The Challenge of Creating High-Quality School Boundary Data
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Did you know, Maponics’ School Boundaries product has over 13,000 public school districts? School district information is incredibly important to home buyers and is often a key factor in a home purchase decision. Therefore, it’s important to realtors and real estate search portals.
Obtaining the most up-to-date information on each school district is time consuming, but valuable work. In fact, we take data accuracy so seriously that our in-house production cartographers log more than 1,500 hours each year to confirm and update the most current and accurate information available in order to deliver the high-quality school boundary data our customers need.
School districts are catalogued by quarter. At the beginning of each quarter, production cartographers access school district websites seeking online resources to help determine any changes to district boundaries and school attendance zones. Next, direct contact is made with the district or school, the state Department of Education and sometimes the state GIS office to obtain, understand and normalize the most current geographic data for each district. In addition to geography, we also resource for attributes associated with the district and school. Name, address, telephone number and website URLs are key attributes included in the School Attendance Zone Boundaries dataset. Information from organizations such as the NCES, where data such as grade levels and enrollment are collected, is also included where available.
When we have compiled all of the updated information, we compare it to what we previously had on file. Where boundaries or other attributes have changed, we update the product. Once the update is complete, the data is stored in a repository where it will be available for future reference. Customers receive all updates made in their next quarterly shipment of the product.
Resourcing is an important activity for building any GIS data set. It requires attention to detail, time and good organization skills. The end result translates to boundary information useful for real estate professionals, social/anonymous messaging applications, emergency services, and more.