The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
Yesterday’s GIS Day at the State House included a short speaking program. Here’s what I had to say:
Twelve years ago when I first took office, I inherited a brand new state of the art Wang imaging system complete with an optical disk jukebox for the storage of scanned images. We added so many images so quickly that we quickly needed a new jukebox. The cost of 40 GB of storage was $40,000, a fact that never fails to bring a smile to the face of anyone who realizes today that five times that amount of storage can be had for less than the cost of a reserved grandstand ticket at Fenway Park.
This story exemplifies how rapid changes in the cost of electronic storage and the ready availability of hi-speed Internet service has revolutionized the record storage business. Today, every document at the registry – all 10 million pages reaching back to 1631 – are now scanned and available online.
This technological transformation has completely changed how the registry of deeds operates and is organized. The center of gravity of the registry of deeds is now our website, www.lowelldeeds.com. Today, everything that can be done at the registry can be done on our website, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Technology has completely transformed the way we perform our traditional mission. The great challenge we face is one of imagination because technological advances have also presented us with opportunities to do much, much more than ever before. Our business right now is like a jigsaw puzzle that’s just come out of the box. Each of our offices is like a piece of that puzzle. We operate on our own, but if we can figure out how to fit all the pieces together, we will complete the puzzle to the great benefit of society. Like the puzzle just out of the box, much of the cost has already been paid. All that’s needed is our vision, our imagination and, as those of you who do puzzles know full well, a great deal of persistence.
Thank you to MassGIS and to all the other participants for organizing this event. To continue my puzzle analogy, this is like looking at the picture on the front of the box. We’ve got a glimpse of what the end product should look like, now we have to do the tough work of fitting those pieces together. I look forward to joining with you on this project.
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