Sunlight reaches the pale flesh of CAGIS

I was shocked to discover today, thanks to Jskinner at, that the Cininnati Area GIS (CAGIS) seems to have released a large and important subset of their data to the public.


I really am shocked…

Just last year I had a fairly long email exchange with some CAGIS folks, including eventually a City of Cincinnati lawyer, who insisted that the data which they collect with public dollars for civil uses was not a ‘public record’ per Ohio state law. They gave no justification for that claim of course, but I didn’t, as they well knew, have the time or money to take them to court. But anyway…if they want to start playing nice and sharing some of their toys, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones.

So what’s in there? There are two files, the larger of which (‘annual release’) you probably don’t need to bother with. The smaller file (‘quarterly release’) has some real goodies which I’ll describe below. I say that you don’t need to bother with the larger file because it looks like it only has data which could be derived from public domain federal sources like the Census and the USGS. Those sources cover the whole US and are readily available, so why trust CAGIS employees to mediate when you can go straight to the source?

Here’s what’s in the ‘quarterly release’ file(with some notes of my own):

There are a few other datasets in there, but they’re either very obscure (survey benchmarks) or redundant (parcel ‘pages’) to other datasets.  As far as I can make out, each of the files is projected in the Ohio Southern State Plane, EPSG 3735, though some of them appear to be missing that metadata.

Again, here’s the link to the data. Go nuts!

Posted in: Data


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