What does The Nature Conservancy have in common with Dow Chemical Company?

Surprisingly, more than one might imagine. For one thing, they are both working with The Gartrell Group… and on the same project!
As D.T. Max explores in the New Yorker article “Green is Good,” The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is in the process of adopting a new approach to nudge commercial interests to adopt greener management and operational strategies.

We are very excited to participate in this historic project and to build the software tools described in Max’s article. The tablet-based solution will offer an array of cool capabilities Dow staff may use for identifying, delineating, and monitoring the natural resource “assets” and ecosystem services present on their properties. They will also be able to perform modeling of alternative land uses to assess the impacts of different management strategies.

Designing and developing this solution is bringing together many of the tools and areas of expertise that have been called for in our recent projects.


mobileGISThe solution will primarily be used by people working in the field, so it will be aimed at mobile users. The first iteration of the tool will be built on iOS for use on iPads.

Disconnected Editing

Field work usually involves being in remote areas with little-to-no connectivity. This solution, like others that we’ve worked on recently, will allow users to make edits while in the field. Those edits will be loaded onto the cloud as soon as the device is connected to either a cell connection or Wi-Fi.

Cloud Hosting

The data will live in a secure, hosted environment that will ensure that everyone is always working with the mot recent information.

Web Management Tools

Like many of our recent projects that involve mobile users going out into the field, this solution will include a web-based management tool. This tool allows managers to create projects for field workers. These projects include maps and data that are then downloaded to the field worker’s iPad so that they have the most recent data to work with.

Processing Models

A key element to this project is to quantify the impact of different resource management strategies on the ecosystems within which Dow properties are involved. We will be working closely with stakeholders from both Dow and TNC as well as scientists from Ecometrix Solutions Group to develop these tools in the form of data processing models that measure the impacts of different land uses and activities.

This is an exciting collaboration - one that we’d have had a hard time believing could exist twenty years ago. We feel that it is part of a significant shift in the economics of environmentalism and capitalism, one focused on bringing more green to the bottom line.

GIS Hosting for CB&I

Client:  CB&I
CB&I is a global energy infrastructure company with approximately 50,000 employees, working from more than 30 countries.  Growth in demand for GIS services from globally distributed customer groups presented the CB&I GIS and IT teams with a variety of challenges.  These challenges led them to seek assistance from the Gartrell Group to design, implement, and host specialized GIS infrastructure that would offer internal GIS staff, partners, and end users an improved level of service.

Goal: Establish high-performance production GIS infrastructure to support internal and external customers of this globally distributed, Fortune 500 company. 

Services Provided:The Gartrell Group collaborated with CB&I GIS and IT personnel to design, and then implement a high availability (HA), multi-tiered enterprise GIS platform.  The platform includes both data, and application tiers. It supports distributed/ remote editing teams, synchronization with corporate data systems, and integration of mobile data collection, all while conforming to CB&I’s IT security architecture and policy.

The hosted environment has been in production for over five years. The Gartrell Group has provided ongoing enterprise support services which include 24×7×365 system monitoring, regular systems analysis, engineering support, architectural planning and upgrade support.

Key Technologies:  GIS Hosting, ESRI ArcGIS Server, ArcSDE, Microsoft SQL Server, Mobile GIS

“You guys have been there for us.  This is one partnership that has really worked out.  We are definitely more effective since we made the transition to have you host our GIS systems.“  – Bill Harvey, Technical Manager, Geospatial & Information Management, CB&I.

Elasticity: A big advantage of putting your GIS in the Cloud

elasticicityBy putting your GIS in our Cloud, you can take advantage of its elasticity. What that means is, you can engage and retire server resources as and when necessary. Short term or occasional needs for geoprocessing, tile cache creation, running massive regressions, etc. can be met by spinning up and using a server resource for a defined period. You get the resource you need when you need it, but don’t pay for an otherwise underutilized resource during periods of low or no demand.
We work with all of our customers to plan for upcoming and potential needs. As a Gartrell Group customer, you’ll be in a good position to quickly add server resources as demand requires. Application servers, database servers, failover web servers, geoprocessing workhorses…they can all be rapidly integrated into your ecosystem of cloud-based resources. This is that “elasticity” of the cloud you’ve heard about. Bring them up, use them when needed, and then put them to bed — optimize your resource utilization so performance is sustained and you’re not paying for what you’re not using.

If you’ve been pondering the benefits of moving your GIS to the Cloud, give us a shout and ponder no more. Our team can get you set up with right-fit resources so you can focus on what you do best!