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NZ/US joint venture in GIS – a 40/40 vision

NZ/US joint venture in GIS – a 40/40 vision

Explorer Graphics Ltd (EGL), one of the country’s leading geographic information systems (GIS) consultancies, has recently announced it has formed an equally owned joint venture with an American firm to accelerate the Wellington-based company’s growth plans offshore.

EGL is well known in New Zealand with over 2 million people i.e. 50% of the population, having access to property and related information via the company’s Xplorer Internet GIS technology implemented on behalf of a third of New Zealand’s territorial local authorities.

NorthSouthGIS LLC (NSG), formed in partnership with Daniel Elroi, President of Elroi Consulting Inc (ECI), is incorporated in Colorado and will serve clients across the United States.

Coincidentally, both partners are united in more than their GIS interest; they are both located at 40˚ latitude – albeit Colorado is 40° north and New Zealand 40° south – hence the choice of name.

The US GIS services market is worth more than US$450 million according to Daratech Inc. but David Pimblott, EGL’s Managing Director, thinks it could be worth much more.

He said, “It is our belief that the Daratech figures are conservative and may not truly reflect the actual cost of application development.

“We believe that the GIS services market in the US may well be close to US$1 billion”.

Mr Pimblott believes that NSG is well placed to become a dominant player in the burgeoning market.

He said, “Despite being an active, growing market there are few companies in the US to rival our breadth of experience, technical solutions or ability to operate anywhere in the country.

“Our mission is to enable organisations to use GIS and related technologies effectively for integrated business decisions and this sets us apart”.

EGL already runs a number of projects in the US including land parcel mapping for one of the United States’ largest cities; building an Internet GIS system for public access to municipal information for a Midwest metropolitan authority; and developing operational exploration GIS and database systems for one of the world’s largest gold mining companies.

NSG will assume responsibility for these projects and leverage their success to further penetrate target sectors of local government, agriculture and mineral, oil and gas exploration and production.

In line with EGL’s business model in New Zealand, NSG will offer a comprehensive range of consultancy services, implementation and customisation of software produced by ESRI, the leading international provider of GIS solutions, and it will also sell its own software solutions.

Daniel Elroi, EGL’s American partner, has been active in the US GIS market for close to twenty years and has developed a number of off-the-shelf software products.

Daniel Elroi, ECI’s President is delighted with the choice of a kiwi business partner.

He said, “My relationship with EGL began on a “whim” – I was looking for a New Zealand GIS firm to do business with to give me an excuse to visit New Zealand.

“I didn’t bargain on meeting such a competent and well-rounded consulting firm as EGL.

“Our relationship over the past five years has been tremendous with EGL’s desire to expand to North America, and my desire to grow my firm rapidly making the NSG deal natural for us”.

Both EGL and ECI are business partners of ESRI, the world’s largest privately owned IT firm and world wide leader in the provision of GIS technology.

Jack Dangermond, ESRI founder and president, was in Wellington recently to mark the 10th anniversary of the annual NZ ESRI User Group conference.

Mr Dangermond said how pleased he was that such a business relationship had developed between ESRI business partners and wished the venture success.

“David was one of the first people in New Zealand to fully recognise the potential for GIS and to develop it” Mr Dangermond remarked.


Notes to Editors:

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computerised database management system used for the capture, storage, retrieval, manipulation, analysis and display of spatial (or locationally defined) data. Increasingly this technology is becoming known as geospatial technology because information is gathered from remote sensing, mapping, surveying, GPS and other technologies, which can then be displayed and analysed for better decision making.

ESRI is the leading provider of GIS software in the world and is the largest, privately owned IT company in the world. Founded in 1969 by Jack Dangermond, the company employs nearly 3,000 people and has an annual turnover of approximately US$ 1 billion.

EGL was set up in 1987 and is a leading Geographic Information Systems (GIS) consultancy in New Zealand. It has a uniquely comprehensive offer of services associated with implementing GIS systems - from feasibility studies to system implementation review - and its own products and services based on ESRI technology,

The company serves clients from North Cape to Bluff and in five US states with unparalleled experience within the local government sector working with more than one third of NZ territorial local authorities. The company is also active in other sectors such as utilities, transport and agriculture.

ECI was established in Colorado in 1998 and is principally known for developing custom ESRI based GIS applications and helping clients with complex GIS database issues. ECI is experienced in all phases of software development, including commercial software which it has authored and helped its clients author on several occasions. It also provides custom training, strategic planning services, and project management services.

ECI counts amongst its many clients some of the largest in their class, such as the cities of Denver and Los Angeles in local government and AngloGold and Gold Fields in gold mining; as well as small local clients such as Brighton Fire Department in Colorado; and non-profit organisations such as the Orton Family Foundation and the OMNI Institute.

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