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* News Release *
 
Friday, November 4, 2011
For Immediate Release

GIS INTERACTIVE MAP NOW ONLINE
Tax Mapping Services Available 24/7

Acquiring information that has traditionally involved a trek to the BCEO's Tax Map Department in downtown Hamilton just got a lot easier. Now tax map records can be obtained online anytime thanks to a new Interactive Web Map developed by the Engineer's Tax Map / GIS and Information Services Departments.

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens noted that the BCEO's GIS operations were consolidated with the Tax Map Department earlier this year and worked with BCEO Information Services on development of the new service. Powered by Silverlight/ESRI mapping technology, a user-friendly application was developed which provides access to information that has, until now, only been accessible to the public in the Tax Map Office by using paper map books.

"We're excited to offer this new service and believe it will be a convenient alternative for many users of our tax mapping services," Wilkens said. "Our Tax Map and Information Services personnel did an outstanding job of putting this together."

The new Tax Map Interactive Web Map empowers the user to access survey information 24 hours a day seven days a week from any location that has Internet access. The map displays a representation of the parcels, access to the plats of survey with the option to download the plat, view aerial photography, and link to the Auditor's Real Estate data for each parcel.

Interested users can access the interactive map via a link on the Butler County Engineer's Office web site at www.bceo.org. The link is located in two areas:

If users would prefer to access the site directly, the specific web address is http://gis.bceo.org/.

GIS Overview and Review

The main duties of the Tax Map Department are to maintain survey maps and information as they relate to parcels, addressing, and center line mileage. Updated GIS technology allows the Engineer's Office to maintain Tax Map information more efficiently. "We hope to create a more accessible process for the public as well as our own employees who need to utilize this information," said Tax Map / GIS Manager Lydia Thacker.

GIS is an acronym for Geographical Information System and has become an increasingly important tool in the field of engineering. It is a computer system for creating "intelligent maps." What this means is that real life features such as roads, survey monuments, traffic signals, utilities, and storm sewers, or, real life events -- traffic crashes, traffic counts, water testing -- are located and a map of these features is created. The features and events are represented by lines, points, or areas on the map and located where they actually are or have occurred on the earth. The location of these features can be obtained by a surveyor using survey equipment, digitizing from an aerial photograph, or using handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) location devices.

After the location is established any information or data about that feature or event can be connected to it by using a database and creating an "intelligent map." Using an interactive map, the computer operator can click on a feature or event represented by a line, point, or area and a data sheet appears with information about that feature or event.

The new GIS technology is being integrated with more traditional forms of map record keeping that allows the Engineer's Office to provide the information in a variety of digital formats. While tax maps have historically been kept in the form of large, cumbersome paperbound books, the goal is to offer more flexibility with a wide range of electronic formats with which to deliver the same information based on specific needs.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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