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GIS FAQ

A. What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. More than just a map, GIS is an organized collection of computer hardware, software, geographic data, and personnel designed to efficiently capture, store, update, analyze, and display all forms of geographically referenced information. GIS allows us to ask and answer questions from a spatial perspective, which supports better decision making and creates efficiencies in workflows.

I. How accurate are your property lines?

In 2015, our staff completed a four-year in-depth review of every parcel boundary in the county. As a result of our efforts, we have one of the most accurate tax parcel representations in the entire state. That being said, there are areas throughout the county that are challenging to represent, particularly in the oldest sections of towns where modern survey-grade documentation is limited.

K. What should I do if the Property Viewer does not work?

Try clearing your browser cache to ensure that you are viewing the most current version of the map. The easiest way to do this is to open your browser and press Ctrl + Shift + Del on your keyboard. This will open a window with several options for clearing stored settings. In Internet Explorer, you’ll want to check the box for Temporary Internet files and website files. In Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, you’ll want to check the box for Cache.

L. Are the boundaries on the Property Viewer equivalent to a survey?

No. The boundaries on our viewer show taxable land from the perspective of the County Appraiser’s office. If you are trying to resolve an issue that involves the exact placement of a property line, we recommend hiring a professional surveyor to determine where your boundaries are. For more information on professional land surveyors, the Kansas Society of Land Surveyors can be a good resource.

M. How often are the Property Viewer property lines updated?

Land is constantly being reconfigured, so updates happen every day in Douglas County. We update the map on a daily basis so that changes are available in a timely fashion. Keep in mind that each request to change a property line is unique and may have to be reviewed in multiple departments before it can be reflected on the map. In other words, a request to change something on Monday does not mean that it will show up on the map on Tuesday.

P. In the layers menu, I see a group called External Data. What does that mean?

The layers in that group have been provided by outside agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Please keep in mind that they may not be a perfect match to the data that we maintain, since they are created by other people who are meeting other agency’s requirements. We provide them as a general reference, but they should not be considered equivalent to a legal survey.