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Data Services Knowledge Base:
Data Management: Geography Questions

  1. I have census tract data from the 5 boroughs of New York City. The data do not include counties. Will this be a problem?
  2. I am using Social Explorer to get zip code data. I only need zip codes from the state of New Jersey. The only option through Social Explorer is requesting ZCTAs for 3-digit zip codes. How can I get 5-digit zip codes?
  3. I would like to merge voting district shapefiles for counties into a state file. I could do this manually in ArcGIS, but it seems like it would take a long time. Is there a solution?
  4. Is it possible to define metro areas by zip codes? We have a dataset with zip codes and would like to tie the respondent to the appropriate metropolitan area.
  5. I want to create an annual file with census-type characteristics of counties in California. What is the best source for this? This needs to be current, but I want it updated every year.
  6. When will new zip code data be made available?
  7. I am trying to determine census tract changes between 1980 and 1990. Can you point me to something?
  8. If I have a list of 1,000 latitude and longitude points can I get a report out of ArcGIS with the census tract associated with this point?
  9. Do you know if there is any advantage for a county to be a member of a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in terms of either government funding, business opportunities or any other economic/financial advantage?
  10. What are the sizes of the geographic units for the 2007 ACS and how are they determined?
  11. How do you create county level data using microdata files?
  12. What are the sizes of the geographic units for the 2006 ACS and how are they determined?
  13. How do I create a map using ArcGIS?
  14. How can I make a map without having special software?
  15. I use NHGIS to get summary data from the census - not just historical data, but even the 2000 Census. However, when I try to get data for zip codes, I can only get data for one zip code at a time. Is there a solution for this?
  16. I am using a restricted data file that has zip codes for the geocode ID. I need to add some race-specific characteristics to the zip codes. However, zip codes are not iterated by race the way other geographies are (e.g., states, counties, census tracts). Is there a way around this?
  17. I am using data from selected zip codes in California for 1980 to 2000. How can I tell if the boundaries for these zip codes have remained the same?
  18. What are the geographic areas available for the 2007 ACS?
  19. I have a student looking to measure the geographic dispersion of families (at least in the U.S., and other places if possible), specifically: 1) how many families with children at home have grandparents who are out of state and 2) how many divorced parents with children at home are not co-located in the same state (e.g., child lives with one parent and the other is out of state or child spends time with each parent in separate states)." There seem to be lots of measures of an individual household's mobility (from the U.S. Census and CPS per se), and the U.S. Census even has a measure of grandparents living in the same household with children. Do you know of any nationally representative data that will fit the bill?
  20. Can I identify the lower 9th ward in New Orleans by zip code or census tracts?
  21. Where can I look at a map of census tracts for Manhattan? I am interested in the area above 110th street.
  22. What’s the difference between a PMSA and an MSA?
  23. I need an indicator of rurality for zip codes. Are you aware of something I could use?
  24. Is there data for Washtenaw county in the ACS yet? How many counties in Michigan are available?
  25. I have looked at census data on commuting patterns, but there is no information on the characteristics of the commuters. How can I get data on commuters? I am interested in the townships surrounding Philadelphia. I also need maps that show townships for Pennsylvania. I'd like the maps to include major roads.
  26. I am looking for census data by gender on age, marital status, education, employment status, income, and race for congressional districts for each Congress from the 103rd to the 110th.
  27. I am using the IPUMS data and for 1970 the only file available is the 1970 metro, form 2. Is this a 1% file?
  28. I am looking for some software that can take an address on a single line with perhaps an error in the street name and return a corrected address with a zip code. For instance: 1501 Washtenaw Ann Arbor, MI would be corrected to: 1501 Washtenaw Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3179
  29. I need to know what the boundaries of metropolitan areas were at the time of the 2000 census. How are metropolitan areas defined? As an example, I need to know Albuquerque, New Mexico, Atlantic-Cape May, New Jersey, and Chicago, Illinois.
  30. I am working with a zip code file from the Census Bureau. Some of the zip codes have XX or HH in the code, e.g., 298HH. How can I get rid of these zip codes? What does the HH/XX code(s) represent anyway?
  31. I want to create a kml file using zip code data and boundaries. Can you point me in the right direction?
  32. I am considering using Geolytics Neighborhood Change Database for some longitudinal analyses that I am doing with death certificate data geocoded at the county level. However, I am a little unclear if the NCDB has info for nonmetro counties. The documentation is a bit confusing on this point. Could you advise?
  33. What level of geography do natality detail files go down to?
  34. The 1970 natality detail file does not have FIPS codes to identify states and counties. It has NCHS codes. Is there a crosswalk between the two?
  35. I need national data from Summary File 3 from the 2000 Census. I need data at the county, census tract, and block level – summary levels 40, 140, and 150). This looks like a lot of files to download for just these summary levels. Is there a better solution?
  36. I can not find the 2000 version of the 1990 “School District Data book." I know that there is a 2000 version, since the National Center for Education Statistics has it on their website: [http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/sdds/index.aspx](http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/sdds/index.aspx) The NCES interface is extraordinarily cumbersome to use.
  37. I am having trouble measuring density for zip codes. I have pulled off land area and population size from the national SF1 file, but the results I'm getting are way too small.
  38. What were the MSAs the Census Bureau used in the 1990 census? There is some ambiguity as to what the definitions of MSAs were for publications and tables that came out of the 1990 census.
  39. Do you know where I can find a list of the variables that are available in the summary files for the 2000 census down to the block level? I should know the answer to this by now.
  40. Do you know where I can get a zipcode-to-county crosswalk online database? I have it for the state of Michigan but now I'd like one for the entire U.S. if possible. There are certain sites that have all states, but I would not want to download the files one state at a time.
  41. I am unsure how to merge geographic data to a file that I have. I noticed that the census tract numbers do not stand alone in the data file that I downloaded from the census and that the GEO variable is saved as a text variable so I am unable to merge my data sets using that variable. Would you be willing to show me how to link these two data sets if all I have is the census tract number?
  42. I need to know if there is a good source to look up 2000 PUMA geography via maps or lists. I need to get an idea of how different metros and counties line up with PUMAs.