For-sale listings that advise prospective buyers to "call school district" for schools’ boundary information could someday become a thing of the past, as Maponics LLC today rolls out school attendance boundaries covering 20 percent of the U.S. student population.

The Norwich, Vt.-based company claims Maponics School Boundaries are the first commercial GIS (geographic information system) data product to provide online maps defining the attendance boundaries for individual schools.

Combined with Maponics’ neighborhood boundaries, school boundaries and school attendance zones give Realtors "a powerful tool for bringing prospects to properties that match their most important criteria," the company said. A growing number of listing sites allow users to do keyword or map-based searches by neighborhood (see story).

Another company that helps many real estate franchises build and operate their websites, eNeighborhoods LLC, said in a press release that it is "actively looking at how we’d incorporate the school boundary data into our advanced real estate search to offer a better user experience."

A division of Dominion Enterprises, eNeighborhoods powers and also works with franchisors Realogy, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, EXIT Realty, Real Living, Keller Williams, Prudential, Realty Executives and many independent brokerages.

The new offering from Maponics, available through licensing agreements of one to three years, provides school district boundaries in all areas at launch.

Maponics says it plans to expand coverage of attendance boundaries for individual schools, currently offered in many major metro areas, by at least 20 percent every three months.

The U.S. Census Bureau already collects and publishes school district boundary information every 10 years, and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publishes information on school locations and profiles.

Maponics claims to improve on those offerings, verifying and correcting school district boundaries collected by the Census Bureau and performing "rooftop level" verification of NCES latitude and longitude points. NCES and GreatSchools identification numbers and some school profile information is included in the Maponics school boundaries product.

The company said it collects information from multiple sources, including school districts, websites, e-mails and phone calls, establishing relationships that will allow it to update the school boundaries database quickly when changes take place. The database will be updated quarterly to add and refine coverage.


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