SW Site Finder 1st Multijurisdictional GIS Site Location System

SOUTHWEST RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif., Jan. 22, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Finding retail, office and industrial property in Southwest Riverside County just got a lot easier and less costly.

Southwest Riverside County Economic Alliance, a regional business and job attraction group, has introduced SW Site Finder, an Internet-based GIS (geographic information system) that streamlines and simplifies the process of sorting and gathering of data that is critical to commercial real estate brokers, site selectors and companies researching where to relocate their business.

"In terms of technology, this is going to make it very easy," said Stevie Field, manager of business development for the Alliance. "It's very user friendly."

Economic development agencies increasingly are turning to GIS site finders, but this is the first multijurisdictional GIS site location system. It relies on data from Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Temecula and Riverside County and the U.S. Census to give brokers and site locators the quickest and most comprehensive source of information about available property in Southwest Riverside County, a fast-growing region one hour north of San Diego.

"Every one uses different types of data," said Anatalio Ubalde with GIS Planning, the Berkeley-based firm that set up SW Site Finder. "The trick is to make it seamless to the end user, which this project does."

SW Site Finder is centralized, convenient, cost-free and comprehensive. "Its one-stop approach allows brokers, site selectors and corporate executives to go to a single source to find out all they need to know about Southwest Riverside County," said Field.

The service is available to anyone with access to a computer and the Internet. Simply go to http://www.swrco.com and http://www.swsitefinder.com and click on the hyperlink.

In addition to available property and buildings, SW Site Finder also provides valuable information about the surrounding market (e.g. businesses, customers, suppliers and competitors) through its user-tailored searches.

Collecting and collating such information in the past took a lot of time and a lot of running around. It is now available with a simple click of a computer's mouse.

Data in SW Site Finder is based on the 2000 U.S. Census and business license information. It is updated quarterly by Applied Geographic Solutions of Thousand Oaks.

Key to the early success of SW Site Finder has been acceptance from area commercial real estate brokers.

Unlike other commercial property listing services now available to brokers, SW Site Finder is free and GIS based.

"The data base and the input and output are very similar but you don't have to pay for this one," said Mark O'Connor, veteran industrial broker in Southwest Riverside County. "The key to this data base: it is very local."

Brokers who cater to Southwest Riverside County began listing their properties on the Web site in early December. By early January nearly 50 properties were carried on system.

"This is a huge benefit to brokers because they only have to input the data once," said Field. "And this gives them a better idea of what's available."

Southwest Riverside County Economic Alliance is a business and job attraction group that was formed in 1999 and includes the cities of Lake Elsinore, Murrieta and Temecula and Riverside County.

                          SW SITE FINDER FACTS 

 Agency:                 Southwest Riverside County Economic Alliance

 Partners:               Lake Elsinore - Marlene Best (909) 674-3124  
                         Murrieta - Lori Moss (909) 461-6002
                         Temecula  - Jim O'Grady   (909) 506-5100
                         Riverside County - Stevie Field
                           (909) 600-6066

 Formed:                 1999 

 Annual budget:          $300,000  

 Application programmer: GIS Planning Inc. 
                         Berkley, CA.
                         Anatalio Ubalde/Pablo Monyon (510) 872-4960

 Data provider:          Applied Geographic Solutions of
                          Thousand Oaks

1. What is GIS?

GIS, or geographic information system, is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information. Simply put, GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that location. What layers of information you combine depends on your purpose finding the best location for a new store, demographic, wage or employment information.

2. How does it work?

The Site Finder allows visitors to the Web site to search Southwest Riverside County for available property by type (e.g. office, retail, commercial, industrial and vacant land), by size, by parcel number, address or city.

Once a property is located, the user can quickly determine potential customers, businesses and suppliers within a certain radius of the property by simply clicking on tabs marked demographic and business reports.

3. Who can use SW Site Finder?

Any one who has access to a computer and the Internet can use SW Site Finder simply by going to http://www.swrco.com and http://www.swsitefinder.com.

4. Where does the data for the SW Site Finder come from and how often is it updated?

Information comes from data gathered and updated for the 2000 Census and business license data from the three partner cities and the county in the Southwest Riverside County Economic Alliance.


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