Tag Archives: information architecture

IPUMS is an amazing resource for population data! Their official motto: Use it for good, never for evil.

Screen_shot_2012-01-15_at_12
Screen_shot_2012-01-15_at_12

My sister forwarded me an amazing article from The New York Times today: “Among the Wealthiest One Percent, Many Variations.” The article looks closely at the spectrum of just exactly who consitutes being included in the 1%. I know I don’t.

But in reality it is a far larger and more varied group, one that includes podiatrists and actuaries, executives and entrepreneurs, the self-made and the silver spoon set. They are clustered not just in New York and Los Angeles, but also in Denver and Dallas. The range of wealth in the 1 percent is vast — from households that bring in $380,000 a year, according to census data, up to billionaires like Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates.

There is a linked infographic that sort of blew my mind: The Top 1 Percent: What Jobs Do They Have?  I love that on the lower left it includes: School teachers don’t earn enough to make the top 1 percent on their own, but many live in 1-percent households, primarily through marriage.

At the bottom of the infographic, it says information was sourced from IPUMS. I Googled IPUMS and found out it stands for Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. The Wikipedia entry about IPUMS (yes, Wikipedia is usually my first resource) taught me:

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) is the world’s largest individual-level population database. IPUMS consists of microdata samples from United States (IPUMS-USA) and international (IPUMS-International) census records. The records are converted into a consistent format and made available to researchers through a web-based data dissemination system.

IPUMS is housed at the Minnesota Population Center, an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Minnesota, under the direction of Professor Steven Ruggles.

IPUMS-USA draws on every surviving United States census from 1850 to 2000 (with the exception of 1890 census, which was destroyed in a fire) and from the American Community Survey of 2000-2009. During certain years, IPUMS-USA also makes available over-samples of African-Americans, Alaskans, American Indians, Hawaiians, and Hispanics. The IPUMS provides consistent variable names, coding schemes, and documentation across all the samples, facilitating the analysis of long-term change.

IPUMS-International includes countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America for 1960 forward. The database currently includes 159 samples from 55 countries around the world. IPUMS-International converts census microdata for multiple countries into a consistent format, allowing for comparisons across countries and time periods. Special efforts are made to simplify use of the data while losing no meaningful information. Comprehensive documentation is provided in a coherent form to facilitate comparative analyses of social and economic change.

Additional databases in the IPUMS family include: (1) the North Atlantic Population Project (NAPP), (2) the National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS), (3) the Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS), and (4) the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series-Current Population Survey (IPUMS-CPS).

The Journal of American History described the effort as “One of the great archival projects of the past two decades.” The official motto of IPUMS is “use it for good, never for evil.” All IPUMS data and documentation are available online free of charge.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

6th graders added Art posts to their digital portfolio created with Google Sites

Img_2600
Img_2603
Img_2605
Img_2606
Img_2607

Yesterday, I was in Yoshiko Maruiwa‘s art classes to help 6th graders add three posts to their personal digital portfolio (created in Google Sites). Yoshiko takes photos of all their finished work and creates albums on The Gallery. (The Gallery is our internal photo server powered by Drupal.) Kids include an image of their work along with an artist statement that explains their process, idea, challenges, successes, curricular connections, and anything else they want to include to curate their work. For today’s class, the students made a post for their Art Self Portrait, Art Tessellation, and Art Circle Design.

To organize all the posts from their 6th grade year, kids created an Announcements page named 2011-2012. As each post is written, it snaps into place in the sidebar index and is arranged alphabetically. Hence, I have them title their posts starting with the subject. I like this better than creating a new page/section for each subject. This way there are less clicks to get to examples of their work, and there is no danger of having pages without any projects on them.

During the course of our discussion, we talked about:

  1. Their invisible audience – while access to the kids’ digital portfolios is limited to users on our school’s GoogleApps domain, everyone in the community has an account. At any moment, their work could be viewed by students, teachers, administrators, parents, and anyone with access to a username/password. This should influence what they write (informative without being super personal) and how they write (grammatically correct).
  2. Appropriate commenting – write a comment that is specific and/or can initiate a discussion. Something like, “I liked your use of color” or “I see you painted a guitar. Do you play any other instruments?”
  3. Inserting an image by linking to the URL of the image online rather than taking a screen snapshot or dragging a copy of the image to the desktop. By using the URL, students can simply point to something else online. The alternative is to copy/take/steal a version of it which is tantamount to theft (depending on how the work is licensed).

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized