MapServer Help


  1. Navigation: Zoom In, Zoom Out, Re-Center the map
  2. Getting information from the map (Info Tool)
  3. Finding things on the map (Searches)
  4. Controlling what is displayed on the map (Layer Control)
  5. Measuring distances and areas
  6. Printing, Linking and Saving maps
  7. Adjoiner Buffer List (Radius Search)
  8. Technical Information


To Zoom In - Select the Zoom-in Button tool from the tool bar and then either: To Zoom Out - Select the Zoom-out Button tool and then click on the map. Mouse Wheel Zooming To Pan or Re-center the map Pick the pan tool and drag your mouse to pan the map.

After you have moved around the map the previous and next buttons will allow you to quickly move backwards and forward through your views.

The Jump To option list list will zoom the map to various areas in the County. Pick the desired area from the list and wait a moment while the map re-draws.

Zoom to Longitude / Latitude
Select the Zoom Lon / Lat Tool tool from the tool bar and enter the longitude and latitude of the location that you wish to center the map on. Longitude and latitude may be entered in various ways:
Format  Longitude   Latitude  Notes
Decimal Degrees -110.7619   43.4800  negative sign before longitude is not required
Degrees Minutes Seconds  110 45 42.89   43 28 48  degrees minutes and seconds separated by a single space
 seconds can have decimal fractions
Degrees Decimal Minutes  110 45.4592   43 28.9517  degrees and minutes separated by a single space
 minutes can have decimal fractions
The longitude and latitude that you enter must be on either the NAD83 or WGS84 datum (generally used in GPS and newer maps) and not NAD27 which was used on the original USGS topo maps. Entering a NAD27 longitude / latitude could cause the map position to be off by several hundred feet.

Getting Information from the map

Select the Info Tool tool from the tool bar and then either: Basic information will be displayed with links to more detailed data.

Finding things on the map

Searches are initiated in the Search tab. The MapServer can find properties by: Searches can be entered either as free-form text in the search box, or by category by clicking the "advanced search" link.
  1. Search by Street Address
    • You may enter a street address number (not required), and a street name. Generally it is best to leave off the "Road", "Street", "Ave", etc. In the free-form text search, a full street name is required. In the advanced search, a partial street name works (this is handy if you are not sure of the spelling of a street name). You will be presented with a list of addresses matching your search. From the list you may pick one or more addresses to map.
  2. Search by Legal Description
    • You can enter a subdivision lot number (optional) and a subdivision name. You will be presented with a list of matching lots. From the list you can pick one or more lots to be mapped.
    • Township, Range, Section searches generally take the form of: T20N R90W SEC 4. The text search may return more results than the "advanced search".
  3. Search by Owner
    • You may search by property owner name. A list of matching property owner names will be presented, from which you may select a property to be mapped.
    • The advanced search allows partial names, for example "Green" will find "Green, Greenwood, Greenberg", etc.
  4. Search by Parcel Number
    • PIDN. A partial PIDN may be entered to find all parcels in given a Township, Range, Section
    • Tax Roll Account Numbers must begin with a letter followed by 7 digits (all padding zeros must be included) e.g. R0001234
After you have used the "Map It" button to highlight a selection from any of the above searches, the selection will remain highlighted until another searches is run, or until it is "Unselected" by clicking the Unselect button button.

Map Layers

There is too much information to show all of it at the same time, so the map is organized in "layers" of data. A list of available layers is displayed to the right of the map. There are labels, foreground layers, and background layers. The foreground layers are lines and hatches, which are more or less transparent, so you can turn on as many as you want. The background layers are opaque, so it is only possible to turn on one background at a time.

Many of the layers are scale dependent, especially the labels. This means that even if a layer is turned on it may not be displayed if the scale is too large or small (if you are zoomed in too far, or zoomed out too far). For example, street address numbers simply can't be read at scales smaller than 1:10,000 so they are not displayed. If you do not see a layer that you have turned on, try zooming in a bit.

Measuring Distances, Bearings and Areas

Approximate distances and bearings may be scaled from a map using the "Ruler" tool Unselect button . Select the tool, and then single-click a starting point on the map. As the mouse is moved over the map a red "rubber band" is drawn, and the distance is show near the top of the screen. Additional single clicks on the map allow you to measure distances along a route or around a polygon. Both a running total distance and an individual segment distance are displayed. Double click within the map window to terminate a distance sequence.
Approximate areas may be calculated by using the "Area" tool polygon. Clicking points on the map will draw a polygon. Double click to finish the polygon, and the total area will be displayed on the left side of the bottom status bar.

Printing, Linking and Saving maps

Printing: The "Print Layout" tab puts the current map view into a printer friendly layout. You may set the scale in either feet per inch or miles per inch. The initial scale values will approximately match the current map view. Click the appropriate link for your desired paper size and orientation.

Linking: To bookmark or email a particular map view, click on "link". This will copy a new URL into your browser's address bar that defines the layers and location that you are looking at. You can bookmark (Add to Favorites) the address to return to the view at a later time, or you can copy the URL into an email. Be sure to get the whole URL, it is quite long! If you don't like such a long URL, you can use a free service of to shorten it.

Saving to your computer: Saving a link is usually preferable to saving the image, but if you do need to save the image, printing to PDF from the Print Layout tab is usually the most reliable method of saving a copy of a map view to your own computer. The Print Layout tab can also be used to save the map as a GIF or JPEG image. Right click on the map and select "Save Picture As" or "Save Image As". The map in the Print Layout tab is a high dot-per-inch resolution than the same map in the Map tab.

Adjoiner Buffer List

The buffer buffer tool creates a list of all parcels within a specified radius of a parcel(s) and also shows all of the parcels within the radius on the map. This can be used to create an adjoiner notification list.
  1. Before the buffer tool can be used, one or more parcels must be selected (highlighted). Parcels are selected by using the Map It link on either the Info Tool window or the query Results List page.
  2. With a parcel(s) selected, click the buffer tool. You will be prompted to specify a buffer radius. All parcels within your specified radius will be selected even if only a very small part of the parcel(s) lie within your buffer.
  3. A mailing address list suitable for use in a Mail Merge is created, and the map window is updated.
    • The buffer radius is shown in blue.
    • The parcels within the buffer radius are outlined in orange.

Technical Information

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The system is powered by MapServer, OpenLayers, and PostGIS Open Source Geospatial software.

Designed and Developed by Greenwood Mapping, Inc. Greenwood Mapping,Inc.