A Regional 14 county Non-motorized Plan and Map needed public input to highlight and plan for all possible local, regional, and inter-regional connections of all purpose trails and historic trails. This was a very successful event with a lot of input and good attendance.
For this event, ArcGIS was run on a computer and projected onto a screen in the room. Everyone present was excited about being able to see it. We had all different layers available and could switch them on and off. Because those in attendance did not know how to operate GIS software, our GIS expert did the task as per the request. We turned layers on and off for different things, zoomed in and out for specific locations. We had maps and layers from all over Michigan and detailed data for our region down to shipwrecks, bike shops, trailheads, other connecting regional trails. With this method, people could see the regional and inter-regional connections. Some research was also possible using this tool, as we could zoom in to see actual condition of the easements or future easements.
Then, based on the analysis done at the meeting and the resulting discussion, suggested routes were hand-drawn on paper maps with markers and post-its were attached for future reference and understanding. We had several copies. We did 4 maps within the 13 county region, so we had portion and full regional maps. Those markings were then converted into a layer by our GIS expert as the proposed trail network.