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New Map App makes commenting and testifying on land use and zoning changes easier than ever in new mobile-friendly interface

The all new Comprehensive Plan Map App was launched earlier this month with the release of the Recommended Draft, offering Portlanders an improved interface and design.  

The app has been completely overhauled, with a fresh look and feel and new interface that performs just as well on mobile devices as on desktop. Portlanders can now submit comments on the Comprehensive Plan’s land use designations, Citywide Systems Plan, Transportation System Plan, as well as Mixed Use Zones and Employment Zoning projects. More project maps, including the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update Project, will come online later this fall.

More accessible, visual content

Users familiar with the original Map App will notice the new version is more visually appealing than its predecessor. A newly designed user interface presents information on land use and zoning proposals in a quick and succinct manner. Visit the Mixed Use Zones Project map, for instance, click or tap on a proposal, and take a look at how the proposed zones are described. You’ll see new visuals and images that summarize zones to make understanding proposed changes easier. Major improvements have also been made to performance, especially on smartphones and tablets, so users can view and comment on proposals from anywhere.

Better commenting experience

The ability to add and view comments and testimony is now in a single place, which is especially nice for mobile users. The comment form offers a lot more information about what kind of feedback you are providing and where it will go. And email confirmations with details about the proposal, what's next, what we will do with your comments or testimony, and what to do if you have questions, are sent to every person who comments or testifies on the Map App.

Behind the scenes with the back end of the Map App

Like the first versions of the Map App, the newest version was created entirely in house. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Technical Services team used a custom database along with Esri’s ArcGIS platform, ArcGIS JavaScript API, Maxbox Studio, Dojo Toolkit and Dojo Bootstrap. In the brief period of time since it was launched, the app has received 18,500 page views.

Says Tech Services Manager Kevin Martin, “The Map App is just one product of a very complex project, but it’s helped us improve our communication and outreach with the public. This version, more than the two previous ones, was less about building a web app and more about creating information and visuals that help Portlanders understand sometimes confusing planning ideas across several platforms.”

If you would like to learn more about how the Map App was developed or report a bug in the app, please send an email to and someone from the web development team will get back to you. Otherwise, enjoy the user experience!