project info

T he Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) assists city residents to achieve compliance with the building, zoning, plumbing,mechanical, electrical, disabled access, energy and green codes, as well as other local and state laws.

To benefit both staff and customers, LADBS needed a map-like interface for visualizing buildings and their associated permits. This permit information was dispersed across various LADBS-owned permit-holding systems, each with different set of permits collected across varying time periods.

Lack of a central database was hindering LADBS inspectors from managing permits in an accurate and efficient manner. LADBS customers also did not have access to the permit records in an easy-to-understand visual interface. To get correct permit information for their addresses or structures, they had to call or visit an LADBS walk-in facility. The LADBS website offered information about permits but was more directed at the inspectors and the content was not tailored for the public.

The goal of visualizing buildings and their permits on an interactive map was driven by the needs of two user groups: ,internal LADBS inspectors and supervisors needing to manage permits, and LADBS customers needing access to current permit information.

3Di developed a comprehensive portal to serve as a common platform for both sets of users.

The Building Information Viewer (“Viewer”) was designed as application to assist customers in finding parcels and buildings based on address, legal description and other property information. Searched results give customers permit, building and certificate of occupancy data for a property. The Viewer also offers customers the ability to view customized maps with easy-to-use map layer features and advanced mapping tools.

Features of the Viewer include:


The most important aspect of any customer self-service portal is the user experience. 3Di has developed a successful methodology for comprehensive user experience analysis and design that is integrated with the functional and technical requirements process.

A large utility such as LADBS has multiple backend systems with constantly changing business processes for internal and customer-facing operations. Our approach consisted of:

  • Development of information architecture and visual design for optimum user experience.
  • Development of an infrastructure and application architecture for customer self-service portal and all associated integrations.
  • User acceptance testing, performance testing/tuning, training,knowledge transfer


A highly scalable and extendible customer self-service portal integrated with multiple backend systems.

In addition, the new system also offers:

  • Searchable website with support for multiple search options for a structure.
  • Ability to customize the map view.
  • Ability to add a structure guided through a visual map-based tool.
  • Search address based on:
  • Address text
  • APN
  • Intersection
  • PIN
  • Legal Information
  • Building ID
  • Customize map to see different views such as:
  • Property boundaries (default view)
  • Zoning
  • Roads
  • Sewers
  • Methane
  • Hillside
  • Census
  • Show the following information for an address:
  • Highlight related parcel on the map.
  • Parcel-related information like PIN, APN, legal info, zoning,council district, census tract, etc.
  • Assign permit and add building (internal LADBS users only)
  • Associate or dissociate a permit to a building, or add a new building (residential, multi/apartment or commercial)
  • Tools
  • A structure/building can be measured across the following parameters:
  • Area
  • Distance
  • Coordinates
  • Pictometry: A pictometry view is an image showing the fronts and sides of buildings and locations on the ground.
  • Permit and Certificate of Occupancy Information

LADBS is able to provide better customer service and an enhanced user experience,reduce errors and improve operational efficiency.


  • Customer self-service portal increases customer satisfaction as all the permit information related to the customer’s property are easily visible on a map view
  • Permit and Certificate of Occupancy information are available in an easily downloadable format.
  • Business processes integration reduces errors.