Digital Property Maps and Parcel Information Now Free
August 13, 2014 - For the first time since offering digital maps depicting property maps and parcel data 19 years ago, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) launched a free set of digital map data for Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City under the state's open data initiative. People interested in probing the wealth of MDP's parcel geographic information systems (GIS) data can now download the files at no cost.
To make data sought after by local officials, planners, developers, real estate professionals, academicians and others more readily available, MDP released its core property data products, MdProperty View and FINDER Quantum and web-based application FINDER Online as free media. In addition to making the data available from the agency's website, much of the information is hosted on the state's MD iMAP mapping & GIS data portal.
"The data that we're releasing today is an important step in making information more readily available to the public at no-cost to Marylanders," said Governor O'Malley. "This is a tremendous step forward as we work to make Maryland more open and more accountable to residents, businesses and advocates. Together, these tools provide a window into our efforts to keep our State smart, green and growing. "
A home buyer researching property lines, a developer exploring opportunities for new projects and an appraiser performing comparable sales analyses will all find their jobs a lot easier thanks to the state's open data initiative. The open parcel data initiative, an effort to improve data sharing and efficiencies across state, local and federal government agencies, is supported by the Governor's StateStat Office and the State Geographic Information Office, the Maryland State Geographic Information Committee (MSGIC) as well as members of the private and university sectors.
MDP was the first state agency in the nation to develop a statewide digital parcel map and information system, releasing the first edition of MdProperty View in 1995. Built upon the State Department of Assessments and Taxation's database of 2.3 million parcel records and MDP's 2,800 computerized tax maps, Maryland was well positioned to create those products. FINDER Quantum and FINDER Online were later added to provide easy access for the casual user. This initiative combined with other efforts continues to establish MDP and Maryland as a leader in providing open data.
In addition to increasing user access, it also will allow organizations to have access to consistent and uniform parcel based data.