Interactive GIS Maps For Urban Planners

Government departments related to urban planning and municipalities invest heavily in geospatial data and technology nowadays because nearly everything in the public realm occurs in the context of geography. With the use of geographic information system (GIS), complex situations are analyzed and solutions across disciplines are created. It is here that interactive GIS maps can act as important tools to increase the efficiency of urban planners, improve coordination between departments, reduce costs of planning, and help in maintaining transparency and accountability of the entire process.

To begin with, interactive GIS maps can facilitate the community planning process by helping various departments working on urban development plans to share and view data. Be it the existing and future land use, available resources, the area covered by natural resources like forests, marshlands etc or mapping and identification of hazardous areas prone to floods, earthquakes, and wildfires, everything can be viewed by multiple users with a few clicks on the interactive GIS maps. Urban planners may also use the maps to know about housing densities or transportation routes in a particular area ahead of making plans pertaining to that region. In other words, interactive GIS maps can help urban planners to make informed decisions and balance land-use needs while making development plans, thus ensuring that development and economic goals are achieved without sacrificing a good quality of life.

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Erroneous documentation of property boundaries can create problems for urban planners. If there are spatial inaccuracies within a land base, utilities or other publicly owned facilities may get placed inadvertently on private property. This can lead to disputes over property lines. Use of interactive GIS maps that provide correct parcel information and right-of-way lines corresponding to the known dimensions or locations can help to deal with the problem. This way, urban planners can improve the land base use in a particular region and use the utilities and other publicly owned facilities to their optimum.

Interactive GIS maps can help stakeholders and public get a view of the development process by increasing the transparency of operations, and encourage their participation in the decision making process. By making the urban planners accountable to stakeholders and public, these maps can indirectly pave the way for an efficient and speedy service related to various urban development plans.

Considering the advantages that interactive GIS maps bring to the table, it won't be an exaggeration to say that they are the key to enhancing the services offered by urban development planners.


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