This is the "Best Bets" page of the "PAF 410.2 - Practicum in Public Policy - Community Benchmarking (Spring 2012)" guide.
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PAF 410.2 - Practicum in Public Policy - Community Benchmarking (Spring 2012)   Tags: community benchmarking, maxwell school, paf410.2, political science, public policy  

An SU Libraries' research starting points guide for students enrolled in PAF 410.2
Last Updated: Aug 11, 2014 URL: Print Guide

Best Bets Print Page

CNY Vitals

Visit CNY Vitals - The community indicators website that hosts data gathered, organized and reported in connection with this PAF 410.2 course.

C N Y Vitals Onondaga


U.S. Census Bureau

In addition to the primary U.S. Census Bureau homepage - On the Census site, see especially:


  Databases A-Z


SU Libraries Starting Points

Syracuse University Libraries offers subscription databases and other online guides that students in PAF 410 may find helpful.  Visit links on this page and those appearing under the other menu bar categories above.

These are meant to supplement, not replace, additional sources traditionally used in PAF 410 for gathering community indicator information for Onondaga County and comparable jurisdictions.

The public affairs/political science librarian welcomes your suggestions for resources you'd like to see on this guide.


      Mapping Data BEST BETS


Policy Map (The Reinvestment Fund) 
A geographic information system which allows you to easily create and customize maps, tables, and charts on various demographics, real estate, crime, money & income, jobs, education, energy, and public investments.

Simply Map (Geographic Research, Inc.) 
This database contains a wealth of consumer demographic and market research survey data and tools for visualizing that in the form of maps.  Variables one can explore, which include U.S. Census and MRI Mediamark survey data, allows one to determine numeric counts for types of businesses within a given region (based on NAICS industry codes), consumer expenditures for food in that region, incomes levels, and a wide array of additional variables, such as consumer price index data for that area, retail sales levels, media viewing, reading and listening habits, preferences for specific consumer brand name products and quality of life indicators such as crime statistics, average temperature, precipitation, etc.   The database offers extensive help screens and instructional screencasts for those new to the system.  Researchers can often use Simply Map to drill down to the county, city, zip code or Census Tract levels for many of the data categories.  See also the "Simply Map Quick Start Guide" at the right column of this PAF 410 Library subject guide.

Geographic Information Systems (SU Map Librarian Subject Guide)
Syracuse University Library Map Librarian, John Olson, maintains extensive online subject guidance on "GIS" - ("Geographic Information Systems").  Via some of these sources, including the GIS software and mapping capabilities available at E.S. Bird Library's 3rd Floor - Geographic and Statistical Information Center - students in PAF 410 may be able to uncover additional data points of interest, and/or map these data points.  NOTE:  Use of GIS involves a learning curve for first time users.  Visit John's site for details, or contact John for additional information on options for in-depth training in GIS technology.  GIS is used by many government agencies.
In the words of the host of this web-based data tool, "Our objective is to help visually analyze and understand the demography of the U.S. through the use of interactive maps and data reports. Our primary functions include Demographic Data Analysis, Interactive Map/Report Design and Software Development. Our main goal is to visually display the demographic change that has occurred in the U.S. since 1790 through the present, for the country overall and down to the level of the county. For more recent years, one can display areas as small as your own neighborhood. Certain cities may even be displayed as far back as 1910. To do this we have developed a collection of interactive demographic maps that can be viewed, queried and manipulated on our site."


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Michael Pasqualoni
Contact Info
Bird Library (Room 200)
(315) 443-3715
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Want Help Using Policy Map?

Visit TRF's "Policy Map Tutorials" site - for additional instructions on using the various features within Policy Map


Want Help Using Simply Map?

Here's a brief guide introducing the SimplyMap database


Syracuse Newspapers

Syracuse Newspapers (Access World News - Newsbank)

Access World News database includes an archive of full text articles from the Syracuse Post-Standard (1986 - present), Syracuse Herald Journal (1986 - 2001), and Syracuse Herald American (1986 - 2001). The Syracuse Herald Journal and Herald American ceased publication in 2001. Note: Database coverage includes all three Syracuse Newspapers instead of only the Post Standard as indicated on some of the database's search screens.


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