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* News Release *
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
For Immediate Release


Technology marches on, ever improving to meet our rapidly changing needs. The world of civil engineering, surveying, and property record keeping is no different. The Butler County Engineer's Office first brought online its GIS Interactive Tax Map in 2011 and already, since that time, there have been significant technological changes within the BCEO and to the way consumers access and utilize information. Internet browsers and the underlying platforms that power them have changed and the proliferation of mobile devices has altered our expectations of how we connect with the data we need.

"In keeping with this trend, our Tax Map Department has again joined forces with our IT Department to reprogram and refurbish the BCEO's entire Tax Map Web Map," said Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens. "This enables the map to be viewed in any browser and on any device, including tablets and mobile phones."

Wilkens noted for the technophiles among us that the new and improved web map is now powered by Javascript / ESRI. It was initially powered by Silverlight / ESRI mapping technology which is slowly being phased out and replaced by other platforms. This has made it difficult to use the Tax Map Interactive Map in any browser other than Internet Explorer, which itself is being replaced by the new Windows Edge browser.

It doesn't take a techie however to use and enjoy the new Tax Map Interactive Web Map, which empowers anyone to access survey information 24/7 from any location that has Internet access on any device. A new feature on the front page of the BCEO Tax Map web site is the Records link in the left hand panel of the page. This provides immediate access to historical survey documents as well as Tax Map pages, plats of surveys, and unrecorded survey information.

The interactive map can be easily accessed from Apple, Windows, and Android tablets and phones as well as from desktop computers and laptops. The map displays a representation of Butler County parcels, aerial views, access to the plats of survey with an option to download the plat, and other base maps. There are also links to the Butler County Auditor's web site for real estate data and to the Butler County Recorder's web site to view record plats with the option to download the plat for each parcel and/or subdivision.

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/.

What's New on the Tax Map Interactive Map

The map has a new look and some new capabilities. The parcel search, measure, print-to-PDF, and legend tools will all be familiar to users of the old map. One enhancement to the parcel search or click-and-identify is the ability to link directly to the Butler County Recorder's Office for the record plat. Click the names at the top panel of the map to access these tools as well as some new tools:

Click image to enlarge.

There is now a base map tool which allows the user to choose from multiple background maps:

Click image to enlarge.

Another new tool is the share feature which enables users to copy a link to the clipboard or email the link to show a certain area of the map. When the email recipient clicks on the link their browser will open automatically zoomed to the noted parcel.

Click image to enlarge.

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 / Records / IT 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.

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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

Questions or comments about this web site? Email to BCEO Webmaster.

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