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Symposium Year: 2012
Student(s): Christyna McCormick, Andrew Hathaway, Richard Vance, and Tom Ebeling
Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Matthew E. Ramspott
In order to more fully understand the social and economic characteristics of a place, geographical information can be used creatively to isolate, illustrate, and analyze factors of particular interest. For a term project in GEOG 275: Fundamentals of Geographic Data Handling, students were asked to engage in the mapping and analysis of socioeconomic patterns by making use of tract-level data obtained from the 2000 US Census. Geospatial datasets were constructed by selecting and extracting specific information from the raw Census data tables (available via the web) and then merging these data with cartographic boundary files delineating the census tracts for the chosen county. Upon completion of this process, thematic choropleth maps were created to display the geographical distributions, enumerated by census tract, of specific socioeconomic factors. Among the specific factors included in the study were income, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, age, public assistance utilization, and others. Spatial patterns and bivariate correlations were identified and interpreted against the backdrop of other information about the county, such as land use/land cover, transportation corridors, economic activity, and urban/suburban/rural setting. This poster will showcase results of this research for selected counties located in California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
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