updated 10/4/2010 2:45:13 AM ET 2010-10-04T06:45:13

REDLANDS, Calif., Oct. 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Esri and the Association of Health Care Journalists, Inc. (AHCJ), have created a program providing easy, no-cost access to demographic and market data to AHCJ members. The program has two components: a no-cost subscription to Esri Business Analyst Online (BAO) Web-based software for background data exploration and reports, and a data request service to meet specialized story requirements. By providing AHCJ members access to this on-demand reporting and mapping service, the program allows demographic patterns to be identified, investigated, and reported.

"Reporters can pick existing areas—including states, counties, cities, ZIP Codes, and Census tracts—or define specific areas to profile and compare," says Jeff Porter, director of special projects, AHCJ. "With a built-in business search tool, a reporter could, for example, create a map showing income demographics, then overlay specific locations of grocery stores for a story about a local food desert, which is an area that does not have access to affordable, nutritious food."

BAO does not require special expertise and runs in a Web browser without the need to install software. BAO data includes:

  • Demographic data
  • Street basemaps
  • Imagery
  • Data from government sources 
  • Microsoft's Bing Maps business location information

Using the data request service, AHCJ members can contact the Esri Product Marketing who has extensive experience in providing data to the news media. In addition to demographic data, Esri's Market Potential and Consumer Spending databases provide a wealth of medical data including amounts spent for medical insurance and medical supplies, along with the potential for healthcare spending by market area.

Esri employs many data sources and proven methodologies to ensure delivery of the industry's most accurate current-year demographic data estimates and five-year forecasts. Updated Demographics, Consumer Spending, Market Potential, Retail MarketPlace, and Tapestry Segmentation databases are available in a wide variety of geographies, including national, state, county, census tract, and block group.

AHCJ members can obtain more information and access their complimentary BAO subscription at www.healthjournalism.org/data . For more information on how Esri supports the media and journalists, visit http://www.esri.com/media .

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com/news .

Esri, the Esri globe logo, GIS by Esri, Business Analyst Online, BAO, Tapestry, www.esri.com , and @esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.

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