Ari Lamstein

acs v2.1.1 is now on CRAN

A new version of the acs package is now on CRAN. I recommend that all users of choroplethr update to this version. Here is how to do it:

[code lang=”r”]
update.packages()

packageVersion(‘acs’)

[1] ‘2.1.1’
[/code]

As a reminder, after updating the acs package you might need to reinstall your Census API key with ?api.key.install.

New Performance Issue

Internally, choroplethr uses the acs package to fetch demographic data from the Census Bureau’s API. Unfortunately, this version of the acs package introduces a performance issue (and solution) when fetching data. Here is an example of the problem:

[code lang=”r”]

library(choroplethr)

time_demographic_get = function()
{
start.time = Sys.time()
df = get_state_demographics()
end.time = Sys.time()
end.time – start.time
}

time_demographic_get() # 1.9 minutes

[/code]

Performance Issue Fix

The fix for this performance issue is simply to call the function ?acs.tables.install. You only need to call this function once. Doing so will dramatically speed up the performance of choroplethr’s various “get_*_demographics” functions:

[code lang=”r”]

acs.tables.install()

time_demographic_get() # 9.4 seconds

[/code]

A big thank you to Ezra Haber Glenn, the author of the acs package, for his continued work maintaining the package.

Ari Lamstein

Ari Lamstein

I currently work as a Staff Data Science Engineer at a marketing analytics consultancy. I have 20 years experience developing software in areas such as data science, web development and video games. I have also worked as a technical trainer and independent consultant.

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