It’s an old real-estate cliche: location matters. The map below shows a visualization of estimated market value of all parcels in Hennepin County, including the value of the land and any buildings.
Not surprisingly, commercial centers like downtown Minneapolis feature the highest property values — a combination of valuable land and expensive commercial buildings. In terms of residential prices, take a look along the county’s lake shores, especially Lake of the Isles and Lake Harriet in Minneapolis and Lake Minnetonka in the West Metro: the parcels here stand out compared to their neighbors both in terms of land value and the value of the homes that are built there.
This map is made possible because Hennepin County recently passed an open data policy for geospatial information systems (GIS) data. Other metro counties including Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka, and Carver have all recently passed similar policies sparked from the work of MetroGIS, a metro-area government-administered collaborative focused on GIS data. Just this past week, Hennepin County put its data online, free for anyone to download.