Panda Consulting Welcomes Chris Conkling

Panda Consulting is proud to announce that Chris Conkling has joined our team as Geospatial Technician. Chris is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida and has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Philosophy with a minor in Film Studies.

While still attending the University of Central Florida, Chris applied to, and was hired by Apple, becoming an integral part of the operation from specialist to technical expert.

During his time at Apple, Chris provided Leadership functions, technical support and expertise, coordinated Business Leads, and taught many one -on-one training sessions, workshops, and core training sessions. 

Chris has been surrounded his entire life with GIS and will be assuming the traditional responsibilities of a geospatial technician as well as attending conferences to network and get to know our Clients. In addition to providing all-around technical assistance, Chris will be focusing on new technologies (think ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online) and developing additional training and support opportunities.

Please take some time and welcome Chris and ask him about his experiences at Panda Consulting.  More biographical information is found here.

Panda Consulting and GISinc Team up to provide complete local government solution.

Panda Consulting; a professional services firm specializing in complete consulting services to help local governments understand the maintenance and integration of the Parcel Fabric within the Local Government Information Model is pleased to announce its partnership with Geographic Information Services, Incorporated (GISinc), a GIS service company. The partnership complements the core services local governments have for land records management.  Panda Consulting sees this partnership as a highly synergistic solution for local governments to extend their foundational layer of business as it pertains to parcels.  

“Panda Consulting and Frank Conkling, its Owner, have been long established thought leaders in parcel fabric; complementing GISinc’s expertise in helping local governments implement the Web GIS pattern. Through our new partnership, we are now able to offer a total land records solution - 100% out of the box, configuration of the platform", Kevin Stewart, Managing Partner, State and Local Governments.

Panda Consulting provides complete conversion services of all data structures from CAD files, coverages, simple features and topologically integrated feature classes into the Parcel Fabric, complete training services in order for mappers to understand the Parcel Fabric and how to, most efficiently, implement the solution.  Panda Consulting also provides maintenance services to maintain parcels in either the short or long term. 

“We are so pleased to be able to team up with GISinc to provide our clients with a full solution to all their GIS needs.  I have known GISinc for many years and always been impressed by the quality of their people together with the diligence and attention to details they bring to every client”, Frank Conkling, Owner, Panda Consulting.

Panda Consulting, in its 19th year of helping its clients understand how to best utilize GIS technology for managing Land Records, is located in South Florida and brings the expertise of surveyors and GIS experts to our clients in all parts of the United States.  For more information, please visit or call (561) 691-3277.

GISinc, celebrating 25 years in GIS, is an employee-owned company located in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices throughout the United States. GISinc has a passion for delivering customer driven location technology solutions to federal, state and local governments, and commercial organizations.  For more information, please visit, or call (205) 941-0442.

Panda Consulting announces a multi-day ArcGIS Parcel Editing Training classes in Georgia

Panda Consulting is proud to announce our first set of ArcGIS Parcel Editing classes to be offered in Georgia. The comprehensive multi-day course is being offered in conjunction with eGIS Associates and will be provided on July 13 - 15, 2016 in Duluth, Georgia. 

For further details and the ability to register, please click on the following link:

We look forward to seeing you there.

See you at the GIS / CAMA Technologies Conference in Savannah, GA

Panda Consulting is excited to be attending and exhibiting at the URISA GIS / CAMA Technologies Conference in Savannah, Georgia on February 22 - 25, 2016. 

We will have a booth at the conference and be presenting a session on the Best Practices in Tax Parcel Mapping on Tuesday, February 23 at 10:30 am in the Modern Parcel Maintenance track

If you are attending the conference, please stop by so we can chat and help you understand the new approach to parcel mapping.

See you at Wisconsin Land Information Association Conference

We at Panda Consulting are excited to be attending and exhibiting at the 29th Annual Conference of the Wisconsin Land Information Association at Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.  The conference is scheduled from February 10-12, 2016 and promises to be informative and a great deal of fun.

The preliminary agenda is published here and we are scheduled to present a session on Identifying and Fixing Problems with your Parcel Data on Thursday, February 11.

If attending the conference, please stop by and see us at the booth.

A Discussion on Computer Resources when Moving to the ArcGIS Parcel Editing Solution (the Parcel Fabric)

Executive Summary

The Parcel Fabric technology behind ESRI’s Parcel Editing Solution, differs from the standard feature classes used within ESRI’s geodatabases in many ways. The Parcel Fabric, looking to develop a more structured and integrated land records solution, incorporates all the traditional thematic layers used by land records, together with auxiliary  functional feature classes to provide a more complete solution that provides for creation, maintenance, history, metadata and adjustment layers required in a production environment to ensure the “mappers” have at their immediate disposal a complete resource for cadastralists. This structure, while being optimized for land record maintenance places a much more rigorous demand on computer resources. This short discussion will explore some of the demand points.

Integrated Feature Classes

The Parcel Fabric, in order to integrate the various thematic layers and make the validation of “topology” between the traditional features, manages the features differently. Rather than maintaining a multitude of feature classes, each having separate. discrete thematic feature classes, groups all features in the Parcel Fabric by geometry type, or “the type of geometric elements they represent such as polygon areas, line features and point features” rather than “the type of geometric features that represent, such as PLSS Township, Sections, Subdivisions, Lots, Tax Parcels, Encumbrances and Other areas, along with each layers corresponding lines and points”.  By reducing the number of feature classes included in the Parcel Fabric, it simplifies the structure, ensuring all features share the same spatial reference and connectivity, but using attribution to differentiate between the elements they represent.

This unification of geometry types complicates the search and display operations of the Parcel Fabric by having a greater number of features that must be searched through for record retrieval.  This integration is one reason why the creation, optimization and constant maintenance of the spatial indices with the feature dataset containing the Parcel Fabric is critical.

Relational Data Structure

Within the Parcel Fabric, all geometric feature classes, together with additional auxiliary operation feature classes and tables, are related to one another.  The Parcel Fabric can be thought of as a “geometric network” for  polygons.  Each polygonal record contains a complete set of lines that were used to create the polygon boundary, together with a corresponding record in the plan table containing the source data metadata and relates to all corner points that contain information about how the polygon corners are “linked” or “joined” together to define the spatial location and geometry of the polygon. As such, operations requiring the retrieval of a single record requires that that single record, and all related features must be retrieved to provide the Cadastralist with necessary information of every element related to that polygon. This intensified retrieval of single, al all related records places a much greater demand on the ability of the Parcel Fabric to index, search and retrieve the database records.

Editing Integrated Records

Because all records in the Parcel Fabric are related to corresponding line and corner records, editing the Parcel Fabric in a multi-user editing environment such as ESRI’s SDE versioning environment is highly transactional.  Within the SDE editing environment all changes to the tables, including adding records, deleting records or modifying records place “temporary” records in the “Change or Delta” tables that represent the “pre-committed”, or “posted”, data changes.  Since all records have these multitude of of related data associated with them, the Parcel Fabric will create or delete these associated features every time any change occurs to a polygonal record. For example, a simple modification of the location of a single point requires that all polygons, including polygons that are considered on other “layers” such as PLSS layers, subdivision layers, lot layers, easement layers, along with those lines connected to that corner, must be deleted from the Change table and added back into the change table to reflect that one simple move.  While that one simple move in a simple feature class may be represented by a delete and an add, in the Parcel Fabric, this one change may be represented by 30 or so deletes and 30 or so adds into these same Change tables. The more the data is edited in the Parcel Fabric, the larger and more cumbersome the Change tables become.  

For this reason, ESRI restricts the levels of versioning in the Parcel Fabric to only one level and highly recommends that maintenance on the Change tables be performed daily using the “analyze” geoprocessing tool to reduce and compress the number of redundant “state’ records contained in the Change table.  ESRI also recommends that all versions be reconciled and posted to the Default database state as quickly as possible.

Possible Implementation Scenarios

Taking into consideration the impact of the Parcel Fabric on the operations of the enterprise Geodatabase, there are several implementation recommendations.  

Segregated Implementation - The purpose of the Parcel Fabric is solely the creation, maintenance and production of land record information and the publication of this data should NEVER be performed from this highly integrated data structure (the Parcel Fabric). Rather, the data should be extracted, transformed and loaded into a publication data structure, while this implementation is often performed on the same server, just into separate feature datasets, one alternate suggestion some of our clients have taken is to segregate the entire Parcel Fabric structure and the geodatabase containing the Parcel Fabric onto a separate database server. The exact configuration and implementation strategy is completely depend upon the organization's infrastructure and deployment strategy.

Optimized Hardware - Since the Parcel Fabric technology is highly transactional in nature, optimization of Input / Output is critical to success. This points to the recognition that much of the demand of resources for the Parcel Fabric in a multi-user database is not computational, but is the increased demand on the searching and retrieval of all the related records contained with the Parcel Fabric.  We have had several clients successfully realize the greatest return on investment by configuring the data server sufficient memory and with solid state drives to optimize the I/O functions contained therein.


Governmental agencies using taxpayer funds to pay for their internal systems need to justify expenditures, but, in the case of the Parcel Fabric, it often makes more sense to spend additional funds to optimize the IT configuration for the use of the Cadastralists.