NACo’s County Explorer is celebrating its third birthday this year. With this occasion, the interactive map is getting some fresh new features and upgrades.
Users will now find it easier to locate a specific map through a “search an indicator” query. County Explorer has heaps of data now — more than 1,000 indicators mapped on the interactive map.
Instead of sifting through a large list of indicators, the user can type a keyword in the search bar and it will bring up suggestions of the most popular maps.
If that selection does not include the desired map, the “Click here for more maps:” button (found at the top and bottom of the suggestion list) provides the full list of relevant maps.
For example, a user interested in opioid maps needs only to start typing the word “opioid” in the “search an indicator” box and the system will automatically suggest maps based on opioid data. The suggestion functionality has also been added to the county name search, which makes it easier for users to find a county.
Beyond these major improvements, some smaller changes have been implemented, which make County Explorer more user-friendly. Profiles are now easier to access, as we now provide a large thumbnail image of our profiles when someone browses through the list of county profiles. This functionality allows users to preview the profile, and may help them find the correct profile faster.
We have also added a “back to map” button underneath the zoom buttons in the top left corner of the map. Compared to its previous location, it is now more visible and easier to access. Lastly, the monthly update box, which appears when you first open County Explorer, now has helpful information on navigating the site.
The Counties Futures Lab has further plans to improve County Explorer. We are considering the excellent suggestions we have received from our members and are excited to work on implementing them. Please stay tuned for many more additions to come.