FAQs

What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. GIS utilizes surveys, spreadsheets, shapefiles (feature classes), GPS receivers and imagery to give a visual representation of the data. GIS is revolutionizing the way we see the world around us. We use GPS receivers in our cars, geocaching (treasure hunt), planning a trip, sharing pictures or your current location on social media. This is a just a small part of what GIS is and can do.
The Wapello County GIS Department administers and maintains the county geodatabases, including parcel data (derived from surveys, data from the Assessor, Auditor and Recorder’s offices, & CAD files from Secondary Roads). This data is then utilized to create the Wapello County online map, as well as used for reports, analysis, calculations & statistics. (The lines and data within the map are for taxation purposes and cannot be used in place of a survey for physical property line locations. If you need to know the exact location of property lines, they should be verified by a third party, non-governmental source).

 

How do I print a map?

Wapello County online map:  https://beacon.schneidercorp.com/

From the Map:
Click the Print Setup icon

Print Options Setup icon
Print Options

Print Options Setup

In this box you can set up the format and what you want included in your print. In the Preview pane it will show your changes as you make them.
Print size – Print 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14 or 11×17 Portrait and Landscape
Print Quality – Low, Medium & High
Map Scale – Current view or you can set the scale to what works best for your needs
Title – The title you give your map
Subtitle – The subtitle of your map
Author – You can enter your name or business here
Below you can set which items you would like to include on your print
Close or Print as PDF. Once you set your print options you can close or print your map as a pdf.

Click the Print icon

Print icon
This opens another tab with you map and everything you  included from the print options dialog box.
From here you can print and/or download the map.
From the Report page:
Click the Print Setup icon

Print Options Setup Report icon
Print Options

Print Options Setup Report

In this box you can set up the paper size and what you want included in your print. This is a scaled down version of printing from the map. The Preview Pane will show your changes as you make them.
Use the list from the Print from Map for a description of the options.

Click the print icon at the top right of the report page

Print Report icon
This will open another tab in your browser and you can print a report for the parcel.
For a full Parcel Report go to http://wapello.iowaassessors.com/

To email the report, click the email link icon

Email link
A link to the report will open in a new message with your email software.

For more instruction on how to use the tools go to beacon.schneidercorp.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Demo Videos button.

 

My property line goes to the center of the road, but the map doesn’t show it, why?

There are properties in the county that may actually go to the centerline of the road, but the taxation for the property may only go to the Right-of-Way line. The parcel annotation (if added) should signify that taking a measurement from a corner on the property along the line to the centerline of the road. The measurement should be relatively close to the annotation. If it doesn’t, you may want to check the most recent deed or survey to verify this. When new deeds are submitted, and there is a change in the parcel, new lines will be drawn and annotations added to signify the change. If the property is located in the Right-of-Way, tick marks will be added from the centerline towards the parcel. Please remember the parcel lines on the map are for taxation purposes and should not be used for physical property lines.

 

Why can’t I find a non-profit’s address or what property a government entity owns?

Currently the GIS website is limited by the Tax assessment records provided by the County Assessor’s Department. If a specific property has not been in taxation for an extended period of time, the County may have no assessment card on that property in its online database. The County Assessor and GIS offices are continuing to update their information, however this process will take a while to complete.

 

How accurate are the property lines on the County’s website?

As a general rule, all lines in the county are within 15 feet of where they should be with any given property. This is a rather large tolerance. It really depends on where in the county you are and when the area you are looking at was last surveyed. Some parts of the county have been 20 feet off when surveyed. These areas can usually be explained by a large gap between when and where surveys have taken place. Some properties in the county have not been surveyed since the 1920s, these areas can be significantly off compared to adjacent areas surveyed a few years ago. Other parts of the county can be within a foot or less in accuracy.

The Online GIS map should be used as a reference and lines should be considered an approximation of where things should be on the ground. The GIS map is not a substitute for a survey and does not supersede a legal description.

The county cannot change the location of a property line without a survey or a recorded legal description of a property.

 

I found an error in the online map, who do I contact to fix this error?

You can call or email the GIS Department to let us know you have found an error in the map. We will research the issue and fix any problems that we can find.  In some cases an error may not be fixable without the owner paying a surveyor or lawyer at their own expense.

 

How often or when is the GIS Website updated?

The GIS website is updated on a daily basis. All property ownership changes, property line changes, and errors fixed, will be updated during this time. If you find an error, please wait a couple days as we may be in the process of working on the parcel.

 

What information can I put into the search bar when looking up a property on the GIS Website?

You can search by an owner’s name, address, Parcel ID or Section, Township, Range. When typing in the search bar a list will come up and give you choices as you type. If you see what you are looking for just click it and the search will take you to the Report page. If the item you are lookng for does not pop up, click the search button to the right of the bar and it will take you to the Results page with a list of choices.

Some things to consider:

  1. If the person in question owns more than one property they may have those properties under slightly different names. (example: John Doe, John D Doe, John and Jane Doe, John D and Jane E Doe, etc…)
  2. The property may not have a physical address. If the property does not have a house it may not show up when typing in a physical address. A house in the country is usually on different properties than the agricultural fields that surround them.
  3. The address may have an extra space or direction. In many cities the physical location of property has a cardinal direction or can be spelled several different ways (example: N Court, n court, North Court, or Queen Ann, QueenAnn, Queen Anne) when typing in an address it is always best to just type in the number of the address and pick from a drop-down list that appears with all address that have that number in them.