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Cool Map Thing: City Unveils Revamped Census Search Tool

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Data from the census has lived on the Department of City Planning's website for a while, in a not terribly easy-to-navigate or visually interesting format. No longer! Today, City Planning has unveiled a new NYC Census FactFinder interface, giving us easier access to all kinds of demographic data about our neighborhoods. The data can be searched via the Census FactFinder site.

Like ZoLa, the city's zoning and land use search site, the Census FactFinder (which still needs a cute nickname) allows searches by address, intersection, place of interest, census tract, subway station, or neighborhood tabulation area, a much broader range of options than the old census search site. (Neighborhood Tabulation Areas, or NTAs, are groupings of census tracts with a minimum combined population of 15,000; they correspond roughly to NYC's neighborhoods.) Other differences between the original version and this one: this map comes with a userguide, is bigger and more detailed, and will be more regularly updated. It also allows users to check out neighborhood changes, as seen in census data, over time. To test this, we chose a neighborhood tabulation area that's seen plenty of new development since the 2000 census: Williamsburg.

In addition to the map?which users can also search just by clicking and selecting?the "2010 Census Profile" tab leads users to charts showing both demographics and demographic change between the 2000 census and the 2010 census. There's information about race, sex, and age of neighborhood residents, household setups, and housing. Here's a snapshot of some of the demographic change information for Williamsburg:

While we're at it, the change in number of vacant housing units for sale in Greenpoint is pretty stunning, too:

Data from previous census years isn't incorporated into the Census FactFinder, but there is earlier demographic data to be found elsewhere on City Planning's website. Socioeconomic and demographic data from the American Community Survey?released every year?is being added to the FactFInder now. Have at it, armchair demographers!
· Census FactFinder [Department of City Planning]
· Cool Map Thing: Meet ZoLa, the City's New Online Zoning Tool [Curbed]