How ParcelPoint® Helped the Trust for Public Land
Modernize Nationwide Land Conservation
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization that helps to conserve all types of land that people enjoy—parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places. The organization’s goal is to create and cultivate livable communities for generations to come.
Founded in 1972, the work and broad experience of The Trust for Public Land, has helped them become innovators in city park creation, state and local conservation funding, and in utilizing GIS for conservation planning.
The Trust for Public Land conducts extensive research on funding sources for conservation and recently built three GIS databases—the Conservation Almanac, the National Conservation Easement, and the Protected Places Inventory—with the goal of compiling their conservation research and data so that government agencies and other partner organizations could more easily find the information needed to generate public funding for land conservation. They also needed a comprehensive map function within the databases that would show the breadth and depth of their conservation projects at the parcel level instead of just assigning a single location. The projects are as follows:
- The initial project, TPL's Protected Places Inventory (PPI) database—which includes over 4,500 projects and over 40 years of conservation work—was lacking parcel data. With parcel-level data on all TPL protected places, the GIS team would be able to provide more detailed information in the requested reports, such as how many children live within a half mile from a given park or open space.
- The Conservation Almanac covers land area conservation activity across the United States. The project was developed because of requests by elected officials, journalists, and others who want to understand the context for land conservation and what is being spent on land conservation from both the public and private sectors. The database helps answer questions like, “How much land has been protected in my state?” and “Which state and federal agencies have protected lands in the state and how much did that cost?”
- The National Conservation Easement database was a collaborative effort with four other leading conservation organizations to provide a comprehensive picture of an estimated 40 million acres of privately-owned conservation easement lands in the U.S. When TPL and their partners—Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife, NatureServe and Conservation Biology Institute—began work on the National Conservation Easement Database (NCED), they discovered that many land trusts and entities that manage easements did not have easements mapped at the parcel level.
Breece Robertson, TPL’s National Conservation Vision and GIS Director, told CoreLogic “When attempting to collect parcel data on a nationwide-basis, we discovered that in some areas, parcel data either didn’t exist or was so expensive through the local government, that it prohibited our organization from economically acquiring the data. Additionally, the data we did finally acquire was often outdated or incomplete.”
The organization realized the need for a nationwide parcel boundary dataset and began a hunt for parcel data with the following requirements in mind:
- The parcel data had to be current and frequently updated. Outdated or unavailable parcel information could lead to an incorrect assessment of a conservation easement.
- The database had to be nationwide and include parcels that even local governments had not processed. This would increase the parcel-level mapping reach of their parcel prioritizing project.
- The parcel boundary information had to come from a single, trusted source, as the nationwide parcel layer would be used as a major building block within the nonprofit’s GIS platform.
ParcelPoint® from CoreLogic® met all of TPL’s Requirements for a Nationwide Parcel Dataset and considerably slashed the Protected Places Inventory project’s budget and timeline
ParcelPoint is a robust and patented parcel dataset that has more U.S. coverage than any other source. At CoreLogic, we often refer to ourselves as our own best customer because the parcel dataset is a key location information component of our industry-leading Flood and Geospatial businesses.
With over 135 million out of an estimated 148 million parcels nationwide, the dataset is the most extensive of its kind, and quarterly updates ensure that the parcel collection is growing and accurately maintained. Plus, with staff members dedicated and passionate about the product, clients have access to timely and knowledgeable technical support.
Trusted by a variety of industries, including the financial industry, the decision was made by Ms. Robertson and her colleagues to invest in the best possible resource—ParcelPoint from CoreLogic.
Ms. Robertson recently told CoreLogic, “With the help of CoreLogic, the organization’s budget for adding parcel data to our PPI database was significantly slashed and took a single year to complete instead of the estimated five years. Plus, with over 4,500 completed projects in the PPI database, it’s not only easier to keep the parcel boundary information current, but entering new projects to the database takes 15 minutes when it previously took over three hours to add a single project.
Parcel data helps show a more accurate assessment of the Green Swamp Conservation easements
in Pasco County, Florida.