Analytics, economic development to be focus of NKY mapLAB initiative

Recognizing that a good map can often inform an audience better than a voluminous spreadsheet of geographical data, PDS last month launched Northern Kentucky mapLAB. The initiative seeks to accomplish two critical goals: illustrate the robust analytical capabilities of LINK-GIS; and, use those capabilities to support Kenton County’s economic development program. Products of the program will be distributed via PDS’ broad range of social media tools.

“We’ll soon celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of LINK-GIS’ founding,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, executive director of PDS and managing partner of LINK-GIS/Kenton County. “That makes it one of the oldest GIS systems in this part of the country. And, because time has a way of translating into information for these systems, LINK-GIS is a veritable treasure trove of intelligence.”

Gordon is banking that when the community is exposed to ongoing examples of GIS analytics, more people will come to appreciate what PDS and its partners have built for the community. He asserts that outside interests will also come to appreciate its capabilities.

“There’s no secret to the fact that a geographic information system (GIS) can be one of the most potent tools a community can have in its arsenal when it comes to economic development,” said Gordon. “The ability to provide enormous amounts of geospatial data in short periods of time can mean the difference between winning or losing a prospect.”

Geospatial data is information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the earth, typically represented by points, lines, polygons, and/or complex geographic features. It’s the type information critical to economic development programs whether you’re a company looking for a new home or a community desiring to be that new home.

Northern Kentucky mapLAB will produce and distribute maps on a monthly basis using data supplied by LINK-GIS. The inaugural map illustrated energy-efficient construction being pursued currently in Kenton County. Future maps will focus on a number of issues critical to economic development including quality of life. All published maps will be stored online for future reference.

“We’ve supported Tri-ED’s efforts for a number of years,” said Gordon. “Now that Kenton County has hired a professional to support its and the cities’ interests in this arena, we look forward to supporting them too.”

LINK-GIS is an interlocal partnership made up of Kenton County Fiscal Court, SD1, the Northern Kentucky Water District, and PDS.