User-Friendly Desktop GIS to
use with MDP’s free custom software
FINDER is a custom tax map viewer which provides basic desktop search and display functionality and expanded mapping features along with website links to parcel data for the State of Maryland. FINDER combines the benefits of Maryland Department of Planning electronic tax maps and Parcel and Sale reference data with real-time parcel information available online from within FINDER via the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) website. FINDER is ideal for those users who require a desktop GIS, but who donít need or use the more robust enterprise features found in ESRIís ArcGIS software.
FINDER Maps and Data DVDs, a licensed product of MDP available on an annually renewable subscription basis, offer traditional users of tax maps the benefits of access to State geospatial map data without having to make a substantial investment in advanced GIS software and training classes.
Free FINDER Software and Training Class
MDPís user-friendly FINDER software, free to Subscribers to FINDER Maps and Data DVDs, is designed to allow you to easily search for parcels, build advanced parcel search criteria or queries, view and print tax maps, automatically link online to real-time parcel information available via the SDAT Real Property Search website, export parcel records and add additional map layers including aerial imagery, ZIP code boundary files, land use/land cover data, census geography and census demographic data, Priority Funding Area (PFA) designations, legislative and congressional district boundary files, flood plain data, generalized zoning designations, protected land boundaries, sewer service area boundaries and residential Sales x,y point files for CY 2007-2002 derived from the SDAT parcel data, all from within the FINDER Map View Area.
To support you as you learn FINDER, the Maryland Department of Planning offers Subscribers a free three-hour FINDER Training Class, where you can learn how the FINDER software operates and learn about all on the map and data layers available to you on each Maps and Data DVD. Ample time is also included in each Training Class to address your particular needs and the needs of your organization.
FINDER Maps and Data DVDs
MDP electronic tax maps and Parcel and Sale reference data are available on DVD for Marylandís 23 counties and Baltimore City. Tax maps are not provided for Baltimore City Ė instead, detailed street maps are used to display the parcel points. FINDER Maps and Data DVDS are made available by jurisdiction to Subscribers on an annually renewable subscription basis.
About the FINDER Map View Area
Command central for the FINDER desktop software is the Map View Area. In the Map View Area, you can view a county or Baltimore City as a whole or zoomed in to your particular area of interest in the jurisdiction. You can also access the full functionality of FINDERís Tools from the Map View Area, and add any of the additional layers included on each FINDER DVD to the jurisdiction view.
How Do I Work with FINDER?
Performance and time savings are increased through FINDER's Tools, located above the FINDER Map View Area - when a tool button is clicked, the mouse pointer function changes or a dialog box or menu opens, giving you interactive access to the map inside the window. You can easily search a property, display a parcel map, print it, generate a report and verify the most current information about it on the Internet. With a few clicks of the mouse, aerial imagery, land use overlays, census tract boundaries, priority funding areas or any of the other additional layers included on each FINDER DVD can be added to the map display.
Each of the Tools is accessed through toolbar icon buttons, and most of the Tools are also accessible via drop-down menus, including:
Basic Navigation, Layer Display, Add Tax Maps and Print Tools: Zoom In, Zoom Out, Pan, Full Extent, Show/Hide Map Layers, Add Tax Maps, Print
Select/Query/Export Parcel and Sale Data - Query Custom Data Tools: Identify, Select By Rectangle, Select By Shape, Measure Distance, Search Parcel Data…/Search Sale Data…, Search on Parcel or Sale Subsets, Export to Map Layer
Print One Tax Map
Advanced Ways to Select Data and Manipulate Layers: Draw Distance Circle…/Select Parcels within Circle/Remove Distance Circle, Add Additional Map Layers, Legend, Map Tip, Add Image, Remove Image
Miscellaneous and Housekeeping: Pointer, Zoom to the Selected Point, Clear Selected Features (Points), Scale, MDP Subscriber Website, Useful Websites, Save Project, Exit/Open Project, Map Properties
Help and Information: Contents, User (Subscriber’s) Guide, Metadata, FINDER Training, About FINDER
About FINDER Tax Maps
Tax maps, also known as assessment maps, property maps or parcel maps, are a graphic representation of real property showing and defining individual property boundaries in relationship to contiguous real property. The primary purpose of these maps is to help State tax assessors locate properties for assessments and taxation purposes. Tax maps are also used by federal, State and local government agencies as well as private sector firms for a variety of analyses and decision making processes.
The Property Mapping Section, part of MDP's Planning Data Services (PDS) division, is responsible for maintaining electronic tax maps for the 23 counties in Maryland. The State's 2800+ tax maps are maintained in a Computer Aided Design (CAD) environment and updated on an annual cycle using new property plats and deed changes obtained from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). These maps form the foundation for many of MDP's products and services, including FINDER.
The tax maps in FINDER are linked in an intelligent way to Parcel and Sale data obtained from SDAT. When these data are combined with the power of MDP’s free FINDER desktop software, a broad spectrum of economic, public policy and commercial analyses become possible.
About FINDER Datasets
A parcel record, also known as property, ownership or assessment record, is a comprehensive set of information about individual real property that incorporates parcel ownership and address information, parcel valuation information and basic information about land and structures associated with a parcel. In Maryland, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) maintains individual parcel records for each of the 2.2 million parcels in the State that make up the FINDER Parcel dataset.
In FINDER, a series of green Smart Points represent the locations of all parcels in a county or Baltimore City. These Smart Points link to records in the Parcel dataset and, among other information, contain the address, owner name, tax account number and map and parcel numbers necessary for your searches in FINDER. In addition to the green Smart Points for all parcels, FINDER includes linked detailed housing unit characteristics for properties with residential improvements.
Dark blue Sale Smart Points represent the most recent 12 months of sales and transfers of parcels. The records associated with these points can be downloaded from the Subscriber website and used to refresh FINDER every month.
What Comes with FINDER?
Each FINDER county or Baltimore City DVD includes the following Map and Data layers:
Maryland Tax Maps: electronic versions of the boundary location maps maintained by MDP. These maps are updated on an annual basis for Maryland's 2800+ parcels
Parcel Dataset: parcels are represented by a series of green point linked to the geographic locations of parcels on the tap maps for counties and on detailed street maps for Baltimore City.
Sale Dataset: sales are represented by a series of dark blue points geographically linked to a 12-month arms-length Sale dataset. A new 12-month file can be downloaded from our Subscriber Website each month.
CAMA Dataset: the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) dataset, geographically linked to the green Parcel Smart Points described above, contains detailed housing unit characteristics for properties with residential improvements.
Aerial Imagery: National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) 2009 .jpg format 1 meter full resolution color digital-ortho imagery - available in Mr. Sid format for use with ArcGIS and .jpg format for use with ArcView.
Tax Map Grid: available for counties only (not for Baltimore City), the grid is an overlay that serves as a visual reference to tax maps covering a county.
County Boundary: a representation of the county or city border.
ADC® Map Grid: an overlay that is a visual reference to county or city ADC map page numbers – assists you in zooming into an area when the ADC map page number is known (not available for Allegany, Garrett or Somerset counties). This layer is not the ADC map, just a grid that shows the extent of the pages in a given county or Baltimore City ADC map book.
Latest Maryland State Highway Administration Road Maps: the map set is comprised of a variety of current road maps that include all Interstate, State and public roads in a jurisdiction.
ZIP Code Boundaries: these boundaries are a representation of the latest ZIP code areas.
Land Use/Land Cover Data: latest land use/land cover classifications (currently 2002) for a county or Baltimore City. The data are classified using the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Anderson classification scheme.
Census Tract and Block Group Boundaries and Data: 1990 and 2000 census tract and block group boundaries and selected census small area attribute data.
Priority Funding Area (PFA) Designations: current boundaries for Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) defined and developed based on Maryland 1997 Smart Growth legislation. PFAs include areas designated by each jurisdiction consistent with the criteria set forth in the legislation.
2002 Legislative and Congressional District Boundaries: 2002 congressional and legislative district boundaries developed based on 2000 Census data.
2002 Floodplain Data: locations of 100- and 500-year floodplains according to the official FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).
2010 Floodplain Data derived from DFIRMs: for selected counties, more recent floodplain data is included those counties where Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) have been updated and published. When available, these datasets contain all of the relevant DFIRM files, including base flood elevation lines, flood hazard areas, DFIRM panel and index files and base hydrographic and transportation features. Multiple shapefiles are provided with this dataset as well as comprehensive metadata.
Generalized Zoning Designations: these designations are a general representation of each jurisdiction zoning category at a State scale. This map layer does not include jurisdiction detailed zoning types - instead this layer includes generalized zoning categories such as high-density, residential, commercial or industrial. Each jurisdiction is responsible for its own zoning. For more specific information on individual zoning districts, contact the Local Planning Office in your jurisdiction of interest.
Protected Lands Boundaries: these boundaries are a representation of lands preserved by various programs such as Federally-owned lands, lands owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, county park lands, privately owned conservation lands, Maryland Environmental Trust easements and Maryland Department of Agriculture easements.
Sewer Service Boundaries: these boundaries are a representation of county sewer service areas.
2009-2002 Residential Sales: calendar year 2008-2002 residential arms-length sales where there is a dwelling. Dwelling types included are single family, town house, condominium and mobile home. Also included are map layers of the median value of residential sales by census tract.
National Register of Historic Properties (NRHP) Maryland Inventory: a list of properties identified by the Federal Government as significant in American history and culture. National Register properties include districts, buildings, sites and objects of significance to their local community, state or the nation. The Maryland Historical Trust, part of MDP, has created a vector layer map of these properties listed in Maryland and a database of associated information on these properties has been produced and linked with the vector layer.
Watershed: the watersheds define Strahler (1952 p. 1120) third order stream drainage areas by contours as shown on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 7.5 minute quadrangle map sheets. Some watersheds drainage areas were defined for streams less than third order and some large area watershed were split to maintain a maximum size of 15,000 acres. The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) redefined the third order watersheds creating the HUA14 file. This file, containing all of the HUA14 watersheds and some added watersheds to maintain water quality sampling sites, was used to create the Maryland Sub-Watershed file. The origin of these data is the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
This page was last updated: 2011-03-11