It’s here! PolicyMap. We at TRF are thrilled to officially launch PolicyMap, a website that combines sophisticated technology and the best analytical tools to deliver a new level of accessibility to data. And we mean all kinds of data – more than 4,000 indicators related to demographics, real estate markets, money and income, education, crime and more.
PolicyMap is a tool for all of you who wished there was an easier way to incorporate the power of data into the decisions you make. It’s fast, efficient and captures data in visually powerful ways through custom maps, tables and reports.
For those of you who don’t know us, TRF is a non-profit community development financial institution that works across the Mid-Atlantic. We’ve spent the last twenty years financing affordable housing, schools, businesses, supermarkets and other projects that build wealth and opportunity for the people and places that need it the most.
At TRF, we have long recognized the need for good data and analysis about neighborhoods and have spent close to a decade collecting and analyzing data to better inform public policy and investment decisions. With PolicyMap, we have the opportunity to distribute and share information more effectively.
PolicyMap uses Pushpin™ technology, a leading platform for professional web applications in mapping, business geographics, and location-based services. Pushpin was developed by Placebase, Inc., a leader in online mapping that creates hosted platforms that display highly sophisticated interactive maps in ordinary Web browsers. Pushpin’s advanced capabilities include availability of large numbers of map layers on tap, display of thousands of markers rather than dozens, and dynamic rendering of shaded thematic maps reflecting thousands of data variables. The technology enables PolicyMap to provide thematic maps that are extremely clear, highly fluid and draggable, allowing users to slide across geographies using their mouse.
Four months ago, we exposed PolicyMap to our close-in colleagues and have spent the time since then making significant enhancements to the site based on feedback from early users. We’ve added new functionality, more data and focused on the look and feel of the site.
We’ve tried to make much of what is in PolicyMap available to the public for free, but also offer subscription options if you are interested in accessing more features and proprietary data (that we aren’t allowed to give out for free).
Jeremy Nowak and Maggie McCullough