Online Mortgage Maps

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The Federal Reserve has released dynamic maps showing subprime and alt-A mortgage loan information across the United States.  While the concept is very interesting, it seems that the Flash application was developed with little understanding of cartographic principals.  The chloropleth maps are available at the ZIP Code level but the pop-up statistics only show information at the state level.  The shading on the map is faded and often hard to read; the shading of the foreclosure rates at the national level is almost indecipherable.  There is a menu of graded symbology for shading the map for a different variables but the intensity of the shading isn’t quantified on the legend.  There are planned monthly updates of the data but currently the map is limited to showing nonprime mortgage loan information for December of 2007.  Those interested in the tabular data can access Excel files from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Nonprime Mortgage Conditions in the United States data page.


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