Center for Social Research

April 8 CSR Presentation: Data visualization with KCCS

Using data from the Kent County Congregations Study, CSR staff will showcase emerging tools and methods for visual data analysis.

Please join us:

  Thursday April 8, 2010
3:30 p.m., Meeter Center Lecture Hall
Calvin College

See the entire poster!

UPDATE: See the presentation (PowerPoint 2007)!

Posted by Kathryn A. Bardolph on Friday, March 26, 2010 at 12:49 PM
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Kent County Congregations Canvassing Completed

The Center for Social Research is pleased to announce that, as of November 5, 2009, we have completed our comprehensive church canvassing project! The student research assistants estimate that they covered over 124 tracts, and collected data documenting congregational movements and new congregations in Kent County. In total, 24 new congregations were discovered.

Even though there is a feeling of finality to this phase of the project, in reality it has only just begun. We now have a great deal of data to add to the previously collected data from the Kent County Congregational Survey of 2006 that was compiled into the impressive report, Gatherings of Hope. These data will also be used to make a comprehensive and up-to-date directory of Kent County congregations.

By visiting each congregation in Kent County, student researchers were able to take pictures of every building and record any changes to leadership, contact information, membership, and other relevant information.


Posted by Tony Ditta on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM
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GIS: Mapping Kent County

One of our talented employees, Nathan Mosurinjohn, comments on the GIS niche he specializes in at the CSR:

“GIS is short for Geographic Information Systems, which is used to both analyze spatial data and to create maps. The GIS program we use at the CSR is fully customizable, so the possibilities for its use are endless. Some examples of ways this technology can be used include anything from site selection for business branches to hydrological studies to 3D fly-throughs of mountain ranges.

One of the main ways we are using GIS this summer is to coordinate our canvassing efforts for the Kent County Congregations Study. In addition to making an atlas of maps that the canvassers use for navigating, we have used GIS to estimate the time it will take to canvass each area and the amount of milage each area contains. We have also created a randomized set of points throughout the county to measure some of the general social and physical characteristics of the areas we are canvassing.

Once a team returns from a canvassing trip with their collected data, we use GIS to analyze what we have learned. With this technology we can chart where congregations are moving, where new congregations are forming, and where they are shutting down. We can also begin to see what the location of congregations means; for example, demographic changes in the city may be reflected in church movement and attendance. Movement of congregations can also affect how well services for young people are distributed among at-risk youth, a topic that our corresponding Youth Services Landscape Survey explores in more depth.

These are just a few of the ways that we are using GIS to aid in the implementation of our research endeavors, but as you can see, it is also a very transferable tool that can be used for a variety of purposes.”

Posted by Nikole Voss on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 12:49 PM
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More about KCCS canvassing

KCCS is on Calvin’s home page today, thanks to Allison Graff—have a look.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, July 20, 2009 at 08:25 AM
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Kent County Congregation Study—Part de deux!

Monday we sent our first official team of Research Assistants out into the world to canvas Kent County for old, new, and re-located congregations! Our student researchers are busily scouring the county as part of an extension of the Kent County Congregational Study. The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation is sponsoring a continuation of the study to advance the understanding of religious congregations' role in the provision of social services, especially for youth and children. Researchers will be looking to confirm the presence of 720 congregations found in Kent County as of 2007. Data gathered from this census will allow us to monitor trends in the population of congregations and ensure that surveys and other studies are representative of the Kent county. Keep your eye out for our student researchers in your neighborhood!

Click "read more..." to read from the perspective of a canvasser...


Posted by Christina Marie Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 05:09 PM
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