[postgis-users] Call for Case Studies and knowledge about who uses PostGIS and how

Andy Colson andy at squeakycode.net
Thu Mar 10 11:38:24 PST 2016

On 3/9/2016 11:49 AM, Nicklas Avén wrote:
> Hi all
> At PostGIS web site http://www.postgis.net, there is a case study list
> of PostGIS usage. The list is very short and not touched for some years.

Here is a first draft, spelling/fixes/suggestions welcome:

Vanguard Appraisals is new to the GIS world. In fact, we aren't really 
in the GIS world; we just kind of brush up against it.  We do mass 
property appraisal for entire county and city jurisdictions, and we 
develop software to collect, price and maintain values.  We also host 
assessment data online so that homeowners can search and find property 
information much simpler from the comfort of their own home.  Our 
software and websites are used in 7 states (IA, IL, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD).

We were happy in our little world, doing parcel stuff, not really 
knowing about or using GIS, but then the landscape started changing, and 
GIS started popping up all over the place.  Our clients starting asking 
us if we could host their GIS data, as well as their parcel data.  Some 
of our clients are very small; there is one person in the Assessor's 
office with one computer, no server, and a very small internet pipe. 
Some of our clients are big with many users, multiple servers, and an 
internet pipe that makes me blush. :-)

We searched and found something that already worked with our favorite 
database: PostgreSQL.  PG is already hosting our parcel data, so it 
seemed like a good idea to let it host our GIS data too. Using PostGIS 
combined with MapServer, Perl and OpenLayers, we came up with online 
maps that fit the bill:
      1) Great performance.
      2) Sql:  the ability to write sql to join our existing parcel data 
with GIS data makes it simple to work with, powerful, and fast.
      3) Free:  because we didn't pay for anything, we didn't charge 
anything.  Government Assessor’s offices don't have to charge tax payers 
to get their GIS online.

PostGIS has been a great decision.  When one of our programmers came up 
with a crazy idea about doing a sales ratio analysis and highlighting 
all the properties on the map, not only was it possible but not that 
hard to do, and it has already been implemented because of PostGIS.

I also cannot stress enough how good and helpful the online community 
has been.  I went from knowing nothing about GIS to hosting maps only 
because of them and all the questions they helped with over the years.

Vanguard Appraisals:  http://camavision.com/
Assessment Data:  http://iowaassessors.com/

We host parcel data for all the yellow links, but we don't host the maps 
for all of them.  Some counties we host maps for are: Washington MN, 
Jasper IA, Van Buren IA, Iowa City IA.  Just over 50 counties so far.

You can find the map embedded into the parcel page:

or Full Page:

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