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Using drone imagery to communicate park investments to residents in La Mesa, CA

City of La Mesa

La Mesa, CA

The City of La Mesa redeveloped one of their public parks and was looking for a way to effectively communicate the improvements with various stakeholders. Using panoramic photos taken by aerial drones, the city created a web page showcasing the new improvements so residents could see the project outcome.

Topics Covered

Civic Technology


Initial: 5 Thousand USD


Public Private Partnership

Project Status

Operational since 2022

Gov Champion

Public Works - Engineering

Problem Addressed

The City of La Mesa wanted to effectively communicate improvements to a local park with its residents.

Governments do a lot of work to make their cities better.

Often times these improvements aren't communicated effectively to the public and leave citizens wondering where their tax dollars are being spent. The City of La Mesa wanted to showcase improvements made at Vista La Mesa Park. Instead of a traditional short article posted on the website, an interactive visual tool enabled a viewer 'fly through' the park virtually.

Solutions Used

Using before and after photos of the park taken by a drone, the city created a webpage to showcase the improvements to residents.

The Compass Rose GIS team partnered with the City of La Mesa to capture drone photos, video, and panoramic photos of the Park project before and after construction.

These elements were embedded into a scrolling web page that creates a life-like experience of the park without actually being there. Park improvements included the park's restroom and snack bar facilities and replacement of the aging play equipment; new landscaping, entrance, sidewalk, and picnic areas.

The solution leveraged Esri's ArcGIS Online story map tools, already used by the City, and can be easily shared through the City's public map gallery, embedded on their website, or social media channels. The Compass Rose GIS team completed this 'full-service' project from data collection and processing to web page development and presentation to City staff.



The City has a powerful visual tool to communicate to stakeholders how they are making improvements in the community.


Additional funding can be easier to obtain by showing future donors what's possible with their philanthropy.


Panoramic photos were captured before and after the improvement project of the park to show how it changed. These photos also allow users to take a 'street view' tour of the park.


Greater awareness of how the city is utilizing funds because citizens can view online photos of projects and their scope

Who Should Consider

Any city seeking to improve communication about new or ongoing projects with their citizens.

Last Updated

Jul 26th, 2022
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