National Land Parcel Data

A Vision for the Future

Committee on Land Parcel Databases: A National Vision

Mapping Science Committee

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future National Land Parcel Data A Vision for the Future Committee on Land Parcel Databases: A National Vision Mapping Science Committee Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the Department of Commerce / U.S. Census Bureau Award No. YA123-05-SE-0220, Department of Homeland Security Award No. HSHQDC-06-P-00051, Department of Interior / Bureau of Land Management Award No. PAA-03-7087, Environmental Systems Research Institute, and U.S. Geological Survey / Federal Geographic Data Committee Award No. 04HQAG0127. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13 978-0-309-11030-3 (Book) International Standard Book Number-10 0-309-11030-0 (Book) International Standard Book Number-13 978-0-309-11031-0 (PDF) International Standard Book Number-10 0-309-11031-9 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number 2007937818 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Cover: Lower half of the cover shows aerial imagery overlain with parcel boundaries provided courtesy of Delaware County, Ohio. Cover design by Michael Dudzik. Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future COMMITTEE ON LAND PARCEL DATABASES: A NATIONAL VISION DAVID J. COWEN, Chair, University of South Carolina, Columbia DAVID J. COLEMAN, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada WILLIAM J. CRAIG, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis CINDY DOMENICO, Boulder County Assessor, Colorado SHOREH ELHAMI, Delaware County Auditor’s Office, Delaware, Ohio SHELBY JOHNSON, State of Arkansas, Little Rock SUSAN MARLOW, Smart Data Strategies, Inc., Franklin, Tennessee FRANK ROBERTS, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Plummer, Idaho MICHAEL T. SWARTZ, First American Flood Data Services, Austin, Texas NANCY VON MEYER, Fairview Industries, Pendleton, South Carolina National Research Council Staff ANN G. FRAZIER, Study Director JARED P. ENO, Research Associate (from August 2006) AMANDA M. ROBERTS, Senior Program Assistant (until August 2006)

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future MAPPING SCIENCE COMMITTEE KEITH C. CLARKE, Chair, University of California, Santa Barbara ROBERT P. DENARO, NAVTEQ Corporation, Chicago, Illinois SHOREH ELHAMI, Delaware County Auditor’s Office, Delaware, Ohio HON. JAMES E. GERINGER, Former Governor of Wyoming, ESRI, Inc., Wheatland, Wyoming GEORGE F. HEPNER, University of Utah, Salt Lake City JOHN R. JENSEN, University of South Carolina, Columbia NINA S.-N. LAM, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LEWIS A. LAPINE, South Carolina Geodetic Survey, Columbia MARY L. LARSGAARD, University of California, Santa Barbara XAVIER R. LOPEZ, Oracle Corporation, Nashua, New Hampshire ROBERT B. MCMASTER, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis SHASHI SHEKHAR, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis NANCY TOSTA, Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd., Seattle, Washington EUGENE TROBIA, Arizona State Land Department, Phoenix National Research Council Staff PAUL M. CUTLER, Senior Program Officer JARED P. ENO, Research Associate

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair, University of Virginia, Charlottesville GREGORY B. BAECHER, University of Maryland, College Park STEVEN R. BOHLEN, Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Washington, D.C. KEITH C. CLARKE, University of California, Santa Barbara DAVID J. COWEN, University of South Carolina, Columbia WILLIAM E. DIETRICH, University of California, Berkeley ROGER M. DOWNS, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park JEFF DOZIER, University of California, Santa Barbara KATHERINE H. FREEMAN, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park RHEA L. GRAHAM, Pueblo of Sandia, Bernalillo, New Mexico RUSSELL J. HEMLEY, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden V. RAMA MURTHY, University of Minnesota (retired), Minneapolis CLAYTON R. NICHOLS, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (retired), Standpoint RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada BARBARA A. ROMANOWICZ, University of California, Berkeley JOAQUIN RUIZ, University of Arizona, Tucson MARK SCHAEFER, Global Environment and Technology Foundation, Arlington, Virginia WILLIAM W. SHILTS, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign RUSSELL E. STANDS-OVER-BULL, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Billings, Montana TERRY C. WALLACE, JR., Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico THOMAS J. WILBANKS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee National Research Council Staff ANTHONY R. DE SOUZA, Director PAUL M. CUTLER, Senior Program Officer ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Senior Program Officer DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer ANN G. FRAZIER, Program Officer SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Program Officer CAETLIN M. OFIESH, Associate Program Officer VERNA J. BOWEN, Administrative and Financial Associate JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Financial Associate JARED P. ENO, Research Associate NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Research Associate TONYA E. FONG YEE, Program Assistant

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Richard R. Almy, Almy, Gloudemans, Jacobs and Denne, La Grange Highlands, Illinois Nicholas Chrisman, Université Laval, Québec, Canada David D. Claypool, Ramsey County, Arden Hills, Minnesota Stewart Kirkpatrick, State of Montana, Helena John J. Moeller, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Chantilly, Virginia D. David Moyer, University of Wisconsin, Madison Scott Oppmann, Oakland County, Pontiac, Michigan Gary Waters, GeoFields, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia Ian Williamson, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future Preface Land ownership has been critical to the economic and philosophical development of the United States. Land parcel databases, which are also known as cadastres, describe the rights, interests, and value of property. These databases represent the distribution of the real property assets of a community and its ownership, form the basis for all land use and zoning decisions, and represent the location of residences, businesses, and public lands. In other words, almost every aspect of government and business can be associated with a land parcel. In 1980, the National Research Council (NRC) issued a report titled Need for a Multipurpose Cadastre, which became, and still is, a guidebook for land parcel data systems throughout the world. The report advocated the development of a nationally integrated set of land parcel data and recommended a vision for achieving it. However, 27 years later, despite technological advances to make it more feasible and policy directives that support the development of national land parcel data, the United States has still not achieved this vision. Therefore, the NRC was requested by five organizations (the Bureau of Land Management, the Federal Geographic Data Committee, the Department of Homeland Security, the Census Bureau, and the Environmental Systems Research Institute) to reassess the 1980 vision for land parcel data and determine why it has yet to be achieved. During the conduct of this study, the importance, complexity, and passion that surround a concept such as a national perspective on land parcel data became much more evident. It also became obvious that the study committee faced a huge challenge in trying to improve upon Need for a Multipurpose Cadastre, since much of what is recommended in that report is as relevant today as it was in 1980. The task therefore became to determine why its vision was not achieved, and how the technological and organizational changes of the last quarter century have influenced the vision and the potential for reaching it. Fortunately, the committee consisted of an outstanding group of individuals who were up to the task. Committee members came from local and tribal governments that depend on parcel data to improve the delivery of services to taxpayers, and from state governments that are struggling to develop workable partnerships with local governments to acquire parcel data. The committee also included members from the private sector who know how to create parcel data and whose businesses depend on this. Finally, it included members of academia who are dedicated to improving the use

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future of geospatial data and technologies in public policy. The committee received invaluable input from a diverse group of participants from federal agencies, the private sector, and professional organizations at meetings held in the spring of 2006, including an information-gathering workshop called a Land Parcel Summit. The pulse of the producers and users of parcel data across the nation was measured through a web-based feedback system. This was an innovative approach that gained the perspective of 400 individuals who are working “in the trenches” with parcel data. The thousands of written comments provided by this diverse set of stakeholders helped the committee better understand the issues and formulate its recommendations. The input of all of these individuals has made this a much better report. Finally, the entire committee benefited from the guidance and tireless work of Ann Frazier from the NRC who helped us stay on course. The entire team appreciates the support of the sponsors who wanted us to objectively assess a complex situation and provide a vision for the future. Finally, a unique aspect of this study has been the opportunity to revisit an issue that was first addressed in 1980. It is an obvious understatement to say that the world is a much different place in 2007. In 1980, personal computers were rare and few could have even described the capabilities that are now available to us over the World Wide Web. In 1980 no one had experienced the events of September 11, 2001, or Hurricane Katrina. Institutionally we did not have a Department of Homeland Security or a Federal Geographic Data Committee. The current framework of Spatial Data Infrastructure standards for data, technology, and discovery did not exist. Now, geospatial technology and related services are ubiquitous. These events and technological advances have changed the way we do business. In light of these factors the committee can only hope that that this report will be as highly regarded as the one written in 1980, but at the same time, we also hope that it will have a greater impact in terms of changing the way all levels of government create and use land parcel data. It is intended for those organizations that create and use land parcel data, and in particular those U.S. government agencies that play a role in coordinating and funding national land parcel data and other related themes of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The challenge is exactly the same one that faced the original NRC committee 27 years ago—how do we create workable partnerships to better serve our citizens? David Cowen Chair

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future Contents     SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   9      1.1  Background,   9      1.2  Statement of Task and Approach,   11      1.3  Definitions,   11      1.4  Report Structure,   15 2   BACKGROUND AND CURRENT SETTING   17      2.1  Background: Previous NRC Reports,   17      2.2  Geospatial Data Policy and the Spatial Data Infrastructure,   19      2.3  Technology Changes,   24      2.4  Summary,   38 3   NEEDS AND BENEFITS   41      3.1  Federal Agency Needs and Benefits,   44      3.2  State and Local Needs and Benefits,   49      3.3  Private Industry Needs and Benefits,   52      3.4  Private Citizen Needs and Benefits,   53      3.5  Summary,   55 4   CURRENT STATUS   57      4.1  Federal Parcel Data Programs,   57      4.2  Indian Country Parcel Data,   69      4.3  State and Local Parcel Data,   72      4.4  Private Sector Parcel Data Systems,   76      4.5  International Context,   79      4.6  Summary,   87

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National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future 5   CHALLENGES   89      5.1  Technical and Data Challenges,   89      5.2  Financial Challenges,   97      5.3  Legal Challenges,   100      5.4  Organizational Challenges,   106      5.5  Political Challenges,   108      5.6  Unique Challenges of Creating Parcel Data for Indian Country,   110      5.7  Summary,   112 6   VISION AND MODEL   113      6.1  Model for Federated Coordination,   114      6.2  Parcel Data Model,   118      6.3  Funding Mechanisms,   121      6.4  Summary,   123 7   CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   125      Recommendations,   126      Conclusion,   137     REFERENCES   139     APPENDIXES          A  Acronyms   145      B  Recommendations from Need for a Multipurpose Cadastre (NRC, 1980)   149      C  Land Parcel Data Summit   153      D  Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff   155