Community Analyst, which offers fast search and mapping of up to five simultaneous data sets among thousands of options. Community Analyst has been in beta testing for several months, can be used for for two weeks for free and then begins at just under one thousand dollars per user per year.Geographic data giant ESRI today released to the public its new web service called
ESRI has been widely criticized by a new generation of geo-geeks as old, unwieldy and unduly influential (it's much used, if not much loved, by people in government), but the company appears determined to offer continually improved web-based means of analyzing large amounts of data with regard to spaces and places. The demos of Community Analyst look quite nice. All kinds of reports can be generated about one or multiple places, including sets of adresses uploaded from a spreadsheet.
A user could search by saying, for example: show me blocks in my city where median income is between $10,000 and $30,000, where there are at least 5 children living on the block, where access to medical care is unusually low, neighborhood nutrition is poor and public transportation substandard. That's where you want to put the medical clinic, right?
As a growing number of web services emerge and compete against each other to offer the most and best data, with the easiest interface and the best forms of added value to people located around the world - those users should benefit greatly from more, better and faster options.
This public launch received almost no discussion at all among geolocation geeks online today, but Community Analyst will presumably be widely discussed at next week's giant ESRI User Conference in San Diego.