Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Census

GIS and Geospatial Data

The Census Information Center at Vanderbilt

The Vanderbilt Library was chosen by the U.S. Census Bureau as a designated Census Information Center (CIC) to assist the federal government in the dissemination of Census data to under-served communities, and to serve in partnerships with the international community, media, and nonprofit service providers in order to accomplish the goals set forth by the Census Bureau.

Government Information and Documents
The Government Information Collection in the Central Library is a selective depository for U.S. federal government publications. This is a great resource for data that can often be linked with geographic information and presented in map format.

Send a message to Frank Lester with questions or call Government Information Services at 615.322.2838.

Getting Started with Census data and GIS

We get lots of questions about finding Census data, and using that data to create a map. That is a multi-step process involving downloading data, formatting the data, and joining data for display in ArcGIS Desktop. The resources below can help you get started with all of those steps.

American FactFinder Tutorials- This site will help you get started with finding US Census Data through the American FactFinder. The 'Tutorials' link on the left has several short videos that explain how FactFinder works and will make your first seaches much more efficient.

Using Census Data with GIS Tutorial- This tutorial takes the first time Census & GIS user through finding, formatting, and mapping data in a step by step process. The final product will be a map of poverty levels in Nashville, TN.

Guide to Using Census Data with GIS- This guide is designed for users with some experience with Census data and GIS, and assists the user in taking their own census and GIS datasets and walking through the steps to create a map.