Requests that require access to this database and that involve custom programming are our specialty. If a client has their own data that they need to combine with the public information, we specialize in such applications (usually requiring an address matching and aggregation process.)
While we maintain our data in a proprietary database format, we have software tools that make it very easy to provide our clients with data in a wide variety of commonly used formats. Comma delimited, .dbf, .xls (Excel) and fixed format ascii are among the most popular formats.
The UIC staff of three full time persons has a combined experience of over 50 years working with these kinds of data and applications.
The link we provided to you above to our uexplore application is actually just one of several "doors" that can be used to enter the application. We have a number of more guided paths that will help guide you to particular type of data you are searching for before dropping you off in the set of parameter-driven SQL-flavored form fillout screens that you will need to negotiate in order to access your data. To access the archive with some additional navigational front ends, return to our home page and follow the link there to the MSCDC Public data archive. (Or just click right here, of course.)
Just to give you a hint at the scope of the archive, we can tell you that it includes:
Special Reports and Services
The Circular Area Profiling System (CAPS) is a collection of files and
programs that allows us to generate custom
demographic profile reports summarizing over 100
key variables (mostly from the 1990 census) within a series of n-mile circles
about any point (intersection) in the U.S. The reports include a current
population estimate (currently available only for the state of Missouri). We can do
these reports for anywhere in the U.S. if the user supplies the latitude and
longitude of the site.
Note: Comparable reports displaying 1980 data are doable as well, but are not "standard" and would require custom programming.
The UIC has been producing Census Tract ZIP Guides for the St. Louis Metropolitan area since 1983. These reports permit looking up a street address in order to determine the census tract or that address. These guides are updated about once every other year to add new streets and address ranges. The guides are used to do simple clerical lookup, or "manual geocoding", for a few addresses. However, if you have a large number of such addresses in machine-readable form, you might be interested in the computerized "geocoding" services described below.
Geocoding is the process of associating one or more geographic codes with a street address or file containing street address fields. Geocoding then allows you to create a report or map showing the location of these addresses. Once you have linked your customers (students, patients, ...) to census geography it is relatively easy to extract demographic summary data for that area from census files. In this way you can build a demographic profile of the persons on your file (or perhaps a series of profiles based on categories of the addresses.)
The UIC specializes in geocoding files of addresses in the St. Louis metro area (including the Illinois side) and anywhere in the state if Missouri. Other areas are doable but require extra preprocessing and will generally have a lower rate of matched addresses.
The UIC has over twenty years' experience with thematic mapping. We have access to a lot of public demographic data that we can readily display and we can, of course, geocode your address file and display your data - as points on the map, or as a theme based on a derived measure such as customers per capita.
We can do large maps, small maps, color maps, black & white maps, choropleth maps, dot-density maps, base maps, maps that overlay on each other, maps as gif files for display on Internet, etc. We use a desktop GIS (Atlas*GIS) to do most of our mapping. We have a Hewlett Packard 650C color plotter that produces extremely high quality maps on paper that can be up to 36" for the smallest dimension.
Map costs vary considerably, primarily based on the degree of customization required. "Quick and simple" maps that just display the data with standard formatting options and no complex annotation can be created in as little as 15 minutes, while some maps can literally take days to come up with a very custom design and layout. Our basic rate is $50/hour for the use of the GIS and the person running that GIS. Additional charges apply for the physical maps, to cover costs of paper and ink. In a typical case, the total cost for a wall-sized color map will be in the neighborhood of $100. The smaller, simpler maps can be as little as $25. If you need to do a series of similar maps - same basic setup with just different variables or perhaps a different "window" - then maps after the first are subject to considerable discounts.
Updated Mar 16, 1998