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New Interactive Map Shows County Development

by Katie Pyzyk — April 5, 2012 at 10:45 am 7,100 26 Comments

It seems like development projects are always popping up somewhere in Arlington. A new online map highlights all that development, and gives data about each project.

The county’s Planning Research and Analysis Team recently released a report summarizing residential and commercial development activity for the 2011 calendar year. Along with the report, the research team set up an interactive Development Tracking Map to show the locations of projects under construction, completed, demolished or approved by the County Board. Additional information accompanies each entry — some of which date back more than 50 years — and pictures are available for certain locations.

At the end of last year, most of Arlington’s ongoing commercial construction was located along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. In fact, according to the report, 90 percent occurred just in Ballston. In regards to ongoing construction of apartment and condo buildings, 43 percent was located in Rosslyn, and 33 percent could be found outside the Metro corridors.

The report shows that the County Board approved three site plans in 2011 for residential and commercial use — Virginia Square Towers, Wakefield Manor in Courthouse and Boeing in Crystal City. That makes 2010 and 2011 the years with the least number of approved projects since 2000.

A positive sign is the number of residential construction starts, with a net gain over 2010 of 975 units. The report notes this stops a trend that began in 2008, of net losses occurring in year-over-year construction starts.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    Now if they would only put links to maps in the County Board and Planning Commission agenda’s.

  • LyonVil_Watcher

    How much did they spend contracting this out?

    • South Awwwlington

      The County has pretty robust GIS Team. I doubt this was contracted out.

      • http://gis.arlingtonva.us Arlgis

        Correct, we did it ourselves in house. We’ve been using some new interactive tools for internal use and were hoping to bring more to the public side now.

        • South Awwwlington

          Nice job! If I might suggest, it might be easier to read if new development vs old development could be shown, perhaps color-coded…??

          At any rate, very cool!

        • SomeGuy

          Arlgis, can you point us to the underlying structured data? E.g. in CSV, etc?

          • http://gis.arlingtonva.us Arlgis

            @SomeGuy: The underlying data resides in a SQL Server database that we tap into in the IT department. We just create and maintain the geography in our GIS. This is true of almost all of our GIS data. Check with the planning team listed in the article for the underlying tabular data. They might have it available in another format.

            @SA: I’ll check with the planners to see if they want it broken out that way. I agree it might make it easier to read… though it will create more categories and they wanted to keep the map as simple as possible.

          • http://www.cloudtrigger.com mdetroia

            We are doing some very cool projects creating public facing websites with the Esri Javascript API – The really interesting component of what we are doing is that we use Salesforce.com as the underlying database which gives us the ability to keep our maps up to date that are dynamically changing as information is manipulated in the database.

  • Joey

    are the stars suppose to represent traffic jams?

    • jackson

      Green stars are gas leaks.

      (Brown stars are sewage spills.)

    • nom de guerre

      I thought the stars represented indecent exposures and/or public masturbation.

      • Joey

        oh wait I think there is one for each pothole

    • Another Dude

      Green stars represent each lie a Board member tells and gets away with.

      • ACDC

        “Green stars represent each lie a Board member tells and gets away with”

        I thought that they got gold stars for those…..

        • Mr. Brown

          They get to go be a State Representative.

  • drax

    Was interesting to see a demolition mark on the Safeway on Wilson/George Mason. Then I figured out it was for that old restaurant in the parking lot.

    • http://nationleprechaun.com/ jinushaun

      That Safeway needs some serious love. So bad… We live within walking distance and prefer Harris Teeter and Giant instead. Back in Seattle, Safeway was more comparable to Harris Teeter in terms of quality and selection. In fact, many Seattle Safeways moved up-market to better compete with Whole Foods.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Jinushuan, that Safeway is pretty awful and I use it only when I need a few basic items quickly. I also live within walking distance of it, but usually go to Harris Teeter or Giant. The Safeway over in Wilston (near 7 Corners) is very good, and the one in McLean on Anderson Rd. is handy for me since I work near Tysons. In my opinion, the Lee-Harrison Safeway is better than the one on Wilson & Edison, but not as good as Wilston or Anderson Rd.

  • TGEoA

    What use is this map? Other than to give people jobs.

    • http://gis.arlingtonva.us Arlgis

      Actually the map and data see a lot of use. We used to receive a lot of calls asking about this or that new building, or what was there before, etc. This map and a lot of other maps have cut down on the number of calls and emails requesting this simple information so actually it’s saved a lot of our time to work on other requests projects.

      This map data has actually been available for years publicly via our other primary interactive web maps that we’ve had for about twelve years now but those tools are not as easy to use.

      • SomeGuy

        I don’t question the utility of this. But considering that you just said the “map and data see a lot of use,” it seems like the county should put the data online in a more raw form (e.g. CSV) so citizens can use it how they wish.

        Arlgis, I appreciate the response you gave me above, and I hope you’ll pass along the suggestion that the county should strive to liberate the these kinds of data (in addition to presenting it as they do) without requiring a special request

  • nunya

    i just pulled up the newly released 1940s census data for Arlington.

    and guess what the first image referenced……

    • WeiQiang

      a streetcar

      • ACME

        Donaldson Ron

        • OldTimer

          Brown flip-flops

  • Bob griffin

    This is a great tool! Hopefully we will see more interactive maps like this!
    Keep up the good work cphd and gis department! Kudos!

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