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Mini-Workshop: Overview of Access Tools for Tabular U.S. Census Products

December 7, 2011 | [Slides]

These are selected access tools and data products that users may find useful. The full set of tools and resources can be found by searching in the Data Services Resources search box in the right navigation area of our website.

The main advantage of this version is the annotation and the fact that these resources are divided into categories: Access Tools; Data Products; Geographic Crosswalks; GIS; and Geographic Reference

Access Tools
These tools provide an interface to the user, which allows one to choose a set of tables for specific geographies and output the result as a database. In a later step, the user often has to manipulate the raw tables to produce percentages, means, medians, etc.

Data Products
The distinction between access tools and data products is fairly arbitrary. Data products are defined as a resource where the original tabular data have been pre-processed by the provider and come closer to a product that the user can input directly into a program. This means that the choice of geographies may be constrained to a single geography (e.g., census tracts). Likewise, the choice of variables may be limited.

Geographic Crosswalks
Geographic Crosswalks show the correspondence among various geographies. There are two types of crosswalks: time held constant and historical. In the former, the crosswalk shows the relationship across geographies, such as all the zip codes within a city or all the counties within a metro area. In the latter, the crosswalk indicates how a census tract definition has changed over time.

The GIS links are for users interested in mapping geographically referenced data. This category includes links to the software, shapefiles, and selected other tools.

Geographic Reference
The Geographic Reference category includes definitions, including metro, rural-urban continuum codes, reference maps, and census tract street locator. This is a bit of a catch all category, so take a look at it, and see if that missing reference has been shunted into this category.