Imagine the convenience of having maps to community locations and attractions right on your mobile device. No more driving about searching for that park you know is somewhere around, or wondering where you can find the historical sites in your area. There’s a new way for cities and towns to provide location-based information about everything from libraries to bus stops to public art.
We’re talking about the soon-to-be-released YouTown app that will enable agencies to publish all kinds of relevant updates right to the iPhones of citizens (other devices to follow). This includes the ability to upload maps for an endless array of local sites such as municipal buildings, event centers, public pools, and more.
For agencies looking to leverage technology in connecting with the public, it’s a tangible step toward openness and accessibility. The maps are easy to upload, requiring only a KML map feed, and simple for citizens to view in a familiar Google-map format. The information can be viewed as pinpoints on a map, or as a list of locations to browse, with further details available at the tap of a finger.
Maps in Real Life
The usefulness of YouTown maps is as broad as a municipality’s creative application of the tool. To list a few examples of cities that have already been utilizing the app:
Arvada, Colorado has published a helpful map of the Park-n-Ride locations around the city, which provide transportation to the nearby Denver International Airport.
Nanaimo, Canada has published an interesting map of public art that can be found throughout the city, from murals to sculptures and beyond.
LaVergne, Tennessee has published a map of city facilities, which includes sites like the public works building and the civic auditorium.
Rockwall, Texas has published a map of local churches.