Sidwell Chosen by Emmons County, ND to Provide GIS Solutions

January 28, 2010 -- St. Charles, IL – In an effort to ensure their compliance with North Dakota’s state-mandated agricultural assessment standards, Emmons County, North Dakota, has selected The Sidwell Company to provide professional GIS services to aid its assessment officials in the task of efficiently calculating soils valuations for agricultural tax parcels. Sidwell will provide the jurisdiction with agricultural parcel file development services by creating a digital GIS parcel file for all of the county’s agricultural parcels, to be used in conjunction with the soils map layer, to support soils computations using the Farmland Assessment and Report Management System (FARMS®)—an ArcGIS®-compliant software solution for agricultural tax assessments. The firm will further enhance Emmons County’s GIS data in the urban areas by adding annotation such as lot and block numbers and subdivision names to the GIS files. As the Midwest Distributor for Ashtech (formerly Magellan) Professional GPS Solutions, Sidwell will also provide Emmons County with a GPS unit that will be used for the purposes of locating points in their GIS and mapping county infrastructure, such as bridges, culverts, etc.

The company will prepare existing soils files for use in performing countywide soils computations on agricultural parcels and assist Emmons County in arriving at assessed valuations by employing FARMS®. One distinctive advantage of this ArcGIS®-compliant software solution for agricultural tax assessment is the ease with which the generated data can be exported to various formats for the purposes of complete system integration. Additional features of the software module include being able to set up user-defined tolerances for easily identifying discrepancies between assessed and measured acreages, the ability to then “normalize” these acreage discrepancies, and the capabilities to create customized thematic maps for presentation, set spot symbol placements and record related comments for each parcel.

In addition, Sidwell will provide Emmons County with on-site, specialized training that focuses on the use of the FARMS™ software extension within ArcGIS® 9.3, covering basic operations for processing agricultural parcels, all processing tools and reporting features of the system, and the different user customizations that are available within the reporting application. To help control implementation costs for this project, Sidwell will install the FARMS™ software remotely and follow up with further on-site configuration of the module.

Emmons County joins the growing family of North Dakota counties that have selected Sidwell’s FARMS solution. Other jurisdictions that have previously chosen the company’s agricultural assessment solution include Eddy, Foster, Grand Forks, Kidder, Ramsey, Towner, Trail, and Wells Counties. Sidwell continues to work closely with local assessment officials to ensure that all formulas, calculations and reports generated by the FARMS software remain compliant with agricultural assessment standards set by the state of North Dakota.

About Sidwell
For over 80 years, The Sidwell Company has provided outstanding products and services, evolving and innovating every step of the way. Sidwell is an employee-owned firm providing integrated land records management solutions and GIS mapping and software development to local government and private-sector organizations across the United States. Sidwell’s premier parcel mapping solution, Parcel Builder™, is currently used by over 150 customers nationwide. Sidwell also offers a full range of aerial photography and photogrammetric services, and is the Midwest Distributor for Ashtech (formerly Magellan™) GPS products and solutions. For more information about Sidwell services and products, call 877.SIDWELL (877.743.9355) or visit

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