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Mainwaring retires from GIS tax map office

| November 2, 2015
Maps: Barbara “Babsy” Mainwaring brought the Coshocton County GIS Tax Map Office from the paper age into the digital world. Mainwaring started with the office in 1999 and retired at the end of October 2015. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Maps: Barbara “Babsy” Mainwaring brought the Coshocton County GIS Tax Map Office from the paper age into the digital world. Mainwaring started with the office in 1999 and retired at the end of October 2015. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton County GIS Tax Map Office is as advanced as it is today thanks to the hard work and determination of Barbara “Babsy” Mainwaring who retired from her GIS specialist position at the end of October.

“She singlehandedly took us from paper maps to state of the art GIS,” said Coshocton County Engineer Frederick T. Wachtel.

Mainwaring started at the GIS tax map office, which falls under Wachtel’s supervision, in 1999.

“I did geographic mapping,” she said. “I could map anything as long as I could compare it to a spot on the earth.”

Mainwaring, who spent her whole adult life doing survey related work, taught herself how to use Esri software and spent seven years moving maps of various parts of the county to a digital format.

“It came with eight books and I just read them and started playing around,” she said.

The maps Mainwaring built can help the auditor with taxing purposes, realtors, surveyors and many others and the office will create maps of certain areas for public entities.

“The main reason for them is to help the auditor accurately assess taxes, but they also help keep track of ownership records,” Wachtel said. “Before this we used to have to handwrite in every time a piece of property changed owners.”

There used to be hundreds of individual maps and updated ones were only printed about twice a year. Now Mainwaring can update a map in a matter of minutes and have ownership of it current. When you search for property you also can link back to the auditor’s website to find out even more information about the piece of land.

“More and more people have been working toward this (system), but we didn’t have the money to hire a consultant to come in and create this,” Wachtel said. “We needed someone to learn the software and figure it out and Barbara was the right person to accept the challenge.”

Mainwaring has turned the job over to TJ Hootman and said although the system is up and running there will always be plenty for him to do.

“You always have to adjust and modify as new surveys (of property) come in,” she said. “TJ is going to do great at this.”

Mainwaring is extremely proud of all the progress her department has made and enjoyed helping move it forward.

“It was like putting a puzzle together,” she said. “I loved it. I’m going to miss the challenge of the job, but I’ll find something to do to keep my mind stimulated.”

Wachtel is very appreciative of all Mainwaring did for the office.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for all her effort, willingness and dogged determination,” he said.

The Coshocton County GIS Tax Map Office can be found online at http://gis.coshoctoncounty.net/index.aspx.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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