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Florida Property Appraiser Speeds Valuation Process with ESRI ArcGIS Server

February 15, 2008
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The Orange County Property Appraiser  created an interactive map tool that allows residents, realtors, investors and anyone who needs Orange County parcel information to get the data they need via an easy-to-use interface.


Florida Property Appraiser Speeds Valuation Process with ESRI ArcGIS Server
Web-Based GIS Delivers Geoprocessing Services and Property Information Online
 
Redlands, California-Retrieving property information in Orange County, Florida, is more convenient than ever thanks to a new Web site based on ArcGIS Server. The Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA) created an interactive map tool that allows residents, realtors, investors, and anyone who needs Orange County parcel information to get the data they need via an easy-to-use interface. With it, users can search by owner, parcel number, street intersections, and coordinates in addition to generating buffer/mailing lists and creating comparable sales reports. The Web site was designed to meet the needs of today’s high-speed users by quickly delivering the information they need.

OCPA is responsible for determining the value of real estate and tangible personal property in Orange County for the purpose of ad valorem taxation and land records management. Prior to creating the ArcGIS Server Web site, OCPA used ArcIMS to deliver cadastral information online. Although a success, with upwards of 5,000 unique visitors a day, the site required five spatial servers and an application server to manage it. With ArcGIS Server, both the data and application can reside on just one server thanks to the image-caching functionality of ArcGIS Server. ArcGIS Server technology’s multilevel map caching ability makes it possible to display detailed maps with complex rendering in an environment where data needs to be displayed fast. In addition, ArcGIS Server has much improved scalability to accommodate a growing number of users.

Obtaining parcel information is integral to the work of the fire, insurance, and real-estate sectors in our economy. Realtors, land surveyors, insurance companies, mortgage companies, real-estate attorneys, and departments tasked with zoning and permitting all use the online mapping tool on a regular basis. The site gets visitors from about 60 different countries, although the bulk of visitors are from Florida, followed by New York.

Because of the demand from so many professions, OCPA needed technology that could meet the needs of its wide range of customers. The improved rendering ability of ArcGIS Server makes the site better equipped to handle the increased volume of visitors. The Web site allows advanced searches of the property database through multiple user-selected parameters. Advanced searches can be made using criteria specific to residential, commercial, and vacant land properties. Sales analysis of properties using parameters such as use code, year built, and square footage can pinpoint comparative sales. Properties can even be searched for specific site amenities such as lake frontage. Users can simply click on the Orange County map and instantly zoom to an area of interest, or they can select by parcel ID, name, address, or tax account number fields. In response to a query, the coordinates for the appropriate area are retrieved and graphically displayed in the mapping frame, along with a street-level photo of the property and attribute data.

“ArcGIS was a natural progression from ArcIMS because of the caching ability,” says Manish Bhatt, IT director for OCPA. “ArcGIS Server’s ability to display precached images was perfect for our needs because of the speed we require to handle the large volume of visitors to the site. The rendering capabilities are lightning fast, which translates to improved customer service.” The upgrade was also useful to OCPA because it was in line with its goal of .NET standardization.

For more information, visit the OCPA Map Inquiry System at www.ocpafl.org/disclaimer_map.html.
 
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