Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Barbara Parmenter, Ph.D.

1. Assignment 4 - Working with Census Data (10 points)

Introduction to GIS for Urban and Environmental Analysis

Barbara Parmenter, PhD, Tufts University, 2007

Format : Text or PDF document.

Go through the two Census Mapping tutorials on the GIS for Urban and Environmental Analysis (Working with MassGIS Census Data and Working with Census Data for any part of the US).

Also see the tip sheet for Working with Excel Files in ArcGIS

Based on what you learn in these tutorials, produce a set of maps showing census data for six different variables of your choice, but including at least two SF3 variables, at one of the following scales:

  • By block groups or tracts for a county or city

  • By county for a state or the entire US

Your maps should be comparable so that the viewer can easily compare data across maps. This means that all 6 maps should be at the same scale, and should use the same color spectrum. They should also have the same reference context (e.g., major roads and water bodies for a city or state, but in subdued colors like gray and pale blue so that they provide context without distracting attention from the census data).

Your maps must also have titles and clear comprehensible legends, with classifications that make sense to a viewer. You should have a citation referring to where you obtained the data. There should not be an excess of white space.

The goal is to have maps that are clear to the reader, leaving him/her without confusion about what the map is showing, but with curiosity and additional questions raised by the data.

Additional map tips will be provided in class - you will be expected to apply these in your maps.

Note: you can show different maps for the same variable if you like (to show how the use of different methods change the idea a map sends), but you still need to map at least 6 variables total.

Also, you can make judgments about whether to include more than one map on a page. This will depend on the page size you choose and the size of the area you are mapping. Just make sure the map and legends are readable (large enough font size).