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Oak Creek -- Residents of Oak Creek can now access information on properties in the city through an online geographic information system web application.

The Oak Creek Information Technology department worked with Ruekert-Mielke to create the application.

According to a posting on the city website, "GIS has been an increasingly popular tool used by all levels of government around the country to enhance the management of municipal information."  It continues, saying it will not only increase efficiency but also increase transparency of city operations.

"The increased transparencies in City land record information will be beneficial to all interested parties," said Greg Dresen, the GIS/SharePoint Administrator for Oak Creek.

Those using the application can search based off parcel number, owner name, or address.  Data sets such as zoning and subdivision information, value, utility service area, and aerial views will be available to users.  Additionally, the maps are linked to city and county tax data.  The information will be useful for siting of new business in the city, the posting reads, as well as for residents to view their own property information.

"Those that will benefit most from this online GIS application is anyone with questions about land records associated with the city of Oak Creek," Dresen said.

Oak Creek's Information Technology Manager Caesar Geiger said the city's website gets 45,000 hits per month and this would benefit all those who visit the site.

"The GIS web application is sure to increase that number and improve overall value to the online experience," Geiger said.

The system integrates various programs including Google Street View and Pictomety from EagleView Technologies.  Dresen said the main challenges in developing the application were balancing security with cross-platform compatibility and usability.

"The main driving force in creating this application was to bring current and accurate parcel and tax information to residents, developers, real estate agents and potential buyers 24 hours a day," said Dresen. "Initial land information inquiries will no longer need to pass through city hall staff which will increase efficiencies in city operations."

There is a disclaimer with using the GIS system.  It states the information "does not consist of legal or original recorded documents and is to be used for reference purposes only."  There are also no guarantees the material is accurate up to the date it is accessed, though the city does promise to make every effort to keep the information current.

The application can be accessed at http://oakcreek.ags.ruekert-mielke.com.  The application works in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Safari.  It's also mobile-friendly, accessible through Windows, Apple, and Android devices.

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