I am trying to create a web app where users can query a certain type of data that is offered by the Government. Unfortunately, the government prefers "Census Tract/Blocks" as opposed to Zip codes (it makes sense, but still unfortunate)
There are approximately 11 million Census blocks, 73k Census tracts versus 54,000 Zipcodes (these are rough numbers) I was thinking I could simply find a database with census blocks and tracts, and do the mapping myself.
So I found the Census block database, it is a shapefile.
However...I am using a Mac, so I cannot use ArcGIS to view the TIGER shapefiles offered by census.gov (https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tiger-geodatabases.html)
If I had ArcGIS, I was thinking I could be able to import the shapefiles and make sure it was the data I needed, but I can't.
I then found a tool called ogr2ogr, but it appears it prefers a database called PostGIS, or SQL Server.
I also keep trying to find maybe someone already went through this craziness, but am unsuccessful.
Given a proprietary dataformat - ERSI Shapefiles - are the only source offered by the Census, how should I go about translating this data to SQL somehow?
This would help me a lot because on my other dataset, there is a field called "FULLFIPSID", which is a FIPS code that the Census uses in it's geography references. Or maybe there is another way without having to use the shapefiles?