Resources and Tools
By Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) has just launched the newest tool in our Snapshot Maryland series of interactive dashboards, designed to assist planners and local governments in transportation planning. The Transportation Planning Dashboard is an interactive web map that provides users with socio-economic, demographic, employment, commuting information, and other transportation-related data. The Transportation Planning Dashboard is one of many dashboards planned under the Snapshot Maryland initiative.
This dashboard fulfills a need in Maryland for a user-friendly tool that jurisdictions can use to prepare the transportation elements of their local comprehensive plans. With this new mapping tool, users can examine and manipulate information, which is organized around U.S. Census geographies such as counties, designated places, incorporated places, census tracts, and traffic analysis zones.
“The dashboard is an outgrowth of two existing products: the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration’s (MDOT SHA) County Transportation Profile Maps (2019) and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Data Book (2018-2019). It is also intended to be a one-stop shop for regional planners and traffic engineers and goes hand-in-hand with our Transportation Element Checklist,” said Scott Hansen, Planner Supervisor, and developer of the dashboard. The checklist is a resource developed by Planning and MDOT for jurisdictions in the early stages of transportation planning.
What are Snapshot Maryland Dashboards?
Snapshot Maryland Dashboards are a series of geospatial interactive mapping tools produced by the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) that integrate geospatial and tabular data from a variety of state and local sources to address the operational and long-term planning concerns of state agencies and local governments.
The dashboards initially focused on integrating Census, land use and transportation data, but then broadened its analytic tools to include housing information. Planning continues to work with state agency partners and local governments to develop dashboards and interactive mapping tools to meet their needs.
Snapshot Maryland Dashboards set a new standard of consistency with a focus on the end-user for all of Planning’s dashboards and interactive maps. The goal is to develop easy-to-use, highly functional, relevant, and responsive geospatial planning resources to help users make better informed planning decisions for their communities.
The dashboards’ portfolio of geospatial applications initially include the Transportation Planning Dashboard, the Transit Station Area Profile Tool, and the Predicted Low Response Areas for Census 2020 in Maryland Dashboard. Future efforts anticipate links to existing dashboards and the development of new content.
Figs 2-4 – Screenshots showing the Snapshot Maryland Transportation Dashboard at different geospatial levels.
Snapshot Maryland Dashboards:
- Provide a consistent user experience across Planning’s suite of geospatial content Leverage the Census’ Application Programming Interface (API) data development process to reduce staff time spent on application maintenance
- Strengthen connections between disparate geospatial content across the department
- Leverage the Census’ Application Programming Interface (API) data development process to reduce staff time spent on application maintenance
Snapshot Maryland Dashboards also serve to rebrand our geospatial planning resources. New products may contain some of the following data and development elements:
- Statement of purpose: The objective of the geospatial data set(s)
- Maintenance information: When and who updated the data set(s)
- Content relationship: How information is connected with issue(s) and other planning related data and resources, within and outside Planning
- Interoperable: Geospatial planning resources with full functionality in the desktop and mobile environments
- Responsive Design: Strive to meet the needs of visual and hearing-impaired users
Please try out the transportation Planning Dashboard today and take our survey to provide feedback on how we can improve this resource to better assist local governments. We look forward to hearing from you!
For more information about the Transportation Planning or other Snapshot Maryland dashboards, please contact Scott Hansen, Planner supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.