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#+ chunk-0
#' #Step 1: get your free api key
#' Here's the [link](
#' Install your api key:
#+ chunk-0-b, eval=F
#' #Step 2: select a survey and a table to explore.
#' There is an excellent variety of data you can play with !
#' Here's the [link](
#' #Step 3: Fetch the data.
#' In the example below, I've chosen to explore the table number B15001.
#' First you need to call the geo.make function. The example below simply means "give me all states and counties"
#+ chunk-1
county_geo <- geo.make(state = "*", county = "*")
#' Then we actually get the data. It's important to set the *col.names* parameter to "pretty" to get understandable variable names.
#+ chunk-2, cache=T
education_acs <- acs.fetch(geography = county_geo, table.number = "B15001",
col.names = "pretty", endyear = 2014, span = 5)
#' What you have at this point is an acs object.
#' Two slots are of particular interest to us: the @geography slot which contains the state/county name in the $NAME attribute.
#' Let's go ahead and extract those right away:
#+ chunk-3
state_county <- education_acs@geography$NAME %>% str_split(",")
county <- state_county %>%
sapply(`[[`, 1) %>%
str_replace(" County", "")
state <- state_county %>%
sapply(`[[`, 2)
#' And the @estimate slot which contains the actual census values.
#' Now, the @estimate slot is actually a matrix:
#+ chunk-4
#' #Step 4: Tidy your data
#' As you can see, there is a separate column for every level of drilldown.
#' So We have a little bit of work in order to get a tidy dataset. Come on then, let's get to it !
#' In the end, what we really want, is a dataframe in long format, with the state and county variables,
#' then one variable for the education level, one for the age group, one for the gender,
#' and finally the census value.
#' Because there are so many columns, and also because **in R we trust**,
#' there is no way in hell we are going to do this manually.
#' You can check the code below if you're curious, suffice it to say that the *expand.grid* base function was super useful !
#+ chunk-5
df_education = NULL
education <- c("Total", "< 9th grade", "< 12th grade", "High school", "College", "Associate", "Bachelor", "Graduate")
age <- c("18-24", "25-34", "35-44", "45-64", "65+")
sex = c("Male", "Female")
columns = c(3:42, 44:83)
#+ cache=T
df_exp <- expand.grid(education=education, age=age, sex=sex)
for(i in 1:length(columns)){
df_education <- rbind(df_education, data.frame(county=county,
#' I had to include the 'Total' level of education in the loop because of the way the columns of the matrix are enumerated, but I don't actually want to keep it:
#+ cache=T
df_education %<>% filter(education != 'Total')
#' And guess what my friends...we now have a freakin cool dataset with 6 variables and 225400 observations:
#' That's it for today ! We're gonna keep it short & sweet. Our data is ready, we can take a break and come back later to play with it.
#' In the meantime, if you want to get a headstart, or have any suggestions, please feel free to comment.
#' Next time, we'll be doing some vizualisations using this dataset, and maybe we'll do some webscraping and merge some interesting information onto it.
#' Come back soon !
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