Policy Maps in Charlottesville and Albemarle

Check out Policy Map 2.0.

This is yet another step forward in data transparency and availability … and we all benefit. Particularly those relocating who ask those questions that Realtors cannot answer.

I noted Policy Maps’ usefulness last year,

In many ways similar, if not a competitor to (as far as I can tell) to Geo Commons’ products. They have data layers for Real Estate Analysis, Neighborhood Conditions, Mortgage Originations, Education, Money & Income, Demographics, Owners and Renters, Jobs, Energy (wind and solar aren’t options – yet) – and dozens of subsets under each respective data layer.

This is all information that today’s real estate consumer wants (and needs) to know. Buyers relocating to new areas should find this kind of data invaluable.

The possibilities and uses for this tool are remarkable.

Unfortunately, some of the first data sets I pulled – vacancy rates for one – are using data from the 2000 Census, which is irrelevant at best, and dangerous at the worst should someone choose to draw substantive conclusions from that data.

The City of Charlottesville has “insufficient data” when inquiring about Aggravated Assaults (as much as I’d like to think Charlottesville is assault-free, I’m pretty sure we’re not).

I’m fond of the “Percent of all people who were White in 2000” but just for the grammar; I wonder how many of those people were still White in 2009.

Looking for an older home? You may want to target your search in areas with housing stock built before 1939.

Want to live around other people who are under the age of 55?

Check out the video at Policy Map’s blog.

More discussion at Read Write Web.

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  1. Phil Vu May 13, 2009 at 10:42

    Thank you Jim for your great articles on PolicyMap. We truly appreciate the kind words and real world examples you give your readers.

    We do offer more current data like: current year estimates (2008) and 5-year projections (2013) from Claritas for most 2000 Census datasets, home sale data (1st-3rd Qtr 2008) from Boxwood Means, and even school performance scores for districts and schools. Because we had to license these datasets, we had place them within a subscription.

    We have more than 4,000 indicators of data and over 80% of that is free to the public. Basically any data that is free, we map and make public: Census, HMDA, HUD, USPS, etc. Some of those data sources are not as updated as people need.

    Thank you again and if you or any of your readers would like a free 30-day trial to the above subscription, just visit our site and send me an email.

    Best Regards,

    Phil Vu, PolicyMap

  2. Jim Duncan May 13, 2009 at 10:54

    Phil –

    Thank you so much for your comment and clarification. I’m looking forward to using it even more. I like especially how I can embed the maps (don’t think that was an option before).

    It’s just a remarkable amount of data in one place.

    You mean, we have to pay for something on the internet??? Crazy talk. 🙂

    I’ll likely be sending you an email asking for that trial.

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