If you want to find the closest bus stop, your trash pickup day, a park near your house, a place to ride bikes or nearby food and shopping establishments, then the city of Danville has a new website that will help you find it.
Launched today, the website – myCommunity Map – allows citizens to tap into more public data than ever before. The web address is www.danvillevamap.com.
“We want to make information about businesses, local services, attractions and amenities more accessible in a very easy to use tool,” said Melissa Dabbs, geographical information system analyst with the city’s Information Technology Department. “With this new website, you can more easily find locations in Danville. Not only will you see it on the map, but you will have information about it.”
In addition, the map will show a list of nearby businesses, public facilities and landmarks. Users can customize the list to expand or reduce the points of interest they view.
Once a location is entered, the website will zoom and center the map and populate a list of what is nearby. When citizens move the map in any direction, the list of nearby businesses, public facilities and landmarks automatically adjusts.
Laurie Weaver, business relationship manager for the Information Technology Department, said, “The intent is to provide information on what is available in Danville and where, and what is closest to ‘me.’”
Users may find locations by simply typing the address in the field provided or they can search a business or landmark name. An auto-fill feature will assist in the search. Using the example of ABC Book Store, as a user begins to type the business name, the auto-fill will display names that match what has been typed in thus far.
If users do not know the address or the name of the business or landmark, then they may use the website’s intuitive search feature “I Want To.” This search feature provides a range of choices from “I want to apply for a business license” to “I want to visit the Danville Science Center.”
“If someone needs to pay their utility bill in person, they may not know which building to go to or where that building is located,” Weaver said. “This website will pinpoint it on a map, list the address, show you a picture of it, and tell you what is around it.”
Dabbs said this feature “is a totally different approach to the standard map-based website.”
The city designed the website not only for desktop computers, but for use on tablets as well.
The name “myCommunity Map” is not new. Before today, however, the site offered only information about real estate parcels, including property value, ownership and a legal record of transfers. That information remains available on this site, with a separate entry point provided to Parcel Viewer.
Weaver said, “The website now is more for the typical resident. Previously, it provided strictly real estate information.”
The website uses the city’s geographical information system, which manages geographically referenced information by integrating a database and mapping software. Information is categorized and symbolized in layers, and the mapping system shows various layers chosen by the user.
Information on real estate parcels is updated nightly. Business licenses are updated weekly.