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Problem With Metroscan Public Record Data/Maps With WinXP

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Aaron Klinger

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I am setting up a new computer but am having a problem with the exporting of public record data and plat maps in combination with my Windows XP operating system. I had no problems exporting public record data and plat maps to my ACI forms reports on my old computer (runs Windows 98) utilizing Metroscan (First American Real Estate Solutions) CD and online products. However, according to First American Real Estate Solutions Tech Support, they do not have any product that functions as well (or fully) in the Windows XP environment. Their assessor plat maps and data pages are of poor quality when exported to my WinXP machine. Do any of you have experience with First American Real Estate Solutions products in combination with Windows XP? Is there a Way to improve the quality of exported maps and assessor data pages?

Rather than replace the WinXP operating system, I would rather find a new source for public record data. What other public record/plat map products are there that work well in combination with WinXP? Are you satisfied with the clarity of the exported images/pages?

BTW - I am new at this “forums thing”. How long does it take for a message to post? I sent in a similar post a couple of days ago but figured that I did something wrong as it didn’t show on the forum. Thanks, Aaron
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Aaron

Windows XP has the ability to "back-operate" programs under Win98 or 95. Have you tried that set-up yet????

My favorite photo program is Photosuite Version 8 which will not operate under Win XP but I can set XP up to run it under Win98

Just a thought

Ben
 

Aaron Klinger

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Thanks for the suggestion Ben.

I saw instructions for the back dating that you have suggested in a 10/7/02 post by Wayne McKerley (Technical - Hardware/Software forum). I gave it a try and it seemed to improve the performance of the Metroscan program when operating alone. However, when I tried to export the map pages and data pages that I had saved to file from the metroscan program to my appraisal forms software, the poor image quality was still there.

My appraisal forms software (ACI ver. 8.1.1.zzz) is a 32 bit program and the Metroscan is a 16 bit program. I am not too tech savvy and do not know if this is the problem and if I can work around this issue if it is the problem. I will try the WinXP compatibility mode change for Metroscan to Windows 98 again to see if it will work. As a test, I tried to change the Compatibility of my ACI forms software to Windows 98, but I got error messages in trying to open that software after the change.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Aaron,

How about this thought. I have problems in Toolbox sometimes when I copy floorplans from builders websites into my appraisal reports (they come in as all black) so I open my photo program (Photosuite) and paste the floor plan there first. Then I save it from a gif file (which the internet floorplans always seem to be) into a jpg file. When I load the jpg file into Toolbox this way, I don't have any problems.

So, would it be possible to save your metroscan stuff as a jpg file via a photo program and load it into your appraisal software???

Ben
 

Aaron Klinger

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Ben,

I don't have a lot of experience with photo programs other than that associated with my forms software. When you copy floorplans into your Photosuite software and essentially convert to a .jpeg file, do you then find that it works with your appraisal software on WinXP. I think that it does based on your previous post which stated that you back dated compatibility on Photosuite ver. 8 to run as if in Windows 98.

This sounds as though it may be similar to another attempt I made to fix this problem. I "printed" the metroscan pages to .pdf files (Adobe Acrobat) and once in .pdf, converted them to .tiff files, which you can do in Acrobat ver. 5.0. I don't know why, but this did not improve the clarity of the maps and data pages once I inserted them into my ACI forms software.

Even though I am hesitant to add software, especially when I am having a problem, I think that I will look into your Photosuite solution. I do appreciate your ideas on this. Aaron
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Aaron,

You don't have to use Photosuite. Try the basic imaging program in Windows in Accessories first. Or go to www.cnet.com and download Irfanview. It's free and pretty good. I just happen to like Photsuite. Paste the info into the photo program and resave it as a jpg. Or if you can't paste it, save it somewhere and reload it into the Windows Imaging program and then resave it as a jpg file.

If the image quality does not improve, maybe the original is being blurred or loses resolution when you import it into a large exhibit page??? Did you try importing the image into say, an untitled 4x6 photo page. I've done that in Toolbox in the past but I'm not familiar with ACI software so I don't know if you have untitled 4x6 photo pages to mess with to keep the resolution high for small original images.

Ben
 

Aaron Klinger

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Thanks for your recent suggestions Ben.

I pasted the Metroscan pages to Windows Paint then saved the files as jpegs. They looked fine as jpeg images in Paint, but when I inserted those files into my ACI software, the same old grey smudging and clarity problems popped up again.

I also pasted the image to a 4 x 6 photo field, but same problems (only smaller).

Because I can export or convert the Metroscan pages to .jpeg files of good quality outside of ACI, I think that the problem may reside with ACI software (contrary to their tech support response). I will get back to them on this. Thanks again for your suggestions. If you think of anything else, I'm happy to try. Aaron
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Aaron,

To eliminate your problem and zero in on the ACI software, you could do the following:

Email your saved jpg files to an appraiser friend with different appraisal software to see if the problem exists there also when he imports the photo. That would either pin the blame on ACI or not.

At least you would know and won't be spinning your wheels.

Ben
 

Em Tee

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I've also been experiencing a strange problem with my Win XP computer when I right click to save a plat map. When I had earlier versions of Windows, it used to automatically save as a gif but now with Win XP, most of the time it wants to save it as bmp. I have to reopen the bmp and convert it to gif. What a pain! Wish I could figure that one out. If anyone has any experience with this or ideas on how to correct, I'd love to hear them! :?
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Aaron:
This may be overly simplistic, and nto to your professional standards...

I am so computer UN-savy that I just use the <Alt-Print Screen> combination then paste into the appropriate ACI page.

This does put the active window screen around your pasted map :oops: or whatever, but eliminates a time consuming conversion process and is really really easy...

and has worked through several changes in software and Op systems...
No client compaints as yet either :p .
 
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