Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ESRI Creates Zip Code Profiles from Census Data

Profiling America with GIS Data

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is a vital resource that provides comprehensive GIS support to the entire campus community.  The GRMC offers access to the leading GIS software and assistance from the GIS Specialist. Faculty and students have free access to the full suite of GIS software from the leading publisher, ESRI.  And now ESRI has created an online profile of Americans using zip codes to publish the Tapestry Segmentation Project.

ESRI combined U.S. Census demographic data with marketing data from different zip codes to analyze the percentages of population that can be categorized into different profile groups.  Tapestry classifies the population in 14 “LifeMode” categories from affluent to family-related to ethnic enclaves to a mode labelled “Scholars and Patriots.”  Then each residential neighborhood is divided into 67 distinct segments based on socioeconomic and demographic composition.

The Tapestry segment names offer a glimpse into the percentage of people who live in the neighborhood.  The segments include “Laptops and Lattes,” “Trendsetters,” “Soccer Moms,” “Urban Chic,” “Barrios Urbanos,” “Hardscrabble Road,” and “Diners and Miners.”

The Muncie, Indiana zip code 47304 resulted in 30% of the population described as “Midlife Constants.”  This group typically was married couples with no kids living in single family housing.  This group is described as “homebodies…happy to work on our houses and gardens, do scrapbooking, read, go fishing, play golf, and watch movies at home.”  The group is described as “outgoing seniors who belong to fraternal orders, veterans’ clubs, and charitable organization; attend church; volunteer; contribute to political…organizations.”  This zip code is also represented by 18% in the “In Style” segment and 14% as “College Towns.”

The well-known Beverly Hills zip code of 90210 resulted in a description of the population as 73% labelled “Top Tier.”  “Top Tier” neighborhoods include self-made entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Most are married couples with “lavish homes” who “can indulge…in personal services…and shop at high-end retailers.”  This zip code also includes 20% as “Trendsetters” and 8% as “Retirement Communities.”

The ESRI ArcGIS is available on computers in the GRMC, computers in the Educational Technology and Resources Collection in the lower level of Bracken Library, computers on the first, third, and fourth floor of Bracken Library, the Science-Health Science Library, and the Architecture Library.  Users can type “ESRI” in the Software Locator search box to see a map of computer availability.

For more information about using GIS software, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

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