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The data presented are not intended to represent a complete picture of land ownership or land quality.

Accuracy, Edits, and Data Decisions

This is a standard disclaimer found on most data delivery projects and it applied to the Farmland Monitoring Project. This blog explains the disclaimer a little more.

The information is simply too vast, dynamic, and contextual to be tracked completely. Ownership of land can change, although for large parcels this is a rather rare occurrence. Soil classifications could change as grazing land is converted to urban or other uses. Farm management changes hand more quickly than can be recorded. A zoning category can be changes by a new ordinance or special exemption. Survey data may be inaccurate or out of date. The FMP attempts to provide a reasonable snapshot of information with enough context to allow for anyone to make their own interpretations and cross reference with other sources, individual owners or by physical inspection. In this vein, the development team has made a series of our own decisions to make the information more accessible:

Because the focus of the FMP is for agricultural land, some parcels have been excised from the database. All parcels under 1.5 acres have been removed. This essentially removes the parcels of the built up urban cores. This also removes much of the data size and allows for more streamlined rendering of maps. In addition, any parcel that was 100% overlapped with a zoning category of built up or urban land was also removed.

Parcel data and zoning or soil data sometimes do not overlap neatly. Thus, if a parcel had 85% or more of one category, the parcel is indicated by this dominant soil or zoning type. If it had no clear dominant soil type, with many soils or zones overlapping, then the FMP calls this parcel ‘mixed’. In this case, if a user is interested in the breakdown of percentages, send us an email with the assessor parcel number and we can provide that information.

The FMP stores, but does not display the mailing address. This is an attempt at compromise within the tension between public information about ownership of farmlands in the food system and the ownership of private property. County assessors grant the mailing address of specific parcels upon request, and the FMP offers to do the same. Send the APN in question through the contact page and we’ll look up all the information we have about a specific parcel.