November 2015 -

The enhancements and capabilities that MassGIS will consider funding are described below. 

By minimizing what enhancements are requested, communities can increase the likelihood that MassGIS will fund what they do request; it is essential that communities differentiate between map content needed for known specific needs and map content needed “because it’s always been on our maps”. Perhaps some content is not really needed; do you need both front and side/back lot dimensions or will a front lot dimension be sufficient? Perhaps catching up the standardized mapping with updates separately completed to the maps you have maintained can be completed internally or with your own funding. If your community can commit some funding or staff time but not until FY17, then be sure to mention both the funding and that you want the enhancements work to occur in FY17.

Note that if you have not been maintaining the standardized mapping, OR if you are not making provisions to catch up on that maintenance with your own resources, then you must select #2, below, along with any of the other enhancements listed. Also, not all possible enhancements are relevant in all communities. In particular, enhancements 4 – 8 are targeted at communities with a GIS staff person or communities where their maps are maintained using GIS software by a consultant.

  1. Adding additional map features and text labels from existing printed assessor maps or from GIS or CAD format sources.  Eligible features and labels include:
    • Parcel boundary dimensions
    • Lot numbers
    • Lot size
    • Easements and their labels
    • Historic parcel lines
    • Landmark features (e.g., names of water features)

Building outlines, wetlands, address numbers, and street name labels are NOT eligible as they are available from existing sources at MassGIS.  Features and label items requested must have been present on the version of the assessor maps that was being maintained at the time the standardized version of the maps was created for MassGIS between 2011 and 2013. The purpose of this project is not to add desired content not previously on your tax maps.

  1. Updating the standardized assessor parcel mapping to include changes since the original standardize mapping was created for MassGIS.  This includes updates for new or reconfigured parcels, including information required for enhancement 7, below. Also, as part of this enhancement the mapping vendor selected by MassGIS for work in your community will provide you with a spreadsheet file. You will need to contact your CAMA software vendor’s customer service staff, and ask them to use the spreadsheet file to bulk-load the “LOC_IDs” from the standardized mapping into your CAMA database; the CAMA vendors are not charging for this service and they have completed this process for dozens of communities across the Commonwealth. The LOC_ID is used to link a CAMA record to its corresponding map parcel using mapping software.
  2. Modify or replace an existing automated capability (in-house or through map maintenance provider) OR create an automated capability for producing printed maps so that a set of printed or PDF format maps can be produced for a community using the standardized mapping. As necessary, this work can include creating the map sheet index. If this enhancement requires producing maps based on a new, different, sheet index, and if you still routinely rely on a printed map in your assessing office, then this enhancement can also include the cost of producing a new set of printed maps.
  3. Shifting existing dimension text labels (“annotation”) so that they align with parcel boundaries in the standardized mapping. Note that if you have text labels in your GIS parcel mapping that currently do not line up with your parcel lines, this enhancement does NOT cover improving alignment of text labels that was already poor.
  4. Shifting “derived’ GIS data layers so that they align with parcel boundaries in the standardized mapping.  Some map features in a municipal GIS are derived from parcel boundaries.  For example, zoning overlay districts, school feeder districts, and water supply protection districts).  When parcel boundary locations in assessor mapping were modified as part of the standardized mapping project, boundaries in derived data layers no longer aligned with the parcel boundaries.  This enhancement includes adjusting boundaries of derived data layers to align with the relevant boundaries from the standardized parcel mapping. Note that if your derived data layers are badly aligned with your existing parcel mapping, this enhancement does NOT cover fixing that problem; it only covers replicating the poor alignment against a backdrop of the standardized parcel mapping.
  5. Creating an ArcGIS line feature class for parcel polygons provided that a line feature class was present in the community’s existing GIS version of its parcel mapping when the standardized version was created for MassGIS.
  6. Adding back attributes of parcels that were not retained as part of creating the standardized mapping.  Attributes added in this enhancement category must have been present on the version of the assessor maps that was being maintained at the time the standardized version of the assessor maps was created for MassGIS.
  7. Up to six hours of training in using ArcGIS tools for maintaining assessor maps in compliance with Level 3 of the MassGIS standard. The person being trained must be a municipal employee whose primary job responsibilities are operating and maintaining a GIS for that community; they must also be the person who already maintains assessor maps annually using ESRI GIS software. In addition, for MassGIS to fund this training, the enhancement request MUST be followed by an email from the supervisor of the proposed trainee and sent to Craig Austin. That email must include contact information for the supervisor and must say:

“I supervise <name of person> who maintains the assessor parcel maps. If this training is provided, I commit to: 1) ensuring that, following the training, parcel map maintenance will be conducted in compliance with the mapping portion of Level 3 of the MassGIS standard and, 2) to providing the assessor with an annual list of new or changed parcels and their corresponding LOC_IDs.”

Updated 11/16/2015