Whooaaaa. POLICY MAP. Cooooool.

There’s a fantastic new Internet tool called Policy Map.  Here’s what OpenLeft says about it:

Basically, what Policy Map does is bring data and mapping to the masses.   Given its place as a lender and public policy research center, TRF has always accumulated all kinds of data.  About a year or so ago, they decided that they were going to try and put that data online, in a way that the general public could see it.  And from that, and many (many) hours of development, PolicyMap was born.  They mapped something like 4000 pieces of data, and then put it online in a format where anyone can map it.  And if they got the data free (ie, Census, etc), they give it away for free too.For policy nerds, this is about as cool as it gets.

I agree.  It doesn’t have all kinds of policy data. But it has over 4,000 indicators related to demographics, real estate, crime, money & income, jobs, education, energy, and public investments.  Pretty amazing!  Go to OpenLeft to see a few examples of what you can do with it.  Better yet, go straight to Policy Map and view the demo.

For those of you involved in public policy: note that those willing to pay for “Standard” or “Premium” subscriptions get enhanced functionality.  Those in the latter category can even upload their own data and plot them on the maps.

Click here to read this article by Jack Tierney on Sense and Nonsense on July 3rd, 2008.