Development Activity Map Boosts Data Transparency
Client: City of Sammamish
Location: Sammamish, Washington
Development activity is a hot topic for the City of Sammamish, where citizens were calling for a more transparent way to learn about planned housing and business construction.
The City of Sammamish is experiencing considerable growth, bringing a surge of development to the area. With growing citizen frustration and numerous requests for more information about development, City leaders identified the visualization of building permits as a key tool. Such a visualization would provide transparency and easier access to development information for the community.
The city contracted FLO to create the map after joining the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) GIS Consortium, which FLO operates in partnership with AWC. Through the collective buying power of its members, the GIS Consortium makes GIS consulting hours available at an affordable rate. When the City of Sammamish became a member, internal GIS staff partnered with FLO to complete the project without diverting time away from their other duties.
We created the development activity map by first assessing the city’s existing system. We determined that the development of a number of data products was needed, including a SQLg GIS infrastructure and TrakIt permitting Server database, to enable the integration of GIS and permit data. The integrated data is served to the web through an ArcGIS Server, and is accessed through ArcGIS Online. This allows City staff to easily modify and adjust the application through built-in ArcGIS tools.
Edits to development permits in the system automatically update the web map, which can be accessed from a tablet, smartphone, or computer. Although the map was created as a tool for citizens, it also serves to streamline internal workflows. The map allows different city departments to easily access development information and use it as an analytical and a collaborative tool.
Here’s how a City of Sammamish community newsletter humorously introduced the development activity map once it was created:
“When big public notice signs appear on empty parcels, they serve to irritate some people twice. Once because it usually means more homes are going up. And a second time because they can’t read the information as they whiz by in their cars. So, in response to numerous requests, the city now has a ‘development activity map’ on its website.”
Explore the City of Sammamish’s development activity map here.