Looking Forward with MapEd School Feeder Patterns

Blue Raster has created new, one-of-a-kind functionality for the MapEd Project that displays School Feeder Patterns across the United States. A Feeder Pattern shows the trajectory of a student through the school system based on a geographic location. It is a unique way to visualize the School Attendance Boundary Survey (SABS), a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) survey conducted bi-annually, outlining a school’s geographic attendance zone. This provides a more complete look at school boundaries and gives parents school options for their child.

The charts are powered by D3.js and use a modified Dendrogram to create smooth connecting lines. The functionality behind the graphic leverages the ArcGIS API for JavaScript Geometry Engine which allows for the intersection of geometries to be done on-the-fly as the users explore the SABS Dataset. The MapEd Project continues to evolve and keep up with the latest technologies in data visualization Feeder Patterns being the latest exceptional example of this.


tai-phanSchool Feeder Patterns allow users to use the School Attendance Boundary Survey in ways never possible before: visualizing the projection of a student throughout the school system. The school feeder patterns were created from regular and defacto 2013-2014 school attendance boundaries. These patterns were identified through a union of overlapping elementary, middle, high, and other school level boundaries. The team is looking forward to enhancing the data for schools by incorporating 2010-2014 American Community Survey data at the school level to become a rich resource for the Education Research/Statistical and GIS communities.

-Tai Phan, Census Mapping Lead at NCES