Scott County’s web-based mapping system of the entire county is now available for public viewing.

The geographic-information system, or GIS, which went live Tuesday morning, allows users to look at aerial photographs, real estate data such as deeds, parcel numbers and legal descriptions and other information.

“This represents a powerful transformation of the way we manage and share maps and other real estate information, in essence creating a new real estate business model,” Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz said. “Information can now be shared easily, accessed quickly and readily combined and analyzed with other data sources.”

Creating the system began in 2005 with the first aerial photographs. The mapping system lets a viewer zoom in on a location to see an aerial photographic view of the property. It’s detailed enough to see cars on the road or driveways when the photograph was taken.

“This is the culmination of a multiyear effort,” said board chairman Tom Sunderbruch, who wasn’t serving on the board when GIS work began. “The county now has a seamless database to meet or exceed national standards.”

The GIS system offers a user-friendly interface, GIS director Ray Weiser said. The system can show distances, link properties, show addresses and legal descriptions, as was demonstrated for onlookers Tuesday.

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Scott County’s GIS system also is free to use, unlike those of some other Iowa counties, said Bob McGivern of Koestner, McGivern and Associates, a real estate appraisal company in Davenport. He was among the users who tested the system before it went public.

“We’ve been playing with it for about a month now,” he said. “It is probably the best public site out there. It is just a great, great tool.”

On the web: The link will ask you to download the appropriate software to view the maps.