Location Intelligence, Spatial Data Analysis | Pitney Bowes

Hazard map

MapInfo Pro™ software helps GeoAssurance chart potential hazards for California home buyers.

Client profile

Company producing location reports of natural and manmade hazards

Helps potential home buyers make informed decisions

Produces several thousand reports annually

Business goals

Delineate hazards for potential homebuyers

Present this information in easy-to-read maps

Keep staffing costs low


Improved ability to map hazards

Increasing mapping speed

Improved customer satisfaction

Technology Used

MapInfo Pro™

Powerful GIS mapping for everyone.

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All the buyers wanted to know was...Was the property in or out? Fire zone, in or out? I wanted to be able to present this information graphically. Ralph Kephart

    In the late 1990s, title engineer Ralph Kephart learned that California planned to institute a law requiring sellers of residential real estate to disclose to potential buyers a property's proximity to natural or manmade hazards. Kephart saw a business opportunity in this regulation. He wanted to map properties' proximity to hazards, then provide sellers with reports they could share with potential buyers.

Business Need

Such a business would require precision cartography. More important, it needed cartography that was comprehensible to lay people. "I wanted to make these maps very easy for consumers to understand," Kephart said. "All the buyers wanted to know was...Was the property in or out? Fire zone, in or out? Fault line, in or out? I wanted to be able to present this information graphically."

As the founder of a new company, Kephart also wanted to keep staffing costs low. In addition, he needed an application that was flexible enough to meet the different mapping demands and disclosure requirements of various arms of California government. 


To meet these needs, Kephart began using MapInfo Pro software. This sophisticated but easy-to-learn application helps users create, analyze and share spatial information. It accomplishes this by employing detailed maps and graphics to demonstrate the relationships between geography and data. Powerful raster grid analysis capabilities are also available, as is the ability to accommodate aerial photography.

GeoAssurance uses MapInfo Pro software to draw multiple map layers, each representing a single type of hazard near the parcel being examined. The program overlays each hazard map atop parcel boundaries. The resulting maps are comprehensive and easy to read. They help Kephart's customers visualize hazards that sit near their properties. 


I built my business on MapInfo Pro. Ralph Kephart

Kephart said that the primary benefits of MapInfo Pro are its ease of use, flexibility and the ability to illustrate hazards in a way lay people can understand.

MapInfo Pro software helps Kephart minimize staffing costs. The software automates mapping processes, so that work can be completed by a very small staff. MapInfo Pro software also helps GeoAssurance accommodate the different mapping requirements of different governmental bodies. Perhaps most important is MapInfo Pro software's ability to help GeoAssurance present complex information to customers in a user friendly way. "Our maps translate bureaucratic legalese into a format that the average person can understand," Kephart said. "That's why I built my business on MapInfo Pro."