Denver recently rolled out an updated version of its mapping tool that helps commuters navigate around construction zones in the northern area of the city.
By using data that is now automatically updated on a daily basis, the “Navigate – North Denver” tool is further equipped to ease commutes through parts of the city where major infrastructure projects may interfere with mobility.
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“We know the huge impact construction puts on the community … so we have expanded the platform,” said Leesley Leon, spokeswoman for the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative, the city agency leading the project.
As part of the update, the tool’s reach now includes boundaries of Federal Boulevard to the west, Ivy Street to the east, Colfax Avenue to the south, and the Denver boundary to the north.
Another enhancement is map accessibility in Spanish, which includes information regarding bus stops, emergency care centers, schools, businesses and parks.
“If we want an equitable city, we knew that it had to be accessible in multiple languages,” Leon said.
The city has been working to build a more robust platform since it launched in September 2018. The biggest change to the platform will likely be the one that goes least noticed, the agency said, which was moving the platform to “high-quality” GIS mapping software to improve the tool’s functionality.
The platform migration follows a year of steady use from the community.
“The initial version of this map has garnered more than 32,000 views in the last year, so we know there is a need for a tool such as this one,” said NDCC executive director Tim Sandos in a statement.
“This is why we have been working diligently to deliver an accessible tool to the community that not only helps their daily commutes," he said, "but also provides them with a single point of access to information about projects in their area.”
The latest version of the tool updates every day automatically using data from the city’s permitting system. That information allows the map to offer turn-by-turn directions to locations within its “Navigable Area,” similarly to Google Maps.
Now NDCC is working to publicize the tool through avenues like social media and sending text push alerts. They are hoping to gather feedback from the community to continue improving the tool, and also to gain more users.
“More views means more uses,” Leon said, which tells the agency they’re “doing something helpful.”
The project is a joint effort between multiple government agencies, including Denver Public Works and the Department of Finance.