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WhiteStar.com: Now with Live Chat

Louise White

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There is nothing like having a problem or a question about a software or data product and then having to send emails or make calls, wait for answers, and repeat.  To improve your experience, and to return you to productivity as quickly as possible, we have added online chatting to our website experience.  

If you go to whitestar.com , you will see a text box that says “Welcome to LiveChat.”  To begin a session, simply click on “Chat Now” and you will begin a conversation with a WhiteStar staff member.

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A real human being will answer your chat.  We don’t believe in robotic scripting. Our experienced people will either answer your query directly or find the resource (technical or sales) who can.  Our staff will make sure you get everything you need during the session including follow-up steps and further research.

What sorts of questions might you ask in live chat?  Perhaps you have questions about the content,  geographical coverage, or currency of one our data libraries.  Perhaps you’d like some further information on how to use our free WhiteStar Wizard App for iOS or how to properly map a land legal description.  

The sky's the limit and instant gratification is here now.

The market is changing.  Clients have come to expect instant interaction and easier and better tools for answering questions.  We are dedicated to staying ahead of the competition in terms of both the customer experience, quality of information provided, and of course the excellence of our data products.

WhiteStar Legal Mapper: Map to Infinity

Marketing WhiteStar

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The following events are based on a true story.  

Your company has just merged.  Suddenly, your office is awash in an ocean of land deeds full of legal land descriptions.  Your boss comes into the office and tells you that within a week she wants to map the newly merged company’s land positions for strategic reasons.  

In the past, you would need a $100,000+ investment in software and data just to produce one map.  Anyone who has gone down this road knows that a land mapping system implementation can take months if not years. 

A Better Way to Get Your Land Position on a Map.

For a flat fee, map to infinity.  Map as few or as many polygons as needed to meet project goals.  No investment in land mapping systems required.

WhiteStar Legal Mapper

Gain access to all four included methods:

  • ArcGIS: Map land parcels directly inside ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap.
  • GIS Data: Upload a spreadsheet file to the web app and download the computed polygons in Shapefile, CSV or GeoJSON formats.
  • FME Transformer: Use the WhiteStarLegalMapper transformer inside a Safe Software FME workspace.
  • REST API: Incorporate our RESTful API into internal or external facing software application.

Benefits

  • WhiteStar’s high quality databases support land mapping section, township, range, quarter-quarter and lots descriptions. No additional software or data investment required, except for map display.
  • Flat fee pricing.  No credit buckets.
  • Unlimited polygon generation.
  • Complete USA Public Land Survey section coverage. (30 States, including Alaska)
  • Detailed lot data available for complete states of MT, ND, WY, CO, UT, KS, OK, AR, LA, MS, AL, and FL.  CA and MI in progress.   More added all the time.

Preview the Functionality for Free

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The  “WhiteStar Wizard” is available for free from the Apple iOS store.  Figure 1 shows is an example iPhone screenshot. This free app also showcases our available data libraries including WhiteStar Culture and WhiteStar Wells. You can press the balance beam icon to key in and map any valid public land survey legal description land polygon. 

Batch Processing

If you want to process tens, hundreds, or thousands of legal land descriptions,  WhiteStar Cloud has a way. Batch processing can also be accomplished using the WhiteStarLegalMapper in an FME Workspace.

Web Service

A final method allows a programmer to incorporate the WhiteStar Legal Mapper RESTful Web Service into your corporate intranet. Imagine the power of mapping your leases in the field as the raw data are collected.  Make sure your research is correct, complete, and matches the legal documents.

 

#FMEUC17 and Shapefile’s Silver Jubilee

Marketing WhiteStar

This year, Safe Software held its first worldwide user meeting in three years at the beautiful Vancouver, BC Convention Centre.  We love the people at Safe - authors of the “Feature Manipulation Engine” or FME that transforms data and coordinates from one format to another.  WhiteStar uses this technology intensively to prepare data formatted for a wide variety of customer applications. 

You would think after twenty years, data transformation problems would all be solved.  To the contrary, the number and variety of data formats just continues to explode.  Indeed, we use Safe’s FME Server technology inside of WhiteStar Cloud, where customers can come to a website and “clip, zip and ship” the data they need in their desired format.   

Col, Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station,  gave the keynote talk at the conference about managing complexity and change. “If you want things to stay the same, something is going to have to change!”  set the tone for the UC.  We can’t continue to do things the old way.  In WhiteStar’s world, we need to stream data rather than deliver GIS data using old methods such as ftp and shapefiles.   
 
Hadfield mentioned that the May 6th, 2017 cover story of The Economist rightly cites data as the world’s most valuable resource.  As a data company, we have known that for a very long time, and spend time and effort trying to convince our prospects of this.  Still too many are seduced and spend their entire budget on software. 

Amusingly,  the conference celebrated the 25th anniversary of shapefiles.  Even more amazing (horrifying?) is that shapefiles use the old 1980s vintage dBase III DBF format to store data. Perhaps next year @dbffiles could celebrate their 35th birthday.  On Twitter, you can follow the very active and humorous @shapefiIe account so as not to miss any developments!

WhiteStar Geodata Analyst Pete Vaziri and I gave a well attended talk on the large task of compiling and continually updating parcel data for the more than 3142 counties and county-equivalents in the USA.  WhiteStar has a research staff who contact each county and update the data on a regular basis.  Data must then be converted to a common format (using FME of course), normalized to a standard schema, converted to a common coordinate system, and then loaded into GIS databases where it can then be streamed to customers or available on WhiteStar Cloud.  

FME Colorado User Group
Are you an FME-er in the Denver area? We are looking for a speaker for the next meeting of the Colorado FME User Group.  Please contact me if you would exchange a beer for a 25 minute presentation on some topic of interest to the FME User community.