Monthly archives: November, 2014

Atlantic Profiles NSF Data Visualization Project

Our data visualization work was profiled by the Atlantic Monthly’s CityLab.

A new approach to error in public surveys

Alex Singleton and I just had a paper accepted into the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.  The paper develops a novel strategy for dealing with the high margins of error in the census tract level estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS).  For example, the ACS tells you really useful things like, “the number of children under 5 in poverty in Census Tract 203 in Autauga County, Alabama is 139 children +/- 178”.  Implying that number of poor children in the tract is somewhere between 0 and 317.  This isn’t a unique case, in the 2007-2011 ACS release 72% of all census tracts in the US have margins of error greater than the estimate of children under 5 in poverty.  In most places, the best you can learn from the ACS is that somewhere between 0 and X kids live in poverty.