The City of Jasper has unleashed an online storytelling tool designed to provide an interactive map-based look at the economic and social investments that have occurred in the city over the past few years.
Jasper’s Story Map was built by Jasper’s GIS Technician Jeff Warren and summer intern Libby Gress with assistance from Community Development & Planning Director Darla Blazey and Lisa Bower from the mayor’s office over the past few months. According to Blazey, Warren had the idea about a year ago.
“Jeff saw the idea and the mayor liked it,” Blazey said. “It was just a matter to get someone dedicated to do it and it became one of the top things for the intern to work on this summer.”
According to Blazey, once Gress was familiar with the project, she was able to run with it and create the interactive map.
It features 18 current projects in Jasper that are considered important economically and socially. The projects are color coded: green for housing related projects like the Vine Street Lofts; blue for community projects like the Astra Theatre and Cultural Center; purple for health related developments like the Memorial Hospital Continuity Clinic on St. Charles; and red for business expansions like the new German American expansion and SERVUS! headquarters.
Clicking on the icons gives users a glimpse of the project and its ramifications for the city as well as links to more information.
Visitors can find the interactive map here or through a link on the city’s website.
According to Mayor Terry Seitz, the map gives Jasper another tool to tell its story. It can be used by community members or economic development organizations like the Chamber of Commerce to show prospects what is happening in the city and the steps being taken to build a better community.
“We have underway or publicly announced more than $200 million of construction projects in Jasper,” Seitz said. “The Story Map helps promote all this activity while interactively providing information.”