subject matter items updated annually. Without specialized tools, it is very difficult to navigate through the maze of small area data that are available and make effective use of these data for analysis and decision-making.

Use the combination of API tools and GIS tools described in this section to visually and geospatially analyze demographic-economic characteristics of block groups. Covering the U.S. wall-to-wall and averaging 1,200 population, block groups are the smallest geographic tabulation area for data from the American Community Survey (ACS 5-year estimates). Block group (BG) data are also available from Census 2010 Summary File 1 (SF1) for the same block group area geography.

Patterns of Median Household Income by Block Group; San Francisco, CA
Create map views similar to the one shown here for your areas of interest.

... Click graphic for larger view. View developed using CV XE GIS.
The $MHI (median household income) value intervals and color patterns are shown in the legend panel at the left of the map. It is easy to see patterns of economic prosperity for the 509 block groups comprising San Francisco.

Get Help Using these Resources
The flexibility and breadth of data selection options afforded by access to thousands of subject matter items from multiple statistical programs requires several steps to use the data in GIS applications. Steps are summarized below. Join us in a Data Analytics Lab session for additional assistance. We can go through/discuss any aspect of steps summarized here. There is no fee for the Data Analytics sessions.

Install Tools
There are two software tools involved to create maps such as the one above for any county in the U.S. These operations use two tools described here. You can perform these operations and use the resulting maps and data in any manner.
  • Demographic-Economic Data Extraction (DEDE) API tool.
  • CV XE GIS software.
See the corresponding Web sections above to install the Windows-based software. There is no fee to use these tools to perform operations described here. There are no block group datasets to download. The steps to use these tools are summarized below.

Step 1 -- Install DEDE & CVXE GIS
With Windows computer with Internet connection ...
  • Run DEDE Installer (requires User Group ID) - take all defaults
  • Run CV XE GIS installer - take all defaults
  • Unzip Mapping BGs GIS project to c:\dede
  • Done. All tools/resources ready.

Step 2 -- Extract Data Using API Tools
Use the Demographic-Economic Data Extraction (DEDE) API tool to extract the data from the Web server and place on your computer. The following view illustrates extracting the data for BGs in San Francisco [County], CA.

... Click graphic for larger view.
The grid to the right of the operations control panel on the left shows a row for each of 509 block groups in San Francisco. In the grid, see Census 2010 block group 060750101001 (code blue highlighted in top left cell) with total population (item B01001_001E from ACS 2012 5 year estimates) of 670 (top block group row, column 2). Each column corresponds to a subject matter item. See subject matter and GEOID codes in lists at left of grid. These lists were populated by reading the geocodes file and items file shown above the grid. Export data in the grid using File>SaveAs operation.

Benefits from using DEDE include the ability to setup custom data extraction (geographic code lists and subject matter code lists) that can be re-used and completely controlled by the user. Downloaded data may be saved as XLS, CSV, or dBase (.dbf) files that can be converted to other formats. Use the data with your preferred statistical analysis software. The dBase structure lends itself to easy merger of multi-sourced subject matter data for the same geography (e.g., Census 2010 and ACS 2011/2012/2013). The dBase structure also enables easy integration of subject matter data into corresponding shapefiles.

Follow instructions on the DEDE main page to extract data for your preferred statistical program, geography and subject matter items.

Step 3 -- Download the State by Block Group Shapefile
Use the following URL to download the state by block group shapefile. Substitute your state FIPS code (06 used here for CA) in URL (view state codes/names) and extract this zip file to c:\dede
For example, if using Missouri, this would be the URL (51 is replaced with 29):
Expand the zip file to folder c:\dede.

Step 4 -- Merge Extracted Data (from Step 2) into Shapefile (from Step 3)
Start CV XE GIS (use desktop icon) -- make sure that you have entered your UserGroup ID in the Settings
Use File>Database>dBMerge to start merge operation.

... Click graphic for larger view.

Steps for the merge operations are:
  • Open Source File 1 (the dbf from Step 3)
  • Open Source File 2 (the dbf from Step 2)
  • Select all items in Source File 1; Click Move Selected
  • Select all items (except GEOID) in Source File 2; Click Move Selected
  • Set the Key 1 value -- GEOID
  • Set the Key 2 value -- substr(geoid,1,12)
  • Click Merge button (upper right in form)
  • Wait for merge to complete and allow overwrite
  • The shapefile now includes the extracted subject matter data. Close the dBMerge form if open.

Step 5 -- Add Your Shapefile to the GIS Project; Set Intervals
Start CV XE GIS (use desktop icon)
Use File>Add Layer>Dialog and add your shapefile (from Step 4)
Navigate to your application area zoom tool/pan-drag tool
Dbl-click your new layer to start the layer editor.
  • Modify layer name.
  • Set intervals similar to the way that intervals are set for the MHI by BG layer.
  • Use File>SaveProjectAs and save the project with name c:\dede\mappingbg2.gis.

Development steps are now complete.

Viewing Profile for Selected Block Group
With CV XE GIS running and mappingbg1.gis open, zoom in and select identify tool.
Click on block group as shown in next graphic to view mini-profile for that area.

... Click graphic for larger view.

Adding Roads; Viewing Profile for Selected Road Segment
Optionally add a streets/road layer to the view
Use the following URL to download the state by block group shapefile. Substitute your state-county FIPS code (06075 used here for San Francisco, CA) in URL (view state-county codes/names) and extract this zip file to c:\dede
For example, if using Boone County, Missouri, this would be the URL (51510 is replaced with 29019):
Expand the zip file to folder c:\dede.

... Click graphic for larger view.

Extracted Data Spreadsheet Operations
With CV XE GIS running and mappingbg1.gis open, use File>Database>dBrowse to start dBrowse.
Click Open button and open the file c:\dede\$$newfile.dbf
Spreadsheet grid shows block group records as shown in graphic below.
  • All columns & data items extracted
  • Click CopyTo button to export to CSV/text file

... Click graphic for larger view.

Extracted Data Spreadsheet Operations
  • Illustrating use of column/field location manager
  • Geocode and two selected fields displayed

> ... Click graphic for larger view.

ProximityOne User Group
Join the ProximityOne User Group to keep up-to-date with new developments relating to metros and component geography decision-making information resources. Receive updates and access to tools and resources available only to members. Use this form to join the User Group.

Support Using these Resources
Learn more about accessing and using demographic-economic data and related analytical tools. Join us in a Data Analytics Lab session. There is no fee for these one-hour Web sessions. Each informal session is focused on a specific topic. The open structure also provides for Q&A and discussion of application issues of interest to participants.

Additional Information
ProximityOne develops geodemographic-economic data and analytical tools and helps organizations knit together and use diverse data in a decision-making and analytical framework. We develop custom demographic/economic estimates and projections, develop geographic and geocoded address files, and assist with impact and geospatial analyses. Wide-ranging organizations use our tools (software, data, methodologies) to analyze their own data integrated with other data. Follow ProximityOne on Twitter at Contact us (888-364-7656) with questions about data covered in this section or to discuss custom estimates, projections or analyses for your areas of interest.

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