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Quilting a Time-Place Mosaic: Concluding Remarks


Entwisle, Barbara; Hofferth, Sandra L.; & Moran, Emilio F. (2017). Quilting a Time-Place Mosaic: Concluding Remarks. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 669(1), 190-198.


Social science is at a pivotal moment. The advent of "big data" from the Internet, social media, and smartphones as well as newly available administrative data from electronic sources has opened the door to new understandings of people and society. That said, realizing this promise requires a vision for the future and a practical plan for reaching it. The articles in this volume begin this work. Each addresses some aspect of data linkage. Each can be considered a patch in a time-place mosaic. This concluding article considers the articles as a collection and how they might be quilted together. It discusses the diversity of sources available, differences in time depth and sociospatial coverage, and the many challenges of using data not designed for research. It identifies the benefits that would cumulate as a set of regional data centers to assemble, link, curate, and share diverse data sources is established and coordinated. These data centers could provide the combination of national coverage, local depth, and temporal precision needed to advance our understanding of the American population.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science


Entwisle, Barbara
Hofferth, Sandra L.
Moran, Emilio F.