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Archive for Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New interactive Lawrence map gives residents a glimpse at city services, ownership data

The city of Lawrence unleashed a beta version of an interactive map loaded with information in the city’s geographic information system, or GIS. The goal: Take the same facts used for everyday decisionmaking and information at City Hall, and get it into the hands — and through Internet browsers — of the public.

The city of Lawrence unleashed a beta version of an interactive map loaded with information in the city’s geographic information system, or GIS. The goal: Take the same facts used for everyday decisionmaking and information at City Hall, and get it into the hands — and through Internet browsers — of the public.

December 29, 2010

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Some of the same detailed information that municipal engineers, administrators and other decisionmakers use to schedule sewer repairs, plan pavement upgrades and determine development patterns now is available for all to see.

One computer click at a time.

On Wednesday, the city of Lawrence unleashed a beta version of an interactive map loaded with information in the city’s geographic information system, or GIS.

The goal: Take the same facts used for everyday decisionmaking and information at City Hall, and get it into the hands — and through Internet browsers — of the public.

“If you need to get driving (or) transit directions, or the location of a particular business, stick with Google or Bing maps,” said Micah Seybold, the city’s GIS coordinator, in a blog posted at the city’s website, LawrenceKS.org. “The city map is going to have city of Lawrence information too detailed and specific for the big commercial maps.

“You can find out how your house is zoned, the quality of your street and when it was rated, the locations of underground pipes and depth of manholes, if your house is in a flood zone, where the nearest bike route is and other property information that commercial maps won’t have.”

The interactive map admittedly is a work in progress. Seybold has set up a page on the site for providing feedback, such as suggestions for additional features. Plans call for adding more data in the future.

Seybold’s advice for first-time users: Start by watching the instructional video at the site, which includes his own descriptions for how the map works and what it features it offers.

Adds Chuck Soules, the city’s director of public works, who regularly checks various locations’ pavement-condition ratings (zero being the worst and 100 being the best), storm sewer alignments and drainage contours: “It’s more information for people to use, however it best fits their needs.”

Comments

thesloss 3 years, 8 months ago

OK ... so the city has a street rating system . How is the rating system used to determine a 5 or 10 year plan for street maintenance?

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kubmg 3 years, 8 months ago

I've developed similar systems for government using a vareity of APIs. They are pretty simple to develop it's more about the accuracy of the data. Having worked for government in the past as well as been a consultant to government, charging a fee doesn't seem to work well. There are studies that provide data to support this idea. In fact, this data is already available. One just has to do more work to access it. Your return on investment is having it readily accessible to folks like realtors, building/construction industry or to owners interesting in propert tax info, school district info, comparables, etc. They will bring indirect tax revenue in by using the site. Another opportunity is for tourists who are looking for parks and/or more detailed information than google, bing, etc may provide. Folks should understand that google, bing, zillow, etc get there data from local government. This type of site could also be used for the GPS tracking software the city purchased. It takes more work internally but there's not reason not to take advantage of software the city already owns.

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sandrat 3 years, 8 months ago

What does the score refer to when you enter an address?

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So_tired_of_the_whiners 3 years, 8 months ago

It is how close you are to the actual address.

If you type in tennesee instead of tennessee, the score goes down.

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sandrat 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks. At first, I thought it was a "curb appeal" rating. For a moment, I felt ashamed, and thought about having my house repainted. Or maybe removing the pile of burning tires from my lawn.

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clovis_sangrail 3 years, 8 months ago

Here's a fun thing to do -- Look up the pavement condition index for your street and compare it to the pavement condition index for streets on which our city commissioners live.

Mike Amyx -- 48.75 Aron Cromwell -- 82.1 Michael Dever -- 49.4 Rob Chesnut -- 80.1 Lance Johnson -- 88.3

My Street -- 44.15

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