Tutorial Recap: Analyzing Census Data in R

A big thanks to Gabriela de Quieroz for organizing the San Francisco R-ladies Meetup, where I spent a few hours yesterday introducing people to my census-related R packages. A special thanks to Sharethrough as well, for letting us use their space for the event.

It was my first time running a tutorial like this, and I spent a while thinking about how to structure it. I decided to have everyone analyze the demographics of the state, county and ZIP Code where they are from, and share the results with their neighbor. I think that this format worked well – it kept people engaged and made the material relevant to them.

Several people wanted to participate but were unable to make it. A common question was whether the event was going to be live streamed. While it was not streamed, the slides are now available on the github repo I created for the talk (see the bottom of the README file). As always, if you have any questions about the packages you can ask on the choroplethr google group.

Personally, I’d like to see more live tutorial sessions in the R community. There’s tons of interesting niches in the R ecosystem that I would like to know more about. If you have a tutorial that you’d like to run, I suggest contacting the organizer of your local R meetup. If you live in the SF Bay Area that is probably the Bay Area R User Group and R-ladies.

The main challenge I found was getting everyone’s computer set up properly for the event. I created a script that I asked people to run before the event which installed all the necessary packages. That script helped a lot, but there were still some problems that required attention throughout the night.

Need help with an R related project? Send me an email at arilamstein@gmail.com.

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