Read more stories about
Montana Business >>

MATR Sponsor:

MATR Supporters:

GCS Research and ESRI Support NASA's Lewis and Clark Project by Delivering Web-Based Mapping and Geoimagery Solution

January 25, 2003View for printing

Missoula, Montana, January 24th, 2003--GCS Research LLC and ESRI are pleased to announce a research and development initiative involving next-generation Web-based mapping and geoimagery solutions for the Internet. Building upon GCS Research's existing business partner relationship with ESRI, the two organizations will work to design, develop, and deliver a Web-based mapping application as a central component of the recently signed Space Act Agreement between GCS Research and NASA.

GCS Research and NASA announced in November 2002 that they have entered into the agreement to build a publicly accessible geospatial portal to deliver satellite imagery of the entire Lewis and Clark Trail as part of NASA's contribution to the upcoming Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration (2003-2006). GCS Research will work with the John C. Stennis Space Center's Earth Science Applications Directorate to deliver a vast array of remotely sensed data of interest to educators, researchers, and members of the general public. The primary focus of the Web site will be to communicate specific geographical changes that have occurred along the trail route between St. Louis, Missouri, and Fort Clatsop, Oregon.

To accomplish these objectives, GCS Research will utilize an array of ESRI software solutions ranging from spatial database management to customized Internet applications. At the core of ESRI's support for this project, GCS Research will deploy ESRI's ArcSDE 8.2 in conjunction with Microsoft's SQL Server. Serving as the fundamental gateway to the SQL Server relational database (DBMS), ESRI and GCS Research will explore the enterprise delivery of massive raster data sets in conjunction with supportive vector data derived from contributing data partners. ArcSDE will function as the application server to deliver raster data to thousands of users and as a development tool utilizing ESRI's ArcObjects, Java, and C application program interfaces (API). The development characteristics of ArcSDE will allow GCS Research to develop additional client-side functionality to be delivered through a standard Web browser.

Building upon this foundation, GCS Research will deploy ESRI's ArcIMS 4 software as the primary tool to deliver both satellite imagery and related geospatial data across the Internet. GCS Research will design a customized ArcIMS software-based Web-client application utilizing ASP.NET programming to enhance and improve the user experience. The Lewis and Clark ArcIMS application will deliver NASA's data resources across a wide array of geographic information system (GIS) desktop and Web-based applications. Emphasizing ease of use, speed, and data accessibility, GCS Research's primary goal will be to design a system that provides the viewer with an interactive experience of the Lewis and Clark Trail and allows for an exploration of NASA's unique scientific understanding of landscape change. ArcSDE, ArcIMS, and custom application flexibility through .NET protocols will provide the core geospatial technology to achieve NASA's objectives in this project.

"We are very honored to receive ESRI's support for this NASA project. This is a major endeavor for GCS Research, and ESRI's expertise, software, and vision will be needed to achieve our objectives. We want to push the envelope with their technologies, go to the next level, and deliver an unprecedented experience to the American public on behalf of NASA. Our relationship with ESRI makes this possible," said Alex Philp, president of GCS Research.

"For several years, ESRI has had a vision on how geographic information could be delivered to support the upcoming Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration," says Bryant Ralston, ESRI's Lewis and Clark liaison. "With ArcSDE software's ability to store raster data and ArcIMS software's ability to serve it to the Web, this project will demonstrate how these technologies can provide a compelling GIS experience on the Web for exploring the Lewis and Clark Trail. We are looking forward to working with GCS Research and NASA toward this goal."

Over the coming months, GCS Research will be working with NASA researchers at the Earth Sciences Applications Directorate to design the prime components of the three-year project. During this initial phase, GCS Research will benefit from ESRI's project support to build a functional, scalable prototype that will be utilized to test various parameters of the Web-based system. Over the coming year, GCS Research will also be working with other key technology partners to integrate additional solutions into the Lewis and Clark geoimagery system and showcase next-generation Internet solutions for geoimagery interactivity. GCS Research intends to demonstrate primary elements of the geospatial portal system at the upcoming ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California, July 2003.


GCS Research LLC specializes in geospatial information technology and develops custom mapping and geoimagery applications for the Internet. To help its clients achieve their unique goals, GCS Research provides a full spectrum of geospatial services involving consulting, analysis, programming, and data. Combining the software and data technologies of its strategic industry partners, GCS Research creates custom solutions to meet the specific requirements of its customers. GCS Research clients use these spatial solutions to improve decision making, communication, analysis, and understanding of complex environmental systems. GCS Research provides .NET programming and hosting solutions for Internet mapping systems, delivers value-added remote sensing imagery from commercial and federal data providers, creates custom cartographic products, aggregates project-based data resources, and consults on enterprise GIS implementations. Visit GCS Research LLC online at

For more information, please contact Alex Philp, president of GCS Research LLC, by phone at 406-721-6744 or via e-mail at or Bryant Ralston, ESRI's Lewis and Clark liaison, at 406-825-0180 or ... 121002.html
No reader comments so far. Be the first to comment by clicking the button below.

Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law. Full copyright retained by the original publication. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

E-mail this page to a friend!