The interface between spatial and statistical data

TitleThe interface between spatial and statistical data
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsThomas W

DDI has always recognized the importance of spatial description for social science data and has increased the range of descriptive content in each of its major releases. As interest in spatial analysis and presentation increases the question of how to accurately use spatial information to link data sets and layer information from various domains has become a major concern. Some discussions focus on standards and how they interact, others on semantic linkages. However, many of the difficulties in using the spatial dimension to traverse data sets lies in the lack of implicitly comparable content. Most social science data files do not have specifically associated spatial f iles for presentation. Most social science data does not provide explicit geographic information that can be easily processed by machines. Most published statistical tables rely on geographic place names rather than more specific coding systems. This workshop focuses on spatial content rather than technical approaches to linkage and will cover: • Information used to create accurate links between data sets at the spatial level • Structures in commonly used standards to capture this information • Content that should be provided by data producers in order to support the search for related data in an open-data environment • Special issues involved in linking historical data and non-standard spatial types The workshop is based on over 20 years of creating interfaces between spatial and statistical data including the work of National Historical Geographic Information System and Terra Populus at the Minnesota Population Center (University of Minnesota).