|Infoshare User Guide|
|This guide is also available as a Word (.doc) or Acrobat (.pdf) file|
What is Infoshare?
Infoshare is brought to you by Community Studies of New York, Inc., a non-profit organization founded more than ten years ago by faculty of the City University of New York. We are dedicated to meeting the data needs of communities and the non-profit, educational, and government agencies serving them.
How Help Works
Module 1 "Area Profile"
Module 2 "Area Comparison"
Module 3 "Two-Way Table"
Geographic Map Files
How Help WorksIn each section of the Infoshare website, you can click on the Help button on the Left Sidebar to receive help in navigating the website and obtaining data.
For questions and help regarding the data itself, you can click on the Info icon on the lower right of the screens once you have selected a data set. This will open a window that will provide additional details on the contents of the data file you are using. For instance, the Info button for Census data provides the Census Bureau's definitions of terms used in the Census tables.
ModulesCurrently there are three different ways that Infoshare provides you with information. You may look up Area Profiles, Compare Areas, or Create Your Own Table.
In Module 1, Area Profile, you can select a geographic area and obtain a profile of the area using data from any of the data files in Infoshare. This is best for obtaining a broad range of information for a particular area. For example, you could create a population profile of a particular zip code or find the birth and death rates for a neighborhood.
In Module 2, Area Comparison, you can display select data for a set of geographic areas within a larger geographic region. This is useful for comparing specific characteristics of the smaller areas, e.g., zip codes, with each other, as well as comparing rates of selected events (e.g., birth rates) with those of larger areas such as Boroughs and Counties.
In Module 3, Two-Way Table, you can create a table with rows and columns of your choosing and set your own conditions on the data in the table. For instance, you could create a table from the 1997 birth file showing age of the mother by zip code for women of Dominican ancestry.
Data FilesEach data file in Infoshare presents a different type of data, often collected from different sources, ranging in topic from demographics (population characteristics) to health to a variety of socio-economic data. The data in Infoshare is collected primarily from public agencies at the Federal, State, and local level. It is then converted into a common format for use in Infoshare. No changes are made in the data. They are presented exactly as they come from the agency that provides them. Whenever you generate a table, it will contain, at the bottom of the table, information on the original source of the data contained in the table.
Geographic AreasInfoshare uses geographic areas that follow governmental and institutional definitions. Listed below (in alphabetical order) are some definitions for geographic areas that may not be familiar:
Assembly Districts. New York State Assembly Districts are the 150 areas in New York State from which people are elected to the New York State Assembly. There are 61 New York State Assembly Districts in New York City. The Assembly Districts used in Infoshare were created after the 1990 Census.
Census Tract. A census tract is an area defined by the Bureau of the Census as part of their counting districts. It has an average population of 4,000 people, ranging from 1,500 to 8,000, and varies in size according to the population density of an area. Areas with denser populations will have smaller sized census tracts (as small as a few blocks), and areas with sparser populations will have larger sized census tracts. There are 2,281 Census Tracts in New York City and 5,514 in New York State. The following census tract maps are available in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
City Council Districts. City Council Districts are the 51 areas in New York City from which representatives are elected to the New York City Council. The current City Council Districts were created after the 1990 Census.
Community District (CD). Community Districts (CDs) were established by the New York City Charter in 1969 to facilitate delivery and accountability of city services. The New York City Department of City Planning issues maps of the fifty-nine Community Districts that make up the five boroughs. Each Community District is referred to by a borough and sequence number (e.g. BX-1 = Bronx Community District 1). Each borough has between three (Staten Island) and eighteen (Brooklyn) Community Districts. To view or print a Map of the Community Districts in an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file, click Community District Map.
Congressional District. Congressional Districts are the 435 areas in the United States from which people are elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. There are 31 Congressional Districts in New York State and 14 in New York City. The Congressional Districts in Infoshare were created after the 1990 Census.
Health Area. Health Areas are composed of specified sets of census tracts and are defined by the NYC Department of Health. There are 354 Health Areas in New York City
Health Districts. Health Districts (sometimes referred to as Health Center Districts) are composed of Health Areas and are defined by the NYC Department of Health. There are 30 Health Districts in New York City.
Mental Health Region. Mental Health Regions are made up of groups of zip codes as defined by the NYC Department of Public Health (formerly the NYC Department of Mental Health). There are 17 Mental Health Regions in New York City.
NYC Neighborhood. A NYC Neighborhood is one of 292 neighborhoods in which New Yorkers generally think of themselves as residing. They are not precisely defined, and no government agency has specified official boundaries for them. Nevertheless, a number of years ago an informal task force drew boundaries for them, and we are using these boundaries. In spite of their lack of official definition, these areas are useful, simply because they are the neighborhoods in which residents view themselves as living. To view or print a Map of the NYC Neighborhoods in an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file, click NYC Neighborhood Map.
Police Precinct. A police precinct is a division utilized by the NYC Police Department. Police Precincts are usually coterminous with Community Districts, in order to facilitate communication between Community Board (which represent Community Districts) and the Policy Department. Exceptions are in high-crime or high-concern areas where more than one precinct may be defined. There are 75 police precincts in New York City.
PUMA. A Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) is a decennial census area composed of census tracts for which the U.S. Census Bureau provides specially selected extracts of raw data from a sample of long-form census records that are screened to protect confidentiality. These extracts are referred to as Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) files. A PUMA must have a population of a least 100,000 people, to protect the confidentiality of census respondents. There 131 PUMAs in New York State.
School District. School Districts are geographic areas used by public school systems to group its elementary, junior high and high schools. There are 32 School Districts in New York City.
State Senate. New York State Senate Districts are the 61 areas in New York State from which people are elected to the New York State Senate. There are 25 New York State Senate Districts in New York City. The State Senate Districts in Infoshare were created after the 1990 Census.
Sub-borough Area. Sub-borough Areas are groups of census tracts in New York City containing at least 100,000 population. Sub-borough Areas are the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) for New York City. The tract composition of each area is designed so that their boundaries approximate those of Community Districts, but they must meet Census Bureau requirements that no sub-borough area have a population of less than 100,000. As a result, Community Districts BX-1 (see Community District) and BX-2 in the Bronx are combined into a single Sub-borough Area, as are BX-3 and BX-6 in the Bronx, MN-1 and MN-2 in Manhattan, and MN-4 and MN-5 in Manhattan. There are 55 Sub-borough Areas in New York City. To view or print a Map of the Sub-borough Areas in an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file, click Sub-Borough Area Map.
UHF (United Hospital Fund) Neighborhood. UHF Neighborhoods are defined by the United Hospital Fund for its Health Atlas and other purposes. UHF Neighborhoods consist of between three and six zip codes. There are 41 UHF Neighborhoods in New York City. To view or print a Map of the UHF Neighborhoods in an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file, click UHF Neighborhood Map.
Zip Code. Zip Codes are United States Postal Service designations used to deliver postal mail. There are 1,672 in New York State and 185 in New York City. Zip codes change periodically as the population pattern changes and the Postal Service reorganizes its delivery services. They sometimes cross County boundaries and bear to necessary relation to any other geographic area. To view or print a Map of zip codes in an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file, click NYC Zip Codes.
Maps of the geographic areas utilized in Infoshare will be available soon.
Geographic Map FilesThe following are zipfiles containing Shapefiles for New York City that you may download and use in such Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as ArcGIS, Mapinfo, QuantumGIS, and others:
Census Tracts 2000
Census Tracts 2010
NYC City Council Districts
United Hospital Fund(UHF) Neighborhoods
State Assembly Districts
State Senate Districts
NYC Major Streets
Area ProfileIn Module 1, you can obtain a profile of any geographic area using any of the data files in Infoshare. This Module is ideal for obtaining a wide range of information on a particular local area. For example, you could create a racial and ethnic profile and tabulate the birth and death rates for a particular zip code or State Assembly District.
Follow this sequence of steps to create a Profile of a geographic area:
Step 1. Make sure the Region (e.g., New York City, New York State) in which your geographic area is located has been selected. Note: At present, Infoshare has much more data for areas within the City than for those outside it.
Step 2. Choose the Type of Area you wish to profile (e.g. Zip Code, Assembly District, Borough, or County).
Step 3. Choose the particular Area from the displayed list, by name or number. You can click on each of the "radio buttons" to scan quickly through all the areas, by Borough or County. Hint: Want to move quickly through this or any other list? Just press the first letter of the item you want on the keyboard. Repeat until you find your item.
Step 4. Select a Data File of interest from the displayed list. Again you can use the "radio buttons" to scan through the list of data files.
Step 5. If data for more than one year is available for the data file you selected, choose the Year you wish to see. If you would like more than one year for selected data elements, choose Trend. Hint: Want more information on the data in a Data File? Once you have selected the Year, for many data files you will see an Info button that will provide additional details on the contents of the Data File.
Step 6. Choose the Table you wish to display.
The data elements for that table will be displayed at the bottom of your screen. Now you can:
Area ComparisonIn Module 2, you can view data for a set of geographic areas within an overall "Overall Area", allowing you to compare them using data from any of the data files in Infoshare. For instance, you could compare birth rates for zip codes within a Congressional District, or single-parent households for Assembly Districts within a County. Tables created in Module 2 are suitable for mapping as well as graphing and other applications.
Module 2 will give you a table that has the data for each of the areas in the Overall Area you select, as well as the Borough-wide and City-wide values if you are looking at New York City data, or the County-wide and State-wide values if you are looking at New York State data. And if your Overall Area is smaller than a Borough or County (e.g., a Congressional District), it will give you the values for the Overall Area as well.
The first column in any table produced in Module 2 will be labeled 'MapID' and will contain values that will be recognized by your mapping software, if you choose to map the data. If you are not using the tables for mapping, simply delete the first column from any file you save.
Follow this sequence of steps to create an Area Comparison table. You will, step by step, construct this table by selecting the pieces of data, or "data elements" you want to see in your table.
Step 1. Make sure the Region (e.g., New York City, New York State) in which your Overall Area is located has been selected.
Step 2. Choose the Type of Overall Area you wish to use for your table. This selection will determine the extent of the list of areas you will compare with each other. Usually, the Overall Area will be an area that is larger than the type of area you wish to view (for instance, a Borough or County if you want to view zip codes), but it might be the same type of area as you wish to view (see Hint below).
Step 3. Choose the particular Overall Area you wish to use from the displayed list, by name or number. You can click on each of the "radio buttons" to scan quickly through all the areas, by Borough or County.
Step 4. Choose the Type of Areas to Compare, that is, the types of areas you wish to view in your table. Hint: Want to find data more quickly? Once you have selected your Areas to Compare and your Overall Area, use Search for Data to locate the data you want.
Step 5. Select the Data File containing the first piece of data you want in your table. Again you can use the "radio buttons" to scan through the list of data files.
Step 6. If data for more than one year is available for the data file you selected, choose the Year you wish to see. If you would like data for more than one year, choose Trend. Hint: Want more information on the data in a Data File? Once you have selected the Year, for many data files you will see an Info button that will provide additional details on the contents of the Data File.
Step 7. Choose the Table containing the data you wish to display.
Step 8. Select one or more Data Elements to construct your table. To select more than one data element, hold down Ctrl or Shift (PC) or COMMAND (Mac) key while selecting with the mouse. If there is only one Data Element, you still must select it. Hit the Go button to proceed.
You can now view your table, or selected data elements in your table. It will be displayed at the bottom of your screen. Now you can:
At any time in this sequence, you can:
Two-Way TableIn Module 3, you can create your own table, with rows and columns of your choosing. You can select from a list of data elements for the rows and columns in your table, and you can then set own conditions on the data that will be extracted from the records in the Infoshare data files. You can use this Module when the data available in Modules 1 and 2 is not sufficiently detailed for your purposes. What you are creating is sometimes called a "conditional cross-tab".
Note: The data files used in Module 3 are different from those used in Modules 1 and 2. In Modules 1 and 2, the data has been "pre-aggregated", that is, counts have been performed for each of the geographic areas shown there (for example, the number of persons living in each zip code within a certain age range has been counted). In Module 3, on the other hand, the Infoshare data files have individual records (e.g., individual birth and death records, individual hospitalization records, or individual census forms on a sampled basis). When you create a two-way table from one of these files, you are performing a count of the number of records with certain characteristics, as specified by the rows and columns in your table and the conditions you set on the table. If no record is present that meets your condition for a particular value in a row or column, that row or column will not be present in the table.
As an example, you could create a table showing the educational attainment of Hispanics living in Brooklyn by zip code (i.e., the Column shows number of years of schooling, Row shows zip code, and the Conditions are Hispanic and Brooklyn). Or you could create a table showing the income of unmarried men by age living in Queens who served in the military during the Vietnam War (i.e., the Column shows income groupings, Row shows age groupings, and the Conditions are unmarried, Queens, served in the Vietnam War). As this example shows, it is not necessary for the rows to be geographic areas, as they are in Module 2 (but if they are, then the resulting data can be mapped).
Follow this sequence of steps to create a Two-Way Table. You will define the Columns, the Rows, and then the Conditions you want in your table:
Step 1. Make sure the Region (e.g. New York City, New York State) is the one you want.
Step 2. Choose the Data File (e.g. Public Use Micro-Sample 1990 Census) from which to generate your table.
Step 3. If data for more than one year is available for the data file you selected, choose the Year you wish to use.
Step 4. For some data files, there may be additional Categories you must select. For instance, with Hospital Admission data you must indicate whether you want the number of Persons admitted, the number of Admissions (the same person may have been admitted more than once during a year), or the number of Patient-Days.
Step 5. Select the type of data you wish to use as Column headings in your table. For example, if you choose Sex in one of the Death data files, your table will have the column headings Male, Female, and Sex Not Known.
Step 6. Select the type of data you wish to use as Rows. For example, if you choose Borough, your table will have five rows: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island.
You can now view your table. It will be displayed at the bottom of your screen. You can also define further conditions on your table. Now you can: