Tutorial – Geocommons and Geodemographics

A month or so ago my colleague Paul Longley and I ran a course for the National Centre for Research Methods on Geographical Data Visualisation and Geodemographics. The practical labs covered how you can code a set of postcodes by the Output Area Classification and how to generate a set of index score profiles from these data. A further practical also covered how to generate basic maps using the Geocommons services.

I thought it might be a useful set of materials to put in the public domain – as such – here are introduction slides:

Data Download

The data for both the geocommons and geodemographics tutorials can be found here: GIS Data ; Postcode Data

Step 1: Geodemographic Coding

Downloads: Tutorial 1 is contained within the zip file supplied after downloading the OACoder software located here.

The first task was to visit and download the OACoder software located here; and then follow the tutorial found within the zip file for the example data. This software codes a set of postcodes by OAC. One the tutorial was complete, students were asked to code the data contained in the Postcode Data zip file using the same procedures.

Step 2: Creating Geodemographic Index scores

Downloads: Tutorial Document 2 and Index Score Calculation Excel File

Using the basic functions of Excel, this tutorial demonstrated to students how they could create index scores from two sets of coded postcodes. To speed this task up, an additional Excel file was provided which creates index scores and graphs. This file could be used to generate these content from any list of counts by OAC Sub Groups.

Step 3: Online Mapping using Geocommons

Downloads: Tutorial Document 3

Geocommons is an incredible service and provides a perfect platform for new users of GIS to create some simple, attractive and informative interactive maps with relative ease. This tutorial uses both Shapefile and GeoRSS data.