Kansas Association of Mappers

Map Work Cards & Digital Filing Programs ???

  • 14 Feb 2018 10:56 AM
    Message # 5736900

    This questions is more for appraisal staff/offices.

    I am so wanting to get rid of the large filing cabinets that consist of paperwork for each parcel in the county, we call them the "map work cards", for each parcel we have the most current map work card along with a history of deeds leading up to where it's at now.

    I was going to start scanning all that and arranging some window based filing system using folders however I wondered if there is some sort of software designed toward this type of filing that will make this task easy on me.

    I'm not sure if anyone still even keeps those paper files considering the register of deeds office has all their deeds scanned for the most part and we have the notes and deed trails within ORION, however it is nice to have that stack of papers to grab knowing you have the history all right there in your hands. Especially when a landowner comes in questioning changes.

    However, the filing cabinets take up a lot of room, if this was digital it would eliminate printing, lost paperwork and dreaded filing!

    I realize this question has nothing to do with GIS mapping but mappers that have been around the appraisers office may know what I mean.

    So I'd be interested in hearing how other appraisal departments organize and keep track of their ownership records outside of ORION.




    Tina Hladky

    Wilson County 



  • 15 Feb 2018 8:54 AM
    Reply # 5738279 on 5736900
    Deleted user

    Hi Tina

    I would also like to migrate from the paper files to a digital format.  The State of Kansas has told us that the work cards are to be kept but the deeds, death certificates, divorces, probates, etc. are another matter.  If it was not for that, the mass of cabinets for all this would be mitigated.  You put the matter well when the taxpayer, who is footing the bill for all this, comes in and wants to see the paper trail. 

    The other issue is how much time have you allowed to do the transition.  When we went from paper maps to full blown digital/GIS the timeline was about five years and yet, we still provide paper maps for the general public and other departments.  There is still a understandable trust in paper maps, as witnessed by Rand McNally and other map firms.  As you know, it can take extra staff (one person extra for us in mapping) while this is going on. 

    There has got to be a solution, or one that can be presented by a successful county in Kansas.  If there is, this would be an outstanding class to be held at the next KAM meeting. 

    Roy S (Cad Man) Baker

  • 15 Feb 2018 9:21 AM
    Reply # 5738351 on 5736900

    Glad you agree Roy, I'm getting too old to bend down to them lower cabinets...drives me nuts having to file all that stuff back. For anyone that gets the lovely job of filing back would totally understand the struggles.

    I keep everything stapled together for each property, my thought was to just start at the beginning and slowly scan all that stuff, as I scanned them I would just remove and store the paper copies somewhere maybe in the basement for awhile in case we had to revert to them for some reason.

    As far as the map work card I created a nice "form" in ORION that I use for all my changes, I attach it to the ORION record so since 2011 we have a good history on those and that is where I can keep all my personal notations regarding the record. I print these out and stable it with my other paperwork.  Again the deeds are already documented in ORION so they are easily accessible at the Register of Deeds office if needed, but I'm like you I like to have it all together right there ready to access if that one eager and angry taxpayer steps in questioning things.

    But I think this is something maybe we should start considering, everything is going digital these days, why not start working toward a paperless office, it's just more convienient and can be more efficient for not just me but EVERYONE, because like I said it would eliminate lost paperwork, and multiple persons could access the documents at once if needed.

    It's scary to step forward into the digital future but at some point we need to trust it and cross that line. We did it with the realestate valuations records, why stop there, you don't see people sitting at typewrites with hard cards and calculators calculating up assessed values do we?, we trusted AS400 for a long time and now ORION, we don't even stop to think of it now. That's why this year I bit my lip and let our mylars go, I can't see that we would ever need to go back there....we kept them up but why spend effort carefully drawing lines out running them thru a blueline machine when I can print out a very nice more up to date map using my GIS that works great. As much as I hate to say this but this is how I see it, we work in this day to get a job done, taxes...values...unfortunately we are not a historical society.

    Thanks Roy for your input, I'm hoping we hear more about this. I'd love to see a program specifically designed for record keeping in the appraisers office. 

    Have a good one!




  • 18 Feb 2018 12:07 PM
    Reply # 5742657 on 5736900


    We scanned our MWCs and attached them as a pdf to the Orion documents tab for each parcel. We scanned the deeds, death certificates etc. to a separate pdf titled "deeds" and attached those to the parcel documents tab as well. So we have one pdf for all of the historical documents and then as new deeds are filed we attach those one by one as we get them.


  • 28 Feb 2018 8:52 AM
    Reply # 5881573 on 5736900
    Deleted user

    I hope Melissa, when she is scanning the supporting documents, is redacting the Social Security numbers on the death certificates and in other documents (probates, divorces, etc.) that have those listed.  You may ask the "legal eagles" about the other information that may fall in the "not to be released" category.

  • 01 Mar 2018 3:15 PM
    Reply # 5884297 on 5736900

    We are not making these documents available over the web. They are all public record, recorded in the register of deeds office or the courts.  The only ones that have access to our copies are our employees. And PVD I suppose.

    Last modified: 01 Mar 2018 3:17 PM | Anonymous
  • 12 Mar 2018 1:31 PM
    Reply # 5967743 on 5742657
    Melissa Crane wrote:


    We scanned our MWCs and attached them as a pdf to the Orion documents tab for each parcel. We scanned the deeds, death certificates etc. to a separate pdf titled "deeds" and attached those to the parcel documents tab as well. So we have one pdf for all of the historical documents and then as new deeds are filed we attach those one by one as we get them.


    Thank you Melissa for that idea, I had thought of that also but wondered how much room that would take up on the states server. I'm not sure if we have a limit but that would probably be the best solution then everything is immediately attached to the ORION record. As far as the social security numbers yes I agree we don't let the public access to ORION therefore they would not be seeing those.
  • 01 Mar 2019 2:30 PM
    Reply # 7194203 on 5736900

    We scan all of our documents into Orion.  If we make an ownership change, we scan a screen print with the updates and deed book/pages identified by date worked and what the change was.  Our deeds are scanned by Register of Deeds through an imaging system and indexed for our retrieval so we do not scan them into Orion as well.  We are working our way through our filing cabinets and scanning all the old documents, map work cards and maintenance forms.  We are purging the files retaining only the map work cards and maintenance forms identifying the actual splits/combs etc stamped as scanned, the rest of the old notes, address changes, etc are recycled after scanning. 

    For all current, we scan as we go, purging the address changes and ownership changes after scanning (no more filing) and retain the maintenance forms with splits/combs etc and those are the only documents we file.  It works pretty slick and is very handy to go to the document page in Orion and be able to see the historical trail of the changes.

    Pam Dunham @ Butler County

  • 06 Mar 2019 1:39 PM
    Reply # 7202912 on 5736900
    Deleted user

    Hi  It would help if PVD could help give some guidance and leeway on what they would expect to survive the paper to digital transformation.  I also agree that digital storage and access to the general public issues need to be addressed.

    Any ideas? 



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