City and suburb

ACN Odyssey
Allows comparison of U.S. counties and metropolitan areas. Currently contains more than 2,500 facts on every county and metropolitan statistical area, with info promised on ZIP Codes. Allows side-by-side comparisons of up to five locations.

Assessing the New Federalism
A report of the Urban Institute on the devolution of power and responsibility to the states.

Center for Urban Policy Research
Research on housing, land use, urban poverty, community change, economic development, and environmental policy. From Rutgers University.

City Council reporting simulation
Newsgathering simulation for newswriting courses. Students gather information about “last night’s” city council meeting to write a story about it. Available are the agenda and notes taken during the meeting. Students may also “call” key sources from the meeting and interview them for quotes to use in the story. This simulation was originally available only on the Macintosh. It has now been redone for the Web. By Rich Cameron.

Provides in-depth information about more than 25,000 communities in the US. Listings also include geocoded information about thousands of parks, museums, historic sites, colleges, schools and other places across America.

FFIEC Geocoding System
Converts a street address in the US to a (1990 or 2000) census tract number.

Guide to Sources for Economic Development Data
Resources for analyzing your local industries, with weblinks, from the University of Minnesota. Includes links for every state. Plenty of advice on locating and using economic data.

Hennen’s American Public Library Rating Index
The Index uses data provided by nearly 9,000 public libraries in the United States to create comparative rankings. The comparisons are in broad population categories.

HUD Recent Research Reports
Reports from HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. Topics in housing and urban development.

Immigration and Naturalization Service
U.S. immigration information. Also check out the INS statistics section and immigration and naturalization laws.

Reporting Census 2000
Created by Stephen K. Doig, formerly of The Miami Herald, now in the Knight Chair in Journalism. His book Reporting Census 2000 is the best introduction to the new census, written by a journalist for journalists.

State and Local Government on the Net
An Internet directory that links to websites for thousands of state agencies and city and county governments. Searchable by state or topic. Frequently updated.

Fly over your neighborhood, if you’re in the U.S., viewing aerial maps from the U.S. Geological Survey and other sources.

The Right Site: Census Searches
Free searches (registration required) of Census 2000 data, compiled into simple maps and tables. For a fee, 2003 updates are available. A good way to find basic information and display it for better understanding in order to answer initial questions and get direction before delving more deeply.

The Urban Institute
Careful analysis of public policy issues, economic and social.

Unclaimed Persons List
Sparely designed but fairly comprehensive database from San Bernardino, California, with records of unclaimed deceased persons throughout the United States. Searches can be done by US county or by name.

USGS National Map
The US government department’s definitive presentation of US topography, with viewers that allow you to view the maps in numerous different ways to get the exact picture you need. The USGS site is also a good hub of links to other government sites (biology, geology, etc).

Welfare Reform links
Extensive links to state health departments from State and Local Government on the Net, a directory of official websites.

What is the most important invention
Amazingly, it could be hay.