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Greene County, Ohio Optimizes Online Delivery of High-quality Documents

Supplied by LizardTech Inc., September 20, 2001 (Printer Friendly)

LizardTech's DjVu easily implemented into GIS and document management system saving County time and money
With a population approaching 150,000, Greene County is a fast-growing county in western Ohio just east of Dayton. Like many businesses and governments today, Greene County is actively pursuing emerging techniques to make public information more easily available over the Internet. After using LizardTech's MrSID Geo to convert data used in its geographic information system (GIS) for efficient online image delivery, the County began using DjVu Enterprise to make its paper-based resources available to the public online as well.

Facing the challenge

Greene County had more than 9,000 survey records that it wanted to link to parcel maps already online using its ESRI Map Objects GIS software. The County had processed these records, originally mylar hard copies, into its AV Image document management system, producing Group 4 TIFFs. In linking this data to the parcel maps, the challenge was preserving the original quality of such a large number of records while making the files small enough to be accessed online by the public. Collectively the County's survey records comprised too much data to efficiently serve out as TIFF images.

Repeating success

Greene County had already used MrSID Geo software to convert 35GB of TIFF imagery into MrSID files totaling just 1.5GB. To address its document needs, Greene County turned to DjVu Enterprise software, acquired by LizardTech from AT&T Labs. DjVu reduced the County's survey record file sizes by an average ratio of 1000:1. Since DjVu yields Internet-ready documents easily viewed within standard online browsers, it was easy for the County to insert hyperlinks inside ESRI Map Objects to link a survey record field in DjVu with specific parcels in its database.

Wider Applications

After initial success providing online survey records in DjVu format, the County increased its use of DjVu for other public documents. Previously, the County had to mail printed copies of its 16- page, full-color, 300dpi annual report, because as a 384MB TIFF (approximately 15MB as a PDF) it was too large to deliver efficiently online. In DjVu format, the entire high-resolution report is just 356KB and can now be easily accessed from the County Web site, dramatically reducing the need for printed copies.

Greene County is also using DjVu with ESRI ArcView GIS to make dynamic maps available for public use. The County developed a series of municipality maps for its major cities by exporting relevant spatial data, such as roads and points of interest, from the GIS into Adobe Illustrator, where textual information, photographs and additional color and layout details were added.

Initially, these maps were made available on the County Web site as cumbersome 3-to-8MB PDFs, which resulted in very slow download rates. After the maps were converted to DjVu, their file sizes dropped dramatically most were below 500KB-and they are now easily accessible for quick downloads.

The Right Choice for Online Documents

Using document-imaging software developed for optimized Internet delivery has led to significant savings for the County's IT and Web server departments. "DjVu has provided our staff and other visitors quick access to a great number and variety of documents, increasing both staff efficiency and the convenience and popularity of our Web site," said Steve Tomcisin, GIS Director for Greene County. "Because of these initial savings, we are looking forward to processing our entire library of documents, including deeds, mortgage records and legal documents, with DjVu software."

Image 1 - Greene County made municipality maps-originally 3 to 8MB PDFs-like this one available for fast down- load by converting them into DjVu format, maintaining source quality at an average file size of less than 500KB.

Image 2 - Conversion from a 384MB TIFF to a 365KB DjVu file enabled the County to save printing costs by making its annual report available online.
"We've reduced our average map size from 8MB in other file formats to under 400KB in DjVu. We're now eager to use DjVu to take full advantage of our existing paper documents via the Internet." - Steve Tomcisin, GIS Director, Greene County (Ohio) Auditor's Office


Entire article (c) 2001, LizardTech, Inc. Reproduction or redistribution in whole or in part without contacting the author and The Geocommunity is strictly prohbited.


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