September 2009 Updates

Bookmark and Share

PolicyMap Banner.jpg

PolicyMap is a CNET Webware Winner! | September 2009

In this update
  • 2009/2014 Claritas
  • Updated GreatSchools location and test scores
  • Public schools ratings
  • Proximity to high performing public schools
  • BLS monthly unemployment
  • 2nd Qtr 2009 vacancy from USPS
  • CDC obesity data
  • Quick Analytics
  • Student pricing and Library license

Visit our Blog

New this month on PolicyMap! We encourage you to check out many new and updated data sets as well as Sample Quick Analytics this month.

UPDATED! 2009/2014 Claritas Data: PolicyMap now contains current 2009 demographic information and 5 year projections from Claritas, Inc. Data from Claritas is available nationwide for block groups, census tracts, counties, zip codes, MSAs and more.

Subscribers can access this data by selecting from among the many layers available in the Add Data Layer menu. Subscribers will also find this updated data in the reports available on PolicyMap.

GreatSchools UpdateUPDATED! School Locations and Test Scores: Test scores for schools around the nation are now available from 2004 through 2009 from GreatSchools. Layer these school locations onto any map to see how schools are performing in your neighborhood.This data is available to subscribers only and can be found in the Add Sites menu by clicking on Schools with Performance Data.

NEW! Public School Ratings from GreatSchools: We’ve enhanced our school locations and test scores offerings by adding public school ratings from GreatSchools!  The GreatSchools rating system is based on a score ranging from 1 to 10. If a given public school’s rating is high (closer to 10), that means that its overall test scores are better than the test scores of most other schools in the state. To see the GreatSchools ratings, add schools to your map and then click on one to see its rating. This proprietary data is available to subscribers only.Subscribers can find these ratings by clicking on Schools with Performance Data in the Add Sites menu. Subscribers can also choose to only display schools with certain ratings (i.e. those with ratings of 9 or higher only), by using the filter button in the Add Sites menu.


NEW! TRF Proximity to High Performing Public Schools Calculation: TRF calculated the shortest distance to a public school with a GreatSchools Overall School Rating of 9 or 10 for the centroid of each Census Tract in the nation to give users a sense of how close areas around the country are to a high performing school. Users should note that this is a representation only and is limited by the fact that a rating is not assigned by GreatSchools to every public school in the nation and the calculation does not take into account political boundaries or catchment areas that may make a public school inaccessible.

Subscribers can find this map under the Education tab in the Add Data Layer menu.

NEW! Monthly Unemployment from the BLS: PolicyMap now contains monthly and annual employment, unemployment, and labor force data for states, counties, metropolitan areas, and many cities, by place of residence. This data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is available for free in PolicyMap on both an annual and monthly basis starting in 2000.Users can find this data for free under the Jobs & Economy tab in the Add Data Layer menu.

UPDATED! 2nd Qtr 2009 Vacancy Stats from the Postal Service: The most recent vacancy data from the Postal Service is available for free to all PolicyMap users. PolicyMap contains the number and percent of units considered vacant by the Postal Service (residential and business) on a quarterly basis starting in the first quarter of 2008.This data can be found for free under the Neighborhood Conditions data in the Add Data Layer menu.UPDATED! Obesity Data from the CDC: New CDC data on the percent of the population that is obese or overweight is now available on PolicyMap for states from 2000 through 2008. For the first time, metropolitan area data is available from 2002 through 2007.

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

NEW! Renewal Communities, Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities: Find out whether an area qualifies as one of these federally designated communities as of 2009.Users can find these communities by clicking on one of the Federal Incentive Designations in the Jobs & Economy tab under the Add Data Layer menu.

NEW! Sample Quick Analytics: Subscribers can check out a few sample analytics that we’ve pre-built in the application. See where, for example, low to moderate income families are living in stable, yet older communities.Quick Analytics.jpgGo to Analytics, scroll to the bottom and select from among the sample analytics to see how this tool can help you identify and target neighborhoods meeting up to 3 conditions. To learn more about this new tool, watch our online tutorial here.

Library Institutional Licensing: PolicyMap site licenses will be available for libraries by December 2009! Want to learn more and stay abreast of this new development? Click here.

PolicyMap goes BACK TO SCHOOL: Students get access to PolicyMap for a full semester for only $35! Find data, analyze it and generate maps and tables that you can pull right into your own work! Just enter promotion code STUDENT when subscribing. Learn more.

Let us know how the Sample Quick Analytics work for you and whether there are others you’d think handy for subscribers. Send your feedback to

Forward this message to a friend |