KY State Parks GIS Mapping Site Is Setting Records
In late 2004, the Commonwealth Office of Technology's Division of Geographic Information created a custom Internet mapping site to showcase Kentucky’s outstanding state parks system. The site went online in early 2005 and was published to the growing KYGEONET GIS mapping system. A review of usage statistics through mid-2005 indicated that few people had found or were using the site. After a few simple changes, however, the use of the new maps has increased dramatically and the Kentucky State Parks GIS mapping site is breaking records.
The Department of Parks is very pleased with the increased traffic to their Web site. “It’s still a little early to know for sure whether we’ve received more reservations because of this amazing new feature," said deputy commissioner, John Kington. "But common sense tells me that you’re bound to conduct more business when you drive more people to your site. There’s also no question that we’ve already benefited from the positive buzz this tool is generating.”
The dramatic increase in Web site usage was accomplished with just a few simple, but strategic, changes. In late summer, a link to the new state parks mapping site was added to Kentucky.gov's list of Web sites offering geographic services. During late September a link was placed on the Kentucky State Parks home page, and in early October links were also added to each state park’s individual Web page. The new links allowed users to zoom directly to a map of each park within the Kentucky State Parks mapping site. The result of placing these links on the individual state park Web pages was nothing short of amazing.
During previous months, the site had generated only 50,000–150,000 hits per month from fewer than 1,000 unique visitors. In October 2005, however, the number of hits soared to almost 1.2 million from over 6,200 unique visitors. This monthly volume represents the highest number of hits and unique visitors to an individual Internet mapping site in the commonwealth’s history! The large number of hits to the state parks site also had the effect of pushing the total number of KYGEONET hits to over 3.97 million for the month of October, also a new record.
See what all the excitement is about and explore the “Nation’s Finest” state parks at http://kygeonet.ky.gov/kyparks/viewer.htm.
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