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Software Development Projects

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Public Places - View in App Store

No matter how prepared you are, there are times when you need immediate help in locating an essential public service. If you are from out-of-town and need to locate the nearest hospital or require the phone number for the airport or police station, you want that information fast. There are any number of situations where you could use assistance in finding a service — information supplying you with distance, address, phone number, route and even an augmented glyph pointing you toward the facility. 

  • Public Places locates, maps and augments public service sites.  It displays services in a 10-mile (16-kilometer) radius of your location, or location of your choosing.

  • Public Places brings augmented reality to search and mapping, offering a more direct and intuitive search method. When applied to mapping, augmented reality enhances a person’s spatial ability[1][2][3] by supplying 3D information to help in the interpretation of 2D maps.[4] 

  • Public Places is the first augmented reality application to aid a user’s cognitive mapping skills and spatial navigation abilities.


Building on the success of This Area, Senecio Corporation’s U.S. Census open data app, Public Places supports the principle and spirit of Open Government,[5] encouraging government-to-citizen communication of public data furthering accountability and transparency. The data sets in Public Places are part of the federal government’s Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program supporting open public national geospatial information,[6] and U.S. Department of Energy’s alternative fuels data.[7]


  • Spatial Ability - the capacity to understand and remember the spatial relations among objects. This ability can be viewed as a unique type of intelligence distinguishable from other forms of intelligence, such as verbal ability, reasoning ability, and memory skills.[4]  

  • There are four common types of spatial abilities which include spatial or visuospatial perception, spatial visualization, mental folding, and mental rotation. Each of these abilities has unique properties and importance to many types of tasks whether in certain jobs or everyday life. …. This cognitive ability mediates individual differences in the capacity for higher-level spatial abilities such as mental rotation,[3] all factors in the ability to translate 2D mapping information into the 3D world.

  • Limitations - search data are limited to locations in the United States, except in the cases of Airports and EV Charging Stations where portions of southern Canada are covered. 

  • Augmentation is not available on iOS devices when searching from a “Relocate” site.

  • Android devices must first set “Augmentation On” to view augmented glyphs. For best performance and accuracy, Android phones should be moved in a figure eight pattern for five seconds before use.

  • Search Public Places in the United States from any location in the world with Internet service. Data from around the globe will be added as available.


Information is sometimes not available in certain fields. Empty fields are marked “Not Available.”


1 Park, Gregory; David Lubinski and Camilla P. Benbow, 2010, “Recognizing Spatial Intelligence,” Scientific American, November 2, 2010.

2 Southorn, Graham, 2014, “Why are some people better at map reading than others?”

3 Wikipedia, Spatial Ability.

4 Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

6 U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

7 U.S. Department of Energy.

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This Area

Overview -- Discovering where you are and the immediate area's demographics


This handy educational analytic tool is perfect for anyone needing to learn more about their immediate surroundings quickly. This Area will tell you if the population in the surrounding locale is young or old, ethnically diverse, what percent of the homes are owner or renter occupied, the number that house children and teens, and how many homes are vacant, for sale or rent.


Launch the app to find out where you are and what the area is like around you. Get GPS coordinates, altitude, mapped location, nearest street address, and census geography, including census tract and block group number.   


Stunning graphics display the age and sex distribution in a population pyramid, with pie charts highlighting the area’s gender, ethnic and racial distributions. Housing numbers report the total, occupied, vacant and occasional use. Included is a glossary of terms from the U.S. Census Bureau with definitions of the measures used in the last decennial census.


Each place the user visits is date and time stamped, with the option of saving and sharing tables and graphs for further study. And with waypoints (i.e., set of coordinates that identify a stopping point), it’s easy to visualize each day’s route.

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Educational Uses​

Educators in the social sciences will want to incorporate This Area into their Introductory Sociology, Population, Geography, Human Ecology, Applied Demography, Political Science or Community Studies course.  The app is inexpensive and easy enough to learn that students can immediately use it to explore, visualize, document and compare the distribution and differential demographic and housing patterns for small areas anywhere in urban or rural America.


Applied Uses

State, county and city administrators, health and school officials, planners, zoning officers, community organizers, politicians, marketers, real estate agents, commercial developers and prospective home buyers can all make use of This Area. Anyone can gain a better sense of their immediate surroundings by launching the app to obtain U.S. Census population and housing data for any place they happen to be in the 50 U.S. States and Puerto Rico.


From its inception in the mid '80s to incorporation in the early '90s, developers at Senecio Corporation fashioned their design philosophy during a period when computing's command line prompt was being replaced by the graphical user interface (GUI). The desktop metaphor introduced fundamental change in human/machine interaction and required creative, new strategies for software development. 
Developers had to rethink everything. It was a dramatic shift in the user paradigm and an exciting but unsettling time in software development; more thought had to go into the end user's experience, plus there were new, state-of-the-art development tools and software libraries to master. While the learning curve was steep and the tools new, Senecio engineers created ground breaking applications that were among the first of their kind in the social sciences, and to this day remain, in certain respects, unchallenged -- MaCATI (Macintosh Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing), IPSS (Interactive Population Statistical System) and Flo•Stat (Statistical Analysis and Graphics Package).

Those foundational experiences continue to guide the company's design work; keeping the focus on the end user's experience, practicing agile engineering and being ever vigilant through constant testing of the software.


While our fundamental philosophy has remained in place, the software development tools we rely on, have not. Integrated development environments follow the rapid pace of change in technologies and computing paradigms.  Senecio's early engineering efforts called for little else than programming desktop applications, soon followed by simple local area network solutions. The change from wide area campus networks to the Internet was rapid. To keep pace with those trends, Senecio's tools have undergone similar change, ranging from Basic, Think Lightspeed Pascal and Ann Arbor Softworks in the early days to WAP, WML, HTML, javascript and Java for our early mobile phone and web applications. With the advent of ubiquitous, mobile computing in the form of smart phones, tablets, wearables and more broadly, the Internet of Things, Senecio is adopting the latest integrated development environments (e.g., Xcode) to better address the growing demands of always-connected, mobile computing devices.

Current Projects

New projects are always in the works - five are under development, with one recently completed. This Area, a geolocation, mapping and U.S. Census population and housing iPhone app is now available at Apple's app store.


IPSS Mobile, a rewrite of Senecio's ground-breaking population projection program first designed for the early Macintosh computer, is being redesigned to take advantage of what will be for IPSS a more intuitive, direct human interface of swipes and taps. The project was submitted as an SBIR application to NIH. 


The second project, and one that has been undergoing a series of enhancements and additions over the years, arises from Senecio's long tradition in social surveying beginning in the 1987 with the first computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system for the Macintosh (MaCATI). The early surveying package was completely redeveloped into an OS agnostic package called  AskAnywhere®. This powerful multitiered client server system will soon add a CATI component to its offerings, and extend the questionnaire editor allowing for the design of smartphone apps to assist in the collection and immediate reporting of biological and environmental field data. Design work for a wearables survey app is also underway.


Hotel Beacon is iBeacon technology for the hotel and resort management industry. 

IPSS - Interactive Population Simulation System

Students in the social sciences, market researchers, as well as government and city planners all gain a better understanding of population dynamics when using IPSS.


Preparing population projections takes patience and time. Projections require large amounts of data: beginning population counts by age and sex, plus age-specific fertility, mortality, and migration rates. Add in multiple rate schedules and multiple runs to test several demographic assumptions and it is easy to see why a population projection assignment can quickly overwhelm any analyst.


IPSS' wealth of input features makes data entry and editing a snap.

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Professional Man Holding a Tablet

Plotting the changing demographics in a market area, studying the demographic implications of a region's growing or declining population, or forecasting that portion of product demand driven by changing population composition has never been easier. 

IPSS' advantage lies in its ability to quickly generate demographically appropriate graphics when illustrating population trends. When IPSS animates a series of population pyramids, for example, the user and audience quickly grasp population dynamics and what those compositional shifts are likely to mean for future sales, school enrollments or other social changes.

IPSS reviews circa 1990

Robert I. Kabacoff, Nova University
Social Science Computer Review

"IPSS is a sophisticated and complex program whose strength lies in its ease of use.... The program is remarkably interactive, allowing the user to change basic assumptions (initial population estimates, fertility, mortality, migration, and user specified special rates) and immediately see the impact on projected statistics. This reviewer found it possible to run complex and detailed projections using nothing but the mouse!... IPSS greatest strength may lie with its carefully fashioned Macintosh interface.... For a social scientist with access to a Macintosh computer, this is the program to have when performing population projections."


William H. Frey, Population Studies Center, Univ. of Michigan - Population Today


"IPSS is a powerful but extremely user-friendly projection-simulation package, featuring dazzling graphics, easy data input, and useful modeling options. It can be used for research and presentation in a variety of settings and comes bundled with demographic data for the 50 U.S. states and selected countries.... No other software matches IPSS' graphics.... The excellent documentation includes useful tutorials."


Teresa A. Sullivan, The University of Texas - Teaching Sociology


"Although IPSS was rather consciously designed for business planners, market researchers, and other applied social scientist, it is a versatile program with great potential for the classroom.... As with so many Macintosh applications, this one shines in the use of graphics.... I was playing around with the program at home when my nine-year-old walked into the room and watched me construct some age-sex pyramids. We ended up having a little discussion on fertility and mortality. It was clear that the graphics had caught his attention and led him immediately into issues of dynamics. This is the reaction that many demographers would like to elicit among undergraduates but too rarely achieve. My son pronounced IPSS to be 'cool.' Although I have not tried out IPSS in the classroom, I plan to try it in my next undergraduate course to see if they express the same kind of enthusiasm.... The principle classroom use of this program would be courses in demography or population. It would also be useful for developing modules to use in the introductory course, either for the chapter on population or perhaps as part of a demonstration of macro-sociological concepts. It could also provide substantial benefits for a course on general research methods. Many of the demographic tools demonstrated in this program also have wider applicability in sociology."


Allan Schaiberg, Department of Sociology, Northwestern Univ.

"This relative ease of use is also matched with a professional demographic quality of the algorithms used in the package. ...this is a technically sound package, with enormous potential for a variety of pedagogical uses."


George Sadowsky, Computing and Networking

"Projection times are short... to allow rapid interaction between user and program. The IPSS manual is well written."


Jerry Pournelle - Byte Magazine

"Every now and then I get a program like IPSS that makes me want to drop everything and spend a couple of weeks playing with my computer... It's elegant, easy to use, and useful. If you have any interest in population, get this for your Mac. Highly Recommended!"

AskAnywhere® - Survey System


  • Survey in any language using any platform.

  • Use AskAnywhere's page layout and design application to write and edit your questionnaire on Windows, Unix or Macintosh.

  • Let the questionnaire editor automatically update links and skip paths when a question or page is added or deleted.

  • Include any type of question, branch, or skip.

  • Randomize responses, questions and blocks of questions.

  • Dynamically include information from your online database to personalize surveys.

  • Route returns to online databases and statistical packages.

  • Automatically update statistics while routing new tables and graphs to the web as returns come in.

  • Quickly set up your own low cost online survey center. 

  • Question types:

    • Single response item

    • Multiple response item

    • Multiple response item-N items

    • Fixed sum scale (sum to constant)

    • Open ended verbatim

    • Numerics (integer or real)

    • Analog rating scale (scrollable scale)

    • Randomized responses

  • Randomization of questions or blocks of questions 

  • Automatic "fills" from a database or previous response 

  • Embedded calculations in text fields 

  • Range and consistency checks 

  • Math functions and calculations built into skip instructions 

  • Multiple questions per page

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