Mark Slaten, Forest Informatics Analyst, Montana DNRC

In 2015, the Montana DNRC was searching for a new timber cruising platform that would replace a legacy system that was no longer supported by our IT department.  The ESRI ArcGIS Online/Collector platform seemed to be a great fit for us but we needed a contractor to customize this off-the-shelf software to enable us to design cruises and allocate plots via a web interface, collect tree data in Collector and then compile and report the results in the web interface.  We called this project NextGen Cruiser.

This process involved creating lots of server hosted geoprocessing tools and some seriously complex formulas and code.  GCS was contracted to take on this project in January 2015 and by June 2015 we were able to deliver the package to our foresters.  During these 6 months, GCS and the DNRC were in frequent contact and testing builds of the application.

The results and feedback from our users were amazing, even some of our most skeptical and technology-shy foresters easily adapted to this new platform.

Out of all the GIS/Web applications that we are using today, NextGen Cruiser has been our most reliable and raved about.  Since the initial 2015 release, we have contracted with GCS to make incremental enhancements and improvements.

This platform has been used on hundreds of DNRC timber cruise projects without ANY issues.

We found GCS to be:

  • Easy to communicate with
  • Conscientious and mindful of budget and timelines
  • Willing to provide advice when they discovered a better/more efficient way of accomplishing a task
  • Very supportive after the release to fix bugs

I would be happy to discuss our experience via phone/email if anyone wants more information.  Thank you!

Mark Slaten

Forest Informatics Analyst

Montana DNRC

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