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Good Maps --- An Important Part of the Assessor's Office. - Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good parcel maps are an essential part of the assessor's office. These maps can provide a geographic view of the assessment rolls as well as an inventory of properties that can be used to show ownership, identify neighborhoods, understand building trends and traffic flows, and identify commercial areas which aid in helping the assessor determine proper values. Good maps show boundaries and display size and location of a parcel relative to roads and natural boundaries such as canals or rivers, lakes or other major physical features. Computerized maps, geographic information systems (GIS), can be shared with other branches of government to improve public services.

In today's digital world it makes good business sense to have a GIS. Currently, the St. James Parish Assessor's office is continuing parcel work on its mapping system. The process is time consuming because we must first gather deed documents to verify ownership and parcel dimensions, study the old maps and update the information. This information is then sent to a digital-mapping specialist so that the information can be digitized for the computerized mapping system.

From an administrative standpoint, a computerized mapping system or GIS, allows the assessor not only to see the information as numbers in a database, but to see it visually as well. The next step is to tie all of this information to other branches of parish government, which is presently underway. The parish president's office along with the parish council and sheriff's office currently have a parish wide geographic information system. Recently aerial photographs have been added to the parcel maps, so that employees can see actual photo images of subdivisions and neighborhoods.

Please direct questions to the St. James Parish Assessor's Office.

Updated: 11/23/2011


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