Monday, October 1, 2018

1976 Boundary Files

I’m trying to track down 1976 CSD and CD boundary files for a researcher here at WLU. Do they exist? Is so, can some one point me in the direction of them? If they don’t exist, does anyone have the backstory on why digitization for this vintage never occurred?

Answer from DLI list:
[There is] a project at UofT to digitize historical census boundary files, in parallel with the OCUL-DATA Historical Census Project.

I am working with a student to create geospatial files for all the census boundaries – going back as far as we can. I believe he has just completed the prairie provinces for 1976.

The digitized maps are available through the Internet Archive – does your researcher need the geo-data or just the pdfs?

Answer from Subject Matter:
We received the following response from subject matter:

“Unfortunately, we do not have CSD/CD boundary files for 1976. We aren’t certain as to why this year was never digitized, however, some thoughts about it are:

— not everything was mapped in the 1970s, and thus there may not have been maps to digitize
— what was mapped tended to be skeletal road networks, and only in the larger population centres, so CD/CSD boundaries may not have existed on any maps
— mapping tended to be more for collection purposes rather than dissemination, so what exists is more for Enumeration Areas, not CD/CSDs, and again only in larger areas
— likely there have not been the financial or human resources to do this work, as Geo’s efforts are usually geared to future censuses, rather than capturing data from past censuses
— most of the older historical information that does exist in a digital format is not readily converted to shapefile or other spatial formats. As in they are old, mainframe files which need to be examined to see if we could even capture the data they contain.

There certainly is a lot of historical information available, but these specific boundaries do not exist in a digital format as of today.”