New GIS system comes online


As a result of collaborative effort between several Scioto County Offices, city of Portsmouth Offices and the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) a new Geographic Information System (GIS) has been made to benefit the community.

The collaboration includes Scioto County Commissioners, Scioto County Auditor, Scioto County Sanitary Engineer, Scioto County Engineer, Southern Ohio Port Authority and the Scioto County Economic Development Office.

The GIS system is a collection of maps that provide relevant data on parcels of land throughout.

Prior to the maps being available online, anyone interested in gaining that information would have to visit the Scioto County Courthouse. Now, the information will be available to anyone and everyone.

Craig Opperman, Scioto County Engineer, said the official announcement of the system completion will be Monday.

“It’s (GIS) on our website ( as a link, under the maps tab, right now,” Opperman said.

He acknowledged the completion and availability of the system is a result of a lot of efforts by a lot of people and a lot of offices.

“This puts tax maps right at the public’s fingertips. One of the main focuses of getting these online was economic development, that’s why SOPA and the commissioners are on board. Everyone one is pushing to use this as an economic development tool,” Opperman said.

Instead of having to drive to the courthouse a business or site selector that’s looking to locate to Scioto County, they can now look at every parcel of land from Rarden to Franklin Furnace, without leaving their desk.

Scioto County Commissioners Doug Coleman, Mike Crabtree and Bryan Davis all expressed joy in the system coming on line and say this will be an asset to the community in a number of ways.

Coleman said the system is able to come online as a result of collaborative efforts of a lot of people.

Crabtree echoed Coleman’s comments and said the level of corporation to make this happen is great. He said the system has the opportunity to be a very good thing for the county.

Davis said the system is going to benefit the county in a number of ways including economically.

Opperman said there is some information about each parcel currently on the system. He said they are hopeful to add other layers of information in the future such as, utilities lines and where they are located.

“The first step was to get everything online and get the system operational,” Opperman said.

When compared to the previous GIS system, Opperman said the new system is extremely fast.

He said the new GIS system took existing systems and incorporated them together in various layers.

“This is long term investment and everybody is committed to its success. We’re looking to expand this system, add more information to it,” Opperman said.

Some of the features of the system include documents. If someone is looking at a particular parcel of land they can also look at surrounding parcels to see if there is a survey on file.

“We attached our documents to parcels, you can look on there to see if your property has a survey and if it’s in our records,” Opperman said. “There is also differing Arial photography on there. Our 1999 imagery, our 2008 images and also our 2013 images are all on there. This way you can look at various historical photos back in the system.”

SOPA Executive Director Jason Kester said, “I’ve talked to the Scioto County Bar Association, I’ve talked to a number realtors and they’ve all commented this will make their job and doing business in Portsmouth significantly eaiser, which is what we’re trying to do.”

Kester said on Friday he had someone asking about parcel of land in the county for a potential development project. He sent them a link to that particular parcel using the GIS system. The person then commented how great the link was and how the information available was easy to use and understand.

He said there will a bit of a learning curve with the system, just like there is with any new technology.

Once you have access to the system you can search for various things and there is a search bar that will suggest things as you type them out. System search capabilities go off road names, owner’s names or parcel numbers.

Opperman said the system has print functions and the ability to share maps on Facebook, Twitter on an email.

“I would advise people to play around with it, if you have questions or if you see something you may have a concern with call our courthouse office at 740-355-8265 and those guys will look into it,” Opperman said.

He said the system can also be use on mobile devices and across platforms.

Some of the other functions of the system include a markup’s tool. This tool allows users to mark on the map. Also there’s a triview, “The triview will bring up Google Maps and if there is a street view of a particular road. It will show you an Ariel view of a parcel, street view and a roadmap of what you’re looking at,” Opperman said.

For access to the system visit

By Wayne Allen

[email protected]

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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