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Begin by walking about the neighborhood / community where your client lives and where your agency is located; what do you observe?
- What is the physical appearance, the noise level and density of the neighborhood?
- How might your client experience themselves in the context of this community? For example, might your client feel a sense of belonging or a sense of being an outsider?
- What is your experience of walking around this neighborhood?
Background & Context to Support Your Observations
In addition to actually walking through the neighborhood/community, these are a few online tools that can enhance your experience and understand the area, and the neighborhoods that you are familiar with in your own life.
Google Street View
Search for your neighborhood or agency, switch to satellite view and then click & drag the orange person icon to a street. Virtually walk around your neighborhood on the day the Google car drove through.
Crowdsourced neighborhoods of Boston
A crowdsourced map of where people "feel" are the neighborhood boundaries in Boston. (You can participate and add your opinions too.)
Curious to know what community members and others are saying about the neighborhood? Search for it on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Yelp, etc. This is not quantitative, but may enhance your impressions of the environment and community.
This is how the BPD shares city crime statistics. Again, this may give some backstory and context to your observations or experiences.
- Why search here?
SimplyAnalytics (formerly SimplyMap) has all the data you need to answer key research questions, make sound business decisions, and understand the socio-demographic and economic conditions of any geographic area in the United States.
- What's included?
They currently offer more than 75,000 data variables related to demographics, employment, housing, market segments, businesses, consumer spending, brand preferences, and public health.
Limited to 5 concurrent users.
When you click the SimplyAnalytics link, you can use the "Sign in as a Guest" link below the login box to access the database:
Check out the SimplyAnalytics tutorial for a quick rundown of some of the tools and things you can do, such as creating maps, comparing data between location (e.g. comparing one MA zip code to the whole state), or create a table of variables for one or more locations:
Citing Info from SimplyAnalytics
A lot (but not all) of the data available in SimplyAnalytics is pulled from the U.S. Census. To double check where the info is coming from, you can take a look at the variable metadata: