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ProvPlan’s new Community Profiles

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I spent some time playing with this new tool from ProvPlan yesterday and it is sure to be something that many of us are going to spend a lot of time with.

Web App Provides New Perspective on Rhode Island Communities

PROVIDENCE – A new web app released today will provide Rhode Islanders with easy access to in-depth data on their neighborhoods. Created and released by the nonprofit The Providence Plan (ProvPlan), Rhode Island Community Profiles (http://profiles.provplan.org) provides fast access to comprehensive, mappable information about communities across the state including data on race, age, income, employment, poverty, housing, health, education, transportation and more. Visitors can create and share maps that compare their neighborhoods with surrounding areas, or reveal changes in their own communities over time.

Rhode Island Community Profiles is the latest in a suite of online tools created by ProvPlan. “These tools democratize data by putting information into the hands of community members,” explained Patrick McGuigan, ProvPlan Executive Director. “We hope that this site will empower our residents, nonprofits, businesses and government to identify local needs, prioritize investments, and advocate for the kinds of community change they want to see.”

The first tool of its kind for Rhode Island, Rhode Island Community Profiles allows visitors to map their neighborhood’s demographics or create graphs of trends in health or unemployment. “Never before have Rhode Islanders had this data so easily at their fingertips” McGuigan explained. “This tool will provide Rhode Islander with a new perspective on their communities.”

Rhode Island Community Profiles was created with funding from the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program. Data on the site comes from the US Census Bureau, the RI Department of Education, and the RI Department of Health. ProvPlan will expand the site to include additional data sources and topics as more data becomes available.

ProvPlan designed this new tool to serve as a national model for public access to local data. “We’re excited to share the approach we’ve developed with any organization across the country that is interested in democratizing data,” explained Jim Lucht, Director of ProvPlan’s Information Group. ProvPlan is currently in talks to deploy the site for members of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a national network of organizations working to build neighborhood information systems.

Find Rhode Island Community Profiles by going to: http://profiles.provplan.org


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