Columbia Unveils New Interactive City Map

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COLUMBIA - People gathered at Columbia City Hall Wednesday to see a new on-line interactive map of Columbia that allows users to see detailed information about properties all over the city. City of Columbia GIS manager Matt Gerike said the interactive map has been two to three years in the making. The map is a combination of information provided by the City of Columbia and it's departments.

The map was unvieled as part of the celebration of Geographic System Information Day. GIS Day is the third day of Georgraphic Awareness Week. This is the first GIS Day for the City of Columbia, but since 1999 more than 10,000 organizations have participated.

The city's map website can be viewed five different ways, standard map, aerial photography, zoning map, black and white, and natural.  Each view contains a detailed legend of what it displays.

Gerike hopes that the new map will make it easier for residents to find information, and he said the city will continue to update the site as the city changes and develops.

"The purpose of GIS is to understand, analyze, visualize, and organize through a computer database," Gerike said.

Also on display at the two-hour event were maps of available broadband providers in Missouri, and a visualization of areas to which the Columbia Police Department and Columbia Fire Department frequently respond.

Rock Bridge High School students who are in the geospatial technology class at the Columbia Area Career Center presented their own GIS maps about how to avoid a zombie attack. One student said he was excited about the presentation and is excited about the new interactive map.

"I think its great, all of that information in one place. It will be so much easier for people in Columbia to find they information they need," said Rock Bridge junior Shelby Richardson.

The map can be found on the City of Columbia's website.