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Data Development Group (DDG) is an information services company specializing in spatial data development and GIS (geography information systems) services. We have prominent expertise in the digitization and development of cadastral mapping data (parcel geography). DDG works closely with our clients to develop turnkey-mapping applications to fully utilize their GIS data. Please explore our site further to see how we can help you “find your place in the GIS.”

New Clients & Project Updates:

New Member of our Team
Larry Braman from the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development joins our team of consultants. Larry will be working to create business and help community development corporations (CDCs) to apply information technologies and GIS in their service to local neighborhoods. See Larry Braman's professional biography for additional details on his background.

Boston Natural Areas Network Website
Data Development Group is currently working with the Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN), to develop a new website for the open space conservancy group. The site will feature parcel geography and aerial orthographic photo images for urban wild and other natural open space locations. (Learn more.)

"Tax Map" GIS Data Development
Data Development Group continues to work with partners in the conversion of municipal “tax maps“ into Assessing Department GIS applications. We are currently working on parcel development in several communities in Massachusetts. (Learn more.)

Industry Developments & News:

Learning about Spatial Data:

Municipal GIS:
Most municipal geography information systems are started with the creation and management of digital parcel geography for Assessors and Assessing Departments. Once detailed assessing parcel maps have been digitized, the resulting data becomes available for many other uses within local government. The areas where GIS utilization is most common are: real property assessment and taxation; utilities and water management; open space and land management; planning and development control; transportation management and planning; emergency management and crisis handling, etc.

Parcel Data Development:
The parcel data development process, also referred to as parcel geometry development or parcel digitization, involves the conversion of paper maps and/or AutoCAD geography files into a property level geography information system (GIS). Typically this entails the tracing of individual property lines and the identification of each property with a unique identifier that can be connected to an existing information database (assessing records).

Geocoding is very often a misunderstood term. In a general sense, it refers to the association of a series of geographic references to a list or tabular dataset. Typically for an address list, this means an association of x-y or lat-long coordinates. In a GIS map, these coordinates are depicted as a simple point on the GIS base map. One point represents each record from the listing or dataset.

The accuracy of these x-y references sometimes creates confusion when utilizing geocoded data within a GIS. Listings can be geocoded at various levels and it depend on the base map that is used whether or not a geocoded list can be appropriated used on that base map. For example, some lists may be geocoded to zip code boundaries only. In these cases, points can only be portrayed on a base map depicting zip code geography or larger aggregate geography. Listing data can be georeferenced to any geographic area, however most typically geocoding is performed by zip code boundaries, address locations, parcel geography or building outlines.

Raster Data & Ortho Images:
Raster data is represented by square and rectangular pixels. It is a different form of GIS data that is not often used in consumer application except as a visual aid and reference. However it is used in the development of standard GIS data such as parcel geography systems.

In the development of parcel geography, an aerial orthography photo image (raster data) is used to register scanned assessing maps. (These scans are also raster based data images.) The parcel lines on the assessing maps are traced converting raster data into what is called vector data. Vector data is information represented by point, lines and polygons.

Internet & Web Mapping:
Internet Mapping is quickly becoming the desired method of viewing an analyzing GIS data. Unfortunately, the delivery of vector graphics through the web is only in its infancy. Typically web based Internet applications require a map server running from the host server location. The map server creates temporary images on the server and delivers them through web to be rendered on the client’s Internet browser.

Data Development Group
Local: 617-762-0207 | Toll-Free: 888-792-2804