Extension News

Visualize What a Community Can Be

people looking at maps


This article is from the ISU Extension 2005 Annual Report.


Making decisions with confidence is what Fort Madison hopes to do with assistance from ISU Extension and state-of-the-art GIS-based software called CommunityViz. The Fort Madison Downtown Visualization project consortium expects to rally the community around economic development planning by using a special visualization model of the community.


ISU Extension staff took photos, gathered information and created a photo-realistic three-dimensional model of downtown Fort Madison.


“We can manipulate the model to illustrate how the relocation or closing of even one business can have an effect on sales tax revenue, traffic patterns and other useful information,” said Jim Noll, Fort Madison Economic Development president. “This is a helpful tool any time, but even more so as we address issues related to our highway by-pass construction.”


Noll believes that generating community support for economic development plans will be easier when citizens have the opportunity to visualize the changes and understand the benefits of such decisions on multiple levels.


See ISU Extension’s 2005 Annual Report for more examples of how ISU Extension is advancing Iowa’s economic vitality and improving quality of life.



Contacts :

Laura Sternweis, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu