Introducing the Allenstown Web-Based Tax Map Application
An online tax map of Allenstown is available at this web address:
This is a cloud-based Software As a Service (SAAS) solution from CAI Technologies, a Littleton, NH company that provides Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and precision mapping for cities and towns. The CAI solution is based on state-of-the art Esri ArcGIS Server technology, developed by Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (Esri) of Redlands, California.
For example, go to http://www.caigisonline.com/ and click on the Our Clients link. You will see Laconia as one of their clients.
This solution provides an extremely detailed, interactive, web-based tax map of all properties in the town. The service was contracted a few years ago to reduce the hours needed by the Assessing Dept. to look up property details for phone callers. The service costs $1800/yr. See the May 16, 2016 BOS minutes, page 6, for details.
Understanding the Map Toolbars
Horizontal and vertical toolbars on the right side of the map window provide several useful functions. Let the cursor hover over a tool to display a popup text description of that tool.
The tools act like toggle switches: click once to turn the tool on (it turns dark blue), click on the tool again to turn it off (it tuers light blue).
Familiarize yourself with the following map tools and then use the procedure in a later section to get some hands-on experience.
Note: Hover over a crimson-colored, underlined link to view help text for a technical term. For mobile device users, press the link to jump to the Glossary of Terms.
Draw This tool opens a panel of drawing tools for inserting features like lines, circles, rectangles, and text, and selecting a color, opacity, and point size. Select a tool, color, point size, and opacity before going to the map.
Some drawing tools like Line and Polygon expect you to click once, move the cursor, and click again. Other tools like Rectangle and Circle expect you to click and drag to create the shape. The Text tool opens a small rectangle. Click inside it, type some text, and press Enter to finish.
If a shape gets out of control, click on Cancel to erase it.
To revise a shape, click on Edit (the cursor becomes a pencil) and then click on the shape to display its round and square handles. Click and drag any handle to revise the shape. It's not clear how to delete a shape. If you right click on a handle, a Delete button appears, but it only deletes that one handle. You may have to use the Clear button to erase all shapes.
Measure With this tool, you can measure an area bounded by multiple straight lines (triangle, rectangle, or polygon), measure the distance between two points, or obtain longitude and latitude for a selected location.
For an area, after selecting that tool, each click defines a vertex or corner of the area. Double click to complete the area. For a line, click on the starting point and double click on the ending point. For a location, click once on the desired location.
Switch Basemap This tool opens a list of several base maps that change the appearance of the map but not the details. For example, if you select Esri USA Topo Maps, the view is overlaid with topographic elevation lines at 10-foot increments with bold elevation lines every 50 feet.
With this basemap, you can figure out if your property is above the 100-year flood plain. The default map appears to be Esri Streets.
Areas of interest This tool opens a list of several public building and local ponds. For example, Iris Pond is an extension of the Suncook River near School St. and Route 3. Each area is displayed according to its saved extents.
Identify This tool allows you to display the nitty-gritty details about any property you select. With the map zoomed in to display distinct property boundaries, you can hover the round "i" cursor over any property to display its tax map ID, owner(s) name, and street address. Click on a property to open the Parcel Panel.
On the Parcel Panel, click on the CAI Property Card link to display a printable data sheet for the property. Click on the Assessment tab under the photo to display dozens of details about the property, such as owner's name and address, acreage, tax assessment, and date of sale.
Reset the map This tool erases any hand-drawn graphics and text and closes any open Parcel Panel. The current zoom factor and base map remain active.
Plus (+) - This tool zooms in (that is, enlarges map features).
Minus (-) - This tool zooms out (that is, gives a wider view of the map).
Zoom to my location - When viewing the tax map from a GPS-enabled device, use this tool to center the map on your current geographic location.
Zoom to full extent - This tool resets the map to display the entire town. This is one of many saved extents.
Zoom to next extent - As you move around the map, and zoom in and out, each of those views of the map is saved as an extent in a viewing history for this session. This tool moves forward through the viewing history until you reach the last view.
Zoom to previous extent- After you have moved around the map several times, use this tool to move backward to previous views until you reach the first one, which is the map of the entire town.
Zoom to box - After selecting this tool, you can draw a rectangle around the map area to be enlarged.
Pan the map - This tool resets the cursor so you can click and drag the map.
Street view - This tool displays a wide-angle photo of the property at street level. Sometimes you need to use the arrows or click and drag to find the house or building. If the top of the photo panel is out of reach, click on Reset the map to close it. You can also click and drag the map to reveal the top of the panel.
Bird's eye view - Displays an aerial view of the region. You can then zoom in or out using the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons to zoom in and out, as well as click and drag the photo. Click on the maximize control at upper right to enlarge the viewing window.
Print current map - This tool prints the current view of the map.
To exit the map, click on the browser's Home button.
Using the Search Function
The Search function retrieves property data. Click on the Search button to open the Search Panel. In the orange field labeled Search for Parcel number, Owner, or Address, enter a last name, full name, street address, or lot number. As you type, matching properties begin to appear in the Search Panel.
Click on the property of interest and a Parcel Panel opens, containing a photo, tabs labeled Document & Links and Assessment, and a CAI Property Card link. The map zooms to the property and a graphic rubber band connects the panel to the property.
To obtain a less crowded view, click on the left arrow to the left of the Parcel Panel. This button retracts the Search Panel. You can now explore details about the property.
You can learn a great many details about any property in town and even display a photo from the street level or a wide-angle photo taken from a high above. The first property you might check on is your own. You may discover details you did not know about, or you might learn details that are incorrect. The details may state four bedrooms when you know there are only three. Reporting such an error may lower your taxes.
You can also learn about your neighbors on your street - their names, when they bought the property, and whether they even reside there. You can even learn details about that fine-looking house for sale down the street the one you might like to buy.
The following procedure offers an introduction to the basic operations needed to find details about a particular property.
Note: When the tax map initially displays, the AxisGIS Overview Tour panel may open. You can click on Next to go through some basic instructions or click on Close to dismiss it.
Now that you have completed this introductory procedure, explore some of the other tools and features. With the links on the top right of this web page, you can even explore properties in Hooksett or Pembroke.
For more information about other map features, click on the Help link at the bottom of the map window. This leads to an online manual in PDF format.
Glossary of Terms
Click and drag the map Hold down the left mouse button and slide the mouse in one direction. This moves the selected map location in that direction. For example, moving the map to the left brings property on the right side into the window.