PolicyMap a winner

In the world of Web-based software — think browsers, online maps, YouTube and Facebook — forgive the surprise at seeing the product of a Philadelphia nonprofit on a short list of exceptional examples that also includes cool stuff from Google and Microsoft.

That’s what The Reinvestment Fund, a neighborhood revitalization group, has managed with its wonkish PolicyMap.com.

The free service, with 10,000 registered users, creates maps that display block-by-block statistics on household incomes, foreclosures, employment and the like.

It’s a rich mess of details for research by students, real estate developers, government agencies and advocacy groups. The site has paying customers, too, such as Comcast Corp., the Federal Reserve and the MacArthur Foundation, which get access to extra data for their pricey subscriptions.

The year-old PolicyMap site won a place this week among the “Webware 100,” in a competition run by the tech-oriented CNET Web network owned by CBS Interactive Inc.

PolicyMap placed among top 10 “location-based services” with Google Maps, Google Earth and Microsoft’s Live Search Maps. It was the only winner in the category from a nonprofit company, and the only one from the East Coast, says TRF spokeswoman Margaret Berger Bradley.

Bidding war
Bio-Imaging Technologies Inc., of Newtown, which two weeks ago agreed to purchase North Carolina-based etrials Worldwide Inc. for $10 million, yesterday found itself in a bidding war for etrials.

An unsolicited third-party offer dropped onto the table to surprise both Bio-Imaging, which is changing its name to BioClinica, and etrials. The companies declined to name the new bidder.

So, yesterday, Bio-Imaging made a fresh offer — $14.4 million. That’s a 44 percent premium on the old bid.

Etrials CEO Denis Connaghan declared the transaction “on path” for a June closing. But, stay tuned.