The search bar is used to navigate the map to a specific location or add a location onto a Table. Similar to most online mapping tools, you can search for locations by an address or a type of geography (e.g. zip code, city, county, or state), but users can also search by predefined geographies like census tracts, congressional districts, school districts, metro areas, and other geographies.
Search the Map – The default way to use the search bar is by Location, which allows a user to enter an address or geography. To search for an address, type a location in the entry box and click the magnifying icon (or your Enter key). When an address is located, an icon will appear on the map to identify the address. The Info Bubble gives users the option to remove the icon (Clear Point) or create a radius report (See Report) from the address location.
If searching by an address use a combination of street address and zip code or a combination of street address, city, and state. Users will occasionally receive a “location not found” message, which can be for a variety of reasons. Here are some tips which will help locate your address:
- An address must have a street number. Addresses that do not contain street numbers will not be found.
- Apt, Units, Number, or anything normally in Address2 should not be in included in your search.
- Ranges of address with hyphens (e.g. 123-127 Main Street) will not be found, users need to search for one address from the range.
- Some hyphenated addresses, such as those in Queens, NY (e.g. 65-30 Kissena Blvd) can be entered without the hyphen (e.g. 6530 Kissena Blvd).
- If a street has a secondary name, use the secondary name first to search (e.g. Highway 99 in Winston, OR is also named Dillard Highway).
- Cross streets cannot be used to identify an address.
If searching by a type of geography, like Philadelphia, users will see the map position itself at the location entered with a border surrounding the geography. If more than one location in the US has the same name, the map will default to the largest populated location and a message box will appear listing all matching locations sorted by population size.
When searching by geographies, users will see a list of suggested locations with a similar name. Suggested locations will appear after the 3rd letter is entered. Suggested locations will display what geography and boundary year(s) it was created by the US Census.
Pre-defined Geographies – You can search by pre-defined geographies in PolicyMap by select the category in the drop down menu.
- Census Tracts and Block Groups – Users with a FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) code could enter the ID in the respective tabs and the map will locate and highlight the boundary for that geography. The suggested locations for tracts and blockgroups will appear after the 10th digit for tracts and 11th digit for blockgroups, and both will display the boundary year(s) each location. Between 2000 and 2010, the US Census updated a large number of census tract and blockgroup boundaries, so on PolicyMap users can see data for either boundaries and also search for them. Users can read more about the boundary changes here.
- Cong. District – PolicyMap has loaded the latest Congressional districts for all 50 States, US Territories, and Washington DC.
- School District – School districts can be found by selecting the state and entering the name of the school district. The suggested locations for schools districts will also appear after entering the 3rd letter of the school district name.
- State Districts – PolicyMap has also loaded the legislative districts for the 50 states and Washington DC. When searching for state House and Senate districts, select “Upper House District” to search for the state Senate districts and “Lower House District” for state House districts.
- Metro – Users can find a list of CBSAs in a state, with a metropolitan containing over 50,000 people and a micropolitan containing 10,000-49,999 people.
To read a full guide on all features on PolicyMap, please look at our Primer available here