At its most basic level, the use of GIS, Geographic Information Systems, proves that understanding data through visual representation is crucial in the analysis of real property in the appraisal field. Mapping infrastructure such as new highway development, transmission lines and easements, pipelines, or proposed mines, in conjunction with parcel data and high resolution aerial imagery, provides not only the appraiser, or site acquisition specialist, with a better understanding of the project, but gives the end user a professional and clear visual representation of project specifications. Altus Group utilizes GIS to complete location analytics in the appraisal and consulting field, which provides support for valuation, highest and best use, and site acquisition purposes.

Through the use of Esri software and services, specific data enrichment tools are used to enable Altus Group to generate in-depth trade area analysis and consumer profiles. Statistics gathered from multiple sources are used to breakdown demographic segments and spending habits within a specified area, and can be instrumental in the site selection process.

The ability to overlay parcel boundaries with the routing of proposed infrastructure is critical in the decision making process for acquiring lands, while managing route changes and working with stakeholders. This work is bolstered by open data, free datasets generally provided by government bodies, which offer a range of useful information, imagery and spatially derived datasets to analyze in conjunction with the subject properties.

In Nova Scotia, Altus Group has access to current province-wide parcel datasets which include the most recent sales for every property in the province, and is updated on a monthly basis from our provider. This data allows us to perform extensive market research which aids in making informed decisions in the appraisal process. Open property data is also available for New Brunswick, which offers assessment and sales information per property; additionally, we leverage parcel boundary data from PEI and Newfoundland & Labrador.