The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) retained Greystone to expand upon the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) LandTracker system, enabling MassDOT stakeholders to view highway layout plans as georeferenced images in the existing LandTracker data viewer.
The GIS interface houses the MBTA/MassDOT property database, and contains data on all parcels of MBTA and MassDOT-owned property, including address, use, size, and title information, and maps and plans associated with each site.
The new enhancement features layout plans of MassDOT properties, specifically, plans that show property ownership, as well as details including boundaries of roads and highways. “The tool’s ability to allow multiple layers of information to be displayed on a single map is very valuable to our client. By relating property data, this enhancement improves users’ understanding of spatial patterns and relationships”, said Rachel Goldsmith, a GIS specialist on the Greystone team, who oversaw the project. The tool will also enable users to download PDF versions of layouts, and view georeferenced layout data.
Describing how the technology works, Ms. Goldsmith explained, “The image itself becomes a data layer which can be turned on or off at the user’s discretion. Layout plans can be difficult to read and comprehend. Once plans are georeferenced, users are able to see the layout overlaid on an aerial photograph, and gain an accurate idea of geographically where a property is located and how big it is”. Ms. Goldsmith, excited about this new addition to the system, explained “This new tool solves the problem many in our industry face when evaluating aerial photography, which is not being able to clearly identify where one property stops, and another begins. Lines can become blurred.”