A quarterly newsletter published by geographic informations systems (GIS) industry leaders Esri spotlights the City of Asheville’s mapAsheville system, and especially the “Priority Places” economic development feature.
The newsletter “Government Matters: GIS for State and Local Government,” leads its Summer edition with the article “GIS Fosters Economic Development in Asheville.”
MapAsheville was developed in 2006 as a tool to use GIS and web-based searchable maps to provide useful information to the public. By following the link www.ashevillenc.gov/mapasheville, anyone can access data like development activity, steep slope information and fire district boundaries.
The “Priority Places” economic development feature allows potential business startups to search for sites in Asheville that meet criteria that benefit their economic goals. Users can see features like economic incentive zoning, proximity to public transit, riverfront potential and the site’s location in relation to business and population centers.
Other features of mapAsheville include Crime Mapper, which displays crime related information and statistics and Development Mapper, which shows the status of large-scale development projects.
In July, the City of Asheville’s Information Technology Department unveiled a new mapAsheville application that allows users to see which entities or agencies own and are responsible for maintenance of specific roads within Asheville city limits.
Collaboration with Buncombe County has enhanced mapAsheville with regional steep slope data and crime information from the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department.
The mapAsheville program won the 2009 G. Herbert Stout Award for Visionary use of GIS by Local Government. The “Priority Places” feature won the 2008 new Media Award from the International Economic Development Council. And the “Development Mapper” feature won the 2007 Marvin Collins Outstanding Planning Award for Innovations in Planning Services, Education, and Public Involvement.