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Using GIS Tools & GeoDemographics
  .. 2022 online course
  .. by Warren Glimpse, founder of ProximityOne
    - developer of GBF/DIME & prototype for Census Bureau digital map database

Updated 05.08.22. Geographic Information System (GIS) resources enable mapping, geographic/subject matter data development, geographic integration of subject matter and wide-ranging geospatial analytics. GIS resources offer access to geographic, business, demographic and economic data, providing unique abilities to create and apply insights. Users of GIS resources can deliver faster, more communicative and more comprehensive presentations than otherwise possible.

This section provides an overview of the "Using GIS Tools & GeoDemographics 2022" course. Participants get real world and full experience using software and data. This page serves as a home page for those registered for the course. Registrants may click Section links to proceed with a particular section (userid and password required). More detail is provided in each section. The sections are designed to be taken in order. Each section includes assignments. All assignments must be completed to receive the Certificate in GIS.

Who Should Attend & How You Benefit
The program can benefit learners at any level. There is list of prerequisites to participate and benefit. Experience with Windows-based computers, applications such as Excel, Web-based data tools, demographic-economic analysis and concepts, geographic data resources and software all help to make the sessions most productive. While you might not ever use GIS, geography and subject matter covered, administrators, leaders, policy-makers need understand the potentials and limitations of these resources. You do not need to be a technician to benefit. Conversely, the course is a skills/knowledge development and learning experience. Developers will benefit from learning more about geography and subject matter alternatives and how to tie these data more/most effectively. Most topics covered in this program are relevant to any software that can use shapefiles.

What You Get
One year Access to these resources:
  • Instruction on how to use and benefit from GIS resources
  • Real-time participation with peer registrants
      and GIS/geographic/subject matter experts
  • Situation & Outlook GIS Project and related project files (frequently updated)
  • DEDE Demographic-Economic Data Explorer Windows-based,desktop software
  • CV XE GIS Windows-based, desktop software
  • VDA Web GIS
  • Your completed GIS project(s)
      for use in your business, personal use and/or academic program.
  • Certificate in GIS with GeoDemographics

Registration & Schedule
This course is self-paced. Register here. Registrants meet on Thursdays at 3:00 pm in the weekly Web sessions for Q&A, discussion, problem-solving.

A student guide is provided online. A certificate is provided to those completing the course (submitting completed assignments). The program is designed to complete four segments, each equivalencing one hour online time, in 4-to-6 weeks. In general, three hours offline time is required for each one hour online. Some parts have a specialty focus and may be omitted.

The course fee for an individual is $1,995. This fee might be covered by your participating organization. Inquire about group fee/discount.

Much of the content uses Census Bureau-sourced shapefiles and data from Census 2020 (continuing new data releases through 2023) and American Community Survey (ACS) 2020 (new data March 2022). The course has an annual orientation; the course content morphs into a 2023 (2024) version in the fall 2022 (2023). Most of the Census 2020 data will become available in 2023. As will some 2020 related geography including the 2020 Public Use Microdata Area shapefiles and 2020 Urban Area shapefiles. Updates to the Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs/Metros) will be reflected in 2023. Annual updates to the Census Bureau TIGER (geographic data only, next update fall 2022; including potentially some 118th Congress Congressional District shapefiles) are integrated as available. The American Community Survey (next update fall 2022) are included in annual course updates. Course updates also reflect annual updates to the Census Bureau-sourced model based city/county population estimates and components of change and housing units are updated annually. Quarterly updates to the Bureau of Labor Statistics quarterly census of Employment and Wages are progressively included (next update June 2022). Similarly annual school/school district updates to the National Center for Education Statistics enrollment/administratively reported data are progressively included (next CCD update spring 2023). There are several other Federal geographic and statistical data that are progressively added and included each year.

Subscription. The fee for recurring participants (subscription, annual updates) is 50-percent of the base fee. The new year generally starts in the fall of each year. Participants build their own GIS project integrating their own data into the basic project being used. These projects might be updated using more recent geographic and subject matter data.

These links are for registrants and require a userid. The scope of each section is further described below.
  • Section 1 -- About GIS; GIS Tools and Data Setup/Installation
  • Section 2 -- Geography, Geometry & Shapefiles
  • Section 3 Track 1 -- Subject Matter: Statistical/Administrative Data
  • Section 3 Track 2 -- Subject Matter & Building Congressional Communities
  • Section 4 -- Integrating Subject Matter with Shapefiles
                        Interpreting & Presenting Data

Section 1 -- About GIS & GIS Tools and Data Setup/Installation

Learning Objectives
  • What is GIS and how you benefit
  • Ability to start, operate and understand GIS tools/software with GIS project
  • Ability to modify and save GIS Project
  • Ability to create reference and thematic pattern maps

UseUse of these Course Materials
1.1.Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
1.1.1.   Concepts, Terms     About GIS     CV XE GIS     VDA Web GIS
1.2.An Application: How & Why County Demographics are Changing
1.3.Setting GIS Application Objectives: Mapping & GeoSpatial Analysis
1.4.Installing CV XE GIS & Overview
1.4.1.   Run the CV XE GIS Installer
1.4.2.   Navigating the CV XE GIS Software     Opening & Closing a GIS Project
..     ... more .. details in course material
1.5.Reviewing the Start-Up GIS Project
1.5.1.   GIS Project Structure     Saving and Naming GIS Projects     Using the Layer Editor
1.5.2.Shapefiles: Point, Line, Area; Structure
1.5.3.Data Files (other than shapefiles): Structure and Content   Excel, dBase, delimited, other
1.6. Making a Custom Map
1.7. VDA Web GIS
1.7.1.   Overview
1.7.2.   Starting VDA Web GIS
1.7.3.   Situation & Outlook GIS Project
1.7.4.   Getting Started Tips
1.7.5.   User Interface
1.7.6.   GeoSelect & Site Analysis
1.7.7.   Address Lookups & Geocodes
1.7.8.   Table/Query Operations

Section 2 -- Geography, Geometry & Shapefiles .. goto top

Learning Objectives
  • Understand geographic summary levels, geocodes
  • Understand shapefile structure and use
  • Ability to access and use pre-existing shapefiles
  • Ability to address code address data and create related shapefile

2.1.Geography, Geometry & Shapefiles
2.1.1.   Digital Map Database; Role of Shapefiles
2.2.Geographic Summary Levels
2.2.1.   About Geographic Summary Levels; Role & Use     100 Census Blocks     150 Block Groups     140 Census Tracts     050 Counties     300 CBSAs/Metros     060 Census County Division; Towns (NE) Minor Civil Divisions     160 Cities/Places     250 Native American areas     500 Congressional Districts     510 Congressional Communities     795 Public Use Microdata Areas     9xx School Districts     400 Urban Areas     860 ZIP Code Areas
..     .. more
2.2.2.   Small Geography/Data: Blocks, Block Groups; Tracts vs ZIP Codes
2.3.Shapefile Vintages
2.4.1.   State-County
..     .. more
2.5.Geographic Equivalence Files
2.5.1.   Block Group to ZIP Code
2.5.2.   ZIP Code to County/Metro
..     .. more
2.6.Census Bureau TIGER System
2.6.1.   Accessing Pre-existing Shapefiles     Census FTP     CV XE GIS GeoGateway
2.7.TIGER Edge/Road Shapefiles & Related Data
2.7.1.   Edge Shapefiles & Road Segments
2.8.Geocoding & Geocoded Data
2.8.1.   VDA Web GIS Geocoding
2.8.2.   Census GeoCoder
2.9.Adding Shapefiles to GIS Projects
2.10.Making a Custom GIS Project & Maps
2.10.1.Using the OpenStreetMaps Topographic Base Layer

Section 3 -- Subject Matter: Statistical & Administrative Data .. goto top

Learning Objectives
  • Understand types and attributes of statistical data.
  • Understand array of relevant pre-existing GIS demographic-economic data.
  • Ability to access wide-ranging existing statistical data.
  • Ability to transform your existing statistical/administrative data for GIS use.
  • Choose 3.6 Track 1 or Track 2
3.1.Statistical versus Administrative Data
3.2.Statistical Data
3.2.1.   Census vs Survey vs Model-based Data
3.2.2.   Time series & Cross sectional Data
3.2.3.   Model-based Estimates & Projections
3.3.Federal Statistical System
3.4.Locating Subject Matter of Interest; Broadly
3.5.Using Your Own Data
3.6. Track 1 -- Data from Selected Statistical Programs
3.6.Data from Selected Statistical Programs
3.6.1.   Census Bureau     Using the Census Bureau API     Using the Census Bureau FTP -- programs & surveys     Decennial Census
..       Census 2000
..       Census 2010
..       .. Summary File 1 - census blocks
..       Census 2020     Current Population Survey     American Community Survey
..       Scope, schedule, importance
..       ACS 5-year versus ACS 1-year estimates     Model-based Estimates
..       Scope, schedule importance     County/ZIP Code Business Patterns     Building Permits; Residential Construction; Housing Markets
..     Other
3.6.2.   Bureau of Economic Analysis     Regional Economic Information System
3.6.3.   Bureau of Labor Statistics     Local Area Employment Situation
3.6.4.   K-12 Schools & Education Related Data
..       NCES School Level Data (National Center for Educational Statistics)
..       NCES School District Special Tabulation
..       School District Sources & Uses of Funds
3.6.5.   Healthcare & Health Related Data
3.6.6.   SEC, FDIC & Individual Company Related Data
3.6.7.   ProximityOne Situation & Outlook
3.6.8.   ProximityOne Data Services     à la carte
..       Hispanic Population by Specific Origin by ZIP Code
..       .. more
3.6.7.   Demographic-Economic Data Explorer DEDE     Creating custom datasets     Creating custom Situation & Outlook Reports
3.6. Track 2 -- Building Congressional Communities GeoDemographics
3.6.1.   Congressional District Boundaries
3.6.2.   Concept of Congressional Community
3.6.3.   Orientation to Congressional Community GIS Project
3.6.4.   Using the Site Analysis Tool
3.6.5.   Making Congressional Community geography using block groups
3.6.6.   Making Congressional Community geography using census blocks
3.6.7.   Packaging CD Block & Block Group sets
3.7.Creating Thematic Pattern Views & Analysis
3.8.Statistical Measures & Reliability
3.9.Making/Updating a Custom GIS Project & Thematic Maps
3.10.   Packaging & Sharing a GIS Project

Section 4 -- Integrating Subject Matter with Shapefiles; Interpreting & Presenting Data .. goto top

Learning Objectives
  • Ability to create your own GIS project from scratch.
  • Ability to integrate subject matter data (from 3) with shapefile (from 2) and add to GIS Project.
  • Ability to modify and save GIS Project.
  • Ability to plan and use geospatial analysis results in stories, meetings and reports.
  • Ability to develop improved stories with visuals/graphics.

4.1.Converting Source Data to Integratable Structures
4.1.1.   Importance of Data Linkage; Geocodes revisited
4.1.2.   Restructuring original data; adding & revising fields
4.2.Integrating Subject Matter Data into Shapefiles
4.2.1.   Merging restructured data into shapefiles; using dbMerge
4.3.Making a Custom GIS Project & Interpretation
4.3.1.   Using the Base GIS Project
  Selected Analytical Topics
4.4.Population & Components of Change
4.4.1.   Migration
4.4.2.   Migration & pandemic impact
4.4.3.   Migration & climate change impact
  Developing Your Application/Project
4.5.Application Development (select one or your own)
4.5.1.   Community Characteristics & Trends (selected community or a few)
4.5.2.   Health & Healthcare
4.5.3.   K-12 Schools & School Districts (U.S. or a school district)
4.5.4.   Diversity: U.S. by County
4.5.5.   World by Country Demographic Trends
4.5.6.   Census Tracts & Low and Moderate Income; HMDA CRA
4.5.7.   Comparative Analysis of Metropolitan Areas
4.5.8.   Banks, Financial Institutions & Demographic Patterns
4.5.9.   Congressional Districts, Voting & Demographics
  Presentation, Collaboration & Insights
4.6. Making Compelling Stories
4.7. Dynamic Presentations
4.8. Making/Updating a Custom GIS Project & Thematic Maps

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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