GCS developed the “Montana Means Business” web application for the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Montana Means Business (MMB) is a custom Esri ArcGIS economic development solution applying GIS technology to deliver on-demand analysis, presentation-ready reports, and maps.
MMB allows prospective and existing businesses to analyze demographic trends, consumer spending patterns, and the commercial environment for any location in Montana, and view the results in maps and reports. Organizations in different industries use MMB to find the best site for a new store, analyze competitive forces in their market, or understand consumer behavior in order to offer the right products and services within Montana.
With MMB, users define analysis areas by concentric rings on an interactive map, or by selecting counties, ZIP Codes, or city boundaries. Reports and maps are delivered as PDF documents so they can be easily distributed and shared. Presentation-quality reports support mission-critical business decisions by combining comprehensive data with maps and imagery.
GCS also designed and developed an economic development ArcGIS geodatabase for the State of Montana, for use in the MMB Web site. Some of the key economic development layers included: foreign trade zones, community development centers, site zoning, business and industrial parks, tax increment districts, Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) zones, landfills, superfund sites, flood zones, and soil productivity rating. GCS compiled geographic features and attribute information from local governments across Montana to populate the geographic layers.
The MMB application consumes, analyzes, reorganizes, and enhances this information to deliver economic development information to users. MMB’s software architecture is based on a geospatial service-oriented architecture (SOA). Analysis and reporting is executed using several distributed web services. MMB pulls information from the state-wide cadastral web service, ESRI ArcWeb Services Business Analyst Online (BAO), and services made accessible through the State’s Department of Labor. The geospatial SOA foundation has allowed MMB to expand and extend analysis and reporting, as well as use additional mapping viewers as technologies unfold and new partnerships are formed. In December 2008, GCS extended MMB to use Google Maps and the browser-based Google Earth plug-in.
The Montana Means Business website was retired in 2012 at the end of Governor Schweitzer’s last term.