Community groups around Ottawa are applauding the arrival of a website with dozens of new neighbourhood profiles.
It's the result of four years work by researchers at the University of Ottawa.
The profiles show everything from the amount of green space, parks, and health services in a neighbourhood, to the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables.
University of Ottawa psychology professor Betsy Kristjansson says the idea is to bring more awareness about the places where people live and how that affects their health and well being.
"We know that some neighbourhood factors are important for health. Which are they? What neighbourhood factors predict body mass index? What neighbourhood factors predict health-care utilization, school readiness?" Kristjansson says.
Ismail Mohamed of the Hunt Club Riverside Community Services Centre likes the idea.
"You know, it helps us define the neighbourhood more clearly — the stats are there. So it eliminates [the need] for us to go do more of outreach work and understand our community," Mohamed said.
The data on the website has helped Mohamed recognize low employment in his area. Now his centre is tailoring programming to address that problem.
"I think that the beauty of the Ottawa neighbourhood study is that it gives us data on smaller geographic areas," said Leslie McDermott, of the South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre.
On the website, users can see how their neighbourhood is doing compared to other neighbourhoods in the city.
Each profile ends with a summary of strengths and challenges.
But the site is not static.
Just as users can make changes at the online open encyclopedia Wikipedia, people will be able to go www.neighbourhoodstudy.ca online and add information to reflect changes over time.
(Note: Tuesday afternoon, the site was not responding to attempts to access the information.)