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Online Mapping
Looking at the Shaker Square area with PolicyMap

PolicyMap© is a new, powerful, easy-to-use online mapping service. Produced by The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) [website], a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization, it shows economic and demographic data through maps, tables and reports. PolicyMap offers simple and quick online access to a wealth of data for anyone who needs it. From city planners and grant makers to real estate developers and strategic consultants, professionals can use it to map and analyze information based on geography.

An email from an urban redevelopment executive told me about PolicyMap. So I registered (free) for this online service. (Professional users will probably want a paid subscription for access to all the data.) Immediately available was a huge choice of ways to could map an area: age, race, income, education, vacancies, and much more. PM's website says they offer 4,000 indicators. Many of them allow examining changes and trends across the years.

Imagine picking a location and a statistic, often selecting a year, and zooming in and out, looking at maps, charts and reports.

For a taste of what I found, I've saved images of two PolicyMap pages on timely topics on this site, so there's no need for you to register. Click on the images below to display much larger images with a legend.

click for larger map click for larger map

Subprime Home Loans
Data as of 2007
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Predicted Foreclosure Rate
HUD data as of 2008
click for larger map

If you are interested in the urban landscape, take a good look at PolicyMap's online mapping tools. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been around for many years, but I can't imagine them friendlier or more powerful than PolicyMap.

Arnie Berger  November, 2008

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