Website Provides Valuable Data For Decision Makers
Jackson County At Your Fingertips


Jackson County's highly interactive and user-friendly Economic Development online tool provides entrepreneurs, neighborhood organizers, policy planners and everyone else access to a vast array of data available 24/7 at maps.jacksongov.org/edev. The mapping program link can also be found on the home page of the Jackson County Economic Development site, 
jacksongov.org/econdev, by clicking on the "Quick Maps" buttons.



JANUARY 10, 2012 -- "We are putting all this data right at people's fingertips."

That is how Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders described the new mapping feature on the county's Economic Development website. The program provides easy access -- available 24/7 -- to information about real estate availability, property values, taxes and other key statistics that were once difficult to obtain quickly. Simply put: the new site puts crucial data within a few keystrokes and mouse clicks of any interested person's fingertips.

From business executives considering expansion to private citizens looking for a home to buy, the application
(maps.jacksongov.org/edev) is a one-stop resource for vital information.

In-House Project

While presenting the website to the County Legislature during its weekly meeting Monday, January 9, Sanders stressed that "this was an in-house project." The site was created by the Jackson County Economic Development Department with assistance from the county Senior Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist Amber Reynolds.

"This is one of those rare instances where government is at its best," stated Jackson County Legislator Bob Spence (6th District). "That we could put a program together like this without having to hire an outside consultant for $100,000 or $200,000 is very, very commendable. This is great."

Limitless Possibilities

Since launching the new website, Jackson County has reached out to communities, including Kansas City, Missouri, and various neighborhood associations to add data to the site. Sanders anticipates that the site will eventually expand. The ability to add more data to the site, he emphasized, is practically "unlimited."

Some of the data already available includes some basic real estate information such as property values, tax information and ownership data, as well as information that would interest developers (census statistics, property vacancies, traffic counts, zoning regulations, mass transit availability and more). Kansas City provided data about utilities, vacant homes, rental properties, code violations and dangerous buildings.

"If you are a developer anywhere in the world and have an interest in developing property in our region, you don't have to drive down to the county courthouse and look up the data, then go over to city hall and look up more data there," Sanders said. "It's all right here." 

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders (right) and Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner each stress that the new Economic Development website will provide the crucial data that policy makers need to reach decisions about everything from new streets to mass transit.

Making 'Data-Driven' Decisions

While the new website is an excellent tool for promoting economic development in the area, Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner noted it can also assist policy makers in finalizing their decisions. Kansas City used a similar system to download crime statistics and determined that the corner of 27th and Prospect was the best location for building a new police patrol station.

"That was a $50 million investment," he noted. "We looked at crime data and noticed all the red dots around that particular (intersection)."

He added, "What this system will allow us to do is, once we've made an investment, is look at the data later and see if we've been able to make a difference."

Wagner pointed out data can be made available to help select locations for new sidewalks or streets, as well as several other public works-related projects.

"Our decisions can be data-driven," said Sanders. "Better data yields better results."   


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