Category: BAGIS

Census 2010 Data Retrieval

May 3, 2011 at 1:59 pmCategory:BAGIS

The first section of the P1 file (Total Population and Race) for census blocks is now available from BACOG as a compressed (.zip) ArcGIS Shapefile.

You can view this file using free ArcGIS Explorer, Google Earth, or ArcGIS Desktop.  This shapefile has Census Block information for Cook, Lake, Kane, and McHenry Counties.

Click here to download the four-county shapefile (40.0 MB)

If you don’t need all four counties, click here to download an individual county.

The field name reference table is located at the link below on Page 64.


If you’re a municipality, state, county or congressional district, Census 2010 FactFinder 2 is a website that will work well to summarize the data in a simple table listing population and race counts.  However, when it comes to determining population for unincorporated areas, library districts, or large planning areas, like BACOG, we need to access the geographic data and the tabular data.  An easy way to do this is using GIS.

Step 1: Luckily, the retrieval of census block shapefiles (the geographic data layers that allow us to see the area) is pretty easy:

  1. Visit the 2010 Census TIGER/Line Shapefiles site: and click ‘Download Web Interface’.
  2. Select ‘Blocks’ as the Layer Type and then pick your state and county.
  3. Unzip the file that downloads.  Repeat for additional counties if needed.

Step 2: Downloading the tabular data

Accessing the tabular files and creating the GEOID field which is a required field to join Census Data to the TIGER/Line Shapefile, is a little more complicated.  Full documentation of the steps that include downloading data, an access shell, creating relationships between the tables, creating the GEOID query and more are located here:

While this is a good exercise in learning new file types and a few “ins and outs” of Access 2007, not all users have the software or time to manipulate this data.  The Department of Commerce has made their state-wide database available via FTP to BACOG and we have extracted block summary data for our four counties: Cook, Lake, Kane, and McHenry.  Please contact BACOG or download the data from the link above to access this information.



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Community Mapping goes Hyperlocal

April 20, 2011 at 4:34 pmCategory:BAGIS

Services from Google, Bing, Mapquest and other map services have become part of daily life for millions of users. These services help people find local restaurants, directions to a work meeting, find the next train to Chicago, or even the best way to bike to work. With a growing scope of service and diversification of user needs, keeping these maps up-to-date is a challenge.  The solution may be community generated mapping.

Google announced Google Map Maker (– a tool set that will now allow thousands of local Barrington area map users a chance to add their own content or make updates to the local Google Map.  Anyone with a Google account can add local information to these maps features like a new bike trail, a favorite pizza shop, a park’s picnic area, or correct street or trail information. Those changes will then be reviewed for quality and may be added to the mapping service for all other local users to see.

Read More…

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Upcoming: Second Large-Format Document Scanning Project

April 15, 2011 at 2:08 pmCategory:BAGIS

The BACOG GIS Committee approved a second round of large-format scanning at the March committee meeting.  Large-format scanning of plats, as-builts, and public facility plans can improve access for village officials, staff, and other parties that rely on public documents for reference.  Scanning also provides a back-up of digital information in case physical copies of plans are lost or damaged.  Each BACOG member can scan up to 300 large-format documents (greater than 11×17) at no cost this April.

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Getting Results: Census 2010

December 20, 2010 at 4:25 pmCategory:BACOG | BAGIS

The Complete Count Census 2010 campaign has been a huge success in the Barrington Area. From the initial LUCA review of addressing information to innovative public outreach efforts that prompted participation levels to increase beyond Census 2000 levels, local government learned to leverage new media and resources in an unprecedented way.  Villages and townships shared their content and media tools with each other to create a campaign that maximize civil awareness and participation in this national decennial event.  Municipalities recognize the importance of the census in determining the demographic trends of communities that help them plan for the future and determine 10 years of federal funding distributions.  This area demonstrated that we do want to be counted in 2010 with every village participation rate exceeding the national and state-wide participation levels.

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BACOG Wins Fall ILGISA Poster Contest

November 29, 2010 at 9:22 pmCategory:BACOG | BAGIS | Groundwater

BACOG won the Fall ILGISA Poster Contest in the professional category for the exhibit: “Barrington Area Study of Groundwater Resources in the Shallow Aquifer System”.  The poster is a detailed and understandable depiction of the information and mapped data that the BACOG Water Resources Initiative has accomplished over the past several years.  This poster includes examples of how GIS is used for visualization and representative modeling of shallow aquifers.

BACOG Poster for ILGISA Poster Competition

BACOG Poster for ILGISA Poster Competition

Click here to view the full-size poster

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