Friday, June 25, 2010

Progress on GIS Project

Previously I've written about our desire to create a map-based graphical index for our subdivisions plans. The existing method of indexing subdivision plans captures the name of the property owner and any streets depicted on the plan, but this method has some serious limitations. For instance, owners change so you can never be sure what name to search for. And some streets are very long, with hundreds of plans depicting property along their routes. The only reliable way to locate a plan is by finding a Plan Book and Plan Number reference in the description section of another document. Absent that, finding a relevant plan becomes a very difficult task.

Our new project hopes to make that task much easier. We have just developed a process that will allow us to show each recorded subdivision plan in its precise location on a larger map of the area. By looking at this larger map and finding the approximate location of the parcel of interest, you will be able to see whether that place on the ground is included on any recorded subdivision plans. By clicking on the "box" used to depict that plan on the larger map, a pop-up box will occur with that plan's book and page number, allowing you to find it in our records. Eventually, we will establish hyperlinks to the actual subdivision plans so that they will pop-up as well.

It will be many months before this new tool is available to the public. First, we have to create this layer of "plan boxes" for all 30,000 subdivision plans currently recorded. We have just received delivery of a custom-made software tool that will allow registry employees to do this. In the coming year, budget permitting, we will begin working on a web-based viewer that will provide this information to the public on our website. Check back on this blog for further reports on the progress of this initiative.

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