Chesterton Tribune

County GIS mapping program now available online

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Porter County’s new digitized mapping program known as the Geographic Information System is now up and running.

The Porter County GIS office, a part of the county auditor’s department, has announced that the GIS data is now available to the general public online at

The site is hosted by the county’s GIS vendor, The Sidwell Company.

“Our new website is very user friendly, and gives all Porter County citizens the ability to access our GIS data right from their own desktops. It contains a map with all parcel and road lines, parcel numbers, owner names, property addresses, and other information,” states an auditor’s office news release.

The work on Porter County’s GIS began in 1998, but the project was put on hold due to budget cuts. The commissioners and the council later agreed to fund the estimated $1.3 million project with county income tax funds, allocating money for the project over the course of several years. The commissioners signed the contract with Sidwell in early 2006.

The GIS staff has been updating the GIS database with nearly two years of data, including split and combined parcels, subdivisions and annexations. The data will be used by various parties, including the county assessor’s office, plan commission, title companies and utility companies. Further, the real estate and counter staff at the auditor’s office have the GIS map, which will give them additional data while checking deeds.

The GIS office has provided the GIS data to the city of Portage and a second set to Valparaiso. The system also includes an indexing and drawings of all state classified forest and wildlife areas.

The GIS office soon plans to begin the process of calculating agricultural land assessments with a program developed by Sidwell.

A separate database has been created for the use by the Porter County Plan Commission, which is using the data to provide an accurate map of the county’s zoning boundaries. The county surveyor’s office also has a version of the GIS data.

Porter County GIS Coordinator Jackie Green is working with Porter County EMS Director Phil Griffith to obtain a grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security for a type of website that would allow users to download the GIS data and manipulate it as needed, making the data more useful than what’s currently available on the website.

In addition, the GIS office plans to begin a comprehensive point addressing project that will provide a repository of accurate property addresses. There is currently no single such repository, since even the most comprehensive databases, such as E-911, are incomplete.



Posted 3/20/2009