Every city, county and state is all about geography and maps. Maps are the way we deploy resources (think “snowplows”). Maps are the way we understand what’s happening in our jurisdiction. Everyone who has lived and traveled inside a city can look on a map and instantly visualize locations – what the “West Seattle bridge” or any other street, infrastructure or geographical feature (think “hill”) looks like.
For this storm, we have some great mapping tools in place, especially a map which showed which streets had been recently plowed and de-iced. This map used GPS technology attached to the snowplow trucks. That same map had links to over 162 real-time traffic cameras so people could see the street conditions and traffic. (Other cities, like Chicago, have similar maps.)