Agriculture Broadband Civil/Social Community Needs Assessment Data Economic Education Environment Health How To Map Room Product Updates Reference Special Topic Uncategorized Webinars

Commuting dashboard for Autauga County, GA.
Data | Special Topic

Decoding Commuting Distance Patterns

Introduction Commuting has important implications for our health, environment, and economy as discussed in a previous blog post. To follow up on the previous piece, this post further explores commuting patterns by taking a closer look at commuting distances. We will highlight some new analyses and modeling done on publicly available commuting data to learn…

SparkMap cityscape; decorative image

Determine Social Vulnerability and Community Opportunities with SparkMap

In this video, you will learn how to assess the social vulnerability and opportunities within your community or service area. We explain two indices used for these purposes: the Social Vulnerability Index and the Opportunity Index and demonstrate them in our Community Needs Assessment. Then, we dive into three sub-indicators used in the Opportunity index…

House with flooded area around it and boat next to it

National Preparedness Month: Preparing for Older Adults

September is National Preparedness Month, and this year the focus is on Preparing for Older Adults. In this webinar, we highlight various FEMA disaster risk layers and live wildfire data available for free on SparkMap. Then, we examine a data layer aimed at estimating Community Resilience. Lastly, we walk through a case study to help…

Group of people. Multicolor people's background.
Data | Webinars

Measures of Race and Ethnicity: A Look at Shifting Demographics

In this SparkMap Webinar, we provide informative definitions of race and ethnicity and discuss the importance of population change to community development. We also highlight the changing landscape of race and ethnicity in the United States and why it’s important. We wrap up by demonstrating how to find and interpret demographics information in both the…

Tractor tilling soil in field
Agriculture | Webinars

Digging in to Soil: The NCCPI 3.0 and Other Soil Layers

SparkMap is a useful tool for land valuation and management decisions with the NCCPI 3.0 and other soil layers. Using our free Map Room, visitors can easily access the National Commodity Crop Productivity Index 3.0, as well as layers related to soil boundaries, loss tolerance, taxonomy order, hydrologic soil group, and soil taxonomy order. Check…

Summer Park
Health | Map Room | Special Topic

Stress Management Resources for You and Your Community

April is interesting. On one hand, many parts of the United States are emerging from winter, the sun is out, and spring flowers are blooming. On the other hand, taxes are due, the traditional school year is ending, and work deadlines feel like they’re piling up. It seems like no coincidence that April is National…

2022 Year in Review image
Product Updates

SparkMap’s 2022 in Review

2022 was a big year at SparkMap, thanks to you! Internally, we added more members to our team, underwent a full site refresh to unveil in 2023, and developed more multimedia content to enhance your SparkMap experience.   We weren’t the only ones busy on SparkMap this year! In our 2022 Review, we’ll   Thanks for…

Cartoon image of colorful houses
Product Updates | Webinars

Tour the Refreshed SparkMap Site

Take a tour of the SparkMap website refreshed in January 2023. In this video, useful for new and returning SparkMap Subscribers, we provide some tips of how to navigate SparkMap, highlight new features like topic-based Community Needs Assessments and Maps, and walk through enhanced support materials. We also showcase the new logged in user dashboard…

Hand grabbing fruit from pawpaw trees
Health | Webinars

From Farm to Table: Prioritizing Local Food

In our November SparkMap Webinar, we explore locating and purchasing local food. Using cropland, harvest, and farmer’s market data layers, we help you discover the crops grown in your area, what historical harvest levels look like, and where to procure these crops at local farmer’s markets near you. Further, using specialized SparkMap tools, we are…

Cartoon image of data visualization graphs
Data | How To

Tracking Data Trends Over Time: Enhancing Data Literacy pt. 3

Focusing on trends in data over time is interesting and impactful. Understanding which job sectors have grown in the last five years, illuminating areas of increased health disparity, or tracking migration patterns within the country are important for community development, resource allocation, and legislative efforts. While it’s easy to assume data from the same sources…

Cartoon image of books, graduation cap, and money sign
Data | Education

Public Education Funding and Student Outcomes

The debate around public education funding and student outcomes is longstanding. In this blog, we discuss important background information on where SparkMap’s public education revenue and expenditure data comes from, what it covers, how it is linked to student outcomes over time, and how you can use SparkMap to dive into the link between public education expenditures and outcomes in your community.

Black and white cityscape with hovering arrows
Data | Map Room

Enhancing Data Literacy pt. 2: Interpreting Maps

Creating lasting change in your community is only possible when you have an accurate understanding of its strengths and needs. In other words, you need community-level data in order to determine outreach needs, pinpoint service areas, and identify areas in which your community already excels. We believe the best way to do this is through…

data visualization cartoon image
Data | How To | Reference

Enhancing Data Literacy with SparkMap

At SparkMap, we’re passionate about impacting communities based on high-quality data. Since you’re here, you probably feel the same way. However, we know that understanding and applying data can be tricky. So, we’re starting a blog series dedicated to the foundations of data literacy. Through this blog series, we hope to empower you by enhancing…

two hands and a heart
Data | Health

Understanding Access to Mental Health Resources

In order to maintain positive, long-term mental health outcomes in communities around the nation, organizations and governments need access to up-to-date, reliable, and accurate data to effectively allocate resources, programs, and training opportunities for those who need it most. Read this blog to learn how to use SparkMap tools and resources to build a case for funding.

money over a mask
Health | Special Topic

COVID-19 Spread and Long-Term Consequences

COVID-19 has severely affected the economy, health, and mental well-being of every community around the United States. SparkMap provides real-time data sharing, analysis, and visualization—key strategies for an equitable and speedy recovery. This blog shows how our map and assessment tools are used to understand COVID-19 cases and its consequences.

women's history month gov logo
Data | Special Topic

To Avoid Gender Bias, We Need Sex-Segregated Data

Are you focused on expanding, understanding, or analyzing women’s opportunities in the economic sector, do you want to support the implementation of gender-focus policies in the US or at the local level? Learn about how you can access sex-aggregated data on this week’s blog in honor of Women’s History Month.

brfss logo

BRFSS Demystified

If you’ve existed in the health space for any period of time, you’ve probably heard of BRFSS data, but what is it, really?

Learn more about the importance of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.