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SOCW 6328 - Social Policy Research and Analysis: Home


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Class Recording


Instruction Objectives

After this session, students will be able to access data from SimplyMap, ReferenceUSA, Census TIGER, and the American FactFinder in order to be able to acquire data from these sources for their research projects.  Students will also be aware of the potential for integrating GIS tools into their research.

Three Sections of this Class:

  1. Gain familiarity with ArcGIS Desktop Interface using Pizza database
  2. Analyze various demographic data surrounding youth centers in Tarrant County
  3. Explore data sources directly

Geographic Information Systems is Fun

What exactly is a GIS?

  1. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer systems that aid in the management and analysis of geographically referenced data.
  2. Focus on relationaships between various datasets.


Download Prepared Database


Get comfortable with GIS

  1. Launch ArcMap
  2. Add the sample data from the pizza/marketing.mdb database
  3. Things we will focus on:
    1. Attribute Table
    2. Symbology
    3. Navigation Tools
    4. Query Selections

Second Exercise


Analyze the demographic communities around youth centers in Tarrant County, TX.


Our Plan:

We will complete the exercise using the raw data in the 'SW' directory first and then afterwards go through the sources used to extract this data.



  • Shapefiles:
  • Excel Tables:
    • Youth Centers Table
    • SimplyMap 2010 Excel Table


Data Sources:

See left-hand side.

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John James Dillard

Phone: 817-272-7518

Photo above -> John with books.
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