February 06, 2013 -- Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) is providing the community with unprecedented access to town planning and development information, thanks to a cutting-edge mapping website.
For the first time in the region’s history, residents, developers and business owners have had access to interactive online maps of SCC’s draft development plan backed by intelligent Geographic Information System (GIS) technology from industry leaders Esri Australia.
Esri Australia GIS in Local Government expert Anton Delporte said SCC was one of the first councils in Australia to use an interactive online development plan map.
“Until recently, the community could only view development information through requesting hard-copy maps at council offices or downloading static maps from their websites,” Mr Delporte said.
“Now, SCC’s interactive online plan empowers users to use advanced GIS technology to search individual properties and explore the zoning layers at a detail never before available.
“Giving the community faster, easier access to the draft plan allows residents to become more involved with guiding growth and development in their region.”
The online draft development plan complements SCC’s main online mapping website MyMaps, also driven by Esri Australia’s GIS technology.
MyMaps provides fast and easy access to 1,000 interactive map layers of Council data including property information, underground assets, tourism attractions and even dog-friendly locations.
SCC Chief Information Officer Brian Beswick said the site provided a dynamic, visual display of the region to residents, tourists, business, not for profit organisations and other stakeholders.
“Users can view the information they require, make up their own maps, and then download them for use with other mapping software for further analysis.
“Council also uses MyMaps to put out tender information for contracts such as park maintenance and bin collection, vastly reducing the red-tape involved in tender negotiations.”
SCC Spatial Information Manager Martin Browne said MyMaps is significantly more advanced than similar local government websites in Queensland and at the forefront nationally in terms of depth and breadth of content, functionality and usability.
“We have already been contacted by other Queensland councils on the Gold Coast, Fraser Coast and around Brisbane, who have seen MyMaps and are eager to learn how they also use GIS technology to better deliver their information to the public,” Mr Browne said.
Mr Browne said that thanks to the user-friendly nature of online maps, MyMaps is helping Council meet the community’s growing demand for readily accessible information.
“There is certainly a drive within Sunshine Coast Council to use technology in order to connect with and engage our community,” Mr Browne said.
“We’ve found that presenting our data in a visual, map-based format makes information easily accessible to every member of the community in an innovative and creative way.”