March 2010 Updates

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New for March on PolicyMap! New tools and datasets are now available! Whether you are a city official managing a housing or foreclosure program, a student conducting research for course work, a community lender looking to better understand your portfolio in this market, or a foundation making decisions with limited resources, these new tools and data allow you to visualize and incorporate market information into your work in simpler, more efficient ways.
New Ways to Create and Use Custom Regions: PolicyMap subscribers have always had the ability to draw custom areas on a map – on the fly – as a means of generating a picture of life in the area through maps, tables and reports. Quickly find out, for example, how many people live in an area, what types of jobs they have, the vacancy rate, or what the housing stock looks like. Now, you can create these regions in two new powerful ways:
  • Assemble a Region: You can select and save a specific set of geographies, like block groups, census tracts or counties to create a custom region. The geographies can be next to each other to create a specific neighborhood – or across town if your region is not contiguous.
  • Create a Radius Region: You can create a radius region by either typing in an address or clicking on the map to specify the center, select the size of the radius and save the radius for future work.
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Also new is the ability to layer more than one custom region onto your map!

Go to our custom region tutorial to learn more about how to use these new custom region features or contact our help desk at any time.

Generate Lists of Properties that fall in Your Target Areas: The Analytics tool allows subscribers to find places on a map that meet up to 3 criteria. For some cities dealing with foreclosure issues, this means looking for areas where foreclosure risk is high, but neighborhoods are stable when it comes to schools, vacancy or other neighborhood conditions. Now, by overlaying point level properties on the map, users can generate a list of only those properties which fall into targeted areas. You could load in points like sheriff sales or foreclosure filings and then generate a list of only those that fall in your target areas. To learn more about how this works, sign up for one of our online demos or give us a call.
NEW! Building Permits: Annual and monthly building permit data is now available dating back to 2000. This data, from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Residential Construction Branch Data, includes both the number of buildings and units for which building permits were issued, total dollar value and change over time. Data is available for counties and MSAs nationwide. PolicyMap updates this data every month.

You can see this data for free under the Real Estate Conditions tab in the Add Data Layer menu.

NEW! Cars and How People Get to Work: Data on how people get to work, how long it takes them to get there and how many cars the average household owns is now available. Data from 2000 comes from the Census and is available to the public. Current year estimates and 5-year projections are available to subscribers from Claritas, Inc. You can see this data at a national level, but more importantly you can drill down into the neighborhoods you care about to see information at a block group or census tract level.

Powered by, an online mapping tool and data warehouse.

Find this data in the Commute to Work section under the Neighborhood Conditions tab in the Add Data Layer menu.

NEW! Obesity, Diabetes, and Food Related Assistance: You’ll find some of the health statistics recently made available by the USDA through its Food Environment Atlas, mapped and available in tables on PolicyMap. This data includes statistics on obesity, diabetes and the availability of assistance under the SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) or WIC programs.

Powered by, an online mapping tool and data warehouse.

You can find this data for free under the Health tab in the Add Data Layer menu.

UPDATED! Monthly Unemployment from the BLS: Check out the latest November and December 2009 employment, unemployment, and labor force data for states, counties, metropolitan areas, and many cities, by place of residence. This data is updated monthly on PolicyMap and is available as far back as 2000.

Find this data for free under the Jobs & Economy tab in the Add Data Layer menu.

NEWS The Widget: Did you know that our widget – the iframe code that allows you to quickly and easily embed interactive maps on your own website – can be customized on your end? You can change the color of the map; change a boundary name and much more. Read our blog posting to learn how.

To see some widgets in action on other pages, check these out:
Adecco Group
Stats Indiana

The beautiful part about these widgets is that as soon as new data is available, PolicyMap updates it for and the new data is automatically updated in your widget. Learn more.

Library Licenses: The University of Pennsylvania Library is now a subscriber to PolicyMap. This means that if you are an authorized user of the library system, you now have unlimited access to PolicyMap for your school and research work. If you know of a library that might be interested, have them contact us.

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