Mapping Services

Mapping services offered on this website are based on public GIS
information available from Federal, States and County databases and
although accurate, have NO legal values.
GIS maps are NOT surveys.
The only people that can perform legal surveys in the U.S. are
Licensed Professional Land Surveyors.

Landowner mapping services

Have you ever wanted to go beyond looking at your property on Google Maps or Google Earth? I provide GIS mapping services and products for farmers, ranchers, owners of woodlots and acreages, incorporating aerial photos, lot boundaries, elevation data, soil maps, and customer information for property plans, design, and management of small farms or acreages. The derived maps are geocorrected and provide an aerial view of the land including elevation, slope and aspect. The maps can be used to obtain measurements and perform site planning for buildings, fencing, crops, landscapes, greenhouses, and gardens. A detailed map of the lay of your land provides you with information about potential wet and dry areas or best sun exposure, and helps you plan and manage your acreage in an environmentally sound manner. I provide different levels of services and packaged products. The products include free mapping software and instructions for use. No job is too small. I invite you to look at some examples of my work.

Clockwise from top left: aerial image with contour lines, elevation, slope, aspect, hillshade, and solar radiation map for a 5 acre property

Available Products: map packages table

All map packages include a CD with data layers and a free viewer to display the data in 2D and 3D, turn layers on and query values contained in the data layers (elevation, slope, soil type, etc.). Detailed instructions for use are included.

What you will get

1. Instructions for use
Detailed instructions on the installation of the free viewer, viewing the data, and content of GIS layers

2. GIS Viewer
The viewer is ArcGIS Explorer, a free GIS viewer from ESRI®. ArcGIS Explorer is intuitive to use for exploring and visualizing spatial data. The viewer is included on the CD, or it can be downloaded from . Similar to Google Earth, the viewer’s base map layer displays high resolution aerial imagery, over which the GIS layers are shown. Various other base maps can be added from the ESRI® online baseman gallery, including street maps and topography data. You can draw over the existing data layers to add your own information, and basic spatial analysis functions are available.

 ArcGIS Explorer 2D window with outline of 5-acre property

 ArcGIS Explorer 3D window with overlayed digital elevation model of 5-acre property

3. Map file
The map file is an ArcGIS Explorer format file (*.nmf). When opened in the software, the entire project with folders and data layers is displayed. A user not familiar with GIS can simply open the file and immediately explore the data. The map file contains the Data Layerpack and individual data layers that are provided on the CD (See examples here).

4. Data Layerpack
The data layerpack is a single file that includes raster and vector layers with their associated map legends. A layerpack has the advantage that the data will display with the legend that the map creator designed. This allows the user to simply turn the data on and visualize it with an appropriate legend. Vector layers (soils and contour files) can be queried by clicking on the layer which returns a popup window that displays the value at that location.

Soil layer with popup window showing soil information at queried location
(Note:Raster files (DEM, slope, etc.) contained in layer packs cannot be queried. For that reason, we also provide individual raster data layers.)

5. Individual data layers
In these individual data layers, the user can click on the raster layer and a popup window will display the value at that location. For vector layers (contours), the user can also change the appearance (color, size) of the lines. The underlying data layers are identical to the ones in the layerpack, but the display is in grey scale.

DEM layer with popup window showing elevation

Basic landowner map package

The following layers are included in the data layerpack:
1. Lot outline
2. Contour lines with contour labels. Shows the contours of the land, with the contour intervals depending on the resolution of the data (see details in About the Data below).
3. Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The DEM shows the elevation in each cell, colored from light blue (low elevation) to white (high elevation).
4. Slope. The map shows the slope in percent from relatively flat terrain or low slope (green) to steep slope (red).
5. Aspect. The aspect map shows the compass direction a slope faces. Aspect is measured clockwise in degrees from 0 (due north) to 360 (due north coming full circle). Flat areas have a value of -1. The aspect map allows you to determine the best exposure for siting buildings, crops, or gardens.
6. Hillshade. The hillshade map shows the illumination of the land surface based on how sunlight hits the surface. This enhances the visualization of the land based on shadow and light.

Expanded landowner map package

This package contains all the data layers of the basic landowner map package plus these additional products:
1.Soils depicting soil polygons based on the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) web soil survey (WSS).

2. Solar radiation. This insolation maps depicts the solar radiation energy for the area averaged over the entire year, measured in Watt hrs/sqm. This map is useful for determining areas of your property that receive high or low values of solar radiation.

3. Stream and drainage network. The yellow lines show streams and drainages. Not all lines are actual streams, but rather depict how water would collect and drain on the land based on the digital elevation model.

Premium landowner map package

This package contains all the data layers of the expanded landowner map package plus these additional products:

1. High resolution aerial image. Availability and resolution depend on location, but in general this refers to aerial images with resolution higher than the 0.5 m to 1 m resolution available in the ArcGIS Explorer basemap.
2. Classification of landcover/landuse map. This map is based on a classification of the aerial photo available for your area. In some cases, this will be a true color aerial photo and several classes can be mapped: buildings, trees, grass, roads, shadow, etc. If a color infrared aerial photo is available for your area, a more detailed vegetation classification can be created (conifers, hardwoods, shrubs, dead trees). Note that some freely available aerial photos may have a large percentage of shadow, as shown in this example.
Clockwise from top left: True color aerial photo, color infrared aerial photo, classification from color infrared photo, and classification from true color photo.
3. A table in Excel format with the area of each class and percentage of total area.
4. Layer files with buildings. This allows you to turn the building files on and off and visualize the buildings over the other raster layers (aspect, slope, contours, etc.). Note that the building outlines are based on the aerial photos and some trees may overhang buildings. You can add additional buildings to the file by digitizing outlines in ArcGIS Explorer.
                       The building outlines in yellow overlaid on the image.


About the data
The data layers you will receive are assembled from county, state, and federal GIS data depositories. The soils data are from the NRCS Web soil survey. For the most part, the data are free, which keeps the cost down for the landowner package. As a result, data availability and resolution will vary based on your location. Contour lines may vary in resolution from 2 ft to 20 ft, and DEMs may vary from 1m to 10m. Slope, aspect, hillshade, and solar radiation maps are derived from the DEM and will have the same resolution as the DEM.

The informational details you can obtain from the data depend both on the data resolution and the size of your property. A minimum property size for obtaining sufficient detail with a 2ft contour interval is around 2 acres, but properties of 5 acres and larger are more suitable. Likewise, for larger properties, coarser resolution DEMs and 10-20ft contour intervals are appropriate. When you order a small landowner package, data availability and resolution for your location will be evaluated and we will inform you if there is a lack of data or insufficient resolution for your property’s size.

We are based in Oregon, and have a good selection of data for that state, but data can be provided for any state. We also provide map packages for other countries if data are available. For the entire state of Oregon, 4-band aerial imagery at 0.5 m resolution is available, and imagery at 15 to 30 cm resolution is often available in selected areas. High resolution DEMs at 1 m resolution are becoming increasingly available for many locations, although 10 m resolution is more commonly for most areas. 

How to Order

Before we request payment, we will verify which data and resolution is available for your property and send you an email describing the map package that can be created for you. If there is a lack of data or insufficient resolution for your property’s size, we will tell you. Please fill out the Request for Mapping Work form with your contact details, and we will get back to you promptly.

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