April 2017 Map of the Month: ‘Where For’ locate.utah.gov

Pete CodellaBroadband

Locate.utah.gov heat maps at 2 scale levels (July 16 – April 17)

In May of 2015, the Broadband Outreach Center first launched the Utah Economic Development map (locate.utah.gov). This web map application allows companies and site selectors to interactively explore Utah from a vantage point of what’s important to business regarding available infrastructure and quality of life. Spoiler Alert: Version 2 of this site is expected to roll out next month. With this in mind, we thought a look at how the current site is being used would make for a good base line and broadband map of the month.

Over 20 map layers in the locate.utah.gov app depict broadband, utilities, transportation, workforce resources, and recreation. Additionally, custom reports can be created for any location in the state to provide more detailed information including service areas, contacts, and distance to attractions.

In addition to basic website usage data available through Google Analytics (see bottom of post), the locate.utah.gov collects 2 useful sets of information for how this pubic-facing site is put to use.

1.  Heat Maps for locate.utah.gov Map Use since July 2016

In July of 2016, the locate.utah.gov website began to use aerial photography and base maps from AGRC’s ‘discover’ server. This new server logs generalized usage metrics by organization and by web application, allowing for a view of how much map data is being consumed overtime, and more importantly, where in the state usage is focused.

The two heat maps shown at right were generated from use of the locate.utah.gov application.

Map 1 shows map usage where the map is zoomed into at least a community level or finer view scale (1:36000 or closer).

Map 2 shows site-level or finer view scale (1:4000 or closer). One cautionary note, the numbers reported on the map are strictly a relative, not absolute, indicator of use.

Note that depending on the size of the device on which the application is being used (phone, tablet, large monitor), anywhere from 4 to 40+ or so mini map tiles are requested from the discover server by the application.

‘Locate’ Report Generation Density, 2017 Q1

2.  Heat Map for locate.utah.gov Custom Report Generation since January 2017  

Users of locate.utah.gov can click the map to set a ‘Current Location’ pin anywhere in Utah. With a map pin set, a custom summary report can be requested that provides detailed, site-specific information by leveraging all the underlying map layers. While we didn’t plan ahead to log locations for which reports have been requested, we were able to pull this information from our web server logs for the first quarter of 2017. The location of the 453 reports requested are generalized from the specific request locations to a hexagon grid of the state.

While the ensuing site selections and other business decisions that locate.utah.gov facilitates are more important than pure quantity of site use, it will be interesting to have a baseline for comparison, after the exciting version 2.0 is rolled out next month.

Google Analytics Summary Since July 2016