Dear ACS, if you are killed off, I will miss you…

Since it is widely regarded that killing the American Community Survey is a bad idea it would make complete sense that portions of the Senate still want to end it.  The main arguments against the ACS are that it is expensive, intrudes on privacy and is “unconstitutional”, whereas the benefits (which in my opinion far outweigh any of the negatives)  generally go along the lines of better data equals better decision making.

I wanted to write a full post about the dangers of ending ACS from the point of view of a geographer, but I became very frustrated reading the stories about why it should be ended that I just deleted everything I had except the first paragraph you just read.  However, I do think it is important to at least give my opinion as a geographer and someone who values good, unbiased data:

Without current and quality spatial data you won’t know where you are or where you are going…

In a world where big data and quantitative analytics are essential to data-driven decision making the loss of the ACS could send shock waves through the business, academic, non-profit, and government worlds.

Now, I am going to volunteer some personal information, tag my location, and post some pictures to Facebook.  Now, there is a data collector I can trust!


Note: It is reported that the White House will veto this if passed.

One Reply to “Dear ACS, if you are killed off, I will miss you…”

  1. Dear GIS doctor

    Interested in your opinion. More and more people seem to be using facebook (even my octogenarian uncle) as well as other social media. “Likes” can easily be tracked, surveys easily concocted, and even geographically targeted.

    With the broadening user base of facebook and co, do you think community surveys might be undertaken using social media in the future? One thing is for certain, they’d be more timely than traditional government survey methods!


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