“Improving Census-Based Socioeconomic GIS for Public Policy”
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There are a number of socioeconomic phenomena that are difficult to discern using only census data. We present an innovative approach developed to discern the spatial dimensions of risk for homelessness amongst recent immigrants in Vancouver, Canada. Dasymetric mapping and a postal survey are employed to improve the resolution and utility of census data. The results illustrate the potential for developing a more nuanced understanding of the spatial dimensions of complex socioeconomic phenomena using a combination of secondary data and primary data. It is argued that higher-resolution data aids in identifying and understanding socioeconomic phenomena that are highly localized and misrepresented by coarsely aggregated data. Finally, the potential for population surveillance is discussed and weighed against the benefits for policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, and researchers.