Community Characteristics


As part of the five-year update to the Regional Policy Plan, the Cape Cod Commission collected information about the 15 towns within Barnstable County (Cape Cod) to objectively describe and characterize each. 

This application contains a variety of data about Cape Cod’s people and places, revealing regional patterns that tell a story about where and how we live, work, and play.





Geographic data was collected from multiple sources, including town assessing data, ESRI Business Analyst, state clearing houses and US Census information. The information was analyzed and partitioned into a 10-acre hexagonal grid. The grid allows for statistically valid comparisons between uniformly sized geographic areas. 

The data was processed and grouped into categories, which are then further broken into individual metrics. The Categories are:

  1. Economy
  2. Vulnerability
  3. Recreation
  4. Demographics
  5. Development Patterns

For each metric, scores ranging from 1 - 10 were assigned to each hexagon based on characteristics of the hexagon's spatial coverage. For example, hexagons that have a value of "1" for the building density metric are likely entirely undeveloped, while those having values of "10" likely contain the highest density of buildings. 

Data points were appropriately adjusted to ensure equal distribution of data to the hexagons. The data points were also grouped using the Natural Breaks method, a standard technique for GIS analysis. 

The scores for each metric were then averaged across a categories and used to generate individual category and metric scores for each town.

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