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Utah high-tech sites mapped

Map also details the recreational activities in state

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Can't find Infopia or Altiris on your current Utah map?

Although those are the names of companies instead of towns, the state is coming to the rescue of folks looking for those and other high-tech businesses in Utah.

On Wednesday, Gov. Mike Leavitt introduced a fold-out map showing "Utah's technology and recreation landscapes."

Part of a campaign to show Utah as a technology center with abounding lifestyle and quality-of-life activities, the 20.5-by-31.5-inch map is designed to mimic specific information found in skiing, scenery, trail and fishing maps.

"What we don't have or have not had up to this point is the capacity when a person comes to Utah and wants to invest, is to know what and who we are," Leavitt told a meeting of the Utah Information Technology Association.

One side of the map provides sites of major technology companies and a history of tech events in the state. One might know that Utah-born Philo Farnsworth invented the television, but how about Utah being the site of the world's first commercial digital recording, in 1976?

Sprinkled on that side are statistics about Utah's work force, the cost of doing business compared with other high-tech centers, monthly electricity rates and education levels of the state's populace.

The reverse side details the state's recreation opportunities, including information about skiing, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, nine microbreweries, 101 golf courses and seven professional sports teams.

Jeff Bagley, creative director and partner with Euro RSCG DSW Partners, which created the map, said 67 businesses are represented on the map, which he likened to those inserted in National Geographic.

The full-color map will be distributed during business-hosting activities at the Devereaux Mansion during the Olympic Winter Games and at receptions along the Olympic torch relay route, inserted in the February issue of "Digital IQ" magazine and mailed directly to key business leaders in the state, he said.

"It forms this area of connection between our recreation-minded, high quality of life and our remarkable level of technological savvy that we have in this state and the successes that we have enjoyed," Leavitt said.

The state later will follow up with individual maps for "economic ecosystems," industries in which the state has had a leading role. They include biotechnology, digital media, medical devices and Web services, and Leavitt said companies will be born when those industries overlap.

The maps also include the "Utah message," consisting of five points state officials want everyone to be able to recite when talking about the state. They include a growing work force, a population that is education-minded and tech-savvy, affordability and a recreation-minded and livable place.

The map and the "Utah message" join a new all-encompassing state mark and advertising that reinforces the state message as ways the state is trying to brand itself in the high-tech industry.

Rod Linton, director of the Utah Technology Alliance, said that branding approach has been needed to correct misconceptions or provide basic information about the state.

"For many people, Utah was a blank page," Linton said. "But we're also interested in the substance that underlies that branding. . . . Our approach has been that you can't brag about something you're not doing."

"People do not understand the depth of our technology community," Leavitt said. "People are not totally aware of the level of innovation, the long history of ideas that have greatly changed the world, that have come from Utah.

"While we have a rich history of innovation, let's be honest abou it. While the number of jobs that have been created are in the tens of millions out of Utah technologies, too few of them have been created here."

Leavitt noted that the opportunity to pitch the state during the Olympics is a "remarkable" one. But he also has ideas for the period following the Games, which he will spell out in his State of the State address Jan. 28.

"I will tell you today that what that message is being devoted to is the development of the outlining of a 1,000-day plan to put Utah in the place of a top-tier technology capital," he said.

"It's something we've all been working on, we're making progress on, but this will formalize the next 1,000 days to build on the Olympic experience."


E-mail: bwallace@desnews.com