Auditor Roxanna Moritz today unveiled to the general public the Scott County GIS website during a news conference at the Administration Center.  She was joined by Board Chairman Tom Sunderbruch, Ray Weiser, Scott County GIS Coordinator, and Kathy Kolar, Auditor’s Office Tax Deputy, each of whom addressed specific areas regarding the public release of GIS.  Also speaking was Bob McGivern of the real estate appraisal firm of Koestner, McGivern & Associates.  McGivern was a member of the public focus group which evaluated the website and made suggestions for improvement. 

Poster display shows the history of GIS development, member of the public focus group and a contrast of old paper plat maps and new GIS digital maps.

By Iowa law the Auditor’s Office maintains the plat book and transfer book to ensure property owners can maintain accurate and clear titles to their real estate.  In the past people interested in real estate transactions needed to physically visit the county plat room to obtain the information they needed to conduct business. 

With the roll out of web-based GIS, this information will be available to people in their homes and businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  This represents a powerful transformation of the way the county manages and shares maps and other real estate information, in essence creating a new real estate business model.  Information can now be shared easily, accessed quickly, and readily combined and analyzed with other data.

GIS stands for geographic information system.  The GIS map service provides access to digital aerial photographs of real estate, showing parcels, lots, subdivisions, dimensions, streets, addresses and more.   Users will be able to retrieve other data, such as taxes and assessments, and link to additional owner records such as deeds and surveys. 

Auditor Moritz speaks with the news media during the officials release of the Scott County GIS website.

GIS has led to increased efficiencies in county operations.  For example, in the Auditor’s Office we have been able to reduce staff by one position, saving tax payers $46,000 in the upcoming fiscal year.

Board Chairman Tom Sunderbruch addressed the broader public impact of GIS for Scott County.

Focus group member Bob McGivern praised Scott County for providing public information free of charge.

Scott County began planning for GIS in 2002.  Aerial photography occurred in 2005.  Parcel conversion, actually drawing property ownership lines into the digital maps, began in 2007 and ended in 2010.  A public land section survey, began in 2007 and ended in 2009, used GPS technology to develop a highly accurate framework of section corners to ensure the accuracy of individual parcel maps.  The project was completed 2011 with a comprehensive address data base for use in public safety and other county processes.