State and local offices as well as federal agencies are constantly concerned with land-related decisions such as infrastructure development, public safety, transportation and many other local government functions. Geographic Information Systems or GIS is a field that incorporates geographical features with tabular data in order to map, analyze, and assess real-world problems. Spatial data - data that is referenced to locations on the earth – is joined with tabular data – descriptive data – to create a GIS data set.
PRIA members collect land records - mostly concerned with rights and restrictions in real property – but those records also contain spatial data related to the rights being recorded.
A recent estimate shows approximately 70% of all local governments have implemented some form of GIS. Yet in many cases GIS is not integrated with the recording office.
The PRIA GIS Work Group has been chartered to establish standards, procedures and best practices for data exchange between GIS systems and land records systems. This will allow the exchange of information while taking into account performance, security, and revenue implications.
The desired end result is greater familiarity regarding the manner in which land records add to a government’s investment in GIS, and inversely, for the land record industry to add to a common set of geo-referenced data that may be used by government to make decisions based on a more complete and holistic view of local circumstances.
The untapped potential of government managed land information lies in the ability to integrate the land records within the overall workflow of information in a government jurisdiction. This allows government to plan better, analyze, and provide more timely and accurate information and increase productivity.
If you are interested in the challenges and opportunities related to integrating land records with GIS systems, please contact the workgroup co-chairs Jeff Nicholson and Peirce Eichelberger or staff support member Stevie Kernick for more information on how to get involved.