Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NEW RESOURCE: POBAL MAPS

- Social inclusion mapping now a reality
With the click of a mouse, you can now view levels of deprivation in your area under a range of categories and down to street level.
You don’t hear people saying ‘Thanks to Pobal’ everyday, but that’s where the credit is due and this is a free resource which people will tend to underestimate until they try it out.
As the CSO releases new information, the intention is to update the data, building up fresh layers on the map, where you can zoom right in on the community where you work and/or live to show where the needs are greatest.
The 2011 census information will bring us right up-to-date, since the country has entered recession territory since the last census in ’06.
Pobal’s John Manning reported: “Our new online mapping system went live on February 8th and we have seen a huge level of interest since then.”
An update in April added boundary information and street level mapping. 
“It is our intention to add datasets from other programmes to the system and build up a rich set of publically accessible information,” said John. “We will also seek to include additional functionality to the system as appropriate at regular intervals.”
CHILDCARE DATA NEXT
An update this summer will map more than 4,200 early education and childcare facilities that participate in the national childcare schemes funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
What it means for parents is that they will be able, for example, to access the free preschool year for their children. It will also allow city and county childcare committees, Pobal and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to manage allocations, monitor changes in service and plan for future needs.
John said that Local Development Companies are going to find the mapping very useful as they engage in strategic planning for their areas.
“They can identify down to street level where the focus of their activities need to be,” said John.
Other groups will find it equally enlightening.
If you’re at a computer, you can try it out straight away at: http://maps.pobal.ie/
Pobal welcomes feedback and suggestions for improvements and additional functionality. Email John on: jmanning@pobal.ie

How to use Pobal Maps
You can use Pobal Maps for five minutes to get a picture of how your area measures up or spend time on it to help with strategic planning.


In technical terms, Pobal Maps is a new GIS (Geographical Information System) online application, as John Manning from Pobal explained it.
It allows users to easily compare and contrast electoral divisiond and small area profiles in terms of their relative level of affluence or disadvantage.
WHAT’S A SMALL AREA?
Small areas, as defined by the map-makers and statisticians, have a minimum of 65 households, an average of 92 and a maximum of just over 900.
This is the first time that this small area dataset has been used on any GIS in Ireland.
Area profiles are available as spreadsheets and reports, downloadable from Pobal’s website in addition to Pobal Maps.
The maps system builds upon the Pobal-Haase Deprivation Index for Small Areas, which provides very detailed information on local areas and gives a score calculated against a national average.
HOW TO USE IT
The system is layer based. Users first mark off the boundaries around a geographical area they are interested in, for example: local authority, electoral division, townland, small area, city/county childcare committee, RAPID/CLAR Area etc.
MEASURE YOUR AREA
Data for that area can then be layered under the headings such as: population change, age dependency ratio, lone parent ratio, proportion with primary education only, gender-divided unemployment rates, proportion in local authority rented accommodation, and relative index score.
EXTREMELY RICH/POOR AREAS
Each data set can then be measured, by every electoral division or small area, on a seven point scale, ranging from extremely disadvantaged, to very affluent. The percentages of persons which fall into each of these categories can also be displayed.
CONFIDENTIALITY
To protect the confidentiality of individuals and households, the CSO decided that no data should be disclosed where a spatial unit comprises less than 65 households.

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