About us.


The Rural Opportunity Map was created by the Center on Rural Innovation and the team at Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc.

The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is an action tank committed to supporting resilient economic development in rural America. Using progressive, data-driven community development strategies, we help small towns build sustainable, future-oriented economies.


Our goals.

Data to inform your work.

Our goal with the Rural Opportunity Map is to do the data processing and software development leg work to create a public tool that policymakers, investors, nonprofits, academics, journalists, could use to better inform their work.

An expanding list of features.

We will be continuing to build out the features and functions in the next year to make the data more useful and powerful for you. If you are curious, we have included a basic product road-map at the bottom of this page.

A powerful community.

We want to build a community of stakeholders who can share insights, additional datasets, and ideas with each other.  Let's work together to build rural America. Contact us below to get connected and stay involved.


The origins of the ROM project.

Through our work, we have noticed that rural stakeholders have had difficulty implementing effective programs and making impactful investments due to a lack of data-driven platforms and insights crucial to understanding the challenges and opportunities in rural America.

We also noticed that though web-based geospatial programs and technology is advancing faster than ever before, it still requires deep technological expertise and data work to leverage.

Lastly, we heard time and again from rural stakeholders that, though many rural economic and demographic challenges have been studied in recent years, not nearly as much attention has been paid to the opportunities that are emerging in rural America.  For example, 10 Million Americans living in small towns have access to fiber internet... that's a potential digital workforce akin to New York City. There are rural Opportunity Zones across the country with compelling investment opportunities in real estate, renewable energy, and even start-ups.

We hope the ROM project helps everyone see the potential in rural America.




Give us your thoughts.

We would love to hear from you how you use the map, what you have found useful, what impact has resulted from your use of the map, and also what you wish the map could do along with ideas for new datasets or features.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.