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      Effective January 20, 2017 North Wind Group acquires Portage Inc.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Integrated Geospatial Expertise

Understanding spatial information and relationships is often critical to the success of projects in the environmental, engineering, mining, construction, natural resources, and defense industries, among others. Portage, Inc. maintains a complete geomatics program capable in many disciplines, implementing progressive geospatial technologies to provide superior services to our clients. Our program is founded on geographic information systems (GIS) and the ability of this technology to manage, analyze, and visualize complex spatial datasets.

Core Capabilities

Data Capture, Generation, and Editing

Using a wide array of sources ranging from hardcopy assessor’s maps to satellite imagery and land surveying equipment, Portage is adept at generating and georeferencing data for use in GIS. Our understanding of the sciences behind GIS ensures that client data are located accurately.

We specialize in locating and harvesting relevant project datasets available in the public domain, assessing dataset validity, and tailoring and converting data to suit specific project needs. Basemaps for our projects are commonly generated from public data and subsequently integrated with original project data to create a valid final product at an appropriate scale.

Database Creation

Portage can engineer GIS databases geared to client specifications or user level, from simple shapefile-based directories to topologically correct geodatabases anchored in relational database management systems such as Oracle.

Image/Raster Processing and Analysis

Portage GIS analysts have experience interpreting satellite imagery and orthophotography for infrastructure development and geosciences applications. We mosaic and process imagery and other rasters to create seamless, high-quality datasets for analysis in GIS.

Remote Sensing

Utilization of remote sensing equipment and interpretation of associated data are key strengths of our geomatics program. We strive to identify project inputs that can be improved through remote sensing technologies, and often use data from our own terrestrial light detection and ranging (LIDAR) instrument to supplement insufficient terrain datasets where high-resolution hypsography data is necessary.

Professional Cartographic Design

Our GIS group regularly communicates data analysis and project layouts to our clients through maps, figures, and 3-dimensional visualizations. We take pride in cartographic production, ensuring that deliverable products are meaningful, accurate, and aesthetically appealing.

Custom GIS Solutions

Portage has a highly qualified group of professional software developers with experience actualizing a variety of custom applications. The development team specializes in database and Web application development.

Our software developers use the ArcGIS Server for Microsoft .NET to create solutions for the delivery of interactive GIS maps and data using both client and server and display GIS data. The purpose of the applications and needs of the client dictate which of the following methods we use:

  • Web Applications - A Web application provides content from a server to a client within a Web browser. Since the user interacts with a Web application via a Web browser (such as Internet Explorer), the client-side application is built using Web standards to create a user interface.

  • Rich Internet Applications - Rich Internet applications (RIAs) are Web applications that function like a desktop application. RIAs are hosted on a Web server, downloaded to a client, and run within a Web browser. RIAs consume data from remote Web services, which provides the end user with an enhanced presentation environment to visualize and interact with the data.

  • Desktop Applications - Desktop applications are stand-alone applications that work on a single computer or across a network environment.

  • Mobile Applications - Mobile applications are designed for devices such as PDAs, martphones, pocket PCs, or tablet PCs.

  • Web Services - Web services provide content from a server to a client as information. This provides the backend for Rich Internet and Web applications.


Portage’s GIS staff, with more than 40 years of combined experience, provides diverse geospatial services to several organizations at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), supporting sitewide environmental characterization and remediation, as well as facility operations, waste disposal planning, and long-term landscape evolution modeling to aid risk assessment at Technical Area 54, LANL’s low-level radioactive waste disposal facility. GIS also serves an integral role in our work for commercial clients and other government agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management.

Portage assimilates information from multiple sources in GIS to simplify and analyze complex spatial relationships and facilitate decision-making for our clients. Our program has the right tools and experience to provide the highest quality GIS solutions available for your company’s current and future endeavors.


GIS Capabilities

  • Digitization and Feature Extraction
  • Georeferencing and Projection
  • Data Conversion
  • Survey and Mapping-grade Global Positioning System (GPS) Receivers
  • Total Stations and Terrestrial Laser Scanners
  • Spatial Database Development and Management
  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Image/Raster Processing and Analysis
  • 3-D Visualization and Modeling
  • Environmental Remote Sensing
  • Application Development
  • Cartography
  • Custom Solutions
  • View Portage Capabilities