Complete and accurate maps are essential to the Property Appraiser’s Office and of benefit to various other government and non-government users. In the past, maps in the Appraiser’s office have been kept up-to-date manually. In the last few years, with the advent of larger and faster computers, and more sophisticated programs, many of the mapping functions which historically required manual input, can now be completed using computers. One method available to accomplish this is the use of computer assisted drafting systems known as geographic information systems GIS.
Within the Osceola County Property Appraiser’s office, the GIS department has entered the county maps into a computer. This was a long process, which took an approximate of three years to complete, the initial map or base map of the county was completed near the end of 1998. It has been integrated with our existing Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system. Users have an abundant amount of information available on a common information map, including: parcel identification numbers, improvement data, parcel size and dimensions, right-of-ways, easements, sales data, etc.
Users are able to obtain information by location or object, such as parcel identification number. The information is stored in data bases and consists of both graphic and non-graphic information. Examples of graphic information, or data, include; parcel lines, dimensions, acreage, roads, and bodies of water. Non-graphic data could include: sales information, the type and quality of improvements, the age of the improvements, property classifications, valuations, and property ownership information. There will be a tag or link between the graphic database and the appraisal database.
Sales information is accessed and combined with layers of graphic information so that GIS users can produce maps depicting sales on demand. The user can determine what information or data elements to be displayed i.e., sale price, sale price per unit, sale date, deed book and page, etc. The data will be accessed from the CAMA system, combined with layers of graphic information, and finally plotted on a sale map which could be used for appraisal analysis.
In the future, the base map may have additional layers of maps which could include land use information, zoning, topography, utilities, 911 and general street addressing, census tract information, state and federal jurisdictions, fire districts, school board boundaries, aerial photography, etc. One of the goals has been to acquire digital orthophotography of the entire County, now available in .TIFF image format. This is one of the most advanced methods of digital aerial photography available and is enhancing the capabilities of the Property Appraiser’s Office.
The development of the GIS system will be very beneficial to many public and private users. Although it takes years to complete, the benefits to an assessment program and the public in general are substantial and well worth the efforts. At this time digital maps are available for the entire county.
In summary, the GIS department has worked diligently to complete the base map for the county, which provides an automated method of combining the information on the CAMA system, and mapping capabilities for end users. This reduces redundancy, provides more accurate and timely parcel and sales information, and expands existing applications of the mapping department for all end users.
Inquiries may be made to the GIS Department at (407) 742-5000.