GCS Research Delivers Mobile GIS Application for Android Smartphone

The ‘Montana Parcel App’ leverages mobile GIS, phone-based GPS, and other web services to access publicly available property data and geometry from two Montana databases.  

Missoula, Montana – GCS Research, developers of advanced geospatial technology solutions,introduced a downloadable property information application that allows users to view location-specific information from smartphones running the Android operating system. The ‘Montana Parcel App’ leverages mobile geographic information system (GIS), phone-based GPS, and other web services to access publicly available property data and geometry from two Montana databases.  

“GCS Research has combined the power of mobile GIS with the GPS-based sensor suite of an Android-enabled smartphone to create a cost-effective location-based service for Realtors, title companies and state and local governments,” said GCS Research President Alex Philp, PhD. “This thin-client application is a practical, cost-effective business tool that puts geographic information and geospatial functionality into the palm of anyone’s hand.”   

The Montana Parcel App allows smartphone users to access real estate information remotely from anywhere in the world or while standing on a property in Montana. Users can rely on the phone’s built-in GPS to pinpoint their current location in the state, or they can zoom into a mapping interface to select an area of interest by “double-tapping” the touch screen. Within seconds, the application retrieves location-specific property information for the selected site from two web-enabled databases.   

The first is a parcel boundary file maintained in a Montana cadastral database. This cadastral information is managed in an ArcSDE geodatabase and served over the web by ESRI Inc.’s ArcGIS Server solution. The smartphone application traces the property boundaries in red on the phone’s map display. Next, the application accesses the State of Montana CAMA (Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal) System where it retrieves property details such as owner name, parcel legal description, acreage, assessed value, and zoning code.  The mobile mash-up leverages the Android mobile operation systems to deliver an easy-to-use, personal solution for anyone wanting to have the information at their fingertips.   

“The advanced functionality of Android OS has finally made it possible to bridge the gap between the enterprise business GIS database and the mobile phone,” said Philp. “Cost-effective, location-based business tools can be created in a matter of days with this technology. We built this Droid App so our customers can see how they can leverage the explosive mobile app market to help them fulfill their business needs”   

Users may download Montana Parcel App for free by searching for “GCS” in the Google Android Marketplace on their Android OS phones. GCS Research will soon migrate the Montana application and other mobile GIS tools to additional smartphone operating systems. GCS plans to continue development of location-based services that harness the GPS-based sensors, other embedded sensors, and video/still imagery cameras on smartphones for mobile GIS applications involving augmented reality, geospatial analytics, and advanced geometric calculations.   

About GCS Research
GCS Research ( is an internationally-recognized leader in advanced geospatial information technology solutions. Based in Missoula, Montana, the GCS Research team has over 180 years combined professional experience in geographic information systems, extensive knowledge of custom solutions, and has delivered a variety of award-winning applications for businesses and governments. In 2009, GCS Research spun off one of its internal operating units to form TerraEchos Inc., which applies advanced geospatial and sensor-system technologies for surveillance and security solutions. For more information about how GCS can help your organization design, build, and deploy mobile location application on smartphones, please contact info@gcs-research to speak with a solution specialist or call 406-532-3254.  

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