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  • Sophia Zheng

Interactive Map Overlays to Show Your City's Outdoor Dining, Curbside Pickup, and more | Bludot Open

One of the things I have loved the most since communities started to reopen is the many downtown streets transformed into pop-up outdoor dining areas. I have greatly enjoyed the much more open spaces with all the tables and chairs, leafy dividers, and colorful sun umbrellas. I don't think I am the only one that would love for these outdoor areas to stay even after the pandemic passes.

These street closures and outdoor dining areas, among others, is a key part of many cities' Economic Development initiative during reopening. And cities needed an easy and accessible way to communicate these initiatives to the public. Adding interactive map overlays to the city's Bludot Open site, the site where people are already visiting to check out the city's list of local businesses, became the obvious choice.

Bludot Open was always built with a map component. It uses the google map interface that people are already familiar with and is fully mobile friendly. With the map, people can zoom and in and out and click on the pins to check out different businesses in the city. With the filters, they can also narrow down the search by category, area, open hours, or services they provide. Now, with the map overlay editor, cities can add and customize any street closures, outdoor dining areas, curbside pickup zones, or other location-based initiatives, so people know exactly where to park if they want to pick up an order, or where to dine if they want a summer night out.

To add a new overlay zone, it is as simple as entering the name and description, pick a color, and draw the polygon directly on the map. You can even set custom schedules with start date, end date, or repeat "every Friday 5pm to Sunday 11pm". Creating an overlay takes no more than a couple minutes and it'll be available for everyone in your city to view.

This can be easily expanded to include even other layers such as construction zones, temporary road projects, etc. The user friendly interface makes it easier for both the city to update and for the residents to access useful information. If your city could benefit from this platform, let's talk.

Check out the videos of how cities' Economic Development teams have been using the Bludot platform in their communities.

Lastly, some cities were also able to leverage the Bludot App (admin-facing, Business Relationship Management tool) during the design phase of these initiatives. The Bludot admin site allows the city to visualize businesses' locations and their feedback and preferences in a map which would then inform, along with other factors, what's the optimal way to arrange the street closures, pickup zones, etc. To learn more about Bludot App for Economic Development and Business Retention & Expansion, click here.


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