San Diego Taking Advantage of Parcel Fabric Technology

Have you ever realized that the land you live in is being measured, mapped, and maintained by someone?

Working Together

The San Diego Geographic Information Source ( SanGIS ),  a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), was able to improve processes used for maintaining the regional geographic information system (GIS) by implementing Esri’s current Parcel Fabric and ArcGIS Pro editing tools.

GIS Land Records in the San Diego Region are maintained by SanGIS joint powers agency. The SanGIS mission is to maintain and promote the use of a regional geographic data warehouse for the San Diego region and to assist in the development of shared geographic data and automated systems that use that data. 

SanGIS allows the City and the County to combine resources to meet common objectives to reduce duplication of efforts, maximize resources, provide for an efficient method of sharing information and provide timely updated data to the public.

Land base Maintenance

The combined County and City of San Diego geospatial land base is massive.  The dataset consists of over 17 data layers, including lots, parcels, roads, addresses, and open space easements. GIS Database maintenance, including additions, deletions, and updates, are made by 4 - 5 full-time editors.  Having a team of trained editors enables the region to have the most updated land base possible. 

SanGIS was formed in 1997 and is responsible for the maintenance of 

The Project Team

SanGIS decided it was time to update the GIS maintenance environment to a new solution that would enable more effective workflows and streamlined editing. Quartic Solutions, a woman-owned Esri business partner and premier GIS services firm, was chosen and tasked with migrating 20 years of legacy code, tools, and data integrity checks to a brand-new environment. Quartic and SanGIS have worked together for many years on various GIS projects in the San Diego region.

A Dated System

SanGIS was using a GIS editing environment that was developed back in early 2000. While the legacy system was stable, it was lacking current ArcGIS Pro functionality and there was a desire to improve consistency and communication. The old editing system consisted of stand-alone feature classes with their own individual topology rules. Data integrity was maintained by a mixture of ArcObjects Class extensions and custom ArcObjects ArcMap tools. All editing was done in ArcMap directly against a local Oracle geodatabase.

There are many departments within the stakeholders’ organizations, such as Sheriffs, Fire, and Assessors, who all need to be able to update parts of the SanGIS geodatabase. Because many of the Departments have separate networks, in the past shared editing was accomplished via two-way replication of feature classes to an ArcGIS Enterprise deployment in the cloud. The external organizations could then edit via their own check-out, check-in replica workflows. While effective, this model led to a lag between updates being shared as well as communication problems.

The impending retirement of ArcMap and the ArcObjects SDK, along with the release of ESRIs focused Land records solution Parcel Fabric provided the opportunity for SanGIS to migrate to a modern editing environment:  ArcGIS Pro in combination with ArcGIS Enterprise service-based architecture.

Modernizing to ArcGIS Pro and Parcel Fabric

The Parcel Fabric, along with the required web feature service, allowed for the smooth migration of this legacy code and workflows to a more modern service-based architecture. 

The Esri Parcel Fabric is designed specifically to handle many of the data quality control issues that previously had been implemented through custom programs such as ArcObjects tools and class extensions. Issues such as maintaining Tax Parcel history and external organization updates are a core part of the Parcel Fabric product, which simplified the upgrade tasks.  

Quartic was tasked with migrating the legacy code, tools, and data integrity checks to this brand-new environment. Most of the dozens of old custom tools had out-of-the-box replacements. A good example of this was the incrementor tool. SanGIS had created a tool to sequentially update the assessor parcel number on new polygons, but this was an out-of-the-box tool in Pro.

Old approach vs. New approach.

Once prototyping and testing were complete the data migration models that Quartic developed allowed for the final migration to occur over a single weekend with no downtime.

A Measured Approach

A total of 17 feature classes and 5 standalone tables had to be migrated to the new environment. Most of these were related to the Parcel Fabric. The migration process used a combination of geoprocessing models and Python scripts to automate the migration.

During testing, users practiced editing using the new interfaces making sure they could take advantage of the new functionality while still achieving predictable and accurate results. There were Approx. 5 months of testing and data model refinement.

In an effort to reduce custom programming, the decision was made to not migrate any of the legacy custom tools. All workflows would be designed using out of the box ArcGIS Pro tools. Editors would then identify if there were functions remaining that really needed to be added via customization for the purposes of timesaving and data integrity. There are a few custom tools that editors identified that will be deployed in future phases of the project. To date, 4 required development, with a further of at least 1 one approved for the future. 

Esri Technology used

Quartic delivered a new modern editing environment that utilizes the latest Esri software and architectural practices to SanGIS. The JPA seamlessly migrated from a 20-year-old environment to the next iteration of Esri’s GIS software without hiccups.  The project ensures that SanGIS will continue to meet its goal of providing a current land records system for the entire San Diego Region. 

SanGIS editors are quickly coming up to speed in using ArcGIS Pro and are impressed with the new tools and features available to them. They are also regularly discovering new Pro tools and features that allow them to edit more efficiently and accurately than in the past. 

The web-based services have also been streamlined and have simplified the collaborative editing environment. The County Assessor can easily create their own Tax Parcel updates directly in the fabric. This has led to a substantial reduction in the duplication of work.

Customer feedback

"Since SanGIS went live with the new ArcGIS Pro editing environment, there have been no platform or system issues, and Parcel Fabric has been running smoothly.”

Program Manager at SanGIS 

More Information

For more information about SanGIS:  

Check out , our partner   Esri   and  Quartic Solutions , to learn more about location technology and what you can do at your organization.

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