Indiana launches GIS-based application

Indiana Economic Development Corporation

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To attract new business to the state, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has implemented a Web-based mapping application that can search through a database of available properties and buildings statewide.

State officials said the new application, which is available via the agency’s Web site, will accelerate and simplify site selection for expanding and relocating businesses.

“The site and building database provides immediate access to critical business development information needed to facilitate economic growth in Indiana,” said Mickey Maurer, the state’s incoming commerce secretary and IEDC chief executive, in a press release.

“Geographic information systems are playing an increasingly integral role in the world of economic development and corporate real estate, and this tool will answer the main questions that businesses have when they are involved in the site selection process,” he added. The application was launched yesterday.

Two state utilities – the Northern Indiana Public Service Company and Cinergy/PSI – are currently supplying the property data, but local economic developers will soon be able to contribute to the database as well, according to the release. The database contains information on industrial and large commercial sites and buildings.

Users can search for buildings or land, and query whether a property is for lease or sale, specify dimensions and square footage, and whether the property has railroad access. Once a selection is made, the user will view a map with icons representing matches. The user can then click an icon and get general information about that property or building and possibly a photograph of the site.

The agency, which was formed a year ago replacing the former state commerce department, is partnering with the Indiana Economic Development Association and the Indiana Business Research Center, which is providing the technical, data and administrative support.

According to the agency’s press release, Indiana is the fourth state in the nation that uses GIS technology for statewide site and building searches.

State officials will hold training sessions for local economic development organizations during the next month so they can learn to use the database to input and update property data.

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