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Feb 27, 2006

Small Firm Finds Niche Mapping The World's Hotspots

While huge corporations map North America and Europe a tiny Geographic Information System (GIS) firm headquartered in an old farmhouse in Vermont carefully maps Baghdad, Kabul, and other far away locations. The Rutland Herald reports on Jim Anderson and his firm, LeadDog Consulting LLC. Mr. Anderson and his staff prepare maps for Afghanistan, Iran and more than 40 other countries, primarily for the military, and other government agencies.

Mr. Anderson's explained a typical project for the Herald:
"We create sort of a multi-layered product so we'’ll have a layer for streets; we'’ll have a layer for points of interest such as government buildings, embassies, airports and industrial zones," said Anderson, the company'’s founder. "“They'’ll be a separate layer for parks and also a separate layer for water for example."

The digital maps of Iraq and Afghanistan are incorporated into a GPS software format that not only serves as a location finder but allows for the tracking of vehicles or military personal on foot equipped with a portable GPS unit.
LeadDog Consulting is the only commercial provider of GIS maps for Iraq and all its major cities. The firm specilizes in mapping the third world. "It'’s the rest of the world, Mexico, Latin America or the Middle East and we'’re doing more work in Africa as well,"” Mr. Anderson told the Herald. "And these are places where GIS maps have not been traditionally made."”