New easier to use 2010 Census data now available

One of the ongoing challenges of using census data with depiction in the past was that you first had to import the census tract shape file and then export it and rename the geoid to EID and then reimport it. Then you had to find the census data by tract and change the GEOID to EID and then import it to merge with the shapes.  This was a fairly complicated and at times messy process.  In looking at the current CENSUS.GOV website, I discovered a file that has the census tract shapes along with lots of data for each census tract.

The url for the website is https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tiger-data.html

You will need to click on the + next to Demographic Profile 1 — Shapefile Format to see the dropdown choices.

Then if you choose the census tracts option that is highlighted to the left, it will download a zip file (Tract_2010Census_DP1.zip) that contains census tract shapes along with census data for the entire USA.  This is a large file 400mb.

You need to extract the file and when you get done you should have the following files in your chosen directory.

When you import this file into Depiction you want to choose the .shp file, the one that is 591mb!  Remember to chose the crop to boundary option.

If you don’t choose the crop to boundary box then you will be loading all 590mb of data and Depiction will crash.

For an experiment I loaded the file for the entire state of Washington which had about 1600+ census tracts and data. It took 1 minute and 8 seconds to load and display. However once it was loaded it was kind of sluggish and if you had other data as well, would be unpleasant to work with.  However, if you were working at a county or even several counties it should be OK.

This is what it looked like.

So the good news is that you can easily import this file for anywhere in the USA and get the census tract shapes as well as population data.  The bad news is that rather than have descriptive property names they chose to use codes.  They include a .xls file (DP_TableDescriptions.xls) that gives a legend for the codes.  It would be possible to export the file to a csv file and copy in the descriptive property names over the codes but would take a bit of effort.

However there is lots of data over 200 data elements.  I’m going to list this all at the end of this post for your information.

I haven’t fully explored the other files they list on the web site but it looks like there is lots of interesting data to be had, and I urge you to explore and see what you can find of interest.  If you find something of interest please share it on our support page.

Below are the data elements that are included in the file.

Universe:  Total population
DP0010001 Total:
DP0010002 Under 5 years
DP0010003 5 to 9 years
DP0010004 10 to 14 years
DP0010005 15 to 19 years
DP0010006 20 to 24 years
DP0010007 25 to 29 years
DP0010008 30 to 34 years
DP0010009 35 to 39 years
DP0010010 40 to 44 years
DP0010011 45 to 49 years
DP0010012 50 to 54 years
DP0010013 55 to 59 years
DP0010014 60 to 64 years
DP0010015 65 to 69 years
DP0010016 70 to 74 years
DP0010017 75 to 79 years
DP0010018 80 to 84 years
DP0010019 85 years and over
DP0010020 Male:
DP0010021 Under 5 years
DP0010022 5 to 9 years
DP0010023 10 to 14 years
DP0010024 15 to 19 years
DP0010025 20 to 24 years
DP0010026 25 to 29 years
DP0010027 30 to 34 years
DP0010028 35 to 39 years
DP0010029 40 to 44 years
DP0010030 45 to 49 years
DP0010031 50 to 54 years
DP0010032 55 to 59 years
DP0010033 60 to 64 years
DP0010034 65 to 69 years
DP0010035 70 to 74 years
DP0010036 75 to 79 years
DP0010037 80 to 84 years
DP0010038 85 years and over
DP0010039 Female:
DP0010040 Under 5 years
DP0010041 5 to 9 years
DP0010042 10 to 14 years
DP0010043 15 to 19 years
DP0010044 20 to 24 years
DP0010045 25 to 29 years
DP0010046 30 to 34 years
DP0010047 35 to 39 years
DP0010048 40 to 44 years
DP0010049 45 to 49 years
DP0010050 50 to 54 years
DP0010051 55 to 59 years
DP0010052 60 to 64 years
DP0010053 65 to 69 years
DP0010054 70 to 74 years
DP0010055 75 to 79 years
DP0010056 80 to 84 years
DP0010057 85 years and over
DPSF2.  MEDIAN AGE BY SEX [3]  (1 expressed decimal)
Universe:  Total population
Median age-
DP0020001 Both sexes
DP0020002 Male
DP0020003 Female
Universe: Population 16 years and over
DP0030001 Total:
DP0030002 Male
DP0030003 Female
Universe:  Population 18 years and over
DP0040001 Total:
DP0040002 Male
DP0040003 Female
Universe:  Population 21 years and over
DP0050001 Total:
DP0050002 Male
DP0050003 Female
Universe:  Population 62 years and over
DP0060001 Total:
DP0060002 Male
DP0060003 Female
Universe:  Population 65 years and over
DP0070001 Total:
DP0070002 Male
DP0070003 Female
DPSF8.  RACE [24]
Universe:  Total population
DP0080001 Total:
DP0080002 Population of one race:
DP0080003 White
DP0080004 Black or African American
DP0080005 American Indian and Alaska Native
DP0080006 Asian:
DP0080007 Asian Indian
DP0080008 Chinese
DP0080009 Filipino
DP0080010 Japanese
DP0080011 Korean
DP0080012 Vietnamese
DP0080013 Other Asian
DP0080014 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander:
DP0080015 Native Hawaiian
DP0080016 Guamanian or Chamorro
DP0080017 Samoan
DP0080018 Other Pacific Islander
DP0080019 Some Other Race
DP0080020 Population of Two or More Races
DP0080021 White; American Indian and Alaska Native
DP0080022 White; Asian
DP0080023 White; Black or African American
DP0080024 White; Some Other Race
Universe:  Total races tallied
DP0090001 White alone or in combination with one or more other races
DP0090002 Black or African American alone or in combination with one or more other races
DP0090003 American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with one or more other races
DP0090004 Asian alone or in combination with one or more other races
DP0090005 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination with one or more other races
DP0090006 Some Other Race alone or in combination with one or more other races
Universe:  Total population
DP0100001 Total:
DP0100002 Hispanic or Latino (of any race):
DP0100003 Mexican
DP0100004 Puerto Rican
DP0100005 Cuban
DP0100006 Other Hispanic or Latino
DP0100007 Not Hispanic or Latino
Universe:  Total population
DP0110001 Total:
DP0110002 Hispanic or Latino:
DP0110003 White alone
DP0110004 Black or African American alone
DP0110005 American Indian and Alaska Native alone
DP0110006 Asian alone
DP0110007 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone
DP0110008 Some Other Race alone
DP0110009 Two or More Races
DP0110010 Not Hispanic or Latino:
DP0110011 White alone
DP0110012 Black or African American alone
DP0110013 American Indian and Alaska Native alone
DP0110014 Asian alone
DP0110015 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone
DP0110016 Some Other Race alone
DP0110017 Two or More Races
Universe:  Total population
DP0120001 Total:
DP0120002 In households:
DP0120003 Householder
DP0120004 Spouse
DP0120005 Child
DP0120006 Own child under 18 years
DP0120007 Other relatives
DP0120008 Under 18 years
DP0120009 65 years and over
DP0120010 Nonrelatives
DP0120011 Under 18 years
DP0120012 65 years and over
DP0120013 Unmarried partner
DP0120014 In group quarters:
DP0120015 Institutionalized population:
DP0120016 Male
DP0120017 Female
DP0120018 Noninstitutionalized population:
DP0120019 Male
DP0120020 Female
Universe:  Households
DP0130001 Total:
DP0130002 Family households (families)
DP0130003 With own children under 18 years
DP0130004 Husband-wife family
DP0130005 With own children under 18 years
DP0130006 Male householder, no wife present
DP0130007 With own children under 18 years
DP0130008 Female householder, no husband present
DP0130009 With own children under 18 years
DP0130010 Nonfamily households
DP0130011 Householder living alone:
DP0130012 Male
DP0130013 65 years and over
DP0130014 Female
DP0130015 65 years and over
Universe:  Households with individuals under 18 years
DP0140001 Total
Universe:  Households with individuals 65 years and over
DP0150001 Total
DPSF16.  AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD SIZE [1]  (2 expressed decimals)
Universe: Households
DP0160001 Average household size
DPSF17.  AVERAGE FAMILY SIZE [1]  (2 expressed decimals)
Universe:  Families
DP0170001 Average family size
Universe:  Total housing units
DP0180001 Total:
DP0180002 Occupied housing units
DP0180003 Vacant housing units:
DP0180004 For rent
DP0180005 Rented, not occupied
DP0180006 For sale only
DP0180007 Sold, not occupied
DP0180008 For seasonal, recreational, or occasional use
DP0180009 All other vacants
DPSF19.  HOMEOWNER VACANCY RATE [1] (1 expressed decimal)
Universe:  Owner-occupied, vacant for sale only, and vacant sold but not occupied housing units
DP0190001 Homeowner vacancy rate (percent)
DPSF20.  RENTAL VACANCY RATE [1] (1 expressed decimal)
Universe:  Renter-occupied, vacant for rent, and vacant rented but not occupied housing units
DP0200001 Rental vacancy rate (percent)
Universe:  Occupied housing units
DP0210001 Total:
DP0210002 Owner-occupied housing units
DP0210003 Renter-occupied housing units
Universe: Population in occupied housing units
DP0220001 Owner-occupied housing units
DP0220002 Renter-occupied housing units
Universe: Occupied housing units
Average household size-
DP0230001 Owner occupied
DP0230002 Renter occupied

March 18th Webinar video now available online

The Depiction 101 webinar presented by Russel Deffner about his time working in Mongolia with the OpenStreetMap Humanitarian Team.  You can find it here on our webiste or here on YouTube.

Interesting Info Graphic about trends in Emergency Management.

Click here to go to webisite that has the info graphic.

Elevation data currently unavailable in Quick Start

If you attended our recent Webinar on creating Rapid Situation Maps, we were a bit embarrassed when we found that elevation data wasn’t loading.  At that moment we blamed it on a new Beta build that we were running but as it turns out the service where we get the data changed their API and so the elevation quick start source wasn’t working for any build.  We are in the process of fixing this problem and will be putting out a new build as soon as we can.  If you have downloaded elevation previously for your area then it will probably still be in your cache but if you are a new user or are doing a Depiction in a new area then you will run into this problem.  You can still get elevation data directly from the USGS web site.  Watch this webinar recording to find out how.

An interview with James Larsen – Emergency Services Officer for USAF Aux Civil Air Patrol

James is currently the Emergency Services Officer (ESO) for the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol: Shelby North Carolina Composite Squadron MER050

He is responsible for all Emergency Services Operations, Training and Instruction to all personnel. Qualified Trainer/Evaluator in Communications, Ground Team Operations, Urban Search and Rescue, Advanced Land Navigation, Survival Training and NIMS operations. Coordinate large scale Operational Readiness Inspections (ORIs) utilizing the National Incident Management system, Multi-Agency and Multi-Jurisdictional exercise coordination for disaster response.

How long have you been using Depiction?

I have been using depiction for over 3 years for  Emergency Services and Business applications.

How did you first hear about it?

I was searching for mapping software for use in simulated exercises for the business I was working for at the time. The drills were required due to the fact that I was the Facility Security Officer at a classified facility in Cary, North Carolina.

Had you tried other mapping programs before choosing Depiction and if so why didn’t they work out for you?

I hadn’t tried other mapping software, but I was using Microsoft PowerPoint, using images from mapquest, then having to manual place static content on the document.

Are you using Depiction for personal use or for your work or both?

I am the Emergency Services Officer at Shelby Composite Squadron MERNC-050 (USAF Auxiliary-Civil Air Patrol) in Shelby North Carolina. I am responsible for coordinating drills and working with other agencies on developing emergency plans for the Squadron. I apply the tools in depiction both at work and at CAP.

What uses are you using Depiction for?

At Civil Air Patrol I run depiction for drills associated with natural disasters, aircraft crashes, coordinated search and rescue efforts (APRS Module) and mapping emergency service resources in the area (Fire Dept’s, Police Dept’s and Hospitals)

What features do you find most useful?

The integration of data to find resources, the ability to integrate weather patterns within the depiction and revealers to control content.

Could you relate a specific situation where you used Depiction in a real life situation and how it helped you?

Civil Air Patrol had an exercise on the weekend of January 18th to conduct a search and rescue training on my 50 acre property which required 4 teams of varying skill levels (referred to as Ground Team Members [GTM] and Ground Team Leaders [GTL]). We used depiction on an overhead projector in the mobile incident command post and as reports came in over the radio we updated the depiction to reflect the search. The exercise was for the recovery of a downed aircraft with unkown injuries. The depiction software allowed the IC team to keep track of GTM/GTL movements, incident responses and resource allocations. At the end of the exercise we used the collected data to conduct the NIMS debrief to all the teams.

If you were to recommend Depiction to someone else how would you explain why you think they should buy it?

I would tell them about all of the features and the flexibility of the software, and I would go the distance and show them actual exercises I have set up and used. I strongly believe that no exercise or live incident would be complete without Depiction, the software streamlines management of the NIMS process, provides real time updates and provides the Incident Commander with an edge not available from drawn maps. The weather integration, APRS add-on and the ability to take real time updates via email keeps everyone in constant communication.  It is my responsibility at the Squadron to ensure accurate reporting of the incident, maintain the safety of the ground and air personnel and coordinate with other agencies to respond to life threatening events. I would not trust any other software but Depiction to ensure I can execute all of the aforementioned.

Some Quickstart Sources not working at the moment

Our geo-server that serves out some of the quick start data was infiltrated by some geo-worms and had to be put down for awhile.  We hope to have a new server up shortly.   The main one that many people use is the Elevation (Depiction)  there is however an alternate elevation source which is the one you should choose for the moment. The following are the QuickStart data sources that are affected.

  • Elevation(NED 30m – Depiction
  • Historical Hurricane Tracks
  • State and Province Boundaries
  • Tornado Tracks
  • US Congressional Districts
  • US County Boundaries
  • Water Bodies

We will let you know when this has been resolved.

What’s Happening at Depiction?

We have been busy behind the scenes for the last few months. Below are some of the things we have been working on.

Laying groundwork for Version 2.0

Our dev team is busy laying out the groundwork for our next version.  In the next few months we hope to have a list of potential features and hope to get your input on what you would like to see.  But you can always give us that feedback via the Depiction get satisfaction site.

Some of the major features we are considering are:

  • Increased number of file formats for import and export
  • More sophisticated printing
  • Custom initial boundaries ie irregular polygons
  • Resize boundaries
  • A custom tiler – allow user to enter api info for a custom tiler like google
  • Local Source tiler – allow the use of local tiling sources ie streets and trips
  • Being able to view many more elements ie 100,000s
  • Categorized elements ie elements with behaviors and other categories
  • Improved EID handling – ie ability to change existing property name to EID or to designate a property as the EID property.
  • General simplification and user friendliness enhancements

We have scores of other minor changes on the list as well.

Version 1.4.2

I had indicated in an earlier post that 1.4.1 might be the last free update.  I think I was overly optimistic. The reality is that the service providers that we get the free data from have a tendency to change how they serve out their data which in many cases requires us to change our program.  USC geo-coder is the service we use to geo-code addresses and they are changing their API and so we will have to come out with a new version. So we might still have have several minor releases before Version 2.0 comes out.

New Web Site

I don’t know if all of you have been as frustrated by our front page as I have been and finally we are doing something about it.  Hopefully by mid to late July we will have a new website with a navigation bar.  The front page is going to be very different but most of the inner pages will have pretty much the same content.  Below is a shot of the new front page.

This is a screen shot of our new front page.

New Add-on

We have a new add-on in development.  This add-on will let you draw on the data that exists within OpenStreeMap.  OpenStreetMap has many data elements such as police stations, fire stations, schools, hospitals etc.  With this add-on it, will add specific quickstart data sources to your list.  The one down side of this source is that since it is crowd sourced it may not contain all of the data for your area.  One solution of course if for you to go in to openstreetmap and enter all of the data and then it would show up.  We will have more on this later as we figure out exactly how it will work.


So that is just a brief summary of what is going on at Depiction.  We want to thank all of you for continuing to be loyal Depiction users.

New User Manual for Version 1.4

We have posted a new version of the Depiction 1.4 User manual on the website.  It can be downloaded here.

March 28th Webinar and 1.4 Release Date

So we are frantically trying to get version 1.4 ready for release. We keep finding little problems or new ideas that keep pushing the release date out. At the moment we are shooting for the afternoon of March 28th. Which makes the topic “What’s new in release 1.4″ perfect for the Webinar on the 28th. Once we have it nailed down for sure I will make another post.

Russell Deffner: Depiction Preferred Consultant

As part of our blog series to highlight our Depiction Preferred Consultants (DPCs), this week we introduce Russell Deffner.

With a strong love of the outdoors and technology, Russell graduated from Colorado State University with a minor in Spatial Information Management Systems to accompany a Bachelor of Science in Forestry – Concentrated in Forest Fire Science.  That concentration happened to take him in a different direction after graduation, to the fire-line, and into the world of emergency/disaster management.  Wildland firefighting, being seasonal, led him to looking for another ‘hobby’ as a Red Cross Volunteer.
Russell is highly involved with the America Red Cross- MIle High Chapter, headquartered in Denver, Co. and is a strong advocate for the chapter to run volunteer disaster management planning with Depiction software. He often hosts free seminars at the Mile High RC HQ to teach volunteers about the expanding possibilities with Depiction. In September, he spoke at the 2011 State of the Map conference, OpenStreetMap’s annual international conference. Russell is also our Depiction University Instructor, keeping material fresh, fun and inspiring.
Since being introduced to Depiction, he has been helping organizations use the software in various applications including emergency services, land-stewardship and land-use planning, asset management, and for a visual component in journalism.
“The concept of Depiction being a platform has also led to an off-shoot of my business; software customization.  I have already released a few Add-ons which bring additional icons, elements and interactions into Depiction and more ideas are in the works.” comments Russell. He goes on to say, “It has been amazing to see Depiction grow over just the last year and I’m excited to be a part of it!  I am happy to talk with anyone exploring GIS to see if Depiction could be the solution they are after.  Also for those currently using or thinking of using the software, but need additional functionality, I welcome you to contact me so we can explore how that functionality might be added.”
You can learn more about Russell’s consulting solutions at his website, RussellDeffnerConsulting.com.
Next week, we’ll introduce Steve Sprague.