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F. A. Q.

Q: Can you map ownership reports?

A: Yes and no. Ownership reports, take-offs and other word-processor documents need to be converted into map-compliant data before they can be mapped. We provide this service or can teach you what to do. Keep in mind that our in-house data processing tools are much faster and more accurate, and projects generally cost less if we do the work.

Q: Can you map spreadsheets?

A: Yes and no. Spreadsheets are much closer to being map-compliant than word-processor documents. However, for a spreadsheet to be map-compliant, there are several rules to follow. Please call and we'll tell you how.

Q: Can you make maps from all the various land management systems?

A: Yes and no. Generally, we can produce maps from any land management system capable of consistently exporting map-compliant data. Unfortunately, many systems fail in this regard. Map-compliant data implies that certain fields be present in your land management system. If your system does not have them, you're out of luck. In addition, land records need to be properly created and maintained in order to get a good accurate map. Perhaps we can help. We recommend KEYLand®, a Windows and Macintosh compatible system which has a built-in tracts feature designed to produce map-compliant data with the least amount of training possible. Please call to learn more.

Q: Can my land records be combined with Federal and State records to get a bigger picture?

A: Yes. We can license a federal dataset from our supplier on your behalf and add your records to it. State interests are researched and entered on a case-by-case basis. At the end of the project, we will supply all records to you in one file. Keep in mind that your land data might contain duplicate or conflicting information to that supplied by Federal or State agencies. Also remember that you are subject to all licensing terms of any third-party data supplier.

Q: Why should I buy or license Federal data when they are available for free on the internet?

A: It's true that you can view and print serial register pages and leasehold ownership breakdowns from the BLM using their LR2000 software. However, the data are not in a map-compliant format. In order to make them so, you must manually enter them, during which time you will make errors. Our suppliers process the federal data so efficiently and accurately and at such low cost, you would be wasting your money to attempt the process them yourself. And don't forget, third-party federal data contain much more than just lease records; for example: Units, participating areas, rights-of-way, and contracts.

Q: Operating Rights are not adjudicated by the BLM. How do you handle them?

A: The federal data only contain record title ownership for leases. If you want operating rights, we can find you a map-compliant land professional to check case files and add the map-compliant operating rights records to the original federal dataset. Then our tools can analyze the records and produce a map using operating rights owners where present and record title owners where no operating rights exist.

Q: What about State data?

A: Each state is different. Generally, no service company supplies map-compliant state data. Many states do not even have a web site for their current leasehold information. We can gather and enter the required information or help you find a map-compliant land professional to gather the information for you.

Q: I'm a broker. How can I persuade my clients to pay for a map?

A: They already do! Unfortunately, perhaps you're not the one getting the money. Nearly all companies who hire brokers end up making a map in some form or another, and more and more often it's a GIS map. We have clients who send us their ownership reports - perhaps even prepared by you - just so they can have a map. These clients have expressed their disappointment that their brokers cannot deliver them map-compliant data as part of each prospect. Remember when you needed a computer just to stay competitive? Today you are competing with brokerage firms which already include GIS maps as part of their standard package. There's no need to fret! Simply give us a call and we'll get you supplying maps to your clients sooner than you expect.

Q: What is the general workflow involved in making a map?

A: Short Summary. Map-compliant data, originating from any source, are acted upon by map processing software to produce certain files which are then manually queried and manipulated by a map presentation tool. Throughout the procedures, quality-control measures ensure the best possible product.

Before we Get to the Details. First, our answer is geared toward a Land-Study map. Many QC measures and enhancements are not available in our basic products. Second: we can help you with each and every aspect of preparing a map, from data gathering and entry to printing the final product. Should you wish to learn how to make GIS maps yourself, we can even advise you on how to get started, and we can train your personnel.

Data Gathering and Entry. Information is gathered by any and all means necessary. This may include doing web research, licensing data from third parties, and ordering or preparing ownership reports. All gathered information is then entered into a land management system or spreadsheet, adhering to strict map-compliant standards. Keep in mind that our tools can efficiently streamline this process and result in less errors.

Assembly. The required elements, primarily licensed grid and data, are brought together to form a map project. All data are imported into our data processing software, while grid is attached to our map processing software.

Data Processing and QC. Once all data are imported, we review them for obvious problems, inconsistencies and errors. Depending on your order, we also auto-calculate tract gross and net acres. If we find major data problems we contact you. Our initial quality-control efforts are focused on missing or inconsistent data. Later, we use the same tools to repair problems we encounter as we review the map.

Map Processing. Map processing software analyzes the data and creates all applicable polygons and text labels for display using map presentation software. Depending on your order, we can supply a map layer of non-mapping tracts for further investigation and repair in your original data.

Making the Map. Using presentation software, we display the resulting raw polygon and text files and, depending on your order, further analyze their underlying data and implement map enhancements. At this stage, we also create the various basic layers, map legends, and so forth. This process produces a map workspace which is a digital combination of queries, files and layers representing all attributes of the map.

More Quality Control. If we see problems on the map, we manually draw QC polygon outlines for each one. Then we use our data processing software to repair the offending data. Once we're satisfied, we reprocess the data using the map processing software. When we reopen the new resulting files with the map presentation software, the map instantly reflects our changes. We then review our QC outlines to verify we fixed all problems. This process may have to be repeated more than once.

Delivery. Once the map is ready, we send the final products (printed or electronic) to you via the appropriate means. Depending on your order, we can supply error reports, files, and workspaces, subject to any third-party license agreements. If you own map presentation software, you can further manipulate the map workspace in any way you wish.

Follow-up Maps. Typically, when you see a Land-Study map, you will discover additional questions you want answered, or perhaps you will be engaged in an active lease play wanting regular ongoing situation maps. For each project, the first map usually bears the majority of the labor and investment. Successive maps or updates to existing maps take less time to process and provide a huge return on your initial investment.

Q: How much does a map cost?

A: Our answer depends on such a variety of factors that it's difficult to say. You can own a 6-township non-printed electronic First-Look map of federal data only for as little as $600 - including the licensed grid and data for your ongoing use. If you are interested in a full-blown Land-Study Lessee map for 20 townships, including well spots, federal stipulations, environmental outlines, and other enhancements in a complex resurvey area where we poly-fuse leases and display underlying cultural data, you can invest 5 to 6 times that amount - for the first map only. Keep in mind that subsequent maps using the same data are a mere fraction of the cost. For example, a Lease Expiration map of those same 20 townships might be as little as a few hundred dollars. Consider the value to your company - to be able to see important information and make decisions which might save your company millions of dollars. We think you'll agree that our maps pay for themselves - many times over.