Tool Helps Chicago Businesses Find Space

October 17, 2011

There’s a new online mapping tool that links local businesses with available commercial Chicago real estate.

It’s called Site Selector. It uses information from the City of Chicago’s data portal and pairs it with commercial Chicago real estate listings that will fit a prospective company’s needs.

The program, developed by World Business Chicago, allows users to toggle layers of data on and off, including such information as:

*Available office real estate

*Industrial corridors

*City-owned non-residential land

*Colleges and universities

*Closest public transportation

*Bike routes

*Local schools

*Nearby arts and entertainment

Site Selector also maps out incentive programs in which a company could participate.

“We built this tool as a preliminary reference point for businesses looking to make location decisions within the city of Chicago,” said Rita Athas, President of World Business Chicago. “Site Selector puts many of the resources that companies are looking for on the map, so users can easily visualize and put into perspective some of the best locations that are available in the city for their particular business needs.”

The mapping tool gets its commercial real estate listings from Rofo.com, a web-based company that provides listings in nearly 4,300 cities, and anticipates “future partnerships” for an even greater real estate inventory.

Site Selector was one of the submission in the city’s Apps for Metro Chicago contest, but it did not place. That doesn’t seem to bother city officials.

“World Business Chicago’s Site Selector is precisely the kind of tool that makes open data actionable and useful,” said John Tolva, the City of Chicago’s Chief Technology Officer. “Businesses looking at prospective sites can quickly and intuitively add context to a map of Chicago, simply by toggling layers of data on and off.

“It’s data visualization done right.”

Want to check it out? Visit worldbusinesschicago.com/site-selector.

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