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.
In addition to the development of the new website, we have
assisted BNAN in the development of a
GIS which contains data from their inventory of Urban Wild areas. The GIS incorporates information from a field
survey performed by BNAN staff. Our work entailed the digitization of each Urban Wild district and the development
of a data structure to house survey results and other descriptive data. The new website will give
Internet users access to Urban Wild maps and all of the BNAN survey data.
Working with communities throughout the metropolitan Boston area, the environmental engineering firm, Environmental
Partners Group Inc. (EPG), develops and maintains water management systems for municipal clients. Working closely
with EPG, DDG performs cadastral data development for these municipal clients. Using engineering data of physical
geography and existing assessing maps, we digitize and identify each parcel of land within these communities. This
creates a property based GIS for local assessing offices and other municipal agencies.
“Tax Map” GIS Data Development
DDG has partnered with EPG in the development of many communities south of Boston, digitizing parcel geography of municipal
assessing “Tax Maps”. Some of these communities include: Medfield, Hanson, Hanover, Marshfield, Rockland, and Holbrook.
Assessing Geography Website
At the request of EPG, we have recently developed a service for municipalities who wish to provide Internet mapping services
to residents and other Internet users. We have developed a prototype for a sample municipality, which allows Internet users
to view parcel maps and retrieve assessing parcel information.
User can switch between two mapping base layers. One depicts parcel level geography with property line, building
footprints, street numbers and lot dimensions. The other displays aerial photograph imagery. Users can search for properties
by address, owner name or parcel ID. Internet users can also pan and zoom to various levels within the map window. By
simply clicking on a specific parcel location within the map window, users can retrieve property specific statistics such
as owner name, owner address, land use, lot area, interior sqft, assessing values, annual taxes, etc.
The Data Development Group has worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council
(MAPC) on several projects. Here
are a few notable ones:
City of Waltham Built Out Analysis
Working with MAPC, we created a build-out analysis study for the City of
Waltham. Using digital zoning geography along with the parcel map base, we were able to associate a zoning
district code to each parcel. Through this connection, using parcel data and zoning regulations, we were
able to determine the build-out potential for each parcel within the City of Waltham.
We performed two build-out scenarios, one for development by-right and a second for allowable development
by-special-permit. We then aggregated the data to summarize our findings by individual ward and citywide.
Specifically we aggregated data to determine the net number of housing units under each build-out scenario. We
also determined the net gain or loss of commercial and retail space under each build-out scenario. The study
was used to assess the impact of development and to take steps to better manage that development.
Recently, the Data Development Group worked closely with MAPC to calculate employment projections for the State
of Massachusetts. The study predicted employment change using a top-down econometric regression model using national,
regional and local historic jobs data. Our model used individually predicted industry sector components to calculate
overall employment in 2010, 2020 and 2030. These employment projections are being used as input elements and research
components throughout MAPC’s Metro Futures plan. Metro Futures is MAPC’s comprehensive long-term planning project
designed to map out the development and growth of the City of Boston and metropolitan area.
1990-2000 Demographic Trends Report
DDG has performed data formatting and integration of the 1990 and 2000
US Census Data for the entire State of Massachusetts into a Microsoft Access database system. Additionally, this
work included the report formatting and design of some 600 of these data metrics into comparison reports of 1990
and 2000 data, complete with percent difference calculations. Services also entailed the development of Visual Basic
functions to create inflation adjustments of monetary data, both of continuous variables and of variables within
The Data Development Group works very closely with Real Estate Mapping, Inc. DDG performs some of the
data development operations for this real estate professionals’ service provider. The Data Development Group
performs regular and timely geocoding services for REM, Inc., geoferencing deed transaction data from the
Suffolk County Registry of Deeds. This data is geocoded with parcel level precision for all sales transaction
recorded by the registry.
DDG has performed research and data development services for the Play Across Boston study, a research grant funded by
the Center for Disease Control (CDC) designed to examine recreational facilities and programs within communities to
better understand their effects on public health. This work involved the compilation of recreational facilities and
programs data. It also entailed the development of a geo-coding application for non-technical users enabling Harvard
School of Public Health staff members to retrieve and update facilities and programs data.
MassBay Commercial Properties
Working with MassBay Commercial Properties, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, DDG performed many data and
systems development services. These tasks included: the development of a data management system for tracking all listing
information, complete with photographic images and geographic mapping data for each property listing. This work also
entailed the collection, development, and integration of all relevant real estate data including assessing data, deed
and sales transactions data, zoning data, etc. All data was formatted and integrated into GIS. A sophisticated GIS
application was developed for non-technical brokers and sales persons used to generate CMA (comparable market analysis)
DDG has performed work for Boston Cares, the nonprofit organization, which connects volunteer participants
with volunteer programs. This work entailed the geo-coding of the Boston Cares participant database which
consisting of some 14,000 participant records, 1,500 program records and 8,000 project location records.