Resources and Tools
You don’t need expensive software to access and analyze current mapping data of Maryland’s 2.2 million parcel records. Planning has developed an interactive and free mapping tool called FINDER Online, which is an excellent resource for local planning offices and interested citizens. FINDER Online users can access and overlay data including parcels, recent property sales, and aerial imagery with established geographies such as Generalized Zoning, Priority Funding Areas, Census Boundaries, Land Use/Land Cover, and Floodplains. You can display other map layers with the Layer List function (See image below for location of mapping tools). The identify tool can quickly provide the user with specific information for each map layer with a left click of the mouse. FINDER Online contains links to the Department of Assessments and Taxation records, which are constantly updated. If you enjoy maps and map making, you could spend hours on FINDER Online.
FINDER Online also offers numerous tools for analysis and map design. The user can select items from a specified map layer that meet a desired criterion using the select tool. For example, using the select tool FINDER Online can highlight all parcels within a certain appraised land value range, as well as find other parcels within a defined distance of a selected feature. Tables of selected features can be exported to a CSV file for use elsewhere. The user can zoom in and out to set the preferred map extent. In fact, a few layers are only visible up close, so if you are not seeing the layer you have selected, try zooming in. The measurement tool, which looks like a ruler, allows the user to easily determine distances and areas. FINDER Online also allows you to add your own map features with the draw function. Points, lines, circles, polygons, and text can all be inserted to a custom map for emphasis or clarity. Finally, and perhaps best of all, FINDER Online can quickly print an exportable pdf version of any user created map at the extent shown on the screen. The pdf can include a user created map title, a scale bar, a legend, and a creation date.
FINDER Online has an extensive array of available tools, so please do not hesitate to reach out to Planning with any questions or to request assistance.
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