We recently posted the “beta” version of an interactive map of downtown Northfield on the NDDC website. We’d been working on it for several months and finally decided it was time to push it out of the nest.
Years ago (I think it was shortly after John North headed off to Riverside, California), then-NDDC board member Dan Bergeson and I were troubled by the lack of a simple map of downtown. Our response was the creation (with the talented Mr. Bohnhoff) of the ever-popular, annually updated Downtown Directory.
Of course, time and technology move on. A year or so ago, we began looking into the creation of an electronic, interactive, map of downtown. At first, it looked like it wasn’t going to be easy or cheap.
Then, for the second time in three years, I attended the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Conference in Chicago. There I learned about the CommunityWalk tool for creating interactive maps.
At first, a few of our stakeholders had some concerns about it. However, as more Main Street communities adopted it (and perhaps because it was free), we decided to go with the CommunityWalk tool.
We took it slowly at first (with most of the work performed by the talented Miss Athena), seeking feedback from the board, and had to get some professional help (from the talented Mr. Wigley) to get it embedded on our website. But now it’s up and working.