USDA maps rural America

Thursday - 3/3/2011, 10:23am EST

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has rolled out another online mapping tool - this one focusing on rural and small-town America. The website looks, and functions a lot like the Food Environment Atlas that USDA launched a year ago. But this version aims to bring together data on several facets of the nation's rural communities, so policymakers can make smarter decisions about where to direct federal resources. The department uses county-level data from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic analysis as well as its own data. The Census numbers are drawn from the first round of numbers coming from the American Community Survey. Users can click on a county and see information on demographics, jobs, agricultural data and other economic indicators. In addition to seeing that data, users can download it in spreadsheet form and use it in on other applications.