"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.
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."
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."