June 16, 2005 in Business

New interactive Web sites boost city, state

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Two new interactive Web sites – one run by the state of Washington, the other by the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau – give visitors or businesses quick access to information on services and other data.

The CVB’s Web site – at http://maps.mapnetwork.com/Spokane – gives visitors detailed displays of consumer and residential services, said Dean Feldmeier, a member of the organization’s board. It’s also available through the map link at www.visitspokane.com.

Developed through a partnership with a national company, the site provides visual displays of Spokane-area dining, hotels, night life, shopping, rental cars and other services. It does not include similar North Idaho services.

The ChooseWashington site – www.choosewashington.com – is designed to help economic development groups attract new companies to the state or to specific communities.

The Washington state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development launched the site last week.

It took more than four months to develop, relying on technology created by California-based GIS Planning Inc., a developer of databases and maps for showcasing geographic and demographic data.

One feature, for example, allows users to track data from the Washington Commercial Brokers Association, which includes more than 3,500 commercial property listings across Washington.

The ChooseWashington site also lets users enter data such as ZIP codes, size of buildings, proximity to airports or rail lines, or other key factors that go into decisions on business locations.

The Web site then provides detailed summaries of the Washington communities that fit the data, said Anatalio Ubalde, chief operating officer of GIS Planning.

Users can also quickly gather relevant data on labor force, education levels, consumer spending and average resident age.

Ubalde said GIS Planning did similar maps for the cities of Kennewick and Kirkland.


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