Maps Let Citizens Get Involved
Mapping technology for urban planning & municipal governments.
With so many competing interests to consider, how can municipal planners design the best future for their city that respects the environment, addresses social needs and creates community engagement? First Base Solutions provides custom solutions integrating high resolution aerial imagery with interactive mapping tools for public and internal use.
Zoning and Land Use
Responsible long term planning and decision making in a municipality starts with taking an inventory of what exists before priorities for development, land use, and social services can be set. Population distribution and demographic data comes through periodic census and other municipal records. This data is easiest to evaluate in combination with aerial photo interpretation and geospatial data such as elevation and hydrological models provided by First Base Solutions. The objective of avoidance screening is to identify “hazard lands” where development should not occur such as floodplains, steep slopes, certain soil types, and natural features deserving of protection, all of which can be easily delineated on a map. In addition, reviewing pre-existing land use and demographics on a map can make it easy to avoid earmarking land for uses that would conflict with nearby activities
Services provided by municipalities range from ongoing and geographically widespread services like garbage pick up, road and bridge maintenance, water and waste water management, but also services for individuals such as facility rentals, minor variance applications, and building permits just to name a few, and of course, any type of bylaw enforcement. Since the services are inherently spatial, communicating with the public is best approached through maps with value added information, kept constantly up to date. The most practical way to accomplish this task is with familiar interactive mapping tools such as Google maps. Citizens can report a service issue, such as pothole, simply by taking a photo of the problem with their phone, which then automatically pinpoints the photo on the map and generates a work order. See this technology in action.
Internal communications within the municipal government are equally important as communicating with the public, often with far more sophisticated demands from the technology including requirements to manage privacy and personal information. The suite of professional level Google products is an excellent choice in this respect as well, with the option to create both public and private globes for internal users and the general public respectively.