SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County reviewed a software demonstration for a new, interactive map that will inform citizens of their council representatives.
In an open work session of the Wicomico County Council last week, Frank McKenzie, the county’s chief of geographic information system (GIS) services, presented a draft version of a searchable map that will allow residents to explore the county’s representative districts.
McKenzie said his department was in the process of updating software that would allow the public to access GIS data when Council Administrator Laura Hurley informed him of the council’s interest in creating an interactive map.
“This came at a really opportune time,” he said.
Prior to the software update, the public could receive geographical information using static, PDF maps, Yet, with the new Geocortex system, McKenzie said his department could build more accessible applications.
The prototype displayed a map of Wicomico County divided into five districts with an address search bar and list of instructions to the left of the page.
“This map is a draft,” McKenzie said. “I am still working to develop this.”
While all applauded the programs looks and function, Councilmen Joe Holloway and Larry Dodd expressed interest in displaying the names of all council members beside or below the map.
“I can certainly work on something that can fit in there, and we’ll try a figure a way to display that,” McKenzie said.
Council President John Cannon suggested placing district numbers on the map.
“I think it would be good on those maps, where you have the different colors, to put District 1, 2, 3 …” Cannon said.
McKenzie said he would continue to work on displaying the names.
“I’m still working on the look and feel of this thing,” he said.
Councilman Matt Holloway asked about zooming features on the map.
“If you keep zooming, does it go down to street view?” he said.
McKenzie replied that the map can display property lines and aerial photography, but stressed the program’s simplicity.
“The goal is to keep this as simple as possible,” he said.
McKenzie explained that the map would be completed in the next four to six weeks and will be accessible through the county council’s website once it is finished.
Cannon expressed interest in seeing the final product at a later meeting, but applauded the new map.
“It’s really nice,” he said.