Site Selector Solution Stimulates Economic Development

Bryant Ralston of GCS Research describes the site selection tool he created to help bring businesses to the state of Montana.

Jul 11th, 2011

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00:01I'm here to talk a little bit about the GCS site selector solution.

00:05And it's a web-based solution based on Esri technology, and it's an economic development focused tool.

00:11And, it really…in Montana where I live, where we first implemented this solution…

00:16…it's become a virtual landing spot for prospective businesses in the state.

00:20And, of course, in Montana where we've got a pretty good life going on these days, we've got more cows than condos…

00:25…and more sheep than cows, and this year, we've got more water than we've had in 35 years.

00:30So, we've got it pretty good in Montana, and humanity does not dominate the landscapes.

00:33When I come down here, I'm just amazed with the humanity of it all.

00:36So, anyway, the solution includes web hosting for both the portals that we work with on the local community-based folks…

00:44…the folks who are out there on the ground. All economic development is local.

00:47And the sites that they put into the site selector are then searchable by the statewide site.

00:51So if there's somebody who just says, I want to live a Montana life, I want to fly fish, and the river runs through it…

00:56…and all that kind of stuff, they can go to the main portal, but, eventually, if they decide, oh, I want to be in Bozeman…

01:00…or I want to be in Billings or Missoula where I live, they'll get to that local portal.

01:04It has embedded GIS data and analysis capabilities, so it's got a plethora of hosted technology…

01:09…in statewide business and economic organization data.

01:14And it's also got a rich set of reporting capabilities from the Esri Business Analyst Online.

01:26Okay. Alright. So, prior to the implementation of the site selector, the businesses in the state of Montana that…

01:33…the local economic development organizations were not on the map.

01:37They essentially weren't, and there are several instances where in Montana, we actually lost…

01:42…real companies coming to bring real jobs and real tax base to Big Sky Country, in beautiful Big Sky Country…

01:48…and that became something that the governor himself just said, This is not really the way this should work…

01:53…and let's talk a little about how to create this information and compile it much more quickly than we had in the past.

02:01So, the mantra became 10 days down to 10 minutes.

02:04And so what we were able to do was really look at how GIS could help improve that problem…

02:08…to take that 10 days down to 10 minutes.

02:12So, but what we did here was really took a look at the things that they asked us to do was the thing be web-based…

02:19…have this thing be easy to use and be fast.

02:22It had to also be usable by the local agencies that were doing the real legwork of economic development…

02:29…on the ground in those local communities.

02:31And it also had to be affordable and well supported.

02:36So, what the site selector actually does, well, you click on the search tool and then you can search on a number of things…

02:43…including the sale price, including the square footage and the acreage, and also if you want to start with an address.

02:50So you've got some rich, you know, search tools here.

02:54And over here is what we call the carousel, and this is where the properties actually, you know, get popped up and everything…

03:00…and brings you different information, and so there's pictures and rich locational information about this.

03:06So we mocked up a site for San Diego here, and we've got this information going.

03:11And so, also you click on the layers. Of course, this is a GIS conference, right?

03:14And so we're all geo geeks, right? I saw the shirt out there. Sort of like, you know, we have to have some layers.

03:18This is where the local integration with the data comes into effect, in terms of being able to synchronize, you know…

03:24…the data that you see here in this…with any local GIS data that was created.

03:28So, when you…I say synchronize, think ArcGIS Server to ArcGIS Server integration with web services.

03:33That's what I'm talking about here.

03:35So, of course, we've got some of those datasets here that are both statewide and, if the GIS data's local and it exists…

03:41…we can integrate that as well.

03:43And in Montana, we have certain counties…you don't even mention county-wide zoning or they'll take you to the woodshed.

03:47So, we have to localize this.

03:50So, also, this is where the My Property section is.

03:53This is where you actually do the comparisons of the properties, where you can click up here…

03:57…and add this to My Properties in the carousel and add much, much more if you want to.

04:01Then this My Properties tab appears here, and then it comes to life.

04:06And this is where you actually get down and say, okay, there's two properties I'm looking at.

04:10I want to really drill in, and I want to do some real focused analysis on these particular sites and explore what business is doing…

04:17…what businesses like doing in that area.

04:20So you can click here.

04:21And this is where the richness of the Esri Business Analyst Online API that our developers utilize comes into play.

04:29So you see here, and this just says 37 reports that are generated.

04:33And these are site-specific reports which means, in this case, we have two properties that we're looking at…

04:37…so the reports get run both on those sites and can be created as PDF files or also Excel files…

04:44…that you can then save or print or do what you want with as well.

04:50And then the last thing is these reports get generated.

04:53In this particular case, notice that we've chosen the distances here in minutes of drive times.

04:58This is where some of the spatial analytics come into play.

05:01So, that's all my time, and we're in booth D125. You ought to come by. Thanks.

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