County de­buts on­line maps

New por­tal will make it eas­ier for those re­search­ing prop­er­ties within Luzerne County.

The Citizens' Voice - - Front Page - BY ERIC MARK STAFF WRITER

WILKES-BARRE — A new on­line por­tal will make it eas­ier to find in­for­ma­tion about prop­er­ties in Luzerne County, ac­cord­ing to county of­fi­cials.

The county Geo­graphic In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems (GIS) and Map­ping Depart­ment re­cently launched the por­tal, which can be ac­cessed at the depart­ment’s page at the county web­site.

The por­tal shows all of the more than 160,000 prop­er­ties in the county, in­clud­ing bound­aries, said Daniel Reese, the county Gis/map­ping di­rec­tor.

Prop­erty in­for­ma­tion can be ac­cessed by ad­dress, owner’s name or par­cel iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber, or PIN, Reese said. Use of the PIN can prove use­ful in cases in which the mail­ing ad­dress and phys­i­cal ad­dress of a prop­erty are not con­sis­tent, he said.

It took three years of plan­ning, test­ing and con­sult­ing with an out­side con­trac­tor be­fore the por­tal was ready to go live last week, Reese said Mon­day.

“We had to look at dif­fer­ent as­pects be­fore we could im­ple­ment it,” he said. “We did a soft re­lease within the past cou­ple of weeks, just to see if the server could han­dle it.”

The por­tal will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion that pre­vi­ously re­quired a trip to the county court­house to ob­tain, ac­cord­ing to Reese.

“It’s go­ing to save peo­ple a lot of time,” he said.

That is es­pe­cially true for peo­ple who are in­ter­ested in buy­ing or re­search­ing prop­er­ties in the county, but who live far away, Reese said.

The ae­rial pho­tog­ra­phy used in the por­tal was taken in 2016, he said.

Most other coun­ties in Penn­syl­va­nia of­fer some form of on­line ac­cess to prop­erty and tax par­cel in­for­ma­tion, ac­cord­ing to Reese.

Luzerne County of­fi­cials had long planned to in­clude that in­for­ma­tion on the county web­site, but wanted to make sure it was done prop­erly, he said.

County Gis/map­ping em­ploy­ees did much of the work to pre­pare the por­tal, and the county hired Spa­cial Sys­tems As­so­ciates, a Mary­land­based firm, to pro­vide ex­per­tise in web-map­ping, Reese said. The county also had to buy a new server, he said.

The por­tal is part on an on­go­ing cap­i­tal plan project, bud­geted at $46,000, Reese said.

The por­tal that launched this month is free and can be ac­cessed any­where an in­ter­net con­nec­tion is avail­able.

The county also plans to launch a sep­a­rate “en­hanced” por­tal that will re­quire pay­ment to ac­cess, Reese said.

He en­cour­aged any­one who has ques­tions about the por­tal to call the county GIS/ Map­ping of­fice, at 570-8251550.

To ac­cess the por­tal, go to:­tal/apps/we­bap­pviewer/in­dex.html?id=66dd b7b1902e4178a27ee71fd9f6a342.

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