Winter 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

2008 Conference Summary
From the Chair

New Scholarship Chair

Drive to Excellence Update
2008 FSA Photos
Mn/DOT Image Services

MetroGIS Services Forum

Carver Recreation Portal
Stearns Property Mgmt. Portal
Goodhue Americorps Projects

2009 CAP Grants

Higher Education
UofM GIS Resources
Goodchild Talk

Resources for Educators

Craig NSGIC Chair

Borchert Conservation Hero

Other Places
Strange Maps
GIS Day Video



Web Portal Helps Stearns County Provide Advanced Online Services for Business Partners
By Tyler Poling, The Schneider Corporation

The Stearns County Property Management Portal is an Internet application that provides the county’s business partners with 24/7 online access to real time property records information. Stearns County has implemented the PMP solution using beacon web portal technology. Beacon™ is an interactive public access tool that allows users to view county and city information, public records and GIS.

Stearns County chose beacon in an effort to improve the reliability, performance, and functional capabilities of their online Property Management Portal. The application is available for use by county business partners via either a monthly subscription service or pay-as-you-go option, which are administered by Stearns County.

The application aggregates City of St. Cloud and Stearns County information on property taxes, assessments, land use permits, GIS mapping, plats, images, and photos into one common web portal. It also provides a real estate professional tool for comp sales searches. The user-friendly interface combines search and reporting capabilities with interactive mapping tools and printable reports and maps.

Since portal users have reliable online access to many of the county’s data resources, the county has experienced fewer calls and visits to the counters, and fewer requests for maps. Beacon will help the county by freeing up an estimated average of over 25 office hours per day, allowing employees to focus more attention toward other projects and initiatives within the office and throughout the community.

The Schneider Corporation is currently hosting similar sites for more than 100 organizations across the country, including Cottonwood, Houston, Martin, Morrison, Pine, Rice, Sherburne and Wright counties in Minnesota. For information on these sites, please visit:

To see beacon in action, visit, and contact Sarah Underhill at with any questions.

Learn more about The Schneider Corporation at: or contact Tyler Poling at or 317-826-7333.

Editor’s Note: Stearns County PDF and interactive webmaps are also available on the county GIS website: