PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) The Matanuska Susitna Borough has introduced an interactive map that keeps track of what businesses, borough facilities, and nonprofits are open, closed, or modifying their operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“It is a map that was originally designed to just show open and closed borough facilities,” said Mat-Su Borough Web Architect Jack Horner.
But Horner soon realized that it could be used to distribute information about businesses too. Specifically it can show what restaurants are offering other services following Governor Dunleay’s mandate that all restaurants stop dine-in services.
“It actually is going to break down, are you offering curbside pick up, are you offering take-out, are you offering delivery?” Said Mat-Su Borough GIS Specialist Kenny Kleewein.
But it doesn’t track this information automatically. The borough is asking businesses to submit their own information through their eCommerce website.
“Hopefully we get more traction, get more businesses to kind of let us know what they’re doing, let us know if they’re open for business, and we can kind of grow that offering and make it easier for the public,” Kleewein said.
Horner also mentioned the borough’s GIS provider, Esri, is looking at the potential to create a standardized version of the map that could be applied to other communites.
“Especially if this goes for a long time, this might be something that would be useful to expand to a state level or further,” he said.
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