[GRASS-user] A few simple questions

Erik Lewis elewis at ngrl.org
Thu Jan 21 11:38:41 EST 2010

First let me apologize if this is the wrong venue to ask these questions.  If it is please kindly refer me somewhere else and I will leave you in peace.

I'm a public librarian trying to bring a geographic aspect to our statistics.  Basically trying to answer questions of where our patrons live and what they check out so that I can plan facilities, collections, marketing, and a whole variety of other data to aid in the operation of a library system.  My experiments so far have involved using a geocoding website to encode my patrons address data with longitude and latitude.  While this looks impressive in Google Earth they are just data points.  What i'm really interested is encoding this data with US Census Tract and Block data to get actual comparisons of circulation against the various census data products.  So my questions are:

1)  Is there a way to encode my longitude and latitude data with US Census Tract and Block data so that I can get counts of my patrons at those layers of abstraction.  Ideally I want to load these values into a MySQL database for querying to make some thematic maps.

2)  Based on if I can accomplish number 1 is GRASS the tool I should be spending my time with as opposed to Google Earth?  

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