World Business Chicago Launches Web-based Location Mapping Tool, Site SelectorUses City’s Open Data to Showcase Unique Combination of Public and Private Resources for Companies Making Location Decisions
CHICAGO, September 26, 2011 World Business Chicago today launched Site Selector, a cutting-edge, web-based mapping tool that illustrates location options for companies and organizations looking for space in the city of Chicago.
Site Selector combines information from the City of Chicago’s open data portal with commercial real estate information and quality of life amenities, all presented in an easy-to-navigate environment. The comprehensive tool allows users to add layers to the map including industrial corridors, universities, office/industrial real estate, and incentives, in order to find the location that would best meet business needs.
We built this tool as a preliminary reference point for businesses looking to make location decisions within the city of Chicago, said Rita Athas, President of World Business Chicago. Site Selector puts many of the resources that companies are looking for on the map, so users can easily visualize and put into perspective some of the best locations that are available in the city for their particular business needs.
World Business Chicago’s Site Selector is precisely the kind of tool that makes open data actionable and useful, said John Tolva, the City of Chicago’s Chief Technology Officer. Businesses looking at prospective sites can quickly and intuitively add context to a map of Chicago, simply by toggling layers of data on and off. It’s data visualization done right.
The mapping tool also highlights commercial real estate listings from Rofo, a web-based company that currently hosts more than 1.5 billion square feet of available listings in 4,300 cities. Rofo provides highly targeted information on commercial real estate nationwide and is also used by brokerage firms seeking complete online listing exposure. Because Site Selector was developed as an open platform, similar partnerships that will highlight an even greater real estate inventory are anticipated.
Another real estate layer that is already available in Site Selector is City-owned, non-residential land. The tool allows users to easily see where hundreds of properties are located and begin investigating whether they may be available for use.
The combination of information available is unique within the economic development community. It is very, very good, said Bob Ady, President of Ady International Company, and an authority on economic development, in response to the user-friendliness of the tool. I especially like that one can start the search looking for space or start the search looking for incentive districts, he added.
Site Selector is located at:
A video demonstration of Site Selector is at: