What’s the difference between a map and a policymap? We asked Stephen Goldsmith, former deputy mayor of New York City and now Director of Data-Smart City Solutions at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, this one day a few years ago, and he came back with an answer we will never forget, and often steal for presentations.
“The difference between a map and a policymap is that a policymap presents an opportunity to intervene.“
A policymap must show community leaders what action they need to take, how they move forward.
For example, this composite index on stress from the city of Philadelphia clearly shows the exact neighborhood that is most affected by multiple stressors such as asthma, poverty, low to no access to healthy food, high drug crime rates, and more. There’s no question upon viewing this map that we all can see where we should focus our resources and outreach. We know where to intervene.
When we know where to intervene, we’re able to make smarter decisions and start to make a difference.
To start building your own index on stress, visit Esri Maps for Public Policy for datasets.