Project 1 2022 – Environmental Justice

Project 1
Environmental Justice: mapping the distribution of toxic releases

Your goal is to use the skills that you have developed completing the exercises and in class to finish the task below, and to that add some curiosity about what you could, or might be able to do.  You may work with one other person, but be mindful that you need to keep developing your own skills and should be able to complete all the processes by yourself by the end of the project.  But DO learn from each other. Please do you own work as an individual or pair; don’t share your process with other groups or use another’s in some way.

  • The Data
    • you will find and ingest data for 2019 and for Virginia only
    • Census (tract level)
      • Tract geometry as shapefiles
      • Tables of population by race/ethnicity
    • EPA Toxic Release Inventory
      • tables of releases
        • by chemical and company
  • The Tasks
    • upload and ingest the data into a single, well-organized ArcGIS Pro project folder
    • map bipoc population distribution and toxic releases for a portion of the Virginia tidewater region
    • analyze and map the relationship of BIPOC populations and releases either
      • simply – just display both types of data together in one map
      • map 1 or more complex analyses of the distribution of total releases in relation to the distribution of BIPOC populations
    • produce a layout that shows the results of your analysis or visualization and other elements that will allow a user to understand it.
    • create metadata for your data and map layers
    • upload a map layout and brief description of your process to your Digication portfolio

Getting the data

  • You may search the web other of sources of these data that I’m not covering here; but you have to make sure you know what you’re getting and you need to save the steps that got you there (the google search, the map server, which layers you got, etc) so I and others can follow you.
  • Downloading the Census Tracts polygons
    • Search the web for “census tiger files” either to download or use in ArcGIS directly (from the living atlas). Use the 2019 version in either case.
    • download or select only the tracts in Virginia and get them into your geodatabase
  • Downloading demographic Census Data (csv tables that contain race/ethnicity information)
    • start here https://data.census.gov/cedsci/
      • Select “Advanced Search” under the Search bar
      • Choose “Geography” first, then Tract, then Virginia, then All Census Tracts within Virginia

        and the restriction should appear.
      • Now use the Search bar at the top to find  American Community Survey , then click
        census
        table Table DPO5 (ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates). Other tables have race data, but do not separate white and latino/hispanic.
      • Select the “View all products”

        and select “Download” to get the zip file for 2019 only
        (it should only be for Virginia, but  you should check 🙂
      • When you unzip it you’ll have three files
        • the data table (csv)
        • a list of the columns (with the word “metadata” in the filename
        • and a text file with more metadata
      • Ingesting the Census data
      • Look at this excel file; it highlights which columns you need to determine BIPOC vs white population (this is a matter for discussion, but for the purpose of this project, we will not put latino/hispanic nor “Asian” with “white” )
      • Make your csv or excel table readable by ArcGIS Pro
        • only one header row (not the two that the table gives you.
        • field names should not start with numbers.
        • all rows in a single column except the top header row should be the same (text or numbers). Mixed columns will be assigned text
        • You can all the columns that you don’t need before you upload it or just turn them off once they’re in ArcGIS (in case it turns out you DO need them). Do all your manipulations in ArcGIS Pro (not excel)
        • save it with a good  name
    • Download the Toxic Release Database (2019)
      • start here https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/
      • Start with the “Select the best tool for getting what you want” (You are not going to use a “tool,” you’re looking for data)
      • find the “TRI Data and Tools for Advanced/Customized Analysis” section of the that page. Hit Go!
      • Scroll down to select the data for 2019 only (and only in VA!)
      • download the csv file for Virginia for 2019.

Notes on data processing

      • Select only those Census Tracts that are completely within the study area (clipping might distort the area calculations some may choose to complete) Download the “study area” shapefile.
      • The spatial reference for the TRI point longitude/latitude data is in one of the columns adjacent to the coordinates. You can add “XY data” as a temporary layer and then save it to your geodatabase.
      • The data you “need” for TOTAL releases (both air and water) are in this column
        “ON-SITE RELEASE TOTAL” (maybe column 61?)
        and you may want to look at these metadata https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/tri-basic-data-files-guide
      • It might be a good ideas to use the “Fields View” to turn off (hide from visibility) most of the other fields
      • NOTE! There may be multiple rows for each company (and hence, coordinate pair), so you’ll have to think about how to deal with the overlap (remember your corn harvest techniques?)
      • save or copy tables to your geodatabase before you edit them (they are read only as csv files)
      • The Demographic table does not have the same GEOID as the Tiger file :/
        The Demographic table: 1400000US51001090100
        The Tiger Tract polygon: 51001090100
        Use excel or “calculate field” to get just the right-most 11 characters of the Demographic table text string to use a “key” field for joining. Remember to keep notes (“breadcrumbs”) on how you figured out how to do that! You’ll forget and may need that again.  Should it be in your metadata?

The deliverables

  • Please post the exported PDF of  your layout to your (or your partner’s, or both) digication eportfolio in a new tab called “VA Environmental Justice” or similar.
  • Please turn off student views of your portfolio until after the assignment has been reviewed.
  • post the following information to that same page
    • who completed the project
    • where the project folder is located in P or Q (if you’re using your own PC, please copy your entire project folder to your  P drive (or Q for pairs/groups) and include that location. If you’re can’t connect through myVI or the network, put  that entire folder in Box and share it with my via email. In your portfolio, just say that it is in box without a link)
    • a list of data layers (by their feature or grid name as stored in the project geodatabase) that contain the information and metadata used for the project (not ALL of them, but the ones that got you where you wanted to go)
    • a snip of the catalog view of your geodatabase
    • a very brief bulleted list of the steps  taken (here use only a few words, put the detail, if necessary, in the metadata)
  • I will evaluate your process and results plus the utility and presentation of your final map(s). I will also look at your project folder and assess the geoprocessing history and metadata on files that are downloaded and/or changed during the project. It should be clear to me from the “Item Description” part of the metadata (the one part it makes sense for you to edit) plus the Geoprocessing history what you did to make this magic happen.

The rubric (75 points total)

Pts Excellent Good Fair Poor
geoprocessing –  steps taken and attempt to determine relationship 5 5 – clear path to correct and complex analysis of spatial relationship and it is clearly listed in ePortfolio 4 – got the right data; tried one or more spatial analyses beyond simply displaying  data layers together (simple visualization) 3 – incorrect or convoluted steps that cloud actual process, and/or not listed completely in step; simple visualization <3 – untraceable or incomprehensible path of analysis or upload and no analysis beyond display of both properties
geoprocessing -getting the right data, and your folder/data architecture 20 20 – All data analyzed to yield correct values for population and toxic releases; relationship explore through further analyses; all data in proper place and well-named 16-19 – Most data correct, but a processing error yields partially incorrect values; some analysis attempted; data/folder logical but messy/disordered 12-15 – processing errors distort the relationship between race and toxic releases; folders chaotic or disordered; names hard to follow <12 – presented values have no similarity to actual releases or population; can’t find/access your data files
layout presentation general 10 10 –the presentation uses the space wisely and fully, making all elements easy to read and interpret 8-9 –presentation would benefit from better arrangement, size or kind of layout elements 6-7 –poorly organized for presentation of data or use of space <6 – maps, titles and portions of necessary elements dropped into a layout with no thought to utility
map elements (legends, north arrow, scale etc) 10 10 – has all the elements and considers extra details that aid understanding; spatial character of map(s) correct. 8-9 – has most elements requested; map spatial nature is skewed 6-7 – is missing key elements, which clouds information; spatial presentation incorrect <6 – lacks necessary items to interpret spatial context and data
presentation of map data (symbology, tables and/or labels, etc) 15 15 – results can be easily understood from the map(s) 12-14 – map(s) are clear but some information is complex or less easy to interpret 9-11 – data are presented but in a fashion that is difficult for the reader to understand or see <9 – data are not presented, or are so done in such a way that readers can’t understand
metadata 15 15 – all necessary  data and  mapped layers have clear and brief metadata edited in the catalog view or layer properties  as appropriate 12-14 – most or all data and layers have metadata but some is unclear or unnecessarily verbose, or misplaced 9-11 –  insufficient or missing metadata, or it is not recorded correctly <9 – most data  files  and layers lack metadata