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Creative Map Solutions- News and Blog

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Nobody Knows What Lies Beneath New York City

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JLL Income Property Trust Acquires Grocery-Anchored Retail Center in Las Vegas

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Integrating Legacy Datasets and Data Sources to Solve Business Problems

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Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority wins Esri award

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GIS will have new software

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Geographic Information System will be taking a step up toward increased efficiency with some new software.

During Wednesday’s meeting the Belmont County Board of Commissioners entered into a contract with Bruce Harris & Associates for Parcel Fabric conversion services for the GIS department at a cost of $35,913. Parcel Fabric is software that stores a continuous surface of connected parcels for the purpose of mapping.

Belmont County GIS Director Don Pickenpaugh spoke about the changes the new software would bring.

“The software is manufactured by Esri (a special analysis software company) and has come a long way in the last couple of years,” he said, adding that the department will take its existing data in AutoCAD and convert it into Esri parcel fabric software.

“We need a consultant to make that conversion from what we have now to what we will use. Once that conversion is complete, we’ll maintain the parcel data in the GIS office,” he said. “We’re set to tentatively start Aug. 9, and there’ll be a two-month window for the conversion to happen, so we should have it deliverable in October.”

He added that the price includes the consultant and one week of training for the county GIS staff.

“We’ll be eliminating some older software,” he said. “This software will also integrate parcel transfer history, survey plat maps and field survey dimensions. It will include a routine to convert parcel data into data usable by this software.”

Pickenpaugh noted the county auditor has data for assessment purposes.

“What we glean for his data are parcel addresses for the owner address, a use code on how the land is used, and a rough evaluation figure,” he said, adding that the GIS department does not need many of the details the auditor’s office collects for assessment purposes.

“We want to map the parcel and have the address associated with each parcel for our data. The company has agreed to take their data and create a routine to convert.”

He said the process of converting government data into attribute data will also further benefit the public.

“The public can do a search by address on our web site,” he said.

“We get a lot of requests for the parcel layer in the GIS office, averaging about two a week so far this year. That’s an addition to people using it on the web, and we get thousands of hits on our web every month,” he said. “The Parcel Fabric is becoming the industry standard for maintaining parcel data for local governments. … It’s critical to many of the other things the commission handles. Many other departments as well.”

The website is www.belcogis.

“Unless you use the system, you don’t have a true appreciation of what we have online,” Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas said, adding that this information will prove important due to the strong economic development, which is expected to continue in the future.

“It’s so easy for somebody in California or Texas to locate here. To simply go online, and whether it’s an aerial map of Bellaire, whether it’s an aerial map of Holloway, whether you want to zone in on a particular piece of commercial property in Neffs, whether you want to look at different types of sanitary sewer lines and waterlines, it’s a wealth of information,” Thomas said. “Truly, the GIS office serves a number of purposes, but one that goes unrecognized a lot is what it does for economic development. For a county this size, with our population and where we’re located in eastern Ohio, we’re very proud of it and we will always support it to the degree we can.”

“What Don does is quite amazing,” Commissioner Josh Meyer added. “To take all that information, that is old and archaic, basically paper, and now allowing us to look at it in our homes.”

Pease Township Trustee Michael Bianconi commended the GIS department’s work, adding that the information the department provides has been invaluable to the area.

“He helps the township, the park district and fire districts,” he said. “It’s a gem of information.”

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