Crain's Chicago Business Wins Prestigious Journalism Award

Annual Market Facts Section Lands a Best Online Project Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Using ESRI Maps and Data

Redlands, California—May 6, 2009—Crain's Chicago Business ( magazine's annual Market Facts section won a Best Online Project award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). A key component of the Web site was created using business, consumer spending, demographic, and other data from ESRI, the world's leading supplier of geographic information system (GIS) technology. The site allows readers to explore information about Chicago, Illinois, by zooming to and panning across more than 30 interactive maps.

Market Facts ( is a 25-page, annually printed special section and online Web site filled with information that illustrates lifestyle trends shaping Greater Chicago. Graphics created from more than 100 sources, including ESRI data, give a clear picture of important factors necessary for business people to make informed decisions. Population, disposable income, and market potential indexes are just a few of the categories available for investigation.

SABEW is composed of members of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Inc., who have joined together to encourage the highest standards of economic journalism. SABEW judges said, "[Market Facts] is a wonderful example of how to use multiple media to enliven what could have read like an almanac. The judges were especially impressed with the interactive maps of the Chicago metro area, which conveyed a tremendous amount of information in an easy-to-use format."

Says Matthew Carmichael, research director at Crain's Chicago Business, "The award from SABEW is a high honor. We couldn't have done this without ESRI. Mapping all the data we compiled to put together this section makes it very easy to see data patterns in just a quick glance, which is incredibly important to busy business executives needing to understand trends in consumer spending."

Crain's Chicago Business is a magazine read mainly by executives of medium- to large-sized companies. In a rapidly changing economy, it is important for executives to stay on top of the latest trends affecting their customers. GIS maps and localized data can be both a quick-glance overview and an in-depth tool to get at the subtle shifts in demographics and consumer behaviors. Mapped data can take on added value during rocky economic times, when executives need the most accurate information possible.

"The challenge of the current market underscores the importance of information," says Lynn Wombold, chief demographer and manager for data development at ESRI. "Where is the growth? Where is the decline? What are consumers looking for today? What is the best way to allocate the revenue from a dwindling tax base? Uninformed decisions are a luxury that no one can afford. Current data can track critical changes and preclude the cost of being wrong."

For more information on how ESRI software and data are used in the press and media, visit

About ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, 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


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