Figuring Out Census 2010 Tracts by City Using MapWindow

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If you need to figure out what 2010 Census Tracts are in your city, start with this blog post: Then download this step-by-step guide …

If you need to figure out what 2010 Census Tracts are in your city, start with this blog post: Then download this step-by-step guide with screen shots if you decide that using MapWindow is the best way to go.

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  • 1. How to Figure Out Which Census Tracts Are in a City Using MapWindow<br />Double click on the MapWindow icon on your desktop to get started. Add the shapefiles that you downloaded from the Census Bureau to MapWindow by clicking on the Green Plus button. <br />Order the data so that the places are on top of the tracts by clicking on the places layer in the Legend and dragging it on top of the tracts layer. <br />Right click on the Places Layer & click View Attribute Editor.<br />Sort the Places Name ascending by right clicking on the column heading of Name10.<br />Click on the blank box on the left most column next to the city that you want to get data for to highlight that row. Then click Selection at the top of the screen & then click Export Selected Features. <br />Click ok. Then Click Yes to Load the New Shapefile.<br />You now have a shapefile of just the City that you want to figure out tracts for (see the green shape below). <br />Zoom to your city<br />I tried to move forward, but I kept getting errors. So I looked at the shapefile that I created, & there was an error in the .dbf file (it has a red x on it). Hopefully this won’t happen to you, but if it does, now you have 2 options. You can edit the DBF using OpenOffice and get the MapWindow insertion utilities to work. I don’t want to mess with editing the DBF; because it’s now 11:00 pm at night, and my example project is super small. But it would be the option that you’d need to take if you have a large city—like New York or LA. <br />Let’s say you get the DBF working. There are several GIS Tools in MapWindow that you can use to calculate which Census tracts are in your City. I’d probably use Identity of Shapes with Polygon first. <br />But if you’re like me and don’t want to or have to get the DBF working, try this. Right click on the City layer and click on Properties.<br />Scroll down & change the transparency percent to 50. Close Properties.<br />Right click on the Tract layer and click on Label Set up.<br />Click on TractCE10 and save. Tada! You now have Census Tracts for your City.<br />