The WestCOG Foundation, Inc. is seeking qualified Vendor(s) who have expertise with IT, CAMA, and GIS to create effective parcel data for communities without data and to support and manage a Regional GIS CAMA and Parcel View system (Regional GIS) for the Region. This project is the initial phase in a multi-year effort to support regional cooperation and efficiencies. Continue reading The WestCOG Foundation is currently seeking proposals
The WestCOG GIS team is working on a number of initiatives at the moment which are listed below
- Regional Viewer
- WestCOG Data Campaigns
- 2020 Census Boundary Update
- Parcel & CAMA Data Acquisition
- Zoning Data Acquisition
- Regional GIS Initiative
The Regional Viewer showcases WestCOG regional datasets which includes parcel, assessor, transportation, landuse, environmental, and topographical data.
Always Improving. The viewer is continually updated. WestCOG is happy to collect feedback to improve user experience and incorporate desired datasets. Leave feedback through the Viewer’s Dashboard or send directly to Mike Towle at email@example.com.
Host Locally. Interested communities can link directly
to the regional viewer on their websites or even use it as their primary viewer
(the latter may provide cost savings).
Regional Viewer Link: https://gis.westcog.org/
Imagery Viewing. 2019, 2018, 2016, 2012, and 1990 imagery available for viewing.
Updated Regularly. Data is scheduled to be updated quarterly. WestCOG will manage data collection campaigns in March (Parcels & CAMA), June (CAMA), September (CAMA), and December (CAMA). Communities interested in more frequent updates can contact Mike Towle for more information.
Abutters Tools. Users can generate a list of abutters in the form of an excel list or mailing labels. The user can select the extent of the abutter ranger or perform an abutter selection based on a geometric shape (manually drawn).
Map Printing. Users can select layers, draw shapes, add points and text to prepare for sharing and printing.
Personalized Viewer. WestCOG can provide Power user access for municipal staff upon request. This would allow individual towns to view sensitive data in a protected space, host municipal specific layers, or other personalized requests. Contact Mike Towle with your requests.
Property Cards. Users can access property cards associated to their properties by: Choosing your town of interest from the drop down menu > Select your parcel of interest within that town > click the “Property Record Card” link found in the left hand ribbon. [This feature is in development and may not work for all towns.]
Training. The viewer has a short tour (opens on start up, and available in the menu) to walk through initial functionality. There is also an extensive Help Manual covering the additional features.
Upcoming Improvements. WestCOG has substantial improvement slated for completion for the end of March which includes.
- Additional data entries for assessment value data. Currently, mismatched or missing data reads as value 0. Data improvements are tied to WestCOG’s March Data Collection Campaign (A separate email will address this effort).
- Improved Regional Zoning Symbology.
- FEMA Flood Zones.
- Wetland Data.
- Stormwater Feature Layers
- Easier access to municipal property cards. Currently users are required to select their community of interest from a drop down menu in order to access property card links
- Selectable parcels for Stamford.
Every Quarter (March, June, Sept, December), WestCOG launches Data Campaigns to collect the latest in parcel, CAMA, and planning data from its member municipalities. Collected datasets are then processed and standardized for the extent of the region and made publicly available (with exceptions to sensitive datasets). Contact Mike Towle at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
March – April Data Campaign:
- March 4th. WestCOG Kicks Off the Data Campaign.
- March 4th – April 10th. Assessors develop specialized reports for Data Extracts based on WestCOG CAMA Data Schema.
- March 20th. Assessors and/or GIS staff provide most current Data Extract and Parcel data for their respective community.
- March 4th – April 17th WestCOG reviews provided data as it arrives. WestCOG may request data keys for unidentified data fields.
- April 17th. WestCOG aims to have collected Parcel and CAMA data from all participating communities.
- WestCOG will continue to work with communities to collect Parcel and CAMA data.
Fun Fact! The data collected thus far is already being used for interesting applications such as WestCOG’s Regional Viewer and assisting First Responders through CT’s Eagle-1 Program. The latter is overlaying parcel and address information on their night vision imagery systems, very cool!
The US 2020 Census’ Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP)is under way. Every ten years, the Census reviews its existing boundaries. These boundaries serve as the foundation for tabulating statistics on socioeconomic data. The Census has designated WestCOG as the PSAP Primary Official (PPO) to oversee Census Boundary Updates for Fairfield County. WestCOG will be working with its member communities, neighboring COGs, and CTDOT to perform these updates. WestCOG has identified two tasks to work on during this process. Updating Census Designated Places (CDP), and reviewing existing census block-groups and tract boundaries.
CDP Update: Census Designated Places (CDP) provide detailed socioeconomic information for a neighborhood, downtown district, or village that may be difficult to capture using census block groups or tracts. CDPs are currently used sparingly or not at all within CT. WestCOG has developed a methodology to update and delineate new Census Designated Places (CDP). The methodology can be downloaded here: CDP Strategy. A list of named places can be downloaded here: Fairfield County Named Places. WestCOG wishes to recieve these updates by May 15th 2019.
BG and Tract Review: WestCOG will be working with CTDOT and municipalities to request edits to census boundaries. The goal is to develop boundaries most useful for analytics, regional studies,and traffic modeling. WestCOG is working on a methodology to standardize its role in this review/edit process. One process is to track down special use areas and anomaly areas as these locations throw off, or skew data within the census. More information on this process can be found on the Special Use Area Strategy.
State mandate, PA-1875, requires communities to provide their respective COG with their latest Parcel and CAMA data by May 1st, 2019 and then annually thereafter. WestCOG coordinates this collection with its member communities.
Parcel Data Request: WestCOG is looking for the latest Parcel Data Set usable in a GIS
- A date for when it was last updated.
- A unique parcel ID attribute to link with the CAMA data.
If you have a third-party vendor and you provide a contact, WestCOG would be happy to collect the updated data on your behalf from the vendor.
If your community does not maintain a GIS Parcel Data set. WestCOG will defer to its oldest parcel data set
CAMA Data Request: WestCOG is looking for the most detailed CAMA extract it can recieve while maintaining a flat excel format. Many communities have used the extracts made for the Warren Reports. In the mean time, WestCOG is working with the state and CAMA vendors to have them develop a standardized CAMA report that communities can readily provide.
WestCOG is creating its Regional Plan of Conservation and Development and as such has been collecting and updating its data resources, one of which is zoning data. We have collected all our towns zoning maps in PDF format, but are looking for GIS datasets (or CAD if it’s the only option) so we can review zoning in the region and its correlation to demographics, economics, and natural resources.
WestCOG seeks GIS or CAD data from each community. Datasets can be sent to Nick Trabka to <email@example.com> We hope to complete our inventory of zoning data by early May 10th.
Initial Grant Award
In 2012, WestCOG’s predecessor, SWRPA, received Regional Performance Incentive Program (RPIP) funds to develop a regional GIS program to develop a regional GIS Program which would host extensive data resources such as imagery, lidar, contours, and planimetric data. With consolidation of the State’s planning regions, the project was extended to the entire Western Connecticut Planning Region, and was expanded to cover additional tasks (in the areas of property assessment and records).
GIS Data Acquisition
Flight Data for Southern Towns: The project launched in 2014 when the vendor, Kucera, was selected to generate:
- High resolution imagery (3”)
- Oblique Imagery
- Lidar, Elevation Data
This data collected was known as the 2014 Kucera Flight Data.
Flight Data for Northern Towns: RPIP funds were utilized to develop planimetrics data for the 10 northern towns in the WestCOG Planning Region. This effort was performed in 2016 using data from a state flyover performed in 2016.
Planimetrics Update for Developing Areas: In areas with high development activity (Stamford, Norwalk, and along Route 1), remaining grant funds were used to update planimetrics data to match 2016 state flight data. This work was completed by Sanborn in 2018.
Axiomatic, in partnership with WestCOG and its members, conducted a study of opportunities for regional cooperation in property assessment and records, including the viability of a regionalized Real Property Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system.
- Existing Conditions & Initial Recommendations Report (aka Regional CAMA Study), Appendix
- Regional GIS Web Application Recommendations Report, Appendix, Case Study
- Regional Recommendation Prioritization Report
Regional CAMA Study: The study found that the cost savings of a Regional CAMA Service were negligible due to the diversity in property tax base, software, and schedules within the Region. The report did identify four workflow efficiency projects:
- Regional GIS Parcel-CAMA web viewer
- Personal Property E-File
- Automated Deed Integration
- E-File for Exemptions
This report is explained in detail in the Existing Conditions & Initial Recommendations Report.
Two follow-up reports were developed to facilitate implementation of these projects:
Regional GIS Parcel-CAMA Study: This service would develop a sustainable approach to collect and standardize parcel and CAMA data across the Region, and to share these data via the web. The report provides a breakdown of cost benefits, best practices, and an implementation strategy.
Following this report, WestCOG has performed a Request for Information (RFI). Following the RFI, WestCOG Foundation Inc. is now in the middle of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify vendors to provide this service. This project is expected to commence in 2019.
This project is explained in detail in the Regional GIS Web Application Recommendations Report.
Regional Recommendations Study: This report outlines the cost, benefits, and steps for implementation for three projects:
- Personal Property E-File (Completed)
- Automated Deed Integration (In Progress)
- E-File for Exemptions (Pending)
These projects are explained in detail within the Regional Recommendation Prioritization Report.
This federally-funded project involved utilizing Census data to determine the relationship between under-served populations and the accessibility of transportation. This overview provides an introduction to the project.
This report evaluates passenger vehicle data from the CT DMV to determine the progress of Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption in the WestCOG and spatial relationship between EVs and charging station.
An Analysis of Connecticut Property Appraisal Accuracy
Using data from the Municipal Fiscal Indicators gathered by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, this report provides an analysis of property appraisal accuracy in Connecticut by comparing the sales price of properties sold between 2011 and 2014 with their appraised value (report, annex).
Using data from the Municipal Fiscal Indicators gathered by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, this report tracks local government revenues and tax rates through the years.
Using data from the Municipal Fiscal Indicators collected by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (see report titled “Trends in Connecticut Municipal Finance” above), this report investigates unexpected changes in municipal revenues from state transfers.
WestCOG’s Regional Map Viewer is a web based platform to view parcel and assessor data within the region. The viewer also showcases a variety of themed datasets such as zoning, geology, contours, and storm water features.
Bridgewater Bike Map
The TIP Map showcases WestCOG’s current projects listed within it Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). User’s can view project, type and cost as well as print project reports.
The Analytics Department at WestCOG provides technical data services for the 18 municipalities in the Region. Services may include Mapping, Modeling, Reporting, and Data Visualization within the sectors of transportation, policy, and urban planning.
Contact Mike Towle at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a consultation for your municipal data or mapping needs.
The GIS and Analytics Group at WestCOG is technically skilled with diverse expertise in a variety of domain areas and data types (e.g. environmental, transportation, and land-use). In addition to GIS skills and software, we have expertise in data processing, geoprocessing, scripting, image processing, and other analytic areas. Contact Michael Towle at email@example.com for more information.
The GIS and Analytics Group at WestCOG can help you conduct your data analyses and mapping visualization using a wide variety of analytic tool, methodologies, and approaches. Our staff has backgrounds in fields like GIS, remote sensing, economics, landscape architecture, geology, natural resources, and environmental science, land-use, and transportation. Call us with your questions.
Municipal Specific Analyses
You might have something specific you want to be able to perform in house. Contact WestCOG to setting up a training.
GIS Basics for Municipal Staff
WestCOG staff can come to your work place, and provide introductory training on ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Desktop, and open source software like QGIS
Learn to use Arc Collector (Free with you Arc Subscription) to collect data in the field with your phone.
From Excel to GIS and Back Again
How to get your excel data into GIS, join it with shapefiles, and how to bring it back to excel.
GIS Groups and Associations
- Administrative Areas
- Landcover Rasters
- Land Use Planning
- WestCOG Imagery
- DEM and SEM
- Raw Lidar
Town, regional, congressional, and school district boundaries.
WestCOG shares a basemap with all its planimetrics and contour data in tile format which can be viewed online or loaded directly into your GIS by adding data through a URL, reference URL below:
Building foot print polygon data for all towns in WestCOG
Census designated regions include block, block group, and tract shapes for our region.
20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 ft contours for the WestCOG region. Deata derived from 2014 Lidar Data.
Trees, soils, and riparian data
Streams rivers and lakes
DEM, SEM, impervious cover rasters
Parcels, Zoning and open space data collected where available from communities
Culverts and impervious cover totals by town, watershed, catchment areas and parcels.
Pavement polygons, road center lines, and street features.
Rail and bus data
The most recent imagery for the region is 3″ and 4-band imagery from the 2016 statewide flight and can be obtained on CT Eco. Imagery of the same type is available from the GIS Department for 2013 (SWRPA towns) and 2015 (HVCEO towns). If needed, please contact WestCOG directly to establish a form of data delivery.
Digital Elevation Model (DEM), shows elevation of the surface only and does not represent features such as trees or buildings. Surface Elevation Model (SEM) depicts features as well, including buildings and trees.
A large data set not available for download. If needed, please contact WestCOG directly to establish a form of data delivery.
Two page summaries with key data for each municipality in CT and regularly updated by the CT Data Collaborative and Advance CT.
Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online (CT ECO) shares imagery and environmental information with the general public through map services.
The primary data source of environmental and natural resource data from the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Home to some unique data sets.
A source of geographic information and Census data and is affiliated with the University of Connecticut library system.
The data clearinghouse for the State of Connecticut. A source for municipal and state demographics and government oriented data sets (e.g. public safety).
Striving for informed decision-making across Connecticut. CT Data Collaborative empowers an ecosystem of data users by democratizing access to public data and building data literacy.
WestCOG’s Regional Viewer
Currently in development, the web application would allow for regional viewing of WestCOG member town’s parcel and CAMA data, along with relevent regional datasets (e.g zoning, wetlands, etc.)
Project Manager: Mike Towle, Deputy Director at WestCOG, firstname.lastname@example.org | 475.323.2064
Project Leader: Michele Giorgianni with AppGeo
Assistant Project Manager: Priya Sankalia with AppGeo
WestCOG Member Municipalities: Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Greenwich, Newtown, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Milford, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, Stamford, Weston, Westport, Wilton
Phase 1: Program Governance, make sure WestCOG creates a strong governing roll
Phase 2: Create platform- collect data, migrate, and build map visual. See WestCOG’s Regional Data List is an active list of intended regional data layers for the parcel viewer. WestCOG is open to feedback from member communities on what data should be included and how it should be displayed.
Phase 3: Establish a maintenance program and make sure WestCOG is in a good place to have data updated regularly. See the Regional Data List for status updates on this process.
Phase 4: Support towns data needs (as needed basis)
Easy Access: A single resource for users to view multiple communities worth of parcel data across town boundaries.
- Providing faster review of parcel data,
- Facilitates business Facilitates local business and real estate activities.
- Allows user logins for municipal staff to review select datasets
- Abutter features can be used across town boundaries
- Allows for more robust queries to identify unique properties in neighboring jurisdictions (e.g. Golf Courses, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities etc.). This can support valuation and abatement case management.
Market of Options: Communities without a parcel viewer can refer to the Regional Viewer, as a cheaper alternative for the service. Communities with existing parcel viewers now have options, can also consider switching to using the regional viewer if desired. The latter option providing some cost & time savings, however the community would be giving up some level of municipal site specificity (e.g. town logo, site colors, symbology styles).
Supports Partner Departments/Agencies: Access to authoritative parcel and CAMA data can support economic development (commercial site selectors), public safety (emergency services, mutual aid) and regional planning.
Moves towards improved and Authoritative Data: A mapping portal provides a framework for sharing community data and parcel information and starts a dialogue between municipalities and COGs on what data is important, how it can be maintained, and how it can be authoritative while keeping maintenance work to a minimum. It also provides a location to store authoritative parcel, zoning, land use, and wetlands data for interested communities (e.g. WestCOG can host data, and towns can edit their data).
Kick Off Meeting
At 2:30pm on Thursday, Sept 12th held at the Comstock Community Center in Wilton, AppGeo and WestCOG showcased the MapGeo regional application and discussed the projects goals, timeline, and solicit feedback from municipal stakeholders.
- Kick Off Meeting Summary (PDF)
- Kick Off Meeting Slides (PDF)
- Parcel Viewer Q&A (Google Doc)
- Regional Data List (Google Doc)