W3: Oral Presentation C Friday, 11:30 am 12:00 pm C Lake Superior Ballroom L

Geo-Coding MnSCU Students: A Multi-Faceted Approach

Sandi Kuitunen, Sally Wakefield
Minnesota Planning Land Management Information Center
330 Centennial Building
658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN  55108

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) requested that LMIC assist them with a report to summarize the number of their 360,000 students within each legislative district. Since street addresses are not available for the entire state, a multiple tier approach was taken to assigning a legislative district to each record in the MnSCU database. Maptitude software was used for geocoding against the Lawrence Group (TLG) and U.S. Census TIGER addresses. For records without a city-style address or a matched street address, U.S. Postal zip codes and telephone exchange areas were used. While an exact match for every student record was not provided, the results provided a reasonable summary of the student distribution across the legislative districts. This presentation will discuss the challenges of using a database where address and phone information is not standardized, the advantages and limitations of available street databases and software, and the use of zip codes and telephone exchanges for approximating locations.