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OnTheMap/LODES Synthetic Data

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Quicklink: VirtualRDC OnTheMap mini site


OnTheMap has been a very popular web-based application since its formal launch under the Local Employment Dynamics partnership in February 2006. Many inquiries have been made to access, use, and evaluate the underlying data, and this interest is growing. The NSF-funded VirtualRDC has agreed to provide access and download capability for the underlying OnTheMap public-use data (LODES data). This is a joint project between the Census Bureau, participating states, and Cornell University that is partly supported by the National Science Foundation (Currently grant #0922005, previously grants #0427889 #0339191 #9978093).

What can be downloaded and accessed

LODES data can be accessed on the VirtualRDC site by simple download. For more information, consult the OnTheMap mini site at the VirtualRDC.

Background on synthetic data

On The Map is the first synthetic data product released by the Census Bureau. Three (3) distinct copies of the synthetic data, known as implicates, are produced; one of them is used for the current implementation of OnTheMap. The VirtualRDC provides an Internet-accessible computing environment dedicated to the exploration and development of synthetic data. Background on the development and use of synthetic data may be found in, for example:

  • John Abowd. Synthetic Data: A New Future for Public Use Micro-Data? LEHD Presentation PN-2004-01.
  • John Abowd and Julia Lane. New Approaches to Confidentiality Protection: Synthetic Data, Remote Access and Research Data Centers. in Domingo-Ferrer, J. & Torra, V. (ed.),
    Privacy in Statistical Databases, Springer, Berlin-New York, 2004 (also available as LEHD Technical paper TP-2004-03.
  • John Abowd and Julia Lane. Synthetic Data and Confidentiality Protection, available as LEHD Technical paper TP-2003-10.