Mapping NC Job Creation



The objective of this assignment was to determine the number of jobs created in each House and Senate district across North Carolina, based upon an Industrial Extension jobs survey. The results of the analysis were then visualized in a map layout.


This project was part of the requirements for GIS 520, Advanced Spatial Analytics. The data provided consisted of an Excel spreadsheet representing the results of the Industrial Extension Job survey. Shapefiles for the NC House and Senate districts and US zip code points were downloaded from the NCSU GIS data library.


There were 4 analysis steps for this exercise. 1) Summarize the job creation data 2) Perform a spatial join of the summarized data to a zip code point shapefile 3) Creation of a new shapefile of the zip codes with the joined job data and 4) Perform a spatial join of this new shapefile to the polygon shapefiles of the Senate and House districts. The purpose of the first join is to associate the job creation data with a zip code point file to give the data a spatial reference. The second join uses this spatial reference to associate the zip code (and previously associated job creation data) with a Senate or House district. The results were then symbolized to create the map layout.


The primary skills emphasized in this exercise are the Summarization of table data and the use of the Spatial join. The Summarization tool allows for the isolation of a single desired attribute of a feature and calculates the total number of occurences of that attribute. The Spatial join is used to correlate a non-spatial feature to a spatial feature and allow it to be visually represented on a map.

The data necessary for completing a GIS analysis may not always be useable in its raw format. Being able to associate the raw date with useable spatial date may take pre-processing before it is useable. This exercise illustrates one method of manipulating raw data to get it into the desired format for analysis and map creation.