Best Practices

This is a survey of best practices on the topic of Neighborhood Indicators & Web Mapping websites. Please contact us with any comments, suggestions, or best practice websites not included here.


Best Practice Websites
Other Broader Best Practice Websites
Youth Indicator Websites

Best Practice Websites

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) SEMCOG has several interactive web maps that provide great examples of web mapping products.
Semcog Land Use
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

Neighborhood Knowledge California (NKCA) NKCA intends to serve as statewide, interactive website that assembles and maps a variety of databases that can be used in neighborhood research. Its aim is to promote greater equity in housing and banking policy by providing a set of web-based tools for documenting and analyzing trends. In addition, it functions as a geographic repository for users to map their own communities by uploading their own datasets. NKCA will seek to address this divide by assembling a broad range of indicators on a statewide scale to highlight trends in public and private investment and the community-level impacts associated with these trends, visually mapping indicators in areas such as mortgage lending, population, and housing.

Neighborhood Knowledge Los Angeles (NKLA) Some time before neighborhoods and buildings decay physically, they decay financially. Due to financial problems or ill intentions, property owners may stop paying property taxes, utilities, or other bills before their properties become actual neighborhood problems. Neighborhood Knowledge Los Angeles (NKLA) is a website dedicated to helping prevent housing and neighborhood conditions from deteriorating. NKLA provides tools for accessing property and neighborhood data and works with neighborhood residents, community organizations, and policymakers to mobilize support for community improvement in the Los Angeles area.

Neighborhood Early Warning System  (NEWS) NEWS is a Chicago-based information system accessible through World Wide Web Site developed by a non-profit organization, the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) Center for Neighborhood Technology NEWS enables community organizations, city and county agencies to monitor real estate trends and to more effectively counteract housing abandonment, commercial decline and financial disinvestment in Chicago’s inner city communities. And now some data are avalible for anywhere in Cook County.

Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators (SAVI) Community Information System The Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators (SAVI) Community Information System is one of the nation’s largest spatially-enabled systems of its type, providing detailed, geographically precise information needed to make data-informed decisions.  SAVI contains over 10,000 data items about the social, physical, and economic conditions of Central Indiana communities from counties to neighborhoods and census tracts, as well as information on thousands of non-profit and community-based organizations and programs.  SAVI is a donor-supported, web-based system that allows users to create custom maps, graphs, charts, and data profiles of over 2,000 Central Indiana communities.  SAVI helps organizations and researchers make data-informed decisions by 1) providing reliable data about Central Indiana communities; 2) creating actionable information; 3) developing tools for data analysis; and 4) building capacity, especially for nonprofit and community-based organizations, to use data effectively.

Philadelphia neighborhoodBase (nBASE) NeighborhoodBase is a publicly-accessible, web-based, geographic data application developed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Cartographic Modeling Lab. Along with the parcelBase and Housing & Vacancy Reporter, neighborhoodBase is one of three applications that comprise the Neighborhood Information System. The neighborhoodBase website is designed to assist community-based planning and development organizations, government agencies, researchers and concerned individuals in their efforts to analyze, transform and revitalize Philadelphia neighborhoods. The 69 neighborhoods used in NeighborhoodBase divide the City into small spatially-coherent geographic units that make data collection, comparison and analysis statistically meaningful in the context of the entire city.

Balitmore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA) Building an accessible neighborhood information system that enhances community improvement efforts by recording and telling the complete story about our neighborhoods. The BNIA is an alliance of organizations committed to promoting, supporting and making better decisions using accurate, reliable, and accessible data and information for improving the quality of life in Baltimore City neighborhoods. This unique Alliance builds on and coordinates the related work of citywide nonprofit organizations, city and state government, neighborhoods, foundations, businesses and universities to support and strengthen the principle and practice of well informed decision making for change.

Polk County/Des Moines Assessor Good property search engine and display of photos and parcel dimensions.

City of Emeryville, CA One Stop Interactive Resource Information System (OSIRIS) is our new web application which incorporates the features of the One Stop Shop & Real Estate Map as well as new applications. OSIRIS is a web application that allows any interested parties to access parcel information on the following: Land use & Zoning; Environmental Status; Real Estate Listings; Public Art. It is an interactive informational tool for residents and developers that will simplify and speed up the information gathering process.

The Vallejo Economic Development Information System (VEDIS) VEDIS is an Internet application developed by GIS Planning Inc. to provide enhanced information services to businesses with an interest in the City of Vallejo. It allows businesses, developers, residents, and other interested parties to access information about available properties, redevelopment project areas, traffic counts, demographic data, and business lists within Vallejo. VEDIS allows you to search the City’s database for an available property for your business based on a desired size and use of the property. You can also create demographic and business reports for any area you chose by selecting a radius around an address and then selecting the type of report you would like, such as population characteristics, consumer expenditures, or business categories.

Community Informatics Resource Center (CIRC) Through the Community Informatics Resource Center (CIRC), the “place-based” implications of issues impacting rural America can be more effectively visualized, analyzed, queried and mapped. While serving as a Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) core resource for panels and stakeholders, CIRC also coordinates with other national “place-based” initiatives to help bring focus upon rural issues within those initiatives. In addition to internet mapping, CIRC provides other data management and application development services.

The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) Democratizing Information: The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and local partners to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems in local policymaking and community building. To become an NNIP Partner, an institution must demonstrate that central to its mission is: (1) building and operating an advanced information system with integrated and recurrently updated information on neighborhood conditions in its city; (2) facilitating the direct practical use of data by community and city leaders in community building and local policy making; and (3) giving emphasis to using information to build the capacities of institutions and residents in distressed urban neighborhoods.

Other Broader Best Practice Sites Websites

Healthy Communities Environmental Mapping -HUD E-MAPS- is a free Internet service that combines information on HUD’s community development and housing programs with EPA’s environmental data. HUD E-MAPS provides:1) location, type, and performance of HUD-funded activities in every neighborhood across the country; and 2) select EPA information on brownfields, hazardous wastes, air pollution and waste water discharges. HUD E-MAPS empowers local communities to build smarter and healthier neighborhoods.

Census – American FactFinder
American FactFinder is designed to help you find the information you need — with special features like:

  • Search functions to help you quickly locate any type of information that’s available in FactFinder
  • Basic Facts, where you can find Quick Tables and Geographic Comparison Tables for Population and Housing data and predefined Thematic Maps
  • Geographic Comparison Tables to help you compare data for different geographic areas
  • Detailed Tables that provide data experts with easy access to all tables and maps for each summary file
  • Data Sets, where you can access all available tables for the Decennial Censuses for 1990 and 2000, American Community Survey, conducted annually since 1996, the Economic Census for 1997, and Population Estimates conducted annually beginning in July, 2000
  • Reference Maps that display the boundaries of Census geographic areas, and Thematic Maps that display data items graphically

Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) helps resident-led, community-based development organizations transform distressed communities and neighborhoods into healthy ones. LISC provides grants, loans and equity investments to CDCs for neighborhood redevelopment. LISC’s “Planning & Land Use” section includes a variety of valuable case studies, industry tools and other information resources.

Denver – Interactive Map Interactive Map pages provide a variety of keyword search and address locator features, depending on the map. Residents will find the Where I Live Map link helpful for locating school, voting, public safety, library, parks and other locations in their own neighborhoods. Other Map Views offer links to frequently requested static maps of neighborhoods and downtown areas.

Center for Technology in Government Home Page The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) works with government to develop information strategies that foster innovation and enhance the quality and coordination of public services. We conduct applied research and partnership projects on the policy, management, and technology issues surrounding information use in the public sector.

Community Research Council of Chattanooga MISSION: To initiate and respond to community research requests. To analyze data and trends. To recommend actions and solutions to those attempting to build a better community.

CamConnect Home CAMConnect is devoted to creating a learning partnership in Camden, New Jersey, with the belief that sharing and using data will lead to informed decisions and better policy making to support the improved quality of life of all Camden citizens. Just as our name says “CAMConnect: Linking Communities with Information” we provide communities and organizations with the information they need about Camden neighborhoods. Our partnership includes local community and neighborhood groups, government, community-based organizations, hospitals, educational institutions, and other non-profit and for-profit organizations that collect or use information.

GNO Community Data Center The Community Data Center works to expand the ability of the local nonprofit community to access and strategically use local information in planning and persuasion. To this end, we use a variety of mechanisms including one-on-one technical assistance and a web-based system for accessing data and learning how to use it. To create our web-based system, we locate, organize, republish and continually update data relevant to the nonprofit community in the greater New Orleans area.

KnowledgePlex The inclusive, far-reaching resource for timely, authoritative, and practical information on Affordable Housing and Community Development (AH/CD), is the product of a collaborative partnership among leaders in the Affordable Housing and Community Development field. The site launched in October 2001. Funding for designing, developing, and building the KnowledgePlex™ was provided by the Fannie Mae Foundation.

Greenwood County Greenwood County, South Carolina interactive GIS mapping website. This site will allow you to search, view, measure, and print parcel maps, property information, and other map layers. The parcel data on this site is updated monthly and therefore may not be current.

SouthWest Data Center (SWDC) Mapping site The SouthWest Data Center, Inc. (SWDC) is a nonprofit,  policy neutral organization which provides public access to GIS (geographic information systems) data and economic development tools via the Internet. SWDC is located near Ridgway, Colorado. Although the Colorado Plateau ecosystem is the primary region of operation, SWDC has recently extended it’s presence into the Pacific Northwest.

Youth Indicators Websites

  • D3 Blog

    • Meet the D3 Summer Interns! (Part 2)
      June 18, 2015
      In our last post, we introduced D3’s pilot summer internship program and interviewed our three data analysis interns – Alexis Farmer, Ayana Rubio, and Sabiha Za . . .
    • Meet the D3 Summer Interns! (Part 1)
      June 17, 2015
      This summer, D3 is privileged to partner with the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and the Next Gen Board to pilot an innovative, community-based intern . . .
    • New Data Portal Design
      May 21, 2015
      By looking at best practices from other organizations and taking lessons learned from our own implementation, we’ve created a new data portal front page that is . . .
    • Moms, Place, and Low Birth Weight, Part 3: Place and Race Together
      May 6, 2015
      This is the third in a three-part blog series examining correlates of low birth weight in babies born in 2010, 2011, and 2012 in Detroit, Wayne County outside o . . .
    • Getting “Trashed” on Opening Day, 2015
      April 6, 2015
      We at D3, like many people throughout Detroit, love the Tigers Opening Day celebration. It is a special day that marks the beginning of warm weather, outdoor ac . . .
    • Moms, Place, and Low Birth Weight, Part 2: Does Place Matter?
      April 1, 2015
      This is the second in a three-part series examining correlates of low birth weight in babies born in 2010, 2011, and 2012 in Detroit, Wayne County outside of De . . .
  • New Open Data Features

    Latest Data Sets Available on the D3 Open Data Portal
  • Sidebar Graphic Element