Did you think your postman/woman just delivered your mail? Wrong. They happen to be a rather awesome real-time crowd sourcing force for public data! When your mail is delivered and you turn out to not be there, and this keeps happening for a month, or for three months, your responsive public servants take note of this, it goes into a big database and gets spat out courtesy of HUDin a tract level file. It also happens to track business vacancies. Check it out below.

Something to know- no data are perfect. These suffer from many variations and local contexts that make them tricky at times, but they are an amazing resource, and these data get republished every quarter. This map is produced using TileMill and Mapbox.  Check the full screen version out here:

http://tiles.mapbox.com/urbanstrategies/map/map-yn73atfz

If you’d like the data behind this map, both shapefiles and clean csv files on our data portal:http://data.openoakland.org/en/dataset/vacancyratesusps

The map hover/click functionality also gives you the business vacancy rates too, as the baseline data for how many units of residential and commercial are in each tract for context.