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Oregon Local Governments Adopt Fast, Flexible Data Publishing

Local governments serving all the major population centers in Oregon are using a similar approach to publish GIS and tabular database information on the Web and on corporate Intranets. From the Portland metropolitan area in the north to Jackson County in the south, these sites have popped up along the I-5 corridor almost overnight, like Oregon tulips blossoming in the spring.

Using Esri's MapObjects Internet Map Server (IMS), Allaire's ColdFusion Web development tools, and an off-the-shelf data publishing product called MapOptix Flood Hazard Map screen shotdeveloped by GeoNorth, LLC, an Esri Business partner, local governments throughout Oregon are implementing powerful, configurable, and extensible Internet mapping systems without programming. Here are some examples.

At right, local governments are configuring MapOptix for a wide range of applications, thereby providing citizens and Businesses with one-stop shopping.

Metro (Portland)

Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, has implemented an application called MetroMap to provide free geographic information to the general public, land use and transportation planners, emergency management planners, emergency response service providers, government staff people, elected officials, journalists, real estate professionals, and insurance risk managers. There are separate views and queries for land/parcel information, jurisdictional boundary information, transit/places information, and natural hazards information. For example, the land information view contains information such as aerial photos, floodplains, land use plans, and undeveloped land, while the transit view contains information such as bus lines, bus stops, light rail lines and stops, park and ride lots, parks, and schools.

Users can enter a tabular query, zoom to a selected record, download the results of the query to an Excel or tab delimited file, sort the results, and do a variety of spatial queries such as identify, spatial overlays, and buffering. MetroMap also has an online help system.

MetroMap is part of Metro's electronic storefront, where users can browse a wide array of maps and regional data products, then order them online. They can also order custom maps online using MetroMap to rough out what they want, then specify other parameters (e.g., map size, title, delivery method) via an online order form. Parameters input through this form and through MetroMap are passed to a back-end ARC Macro Language (AML) to generate the map. Users have the option to print the map on Metro's plotter or obtain a digital copy of it via ftp.

Jackson County

Although serving a smaller population than Metro (approximately 170,000 vs. 1.3 million), Jackson County has taken a similar approach with its Internet mapping system. Jackson County is using and MapOptix to display land information, environmental information, and service districts to the public at no charge. They also have a subscription access area with views for assessment and taxation; County roads, parks, and planning; County urban renewal information; and several cities and special districts in the County. Subscribers enter a user name and password to gain access to specific information and queries.

Through Jackson County's SmartMap.org (www.smartmap.org), users can enter a tabular query, zoom to a selected record, download the results of the query to an Excel or tab delimited file, sort the results, and do a variety of spatial queries. Using the free downloadable Tiff Surfer plug-in, they can also view scanned assessor maps, save them to a local file, rotate them, copy them to a clipboard, mark them up, and magnify annotation in a pop-up window.

Subscribers can view a number of reports that are generated on the fly based on their queries, and soon they will have the option to make maps via the County's Web site much like visitors to Metro's electronic storefront.

Deschutes County

The combination of technologies these governments are using provides a fully configurable interface to . Like Jackson County's SmartMap.org application, the Deschutes County Local Area Virtual Atlas (LAVA) offers some public services and some subscription services. Subscribers to certain premium services can query on a tax-lot name or address, then run a series of detailed reports, such as customized assessor reports, with tax information, assessor information, detailed appraisal information, ownership, sales, transaction history, permit and land use information, and a cartography tax-lot card. They also can run a tax-lot details report that creates a formatted report containing a map, tax-lot information, land use information, and assessor and sales information. If there is permit information associated with the property, they can generate a permit information report as well. LAVA also enables users to view scanned survey plats and tax maps.

Users include the general public, government staff people, elected officials, journalists, and real estate professionals.


For more information, contact Andy Sloop, GeoNorth, LLC (tel.: 503-827-0827, e-mail: asloop@geonorth.com).

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