The University Libraries have recently acquired the online data mapping tool PolicyMap. PolicyMap is a Geographic Information System (GIS) pre-populated with more than 37,000 continuously updated data sets including information on demographics, home sales and mortgages, health statistics, socioeconomics, jobs and employment, and more.
From the company:
PolicyMap is an online data and mapping tool that enables government, commercial, non-profit and academic institutions to access data about communities and markets across the US. Use it for research, market studies, business planning, site selection, grant applications and impact analysis.
Universities use PolicyMap in a variety of schools and curriculums, such as social sciences, urban planning, public policy and business administration. It allows them to focus on analyzing data – not collecting it or learning how to use expensive mapping software.
What can students and faculty do with PolicyMap?
- Generate maps and tables to incorporate in reports and presentations
- Search by address, city, state, zip code, county or census tract
- Create topical reports by predefined region, radius, or custom-drawn region
- Compare data across geographies or view trends over time
- Find communities meeting up to 3 criteria on a map
- Download select datasets as csv files
- Rank geographies across an indicator
- Create custom regions for unique analysis
- Upload your own point level data
- Incorporate work into papers and presentations
What kinds of indicators will they be able to access?
- Demographic estimates and projections
- Income and poverty measures
- Employment by industry
- Homeownership rates and affordability
- Home Sales
- School performance
- Quick community profiles
What types of analyses can they conduct?
- Compare obesity rates among states
- Track mortgage lending patterns in a city
- Understand the racial and ethnic composition of a community
- Identify neighborhoods with certain income and household characteristics
- Draw a unique geography on a map and generate a comprehensive report of the areas’ demographic and economic characteristics
- Upload other data and leverage it against the trusted data available through PolicyMap
How could they use their analysis in class?
- Make a case for a particular public policy intervention
- Argue for a particular site for a business
- Describe a market for a business plan or marketing strategy