By Jessica Deegan and Alison Slaats, GIS Staff, Metropolitan Council
A beta version of new Maps webpages (http://gis.metc.state.mn.us/maps), offering applications and tools that provide maps and information about communities in the Twin Cities seven county metro area, has recently been released by the Metropolitan Council.
“We listened to our website users, including the public, planners and GIS professionals, who told us that map-related information was dispersed throughout the Metropolitan Council website with little cohesiveness,” said Rick Gelbmann, GIS Manager. “Users want easier access to maps and data, preferably in one place on the website. Also, we heard that datasets need to be easier to understand and use – and ideally we should offer some added value – so that we provide information instead of raw data.”
While many departments at Met Council have a strong record of performing GIS and data analyses to provide useful information, this was not reflected on the website. The beta release of Maps marks the start of Met Council’s effort to share this work via the web.
For example, instead of providing raw population numbers, the Council now offers charts showing population trends in communities and maps showing the spatial distribution of population.
Met Council plans to add much more to its maps pages as time goes on, with the goal of integrating geographic data with other datasets to provide information that is pertinent and useful for the public, planners and GIS professionals.
You are encouraged to take a look at the Maps pages, where you can: