Monthly Archives: July 2011

Want Tickets to the Congressional Baseball Game?


Yeah, me too — but there hasn’t been one in recent years. It seems like this might be a good way to solve the public debt problem — the winning party puts its plan into law. Or they could try a bipartisan approach? The Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, has a fascinating web site on the Congressional Baseball Game, which began in 1909. The site includes history, statistics, location, rosters, and artifacts.

tenerlarge                   paper-ticket-1953

The House Clerk also provides a rich source of information about the operation of the House of Representatives, both current and past. For other sources of information on both the House and the Senate, consult the research guide, Legislative Branch Resources.

Intro to GIS workshop

We’re offering an Intro to GIS  workshop this Wednesday July 20th, from 10:30am – 12:30pm in 215 Lehman Library (DSSC Data Service).

Registration is now open;  the workshop will give a basic overview of GIS, data models, spatial analysis, projections, finding data, and working with your own data.

There are two hands-on exercises, both using ESRI ArcGIS software so everyone who attends will get a chance to use the software and explore some of what we cover in the talk.

The Intro workshop is meant for anyone who either has had no previous experience with GIS or for anyone needing a refresher.

Census 2010 Data by Tracts

Census 2010 Logo

Census 2010 Summary File 1 data is now being released by state.  New York State data was
released on July 14th 2011. 

Summary File 1 (SF1) reports on all the characteristics asked on the census.  These include counts of persons by age, race, sex, and Hispanic origin;  counts of  households by type; and counts of housing units by owner/renter status and vacancy status.  There are also counts based on cross-tabulations among characteristics.

Data is reported at all geographic levels including blocks, block groups, tracts, counties, cities, towns, state legislative districts, 111th congressional districts, school districts, metropolitan areas and ZCTAs (zip code approximations). 

Data are published in formatted tables that come in presentation-ready formats (PDF or formatted Excel) and in "database-compatible" format (comma-delimited format).   The American FactFinder2  is the Census Bureau’s web interface for selecting and downloading data tables.

Besides the American FactFinder2 web portal, other web sites are publishing tailored reports and data files to meet specific needs.  Cornell University’s Program Applied Demographics has already published a report called, 2010 race/age/sex in New York which is based on Summary File 1.  It looks at the whole state and regions within the state.  It is an excellent example of the type of analysis that can be done with the SF1.

For more information about Census 2010, Summary File 1, American FactFinder2 and other sites that report on Census 2010, visit our Census 2010 web page or visit the Digital Social Science Center’s Data Service in Lehman library. 

$3 Trillion? Let Me Check the Sofa Cushions


On August 2 the U.S. government will reach its debt limit. The debt limit is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. Congress must authorize an increase in the debt limit in order to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its loans, which might trigger another recession. The debt limit is currently at $14.294 trillion. Debt Limit: Fact vs. Myth, from the U.S. Treasury Department.


The Government Accountability Office has issued reports which make recommendations to Congress on how to handle this situation. The issue has been linked to the need to cut the U.S. federal budget, and President Obama and leaders of both parties are in talks to come to an acceptable agreement on spending cuts, perhaps at the level of $3 trillion.

workshop schedule update

3DMap Building ExampleWe’ve added a Intro to GIS workshop in place of ArcPy I on 7/20 since we’ve received several requests.

Intro to ArcPy will happen the following week on 7/27, we’ve decided to have a single workshop instead of two.

Registration opens one week prior, the full schedule can be found on the DSSC Workshops page.