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Geographic Shape to Shape Relationships
  -- tools to build and use geographic relationship files

Which census blocks or block groups intersect with one or a set of school attendance zones (SAZ)? How to determine which counties are touched by a metropolitan area? Which are contained within a metropolitan area? Which pipelines having selected attributes pass through water in a designated geographic extent? This section reviews use of the ProximityOne Shp2Shp tool and methods to develop a geographic relationship file by relating any two separate otherwise unrelated shapefiles. Try it yourself ... see details below.

  • Relating 115th Congressional Districts and Census Blocks; see below
  • Relating School Attendance Zones & Census Blocks; see below

As an example, use Shp2Shp to view/determine block groups intersecting with custom defined study/market/service area(s) ... the only practical method of obtaining these codes for demographic-economic analysis.

- the custom defined polygon was created using the CV XE GIS AddShapes tool.

Many geodemographic analyses require knowing how geographic objects (points, lines, polygons) geospatially relate to others. Examples include congressional/legislative redistricting (see census block/congressional district example below), sales/service territory management and school district attendance zones.

The CV XE GIS Shape-to-Shape (Shp2Shp) relational analysis feature provides many geospatial processing operations useful to meet these needs. Shp2Shp determines geographic/spatial relationships of shapes in two shapefiles and provides information to the user about these relationships. Shp2Shp uses the DE-9IM topological model and provides an extended array of geographic and subject matter for the spatially related geometries. Sh2Shp helps users extend visual analysis of geographically based subject matter. Examples:
  • county(s) that touch (are adjacent to) a specified county.
  • block groups(s) that touch (are adjacent to) a specified block group.
  • census blocks corresponding to a specified school attendance zone.
  • attributes of block groups crossed by a delivery route.

Block Groups that Touch a Selected Block Group
The following graphic illustrates the results of using the Shp2Shp tool to determine which block groups touch block group 48-85-030530-2 -- a block group located within McKinney, TX. Shp2Shp determines which block groups touch this block group, then selects/depicts (crosshatch pattern) these block groups in the corresponding GIS map view.

Geographic Reference File
In the process, Shp2Shp creates a geographic relationship file as illustrated below. There are six block groups touching the specified block group. As shown in the above view, one of these block groups touches only at one point. The table below (derived from the XLS file output by Shp2Shp) shows six rows corresponding to the six touching block groups. The table contains two columns; column one corresponds to the field GEOID from Layer 1 (the output field as specified in edit box 1.2 in above graphic) and column 2 corresponds to the field GEOID from Layer 2 (the output field as specified in edit box 2.2 in above graphic). The Layer 1 column has a constant value because a query was set (geoid='480850305302') as shown in edit box 1.3. in the above graphic. Any field in the layer dataset could have been chosen. The GEOID may be used more often for subsequent steps using the GRF and further described below. It is coincidental that both layers/shapefiles have the field named "GEOID".

Layer 1Layer 2

Note that in the above example, only the geocodes are output for each geography/shape meeting the type of geospatial relationship. Any field within either shapefile may be selected for output (e.g., name, demographic-economic field value, etc.)

How it Works -- Shp2Shp Operations
The following graphic shows the settings used to develop the map view shown above.

Review of basic steps to use Shp2Shp
  • Shp2Shp operates on the GIS project in use.
  • If a Web Tiles layer (e.g. "Base Layer" or "Open Streets Map" is in use, remove that layer
    .. do not save/resave the project

With CVXE running, start Shp2Shp from the main menu File>Tools>Shp2Shp. The above form appears.
  • Select the first layer using the 1.1. dropdown. This shows all available layers in the GIS project.
  • Select the field from layer 1 to be used in the GRF using the 1.2. dropdown.
  • Optionally set a filter/query to be applied to Layer 1 in the 1.3. edit box.

  • Select the second layer using the 2.1. dropdown. This shows all available layers in the GIS project.
  • Select the field from layer 2 to be used in the GRF using the 2.2. dropdown.
  • Optionally set a filter/query to be applied to Layer 2 in the 2.3. edit box.

  • Select the type of geographic relationship.

  • In the simplest situation, click the Find Matches button.
    .. processing starts.
    .. when complete the results grid is displayed (see example in above graphic

  • After grid displays, optionally click Export button to save the grid to the designated XLS file.

  • Repeat the process as desired.

Geographic Relationships Supported
The Select Relationships dropdown shown in the above graphic is used to determine what type of spatial relationship is to be used. Options include:
  • Equality
  • Disjoint
  • Intersect
  • Touch
  • Overlap
  • Cross
  • Within
  • Contains
See more about the DE-9IM topological model used by Shp2Shp.

Try it Yourself
  • Use any version of CV XE GIS (March 14, 2017 or more recent-- see date in Help>About)
    .. not yet installed? Register for no fee installer (Windows).
  • Use the unmodified default start-up project c:\cvxe\1\cvgis.gis.
  • Start CV XE GIS.
  • Delete the layer named "Base Layer". Do not save or resave the project
  • Using Main Menu (top toolbar), select File>Tools>Shp2Shp. The start-up view of the form shown below appears.

Shp2Shp Operations
The following graphic shows the settings used to develop the map views shown below.
  • Select the first layer using the 1.1. dropdown as "CBSAs TX".
  • Select the field from layer 1 to be used in the GRF using the 1.2. dropdown.
    .. Use "GEOID".
  • Optionally set a filter/query to be applied to Layer 1 in the 1.3. edit box.
    .. key in the value "geoid='19100'" (no quotation marks, but leave apostrophe marks;
    .. this says to use only CBSA 19100 -- Dallas.

  • Select the second layer using the 2.1. dropdown. This shows all available layers in the GIS project.
  • Select the field from layer 2 to be used in the GRF using the 2.2. dropdown as "Counties 1".
  • Optionally set a filter/query to be applied to Layer 2 in the 2.3. edit box.
    .. do not set one at this time.

  • Select the type of geographic relationship.

Using Touch Operation
Select the type of geographic operation as Touch. Click Find Matches button. The map view now shows as:

Using Contains Operation
Click RevertAll button. Select the type of geographic operation as Contains. Click Find Matches button. The map view now shows as:

School Attendance Zones & Census Blocks -- using the resulting data
The graphic shown below illustrates census blocks intersecting with Joyner Elementary School attendance zone located in Guilford County Schools, NC (see district profile). The attendance zone is shown with bold blue boundary. Joyner ES SAZ intersecting blocks are shown with black boundaries and labeled with Census 2010 total population (item P0010001 as described in table below graphic). Joyner ES is shown with red marker in lower right.

The census blocks - school attendance zones were geospatially related using Shp2Shp. Geographic relationship files were developed separately for each type of zone (ES, MS, HS). The school attendance zone geocodes were then integrated into the census block shapefile for each block in the district. Click the graphic below for a larger view. Expand browser to full window for best quality view.

The larger view shows a mini-profile for the census block where Joyner ES is located. The mini profile shows attributes of this block included the relevant SAZ 1 (ES), SAZ 2 (MS) and SAZ3 (HS) codes. The mini profile also shows selected Census 2010 demographics obtained using the DEDE software.

A next step would be to analyze characteristics of the attendance zone based on Census 2010 demographics. The selected demographic item field names/descriptions are shown below the graphic.

- view developed using CV XE GIS and related GIS project; click graphic for larger view

Click links below to show/hide additional illustrative views

  • Patterns of Hispanic Population by Attendance Zone

  • Patterns of Hispanic Population by Attendance Zone -with Population Ages 5-17

  • Patterns of Hispanic Population by Attendance Zone in Context of City

Description of items shown in mini profile - scroll section
P0010001 - Total Population
P0030002 - White alone
P0030003 - Black or African American alone
P0030004 - American Indian and Alaska Native alone
P0030005 - Asian alone
P0030006 - Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone
P0030007 - Some Other Race alone
P0030008 - Two or More Races
P0040003 - Hispanic (of any race)
H0030001 - Housing units
H0030002 - Occupied
H0030003 - Vacant
P0140001 - Total population
P0140002 - Male
P0140003 - Male-Under 1 year
P0140004 - Male-1 year
P0140005 - Male-2 years
P0140006 - Male-3 years
P0140007 - Male-4 years
P0140008 - Male-5 years
P0140009 - Male-6 years
P0140010 - Male-7 years
P0140011 - Male-8 years
P0140012 - Male-9 years
P0140013 - Male-10 years
P0140014 - Male-11 years
P0140015 - Male-12 years
P0140016 - Male-13 years
P0140017 - Male-14 years
P0140018 - Male-15 years
P0140019 - Male-16 years
P0140020 - Male-17 years
P0140021 - Male-18 years
P0140022 - Male-19 years
P0140023 - Female
P0140024 - Female-Under 1 year
P0140025 - Female-1 year
P0140026 - Female-2 years
P0140027 - Female-3 years
P0140028 - Female-4 years
P0140029 - Female-5 years
P0140030 - Female-6 years
P0140031 - Female-7 years
P0140032 - Female-8 years
P0140033 - Female-9 years
P0140034 - Female-10 years
P0140035 - Female-11 years
P0140036 - Female-12 years
P0140037 - Female-13 years
P0140038 - Female-14 years
P0140039 - Female-15 years
P0140040 - Female-16 years
P0140041 - Female-17 years
P0140042 - Female-18 years
P0140043 - Female-19 years

Relating Congressional Districts to Census Block Geography/Data [goto top]
Shp2Shp provides unique capabilities to determine/show/analyze data/geography visually and in tabular form -- determining census blocks comprising political geography such as cities, state legislative districts and congressional districts. The following example illustrates this process using North Carolina 115th Congressional Districts and Census 2010 census blocks using TIGER 2016 shapefiles. This process can be applied to any state/sub-state area.

The following graphic shows North Carolina Congressional District 13 (CD 3713) with red boundary and cross-hatch pattern. The CD intersects with five counties. The cross-hatch pattern is actually cross-hatching of census blocks contained within CD 3713. The cross-hatching was applied automatically (census block shapes selected) through use of the Shp2Shp tool. The map view shows census blocks determined to be within CD 3713 based on geospatially-determined geography. The blue cross-hatched area is Greensboro, NC. This illustrates how unrelated geography can be used for visual reference purposes. It could have been a state legislative district, census tract grouping or any other geographic area. See Shp2Shp operations section in next view.
- view created using the CV XE GIS.

The Shp2Shp operations form used to develop the above graphic is shown below. The controls reflect usage of "Find Matches - Contains" operations using the North Carolina CD 115 shapefile and North Carolina census blocks shapefile. A query is applied to the CD 115 shapefile to process only CD 3713. Without the query all North Carolina CDs would be processed.

GEOIDs for the CDs and blocks selected/geospatially matched are shown for grid display. In addition, the census block Census 2010 total population (P0010001) is selected for display in column 3 of the grid. The grid footer shows the total number of blocks within the CD (20,432) and the sum of the block population (733,499). The process could be repeated selecting any Census 2010 block level subject matter item. A query can also be applied to the census blocks shapefile (2.3. edit box), not used in this application. Optionally check the checkbox "Visible Extent Only" to restrict match processing to a visually determined subset of the CD (not used here). The matches data shown in the grid can be optionally exported to an Excel, CSV or dBase structured file -- a congressional district Block Equivalency File.

Note that 115th Congressional District Block Equivalency Files are available by state as datasets. Contact us for more information; mention "CD BEF availability" in the text section. Shp2Shp provides the ability to develop the CD BEF datasets. But in addition, Shp2Shp provides the ability:
  • to apply a query on the CD shapefile (include only one of a selected set of CDs)
  • to apply a query on the Blocks shapefile (include only blocks that meet certain geographic/demographic criteria
  • create a BEF with integrated subject matter data at the block level and summarized for the CD
    .. repeat this process to examine additional/alternative demographics
  • to view the data in a map optionally in context with other geography (e.g., cities/state legislative districts)
    .. as separate layers
  • to zoom-in to a neighborhood or study area of interest to view details

Support Using these Resources [goto top]
Learn more about demographic economic data and related analytical tools. Join us in a Data Analytics Lab session. There is no fee for these 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.

ProximityOne User Group [goto top]
Join the ProximityOne User Group to keep up-to-date with new developments relating to geographic-demographic-economic decision-making information resources. Receive updates and access to tools and resources available only to members. Use this form to join the User Group.

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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