Desktop review maximizes the usefulness of the data that you have available from your computer rather than spending unnecessary time in the field or searching through archives. Need to look for building improvements or changes? Or asset characteristics? Use your desktop review tool instead of traveling to the location and back.
The AppGeo Spatial IQ for MapGeo Team got together with special guest Bill Mitchell, Chief Assessor (North Andover, Massachusetts) on Thursday, March 30th, 2023 to discuss the benefits and use cases of having a high-quality desktop review tool at your fingertips.
Highlights and Soundbites:
Rebecca Davis: “Municipal staff and county staff have a lot on their plate, there’s a lot of work to be done, and they don’t want to be wasting time going out to site visits when things could be done at the click of a button, right at their desk.”
Rebecca: “So, what do you need to have a successful Desktop review tool? Some of the data that is needed is certainly GIS data — whether your focus is looking at Parcels, any utility data, or anything else. If you’re primarily focused on assessing data and parcels you obviously need to have a CAMA integration or tax integration, whatever your sources for ownership and value and all of that land information, as well as the building information so, the property sketch. [This] makes a big difference to have on the data reviewer — whether it’s an integration or you have it linked to the CAMA system that you’re using.”
Bill Mitchell: “MapGeo is one of my favorite sites because it allows me to do things really quickly. You know, when I’m looking at assessing tools and what I’ve got to look at to analyze real estate and appraise things, I love the quick draw or quick measurement tools. In this particular example it shows us just marking up a garage real quick to say, ‘hey, maybe this was a building permit’. We were able to just sketch that out you know and show it, mark up the screen — but then easily, very easily you just hit that share button up on the top of your screen and you can share that as a link right to one of my data collectors and say ‘hey, go out take a look at this’, or, you can export as a PDF map if it’s a taxpayer you’re dealing with and you want to send them a PDF version of the aerial view of their property. So, it’s really handy to do something very quickly, measure it up, get an area, or just check on some data that you’re looking at to verify some measurements.”
Bill: This particular screen here — the one thing I love that I know everybody in the assessing industry has is they have to have a neighborhood map. I was able to just export the data right from CAMA into MapGeo. This is an interactive neighborhood map in my town that can easily point out if I’ve coded a parcel incorrectly in a different neighborhood. You can see it very clearly that if I picked one of those parcels and it was yellow instead of red it would stick out like a sore thumb. So, it [MapGeo] quickly highlights any kind of miscoding that one of my assessors might have done by mistake or split a new parcel and put the old one in the same neighborhood and the new one is in a different one. So, clearly [MapGeo] marks up errors. It also is a great way to impress the Department of Revenue. They can go on and look at this imagery and be able to see my neighborhood map, or I can print that out and send that link to them as well.
Carson Vallino: “We focus a lot on utility data; whether that’s storm systems, sewer systems, or water systems. One of the really amazing things that you can do with MapGeo to get the most out of it is to have all of your assets and all the data accompanying it in one place. So, not only can you host the spatial data of your sewer or water system on MapGeo so you have a visual representation of it, but you can also include documents that attach to it.