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Where can I find shapefile (or other vector) data for US private parcel boundaries (such as for a plat map)?

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3 Answers 3

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Report All website has a large data archive of parcel data per state/county (some states and counties are not included). You can purchase data per county via shapefile, kml, or excel.

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This is perfect. Simple to order pieces of data directly online. For my county, you can order data for individual parcels at $1.99 each or the entire county for $400 (which is beyond my budget for my current project, but overall a reasonable price). They also have some nice subscription integration with Google Earth. Thanks! –  SWB Jan 3 '13 at 21:40

Data for US federal lands can be found through the GeoCommunicator site. However, it does not cover the entire country.

PLSS Download Availability

For private parcels data are much less accessible. For these data you generally have to go to the GIS department for the county, or if there isn't one you may even have to digitize paper maps/plats.

Some private companies, such as maponics, which provides data to Zillow.com, have amassed a good database of private parcel data, but these data are not free.

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Maponics looks like the answer, even though I was hoping for a free (or nearly free) online source. I'll wait a couple of days before accepting, in case someone has a better answer. I know this depends entirely on the local department, but in your own experience, are local GIS departments generally happy to provide this kind of data (if they have it)? –  SWB Dec 28 '12 at 3:11
    
Yes, I would say that they are generally happy to provide data. GIS department are limited by time, not regulations. You could also check with the local property assessor's office if the town or county doesn't have a GIS group. Realtors get data from them on a routine basis. I would guess that this is the primary source for Maponics' data. –  katahdin Dec 28 '12 at 3:52
    
If the locality (usually the county) has tax parcel boundary data they will usually make it available, but rarely for free in my experience (which is mostly limited to the mid-Atlantic region). The county tax assessor's office will usually be able to put you on the right track to getting a hold of the electronic data, if it exists. Some counties still don't have electronic versions and you'll need to digitize PDFs (or paper maps). Google Maps now has some parcel data but there is no attribute data associated with it (that you can query). –  Dan C Dec 28 '12 at 4:36
    
GeoCommunicator doesn't work with APNs (Assessor's Parcel Number) and only works with (land) lots for which you would also need several other pieces of information to get a boundary for. The GetTRS API on the Township Geocoder Service takes a lat & lng, but failed to resolve some of the coordinates (for residential properties) I put in. I'm also not sure what boundary level is returned (lot or bigger) from that API. –  johntrepreneur May 17 '13 at 22:18
    
The other GetLatLng API on the Township Geocoder Service seems to be the better solution, but that's the one that needs all those other params in addition to the (land) lot number. The docs for it say it needs: "A comma-separated String of Township Range properties describing a single PLSS survey area" which consists of the all these pieces of data I wouldn't have even if I could obtain the (land) lot number. –  johntrepreneur May 17 '13 at 22:19

Maponics would be it. I used to update the data they now use and it is the best in class, historicaly it was tele atlas data 'multinet', maponics spun off for the uses you describe. Nationwide polygon data would be very expensive i expect. a way to create a cheaper and much less accurate coverage would be use tiger data and polygonize by zipcode.

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Maponics is a fairly priced solution for zipcode level boundaries, but that's about it. Parcel Boundary API web services are serveral thousand per month since they get their data from GIS Map Products who charges about 10k/month for nationwide parcel boundaries (Google is one of their clients). After speaking with a few sales reps at Maponics, it's $200 per county for a one time download that you'd use throughout the year and repurchase annually for updates. Not bad. Or they have a web service API for zipcode boundaries, but again "that would be in the high thousands per month". –  johntrepreneur May 17 '13 at 22:25

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