PolicyMap: Getting Started

Reports

Reports are pre-generated data, based around one geographical location.   They provide a fast way to get data, and can be saved or printed as a PDF.

To generate a report:

  • Click on Reports
     
  • Select the specific type of report (Community Profile, Rental Housing, HDMA (home loans and  mortgages); or Home Sales) from the left.
     
  • In the location box, select your location type (pre-defined or custom region) and type in your location.  See Drawing Boundaries for more information on custom regions, if necessary.
     
  • On the next screen, select Generate Report from the top right.

Maps

The "Map" tab is a quick way to view one dataset for a geographical area.   You can combine this with the use of data points.  Maps are created by

  • Start by searching for a location or selecting a custom region.
     
  • Select the Data Layer from the drop-down menu.   Once the Data Layer is selected, you can adjust years, the area shaded, and the ranges of the data in the layer.
     
  • Add Data Points as needed.
     
  • Use the Custom Region feature if needed to adjust the geographies included.
     
  • Save, print or email the map.

Three Layer Maps

3-Layer Maps allow users to display multiple Data Layers across geographies.   Users can also add Data Points to the created maps.  

When creating a 3-Layer map, keep in mind that only the areas that meet all criteria will appear in purple. 

To create a 3-Layer Map:

  • Start by searching for a location or selecting a custom region. This will be outlined in orange on the map.
     
  • Select the Data Layer from the drop-down menu.   Once the Data Layer is selected, you can adjust years, the area shaded, and the ranges of the data in the layer.
     
  • Add Data Points as needed.
     
  • Use the Custom Region feature if needed to adjust the geographies included.
     
  • Save, print or email the map.

You can remove layers by clicking on the "x" next to the layer name.

Tables

Tables show the data that underlies the Data Layer and Data Points.   Tables also allow for comparison between selected geographies. 

  • Click on Tables
     
  • Search to add locations, or select custom regions.
     
  • Add your Data Layers and Data Points.
     
  • Adjust the variables as necessary using the window that appears to the left of the table.
     
  • You can save (as a spreadsheet) or print the resulting table.

When using tables, keep in mind:

  • The tables will display that data even when the geographical locations are dissimilar, as show below.
     
  • The 'See Value" and "Ranking" options will not appear if you select a data range for your variables.  These options only display when you show data for one year.    You can save the Value and Ranking data.

Analytics

Analytics allows users to find geographical locations that meet the provided criteria.

  • Select Analytics
     
  • Pick desired Data Layers and Data Points (no more then 3 total).
     
  • Once the map is created, you can Save, Print or Email the results.

Troubleshooting Maps

Why did my search produce an un-shaded map?

It will only show the shades were all criteria (Data Layers) are met (applying AND searching).  If you are using more then one Data Layer, you may need to remove one.

Why did my search produce a map that is entirely shaded?

Some of the Data Layers are automatically added in a range of 0-100%, so as long as there is any data for your area, the map will be shaded.    Adjust the data to start at a non-zero number if the results are not what was expected. 

Why I am being told to zoom?

The PolicyMap default will show the smallest matching geography location for your search.   For example, if you provided a county-wide geography, but the Data Layer was collected according to census tracts, you will need to zoom in for the map to display by census tracts.

For some data, you can alter the region shown when you select the Data Layer.  You must change the region for every Data Layer added.

Why does my map keep jumping around?

Clicking anywhere on the map will cause it re-focus, using the area that you clicked as your new geography.   If you need to scroll up and down the map to see more areas, use the scroll bars on your browser.