Understand your data and the concept of digital exclusion

You'll start by exploring internet access data from the American Community Survey 2015-2019, and you'll decide how to best use that data to measure digital exclusion. Through this process, you'll also learn about fundamental concepts that are important to understand for any racial equity–focused data analysis.

Note:

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about the United States and its people. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It covers many topics and includes data on the type of internet access that people have access to.

Explore the data

First, you'll download the ArcGIS Pro project that contains all the data you need for this lesson. As a data analyst, you first need to understand your data well before deciding on a specific analysis strategy. So, you'll spend some time exploring your data.

  1. Go to the Digital Exclusion by Race item page, and click Download.

    Download button

    The .zip file downloads to your computer.

  2. Locate the downloaded Digital_Exclusion_by_Race.zip file on your computer.
    Note:

    Depending on your web browser, you may have been prompted to choose the file's location before you began the download. Most browsers download to your computer's Downloads folder by default.

  3. Right-click the Digital_Exclusion_by_Race.zip file and extract it to a location you can easily find, such as your Documents folder.

    Next, you'll open the project in ArcGIS Pro.

  4. Start ArcGIS Pro. If prompted, sign in using your licensed ArcGIS account.
    Note:

    If you don't have ArcGIS Pro or an ArcGIS account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

  5. In ArcGIS Pro, under Open, click Open another project.

    Open another project button

  6. In the Open Project window, browse to the Digital_Exclusion_by_Race folder you extracted. Click Digital_Exclusion_by_Race.aprx to select it, and click OK.

    Double-click the project file.

    The project appears.

  7. In the Contents pane, observe that the project contains one single layer named Internet access by ACS race groups.

    Initial Contents pane

    Note:

    The Internet access by ACS race groups layer is derived from the ACS Internet Access by Age and Race Variables - Boundaries feature service available on ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. That service contains computer ownership and internet access information by age and race. The information is provided at the census tract, county, and state levels. The service is updated annually and contains the most current ACS five-year data.

    The layer provided for this lesson contains a subset of that data: it contains only the race-based data, and only at the county level. In the lesson, you will only do the analysis at the county level. However, optionally, you can reproduce the same analysis at the census tract or state levels, using the original ArcGIS Living Atlas data.

    The Internet access by ACS race groups layer contains a lot of data, but for now the map does not show any of it, and only the boundaries of the counties are symbolized.

    Initial map

    You'll examine the layer's attribute table where all the data is stored.

    Note:

    The layer includes all U.S. counties, including in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. However, for the purpose of this lesson, you will focus on the contiguous United States. This is the extent shown in the map.

  8. In the Contents pane, right-click the Internet access by ACS race groups layer, and choose Attribute Table.

    Attribute Table menu option

    The attribute table appears.

  9. Start reviewing the attribute table.

    Name and State columns in the attribute table

    Each row represents one U.S. county. The first few columns offer general information about the country such as its unique ID and area. Notice especially the Name and State fields that give the county's name and its state.

  10. If necessary, use the right arrow of the scroll bar to see more attribute columns.

    Click the right arrow to scroll to the right.

    The next few columns give internet access information about the entire population of the county, without separating out by race groups. The counts are given in terms of household (a housing unit, where, for instance, one family lives). You can see the following counts:

    • Total number of households in the county
    • The number of households that have a computer
    • The number of households that have a computer with a dial-up internet subscription alone
    • The number of households that has a computer with broadband internet subscription
    • The number of households without an Internet subscription
    • The number of households with no computer

      The field Total Population in Households gives the total population in the county. For instance, the first row, Autauga County, Alabama, has 21,115 households, including 16,549 households that have a computer with a broadband internet subscription, and a total population of 54,654.

      Note:

      Every measurement column in the attribute table has a Margin of Error column associated with it. Because the ACS survey is sent to a sample of Americans each year and not to the entire population, the numbers given are estimates. The margin of error describes the precision of the estimate. For instance, if a county is reported as having 15,000 households that have a computer, with a Margin of Error of 400, it means that the actual number could statistically be from 14,600 to 15,400 (that is 15,000 – 400, and 15,000 + 400). To better understand what margins of error are, you can view the ACS General Handbook chapter Understanding Error and Determining Statistical Significance from the US Census Bureau.

      As you can see, this table has many columns. To continue your review, you will switch to a view where the field names are listed without the data.

  11. In the attribute table, click the option menu, and click Fields View.

    Fields View menu option

    The Fields view appears.

  12. Focus on the Alias column, which lists user-friendly names for all the fields.

    Alias column in the Fields View

    You should recognize the fields that you had already started reviewing.

  13. Scroll down the list until you reach the Total Black or African American Population in Households field.

    Total Black or African American Population in Households field

    From now on, the fields will give internet access information broken down by race and ethnicity groups, the first group being Black or African American. You can recognize all the same internet access categories that you saw previously for the general population.

    Note:

    The counts are now in terms of Population in Households, instead of Households, which means that the individual members of the households are counted. For instance, if a household has four members and is declared as having no computer, this will be counted as four people having no computer. The reason for this is that a single household could have people belonging to different race groups, so it would not work to count at the household level.

  14. In the Fields view, continue reviewing the different race and ethnicity groups mentioned. The groups mentioned are the following:
    • Black or African American
    • American Indian and Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
    • Some Other Race
    • Two or More races
    • Non-Hispanic White
    • Hispanic or Latino
    Note:

    Before going further, it is a good idea to reflect on how these specific groups were chosen by the U.S. Census bureau and think about how the concept of race came about.

    According to the Race note on the Census website, "The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include racial and national origin or sociocultural groups. People may choose to report more than one race to indicate their racial mixture, such as 'American Indian' and 'White.' People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race."

    In Historical Foundations of Race, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture explains: "Race is a human-invented, shorthand term used to describe and categorize people into various social groups based on characteristics like skin color, physical features, and genetic heredity." In Race and Racial Identity, it also states: "It is important to acknowledge race is a social fabrication, created to classify people on the arbitrary basis of skin color and other physical features. Although race has no genetic or scientific basis, the concept of race is important and consequential. Societies use race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, disenfranchisement, and oppression."

    Going into more details, in the AAPA Statement on Race & Racism, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists asserts: "Race does not provide an accurate representation of human biological variation. It was never accurate in the past, and it remains inaccurate when referencing contemporary human populations. Humans are not divided biologically into distinct continental types or racial genetic clusters. Instead, the Western concept of race must be understood as a classification system that emerged from, and in support of, European colonialism, oppression, and discrimination. It thus does not have its roots in biological reality, but in policies of discrimination. Because of that, over the last five centuries, race has become a social reality that structures societies and how we experience the world."

    While this is a complex topic that can't possibly be fully explored in this short note, it is important to remember that the racial groupings defined by the Census Bureau are an imperfect reflection of complex social dynamics. While race is a social construct, it continues to have real consequences. As a result, the examination of race-based demographic data still provides a useful means for appraising racial disparities.

  15. As a last observation of your data, in the Fields view, compare the Field Name and Alias columns.

    Field name and alias columns

    Notice that each original ACS field usually has a field name that is composed of a short code, such as B28009B_001E. It also has an alias, which is a much more user-friendly name that you have been focusing on over the last few steps. It will be useful to remember the relation between Field Name values and Alias values later in the lesson.

  16. When you are done reviewing all the fields, close the Fields view.

    Close Fields view

In this section, you explored the ACS data about internet access in the United States broken down by race. Next, you'll decide how to use that data to analyze digital exclusion.

Decide how to measure digital exclusion

Now that you understand your data, you must decide how you can use it best to measure digital exclusion.

Note:

As it is essential to understand what you are measuring, you'll explore the concept of digital exclusion in a bit more depth and review a few important definitions.

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) defines digital equity as "a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services."

NDIA defines digital inclusion as "the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This includes 5 elements: 1) affordable, robust broadband internet service; 2) internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; 3) access to digital literacy training; 4) quality technical support; and 5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration." (NDIA – Definitions)

Hence, individuals who are digitally excluded are people who do not have access to some or all of the five ICT elements listed, and, as a result, are denied opportunities in terms of civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services and inclusive content.

Based on those definitions and your review of the ACS data, what is the best metric (or measurement formula) that you can build to measure digital exclusion? While the ACS data does not provide information on all five ICT elements, it does give you some insights into the first two: 1) affordable, robust broadband internet service and 2) internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user. According to NDIA's definitions, people who don't have a computer, don't have internet, or just have a dial-up connection can all be considered digitally excluded. This means that you can get an approximate measure of digitally excluded communities by summing up the following ACS fields:

  • Population that has a computer with a dial-up internet subscription alone
  • Population without an internet subscription
  • Population with no computer
Note:

When you want to analyze a phenomenon (in your case, digital exclusion), it is important to realize that the data available (in your case, the ACS data) may not offer you a full picture of the phenomenon. For instance, the ACS data does not give you any information on access to digital literacy training, quality technical support, or inclusive online content. However, that's okay, as long as you explain clearly what specific aspects your analysis will cover.

You can summarize the information provided by the ACS data as a formula:

Digitally excluded population =

Population that has a computer with a Dial-up Internet subscription alone +

Population without an Internet subscription +

Population with no computer

You could use this formula to measure the digitally excluded population for ACS each race group.

Note:

You can also calculate this measurement as the following:

Digitally excluded population =

Total Population – Population that has a Computer with Broadband Internet subscription.

Rather than measuring digital exclusion as an absolute population number, it is more convenient to measure it as a percentage of the total group population. This will make it easier to compare the race groups to each other, as well as make comparisons across counties. So, for instance, to compute the percentage of the Black or African American population that is digitally excluded in a specific county, you'll divide the Black or African American population that is digitally excluded by the total Black or African American population in that county, and you'll multiply by 100 to obtain a percentage:

Percent digitally excluded =

(Digitally excluded population / Total population) * 100

If you combine the two formulas defined so far, you obtain:

Percent digitally excluded =

((Population that has a computer with a Dial-up Internet subscription alone

+ Population without an Internet subscription

+ Population with no computer)

/ Total population) * 100

This formula is the digital exclusion metric that you'll use in your analysis.

You'll now apply the formula to the different ACS race groups. To avoid doing too many repetitive steps in the lesson, you'll compute the metric only for the first race group, Black or African American. The computations for other groups will be provided to you ready-made. You'll calculate the metric directly in the attribute table of the Internet Access by ACS Race Group layer. First, you'll create the new field to hold the metric for the Black or African American group.

  1. If necessary, in the Contents pane, right-click the Internet Access by Race Group layer and choose Attribute table.
  2. In the attribute table toolbar, next to Field, click Add.

    Add button

    The Fields view appears. At the bottom, there is a new empty row.

    New empty row

  3. On the new row, click the Field Name cell, and type DHP_BAA

    That name stands for Digitally excluded percentage - Black or African American.

  4. Double-click the Alias cell, and type Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded.

    You'll now choose the type of the field. You want it to be able to hold decimal numbers, so you'll choose the Float type.

  5. Double-click the Data Type cell, and choose Float.

    First new field

    You also want the numbers in that field to be formatted, so that they have no more than two decimal digits. For instance, 24.5938668 will be displayed as 24.59.

  6. Double-click the Number Format field, and click Determine display formatting for numeric field types.

    Determine display formatting for numeric field types

  7. In the Number Format window, expand the Category drop-down list and choose Numeric.

    Choose Numeric

  8. In the Number Format window, under Rounding, set Decimal places to 2.

    Decimal places option

  9. Click OK.
  10. On the ribbon, on the Fields tab, in the Changes group, click Save to save the new field.

    Save button on the Fields tab

  11. Close the Fields view.

You have created a field to hold the Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded metric, and that field is currently empty. Next, you'll populate it with the result of the digital exclusion formula you established earlier.

Calculate the digital exclusion metric

In this section, you'll populate the Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded field using your digital exclusion formula.

  1. If necessary, in the attribute table, in the toolbar, click Clear.

    Clear button

    If any rows were selected, they become unselected. If the button appears dimmed, it means that no rows were selected, so you can move on to the next step.

    Note:

    This is important, because if some rows are selected, your formula will only be applied to those specific rows.

  2. In the attribute table, scroll to the right end of the table to view the new field, Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded.

    Null values in the Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded field

    For now, all the cells of that field show a <Null> value, because they have not yet been populated.

  3. In the attribute table, in the toolbar, next to Field, click Calculate.

    Calculate button

    The Calculate Field window appears.

  4. In the Calculate Field tool, enter the following parameters:
    • For Input Table, verify that Internet access by ACS race groups is selected.
    • For Field Name, choose Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded.
    • For Expression Type, verify that Python 3 is selected.

    Calculate field parameters.

    You will now build the digital exclusion formula. First, you'll sum up the three digital exclusion fields.

  5. Drag the side of the Calculate Field window to widen it, until you can see the full name of the attribute fields listed under Fields.

    Widen the window

  6. In the Fields list, scroll down, and double-click Black or African American Population in Households that Have a Computer with Dial-up Internet Subscription Alone.

    The attribute field is inserted in the Expression text box, under the equal sign.

    Start building the formula.

    Note:

    Even though you chose the attribute field based on its alias, it is its field name, !B28009B_003E!, that was inserted.

  7. Under Helpers, click the Plus sign.

    Plus sign

    The Plus sign is inserted in the Expression text box.

  8. Similarly, in the Fields list, double-click Black or African American Population in Households that Have a Computer without an Internet Subscription. Insert a Plus sign again in the text box.
  9. In the Fields list, double-click Black or African American Population in Households with No Computer.

    Three elements sum

    You'll now compute the percentage in relation to the total population.

  10. Enclose the sum in parenthesis, and type a Divide sign at the end of the expression.
  11. In the Fields list, double-click Total Black or African American Population in Households.

    Formula with division

  12. Enclose the entire formula in parentheses, and multiply it by 100. It should look this way:

    Complete formula

    Your final formula for the percentage of Black or African American population digitally excluded is as follows:

    ((!B28009B_003E!+!B28009B_005E!+!B28009B_006E!) /!B28009B_001E!) * 100

  13. Click Apply.

    After the calculation is complete, a warning appears mentioning that for some rows a division by 0 occurred. This is because in some counties there is no Black or African American population, so the Total Black or African American Population in Households field has the value 0. In that case, the resulting value is <Null>. This behavior was expected and will not cause issues in the rest of your workflow.

  14. Close the warning window. Click OK to close the Calculate Field window.
  15. Verify that the Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded field is now populated. See that for Autauga county on the first row, the value is 32.54 (percent). All the values are between 0 and 100 (percent), or <Null>.

    The digital exclusion fields for the other ACS race and ethnicity groups have already been prepared for you. They are available at the end of the attribute table under the following names and aliases.

    Field nameAliasData t

    DHP_AIAN

    Percent of American Indian and Alaska Native population digitally excluded

    Float

    DHP_A

    Percent of Asian population digitally excluded

    Float

    DHP_NHOPI

    Percent of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population digitally excluded

    Float

    DHP_SO

    Percent of Some Other Race population digitally excluded

    Float

    DHP_TMR

    Percent of Two or More Races population digitally excluded

    Float

    DHP_NHW

    Percent of Non-Hispanic White population digitally excluded

    Float

    DHP_HL

    Percent of Hispanic or Latino Population Digitally excluded

    Float

    Note:

    If you are interested in reproducing these computations yourself, for instance on the state or ZIP Code level data, you can use the following formulas.

    GroupField nameFormulaSample value: Autauga County

    Black or African American

    DHP_BAA

    ((!B28009B_003E!+!B28009B_005E!+!B28009B_006E!) /!B28009B_001E!) * 100

    32.54

    American Indian and Alaska Native

    DHP_AIAN

    ((!B28009C_003E! + !B28009C_005E! + !B28009C_006E!) / !B28009C_001E! ) * 100

    30.34

    Asian

    DHP_A

    ((!B28009D_003E! + !B28009D_005E! + !B28009D_006E!) / !B28009D_001E! ) * 100

    7.57

    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

    DHP_NHOPI

    ((!B28009E_003E! + !B28009E_005E! + !B28009E_006E!) / !B28009E_001E! ) * 100

    0

    Some Other Race

    DHP_SO

    ((!B28009F_003E! + !B28009F_005E! + !B28009F_006E!) / !B28009F_001E! ) * 100

    7.12

    Two or More Races

    DHP_TMR

    ((!B28009G_003E! + !B28009G_005E! + !B28009G_006E!) / !B28009G_001E! ) * 100

    12.54

    Non-Hispanic White Population

    DHP_NHW

    ((!B28009H_003E! + !B28009H_005E! + !B28009H_006E!) / !B28009H_001E! ) * 100

    12.41

    Hispanic or Latino

    DHP_HL

    ((!B28009I_003E! + !B28009I_005E! + !B28009I_006E!) / !B28009I_001E! ) * 100

    6.42

  16. Close the attribute table.

    Close the attribute table

  17. In the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save your project.

    Save button

In this module, you explored internet access data from the ACS. You then investigated the concept of digital exclusion and decided on the best metric to measure it. You then created (or were provided with) new data fields containing your digital exclusion metrics. You are now ready to use those metrics to visualize and analyze digital exclusion.


Visualize and analyze the extent of digital exclusion

In the previous module, you explored the ACS internet access data. Then, using the definitions provided by NDIA, you created new metrics that measure digital exclusion. In this module, you'll explore different ways of visualizing these digital exclusion metrics. You'll then focus specifically on the inequity aspects: you'll explore how different ACS race and ethnicity groups compare in terms of exclusion, and what the relative likelihood is for a particular group to be excluded.

Visualize digital exclusion

You'll now create a series of layers to display on the map. Each layer will visualize the percentage of digital exclusion for each race group. You'll start with the Black or African American group. First, you'll change the basemap to a more neutral option, so that the data layer can fully stand out.

  1. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Layer group, click Basemap. Choose Light Gray Canvas.

    Change the basemap.

    The map updates to a gray-tone basemap. You'll now choose a symbology to display the Internet access by ACS race groups layer.

  2. In the Contents pane, under Internet access by ACS race groups, double-click the layer symbol.

    Layer symbol

    The Symbology pane appears.

  3. If necessary, on the Symbology pane, click Return to primary symbology pane.

    Return to primary symbology pane button

  4. Under Primary Symbology, expand the drop-down list and choose Graduated Colors.
  5. For Field, expand the drop-down list, scroll down, and select Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded.

    Graduated colors option

  6. For Classes, keep the default value 5.
  7. For Color Scheme, expand the drop-down list and click Show names. Scroll down the list of color ramps and choose Yellow - Orange - Red (5 Classes).

    Choose the color ramp.

    The map updates to the new symbolization.

  8. In the Contents pane, under Internet access by ACS race groups, review the new legend for the layer.

    Legend for the Internet access by ACS race groups layer

    There are five classes, each one represented by a color. For instance, the first class represents counties where the percentage of Black or African American population digitally excluded ranges from 0 to 11.35 percent.

    Note:

    The value ranges for the five classes have been chosen automatically. You'll keep these default values for now.

  9. Observe the map.

    Layer with the new symbolization

    Most counties fall in one of the five classes. Some counties are without color, which corresponds to the Null values. This is the case where there is 0 Black or African American population in the county, which led to a division by 0 when you performed the Calculate Field computation. Can you start noticing some counties that stand out?

    To better understand the data, you'll now create a histogram chart for this data.

  10. In the Contents pane, right-click Internet access by ACS race groups, point to Create Chart, and choose Histogram.

    Histogram menu option

    The Chart Properties pane appears.

  11. In the Chart Properties pane, for Number, choose Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded.

    Chart properties

    In the chart pane, the histogram appears. The x-axis represents the percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded, and y-axis represents the number of counties. Each column represents the number of counties for a specific range of values (or bin).

    Histogram pane

    One convenient way of exploring your data further is to select some of your histogram's columns and see the corresponding counties on the map. You'll look at the cases where 50 percent or more of the Black or African American population is digitally excluded.

  12. If necessary, adjust the chart window size so that you can see both the chart and the map.

    Adjust the window size.

  13. In the chart pane, drag the pointer and select the columns labelled 50 to 100.

    Histogram with bins selected

    On the map, the corresponding counties are selected, and you see that there are 486 features (or counties) where 50 percent or more of the Black or African American population is affected.

    Counties with 50 percent or more value selected

    You want to see what that number is for some other groups, for comparison purposes. You'll duplicate the chart and modify it to show the data for the American Indian and Alaska Native group.

  14. In the chart pane, on the toolbar, click Clear to remove the selection.
    Clear button
  15. In the Contents pane, right-click the Distribution of Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded chart, and choose Duplicate.

    Duplicate menu option

  16. Double-click the duplicated chart to open it.

    Duplicated chart

    The duplicated chart opens in a new tab.

  17. Ensure that the tab for the duplicated tab is selected.

    Tab for the duplicated chart

  18. On the Chart Properties pane, for Field, choose Percent of American Indian and Alaska Native population digitally excluded.

    Update chart number field.

    The chart updates.

  19. On the chart pane, drag the pointer to select the columns labelled 50 to 100.

    This time, the number of counties affected is 540.

    540 selected features

  20. Proceed similarly to create a chart for the Non-Hispanic White group.

    You find that the number of counties affected for that group is 34. Here is a summary of your findings.

    Note:

    For the brevity of the lesson, this workflow does not make you check the numbers for the other ACS race and ethnicity groups. However, the results were computed for you and are listed in the table. Optionally, you can generate these numbers yourself.

    Group nameNumber of counties where 50 percent or more of the group's population is affected

    Black or African American

    486

    American Indian and Alaska Native

    540

    Non-Hispanic White

    34

    Asian

    244

    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

    340

    Some Other Race

    553

    Two or More Races

    202

    Hispanic or Latino

    329

    There is an evident inequality in the extent of digital exclusion that those three groups face. The number of counties where 50 percent or more of the population is digitally excluded is about 15 times higher for the Black or African American and American Indian and Alaska Native groups than for the Non-Hispanic White group. Similarly, for other race groups, you can see that in all cases, the number is manifold higher than for the Non-Hispanic White group.

  21. In the Chart pane, in the toolbar, click Clear.

    As you don't need the charts any longer, you'll delete them.

  22. On the Contents pane, under Internet access by ACS race groups, right-click Distribution of Percent of Non-Hispanic White population digitally excluded, and choose Delete.

    Delete chart menu option

    The chart is deleted.

  23. Do the same for the two other charts.
  24. Save the project.

In this section, you measured digital exclusion for several ACS race groups. By counting the number of counties where at least 50 percent of a group is digitally excluded, and then comparing those numbers, you obtained a coarse comparison of digital exclusion through a racial equity lens. In the next section, you will continue your analysis in more depth.

Compute a ratio to evaluate the digital exclusion likelihood

So far, you have visualized the metrics representing the percentage of a particular ACS race group that is digitally excluded, at the county level. However, to get a precise picture of racial inequities, you need to understand, for each county, if it is more likely for a group to be affected by digital exclusion than other groups.

In the last section, you determined that the Non-Hispanic White group seems the least affected by digital exclusion. For that reason, you will choose that group as the comparison point. You'll first perform this comparison for the Black or African American group. You'll ask the following question: in how many counties is the Black or African American group at least twice as likely to be digitally excluded than its Non-Hispanic White counterpart? To answer this question, you'll calculate the following ratio as a new field in the attribute table:

Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded / Percent of Non-Hispanic White population digitally excluded

You'll then ask the same question for American Indian and Alaska Native and other ACS race groups, again in comparison to the Non-Hispanic White group.

First, you'll create the new attribute field.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the Internet Access by ACS race groups layer, and choose Attribute Table.
  2. In the attribute table toolbar, next to Field, click Add.

    Add button

    The Fields view opens. At the bottom, there is a new empty row.

  3. On the new row, click the cell in the Field Name column and type Ratio_BAA_NHW.

    It stands for Ratio -- Black or African American to Non-Hispanic White.

  4. Double-click the Alias cell, and type Black or African American – Digital Exclusion Likelihood.
  5. Double-click the Data Type cell, and choose Float.

    New field Black or African American – Digital Exclusion Likelihood

  6. Double-click the Number Format field, and click Determine display formatting for numeric field types. In the Number Format window, expand the Category drop-down list and choose Numeric.
  7. In the Number Format window, under Rounding, for Decimal places, choose 2.

    Decimal places option for Rounding

  8. Click OK.
  9. On the ribbon, on the Fields tab, in the Changes group, click Save to save the new field.

    Save button in Fields tab

  10. Close the Fields view.

    You have created a new field, and you'll now populate it.

  11. In the attribute table, scroll to the end of the table to view the new attribute, Black or African American – Digital Exclusion Likelihood. All its values are currently <Null>.
  12. If necessary, in the attribute table, on the toolbar, click Clear to ensure that no rows are selected.

    Clear button

  13. In the attribute table, on the toolbar, next to Field, click Calculate.

    Calculate button

  14. In the Calculate Field tool, enter the following parameters:
    • For Input Table, verify that Internet access by ACS race groups is selected.
    • For Field Name, choose Black or African American – Digital Exclusion Likelihood.
    • For Expression Type, verify that Python 3 is selected.

      Calculate Field parameters

  15. Drag the side of the Calculate Field window to widen it, until you can see the full name of the attribute fields listed under Fields.
  16. In the Fields list, scroll down and double-click Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded.
  17. In the formula text box, type a forward slash.
  18. In the Fields list, double-click Percent of Non-Hispanic White population digitally excluded.

    The formula reads:

    !DHP_BAA! / !DHP_NHW!

    Ratio formula

  19. Click Apply.
  20. Close the warning window, mentioning that some cells were populated with a Null value.

    This was expected. It is because some of the rows had a Null value for DPH_BAA or a 0 for DHP_NHW.

  21. Click OK to close the Calculate Field window.
  22. Verify that the Black or African American - Digital Exclusion Likelihood field is now populated. Check that for Autauga County on the first row, the value is 2.62.

    Ratio result

    This means that in Autauga County, the Black or African American population is 2.62 times more often (or more likely to be) digitally excluded than the Non-Hispanic White population.

  23. Close the attribute table.
  24. Save the project.

You now have a field representing the likelihood of being digitally excluded as a member of the Black or African American group compared to the Non-Hispanic White group.

Visualize inequity in digital exclusion for one ACS race group

You'll now represent digital exclusion on the map for the Black or African American population, using the attribute field you created in the previous section.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click Internet access by ACS race groups, and click Symbology.

    Symbology menu option

  2. On the Symbology pane, for Field, choose Black or African American - Digital Exclusion Likelihood.

    Symbology for Black or African American - Digital Exclusion likelihood

    The map updates. To make the map more understandable, you'll fine-tune the number of classes and their breakpoints.

  3. On the Symbology pane, click the Histogram tab.

    Histogram tab

    This view shows the five classes for the layer (in yellow to red tones), their breakpoints, and the number of counties for different ranges (in gray). Currently the breakpoints have default values that are not very intuitive, such as 0.71. Instead, you will choose more intuitive integer values and reduce the number of classes to three to provide a cleaner and more compelling categorization. The three classes will represent following cases:

    • First class—The likelihood of being excluded is similar for the Black or African American and Non Hispanic White groups.
    • Second class—The likelihood is up to two times if you are Black or African American.
    • Third class—The likelihood of being excluded is greater than twice if you are Black or African American.
  4. Under Primary symbology, for Classes, select 3.

    Choose to have three classes.

  5. In the Histogram tab, double-click the label for each break point and change them to 1 and 2 respectively.

    New breakpoints for the histogram

    The map updates. You can see that many counties have a likelihood of exclusion greater than 1. You will now update the legend to communicate accurately what the map represents.

  6. Click the Classes tab, and change the labels of the three classes as follows:

    Upper valueLabel

    ≤ 1

    Up to 1 time as likely as Non-Hispanic White

    ≤ 2

    1.1 - 2 times more likely than Non-Hispanic White

    ≤ 3

    More than 2 times more likely than Non-Hispanic White

    Update the labels.

    In the Contents pane, the legend for the Internet access by ACS race groups layer updates. To better distinguish the second from third classes, you'll change its symbolization.

  7. Right-click the symbol of the second class. In the color palette, choose Electron Gold.
    Note:

    Point to a color square to see the color name.

    Choose the electron gold color.

    On the map, the symbology for the Internet access by ACS race groups layer updates.

    Layer with the three class symbology

    Note:

    If there were no inequity between the Black or African American and Non-Hispanic White groups, the map would appear entirely covered in light yellow, because both groups would be as likely to be digitally excluded.

    Before you find the answer to your question (In how many counties is the Black or African American group at least twice as likely to be digitally excluded than its Non-Hispanic White counterpart?), you'll ensure you only take the statistically relevant data into account.

    Since the goal of this analysis is to identify where significant patterns exist, you need to filter out values where the margin of errors may significantly affect the data. As mentioned earlier, because the ACS surveys only population samples, it relies on statistical estimates to project total population numbers. In some cases, especially when the population is small, the margin of error can be higher than the population number itself. This is too much uncertainty to be statistically relevant, so you want to identify these cases and remove them.

    To better understand what the issue is, you'll look at an example.

  8. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Inquiry group, click Locate.

    Locate button

  9. In the Locate pane, in the search box, type Chouteau County and press Enter.

    A single result appears, and the map zooms in automatically to that location.

    Locate pane

  10. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Navigate group, click Explore.

    Explore button

  11. On the map, click the Chouteau County feature to view the informational pop-up.
  12. In the pop-up pane, scroll down to locate the Total Black or African American Population in Households field, and the field below it, giving its Margin of Error.

    Pop-up information

    The group has 3 people in this county and the margin of error is 4, which is greater than the population itself. This is the scenario you are trying to avoid.

  13. Close the Pop-up pane. Close the Locate pane.
  14. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Navigate group, click Previous Extent, to zoom back out to the previous extent.

    Previous Extent button

    You'll now suppress all unwanted cases by adding a definition query to your layer. Definition query allows you to define a subset of features that are relevant to your analysis.

  15. In the Contents pane, right-click the Internet Access by ACS race groups layer and choose Properties.

    Properties menu option

  16. In the Properties window, click the Definition Query option, and click New definition query.

    Definition Query tab

  17. Under Query 1, form the following query: Where Total Black or African American Population in Households - Margin of Error is less than Total Black or African American Population in Households.

    Definition query expression

    Tip:

    To pick the second field, at the bottom of the drop-down menu, select Fields.

    Also, you can drag the window side to widen the drop-down lists.

  18. Click Apply.

    The query appears as B28009B_001M < B28009B_001E.

  19. Click OK.

    The query is selecting all counties where the margin of error is less than the total Black or African American population. The map updates, showing only the acceptable counties.

    Map with definition query

    You will now find the answer to the question In how many counties is the Black or African American group at least twice as likely to be digitally excluded than its Non-Hispanic White counterpart?

  20. In the Contents pane, right-click the Internet access by ACS race groups layer, point to Create chart, and choose Histogram.
  21. In the Chart Properties pane, for Number, scroll down and choose Black or African American - Digital Exclusion likelihood.

    On the chart pane, the histogram updates. The x-axis shows the Black or African American - Digital Exclusion likelihood values and the y-axis shows the number of counties.

  22. In the Chart Properties pane, under Bins, reduce the number of bins to 29.

    Number of bins variable

    Note:

    By changing the Bins value to 29, the x-axis values reorganize so that one of x-axis points is the value of 2. In the next step, you will need to identify all values over 2, so adjusting the Bins value allows you select the values you're looking for with precision. The correct number of bins is found by trial and error.

  23. On the chart pane, drag the pointer and select the columns labelled 2 to 9.7.

    Chart with two times or more values selected

    On the map, you can see that 595 features are selected. There are 595 counties where the Black or African American group is at least twice as likely as the Non-Hispanic White group to be digitally excluded.

    595 features selected

  24. In the chart pane, in the toolbar, click Clear Selection. Close the chart pane.
  25. In the Contents pane, click the Internet Access by ACS Race groups layer two times to rename it. Type Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White and press Enter.
  26. Save the project.

In this section, you visualized the inequity in digital exclusion by comparing Black or African American to Non-Hispanic White groups. You found that there are 595 counties in the United States where the Black or African American group is at least twice as likely as the Non-Hispanic White group to be digitally excluded. Next, you'll generate a similar map for another ACS race group.

Visualize inequity in digital exclusion for another ACS race group

Now that you visualized digital equity for one ACS race group, you will do the same for the other groups.

To find the number of counties where the American Indian and Alaska Native population is more than twice as likely to be digitally excluded than the Non-Hispanic White population, you can follow a similar process. The field has already been calculated and included in the layer.

Note:

In a real-world scenario, you would apply a similar process to every ACS race and ethnicity group. However, in the interest of time, you will only take care of the American Indian and Alaska Native group.

You'll learn how to quickly derive the new layer and chart from the first ones. First, you'll recreate a copy of the layer and rename it.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White and choose Copy.

    Copy menu option

  2. Right-click Map and choose Paste.

    Paste menu option

  3. Click the pasted layer two times (the top most one) to rename it. Type American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non-Hispanic White, and press Enter.
    Note:

    The two layers rely on the same feature class on disk. It is only in your ArcGIS Pro project that you are seeing two layers and can visualize and style them independently.

  4. Uncheck the box next to the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer to turn it off, so that you can focus on the new layer only.

    Turn off the layer

    You'll now derive the new layer's symbology from the previous one, using the Apply Symbology From Layer tool.

  5. On the ribbon, on the Analysis tab, on the Geoprocessing group, choose Tools.

    Tools button

    The Geoprocessing pane appears.

  6. In the Geoprocessing pane, in the search box, type Apply Symbology and press Enter.
  7. In the list of results, click Apply Symbology From Layer to open it.

    Search for the Apply symbology tool.

  8. In the Apply Symbology From Layer pane, choose the following parameter values:
    • For Input Layer, choose American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non-Hispanic White.
    • For Symbology Layer choose Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White.
    • For Source Field, verify that Black or African American - Digital Exclusion likelihood is selected.
    • For Target Field, scroll down, and choose American Indian and Alaska Native - Digital Exclusion likelihood.

    Apply Symbology From Layer pane

  9. Click Run.

    The Contents pane and the map update.

  10. Close the Geoprocessing pane.
  11. In the Contents pane, under American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non-Hispanic White, click Ratio_AIAN_NHW twice, and rename it to American Indian and Alaska Native - Digital Exclusion likelihood.

    New legend for the American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non-Hispanic White layer

    Here again, you want to make sure that you are using the statistically meaningful data. So you'll create a definition query removing values where the margin of error of the American Indian and Alaska Native population is higher than the actual population.

  12. In the Contents pane, right-click the American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non-Hispanic White layer and choose Properties. In the Properties pane, click Definition Query.

    The definition query you created for the Black or African American group is present. You will edit it to adapt it to the new race group.

  13. Under Definition Query, for Query 1, click Edit.

    Edit button for the definition query

  14. Under Query 1, form the following query: Where Total American Indian and Alaska Native Population in Households – Margin of Error is less than Total American Indian and Alaska Native Population in Households.

    Definition query expression for the American Indian and Alaska Native Population group

  15. Click Apply.

    The query appears as B28009C_001M < B28009C_001E.

  16. Click OK.

    The map updates. You will now find the answer to the question In how many counties is the American Indian and Alaska Native group at least twice as likely to be digitally excluded than its Non-Hispanic White counterpart?. First, you'll modify the chart.

  17. On the Contents pane, for American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non-Hispanic White layer, under Charts, double-click Distribution of Black or African American – Digital Exclusion Likelihood to open it.

    Double-click the chart to open it

  18. In the Chart Properties pane, for Number, scroll down and choose American Indian and Alaska Native - Digital Exclusion likelihood.

    On the chart pane, the histogram updates. The x-axis shows the American Indian and Alaska Native - Digital Exclusion likelihood values and the y-axis shows the number of counties.

  19. In the Chart Properties pane, under Bins, reduce the number of bins to 30.
  20. On the chart pane, drag the pointer and select the columns labelled 2 to 10.1.

    Histogram with values twice as likely or more selected

    On the map, you can see that 602 features are selected. There are 602 counties where the American Indian and Alaska Native group is at least twice as likely as the Non-Hispanic White group to be digitally excluded.

    602 features selected

  21. In the attribute table, in the toolbar, click Clear Selection. Close the chart pane.
  22. Save the project.

    For the brevity of this lesson, you will not conduct the analysis for the other race and ethnicity groups. The results are provided to you in the following table and you are optionally encouraged to run these calculations on your own:

    Group nameNumber of counties where the group is at least twice as likely to be digitally excluded than its white counterpartDefinition query

    Black or African American

    595

    B28009B_001M < B28009B_001E

    American Indian and Alaska Native

    602

    B28009C_001M < B28009C_001E

    Non-Hispanic White

    N/A

    N/A

    Asian

    152

    B28009D_001M < B28009D_001E

    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

    249

    * This group has many counties that were removed as not statistically significant.

    B28009E_001M < B28009E_001E

    Some Other Race

    361

    B28009F_001M < B28009F_001E

    Two or More Races

    177

    B28009G_001M < B28009G_001E

    Hispanic or Latino

    481

    B28009I_001M < B28009I_001E

    Note:

    The Non-Hispanic White group is not listed in the table, because it is used as the comparison group. If you were to compute the ratio for the Non-Hispanic White group, you would find, of course, that it is exactly 1 time as likely as the Non-Hispanic White group to be digitally excluded. The resulting map would be entirely covered with light yellow.

In this section, you efficiently replicated the previous visualization and analysis, applying it to the American Indian and Alaska Native group. You found that there are 602 counties in the United States where the American Indian and Alaska Native group is at least twice as likely as the Non-Hispanic White group to be digitally excluded. You also reviewed the numbers obtained when replicating the same analysis on all remaining race groups. You are now ready to share the layers you created with your audience.


Share your results online

In this section, you will publish the layers you created online and will create a web app to host them. This will allow your audience to explore the data and better understand digital exclusion.

Note:

Sharing your results with your audience is an important part of this workflow. However, because building a web app takes some time, this section is optional. If you want to only focus on the analysis aspect of this workflow, you can use this ready-made web app, which was built for you, and go directly to the next module, Examine the results and go further.

Publish a web layer

First, you'll publish the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer to ArcGIS Online.

  1. At the top right of the ribbon, look for your Sign-in Status. If it says Not signed in, click Sign in and enter your ArcGIS credentials.

    Click Sign in and enter your ArcGIS credentials.

  2. In the Contents pane, right-click the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer, point to Sharing, and choose Share as Web Layer.

    Share As Web Layer menu option

  3. In the Share As Web Layer pane, type in the following information:
    • For Name, verify that the text is Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White.
    • For Summary, type Digital exclusion likelihood for the Black or African American population based on the American Community Survey data.
    • For Tags, type digital exclusion, racial equity, internet access. Press Enter.

      Share As Web Layer parameters

      Note:

      If more than one person in your ArcGIS Online organization might do this lesson, you can add your initials to the layer name (such as Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White - dk) to ensure that it remains a unique name and avoid confusions.

  4. For Layer Type, verify that Feature is selected.

    This ensures that all the county polygons and their associated data will be published, allowing users to click every feature and display informational pop-ups.

  5. Under Location, for Folder, choose the folder in your ArcGIS Online account where you want to locate the layer. You can also keep the default.
  6. For Share with, check the box for Everyone, since you want to share your layer with the public.

    More parameters for Share As Web Layer

  7. Click Analyze to check if the layer is correctly configured to share online.

    Analyze button

    There should be no warnings.

  8. Click Publish.

    Publish button

    After a few moments, a message states that the layer was successfully published. You'll look at the layer in ArcGIS Online.

  9. Under Finish Sharing, click Manage the web layer.

    Manage the web layer link

    The web browser opens to the layer item page.

  10. Once the layer item page is open, click the drop-down button next to Open in Map Viewer Classic and choose Open in Map Viewer.

    Open in Map Viewer button

    Note:

    ArcGIS Online offers two map viewers for viewing, using, and creating maps: Map Viewer Beta and Map Viewer. For more information on the map viewers available and which to use, see this FAQ.

    This lesson uses Map Viewer Beta. The web layer opens. It may take a few moments for all the counties to display. If Map Viewer Beta opened with the Contents bar expanded, you'll collapse it to have more space for the map.

  11. If necessary, at the bottom of the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Collapse.

    Collapse button

  12. If necessary, at the top right of the screen, click Sign In and sign in with your ArcGIS Online credentials.

    Sign in button

  13. On the map, zoom to the contiguous United States.

    Zoomed-in view

  14. Review the web layer and verify that it looks similar to the original layer in ArcGIS Pro.

In this section, you published the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer to ArcGIS Online. In the next section, you'll customize its symbology and informational pop-ups.

Create a web map

Now that the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer is published, you'll save it in a web map, and enhance the way it is displayed.

  1. In the Map Viewer, on the collapsed Contents toolbar, click Save.

    Save button

  2. In the Save map window, enter the following information:
    • For Title, type Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White - Map.
    • For Tags, type digital exclusion, racial equity, internet access. Press Enter.
    • For Summary, type Digital exclusion likelihood for the Black or African American population based on the American Community Survey data.
    • For Save in folder, you can choose the same folder where you already saved the layer.

    Save map parameters

  3. Click Save Map.

    Next, you'll change the basemap.

  4. On the Contents toolbar, click Basemap. On the Basemap pane, choose Light Gray Canvas.

    Change the basemap

    The basemap updates. Next, you'll enhance the layer's symbology.

  5. In the Contents toolbar, click the Layers button.

    Layers button

  6. In the Layers pane, verify that the Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White layer is selected.

    A vertical blue line shows on the side.

    Selected layer

  7. On the Settings (light) toolbar, click Styles. On the Styles pane, under Try a drawing style, on the Current style, Counts and Amounts (color) item, click Style options.

    Style options button

    The Style options pane is where you'll make symbology adjustments. First, you'll enhance the map to take into account the population size of the Black or African American group in every county.

    Note:

    Indicating the population size is a useful way to supplement the symbology you used so far. For instance, if two counties have the same digital exclusion likelihood for the Black of African American group, but one county has 10 Black of African American residents and the other one 100,000, the amplitude of the phenomenon described is clearly quite different.

    Since you are already using colors (light yellow, orange, and red) to express the digital exclusion likelihood, you'll use transparency to indicate the group's population size.

  8. In the Style options pane, scroll down and click Transparency by attribute to expand it.
  9. Under Transparency by attribute, for , click the Set transparency based on attribute values toggle button.

    Set transparency based on attribute values button for Transparency by attribute

    Additional options for Transparency by attribute appear.

  10. For Field, expand the drop-down list and choose Total Black or African American Population in Households. Click Replace.
    Note:

    In the drop-down list, the fields are listed alphabetically. You can also use the Search fields function to look for the field name.

    Replace field pane

    Next you will configure how transparency should be applied based on the Total Black or African American Population in Households field values. You'll do that with the transparency slider. Because most of the population values are between 6 and 74,700, you'll expand that section of the slider.

  11. Click Magnify slider.

    Magnify slider button

    The lower part of the slider area expands. Your main goal is to show the counties that have a very low Black or African American population—for instance under 100 or even 1,000—in a more transparent symbology. On the other hand, you want to highlight the counties where the Black or African American population is above 1,000 by choosing an opaque symbology. As a result, you will set the breakpoints as being 100 and 1,000.

  12. Double-click the breakpoint label 6, and type 100. Press Enter.

    Change the first slider label

  13. Double-click the breakpoint label 74,700, and type 1000. Press Enter.

    Change the second slider label.

    On the map, the symbology updates.

  14. Review the map with the new symbology.

    The counties with a small Black or African American population have become partially transparent making less visible. As a result, the eye can focus on the counties with a larger Black or African American population where digital exclusion may have the most impact. The use of transparency to symbolize the Total Black or African American Population in Households field is now also listed in the legend.

    Map with transparency symbolization

    Note:

    Interestingly, many of the counties that are symbolized in light yellow are now displayed with high transparency, indicating that they have a small Black or African American population. Conversely, many counties that appear in orange or red are displayed with no transparency, indicating a large Black or African American population as well as a high digital exclusion likelihood for that group.

    You'll now make a second change to the map: the map will be clearer if the gray outlines of the counties adapt to the zooming level.

  15. On the Style options pane, click the symbol under Symbol style.

    Edit Symbol style

    The Symbol style window appears.

  16. In the Symbol style window, expand Outline and Stroke. Check the Adjust width automatically box.

    Adjust width automatically box

  17. Close the pane.

    Close the pane

  18. Zoom in and out of the map to see the modified symbology.

    When you zoom out, the gray county outlines are now thinner. When you zoom in, they become thicker.

  19. In the Style options pane, click the Done button twice.
  20. On the collapsed Contents toolbar, click Save to save your changes to the map.

In this section, you created a map, Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White - Map, and modified its symbology to convey information in a clearer and more effective manner. Next, you'll customize the informational pop-ups.

Configure informational pop-ups

On the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer, users can click a county to display a pop-up listing its attribute values. You'll customize the pop-ups to focus on the most relevant information.

  1. Zoom into the map on a county of interest and click it to display the pop up.

    Initial pop-up format

    Currently the pop-up shows a table with all the attribute values. Instead, you will display short explanatory text and some helpful charts.

  2. In the Layers pane, verify that the Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White layer is selected.

    Selected layer

  3. On the Settings toolbar, click Configure pop-ups.

    Configure pop-ups setting

    The Pop-ups configuration panel appears along with a preview of the layer's pop-ups.

  4. At the bottom of the Pop-ups configuration pane, for Fields list, click the option button, and choose Delete.

    Delete menu option

    The table disappears from the pop-up preview.

  5. In the Pop-ups pane, click Add content, and choose Text.

    Text element

    The text element is inserted and the editing window for that element appears.

  6. In the editing window, copy and paste the following text:

    {DHP_BAA} percent of the total {B28009B_001E} Black or African American population is digitally excluded. It is {Ratio_BAA_NHW} times more likely to be digitally excluded than the Non-Hispanic White population.

    The total population of the county is {B28003_001E}.

    Note:

    The elements in curly brackets, such as {DHP_BAA}, denote attribute fields. They will be replaced by the actual field value for each county.

    If you were writing this text yourself, you could insert the attribute fields by typing a curly bracket. The list of all attribute fields for the layer would then appear and you could select your field of choice.

    The fields used in the text are the following:

    • {DHP_BAA}—Percent of Black or African American Population Digitally excluded
    • {B28009B_001E}—Total Black or African American Population in Households
    • {Ratio_BAA_NHW}—Black or African American – Digital Exclusion Likelihood
    • {B28005_001E}—Total Population in Households

    To emphasize the fields, you will format the text to bold.

  7. In the editing window, highlight the text {DHP_BAA}. On the editing window ribbon, click Bold.
  8. Similarly, bold all other elements in curly brackets

    Bold button and bolded fields

  9. Click OK.

    The pop-up preview updates.

    Example pop-up

    The actual values of the fields for the example county now display. Next, you'll improve the title of the pop-up.

  10. On the Pop-ups configuration pane, under Title, click the Edit button.

    Edit button for the title

  11. In the editing field, replace the current content with {NAME}, {STATE}. Click OK.

    Display the Name and State

    The title of the pop-up preview now shows the names of the county and the state, separated by a comma.

In this section, you customized the pop-ups for the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer, to focus on the most relevant information and present it in an engaging manner. The pop-ups are starting to look more clear and engaging. Next you'll add two charts.

Add charts to the pop-ups

In this section, you'll add two bar charts to the pop-ups. The first chart will show the percentage of digital exclusion for all race and ethnicity groups.

  1. At the bottom of the Pop-ups configuration pane, click Add content and click Chart.

    Chart button

  2. In the Configure chart pane, verify that Bar is selected.
  3. For Title, type Digital exclusion percentage by race and ethnicity.
  4. Click Select fields.

    Configure chart

  5. In the Select fields pane, in the search box, type digitally excluded.

    The list of fields of fields that contain the words digitally excluded appears.

  6. Click Select all to select all these fields, and click Done.

    Search for words digitally excluded

  7. Under Select fields, use the reorder button to reorder the fields and match the following order:
    • Percent of Black or African American population digitally excluded
    • Percent of American Indian and Alaska Native population digitally excluded
    • Percent of Asian Population digitally excluded
    • Percent of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population digitally excluded
    • Percent of Some Other Race Population digitally excluded
    • Percent of Two or More Races Population digitally excluded
    • Percent of Non-Hispanic White Population digitally excluded
    • Percent of Hispanic or Latino Population digitally excluded

      Reorder the fields

      Note:

      This is the order favored by the U.S. Census Bureau.

  8. Click Done.
  9. Review the chart in the pop-up preview.

    First pop-up chart

    As you point to each bar, you can see the information about each race and ethnicity group. This chart provides useful information, but it is important for the user to also take into consideration how the groups compare in terms of population size in the county. You'll add a second chart to show how the total population breaks down by race and ethnicity.

  10. At the bottom of the Pop-ups configuration pane, click Add content and click Chart.
  11. In the Configure chart pane, verify that Bar is selected.
  12. For Title, type Total population by race and ethnicity.
  13. Click Select Fields.
  14. In the Select fields pane, in the search box, type total.

    The list of fields of fields that contain the word total appears.

  15. In the list, select the following fields:
    • Total Black or African American Population in Households
    • Total American Indian and Alaska Native Population in Households
    • Total Asian Population in Households
    • Total Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population in Households
    • Total Some Other Race Population in Households
    • Total Two or More Races Population in Households Total Non-Hispanic White Population in Households
    • Total Hispanic or Latino Population in Households
  16. Click Done twice.
  17. Review the second chart in the pop-up preview.

    Second pop-up chart

    As you point to each bar, you can see the information about each group's total population.

  18. Close the Pop-ups configuration pane.
  19. Save the map.

In this section, you added two charts to the pop-ups for the Black or African American compared to Non-Hispanic White layer.

Note:

In a complete workflow, you would similarly publish the layers for all race and ethnicity groups and customize their symbology and pop-ups. However, to save you time in this lesson, in the next section, you'll use layers that were already published for you and are hosted in the Learn_ArcGIS organization.

Create a web app

You'll now bring the web maps for the different race and ethnicity groups together into a web app, so that users can easily look at them in one single location. First, you'll make your web map for the Black or African American group public.

  1. In Map Viewer Beta, on the collapsed Contents toolbar, click Share map.

    Share map button

  2. In the Share window, under Set sharing level, choose Everyone. Click Save.

    Share window

    Next, you'll create the web app.

  3. On the collapsed Contents toolbar, click Create app.

    Create app button

  4. In the list of options that appears, choose Instant Apps.

    Choose Instant Apps among the Create app options

  5. In the Instant Apps gallery, locate the Portfolio template and click Choose.

    Choose portfolio

    Note:

    Portfolio is a good web app template to present several maps in one place and allow users to navigate easily from one to the other.

  6. In the Create app window, enter the following information:
    • For Give your app a title, type Digital exclusion and racial equity in the United States (2015-2019).
    • For Add tags, verify that the tags digital exclusion, racial equity, and internet access are listed.
    • For Save in folder, choose a folder in your ArcGIS Online account or keep the default.

    Create app window

  7. Click Configure App.

    Your app appears in configuration mode.

  8. Read the Welcome to the App Setup Page window. When you are done, close it.

    Welcome to the app setup page

  9. Read the Welcome window and click Explore.

    Welcome window

    The app appears. Because you created it starting from Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White – Map, that map is already included in the app and forms its first section. The maps for the other race and ethnicity groups will be added later on in the workflow.

    First section of the portfolio web app

    But first, you'll choose some options to enhance the app's theme and layout. All the setup and customizations for the app will be done in the Express Setup pane, which offers four separate setup steps. You'll start by opening the Theme & Layout step.

  10. In the Express Setup pane, click Step 4. Theme & Layout.

    Step 4. Theme and Layout

  11. Under Step 4 - Theme & Layout, for Select a theme, choose Light.

    Choose the Light theme

    The theme of the app updates to whites and light grays. You'll now customize the app's layout.

  12. Observe the Manage Widget Positions options.

    Notice the table divided in four quadrants: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right.

    Manage Widget Positions

    You can drag any of the interface elements—Home Button, Zoom Controls, Search, and Legend—to the location of your choice.

  13. Click the handle for Search and drag the tool from Top Right to Top Left.

    Move the Search tool to the Top Left position

    On the map, the Search button moves to the top left area of the map. The Search button allows users to look for a geographic location of their choice, such as a city or a state.

  14. At the bottom of the Express Setup pane, review the Last save status of your app.

    Last save status

    When you dragged the Search tool, the change was automatically saved. Similarly, throughout all the setting steps, your changes will be regularly saved. You'll now review the other tools proposed.

  15. On the map, click the Legend button to see the expanded legend.

    Legend button

  16. When done reviewing the legend, click the button again to collapse it.

    Collapse button for the legend

  17. On the map, test the Zoom controls, and click the Home button to return to the original extent.

    Zoom controls and Home button

In this section, you created a web app, customized its theme and layout, and explored the tools it offers.

Customize the map within the app

After having customized the general theme and layout of your app, you'll customize the map for the Black or African American group. You'll change its name and add a description.

  1. In the Express Setup pane, click the Back button.

    Back button in the Express setup pane

  2. Click Step 1. Portfolio.

    Step 1. portfolio

    Step 1. Portfolio is where you can add new sections to your Portfolio app and customize them. In your case, each race or ethnicity group map will be added as a new section. First, you'll customize the existing section with the map for the Black or African American group.

  3. Under Step 1. Portfolio, under Sections, next to Black or African American compared to Non Hispanic White – Map, click the option button. Then, click Edit.

    First section option and Edit buttons

    You'll shorten the name of this section.

  4. Under Item Info, for Item name, shorten the text to read Black or African American.

    Shorten the name of the section

    A short name is useful, since you will eventually have many maps listed in the app. Next, you'll add description text to help users understand the meaning of the map.

  5. Click Item Description to reveal the editing area.
  6. In the editing area, copy and paste the following text:

    How likely is the Black or African American population to be digitally excluded, compared to the Non-Hispanic White population?

    Edit the item description

  7. At the end of the sentence, press Enter to leave enough blank space.

    Because it is essential that users understand the meaning of this map, you'll add elements of the legend directly in the item description. You'll add them as images.

  8. In the editor's ribbon, click Image.

    Image button

  9. In the Image Properties window, enter the following information:
    • For URL, type https://learngis.maps.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/content/items/fad7d8a01b654339ae9eb285576a533f/data.
    • For Alternative Text, type Digital Exclusion Likelihood legend.

      The image appears in the Preview area.

    Image properties window

  10. Click OK.

    The image is inserted in the editing area.

    Note:

    This image is provided to you ready-made to save you time in this lesson. However, you can create such a screenshot of the legend yourself and upload it to your ArcGIS Online account.

    Similarly, you'll add some information about the rest of the legend.

  11. In the editing area, after the image, press Enter. Then copy and paste the following text: Total Black or African American Population in Households:
  12. In the editor's ribbon, click Image.
  13. In the Image Properties window, enter the following information:
    • For URL, type https://learngis.maps.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/content/items/d3775ecdddb14caeb60251780a6b9ce5/data.
    • For Alternative Text, type Population in households legend.
  14. Click OK.

    The second image is inserted. Finally, you add a few more helpful notes in the item description.

  15. In the editing area, press Enter two times, and copy and paste the following text:

    More information:

    • The counties where the group's population is 0 or is not statistically significant do not appear.
    • Click on each county to see more details.
  16. Below the editing area, click Done.

    Portfolio Done button

    You will now check how that item description you created looks like.

  17. On the map navigation bar, point to the Black or African American thumbnail to reveal the information button.

    Information button

  18. Click the information button to open the item description, and review its content.

    Item description for the first section

    Note:

    If necessary, in the Express Setup pane, you can edit the item description again to fine-tune its content.

  19. When you are done reviewing the item description, close it.

In this section, you customized the Black or African American map so that it makes sense to users within the app.

Add a new map to the app

At this point, you should add the maps for all the other race and ethnicity groups to the app. However, in this lesson, you will add only one of them, as an example.

  1. On the Express Setup pane, under Step 1 - Portfolio, click Add new item.

    Add new item

  2. Under New Item, verify that ArcGIS is selected and click Browse for content.

    Browse for content

  3. In the Item Browser window, click the arrow next to My Content and choose ArcGIS Online.

    Item Browser

  4. In the search ArcGIS Online text box, type: American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non Hispanic White – Map owner:Learn_ArcGIS.
    Note:

    This web map was provided for you ready made and is hosted in the Learn_ArcGIS organization.

  5. For the American Indian and Alaska Native compared to Non Hispanic White – Map result, click Select Item.

    Select Item button in the Item Browser

    You'll customize this second map similarly to the Black or African American one.

  6. Under Item Info, for Item Name, shorten the name to read: American Indian and Alaska Native.
  7. Click Item Description to reveal the editing area.
  8. In the editing area, type:

    How likely is the American Indian and Alaska Native population to be digitally excluded, compared to the Non-Hispanic White population?

    Total American Indian and Alaska Native Population in Households:

    More information:

    The counties where the group's population is 0 or is not statistically significant do not appear.

    Click on each county to see more details.

  9. Insert the same image as before under the first sentence, clicking the Image button in the editor's ribbon and typing the URL: https://learngis.maps.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/content/items/fad7d8a01b654339ae9eb285576a533f/data
  10. Insert the same second image as before under the second sentence, clicking the Image button in the editor's ribbon and typing the URL:
  11. Below the editing area, click Done.

    The second map is added to the app, and on the map navigation bar, a thumbnail appears for that new map.

    Second thumbnail

  12. Click the American Indian and Alaska Native thumbnail to display the new map.

    You can now access both maps in a single app, using the map navigation bar to switch from one map to the other.

  13. Point to the American Indian and Alaska Native thumbnail to reveal the information button, and click it.
  14. Review the item description that you just created.

    Item description for the second section

  15. When you are done reviewing, close the item description pane.

In this section, you added the American Indian and Alaska Native map as the second section of your portfolio app.

Note:

In a real-life workflow, you would add the other ACS race and ethnicity group maps to the app using a similar method. You would have published those web maps to your own ArcGIS account, and would look for them under My Content to add them to the app. However, in this lesson you are skipping those steps to save time.

Finalize the app and publish it

You will do a few more customization to your app to finalize it. First, you'll add some informative text to the introduction panel, which is displayed when users first open the app.

  1. In the Express Setup pane, click Next.

    Next button in the Express Setup pane

    The second step of the Express Setup, Step 2 – About appears.

  2. Under Step 2 - About, verify that Introduction panel is switched on.
  3. For Introduction panel content, click Edit introduction panel to open the editor.

    Edit the introduction panel

  4. In the editor area, copy and paste:

    Are there race groups that are more digitally excluded than others in the United States?

    • The maps presented here show how much different race and ethnicity groups are likely to be digitally excluded compared to the Non-Hispanic White group, in every U.S. county.
    • They are based on internet access data provided by the 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) data, 2015-2019.
    • Internet access has become essential for individuals to gain access to information and opportunities in the realm of education, jobs, health care, and many aspects of civic and social life. The lack or low level of internet access is an important factor of digital exclusion, and it denies individuals these essential opportunities and services.

    Insert text for introduction panel

  5. In the editor area, highlight the first sentence, and click the Center and Bold buttons to center and bold that first sentence to form a title.

    Center and bold the first sentence.

  6. Click OK.

    You'll now do one more customization before publishing your app.

  7. In the Express Setup pane, click Next.

    The third step of the Express Setup, Step 3 – Interactivity appears.

  8. Under Step 3 – Interactivity, switch off the Navigation Bar Open At Start option.

    Switch off Navigation Bar Open At Start

    In the map navigation bar, the thumbnails disappear, and each map is represented by a more compact button. This style suits your app well.

    Compact map navigation bar

    You'll now publish the app.

  9. At the bottom of the Express Setup pane, click Publish.

    Publish button

  10. In the Publish window, click Confirm.

    Publish app window

    After a few moments, a message confirms the success of the operation. Then the Share window appears, informing you that the app is not yet shared with the public. You'll share it now.

  11. At the top of the Share window, click Change Share Settings.

    Change Share Settings

    The app's item page appears.

  12. On the item page, click Share.

    Web app share button

  13. On the Share window, for Set sharing level, choose Everyone (Public).

    Choose the Everyone (public) option

  14. Click Save.

    You are not ready to see your finalized app.

  15. On the item page, click View Application.

    View Application

    The app opens, first displaying the introduction panel you created earlier.

  16. After reviewing the introduction panel, click Explore.

    Explore button

    The introduction panel disappears and the app appears, containing all the elements you added during the setup phase.

  17. Review all the app's elements, including the two maps and their description.

You have now created an app that allows users to navigate from one race group map to another.

Note:

You can also review this complete app, which was set up for you as an example and contains maps for all ACS race and ethnicity groups. You'll use that finalized map for the rest of the lesson.

In this module, you published a web layer, created a web app, and customized it. You now have an online app that you can use to communicate effectively on the topics of digital exclusion and racial inequities.


Examine the results and go further

In this last module, you'll observe some of the data contained in the web app. You'll then think about the larger societal context and learn about possible solutions to digital exclusion.

Examine the results

You'll explore the maps in the web app, and examine the data for some counties. You'll start with New York County, New York.

  1. If necessary, open the web app, and close the introduction panel.
  2. Click the Search tool. In the search text box, type New York, NY, and press Enter.

    Type New York NY in the search box.

    The map zooms in to New York City.

  3. Close the Search result pop-up.

    Search result pop-up

  4. Click the New York county feature to view the informational pop-up.

    Click the New York county feature.

  5. Review the content of the pop-up.

    New York pop-up

    In New York, the Black or African American population is 3.3 times more likely to be digitally excluded than the Non-Hispanic White population. You can also scroll down and review the two charts.

  6. Similarly, look at some other counties of interest.

    For example, in Los Angeles, the Black or African American population is 2.2 times more likely to be digitally excluded than the Non-Hispanic White population. In San Francisco, it is 3.6 times more likely.

  7. Click the other tabs and explore the results for other ACS race and ethnicity groups.

    All the sections of the portfolio web app

    You will observe that several groups, such as Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, or Hispanic or Latino tend to have a much higher likelihood of digital exclusion than the Non-Hispanic white group in many counties of the United States. This shows that digital exclusion does not affect all race and ethnicity groups equally, and results in significant racial inequity.

In this section, you observed your findings, and found some striking cases of racial inequities in digital exclusion data, such as in New York, New York.

Connect your analysis to larger patterns of racial inequity and discrimination

Now that you have analyzed your data and shown disproportionate patterns of digital exclusion for certain race groups, an interesting next step would be to connect your results to larger patterns of racial inequity. The multidimensional impact of structural and institutional racism echoes through many social metrics, such as wage gaps, unemployment and underemployment, poverty, incarceration, homelessness, access to clean water, proximity to polluted spaces, availability of nutritious foods, and quality of public transport. Many of these indicators are shaped by a history of discriminatory practices and larger upstream systems and policies that create, sustain, and widen racialized divides. Examining the overlap of multiple social indicators can provide a more comprehensive understanding of racial inequity, and can inform the development of innovative countermeasures. While you won't systematically examine the correlation between digital exclusion and other social metrics in terms of racial equity in this lesson, you will look at two quick examples.

One study used eight metrics to assess race-based gaps in socioeconomic outcomes to determine the 15 U.S. cities with the highest levels of discrimination. For instance, the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metroplex in Wisconsin was identified as having one of the worst net racial disparities in the United States.

  • The Black population's median income is only 42.5 percent of the White population's median income.
  • The Black population's unemployment rate is 4 times higher than the White population's unemployment rate.
  • The Black population's home ownership rate is close to only half of the White population's home ownership rate.
  • Black residents of Wisconsin are nearly 11 times more likely to be incarcerated than White residents. ​​
  • Similarly, your analysis indicates an elevated racial disparity for digital exclusion, as the Black population of Milwaukee County is 2.1 times more likely to be digitally excluded than the White population.

As another example, Atlanta, Georgia, leads the nation in income inequality and lack of economic mobility.

  • The median household income for a White family in the city is $83,722, compared to $28,105 for a Black family.
  • Two percent of White households in Atlanta live below the poverty line, compared to 29 percent of Black households.
  • Similarly, your analysis indicates an elevated racial disparity for digital exclusion, as Fulton County's Black population is 3.5 times more likely to be digitally excluded than the Non-Hispanic White population.

You can see through these examples that racial disparities in digital exclusion tend to echo disparities in other social indicators.

Contributing factors and possible solutions

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), a research-driven advocacy group, contends that barriers to accessing high-speed internet services are worsened by lax regulatory provisions, the dominance of monopoly conglomerates, and the lack of a public option service provider (Broadband Internet Access). ILSR also reports that "nineteen states have established legal barriers or even outright bans on publicly owned networks, according to well-respected communications law firm Baller Stokes & Lide" (Preemption Detente: Municipal Broadband Networks Face Barriers in 19 States). Some cases have also been reported where tenants are subject to subadequate service and higher costs because of deals between landlords and big internet service providers (The New Payola: Deals Landlords Cut with Internet Providers).

What are some solutions for reducing the racial gap in digital inclusion? The ILSR's Community Networks initiative tracks a variety of ways in which local governments have invested in wired telecommunications networks with the aim of meeting this goal. They have found that more than 500 municipalities offer some form of municipal internet service in the United States. An example of such a community is the city of Long Beach, California, and the following are some of the best practices that their Technology and Innovation Commission recommends:

  • Expand city-owned Wi-Fi hotspots, especially in communities where residents lack home broadband.
  • Allocate adequate funds to enable public libraries to remain open during the evening, the only time many residents can use public computers.
  • Expand offering of free-to-low cost technology and internet access to low-income parents with children in the Long Beach school district.

NDIA also recommends that federal programs to address the digital divide should include urban residents and not be focused exclusively on developing rural infrastructure. NDIA's research found that a focus on rural areas is inequitable to communities of color, who are often concentrated in urban areas (Limiting Broadband Investment to "Rural Only" Discriminates Against Black Americans and other Communities of Color).

In this lesson, you took ACS data, developed a metric to measure digital exclusion, and used this metric to analyze spatially and statistically the level of exclusion for different ACS race and ethnicity groups. You then created a web app to share your results, and sought to examine and interpret your results. This lesson focused on digital exclusion, but it is meant to provide a conceptual framework and workflow that can be applied to analyze racial inequity in any domain.

You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.