The city of Huntsville added Web mapping functionality to its Web site. The new feature, called Interactive Maps, is now online and gives citizens, businesses and Internet users immediate access to location-specific information about the city.

Previously, access to the city's geographic data was available only by request and involved the person making the request making a trip to city offices and paying a reproduction fee. Not only does the new system save time and money for citizens and businesses, but also it streamlines the workload of city personnel by making information available online. This also allows city departments who depend on mapping data for their jobs to always access the latest, most accurate information.

"We are already getting 250 to 300 map queries per day. We expect this to steadily increase as more of the community finds they have easy access to the useful data" Tim Barnes, GIS manager for Huntsville's Urban Planning Division GIS Department, said.

The system integrates geographic data in various formats from 24 databases developed and maintained by the city's GIS Planning Division and provides easy and quick access to 1200 users within 27 city departments as well as an unlimited number of Internet users. Users can locate, retrieve and display geographic information by simply entering an address. Data layers, such as orthophotos, zoning, city limits, flood maps, council districts, voting districts and recreation leagues, can be overlaid on the display and used to create a customized map of any specific area within the city.