Here is a brief introduction to using this map system. For more information about each tool, click on "help" in the upper right margin. Two hints will help you get started:
1. Use the "feature" menus on the upper right to select variables to map. The menus will show only the variables that are available for the year you have chosen. You can "choose a variable" directly, or you can first "choose a category" to see what is available.
2. The available variables also depend on your zoom level. If you begin with a whole state, most likely you can see only county variables (with the CNTY prefix). If you zoom in enough (using the [+] magnify tool), tract variables will also appear on the menu (with the TRCT prefix). If you zoom in even further, at a certain point you'll see that you can check the "local street" option, and a street map (based on streets as they existed in 2000) will appear on the map. "Select additional boundaries" allows you to turn these details on or hide them.
Toggle between Legend and Layer List ():
Click on the Toggle between Legend and Layer tool to alternatively display the Legend or Layer List on the left side of the map viewer window.
Toggle Overview Map():
Click on the Toggle Overview Map tool to choose whether or not to display the overview map in the upper left hand corner of the Map Window. Clicking on this icon would remove the overview map from your browser click it again. The overview map gives a bird's eye view of where you are in relation to the state or region displayed in the Map Window.
Click the Zoom In tool and then click on a spot on the map to zoom in to that selected spot. You can also zoom in to a selected area by clicking and dragging the cursor to create a selection box over the area of interest. The displayed layers will update if any have been selected or deselected in the Layers list. Note that some layers may appear or disappear depending upon the current scale.
Click the Zoom Out tool and then click on the map to zoom out. The displayed layers will update if any have been selected or deselected in the Layers list. Note that some layers may appear or disappear depending upon the current scale.
Zoom to Full Extent():
Click the Full Extent tool to zoom to the full extent of the main map.
Zoom to Active Layer():
This tool will zoom to the extent of the active layer.
Back to Last Extent():
Click the Back to Last Extent tool to return to the previously viewed map extent. Note, however, that if changes have been made to the layer selections, the previous layer selections will not be preserved. The last layer selection and the current map scale will determine what layers are displayed. You can zoom back to previously viewed map extents as many as five times.
Click the Pan tool to browse around the map without using the zoom in and zoom out tools- moving the viewable area of the map (left, right, up, down). Click on the Pan icon on the tool bar and move your mouse to the desired area of the map, hold and wait for the new map to load.
The Clear Selection option clears all selections/deselections of layers that have been made by the user. The Viewer remembers the most recent selection/deselection made on each layer. This option causes the Viewer to clear its history of such actions and display the default preselected layers.
By clicking on the Print tool you can print the map as it appears in the Map Window along with a specific title. When you click on this tool a window appears at the bottom of the Map Window. Use the scroll bars on the right to allow you to allow you to fully view this window. You can give your map a title by typing it into the field labeled, "Type the title here". Then click on 'Create Print page' to open a new browser window similar to a print preview one showing the map, Overview Map, and Legend. You can then use the File/Print menu item to send the page to your printer. To copy and paste data into a spreadsheet, highlight everything in the table, right click your mouse and select copy. Open up Excel, and paste the data into a spreadsheet. Once you've completed this, you can review the various characteristics of these tracts in the spreadsheet. You could save this spreadsheet or import it into another program for further analysis.
Click the Identify tool and then click on the map to display information for available features at the point selected. The information will be displayed in a separate popup window. At the top of the window is a table that contains map coordinates for the point selected. Below the table is a list of layers that you can query. Click on the "Layer" link to perform a query against a layer. Query results will display in the bottom part of the screen.
When you click on the Query tool you open a Query box just below the map at the bottom of your Map Window screen. The query tool can help you find or identify tracts that meet specific criteria within the category you have selected.
Here you see three white boxes labeled Field , Operator and Value .
The best way to explain this tool is to use an example. Let's say we want to know the number and location of census tracts that have a total population over 800 . Looking at the Query box at the bottom of your Map Window screen, find the first box labeled Variable. Click on it and select the variable we are looking for from the drop down menu which, in this case, is Total Population abbreviated as TOT_POP in the variable menu (or as TO_POP when it appears in the Add to Query String box).
If you need help understanding the abbreviations click on the Abbreviations button on the right side of the Map Window under the HELP button and scroll down the list which is organized by category, abbreviation - both in the variable menu and as it appears on the Query String box- and definition.
Moving to the next box, labeled Operator , the math expression or function needed for your query, and select the greater than symbol (>) from the drop down menu. Then using our example, enter 800 in the next box labeled Value .
If we were unsure of an appropriate value for our question, we could just click on the Get Sample box and choose from the drop down menu revealing the typical range of data values for the Variable we choose, giving us a sense of what is a high or low or average value.
To find our results, click on Add to Query String and then Execute .
The result of our query pops up in a table in a new window. The areas matching your query are highlighted on the map in bright yellow.
Your question or inquiry can involve more than one Variable or Value . For example, if we wanted to look at the number and location of census tracts that have a total population over 800 "and" less than 2000.
You would repeat the step above - selecting Total Population abbreviated as TOT_POP as our Variable , selecting the greater than symbol (>) from the drop down menu under Operator and entering 800 in the next box labeled Value .
We now click on Add to Query String AND then click on the appropriate function on the right of your screen such as and, or, not etc. In this case it would be "and".
Now we keep the same data in the Variable and Total Population fields and move to the Operator box to enter the less than sign (<) and to the Value box to enter 2000.
Since this finishes our query we can click on the Execute box for our final result. Once you click on Execute a table pops up listing the data that meets our inquiry - in this case total population over 800 "and" less than 2000.
Do not click Execute until all information is entered and you are ready for your final result.
Reading the Table.
To read the Query table or any table in the application, start from left to right, the first column is labeled Rec (or record) which refers to the number of each census tract that matches your query.
Clicking on the blue numbers (underlined to indicate a link) in Rec column identifies the geography corresponding to that tract(s) meeting your criteria. These are highlighted in bright yellow on the map.
The table has several columns with abbreviated headings such as County, Total Population (TOTAL_POP), area in square miles (AREASQMI), % black, % Hispanic, % Asian, % Native American (NATIVEAM), and % Minority etc.
If you need help understanding these abbreviations, click on the Abbreviations button on the right side of the Map Window under the HELP button.
REMEMBER you must close the Map Window to map another variable.
You can download the data in two ways: 1) by performing a query or 2) by "identifying" the data and copy/pasting the results (revealed in a pop up window) in an excel spreadsheet.
Click the Find tool and type in a search in the white box at the bottom of the window. Results from the Find tool appears in the lower panel of the HTML Viewer.
- Click the Find button.
- Type any part of a word you want to find.
- Click the layer or layers you would like to search.
- Click Find to execute the search.
- Click one or many results in the right panel to select them.
- Click Pan To to pan the view to the selected feature.
- Click Zoom To to zoom the view to the selected feature.
- Click Close when you are done finding features.
Click the Measure tool and then on your starting point on the map. A green dot will appear where you click. Then click on the next point where another green dot will appear. Both the total length and the segment length will be shown in a results box at the top of the map display. Continue to click on points to create as many segments as needed. Note that only the last five green dots will show on the map, but the total length displayed is for all segments. Use the Clear tool to close the Measure tool.
The Set Units option is used to select the type of units displayed for distances and elevations. When you press the button a list box will appear with the Map Units, this value cannot be changed. Another list box will appear with a choice of display units. Select the desired display units and press Set Units. The map will be redrawn with the scale bar showing the selected unit of measurement. All measurements made with the Measure Distance Tool will also be shown in the now selected units.
Click the Buffer tool to create a buffer around the selected features or select new features touching the buffer of a selected layer. Features must first be selected using one of the selection tools. To create a buffer, press the buffer tool. In the Text Frame, a list box will appear with a list of all layers to select from. Choose the layer you want the buffer to select features from. An input box appears after the list box for entering the distance of the buffer. Enter the distance of the desired buffer. A check box also appears to Display Attributes. Check this box if you want the attributes of the selected layer to display. Once you have selected a layer and entered a distance, press the Create Buffer button.
Select by Rectange():
Click the Select by Rectangle tool to select a particular area/region for census tract, town or county of interest and reveal only the data associated with it. This tool uses a red rectangle to mark your selection - all areas within the rectangle and all the areas it touches are selected. Click this tool and draw a rectangle around the region or geography you are interested in. Give this application some time to load, and then your selected area appears highlighted in yellow. Also a pop up window appears, showing the data for geographic units in this area . After you have used this tool to identify information, you must use the Clear Selection tool to get rid of or erase the geography selected in this process.
Select by Line/Polygon():
Click the Select by Line/Polygon tool to select a particular area/region for census tract, town, or county of interest and reveal only the data associated with it. This tool lets to draw a line and select all areas that intersect that line, or you can draw a polygon (multi-sided shape) and select all areas it touches. Give this application some time to load, and then your selected area appears highlighted in yellow. Also a pop up window appears, showing the data for geographic units in this area . After you have used this tool to identify information, you must use the Clear Selection tool to get rid of or erase the geography selected in this process.