FAQ2019-11-19T12:41:29-06:00
How can GIS integrate with historic & non-digital information?2019-03-15T13:04:31-06:00

There are many resources that are not natively formatted to work with GIS. The most common examples are historic paper maps, or documents that have not been digitized or spatially referenced. NPGS staff are experts in finding creative solutions to bring printed- or otherwise non-spatial information to life. These specialty services include:

  • Feature digitization – The general term for bringing printed information into a digital format. This can take the form of tracing printed maps into a computer system, translating survey notes into spatial features, or transcribing printed text into a database
  • Georeferencing & rectification – Scanning historical paper maps and spatially aligning the features in a digital format
  • Building spatial references for non-spatial data – Linking tabular data (text information, numerical records, etc.) to spatial features using relational database techniques
  • Data repair – Sometimes GIS is more of an art than a science. Talk with our experts to help solve your data quandaries
How is GIS different from GPS?2019-03-15T13:04:32-06:00

GPS provides data. GIS draws data.

GPS – short for Global Positioning System – is a network of around two dozen satellites orbiting the Earth that send information to devices that listen for their signal closer to the ground. Download this great infographic, courtesy of GPS.gov for an illustration of this surprisingly simple, yet vastly powerful technology.

On the other hand, GIS – short for Geographic Information System – can be thought of as computer software that help users display spatial data. GIS can take location information recorded from from a GPS device and display it on a map over aerial imagery, roads, topographic information, and any other base map layers one can imagine.

How does GIS utilize programming skills?2019-03-15T13:04:32-06:00

There are a number of unique programming environments that can contribute to solving problems with GIS.

  • Python is used heavily to automate processing workflows. Python scripts can be quickly developed to automatically perform a specific task, to run and rerun a complicated series of procedures involving logic and looping, and everything in between
  • VB.NET / C# / F# / Java are commonly used to extend GIS software packages. These can be in the form of a single button that performs a customized function, or a combination of buttons, menus, forms, and other interactive controls that work together to automate workflows. These types of features are known as Add-Ins.
    Java / Objective-C / C# / Qt / QML are used to develop mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows devices
  • Javascript is a powerful tool utilized in Web development. This language is used to configure browser- and mobile-based mapping applications, to provide user interactivity, and to communicate information between a browser, a map, and a user
  • HTML, CSS, and a slew of other Web scripting languages support browser based mapping projects
  • SQL is used to communicate with databases. GIS data are almost always stored in some form of database structure, so it’s important to know how to ask a database to identify and share specific sub-sets of information with GIS software
  • Visual Basic / VB Script / Javascript (again) are used to format bits of data inside of GIS software packages. For instance, a user can use a VB script to combine various pieces of attribute data together to form a more helpful map label. In a more complicated fashion, short VB scripts and javascripts can be developed to format small packets of data in very specific ways using logic and iteration. Additionally, macros can be written to help format data using various third party software packages
What is Enterprise GIS?2016-12-20T08:32:34-06:00

The term Enterprise is used to describe a level of hardware and software integration that exists throughout an organization. A well constructed enterprise GIS environment allows any user in an organization to rapidly access, process, and share GIS data.

Does NPGS provide on-site GIS consulting and development?2019-03-15T13:04:32-06:00

Yes. North Point Geographic Solutions does provide on-site GIS consulting, support, and development. Many services can easily be performed and coordinated remotely, however we are pleased to provide on-site GIS support, training, hardware and software installation, and custom application development in any location. Please contact us for rates outside of the Upper Midwest region.

Does NPGS provide survey-grade GPS data collection?2019-03-15T13:04:32-06:00

NPGS generally provides mapping quality (or “resource-grade”) GPS services. The main distinction between survey-grade and mapping quality GPS data collection is dependent on a project’s required level of precision. Survey-gradeGPS data can be up to 100 times more precise then mapping quality GPS data. The quality of the GPS data North Point Geographic Solutions gathers is at least 1 meter horizontal accuracy whereas survey quality provides up to 1 cm horizontal accuracy.

So why collect and use mapping quality GPS data instead of survey quality?

  • Time – Providing survey quality data requires significantly more time to capture, rectify, and correct. NPGS staff can rapidly deploy a team to collect, correct, and begin reporting mapping quality data in far less time
  • Cost – Time is money, so naturally a rapid deployment will drastically reduce the cost of a project. Additionally, dedicated survey equipment is required to capture survey quality data. NPGS staff are outfitted with high quality Trimble Juno GPS units with weatherproof housings which are rugged, light weight, and have integrated digital cameras with long lasting battery packs. Further, many applications can be readily deployed to mobile applications that are accessible by any user with an Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile device.
  • Requirements – Most mapping projects only require mapping quality precision. NPGS staff can coordinate to meet the needs of any project.

Additional considerations:

  • Greater GIS data collection accuracy
  • Take enterprise GIS data into the field for updates
  • GPS integration with cameras
  • No need for paper field maps
What services does a GIS company provide?2019-03-15T13:04:32-06:00