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Peel Region Services Map

Back in 2011, Media on Mars designed and developed a website using a content management system (CMS) for longstanding client Peel Regional Development Authority (RDA Peel).

The Regional Development Authority is an Australian Government initiative that is designed to enhance the economic growth and development in Australia’s regional areas. The RDA Peel website informs about initiatives, projects and resources that can benefit the community. From talking to the people that use RDA Peel, they saw an opportunity to provide an online service that previously hadn’t existed for the people living in this area. According to Google Places, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online, however in the Peel region only a minority of businesses and organisations have an online presence, many people were unaware of what services were available to them. The idea was to create a database of all the community services that are available in the Peel region – a geographical area that spans 6,648 km².

The RDA Peel returned to Media on Mars to request the additional functionality for their website. Over several months of planning and design we created the Service Locator Map.

Exploration

The planning process started with asking questions, keeping in mind the wants and needs of the key parties involved.

The end user – What information are they looking for? How will they easily find this information?

The businesses – How can they connect with their audience beyond a phone number listing?

The client (RDA Peel) – How can we ensure it is easy to manage and update this huge database of information?

The next stage was working with the client, the Media on Mars project manager and our in-house web developer to provide a solution that would do all of the above.

Illuminate

Through several weeks of brainstorming and research we mapped the functionality of the services locator, looking at the user journey and integration into their existing CMS.

Soon realising that there was no existing software component that would achieve these results, we custom built a plug-in for their CMS. The result is a searchable database of business and community services. Each organisation appears on a map that has been embedded into the RDA Peel website with business information, such as contact details and a link to their website. They have the ability to create unlimited business listings with fields for all the required information. The map also features additional functionality in the form of social media share buttons on the business information single page (i.e. share this page via facebook, share via twitter, ‘like’ the organisations own facebook page), plus a logo on the business information single pages. There is a field to request feedback from the public to ensure that data remains current and relevant.

The team at RDA Peel were trained by the Mars team on how to manage the map markers in-house through their Content Management System. Editing privileges are through the CMS and not open to the public.

The Stars Align

RDA Peel will soon be providing this essential resource which previously didn’t exist for the Peel population. (Due to launch in the coming weeks).

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