Enhancing Public Outreach with Web GIS Engagement Practices

APA Minnesota Chapter


Friday, September 29, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. CDT

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As planning professionals, public engagement is among the core activities we encounter daily. Whether facilitating a public open house for a major downtown redevelopment plan or engaging property owners to solicit feedback on a roadway project, planners must inform, educate, and allow to the public to contribute to the planning process.

Efforts to get citizens engaged in planning endeavors and solicit feedback can be difficult. With advances in technology, planners now have numerous opportunities to supplement traditional methods of community engagement with web-based, interactive outreach. New methods, including Story Maps, Virtual Open Houses, and Map Centric Forms (among others), provide participants additional opportunities in which to give their feedback where going to meetings is not an option or where participant’s voices are lost to others who dominate the conversation.

In this presentation, participants will become familiar with the integration of the several methods that will supplement traditional methods and allow for more engagement and feedback including:

• How Form and Map Centric surveys give the public an opportunity to identify a specific place on a map and comment on specific concerns. These results are easily integrated into ArcGIS mapping software.

• How Story Maps can be a useful communication tool.

• How Virtual Open Houses can supplement a public engagement process where traditional events fall short.

• How Custom Public Input Applications can be tailored to specific clients or needs.

• How 3D visualizations can be incorporated into public engagement events.


Matthew Lassonde

Matt Lassonde is a Transportation Planner who began his career in 2014. He has facilitated various public meetings to gather input on public improvement projects including corridor studies and area redevelopment plans, among others. He has a demonstrated ability to listen to and understand stakeholders’ perspectives to build trust and ... Read More

Nick Meyers

Nick Meyers is a GIS Project Manager and Planner who began his career in 2005. He has experience in web application development, 3D Visualization, municipal planning, and project management. He has proven success at developing and implementing GIS technologies for large projects related to regional collaboration, transportation studies, and municipal ... Read More

Contact Info

Jane Kansier, janeka@bolton-menk.com