Nearly 80% of the informational needs of local government policymakers are related to geographic location. As a result, the techniques of analytic mapping (the study of the dynamic diffusion and distribution of any variable across area and over time) and of geographic information systems (GIS) have become increasingly important tools for analyzing census, crime, environmental and consumer data. The authors of this significant little volume discuss data access, transformation and preparation issues, and how to select the appropriate analytic graphics techniques through a review of various GIS and common data sources: census products, TIGER files, and CD-ROM access. Garson and Biggs describe each procedure, review its assumptions and requirements, and provide illustrative output for sample data using selected software. Researchers and administrators who need to manage data of geographic locations will find Analytic Mapping and Geographic Databases a useful guide for systems storing, retrieving, analyzing, and displaying this information.

Introduction

Analytic mapping using geographic databases is a field that has taken giant steps forward in the last decade. The last decade has been marked by (a) the “microcomputer revolution” and the availability of sophisticated geographic information systems (GIS) packages at the desktop level, affordable by most social scientists; (b) improved collection and dissemination of geographic data, including the U.S. Census Bureau's issuing the first digitized map of the entire United States; and (c) continued progress ...

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