if you’ve been following our blogs, you know that we’ve focused a number of entries on the content of local government economic development websites. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time as of late reviewing and trying to find specific information on Ohio community websites. Some days are trying. Some days are easy. Economic development is about transparency.
Everyone (or most everyone) knows where Ohio’s major cities are. A number of people may know where some key suburban cities are. Beyond that, I am guessing that knowing where the other communities are requires a map. And that is not a bad tool to have on one’s economic development website.
As a undergrad Geography major, I am pretty tuned into maps. I love maps. And as a person who can get lost exiting his driveway, maps are often a necessity. On an economic development website, a map is also a necessity. Businesses need to know where your community is and how to get there.
There are a number of types of maps to use on a website. A street map or zoning map is one such map you will want to have on the website so businesses can see their possible locations. A map of the county or region showing the location of major highways, airports or major river ports is pretty handy. A narrative of distance to these facilities is also key as transportation is often a major consideration in choosing a location. Economic development is about transparency.
Google Maps is a fantastic tool to have on a website. The ability to focus in an aerial or street map fashion allows visitors to your website to do all of the above.
Another piece of information to include on local maps are locations of wetlands, creeks, streams and industrial and commercial properties that have had Phase 1 or Phase 2 environmental studies. It may seem to be a lot of detail or a lot of extra work; like transportation networks, site conditions are pretty important.
The more information that can be provided, the better prepared you are when that site selector or business calls you. Economic development is about transparency.
(c) 2011 CDJ Consulting, LLC