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Montana Updates Groundbreaking Property Information App

The redesigned platform — believed to be the first of its kind at launch — enhances how residents, businesses and governments can access and view statewide land ownership data. Mobile performance and print functions are also improved.

Land parcels are shown via black-and-white and color subdivision maps, on paper and tablet.
More than two decades after its debut, the Montana State Library (MSL) has redesigned a pioneering resource for land and property data.

The updated version of the Montana Cadastral application, a go-to website for Montana residents and government agencies seeking information on land parcels, arrived April 3, MSL said in a news release. The new map-based app lets residents, businesses and governments search properties by geocode, owner, address, assessment code, subdivision or location.

Where the original was, according to Esri, unique for its breadth and depth, the redesign represents a complete overhaul — with internal and external changes to enhance the overall user experience, MSL said in the release. The new platform significantly heightens map performance, allowing quickened zooming to explore counties, cities, reservations, townships, ranges and sections more easily.

Users can now select parcels of land using rectangle, polygon or buffer tools; and can look at multiple selected parcels at once. Changes to MSL’ Basemap Gallery, which includes topographical, terrain and aerial imagery dating back to 2005, let users drag the new Basemap swipe tool between two different maps to see historical changes to a property.

The upgrade focuses heavily on interface improvements, including mobile optimization enhancements to advance user accessibility via cellphone and tablet. The app includes an updated print function that improves its ability to generate PDF reports on property information.

The original Montana Cadastral digital system was the first of its kind when it arrived, and still averages 20,000 users a day, according to MSL. The app — created through a partnership between MSL and the Montana Department of Revenue — was, in 2003, "the only statewide Cadastral database in the nation" according to Esri.

To continue advancing what its redesigned system can do, MSL wants to hear from users. It invites feedback, questions, comments or concerns from the home page.