Increasing Location Intelligence for Mercy Corps

Our team has recently undertaken a rewarding effort to help Mercy Corps improve their location intelligence capabilities for better program monitoring, performance assessment, and situational awareness in areas around the globe where the non-governmental aid organization conducts disaster relief and economic development programs.
In their own words:

“Mercy Corps partners with creative thinkers from the private and public sectors to develop social innovations that transform lives. New technology, business models and creative partnerships provide transformational opportunities for overcoming poverty and despair.”

Our team’s partnership with Mercy Corps has involved implementing a Performance Atlas visualization and interactive mapping system that allows for:

  • Review, monitoring, and assessment of key performance indicators
  • Field mission planning support
  • Integration and assessment of field-collected data
  • Collaborative, visual communication among remote project partners and stakeholders.

We are now collaborating with Mercy Corps and members of the Barr and Kellogg Foundation to determine how the Location Intelligence system used for a pilot project in Haiti may be further extended and applied to other programs across the globe.  This is in support of Mercy Corp’s mission to leverage [a] robust global program platform to identify breakthrough ideas, test them in the field, and scale them broadly.”

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!