Connecticut History Website from Connecticut Humanities Council now available!

The Connecticut Humanities Council has released a new website dedicated to Connecticut History at This website includes stories about people, traditions, innovations, and events that make up the rich history of the state of Connecticut. Each week new content, connections are added to the site.

The site includes the ability to view content by topics, people, and towns. With a combination of photographs, illustrations, documents, web resources, and more you will want to spend some time exploring the site in greater detail. With an easy to navigate interface, users will enjoy viewing the Connecticut History Towns Page which features images from each of Connecticut’s 169 towns plus links to information pertaining to each town. With the entire website continuing to expand with new stories weekly we encourage readers to view the site weekly and you can following the site from Twitter, Facebook, and even subscribe to the RSS feed for the website.

This website was developed in partnership with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and features content from Connecticut ExploredConnecticut History Online, and  The Connecticut Council for Social Studies.

Connecticut GIS User to User Network Meeting – Friday June 29, 2012

The Connecticut GIS User to User Network Quarterly meeting will be held on Friday June 29, 2012 from 8:00am-12:00pm at the South Central Regional Water Authority in New Haven, Connecticut. The focus of this meeting will be “GIS Planning, Preparation, and Mitigation for Natural Disasters” and will feature three presentations plus include time for networking. 
Date: June 29, 2012
Time: 8:30am – 12:00pm
Location: SouthCentral Connecticut Water Authority 90 Sargent Drive New Haven, CT
Cost: FREE!

The agenda for this meeting is included below:

8:00 – 8:45            Networking
8:45 – 9:45           Jeffery Bolton, Dept of Construction Services presenting on the Storm Response and Recovery Assessment Group Report
9:45 – 10:00         Break
10:00 – 10:45       Meghan McGaffin, GIS Analyst City of Milford presenting on Mapping for Citizen Outreach – FEMA Flood Map Changes Affect 5,000 Parcels
10:45 – 11:00       Break
11:00 – 11:45       Scott Roberts IT Director and Dawn Mulholland GIS Analyst of South Windsor presenting on Citizen Service Request Dashboard, winner of an ESRI 2012 Special Achievement in GIS Award
11:45 – noon       Wrap up

Workshop on GIS Mobility and Field Data Collection 

Shortly after this meeting a GIS Mobility Workshop Information is being offered at the nearby La Quinta Inn and Suites starting at 12:15pm with pizza provided for participants. For more information, contact Brad Tatham at the Connecticut GIS User to User Network Meeting or call 520-971-7624 or email 

Date: June 29, 2012

Time: 12:15pm
Location: La Quinta Inn and Suites – 400 Sargent Drive New Haven, CT
Cost: FREE!

Food: Pizza lunch is provided for participants

Hurricane Visualizations – 1851 to Present

With hurricane season upon us, the New Scientist has developed a visualization of the path of hurricanes for the past 20 years. Explore year by year the path of each hurricane, view the total number of storms for each year, and each visualization includes the maximum wind speed for each storm.

As you explore this article further you will discover that 2005, the same year that Katrina and Rita caused so much damage to the gulf coast, there were a total of 28 storms. These 28 storms in 2005  resulted in just over 1,000 casualties, representing the highest number of hurricane related deaths over this 20 year period.

Review this article and view 1990-2010 Hurricane Visualizations at:

Want To Explore More Hurricane Data?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed an interactive interface to enable users to explore Historical Hurricane Tracks which can be explore by location, storm name, and ocean basin. This interface allows users to view storms from the late 1800s to present and includes barometric pressure readings, wind speeds, storm category, and more details plus the ability to download the data. This visualization can be viewed at:

The NOAA Historical Hurricane Tracks also allows users to refine their search by storm category, time frame, and even barometric pressure. This interface provides great visualizations of the life cycle of a hurricane and provides an interactive display of the path of the hurricane.

More Resources to Explore
Want to explore more details about hurricanes and historical hurricane visualizations? The following links include some additional resources related to hurricanes:

New Version of U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap for Emergency Management Web Application

New Version of OnTheMap for Emergency Management Web Application

New features in the U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap application improve access to workforce and demographic statistics for emergency preparedness, response and recovery activities. The application automatically incorporates real-time data updates from the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

New features include:

  • New emergency event data: Addition of FEMA disaster declaration areas and National Weather Service snowfall probability forecasts
  • More complete hurricane archives: Capture and archiving of all daily National Hurricane Center storm updates
  • Expanded report content: Addition of 2010 Census demographic and housing characteristics, and 2010 jobs and worker statistics
  • New analyses and visualizations: New reports with charting and thematic map overlays showing population and worker origin and destination distributions
  • New interoperability: New tool for exporting event areas to use in OnTheMap or other GIS applications
  • Updated interface and help documentation: Improved user interface speed and navigability, improved event searching, newly updated help documentation
View this new version of the OnTheMap for Emergency Management Web Application at:

A Half Century of Special District Growth Webinar

A Half Century of Special District Growth
Special district governments make up a significant portion of local government yet tend to be the most misunderstood type of government.  In the past 50 years, special districts have outpaced their county and municipal counterparts in growth in both number and significance.  This presentation will use Census data to explore the evolution of this type of government over time, attempt to explain how these governments are structured, how they operate, where they exist, what purposes they serve, and what the future might hold.

Date: July 24, 2012

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern 

PresenterSteve Owens, U.S. Census Bureau


Treworgy Planetarium Summer Evening Series

A3P Spitz Star Projector

The Treworgy Planetarium of Mystic Seaport is pleased to announce its five part summer series for 2012.  Programs will begin with updates on current events in the evening sky followed by an extended presentation of the topic for that evening.  Afterward, if weather permits, the indoor program will be followed by an outdoor observation session using the planetarium telescopes.  This is a great opportunity to explore geography from a different perspective (not to mention scale!)  Of particular interest to geographers are the July 20th and August 3rd lectures.
Schedule: All Programs begin at 8:30 PM (entrance at the administrative gate)
June 22, 2012       The Summer Evening Sky
July 6, 2012          The Zodiac
July 20, 2012        The Milankovitch Cycle and the Earth’s Climate
August 3, 2012     The Moon and Tides
August 17, 2012   Extrasolar Planets 

View Administrative Entrance in a larger map

Visitors $7.50 per person
Members $6.00 per person
Children (15 and under): $3.00
Event Details can be found on our Facebook and Events Page
Follow Us on Twitter: @MS_Planetarium
Follow Us on Facebook: /MS_Planetarium

Contact Jeff Dunn at for more details.

“Free and clear” mortgage status data from the American Community Survey and 2010 Census

 Despite the expansion of mortgage debt in the last decade, according to the latest American Community Survey data one third of owner-occupied households (i.e. those owning – not renting or leasing – their house, condo, apartment, etc.) own their homes “free and clear” of any mortgage or home equity loan. In gathering this data, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey questionnaire asks whether owner-occupied properties have a “mortgage, deed of trust, or similar debt,” and in the absence of any primary mortgage, whether there is a second mortgage or home equity loan (questions 19 and 20). Nationally, more than 24 million homes – 32.8% of owner-occupied housing units – have no primary or secondary mortgages. The prevalence of free and clear mortgage status for owner-occupied housing units varies regionally from 23.5% in Maryland, to 50.3% in West Virginia:

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 Connecticut lags slightly behind the national average in the percentage of owner-occupied housing units owned free and clear in the state; according to American Community Survey 2010 data, 28.5% of owner-occupied homes in Connecticut have no mortgage debt. Of these households, trends in the age of the householders, and median household income, were consistent with national trends. About 60% of the householders (the individual completing the ACS questionnaire) in mortgage-free households were 65 or older; 39% were aged 35-64, and only 1.4% were under 35. In Connecticut, as in all states, median household income in owner-occupied homes is significantly less than in households where the home is mortgaged. Median household income in Connecticut among households carrying a mortgage was $94,298, while median income in mortgage-free households was $52,435.

 Homeownership and mortgage status data were also gathered by the 2010 Census. Question 3 of the 2010 Census questionnaire asked if the housing unit was either “owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan? Include home equity loans”, or “owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)”. For mortgage status information at the town level, the Census 2010 data provides more current data than the ACS 5-year Estimates. According to 2010 Census figures, 26.4% of owner-occupied homes in Connecticut were owned free and clear (slightly less than the figures published for the 2010 ACS 2010 1-year estimate). Free and clear status among owner-occupied homes among Connecticut towns ranged from 16.2% in Sterling, to 41.2% in Cornwall.

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For detailed data from the American Community Survey in American FactFinder, see:

For additional data on mortgage status from the 2010 Census in American FactFinder, see:

On The Map for Emergency Management Webinar – June 20, 2012

OnTheMap for Emergency Management
June 20, 2012
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Eastern

Discover OnTheMap for Emergency Management Version 3 new features that improves access to and utility of Census workforce and demographic data for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities including incorporating Federal Disaster Areas, Snowfall Forecasts, and 2010 Census demographic and housing characteristics.
Robert Pitts, U.S. Census Bureau
For registration questions, please contact Lauren Gilchrist.  For content-related questions, please contact Earlene Dowell.

TIGERweb Map Viewer and WMS from US Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau has released a new version of TIGERweb, a Web-based map viewer from the agency’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System (TIGER) database. TIGERweb allows users to view and query census geographic areas and features such as roads, railroads, rivers, lakes and other larger bodies of water. It currently displays boundaries, names and codes for 2010 Census legal and statistical geographic areas, such as counties, cities, towns and townships, census tracts and urban areas. In addition, TIGERweb contains population and housing unit counts from the 2010 Census for each of the geographic areas.

To access TIGERweb, go to:

WMS Service now available!

In addition to the TIGERweb viewer, the TIGER data also is available as a Web service via the Open Geospatial Consortium Web Map Service standard. Users who have a client that supports the Web Map Service (such as ArcGIS) may access the TIGERweb service at

Explore TIGERweb by watching this brief video

2011 Characteristics of New Housing Report

2011 Characteristics of New Housing

This report provides annual statistics on the characteristics of new privately owned residential structures for the U.S. and the nation’s four regions — Northeast, South, Midwest and West. The statistics are gathered from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, and the report includes characteristics such as type of wall material, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of financing, heating and square footage.

A Few Highlights from the 2011 Report:

  • The average single-family house completed was 2,480 square feet. In 2010, the average single-family house was 2,392 square feet.
  • 33% of the new single-family homes sold in the U.S. had vinyl siding as the principal type of exterior wall material. For attached single-family homes sold, it was 41% and for detached single-family homes sold, it was 32%.
  • 88% of all single-family homes completed had air-conditioning. By region, the proportions were 81% in the Northeast, 91% in the Midwest, 99% in the South, and 62% in the West.
  • 39% of single-family homes completed had 4 or more bedrooms. 48% of them had 3 bedrooms.
  • Of the single-family homes completed with 4 or more bedrooms, 57% had 3 or more bathrooms.
  • 19% of new single-family homes sold had a garage that could hold 3 or more cars.
To explore additional data related to new housing characteristics for 2011, view this report at: