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May 13, 2004

CONTACT: Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471


May 13, 2004 – The Department of City Planning has created a new web-based Census Factfinder utility to facilitate retrieval of New York City demographic information, City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden announced today. The interface, which is available on the city’s web site, enables the user to identify an area or neighborhood and retrieve information related to the background and economic status of its residents and characteristics of their housing among other data.

"The Census Factfinder is an enormously useful tool that makes City Planning’s sophisticated data analysis available to the average citizen via a simple, easy to use interface at," said Ms. Burden, "It extends the administration’s commitment to making information accessible. This information is presented in a format that will be used by people in many capacities, from grant writers to students, and reporters to businesses, in order to get a profile of a given community. It builds upon the wealth of information already offered on the web site."

Much like the increased automation of services on the city’s web site and creation of the 311 citizen information line, the Census Factfinder is part of the Bloomberg administration’s use of technology to better serve the public and to help citizens access information to improve their neighborhoods.

Using any computer with an internet connection, visitors may customize an area composed of up to 15 census tracts they wish to research. The user types in an address or community district to view a profile of the area. From among selected census categories, the user may retrieve information on household size, income, race, education, employment, housing characteristics and housing cost. The data being searched is from the most recent U.S. Census in 2000.

The ability to customize the search by any combination of up to 15 of census tracts is expected to be extremely valuable to survey and market researchers, political scientists, non-profit community service agencies – even homebuyers.

The interface was developed in house at City Planning using ESRI ArcIMS software and the Java programming language.

In addition, the web site now offers an Address Translator. Users may enter an address, block and lot or street and two cross-streets for geographic information such as administrative and political districts, zip code, block & lot number, police precinct, cross streets and more.

Both the Census Factfinder and Address Translator applications can be found on the lower left of City Planning’s web page on under the heading "GeoQuery".

About City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.


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