Mobile app streamlines shack valuation process

GIS tools are providing huge benefits for the DEW’s Retaining Shacks project team, helping office-based staff collect information about shacks and track the progress of market valuations in real-time as the work is being undertaken in the field. 

Thanks to the new mobile app staff can track shack market valuations in real-time*

As part of the Retaining Shacks project, the team needs to understand how much shacks on Crown land and in national parks are valued at, so that rent rates and potential purchase prices are in line with current market rate.

In the past, independent valuers who undertook this work would use hard-copy maps to ensure they could correctly identify individual shacks at various locations around South Australia, and would include any photos and comments from their visits in their final report. 

The new GIS (geographic information system) tool, which includes a map-driven app and dashboard, was suggested by DEW’s Geospatial Operations Team as a way to streamline and modernise the shack valuation process.

They created a spatial layer of all shacks included in the project and set up the mobile app and dashboard that visualised the data to allow the Retaining Shacks team to quickly assess the progress of the valuation process.

The app is used by valuers to identify each shack using map layers on their phone or tablet, and collect site-based data, such as photos and comments, which can then be downloaded into DEW’s systems. 

The associated dashboard allows the project team to view photos and comments and track the progress of the valuations as they happen in the field. The dashboard also has the functionality to sort records based on a particular shack settlement or a selected region.

While the valuation process for this project is expected to take until the end of the year to complete, already the team is noticing that using the app and dashboard is saving them time, allowing for a more efficient process and gives them up-to-the-minute information about how the process is tracking, which helps them keep shack owner associations better up-to-date.

The mobile app and dashboard are some of the new tools that are becoming available within the department’s GIS platform – reach out to Enterprise GIS Coordinator Tim Noyce to find out more.

The dashboard allows the project team to view photos and track the progress of valuations as they happen in the field

*From left to right: Crown Lands Program Senior Property Officer Stephen Horsell, Preston Rowe Paterson (the independent valuation company) Director Stuart McDonald and Information and Management Unit Enterprise GIS Analyst Chris Roberts