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Technology and Innovation

Phone: 913-715-1500

111 S Cherry, Suite 3100, Olathe KS 66061

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Parcel Foundation


In 1986, the State of Kansas underwent a mass reappraisal and classification of all real property in Kansas. A directive of reappraisal was each county appraiser will develop and maintain a base map of all real property located in their county. The main purpose of this base map was to geographically represent the past, current and future rights and interests of all real property in their county. As mappers, we define real property on a base map as a parcel base map. parcel map


The evolution of technology has altered the way we store, access, produce and interpret the parcel base map. The original purpose of the parcel base map has not changed. Parcels still represent the geographic extent of rights and interests of real property. Over time the parcel base map has become a “Foundation” piece for map production and data creation.  Because of that, the parcel base map must be spatially accurate by today’s standards. The methods used to maintain the parcel base map must be repeatable and efficient. The skillset needed to maintain the parcel base map has evolved and changed over time.

So, as parcel mappers, how do we move forward with technology? How do we understand this idea of the parcel base map being a “Foundation”?  And the big question is… How do we bridge the gap between technology and the expanded use and still maintain the original purpose of the parcel base map?

Action & Perspective

With support from AIMS (DTI), RTA is beginning the Parcel Foundation Initiative.  This Initiative consists of three goals. 

The first goal is to improve the spatial accuracy of our parcel base map. Johnson County has a geographic area of 473 square miles. Within those 473 square miles, RTA maintains over 237,000 parcels. Because of the size of the County and the large parcel count we will use a systematic and comprehensive approach to achieve our accuracy goal. We will look at each square mile in our parcel base map and rebuild parcels that need rebuilt. We will use known GPS (Global Position System) locations of section corners to improve the spatial accuracy of the parcels. We will also work with Public Works to locate and GPS section corners that we do not have good locations on.

The second goal is to develop and enhance our methods, procedures and skillsets as parcel mappers. We will build on top of our established mapping skillset and maintain it as technology evolves.  The methods we use to build a parcel will be proven to work over and over again without fail. Other, possibly more efficient methods will be developed and used as well. As long as the method has the same result each time, we will use it. We also want to take a hard look at our current parcel maintenance procedures. If there are efficiencies to find, we will find them and use them while still maintain the integrity of the parcel base map

The third goal is to establish the highest level of confidence in our parcel base map. The parcel base map has become a “Foundation” piece for map production and data creation. RTA, Johnson County Government, private businesses and the public expect a high level of confidence in the parcel base map. We want to continue to build that confidence to the highest level.