Profile users have told us that the Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhood reporting is incredibly useful, but they would really like a way to create profiles for custom areas – such as transit corridors, a cluster of neighborhoods, or a specified walking radius around an intersection or transit stop.
Compass researcher Ellen Mai explains how, creating scenarios that walk you through a custom build, and providing tips to assist you in using the new tool to help you meet your planning and analytic needs. Coming soon – a new tool to create Duluth neighborhood custom profiles.
Now you can create your own neighborhood data adventure to better inform community action, guide decision-making, or just stump your friends at Friday night trivia. In addition to updating current data and adding employment data to our existing neighborhood profiles, we’ve added a new feature that lets you build your own geographic profile using data at the neighborhood, census tract, or ZIP code level.
You can build your own profile two different ways, using established areas that are predefined or using a draw tool to choose your own geographic boundaries.
Use the PREDEFINED AREAS option when you seek information specific to Minneapolis and Saint Paul communities, neighborhoods, ZIP codes, or census tracts. The tool will aggregate your selections into one profile. You can also find profiles for the cities of Saint Paul, Minneapolis, or the two cities combined.
First, select one of five available types of predefined area as building blocks: Cities, Communities, Neighborhoods, ZIP codes or Census tracts. After making your selection, click on the map and choose one or more desired area(s). Note that your selection need not be contiguous – you can profile any combination of areas within your chosen predefined area type. The profile will generate below the map. Please note that each additional selection will add to the existing profile’s total.
Thoroughly sold on the concept, but a bit unsure about how to get started? Here are a couple of example applications to get the creative juices flowing.
You’re a member of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA), representing the Downtown West and Downtown East neighborhoods, and need to understand what share of DMNA residents work in the city of Minneapolis.
Step 1. From the PREDEFINED AREAS selection tool, click the “Neighborhoods” radio button. Neighborhood boundaries will display in the map.
Step 2. Using the zoom tool located in the upper left hand corner of the map, zoom in so that you’re able to see labeling in and around downtown Minneapolis.
Step 3. Click on the map to select the two neighborhoods of interest, Downtown West and Downtown East. Note: Each time you make a selection within the map, the tool will indicate that your data is loading in a profile below the map.
OOPS! After selecting your two neighborhoods of interest, you mistakenly select Elliot Park as well. You can deselect this neighborhood by selecting the “Undo” button.
Your profile will display below the map. Scroll down to the “Resident Income and Workforce” section of your custom profile, locating the “Workers by Employment Location” data to find that 2,073 DMNA residents work in the city of Minneapolis, or 57 percent of the total resident workforce for which employment location information is available. Note: All data appears by default, but you can click on Collapse All to more quickly scroll down, expanding just the category of interest (as shown in the illustration below.)
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You work for an affordable housing funding intermediary, and want to understand the existing mix of owner and rental housing along the East Lake Street Corridor in Minneapolis, specifically the one-and-a-half mile stretch along Lake Street that runs between Hiawatha Avenue and the Mississippi River.
Assessing your PREDEFINED AREA options, you decide it makes the most sense to profile the census tracts that run along the Corridor.
Step 1. From the PREDEFINED AREA selection tool, click the “Census tracts” radio button. Census tract boundaries will now display in the map.
Step 2. Using the zoom tool located in the upper left hand corner of the map, narrow your focus to the Longfellow community of Minneapolis. This area falls east of Highway 55 / Hiawatha Avenue, west of the Mississippi River, south of downtown Minneapolis, and north of Highway 62.
Step 3. It appears that five census tracts are adjacent to or make contact with Lake Street between Hiawatha Avenue and the River: “1074”, “1075”, “1076”, “1088” and “1089.” Click on the map to select these tracts. Note: each time you make a selection within the map, the tool will indicate that your data is loading in a profile below the map.
OOPS! After selecting your five census tracts of interest, you mistakenly select “1090” as well. You can deselect this erroneous choice by selecting the “Undo” button.
Your profile will display below the map. Scroll down to the “Households and housing” section of your custom profile, locating the “Owned and Rental Housing” data to find that 3,980 units in the identified census tracts are owner-occupied (63% of all housing units.) In contrast, 2,021 housing units are renter-occupied (32% of all housing units).
Use the DRAW A CUSTOM AREA option when your scope of analysis does not fall squarely/neatly within the provided PREDEFINED AREAS. The custom drawing tool offers the ability to profile geographies such as a cluster of blocks falling across small portions of existing neighborhoods or census tracts, particular transit corridors, or a ring radius around a particular address or intersection.
Begin by selecting one of the provided “reference layers” as a visual guide for the city of Minneapolis or city of St. Paul, MSP communities, neighborhoods, ZIP codes, or census tracts.
Then select one of the drawing tool options – “Shape,” “Line,” or “Point” – and click on the map to begin drawing. When finished drawing lines or shapes, simply double-click.
Note that when drawing lines or points, you will need to identify the “Buffer” or surrounding area of interest to generate profile results. For example, you might choose a half-mile buffer surrounding a particular street corridor, or “line,” or alternatively, a one-mile radius buffer around a business address, or “point.” Your identified geography will appear in the map window, and the profile will be generated below the map.
You decide to revisit the analysis that you—a staffer at an affordable housing funding intermediary—ran in EXAMPLE #2 using the “PREDEFINED AREA” tool. You remain interested in quantifying the owner/renter housing mix along the East Lake Street Corridor in Minneapolis (again, running along the roughly one-and-a-half mile stretch along Lake Street between Hiawatha Avenue and the Mississippi River.)
The “DRAW A CUSTOM AREA” tool allows you to develop a more precise description of the housing mix in close proximity to the corridor itself.
Step 1. Select the “DRAW A CUSTOM AREA” tool.
Step 2. For this analysis, you choose a reference layer (this example uses ZIP code layer as we did in Example #2) to aid in identifying the location of the East Lake Street Corridor.
Step 3. Use the zoom tool located in the upper left hand corner of the map to narrow your focus to the Longfellow community of Minneapolis. This area falls east of Highway 55 / Hiawatha Avenue, west of the Mississippi River, south of downtown Minneapolis and north of Highway 62.
Step 4. Select the “Line” drawing tool from the menu.
Step 5. Change the “Buffer” default distance from 1.0 miles to 0.25 miles.
Step 6. On the map, click the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street to begin drawing. Extend the line due east to the intersection of Lake Street and the Mississippi River. Double-click to finish the line. The buffer zone will be displayed with a yellow line. The profile for the ¼ mile buffer surrounding your selection will be generated.
Your profile will display below the map. Scroll down to the “Households and housing” section of your custom profile, locating the “Owned and Rental Housing” data to find that some 1,020 units in the identified census tracts are owner-occupied (53% of all occupied housing units.) By contrast, about 900 housing units are renter-occupied (47% of all occupied housing units). Note: Because the total number of housing units for our custom area falls below our 3,500 housing unit threshold, the profile is generated based on 2010 Census data rather than the more recent ACS data.
You are a nonprofit with programming focus on the aging population, and need to develop a baseline understanding of both the number and share of residents age 65 years and older for a portion of the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. Specifically, your focus is on the area bounded by Lexington Parkway, Snelling Avenue, Interstate 94, and Pierce Butler Route.
Step 1. Select the DRAW A CUSTOM AREA tool.
Step 2. For this analysis, you decide to choose the “Communities” reference layer (set as default) as you recognize this portion of St. Paul as falling in the Hamline-Midway community/ neighborhood.
Step 3. Using the zoom tool located in the upper left-hand corner of the map, narrow your focus to the Hamline-Midway community, to a point in which street names are legible.
Step 4. Select the “Shape” drawing tool from the menu.
Step 5. On the map, draw the area bounded by Lexington Parkway, Snelling Avenue, Interstate 94, and Pierce Butler Route. Double-click to finish drawing. Note: For this example, we are describing the specific geography falling within our selection, with no need for a buffer area.
Your profile will display below the map. Scroll down to “About the Resident Population” section of your custom profile, locating the “Sex and Age” data to find that [based on the 2010 Census] there are just under 700 residents age 65 and older (8% of the selected area’s total population).
A research associate at Wilder Research, Ellen's work focuses on Minnesota Compass and related projects that monitor economic and social change through indicators. Ellen holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.