American Factfinder: Advanced

A map covering some of the advanced elements of American Factfinder.

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American Factfinder: Advanced by Mind Map: American Factfinder: Advanced

1. Selecting all Geographies within an Area (e.g. the old Geo within Geo)

1.1. The best point of entry for geography is Advanced Search. There are lots of ways to get all geographies within another geography.

1.2. For larger geographies, the equivalent of geo w/in geo is easier now than before because it's built into a single selection process.

1.2.1. Each time you specify a smaller area (e.g. state, county), the selection should reload with all of the instances of that type. So, select county, get all counties in US. Select Alabama, get all counties in Alabama. Doesn't hold for all geographic types - MSAs in particular. For those, see the next section.

1.2.2. AFF2 possibly helps users by defaulting to only the most frequently used geographies.

1.2.3. Selecting all geographies is a little more complicated, but still similar enough to basic selection.

1.3. The Names tab is complicated. Powerful, but complicated and not always clear.

1.3.1. Exercise: Get all Census Tracts for Hennepin County Select the Names Tab Change the "include in results" radio button to ? Hint: not default and not individual We've got all tracts for each state. Did the left-hand menu reload in a possibly helpful way? We know we want all tracts in Hennepin County. Counties nest within ____? Having selected Within > Minnesota, we get a list of all counties.

2. Creating a Map from a Table Health Insurance Status by State

2.1. You have to click a number, not a label. Still trips me up every time.

2.2. Choose Unemployed,% Uninsured because whoa.

2.2.1. Click the tiny "i" to see the numbers for each state.

2.2.2. Ok for very basic viewing, but not the greatest map software.

3. Modifying Tables

3.1. Click the top filter option & limit to total.

3.2. Try bookmarking

3.2.1. what happens?

3.3. Try downloading as csv with descriptive data element names.

3.3.1. what do you get?

4. Creating Deep Links

4.1. Bane of my existence.

4.2. You cannot bookmark any given screen in AFF like you could in v.1.

4.3. User data needs don't always match a single table. No longer any way to send a set of arbitrary search results to a user. Instead, you have to tell them how to recreate your results.

4.4. Plus, now you need a guide to create bookmarks.


4.6. This makes only slightly less sense than the last item on the agenda, the resurgence of the Census Bureau FTP site.

5. FTP Site

5.1. With this version of AFF, only two iterations of each dataset are in AFF directly.

5.2. All other data must be found by browsing on the FTP site.

5.3. Pro: much more historical data.

5.4. Cons: everything else. Poor usability, high learning curve, increasingly obscure file formats

5.5. Why the Census Bureau has not used to manage these and other no-longer-maintained datasets (like the CFFR) is a mystery.

5.6. OpenOffice is your friend

6. Queries For Practice

6.1. How many houses in Apple Valley were built before 1940?

6.2. Map of median age by state