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How Developers Use Map Data To Evaluate Sites

What is Map Data?

Map data is all the information about a location, including its geography, demographic features, usability, property ownership, and any zoning history that pertains to the land. This data is crucial for realtors, investors, and developers alike. Map data is vital as it lets the interested parties know what kind of purpose the land can be used for. Based on map data, developers can invest in properties that suit their purpose. Some developers require commercial properties. Relevant map data can help them find properties where they can build commercial projects like shopping malls, business centers, high rises, etc. Other developers are looking for a residential estate. The map data available for a property can invest in a residential property.

Why is it Important for Evaluating?

Properties come in different shapes and sizes. Each property has a different type of terrain. Environmental factors include the type of terrain, whether the land is all level or inclined, how much rain and exposure it gets, and whether it’s prone to environmental calamities like floods and earthquakes.

In most cases, real estate investors looking to develop a property are not always available at the scene to inspect a property. They have a lot of stuff on their plate. They have to make multiple decisions on different properties and cannot be expected to be at all those locations simultaneously. Property data, including map data, give them the knowledge to make informed decisions without being present at the location.

It is a surefire way to save them from buyer’s remorse, as map data contains critical data points relevant to their development. 

Large property developers are always searching for ideal building sites and available land. Properties in your vicinity, such as commercial buildings, plazas, and towers, are not there arbitrarily. Much thought and decision-making have gone into those developments. Developers use map data to invest in properties so that they can reserve their resources. 

Map data contains many different information layers that let developers know foundational facts about their potential purchase.

Ways Developers Use Map Data

There are five main ways developers use map data to make decisions. 

  • Geographic Features

Geographical features include parcel boundaries, potential environmental hazards, latitude and longitude coordinates, recent environmental surveys, the relation of the acreage with other property development projects, whether there are finished complexes nearby, and so on. These serve as base knowledge when it comes to evaluating the feasibility of a site. 

  • Demographic Features

Demographic features include the population’s composition and population density. Further details include points of interest nearby, school zones and the rankings of those schools, the traffic data for that area, and various granular infrastructure details. Furthermore, the forecast of long and short-term residency patterns is also an essential demographic feature that dictates the potential return on investment. 

  • Usable Land

How much of the land is usable? The number of acres available in a particular parcel and the actual number used for construction are two different numbers. Developers need to know the difference if they want to make a good purchase. Sometimes, the exact number is so contrastingly low that it deters developers from making a purchase. There are also relevant questions about aggregate acreage and the availability of connected parcels to allow for building and expansion. Most developers build with an intent to expand, and knowing how much usable land is available around their property can give them more incentive to buy a particular property, therefore securing it as a long-term investment. 

  • Zoning, Assessments, and Comps

A developer needs to know the history of the land in terms of how it has been used so far, what kind of zoning laws it is under, how it has been assessed, its current value, and how it compares to properties within the area. These data points are essential prerequisites for a developer that they can use to make their development plans and negotiate the property’s price during a purchase offer. 

  • Property Ownership

Developers are interested in finding out the chain of title and which entities or individuals have a current ownership interest in the property. This lets them discover any encumbrances and areas of concern that might serve as problematic during a sale. When a developer is aware of property ownership, it’s less likely that they will be blindsided at the closing table.

Key Takeaways

Evaluating a property’s viability, usability, and any potential issues it might have can be quickly done by understanding map data. This has helped developers make better decisions when investing in properties.

Austin Proctor

Austin Proctor

Technical Writing Manager @ BatchData

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