The Place Database is the Tool for Real Estate and Land-Use Data

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy together with PolicyMap created a new interactive map called the Place Database. This tool allows users to see a visual presentation of numerous indicators, categories, and insights for neighborhoods, towns, cities, and states across the United States. In some cases, you can even zoom in down to the land parcel.

The data was collected from multiple sources, including the Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Conservation Easement Database. Zoning maps for 105 different cities are also accessible for the first time. Finally, a trove of free and helpful information is organized and easily accessible in just one place.

Access to Data to Better Understand Communities

The Place Database was unveiled at Meeting of the Minds, the annual conference focused on urban sustainability, and connected technology and innovation.

“We’ve never had more access to data. The challenge is keeping track of all the indicators now available, and organizing them for meaningful analysis – to make sense of place,” said George McCarthy, president of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. “This tool will help researchers, journalists, and policy-makers gain a clearer understanding of all the critical elements that make up communities.”

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With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can see housing prices, median home values, zoning codes, land use regulations, open space, incomes, vacancy rates, school district spending, property tax rates, and so much more. These categories of data will also be useful for homebuyers, real estate agents, builders, analysts, and anyone who needs data on U.S. properties or land use.

Map Presents Interesting Real Estate and Land-Use Data and Nuances

The database stores several years worth of data and allows for an analysis of change over time. You also get to have quantitative information presented on a graphically rich map. There are many and various data points you can choose from. You can view a quick tutorial on how to use the map here.

In a Forbes article, the writer shared that one of the interesting data points he discovered while using the Place Database was that homes in the Midwest and Northeast were much older than those in the Sunbelt. In New York City proper, for instance, 51% of the houses were built before 1950.

Aside from housing information, you can also check environmental and fiscal data. This will be helpful for real estate investors who are looking out for areas prone to flooding and other effects of climate change, or for home buyers who would prefer to live in a city where federal transportation spending is high.

What makes the map even more useful is it has a “match” function. You can select your top 3 data points or attributes of the location you are looking for. It will then provide you with a match of the lowest possible area available for the data, which is usually the block group.

You can use the Place Database for free. You can also share visualizations for free. You will be given a unique link which you can email or post on social media.


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