Help Document for





††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SAGIS__logo_2c_Verti.jpg


Step by step, how-to instructions for navigating and using the Savannah Area GIS viewer.








Savannah Area GIS is focused on providing access to Geospatial data in a standardized format to all interested parties. The SAGIS mission is to consolidate geospatial information into one central location, providing a one stop access point to information. SAGIS works with the City of Savannah, Chatham County, The Metropolitan Planning Commission and a variety of other non-profit and private organizations to maintain standards, manage data, educate and coordinate projects that affect the greater Savannah-Chatham County area.

SAGIS can be directly located on the web at



The SAGIS viewer is an Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) based internet map portal created by BinaryBus for SAGIS.The site is intended to serve the general publicís need for map based information in an efficient manner via the internet.It has been designed to be both intuitively easy to use yet highly functional.This document provides complete, step by step, how-to instructions for navigating and using the Savannah Area GIS viewer.


Quick Links; Click Here for:

Available Layers Help



Imagery Help

Flood Zoning Help

Legend Help††

Parcel Search Help

Printing Help



Viewer Operation

Upon first loading MapIt, you will see the following screen:


Toolbar Functions:




Section 1:Basic viewing & navigation tools.

The default action for the cursor at this point is the Move Map function, symbolized by the hand () on the black bar (the Menu bar) at top of the viewer.

The Move Map function allows the user to move around the map in any desired direction and at a constant scale.†† By left clicking (then holding) and then moving the mouse in the desired direction and then letting go of the button.The Move Map function can always be reached by selecting the Move Map button.

Note that all icons can be Ďmoused overí (simply hold the cursor, without clicking, above an icon) to indicate their function:


There are 3 ways to zoom in and out of the map.First, the scroll wheel on your mouse will serve as a zoom tool, with a forward motion zooming in and backwards motion zooming out.In the upper left portion of the screen, there is a sliding zoom tool that can be clicked to move in and out.Also, in the Menu bar, the first 3 icons are the Zoom In, Zoom Out and Full Extent buttons.The Zoom In tool allows the user to draw a box around a specific area and zoom straight to that area of interest.The Zoom Out tool will amplify the zoom out scale.The Full Extent button zooms back to the original extent of the map.

A very useful shortcut for zooming in and out of the map are the keyboard shortcuts. On, these are:

         Zoom in: Hold the SHIFT key and click and drag on the screen. A red box appears and the viewer will zoom to that extent.

         Zoom out: Hold both the SHIFT and CTRL keys, then click and drag on the screen.

When at the Printable Page option, it is possible to zoom in further than the default zoom scales by using the scroll wheel on the mouse.Roll the wheel forward to zoom in and pull in backwards to zoom out. They keyboard shortcuts are available here as well.

Another way to navigate around the map is the Overview Map function, located in the bottom right corner (see below).

This can be used to navigate around the county by grabbing the box (which shows the extent and location of the current map) with your cursor and moving around the county.

         Aerial Imagery

In order to view Aerial imagery, select the Aerial button in the upper right corner.Switching between the Street and Aerial views is quick and easy here.


Example of imagery.



The sixth icon on the menu bar is the Legend button . Clicking this produces a dynamic legend that describes all layers currently drawing (turned on).


The seventh icon is the Bookmarks tool.When a location is discovered that a user will want to return to, this tool can be employed.Simply click the tool, and it opens the Bookmarks dialogue on the right side of the screen:


Click the Add Bookmarks tool in the upper right corner (again, mouse over to find this), then type in a name for the bookmarked area. This bookmark will be saved in your computerís cache, so is not permanent.

         GIS Layers available

Under the More section in the upper right corner of screen, the list of available layers can be activated:

All of the available GIS layers are listed in this section.The box on the left of each layer can be checked to draw that layer in the viewer.Note that each layer has its own draw scale- for instance Buildings will only begin to draw at the 1:500 scale.††Also note that the layers will draw in the listed order, so that the ones at the top of the list will draw last (or on top of other layers)

Metadata on layers:


FEMA Flood Zone Designations Legend-

The NWI is mapped to wetland class by the Fish and Wildlife Service (


For questions on other layers, contact SAGIS.


Section 2:Printing

The Print tool opens the Print dialogue (below) from the Menu bar.

From there, users can choose Printable page or Adobe format as well as a title for the map.A preview of the map then appears in a new page:

Note that it is possible to zoom in further to the desired area with the mouse scroll wheel (or using SHIFT/click and drag for zooming in or SHIFT/CTRL/click and drag for zooming out):

Printing with the Parcel Search results.First select the print icon at the bottom of the results dialogue (after selecting desired parcel):


This produces a printable page that contains both the highlighted parcel and the parcel information:



Section 3:Functions/Tools for Viewer

         Parcel Search

There are three functions helpful for interaction with the SAGIS layers.

The first one, Parcel Search opens the Parcel Search dialogue.

The default search is a text search (it is also accessed by the first binocular button in upper right hand corner of Parcel Search dialogue), which can be performed on Owner Name, Address, or PIN (Parcel Identification Number).Select the drop down option desired from the Search Layer menu, and enter the text string or numbers in the provided format.Note that PINís have either a letter or a space in the 5thlocation of the sequence.Letters are not case sensitive.Use the clear button to clear the selection and start over.

Once a parcel is found and selected, the following dialogue appears:


Notice that the Zoning link is highlighted in yellow to indicate an active link to Zoning Descriptions via the Metropolitan Planning Commission zoning page.

Also, the Flood Zone link navigates to a Flood Zone classification and description table.

Selecting the Property Card link at bottom of results launches a new browser window to the Chatham County Board of Assessors website and the associated property card:


To then search surrounding properties graphically, 2 methods are provided.

A graphical search (second binocular button, see below) allows the user to graphically select the desired parcels via a single point, line rectangle or polygon.


Selecting one of the buttons above first, draw a shape touching all the features you wish to select.


Another way to query layers is the Identify icon back on the Menu bar ().This tool will query any visible layers, and produces a dynamic result that accesses all fields of a particular layer:


Note that these results are not filtered for commonly used results, but contain the full field list.

The Results button at the top of the interface (the third button, depicting a spreadsheet) will show the results of searches at any time.


The eight button under the Menu bar is the Draw () tool. Selecting this tool opens the Draw dialogue.

From here, a user can add points, text, or other shapes to the map session for labeling and printing purposes. Color and text font can be adjusted. Note that double clicking will end graphic drawing.

The graphics toolbar also provides a way to measure both area and distance.Simply select the Add Measurements check box and select the desired units before drawing your graphic (you may need to adjust the size of line to 5-7, as 10 is often too large for smaller areas):

The Clear Drawing button will clear off all graphics.


Please contact Jason Lee ( or Noel Perkins ( with any questions or suggestions regarding this document.