Institute Develops Interactive Map to Aid Washington County Economic Development
December 17, 2015
Contact: Roger Nielsen, firstname.lastname@example.org; 706.542.2524
An interactive online map produced by the Institute of Government in collaboration with UGA’s Archway Partnership provides leaders in middle Georgia’s Washington County with a powerful new tool to support their economic development and tourism initiatives.
The Internet application uses ArcGIS technology to generate easy-to-access maps showing available industrial sites, local health care facilities, and recreation areas—including points of interest for visitors interested in self-guided walking tours. Viewers can click on each location for a pop-up that gives additional information.
The new asset map website is expected to have its public debut in early 2016.
Members of the Washington County Archway Partnership commissioned the Institute’s Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) division to develop the website to share important information about community resources with residents, visitors, and industrial prospects.
“We saw this as an opportunity to utilize a mapping system to assist with our economic development efforts. But it also gives Internet visitors a complete view of the amenities available in our county,” said Charles Lee, executive director of the Washington County Development Authority, a member of the Washington County Archway Partnership.
The website allows viewers to learn about historic sites, health care facilities, and industrial parks in Washington County. Visitors can also find information about golf courses, libraries, and bike routes in the county. Local officials can update the maps as needed, according to Eric McRae, the Institute associate director who manages ITOS.
“We’d like to adapt this map application for other Georgia counties,” McRae said. “This technology has a huge potential for allowing Georgia counties to showcase the amenities and industrial sites in their communities.”
The project started as an inventory of social service agencies by Kim David, the Washington County Archway professional. As the collection grew, Washington County Archway Partnership members decided to map the sites, which inspired the plan for an interactive online map. “We were really looking for a way to put all of our community assets in one searchable online database,” David said.
The project successfully collected a huge amount of information and makes it available in manner that’s useful for the public and business prospects, according to Lee. “The ITOS professionals at UGA did a wonderful job of filtering all of the information we shared with them and presenting that material in a polished, finished product,” he said.