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2017 UA Data User Meeting Presentations

Data 101

  • Designed for new users
  • Subsets of our best variables
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Historical Urban Ecological

The Historical Urban Ecological (HUE) data set describes ward-level health and environmental conditions in seven of America’s largest cities--Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York (Manhattan), and Philadelphia--from 1830 to 1930.

The data set is broken down into three main components:

Users can download geographies and variables of interest below. The data are compatible with major GIS software packages. A join on ward_num will link the tabular data to the desired ward geographies.

Researchers selected the HUE study cities and variables in order to best analyze the effects of intra-urban health disparities and public health interventions on individual mortality and longevity as observed through the Union Army and US Colored Troops cohorts. The general utility and diversity of the HUE resources, however, enable applications well beyond the Early Indicators project.


The most vital piece of documentation is the HUE Codebook, which describes data sources and collection methodology and how to use the collected HUE data.

The complete HUE data set is also available on the ICPSR web site.

Other documentation

Descriptions of the HUE GIS files, historical sources, and assorted methodologies developed for the Early Indicators project, such as historical geocoding with the HUE street centerlines.

Please note that while preliminary data is available for Pittsburgh, it could not be included in the final project due to multiple floods destroying ward boundaries.


The full set of HUE ward-level data is available for download as digitized. Broken down by city, these files are Excel format copies of the original historical documents used to create the HUE data set.


The historical GIS files including ward boundaries, street centerlines, and urban sanitation systems are available for download in shapefile and geodatabase formats.

Geodatabases by City

Street Centerlines by City

Ward Boundaries by City

Sanitation Systems by City

Hormer-Hoyt Land Values

Hoyt Shapefiles