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Public Mapping and Data Tool Creates New Way to Visualize and Analyze Well-Being and Inequality in New York City

NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The nonprofit Measure of America today released DATA2GO.NYC, a free, easy-to-use mapping and data tool that brings together for the first time federal, state, and local data vital to understanding inequality and how multiple factors combine to influence New Yorkers' well-being in every neighborhood.

Created by Measure of America with a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the DATA2GO.NYC website and mobile app contain 350 indicators for each of New York City's 59 community districts, 150 of which are also available by census tract. Many indicators were previously unavailable to the public, such as data on homelessness and philanthropic giving, or unavailable by community district, such as important police, voting, and health data.

The nonpartisan research and advocacy initiative also announced the DATA2GO.NYC Visualization Challenge, being organized in collaboration with "sensemaking innovation" firm Humantific, to illuminate neighborhood assets and/or challenges and how they shape the lives, choices, and opportunities of New Yorkers. A $2,000 first-place prize will be awarded to an individual or group whose online submission by January 18, 2016, most compellingly creates new connections between and among indicators. Submission details may be found on the website.

"DATA2GO.NYC users can create unique maps, prepare community district profiles, test relationships between indicators across neighborhoods, and print or share their results at the click of a button," said Sarah Burd-Sharps, co-director, Measure of America. "It's a tool for policymakers, community-based organizations, philanthropists, social service delivery agencies, journalists and all people working to improve life in the Big Apple."

"Many data tools focus on one sector, such as health, housing, or employment; DATA2GO.NYC brings them all together," added Kristen Lewis, co-director, Measure of America. "DATA2GO.NYC enables a deeper understanding of inequality and how a variety of issues interact to shape people's choices and opportunities."

DATA2GO.NYC indicators span the following 12 sectors: Demographics; Education; Environment; Food Systems; Health; Housing & Infrastructure; Philanthropy; Political Engagement; Public Funding & Services; Safety & Security; Work, Wealth & Poverty; and the American Human Development Index, a composite measure of health (life expectancy at birth), education (degree attainment and enrollment), and standard of living (median personal earnings).

"DATA2GO.NYC provides a reliable, unbiased resource on well-being and an opportunity to understand trends and connections," said Tamara C. Fox, director of the Helmsley Charitable Trust's New York City Regional Grants Program. "This data tool offers a powerful, nuanced portrait of human needs by complementing economic metrics with information across many sectors that impact the lives of New Yorkers."

"While the City is full of so many rich public data sets, they are often out-of-date, in various formats, and spread across dozens of websites," said Dr. Ben Wellington, TED talker and creator of I Quant NY, a data and policy blog on insights drawn from public data. "DATA2GO.NYC has done the hard work of pulling it all together, enabling anyone to easily draw new connections across data sets that were once siloed. The data will be a catalyst for improving policy, philanthropy, and well-being across the five boroughs."

About Measure of America

Measure of America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and advocacy initiative of the Social Science Research Council; it provides easy-to-use yet methodologically sound tools that measure what matters for human well-being, freedom, and opportunity. Through initiatives like DATA2GO.NYC, MOA works with partners to breathe life into numbers, using data to create compelling narratives that foster understanding of inequalities and build support for people-centered policies.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1.4 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Trust's New York City Regional Grants Program seeks to identify and solve specific problems that hinder the region's ability to assist populations in need. For more information on the Trust and its programs, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.

CONTACT: Laura Fahey, lfahey@helmsleytrust.org, 212-953-2814 John Keaten, jkeaten@groupgordon.com, 212-784-5701Source:The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust