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
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.