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Business and Economic Development Site Search

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Clackamas County is a mix of rural and urban communities spread over 1,900 square miles, of which 1,650 are rural. Clackamas also has a large agricultural base with many waterways and a large portion of land dedicated to national forest as part of the Mt. Hood Territory. This large rural area has the challenge of mixed resource availability such as road ways, railways, utilities and proximity to large industrial complexes. At the same time, there is a large availability of land, housing and vigorous marketing campaigns by the local jurisdictions to promote the introduction and expansion of businesses and industry. As a regional leader, Clackamas County has a very active and progressive economic development philosophy led by the department of Business and Economic Development (BED). In an effort to attract potential new businesses to Clackamas County — those that may not have considered the many benefits of Clackamas County such as data centric, small manufacturing or service based industries — BED coordinated a new interactive approach to marketing the “assets” of Clackamas County in a way to match business needs to available resources. The goal was to bring together the many diverse information resources related to a particular location that may be useful to a potential business and present that integrated information in a method that business could easily search and evaluate.

Clackamas County’s Strategically Significant Employment Lands Asset Mapping Project brought together a multi-disciplinary team that included Business and Economic Development, Planning and Technology Services/GIS to conduct a thorough inventory and analysis of available employment lands county-wide. From there, an on-line mapping tool was developed in-house using open source technology that provides site selectors, prospective businesses and developers the ability to easily search for and receive maps, photos and information about available lands and buildings.  Marketing and scalability are achieved in the user-friendly “Site Search”.  Property searches can be done by location, size, type and proximity to key services. Each search returns a map that shows topography, environmental data and transportation layers. Links to economic incentive programs are provided within the site reports. The current phase of the Asset Mapping Project is producing detailed marketing, targeted industry information and potential site layouts that can be added to the site specific documents and images putting even more tools directly in the hands of developers. Communities around the region are excited about Site Search – several are promoting it and providing links to Site Search from their own web sites.

Benefits

  • Integration of many sources and types of data including geospatial, photographic, site specifics, environmental, historical, economic, structural, utilities, etc. In one searchable application with all data easily available.
  • Provides a single point of searching and analyzing potential sites by various criteria.
  • Multiple tools such as maps, data, photos.
  • Overall design is tuned to use by marketing & real-estate professionals, prospective businesses and industry analysts.
  • Upgradable and expandable to add additional data sets and search parameters to become even more effective and tune to a particular jurisdictions’ requirements.
  • Allows data to be more accurate and maintainable, up to date site information.
  • Web based application available for use by anyone, anywhere.
  • Fast and flexible searches, downloadable information for additional analysis.
  • Able to market any type of asset or location.
  • Open source technology to contain costs and allow custom application development and enhancement.

Next Steps

The Asset Mapping project continues to be progressive and not rely on the current success of the project to promote Clackamas County. Additional enhancements are already in the design phase:

  • Developing program to allow additional data sets and information
  • More, high definition photos from multiple aspects
  • Additional documentation from real estate companies, permitting, public records, inspections etc.
  • Enhance performance to support even more sites and information while maintaining a rapid search return and large scale search options
  • Introduction of site videos and new 3D “fly by” videos
  • Downloadable geospatial data for uploading into other systems for custom analysis
  • Expandable to support multi-jurisdictions and agencies for regional collaboration on available resources. This has the potential to truly expand the capability of this application to allow multiple agencies / organizations to efficiently cooperate on marketing assets.
  • Potential to develop a hosted version for other agencies to utilize and even customize the application to their own specifications.

Technology

To be available for use by as wide prospective customer base as possible, the Asset Mapping application is designed to be utilized on as many browsers as possible using:

  • Open source technologies such as Mapserver and OpenLayers
  • HTML and CCS design
  • Simple JPG photos and PDF documents

Additional Information

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