Winter 2011

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Polaris Awards
Scholarship Winners
Scholarship Fundraising Results

New Air Photos
DEED Job Search Application

Governor's Commendation


MetroGIS Quantify Public Value Project

Emergency Warning Routes
Hennepin Crime Maps
McLeod Culvert & Spraying Inventories
Cemetery Maps

Emerald Ash Borer Maps

New ESRI policy for Non-profits

Other Places
Geospatial Revolution Videos



Jobs Near Me:  Catering Employment Options to Minnesota Job Seekers through Mapping
By Jessica Fendos, Senior GIS Analyst, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Knocking on the Door of Opportunity

In spite of current economic indicators showing faint signs of recovery, during an economic downturn when the supply of workforce outweighs demand, “opportunity knocks” scenarios seem far-fetched to most job seekers.  To ease this plight, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Workforce Development Division is developing a Jobs Near Me viewer to better connect thousands of Minnesota job seekers with job openings (currently over 30,000) offered through DEED’s existing MinnesotaWorks.Net  website.  The viewer will help job seekers visualize where jobs of interest are located and what resources are available near their homes and potential workplaces.

Going Beyond the Traditional Text Search Capabilities

Currently, using MinnesotaWorks.Net, a job seeker can find jobs of interest using a keyword search based on job title or job description in proximity to a zip code.  In return, the site generates a list of active job openings.  However, this text search approach does not answer some of the questions that a job seeker may have.  In addition to the ability to search by occupation title and educational attainment requirements for jobs, DEED’s Jobs Near Me interface is being designed to answer the following location-based inquiries:

  1. Where are the jobs that meet my qualifications, within a certain proximity of my home or work?
  2. What child care centers and educational institutions are near my home or potential place of employment?
  3. Where is the closest Workforce Center that I can call upon for employment services?
  4. What public transportation options are there between my home and work destinations?

Bringing GIS to Minnesota Job Seekers

To serve a wide range of users, DEED has adopted a light-weight, cloud-based, ArcGIS Server REST API approach to cater easy-to-use mapping experiences to job seekers.  In addition to advanced GIS functionality, a workflow interface will be presented to guide users in generating maps and reports in three easy steps – locate an address, query jobs of interest, and define area of interest to create maps and reports.  From the resulting Jobs Near Me report, users can click on jobs of interest to link to and apply for positions through the site.

A beta version of the Jobs Near Me viewer is at  Please contact Jessica Fendos at for comments and questions.

Special thanks to Bonnie Elsey, Senior Administration Officer, DEED Workforce Development Division, David Niermann, Employment Programs Director, DEED Workforce Development Division, and Oriane Casale, Assistant Director, DEED Labor Market Information Office for their vision in GIS and support of this project.