Microdata, also known as survey data, can be useful data for researchers in the social sciences and humanities. This data is mainly original data containing individual records in survey samples. Public Use Microdata Files account for the majority of microdata used by researchers and other data users. Some well-known examples are Census of Canada and government surveys.
As the data sets are so large, using statistical software such as SPSS, Stata or SAS to extract and analyze the data is advisable.
You can locate various sources of microdata on the University of Manitoba Libraries’ Survey Data LibGuide.
From the Libraries homepage: http://umanitoba.ca/libraries/. Click the Subject Guides tab.
Enter the phrase “survey data” in the search box and click search.
Click on the Survey data link.
For Canadian microdata, specifically Stats Can surveys, use odesi. For general Canadian surveys, such as Canadian Commmunity Health Surveys, use SDA at CHASS. For international surveys, use ICPSR. Make sure you set up an account in order to access data.
If you need help using these tools or have advanced questions on microdata, please contact your subject librarian for help.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer and mobile based systems used to capture, store, manage, analyze, use and display spatial or geographic data. With GIS, researchers can monitor trends and see what is happening in geographic space via electronic maps and 3D views, communicating information pertinent to specific locations.
GIS has emerged as an important technology for decision-making and analysis and has wide-spread use in many applications. It has been used to identify neighborhoods at risk, to follow political donations, for real estate site selection, for improved communication among emergency services, or for monitoring oil spills and/or resource extraction. It often is used in combination with multimedia to track journeys of artists or fictional characters, or the advance of civilizations using archaeological evidence. GIS may track wellness, bird populations and territories, slave trade migrations, road maintenance, or agricultural production.
The University of Manitoba is well equipped to help faculty, staff and students learn about and use GIS. The UM offers degrees in environmental studies, geography and geomatics. GIS software is installed in many labs on campus and free one-year GIS licenses are available to UM affiliates. Installed software in the library labs includes ArcGIS, AutoCAD 15, Geomatica 2015, Google Earth Pro and GeoViewer.
The UM Libraries also has orthophoto imagery of the city of Winnipeg, topographic data for Manitoba, census of Canada, the US geological survey, environmental data, Stats Canada, GeoBase, and Federal Electoral Districts, to name a very few. Some data sources, such as Winnipeg imagery, and DMTI Spatial Inc.’s resources, have restrictions on who can use them, and for what purpose. A full listing of available resources and their restrictions can be viewed at http://libguides.lib.umanitoba.ca/GIS
Also on the guide, you can find tips on making maps and contact info for the GIS Environmental Studies librarian. Please contact her for help, license agreements, and information on tutorials and workshops.