Q. Why does the service consist of individual towns?
A. CT ECO is providing the parcels as they were delivered to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) from the Councils of Government (COGs).The town by town datasets cannot easily be merged into one file so they are displayed and accessed as individual towns. See this answer.
Q. Where can I find more information about the data as well as what the codes mean in the table and map pop-up?
Some information is available in the 2020 parcels report. Beyond that, contact each municipality. Metadata, or information about data, is super helpful and would be nice to have for the parcels.
Q. Why didn't anyone merge the town parcel files together into a statewide layer?
A. There are multiple reasons, all stemming from the fact they are all done differently and therefore don't easily "fit" together.
1. Town Boundaries. There is no accurate, authoritative town boundary layer for Connecticut which leads to overlaps and gaps along town boundaries across the state.
2. They have different attributes. Attributes are the information in the table behind the geographic parcel polygons. For example, even though most town datasets include Map, Block, Lot information, they are listed in many different ways.
3. Time. It would take a knowledgeable person a significant amount of time to begin to tackle the issues. Soap box - this is why data standards are useful. If the towns all used the same data standards, and therefore the same method for storing Map, Block, Lot, addresses, and everything else, it would be MUCH easier to merge town datasets together.
Q. Why is there overlap along the borders? This looks like a mess!
A. There is not an accurate, authoritative town boundary layer for Connecticut. Parcels that cross town boundaries are sometimes "cut" in the mapping layer or sometimes exist in multiple towns. It is a mess and could be improved by (1) an accurate town boundary layer that is used by all municipalities and (2) data standards so that municipal parcels are all created and maintained under the same set of guidelines.
Q. What are the little squares and circles? They are clearly not big enough to be a real parcel, are they?
A. The little circles and little squares are two of the ways that municipalities handle single parcels with multiple owners. Other ways include repeating the parcel multiple times on top of itself, one for each owner (one case had over 300 polygons stacked on top of itself!) and "cutting" the building footprints out of the larger parcel.
Q. What should I do if I find an error in the parcel data?
A. Contact the municipality.