This is pretty cool. PolicyMap is a new site by The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a national not-for-profit organization that finances neighborhood revitalization.
It’s a Google Maps mashup on steroids.
They offer “4,000 indicators related to demographics, real estate markets, crime, schools, housing affordability, employment, energy, and public investments” all layered on to a map source.
The information gets layered on in color-coded “heat maps” – a trend we’ve seen on many other sites but not nearly to this level before.
There’s a ton of data here.
PolicyMap says they’re pulling all that data from a number of sources including the U.S. Census, Claritas, the FBI, the IRS as well as information from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Boxwood Means (a real estate research firm), among others. It compiles all that data and then scrubs it to ensure that it is reliable and accurate.
I could see myself possibly using PolicyMap to investigate a move to a new neighborhood – or at least seeing how it stakes up against existing tools like Cyberhomes (new facelift btw – nice), Zillow or Trula. No listings though, so it is purely a research tool.
To a real estate investor or developer however, this is a goldmine of information.
To use PolicyMaps you can sign up a free account – and for advanced users they offer additional functionality and access to premium data sources for $200 a month.