Last week Community Commons revealed a new tool developed as part of a six-week software development sprint organized by the White House’s Opportunity Project. The goal of the sprint was to develop on-line tools demonstrating “the art of the possible” using open data from federal and local sources.
When we saw the new data, we were inspired to create a new tool, the Location Opportunity Footprint, or LOFT.
LOFT is designed for:
- neighborhood leaders seeking a grant or preparing for a community planning meeting;
- those in economic development working to improve opportunities in community, and;
- advocates making a case.
LOFT enables users to view the intersection of school proficiency, housing and transportation costs, and nearby jobs to find areas of opportunity. Like our Vulnerable Populations Footprint, the indicator thresholds can be modified to fit with the local context and priorities.
To create a Location Opportunity Footprint visit the Maps and Data page and select “Location Opportunity Footprint.”
LOFT is available for use anywhere in the nation. Simply enter in an address or a community name and watch the map zoom in!
The map will load with the following thresholds for opportunity already defined:
- a school proficiency index of 50 or higher;
- over 100 jobs available nearby per worker; and
- the monthly costs for housing and transportation for a family at 50% adjusted monthly income of $2,000.
The areas shaded in dark red in the map below are the opportunity footprint meaning all three thresholds are met. The areas in the lighter red or orange indicate that just two of the three thresholds are met. The areas shaded in blue, purple, or yellow are where just one of the three thresholds (school proficiency, jobs, or monthly costs respectively) are met.
Like our vulnerable populations footprint, the thresholds can be customized using the sliders on the right to meet your own priorities and local context. In the image below, the sliders have been changed to show schools with higher school proficiency index, more jobs available per workers and a lower monthly cost for housing and transportation.
There’s lots more to do after you’ve defined your opportunity footprints. You can:
- save your footprint to use later;
- create a short demographic report;
- create a comprehensive indicator report; or
- map your footprint from other data in Community Commons.
For example, here is a short demographic report:
And here is a page from a comprehensive indicator report. The data are summarized for your footprint area and compared with surrounding counties, the state, and the nation.
Finally, you can map your footprint alongside the thousands of other data in Community Commons. Find the complete list of data you can map with your footprint here. We’d love to know your thoughts on this tool and how you are using it. If you’re a developer and have ideas about how this new opportunity data could be used join the conversation at opportunity.census.gov.