In today’s digital world people are accustomed to accessing information quickly, easily, and often without ever interacting with another human being. Local governments need to inform citizens in a way that is accessible, transparent, and interactive. Having an easy way for the public to view and consume land records and other government-related information has become more important than ever, even for the smallest of counties.
A WebGIS is a great way to meet the public’s demand for easily accessible, web-based public records data. By making public records available online, they no longer have the make the drive to the courthouse or city hall any time they want to view parcel ownership or property data. Appraisers and realtors can compare property stats and historical sales from the comfort of their own home. Businesses who want to move into an area can do research up-front and save time and money. Citizens benefit from the convenience and ease of use of having data at their fingertips anywhere they are. And that reduces phone calls and walk-ins to the Assessors office between 50% and 70%.
From Google Maps for directions to Yelp for reviews and Zillow for home searches – most people are used to finding what they need on a map. Through maps, citizens can quickly visualize, interact with, and explore data. At gWorks, we routinely see increases in WebGIS traffic of 20% or more year after year. And since the sites are mobile-friendly, they can reach even more people. In 2018, 30% of our WebGIS visitors accessed the sites on a mobile device. Compared to 2017, there was a 31% increase in visitors who accessed gWorks’ WebGIS sites on a smartphone and a 17% increase in visitors who used a tablet.
As the numbers show, there is an increasing reliance on County WebGIS for everything from parcel ownership to zoning maps. The more data counties make publicly available through a WebGIS, especially across multiple departments, the greater the interaction the public has with those sites. We have seen our county clients experience 250% or more web traffic by adding more Departments to their WebGIS. When Dodge County, Nebraska enabled public data in our WebGIS across six Departments, they experienced a 273% increase in site traffic the next year and they’ve seen consistent growth every year since.