CAPS: Circular Area Profiling System

April, 2017

The CAPS modules allow the user to enter a site location (latitude-longitude coordinates) and up to five radius values. The results are a series of U.S. Census data-based profile reports, one for each radius. The data reported will vary with the CAPS version. All but the old "classic" version provide links to Google maps to allow getting coordinates of a U.S. street address.

  • ACS Data. This is the current production version that works with the latest available data from the ACS (American Community Survey). Uses an algorithm to include/exclude a geographic unit (census tract or block group) within a circle. This module accesses a block level file with coordinates and 2010 pop counts and used that infomation to estimate the portion of the unit's population within the circle. It then applies that "allocation factor" to all the data for that unit. This is referred to as BBIA — Block Based Inclusion Algorithm. Highly recommended for small radii (under five miles).
  • 2010 Census Data. This version works with census block level data from the 2010 census ("Summary File 1" for those familiar with the Census data products). This is a good choice if you want just basic demographic data (age, race, sex, Hispanic, etc.) and can live with the fact that this is 2010 data (starting to get old).
  • CAPS Classic. This is the orginal version of the application written circa 2002 that works with data from the 2000 decennial census. Unlike the 2010 censu version that has limited ("short form only") data, these reports show a much richer set of data (taken from Summary File 3).
  • Batch CAPS (aka ALPS, Address List Processing System) is a fee-based service for users who have large files of point-based data (typically, but not necessarily geocode address files). The CAPSacs service is recommended. It makes use of the same BBIA logic as the latest ACS web module. But we have rewritten the code to optimize it for doing many sites in a single run. The output is a CSV file suitable for turning into an Excel file. Follow the link above for details and pricing.