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Clients & Case Studies:

Boston Natural Areas Network

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.

Environmental Partners Group, Inc.

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.

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

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.

Employment Projections
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 categoric ranges.

Real Estate Mapping, Inc.

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.

Harvard University

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) reports.

Boston Cares

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.

Data Development Group
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