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Project 2
Assessing children's risk of exposure to lead.
(due 5/23)

Scenario: You are conducting a survey in the community to assess the children's risk of exposure to lead. Because of a very limited budget, you are only able to conduct a few dozen home visits. That is why you must look at demographic data to pinpoint the most likely places to begin field research of children's risk of exposure to lead.

In this assignment you will use GIS methods to collect and analyze maps of census data to pinpoint where you are most likely to find children most at risk of lead poisoning. You want to look for places with a lot of poor minority children who live in older rented housing near a highway.


Choose a site

Data for this project may be acquired online using  ESRI ArcData Online.
Additional detailed base maps with street names can be accessed using Yahoo.com - maps

Choosing an area for analysis:

Choose a specific place or community in the United States that you would like to research. Using ESRI ArcData Online choose "browse ArcData online" and in the pop-up menu under data type, choose "U.S. demographic data" under the BUSINESS DATA heading and then click "go."  To view maps of data, you must choose a data theme from one of the pop-up menus. You then need to zoom in to a city you are interested in and analyze the data at the block group level (zoom level 1 or 2 on the right). Select a neighborhood for analysis based on the largest correspondance of data themes related to children's lead exposure. Once you have chosen a neighborhood, select "download data" and save it to disc. Unzip the file, and be sure to save all the data to the same project folder.

Under the pop-up menu on "population statistics", choose one of the following data themes related to children's lead exposure:

Under the pop-up menu on "housing characteristics", choose one of the following data themes related to children's lead exposure:

Another important factor in choosing a neighborhood is its proximity to highways and major arterials. You learn more about doing this using the directions outlined in Getting To Know ArcView lesson 17c "Finding adjacent features."


Analysis of Data and Final Essay

Data Analysis

The goal is to pinpoint the most likely places to begin field research of children's risk of exposure to lead. Analysis should be done using ArcView GIS. You will perform an overlay analysis by following the directions outlined in Getting To Know ArcView exercise 13b "selecting features based on their attributes."
Start a new project in ArcView 3.2 and add the dataset(s) you've downloaded. Use the Query Builder to combine queries and search for those census blocks which have the greatest combination of data themes related to children's lead exposure.
For example: I want to see which block groups have more than 15% of children in poverty, and  5% of the children are 0-5 years old, and more than 5% of the children are 5-9 years of age, and where the population is at least 30% Hispanic or 30% Black. In the query builder the equation would look like: ( [P_childpov] > 0.15) and ( [P_age05_09] > 0.05) and ([P_agelt_05] > 0.05) and ([P_hispanic] > 0.3) or ([P_black] > 0.3).

Export the Map
Once you have performed the query, expand the view of the map to show highlighted block groups. Under the file menu, choose "Export" and save the image as a jpeg (choose the jpeg option under the pop-up menu called "List files of type"). You can now open the map in a browser, or insert it into a word document to print out.

Final Map and Essay:

The final product of this assignment should be an brief essay and a map that pinpoints the most likely places to begin field research of children's risk of exposure to lead. Your final essay should include analysis methodology, research questions, critiques of the data categories or levels of resolution, and a summary of what you learned. Please spell out exactly how you arrived at your conclusions.

Documentation:

Hand in the final map and essay along with all of the maps and other data used in your research. Don't forget to include full citations and a bibliography to tell me where you got your maps and other information. For more information, please read how to hand in assignments.


Related links:

Maps and Technology: GIS/GPS Resources

Dumbing Down the Children--Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Lead Inform - On the ground . . .

Statistical Resources on the Web Demographics and Housing - census data