Exploring the U.S. Census

Exploring the U.S. Census

Your Guide to America’s Data

Frank Donnelly


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Exploring the U.S. Census gives social science students and researchers alike the tools to understand, extract, process, and analyze data from the decennial census, the American Community Survey, and other data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Donnelly′s text provides a thorough background on the data collection methods, structures, and potential pitfalls of the census for unfamiliar researchers, collecting information previously available only in widely disparate sources into one handy guide. Hands-on, applied exercises at the end of the chapters help readers dive into the data.

Along the way, the author shows how best to analyze census data with open-source software and tools. Readers can freely evaluate the data on their own computers, in keeping with the free and open data provided by the Census Bureau. By placing the census in the context of the open data movement, this text makes the history and practice of the census relevant so readers can understand what a crucial resource the census is for research and knowledge.


Frank Donnelly:

Frank Donnelly is a geospatial information professional whose practice blends the service-based and organizational skills of an academic librarian with the subject knowledge and analytical methods of a researcher. He has served as the Geospatial Data Librarian at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) in midtown Manhattan since 2007, where he helps members of his university navigate geospatial and census data sources. He holds the rank of Associate Professor in the library and manages a GIS lab where he and his graduate students: provide research consultations, teach workshops, process and create data, and maintain a repository of GIS data. Frank was an early proponent of free and open source GIS software in academia and has introduced hundreds of people to GIS through his workshops and tutorial manual. He has written several academic articles, technical papers, and reports that utilize census data to study socio-economic and demographic trends and provide information to researchers and policy makers. Prior to becoming a librarian he worked as a planner and data analyst in the government and non-profit sectors. He holds Masters Degrees in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington, and Geography from the University of Toronto. You can follow him at his blog At These Coordinates: https://atcoordinates.info/.