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 Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

PolicyMap Student Update


Jeff Rechler

215-564-3200 x118

PolicyMap Launches Affordable E-Resource for Students

Online Mapping Tool Lets University Students Utilize

Professional-Grade Data at an Accessible Student Rate

(Philadelphia) February 11, 2009 – TRF’s today announced that it is opening up its vast wealth of online market and demographic data to university students at a deeply discounted rate. Students now have easy, affordable access to the same professional-grade data utilized by thousands of policymakers and professionals across the nation. The electronic resource is intended to aid scholarly research and support class discussions through the application of credible data that was previously scattered across the web or unavailable for students.

University students can utilize TRF’s for quick access to 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.

“Students can now support their coursework not just through data, but with compelling visual maps, charts, tables, and reports,” said Maggie McCullough, Director of TRF’s “The full range of data and GIS functionality on TRF’s is available to students at just $35 per semester, a fraction of the cost to standard subscribers. “ For details, students and professors who wish to subscribe can visit or call 1-866-923-MAPS.

More than 150,000 users have accessed TRF’s since its launch in 2008. To date, its varied subscribers include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, 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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