The Humboldt County, California, Community Development Services Department released an extensive online geographic information system portal that gives anyone with an Internet connection access to maps and land-use information.

Humboldt County Planning Department Gives Public Fast Access to Land-Use and Zoning Information
Web Site Uses ESRI ArcGIS Server to Deliver Map and Data Services Online
Redlands, California-The Humboldt County, California, Community Development Services Department has released an extensive online geographic information system (GIS) portal that gives anyone with an Internet connection access to maps and land-use information. The department is responsible for building permit review and inspection, planning and development review and approval, and maintaining the county's general plan. Created using ArcGIS Server and Freeance, the Web site was specifically designed for businesses, contractors, and landowners who need information about specific parcels, county zoning, land use, and other parcel-related data. The online GIS provides information and detailed data layers developed by local, state, and federal government agencies.

Currently, the Humboldt County GIS portal features four Web mapping applications: Planning and Building, Economic Development Prospector, Hazard Mitigation, and Housing Inventory. Users can log in to the system and use the data overlay options in each of these applications to retrieve specific land-use information. Users can also search by parcel ID or address, zoom in and out, pan through the map, toggle layers, and generate and print custom maps. Displaying countywide parcels, roads, topography, and aerial photography as base layers, the Web site can provide vital, up-to-date information for Humboldt County residents, businesses, and government agencies.

Humboldt County chose ArcGIS Server because of its ability to deliver not just maps but complex geoprocessing services in different formats. Says Chinmaya Lewis, GIS coordinator for Humboldt County, "Beyond just pushing out maps in different formats like KML and WMS, which was also very exciting to us, what appealed to us was the ability of ArcGIS Server to publish geoprocessing services. This feature goes a long way in improving our service to customers, whose needs sometimes exceed map generation. With ArcGIS Server, we were also able to leverage a lot of our in-house desktop map work and publish our key ArcMap documents to the Internet." ArcGIS Server software's ability to cache images and provide fast rendering was another attractive feature in an age of ubiquitous broadband. 

As Humboldt County expands its outreach, it will continue to develop the site to accommodate the growing user demand. "Currently, the site is a powerful local business and property owner tool to access planning department information and economic development, but it's still a work in progress," says Lewis. "Thanks to the scalability of ArcGIS Server, we can continue to add features and functionality as needed along the way without it being a costly and cumbersome process."

To see Humboldt County's interactive online GIS portal, visit