Data preparation: Appending Census data to Zip code?
Dear Colleagues: We are looking to populate zip code level data with indicators from other databases such as the American Community Survey (ACS) or the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES). The challenge we face is that the boundaries between zip codes and census geographies do not line up. If we run a spatial join using ESRI’s ArcMap where the primary data is zip code centroids, and secondary data is census geography polygons, we might get large variability.
What are some ways to reduce errors in such a join? Have you run these spatial joins and have the results of subsequent analyses been meaningful/robust? Any thoughts would be most helpful. Thanks.
Manish Shirgaokar (URP, U of Alberta)