Have you ever needed to load an ESRI "shape file" and wondered if that's an easy effort or a difficult effort? I know I have and I assumed that it was a pretty difficult effort. However, I learned today that's actually pretty easy!
The problem I was trying to solve was this:
- We have property data in our Oracle database.
- Each property has a latitude and longitude in the database.
- We also store the census tract information in our database. This includes the following for each property (in increasing granularity levels from top to bottom):
- Census Tract
- Census Block Group
- Census Block
- The government publishes Census Tract information in an ESRI shape file. You can download the shape files from http://web2.ssd.census.gov/cgi-bin/geo/shapefiles2010/main
- You can find more Tiger/Line and Shape files at: http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/tgrshp2010/tgrshp2010.html
- We want to look up the census block for each property - i.e. we want to know what tract, block group and block the property resides in.