User Guide


Video Tutorials

  1. NHGIS Data Finder (general overview)
  2. NHGIS Filter Options
  3. NHGIS Data Layout Options
  4. Join NHGIS Spatial and Census Data

Mapping Options

For Developers & R Users

Print (PDF) Guides

Using the NHGIS Data Finder

This user's guide covers the entire process of selecting and downloading NHGIS data. It walks through two scenarios of differing complexity and shows how to use filters to find the tabular data and GIS boundary files of interest.

IPUMS Data Training Exercises

This page includes links to four NHGIS Data Training Exercises: two that walk through how to request NHGIS data tables and analyze them in Excel, and two that walk through how to access NHGIS data through R.

How to Select Features from NHGIS Boundary Files

NHGIS only provides data files that cover the entire country (or files by state for census blocks or block groups). This tutorial guides users through the different methods of isolating specific locations in Esri ArcGIS so they can be mapped and analyzed independently even when data files cover a larger geographic extent.

How to Import More than 255 Columns into a GIS

Unfortunately, when adding a .csv file into Esri ArcGIS 8.x, 9.x or 10.0 through standard operations, the maximum number of columns that ArcGIS will import is 255, and any additional fields are truncated. Given that NHGIS data requests frequently exceed this limit, many users need to be able to get around this issue. Two work-arounds are discussed in this document. (Esri ArcGIS 10.1 has rectified this issue, allowing more than 255 column .csv files to open correctly.)

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