Here’s a tool likely to be useful to armchair developers interested in the lay of the land. PolicyMap is a new GIS website that allows you to view a range of local market and demographic data for Houston or any area of the country. You can see how local crime statistics, an interesting array of mortgage categories (such as the percentage of piggyback, subprime, and refi loans), income distributions, and even donations to presidential candidates look on a map. (Big surprise: Pearland and the Energy Corridor really like John McCain!)PolicyMap is a project of The Reinvestment Fund, a non-profit community-development financial institution from Philadelphia. Some of the advanced features require a subscription, but there’s plenty to play around with for free.
Click here to read this article which appeared on Swamplot May 30, 2008.