Beyond Data Conversion: San Mateo County Upgrades Data and Services
San Mateo County, California, located on the San Francisco Peninsula, is known as the gateway to Silicon Valley and the center of the nation’s Biotechnology and Biopharma industries. It is the home of internet commerce giants Facebook, Google and Oracle along with biotech leaders Genentech and Gilead Corporations.
The Office of the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Elections (ACRE) is the largest consolidated Department in the state of California combining the constitutional office of the Assessor with other constitutionally mandated functions of the Clerk-Recorder and Elections. The Department serves 770,000 residents along with 20 cities and a total of 70 jurisdictions.
The Department is led by Mark Church, Assessor County Clerk Recorder and Chief Elections Officer, who is elected by the citizens of the San Mateo County to lead the various functions of the Department.
“People and technology are the fundamental core values of our organization” stated Church. “The replacement of our 20-year old GIS legacy system with cutting-edge Esri ArcGIS technology is one of the foundational piers of our Department’s technology strategic plan. The remapping of our GIS data was critical to the success of this project,” he added.
ACRE contracted with Bruce Harris & Associates, Inc. to provide a full remapping of the County’s parcel data delivered in the Esri Local Government Information Model (LGIM) parcel fabric.
“We set out to complete a very ambitious mapping project and without the right partner, it probably wouldn’t have been possible,” said Randy Mellin, ACRE IT Director.
The parcel fabric provides a comprehensive framework for managing, editing, and sharing parcel data. In a multiuser environment, the parcel fabric can be edited and maintained using a services-based architecture across desktop, mobile, and web.
Bruce Harris & Associates is a professional GIS company specializing in GIS mapping and product development, providing GIS solutions to local government agencies throughout the United States. Services and solutions include appraisal support applications, parcel maps and mapping, digital aerial photography, ArcGIS for Local Government implementations and solutions, GIS consulting, as well as GIS data creation and data conversion services.
Building New Maps
In the past, ACRE was creating parcels using hand-drawing methods, as well as AutoCAD and GeoMedia to draw Assessor Maps, condos, and subdivisions. These methods resulted in challenges such as redundant efforts, license management issues, lack of data integrity, and an inability to share data cross-departmentally and with the public.
The work to create a seamless digital GIS replica of individual assessor map pages presented additional challenges because of duplicate boundaries, annotation features, accuracy standards, and parcel geometry.
The team at Bruce Harris & Associates worked with San Mateo County to consolidate multiple databases and hand-drawn maps into Esri’s local government information model. The parcels were all redrawn from source documents. Coordinate geometry was used and stored for all of the parcels. They delivered the parcels in Esri’s parcel fabric data model and created an automated assessor map routine using ArcPy and Data Driven Pages.
San Mateo County ACRE staff are currently mapping in the Parcel Fabric and have eliminated redundancies in their workflow. By redrawing all of the parcels from the source documents, they eliminated the issues of duplicate boundaries and parcel geometry, achieving the highest level of accuracy in their data. ACRE is now able to create Assessor Maps on the fly based on a seamless GIS and share their data with the public and across departments.
“This investment improves the accuracy and integrity of our data, allows us to provide the public and other county departments with data and services that were never before possible and best of all, will save taxpayer dollars for years to come,” Church noted.