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Land Professionals: Getting All the Maps You Need to Do Your Job

August 30, 2018  //  BY Team DataTree

For land professionals, access to parcel data is an essential aspect of the job. Detailed information from assessor maps, grid, parcel maps, plat maps, road maps, subdivision maps, town site maps and tract maps is a must. Determining what parcel data is required to complete the report is one thing; actually accessing the needed information is another matter. The process of obtaining needed parcel data is often time consuming and difficult. Ready access to interactive and image viewing enabling services to map-based data translates into convenience that greatly facilitates the work of assessors, land surveyors, public utility workers and other land professionals.

Reassessing Obtaining Assessor Maps 

Assessors determine the fair market value for various properties. For assessors, compiling a land data property report involves consolidating parcel numbers, parcel and lot boundaries, adjoining parcels, acreage and recorded dimensions, street widths and other recorded map information. For instance, imagine that Box County is considering issuing a bond to finance a new elementary school building. Since many school districts are based on property tax assessments, access to assessor maps is essential in determining the projected bond value. 

Lining up Grid Maps

Grid maps include political boundaries and aerial imagery of important features such as hospitals or schools. Ensuring accurate boundaries is essential for land surveyors involved in projects such as road construction and utility installation. For instance, if Box County was considering installing county-wide free Wi-Fi service, access to accurate grid maps could help determine the optimal placement of receptor towers to obtain maximum coverage for residents within the county limits.

Zoning and Parcel Maps

Parcel maps are created using deeds, surveys and other information commonly found in the town clerk’s office. Compiling parcel maps involves consolidating visual, numerical and narrative data. Parcel maps determine current zoning and land usage as well as neighborhood designations, flood plain locations and similar land-based applications. For example, parcel maps for locations within Box County could be used to determine a proposed shopping mall location would encounter zoning or other challenges. 

Proper Proportions and Plat Maps

Plat maps are scale drawings of predefined parcels of land. The parcel in question is divided into plats, or lots that are drawn to scale relative to their actual sizes. Plat maps are commonly used for residential areas, to illustrate the boundaries for each individual house or apartment building lot, as well as the orientation of the plat (north, south, east or west) and the size of the lot in comparison with other lots within the parcel. A surveyor in Box County could use a plat map to double-check the accuracy of his or her measurements of a particular lot within the designated parcel.

Accurate Directions for Road Maps

Anyone who has driven a car probably has some familiarity with road maps. However, road maps are deceptively simple representations of large amounts of data. A good road map manages to flatten three dimensional data into a two-dimensional drawing that includes roads, buildings, geological features such as mountains and lakes and political boundaries all represented in a way that allows travelers to get from point A to point B. Accurate road map information would be essential for a Box County surveyor working on a road resurfacing project.

Neighborhoods and Subdivision Maps

Just as plat maps designate individual lots, subdivision maps represent neighborhoods and developments. A subdivision map illustrates physical features such as street locations, utility towers and other features within a designated area. Public utility workers within Box County would use subdivision maps to locate underground wiring and plumbing in making needed repairs after a power outage or a pipe burst that resulted in flooding.

City and Town Site Maps

City and town site maps provide a visual representation of the boundaries of a city. Town site maps often include political boundaries of neighborhoods, subdivisions and other features. For instance, a town site of Box County would designate the boundaries between towns located within the county, such as Curtain Falls and Green Hills. An individual town site map of Curtain Falls would provide a 2-D representation of the boundaries of the entire town, with topical features such as roadways and rivers and physical boundaries designating individual neighborhoods or subdivision. 

Getting an Accurate Count on Tract Maps

Census tracts are officially established by the U.S. Department of the Census for analyzing populations within a small, designated area. Census tract data includes household size, residential, commercial and industrial zone designations, average income and similar information. Census tracts are roughly the size of neighborhoods in a city or town. However, the boundaries of a census tract do not necessarily conform to the boundaries of a neighborhood. Assessors within Box County would likely consult relevant tract maps in compiling their own assessor maps and reports. 

DataTree, Your Partner in Land Services Data

Obtaining the various maps and related data required for property assessors, public utility workers, surveyors and other land professionals is often time consuming and tedious. DataTree consolidates land maps and other relevant data into customized reports. With DataTree, land professionals spend less time searching and more time analyzing maps, title data, surveyor’s reports and other property related documents. Whether searches involve individual property plots or entire neighborhoods, DataTree allows land professionals to work more efficiently without sacrificing accuracy. Check out our website or give us a call for more information. 


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