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#1
BEAVER

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Where do you guys get the population data on the small towns and their location. I'm talking about town sometimes shown on the maps that have 20 houses or less. I know that Census have town boundaries but not points which shows the town location.

#2
Charlie Frye

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The ESRI Maps and Data CD is a good start. For a long time we shiped a shapefile called places.shp Today it contains 23,435 places. More recently, though we added another dataset called cities_dtl.shp. That contains 28,706 places.

My benchmark for this topic is the State of Kansas (my degrees are from KSU) and while I was there the State DOT decided to stop putting the tiny towns on the state road maps. That dropped the place total from just under 900 to just over 300. I was studying rural community's economies at the time, so I was interested; for many of those places the state road map was the only advertising they got.

For Kansas:
The places.shp file contains 631 places with populations ranging from 8 to 304,011.
The cities_dtl.shp file contains 882, though only 577 have a non-zero population. The population range is the same as for the places.shp.

Both datasets have attributes for FIPS, population, and place name; both also have additional attributes.

If you wanted to go one step further, you could get the GNIS historical place points as well. The GNIS data contains an X and Y coordinate that for that data is map-worthy.
Charlie Frye
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ESRI, Redlands, California

#3
MapMedia

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Like Charlie explained, GNIS is great to use for historic towns, hamlets, 'one horse town' places. Census is in charge of gathering data from these places. I would dig around the 2000 Census data - if you can't find lat/long info or shapefiles for the data, then merge GNIS and Census population data.

#4
BEAVER

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Thanks guys for your help. Why census 2000 and not 2006 data? I always see people talking about 2000 census file instead of the newest release.

#5
MapMedia

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The Census conducts a national census every ten years (decennial) as well as continual data gathering on special elements of economics, other demographics etc. The 2000 Census is generally refered to since it is the official decennial census of national demographics. good luck with the hunt.




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