We all create our own mental maps of the world, but for people who write about state and local government, these maps are particularly important. Our understanding of which cities are growing, which are shrinking, and which are struggling determine what cities we visit and which issues we explore. Sometimes, it helps to fact check our perceptions against demographic realities. A new mapping projected unveiled today by the Brookings Institute's Metropolitan Policy Project makes it easy — and entertaining — to do precisely that.
To see the potential, take a look at this map of America's largest suburbs. See the year bar below it? By dragging on it, you can see how America's suburbs have changed since 2000. It just one of the ways to explore this very interesting site. Click here to go to Brookings's map.