Apr 12, 2024 - News

Polk County hires new company for street-level property photos

A photo of the 801 Grand Building in Des Moines.

You can now look waaaay up at the The 801 Grand Building, the tallest in Des Moines. Photo: Courtesy of the Polk County Assessor

Panoramic 360-degree views of most Polk County properties were uploaded to the assessor's website this week.

Why it matters: The new pics make it easier to do a little neighborhood peekaboo.

Catch up fast: In 2022, Polk County Supervisors approved hiring Cyclomedia, a Dutch-based company that takes high-resolution street photos from its vehicles.

Yes, but: The interactive pics caused the website to slow to a crawl in initial attempts to publish them online.

  • They finally debuted this week thanks to software and site upgrades, assessor Randy Ripperger tells Axios.

State of play: Going forward, Cyclomedia pictures will replace traditional still photos with a goal for new ones every two years when properties are reassessed, Ripperger tells Axios.

  • A new round of photos, which provides assessors with more detailed images, is already in progress.

Zoom in: At least eight other Polk County cities, including Des Moines and West Des Moines, also use Cyclomedia.

  • The data is useful in assessing and inventorying public works or safety projects like flood mitigation and transportation planning, according to the company.

The intrigue: Aerial photography and Cyclomedia images will be incorporated in the county's reassessment process as early as this fall, Ripperger said.

  • The initial photos cost the county just over $500,000.
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