Philadelphia Childcare Map & Fund for Quality

Funded by the William Penn Foundation, TRF’s PolicyMap and Policy Solutions mapped the supply and demand of child care in Philadelphia—identifying where there are communities underserved by high-quality options. The free mapping tool can be accessed at www.childcaremap.org. Building on this analysis, TRF has partnered with the Public Health Management Corporation, also with funding from the William Penn Foundation, to expand high-quality early childhood education facilities to reach more low-income children. A first-of-its-kind local initiative, the Fund for Quality will be a $7 million effort to provide a new source of capital and planning services for high-quality providers. See coverage on NBC10 and WHYY.

Read the full press release here!

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State Minimum Wage, Now On PolicyMap

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. There’s been much in the news lately about whether this is sufficient income to live off of, whether to raise it, and what the effects of that would be.

Right now, not every state has the same minimum wage. Some states have legislated minimum wages higher than the federal minimum. The state of Washington has the highest, at $9.32. Some states actually have lower minimum wages, but they’re superseded by the federal minimum.

Since so many are talking about the role the minimum wage plays on the economy and its workers, we decided to add that as an indicator on PolicyMap.

This data, which comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, shows the effective minimum wage in each state. There are some municipalities, such as San Francisco, that have higher minimum wages than their states, but this is not shown in the data since it’s not reported by the Department of Labor.

This data is free to all users, and is accessible in the Incomes & Spending menu.

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Childcare Maps spotlighted by NBC10

childcare-map-logoThe Reinvestment Fund’s Policy Solutions, PolicyMap, and Lending teams have been working together to increase access to high-quality childcare in Philadelphia.

The William Penn Foundation made a grant to TRF to develop comprehensive information about the availability of high-quality early childhood education in Philadelphia and the accessibility of child care for families with low-incomes. TRF’s analysis is accessible through ChildcareMap (www.childcaremap.org), which is hosted by PolicyMap.

As the next phase, TRF, along with Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) and the William Penn Foundation, are announcing a new partnership to finance the expansion of high-quality early childhood education (ECE) facilities in Philadelphia called the Fund for Quality (www.fundforquality.org).

Watch NBC10′s coverage of the Childcare Maps tool here:

and read the whole report here.



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Take a quick tour of maps today!

Nicole-Quote

What’s not to love? Full screen maps, interactive legends, easy-to-use-data menus, and simple sharing tools. The new PolicyMap maps page makes working with maps fun. You, too, may even want to give it a hug!

The Quick Start will show you how to search for specific addresses, locations or census tracts, find and add data to your map, use the identify tool to see the data behind the map and use the features loaded into the legend.

Read the complete maps tutorial here.

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March Mapness Is Here!

It’s March Mapness time! As Harvard celebrates its advancement to the second round of the basketball tournament, it’s the perfect opportunity to give a special salute of encouragement to the schools in the round of 64 who are also PolicyMap subscribers. Nine teams in the tournament have university site licenses: Harvard, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Syracuse, New Mexico, Michigan State, Arizona, American, and the University of Massachusetts. And, an additional five are currently engaged in a PolicyMap trial subscription! So, altogether, nearly a quarter of the teams have access to PolicyMap data and analysis through their universities!

Undoubtedly, these teams have succeeded because of their emphasis on location awareness, both on the court and in the world.

If your school is interested in giving your students the opportunity to learn how to analyze data without having to collect it or use expensive mapping software, email us at info@policymap.com about signing up for a free PolicyMap site license trial today!

Good luck to the Orange, the Bruins, the Lobos, the Panthers, and all the other university teams that also love online data and mapping!

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PolicyMap at the National Grants Managers’ Network Annual Conference

PolicyMap was invited to speak this week in San Diego at the National Grants Managers’ Network annual conference.  With thousands of attendees at the conference and over 100 attendees at our session, titled Mapping Data to Improve Grant Outcomes and Decisions, we had a great opportunity to discuss how the foundations we work with are using PolicyMap.  I spoke along with two colleagues from the data and mapping field, Ian David Moss, from Fractured Atlas (also a PolicyMap API client), and Jake Garcia from the Foundation Center.  Ian, Jake and I enjoyed seeing how each of us has grown and expanded our offerings since we last convened in New York a few years ago for a New York Grant Managers Network meeting.  PolicyMap was pleased to have the opportunity to share our work this week with Grantmakers from around the country.

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A Mapping Tool for the Rest of Us – Tech.pinions

By Steve Wildstrom | March 13th, 2014

Read more on Tech.pinions

Maps are the great data visualization tools. There is something about the ability to take database information, superimpose it on a map, and have an image that makes visual sense instantly pop up.

Unfortunately, this is often a lot harder to pull off than it seems it should be. On one end, there are massive geographic information services, such as ESRI ArcView, that can generate great maps, but are both expensive and complex to learn. At the other extreme, assorted Google mapping services, including web clients and Google Earth, enable all sorts of tricks, but the job of creating really good data superimpositions can be depressingly difficult.

PolicyMap, a subsidiary of the non-profit Reinvestment Fund, has released a splendid new version of its web-based mapping tool.

“For the last six years, we have largely catered to state, local and federal government users as well as banking and housing professionals, college students and researchers looking to better understand geographic data and trends,” said Maggie McCullough, President, PolicyMap. “As interest in data and data visualization has exploded, we’ve rebuilt PolicyMap into a more powerful but easier to use tool that appeals to our traditional customers, as well as newcomers to mapping and web managers looking to elevate their business intelligence, research, analytics or presentation capabilities.”

Continue reading

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TRF reinvestment in PolicyMap pays dividends

3-17-2014 3-01-11 PMTRF reinvestment in PolicyMap pays dividends for developers, researchers and citizens
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014| by Sandy Smith

Like any good investor, The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) looks for places where its investments in communities can produce a positive return. But it seeks a return of a different kind from the one usually associated with investing: as an investor with a social mission, it looks for projects that can change lives for the better in low-income communities that are often starved for resources.

“We’ve been around for 25 years and have done a lot of investing in affordable housing, supermarkets, charter schools, and shopping centers,” said Maggie McCullough, president of PolicyMap at TRF. “We had become heavy into mapping and wanted to see what the impact of our investments were.”

PolicyMap-3-Layer-Map-Example

So it gathered mountains of data on neighborhood demographics, income, housing characteristics and more to help inform the decisions it made. Then it realized there were others out there who could benefit from access to all this data – and to mapping software that allows them to place and analyze this data in space.

Thus was born PolicyMap, TRF’s data mapping package for the general public.

“We were doing this one-off on the fly, and that became the impetus for PolicyMap,” she said. “We figured others would want to do this too.”

Read the rest of Sandy Smith’s article on the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog.



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