Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Update from PolicyMap

Here's a press release that should be of interest:

New PolicyMap Feature Simplifies Online Map Sharing

Online Mapping Tool Now Lets Users Embed, Share Thematic Maps on the Web

(Philadelphia) December 16, 2008 – PolicyMap, the online data mapping tool, today unveiled a new functionality that allows users to embed customized, data-driven maps into their own websites and blogs. Through this new functionality, users can easily share thematic data from on any website of their choosing.

PolicyMap offers quick and easy access to a wealth of market and demographic data for policymakers, professionals, and the general public. PolicyMap users can map and analyze by geography more than 4,000 data indicators related to demographics, real estate markets, education, employment, money and income, crime, energy, and public investments. These indicators are aggregated from a variety of sources including U.S. Census, Claritas, FBI, IRS, the Postal Service, and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

For full directions on how to embed a map, visit:

The embedded map serves as a live link to a full-scale map on PolicyMap, which provides additional information such as a complete legend and details on the data used. The embed feature is available for free to all registered PolicyMap users.

Nearly 150,000 people have utilized PolicyMap since the site launched earlier this year. To date, PolicyMap has more than 8,000 registered users. Its varied subscribers include foundations such as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, state agencies including the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency, private entities like Comcast as well as nonprofit community organizations nationwide.

About PolicyMap
PolicyMap is an online mapping tool that makes it quick and easy to gather and analyze geocentric information. PolicyMap is a service of The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a not-for-profit leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization. TRF developed PolicyMap to empower decision makers with better access to credible market and demographic data. To utilize PolicyMap, visit To learn more about TRF, visit


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