The county Tax Map Office and GIS Office have moved Adams County further into the technological age by installing an advanced computer-based system that depicts the actual borders of land parcels. The new computerized tax maps have been in use since March 1, and are available to the public.
GIS Director, Angelena Newman, along with Tax Map Supervisor Kris Brown, and Drafting Technician Amy Simpson, accomplished the conversion to computerized tax maps using a Geographic Information System (GIS) – a digital-based tool that creates parcels by drawing property lines with a computer instead of a pen.
“The Tax Map Office has undergone dramatic changes in the last month,” said Simpson. “With the implementation of the GIS system we are now using the digital parcel layer instead of paper maps, and our aerial maps are now in color. This enables us to produce maps that are concentrated on one parcel and email aerial maps, a service we were unable to provide before. We are currently working on scanning surveys, producing a subdivision layer, and preparing the parcel layer to be linked with the Auditors information available online.”
The conversion from paper to computer was a lengthy process. Over 20,000 parcels were newly drawn, mapped and joined to existing data by the personnel in the Tax Map and GIS offices.
“The conversion to the GIS system has been no small task,” said Kris Brown. “Over the course of the last two years each work day has been devoted to developing this new parcel layer. Amy, Angelena, and I were happy to have the opportunity to bring our day-to-day experience to the table in creating the new parcel layer. With a hands-on approach, we had the benefit of knowing what fits our taxpayers’ needs, what doesn’t, and what we needed to add to make the new tax maps better.”
The tax maps are expected to be available online by August 2016.
The GIS project resulted from the combined efforts of the Commissioners Office, Adams County Engineer David Hook, Adams County Auditor David Gifford, and the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation Board and staff members.
The Geographic Information System not only stores and analyzes geographic information, it allows the user to computerize such data as property lines, soil types, voting and zoning districts, crime and fire statistics, utility and hazardous-waste sites.
According to GIS Director Angelena Newman, “GIS can be used by every branch of government. The GIS office will continue to compile information for various county and government agencies to build maps and track information. Some examples of the layers we have now include the parcel layer, aerials, roads, addresses, soil type, contours, townships, and watersheds.”
The GIS Office is currently working to modernize the Current Agriculture Use Valuation (CAUV) layer. Their next project will be to complete an updated layer for the county address system.
The Tax Map and the GIS Offices are located on the basement floor of the Adams County Courthouse. The Tax Map Office personnel are available to assist the public with the parcel layer of the GIS System. The GIS Office can help with other layers that have been created using the GIS system.