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County offers GIS online

Posted: December 9, 2010 5:30 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Any Kershaw County landowner interested in viewing his property lines can do so now -- virtually -- on the county assessor’s website, thanks to GIS (geographic information system) mapping software installed by the county earlier this year.

Kershaw County Assessor Randy Roberts said he had been pushing for the county to implement the computer program for several years. When County Administrator Clay Young came to his position in 2008, Young made it a priority to get the technology up and running, Roberts said.

“This is much-needed here for the county. It allows people to look at their properties and gives our office much more of a presence,” Roberts said. “It gives the general public a resource to find general information and cuts down on the number of phone calls our office receives. Clay was on board and really pushed for us to get this technology.”

The mapping helps to establish and maintain a base map system which is used by county appraisers for assessment of property, Roberts said.

“This allows abstractors, Realtors, appraisers, attorneys and the general public to research our records. For example, a surveyor can use it to find plat references for a property they are surveying. Attorneys can use it to research a piece of property they are performing a closing on,” he said.

The site is hosted by Qpublic, and the software to maintain the parcel layer is ArcGIS. The price tag is approximately $8,000 per year.

Prior to the new system, there were just old maps drawn out with pencil, which Roberts said wasn’t “as reliable” a system.

 “People could come in and redraw the lines if we didn’t have a close eye on them … they could erase and move over property lines,” he said. “And this is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Kershaw County was one of the last counties across the state to install an online system, he added.

“This has made it much easier for us to market to builders and developers,” Young said, listing administration, planning and zoning and economic development as departments that commonly use the system. “This has really cut down on the time our guys would have to spend going out to the property and do their work in person … this technology has saved our resources.”

To use the new system, go to www.kershaw.sc.gov, and locate the assessor’s office under the department’s dropdown bar. A link saying “View our new online parcel data and GIS mapping” can be found in the middle of the screen, which will take you to the assessor’s website. Click the “search records” on the left, and you can enter an address or homeowner.

Roberts urged Kershaw County residents to log on and browse their property.

“Get on our site and make sure we have everything right,” said Roberts.

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