JEFFERSON-Ashe County debuted new web apps this week designed to make just about everything you’d want to know easier to find.
If you’re looking for the location of Ashe County’s numerous barn quilts – and the routes you’ll need to take to find them – the apps can do that. Looking to find out the exact boundaries of Jefferson, West Jefferson and Lansing with just a glance at your phone? The apps can tell you that.
And if you’re looking to dig deep and figure out exactly where sewer and water mains and commercial electric hookups are located – important information for a business owner looking to relocate – the apps can tell you that, too.
That’s according to Cathy Barr, Ashe County’s Economic Development Director, who said the apps went live Oct. 12. Here’s what you need to know.
Three separate tools
The new tools include an art, cultural and recreational application – it shows everything from art galleries to the location of public trout waters – a a civic app that shows things like solid waste facilities and elementary school districts and an environmental and infrastructure app that shows everything from flood zones to the exact layout of water mains and electrical hookups.
They’re easy to find and use
The Web apps can be accessed by simply going to www.ashecountygov.com and clicking on the GIS/Apps icon. You can access them on any internet connected device, including cellular data connected smartphones and tablets.
And that’s the point
That’s according to Barr, who said the apps were built with ease of use in mind. “Anybody looking to relocate here, or even just tourists who are looking to drop in and check things out, can find all this information by Googling individual things,” Barr said. “But this brings everything – land parcels, scenic byways, trout streams and infrastructure issues – all in one place.”
It’s also the first app of its kind in the area
Barr said the county partnered with High Country Council of Governments to build the apps. “The HCCOG has developed similar local government apps for the towns of North Wilkesboro and Wilkesboro. However, this project was the first of its kind in the region due to the geographic scope. These apps are a “one-stop shop” for data pertaining to the County and the jurisdictions of Lansing, Jefferson, and West Jefferson.”
High Country COG suggested the project
Barr said the map builders with High Country Council of Governments helped Ashe County build an industrial map that showed the kinds of property corporate site selectors might find attractive. “That map included things like terrain, tracts of land, power and sewer considerations,” Barr said. “In the course of doing that, they said they’d built a web application for the towns of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro that had the same kinds of data on it. It was a much smaller scale in those instances, but they offered to build a full scale application for us and we jumped on it.”
That’s how much the three projects combined cost the county, Barr said. “These products were very customized for the citizens, businesses and visitors of Ashe County,” Barr said. “The High Country Council of Government’s price varies depending upon the number of applications, variables and the labor intensive nature of gathering and analyzing the data.”
It’s one more way to sell Ashe County
Barr called the apps an easy-to-use tool in selling Ashe County to outsiders and prospective home buyers. “You don’t even have to be here to get a quick snapshot of everything we have to offer,” Barr said. “And that’s so valuable for me. With this somebody can literally pull up one of these apps and locate where the parcel is, along with deed information. And the fact that this is literally the first of its kind on the mountain.”
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058 or Twitter.com/AdamROrr.