The new, Atlas of Rural and Small Town America first came online in February 2011 and was updated this summer, so the information is fresh and informative.
Why is a map of Rural And Small Town America useful?
I love maps, and this map allows the user to look at demographics and trends down to the county level for the entire country! When preparing loan and grant applications, having access to this type of information can be useful. And you can reach it easily from your own home computer.
It would be interesting if the USDA guys would overlay rural broadband access maps to give us a better idea of who has the internet access and capability to even LOOK at this thing!
A better map option is available for Canada
As I was nerding around, I also discovered the Community Information Database for Canada. This map is amazing! I hope that the USDA is working to provide the kind of detailed demographic info available on this little gem! Thanks to Jennifer Brooks at the Rurban Fringe for posting about this great Canadian resource.
Share these links with your small town government and chamber of commerce. Why keep something so interesting and valuable a “best kept secret.”
One last thought about internet marketing and rural small town renewal
You’ll notice from the map that most employment in rural US and Canada is service related. This isn’t broken out, so it includes everything from health and legal to fast food service and locally owned rural tourism businesses.
Very few of these service-based businesses are effectively using the internet to market themselves, from the chiropractors to the river guides.
What do you suppose would happen to those income levels if every one of the rural service based small local businesses effectively used the FREE marketing options available online? Just a thought….
Let us know if you’ve found a use for the maps that other small local business owners might appreciate knowing about.
If you are from another country, do you know about a similar map for your corner of the globe?