We are pleased to announce that the acs.R package is now ready for prime-time: version 1.0 was officially released last week and is now available on CRAN.1 This version, developed in partnership with the Puget Sound Regional Council, includes all the enhancements described in this post, plus additional tweaks, and lots of documentation.
Just to recap, as of version 1.0:
- The package is now capable of downloading data directly from the new Census American Community Survey API and importing into R (with proper statistical treatment of estimates and error, variable and geographic relabeling, and more), all through a single “acs.fetch()” function;
- The package includes a new “geo.make()” function to allow users to create their own custom geographies for organize and download data; and
- The package provides two special “lookup” tools to help filter through all the existing Census geographies (with the “geo.lookup()” function) and tables (with the “acs.lookup()” function) to find exactly what they want. The acs.lookup function return new “acs.lookup” objects which can be saved, manipulated, and passed to acs.fetch() for downloading data.
I’ve also updated the user guide (version 1.0), which includes step-by-step instructions for working with the package, plus an extended example in the appendix on using blockgroup-level ACS data to create your own neighborhood geographies. (You can also view the complete package manual from the CRAN site.)
Finally, if you’re interested in staying in touch with the ongoing development of the package, be sure to sign up for the acs.R user group mailing list: to register, visit http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/acs-r.
1 Note: the latest version of this package is actually 1.01, which includes a few additional big-fixes.