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Sarasota Thu Aug 21, 2014 6 months ago

County develops user-friendly neighborhood project map

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by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

Want to know what’s going on beyond those cones in your neighborhood, or what county workers are doing down the street?

You can find that information and more on a new interactive map Sarasota County unveiled last month.
The data map, “Projects in My Neighborhood,” shows residents what Capital Improvement Projects are going on in any area of the county. The map is an update on a previous version that was available on the county’s website for the last four or five years, said Kathleen Solie, the county enterprise Geographic Information Systems (GIS) manager.

The old map was a pushpin-style display, like Google Maps, and it was popular but misleading, said Greg Johnson, CIP systems manager. It couldn’t show the boundaries of a project very well because the pin would only locate the center of the project. In the past, some residents had made calls to the project manager or the corresponding department, and some had received different answers depending on whom they called.

“It caused some inconsistencies,” Johnson said.

The new map and project details will allow consistent project information to be delivered to the public, Johnson said. The new map shows the boundaries of CIP projects (environmental, facility, mobility and utility projects) and includes a fact sheet about each project, including cost estimate, project manager name and phone number and estimated completion date. Each project is labeled “closed” for projects that are finished within the last three months and “active” for projects that are near launch or in progress. The map will be updated once a month, Johnson said.

The new map, created in-house by the county’s GIS staff, is compatible with many platforms — computers, tablets and even phones.

“We’re the leader in leveraging this technology,” Johnson said.

The map does not include every CIP project, though, just 40 to 50 of the “high-profile” items, Johnson said, such as the South Lido renourishment project and the Hudson Bayou Water Quality project. A full list of ongoing CIPs (and the interactive map) can be found at scgov.net/CIP.

“The public demands data from the government, so we want to be able to put it in an easy-to-use format,” Solie said. “As a citizen, it’s nice to see what’s going on.”

How to USE THE MAP
• Go to scgov.net
• Services A-Z
• Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Map
• Click on the map icon
• Type in an address or zoom in on an area
• Click on a color-shaded zone and access the fact sheet.

 

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