SymGEO was honored to have our community engagement pilot project Downtown: Energize! Kentlands featured in the 2019 ArcNews Spring edition! This premier hard-copy and digital publication by Esri has a circulation of 900,000 industry professionals and is a go-to source for all that is new and innovative in the Esri GIS community.
This month we were honored to have Downtown: Energize! featured in two local papers. There has been tremendous energy and enthusiasm swirling around this flagship project from SymGEO, and the technology continues to improve with every update.
Downtown: Energize! features many different components of the ArcGIS technology suite, including Survey123, GeoForm / Collector, ArcGIS Dashboard, Web AppBuilder for the retail locator, and a web scene that uses CityEngine textured models derived from building footprints and Lidar information processed in ArcGIS Pro. These components are then hosted in ArcGIS Online and leveraged using ArcGIS Hub technology.
Two local development boards, the Kentlands Downtown Working Group (KDWG) and the One Main Street Initiative (OMSI), took an excited interest in Downtown: Energize! and have commissioned complimentary sites to be built using Hub technology. The commercial real-estate management of the site is especially useful in a fast-paced environment!
“The KDWG was commissioned by the Kentlands board to provide accurate and timely information on the various development efforts going on with our downtown so residents can be better informed and take a more active role in improving our community. We chose the Downtown: Energize! platform developed by SymGEO with its innovative digital mapping because it helps do exactly that.”
– John Ingrassia, Chair, Kentlands Downtown Working Group
“A great commercial district is a huge amenity for our community. Downtown: Energize! is a great digital tool for helping the community achieve the vision for our commercial district. Not only will it help us engage the community to provide flexible two-way dialogue, but it will help us by mapping opportunities where businesses can expand and thrive. This innovative platform will allow us to easily update data, access data and provide data well beyond our community, which provides outreach to businesses looking to expand. Additionally, it is a fun way to empower consumers looking for a place to spend their precious free time to engage with this easy to use tool whether at home or mobile. Working with Kevin at SymGEO has been an amazing experience. He and his team are bringing tremendous innovations and ideas to our team at The One Mainstreet Initiative.”
– Neil Burka, Chair, One Main Street Initiative
“I was so excited when SymGEO came to us with this idea. As a local real estate agent and resident who is deeply engaged in the community, I understand on a personal level how important this spatial data is to get the community engaged and onboard with what’s happening. This platform will make it easy to access the data – especially for folks who, like me, are more visual.”
– Sheena Saydam, Realtor, Keller Williams Capital Properties, Member, Kentlands Downtown Working Group
“Downtown: Energize! as created by Kevin McMaster using the SymGEO platform, is an innovative digital tool that provides mapping of business locations to potential and existing customers in a format that is fun, easy to use, and flexible enough to accept updates and even track current events. It’s a win-win for our community by empowering residents to engage with our local businesses and to energize our downtown!”
– Ingrid L. Fraley, Local Business Owner – Design Services, Inc.
Keeping track of who is where, what’s coming soon, square footage available, and when leases are ending can be quite a challenge when hundreds (or thousands!) of properties are involved. Fortunately, GIS is perfectly suited to this task of commercial property management, as it combines space, time, attributes and symbology into one cohesive picture.
For the Kentlands community in Gaithersburg, MD, ArcGIS Online data was used to power an initiative called Downtown: Energize!, that has garnered critical acclaim from residents and business owners alike. This Hub site designed to explore existing retail, gather community ideas, and identify opportunities for commercial business. With almost a hundred commercial properties involved, including several large commercial parcels, the data came in the usual assortment of formats (pdf, GIS, field collection). However, the end result was a cohesive framework designed to be updated and informed by the community it serves through a crowd-sourced GeoForm application.
Searching by business name was enabled through a configurable application that is embedded into the Hub site. There is also active development and building reconfiguration occurring in this area, as shown below with the current buildings overlaid on last year’s imagery. This solution provides a one-stop shop for information about current commercial businesses in the area, and a common platform for the community to use.
Community engagement and business development are key ingredients for a successful neighborhood. Rapid advancements in web technology have made it easier than ever to engage with your citizens and neighbors and to create a real sense of ownership and responsibility for the direction of the community. To facilitate community engagement from a retail business perspective, SymGEO created Downtown: Energize! using ArcGIS Hub technology.
The site was well-received by residents and business owners, has been featured in several local newspaper publications, and in Esri’s ArcNews publication entitled “ArcGIS Hub Gets Mixed-Use Community Involved in Retail Decision-Making“. It also showcases a commercial real-estate management system designed to keep track of existing businesses, future businesses, and available locations.
Downtown: Energize! includes:
- An idea section for the community to voice what type of retail they would like to see, powered by Survey123.
- Word-clouds generated from community surveys into the types of retail that are needed
- An opportunity locator section to highlight available commercial properties, powered by GeoForms and Web AppBuilder
- A look at existing retail in the neighborhood
- Lots of great neighborhood-specific data from Esri
- Links to upcoming neighborhood events to show local activities
Everything is fully mobile responsive using modern Esri web architecture, ensuring community access and interactivity on the go.