Now, these students are approaching this project from various angles, but in general here are the data sources we have been using with GIS and SPSS:
- American Factfinder Census 2000 and Census 1990 data joined to nationwide county shapefiles obtained from the NationalAtlas.gov.
- CensusCD 1980 and CensusCD 1970, a commercial product from Geolytics.
- AGS Estimates & Projections dataset, a commercial dataset providing 2005 demographic estimates and 2010 projections.
- Sourcebook America, a commercial product now distributed by ESRI Business Information Solutions.
- State-provided population/voter count projections, such as the Texas Population Projections Program, which provides county-level population/ethnicity/age estimates through 2040.
- Unfortunately, I was unable to track down freely accessible and electronic nationwide voting results down to the county level. Even the U.S. government websites point us to the commercial Election Data Services, who we are now in the process of obtaining and negotiating price information.
Political science use of GIS on campus began with an open workshop that I held in 2003. The workshop was a site selection exercise where a fictitious democratic candidate (ha!) for the gubernatorial Texas election needed to locate effective locations for campaign headquarters in North Texas. This workshop was attended by Dr. Jose Gutierrez who single-handedly has been spearheading the use of GIS by political science faculty and students on campus. Yes, this same professor made David Horowitz's list of the 100 Most Dangerous Professors in the US.
Dr Gutierrez's undergraduate Texas Local Government courses then served as the pilot project for the successful Spatial Reserves program here at the Library. Click here for more information about this ArcIMS-driven political science project.
Last month, during my blogging hiatus, Dr. Gutierrez and I presented a paper to the American Political Science Association Teaching & Learning Conference detailing the ArcIMS-driven project and the potential for similar projects to be developed. It was very well received. To view the paper, navigate to uploaded papers database and search for 'Been' as an author.
My plan now is to follow all this up with a repeat of the workshop (upgraded of course) this Fall semester to see whether we can continue to grow political science's use of GIS.