Consulting? Yeah, we do that.

In 2000, I had a ‘little do you know’ notion to strike out on my own and try my hand at a business. The LeadDog part of the business name was simple: Being based in Alaska, a northern theme was a natural.

The Consulting part, that was less obvious. Honestly, the consulting part was an initial attempt at being a business generalist. I had some skills, having worked in the GIS industry with GDT for seven years. I started as a map technician, then became mapping manager and later building the first international mapping division of the company. I had terrific mentors at GDT (Ken Forseth, Mike Gerling & Don Cooke) and used every day as an opportunity to learn both the operational and business side. Which led me to believe I knew something and people would pay me to impart that wisdom. Consultant – that’s me.

Within the first few months of starting LeadDog and working on a couple consulting and website gigs, I thankfully turned to what I knew best: international GIS map data. And off LeadDog went. Many times we considered changing the business name to LeadDog Maps or something as uncreative as that. Made sense, mapping is what we did.


And then something started to happen in the last couple years, facilitated by fundamental change in our industry: We started to make less maps and started to solve people’s map and technical challenges. Sure map making was often at the core of the solution, and still is, but it wasn’t just license what is off the shelf and done. It was license what’s off the shelf plus something else. That something else could be custom attributes, custom layers and combining our layers with other data sets such as imagery. There were map display challenges, GPS camera field collect projects in faraway lands, language translation, data integration, programming, determine the best value/quality of 3rd party data sets, discover new and unique data sets, etc.

I look around today and still see mapping but mostly see a staff helping solve real business challenges. We may grow into that Consulting part of our name after all!
Let us know how we can help you. It may surprise you what a bunch of mappers evolving into problem solving “consultants” can do.


Are you stuck paying annual map license fees?

Are you stuck paying annual mapping license fees?  Or have the need to re-evaluate your map data model?   Maybe it’s time to do some due diligence and potentially save some money?  If so, read on.

As a commercial GIS map data provider, we know the value of verified, ‘home grown’ GIS mapping.  This has been our core market for 14 years.  It’s in our genes.  In this dynamic mapping world, however, there are growing alternatives in the open data world that can fulfill the data requirements of many clients. 

As the open map data world matures, particularly in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and many other traditionally strong GIS data markets, we are helping clients evaluate whether a more open data approach can help them reduce map license costs.

In some instances, the answer is ‘no’. For example, they need robust attributes such as street addressing that is still a strong point with commercial GIS data.  

In other use cases, the answer is ‘yes’.   Usually the answer isn’t as straightforward as substituting one map for the other.  For example, there is data format customization, specific data and layers requirements, merging of data sets and creation of additional map data content.  It usually isn’t epic but it does take a thoughtful, measured approach to make the transition. 

We are happy to help you evaluate your map data needs.  No agenda.  If what you have works, then you should stick with it.   If there is an alternative, let’s explore it.  

LeadDog selects i-cubed’s GAME for geo-photo management

LeadDog Consulting Selects i-cubed’s GAME for Large Scale Geospatial Full Motion Video and Photo Mapping Management

FORT COLLINS, Colorado – ANCHORAGE, Alaska  (September 14, 2012) – i-cubed, LLC and LeadDog Consulting, LLC are pleased to announce the implementation and launch of GAME™ – Geospatial Asset Management Environment – for LeadDog’s unique POI+PIC and StreetLevel Imagery offerings.

LeadDog Consulting is an Alaska-based company delivering worldwide, mission-critical GIS street, road, POI mapping and street-level imagery. LeadDog specializes in “hyper-local” maps and geospatial media for developing nations and emerging regions where accurate high-quality location data was previously unavailable. Their spatial data products cover the Caribbean, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America, including volatile, hard-to-reach areas such as Syria, Libya and Somalia. 

LeadDog’s offerings include POI+PIC and StreetLevel Imagery, which provides building-level points of interest accompanied with a picture photographed from the street. POI+PIC exactly pinpoints a business, government building, hotel, cell tower and many other features along with the name, type, address, phone, website plus a street-level geotagged picture. StreetLevel Imagery provides a center, left and right view around the feature and imagery up and down the street from it. Used in conjunction with satellite imagery, their street-level imagery provides a proper view  of the building/feature and relevant intelligence.

 With literally hundreds of thousands of images and videos to store, organize and manage, LeadDog needed a secure and scalable centralized system to handle this vast and constantly-growing collection of geospatial media. After a thorough evaluation of other solutions, GAME was selected as their platform for hosting and displaying their StreetLevel Imagery and POI+PIC products. LeadDog chose GAME for its ability to mesh media and spatial information, including the capability to ingest numerous different types of data formats and its flexibility to manipulate and customize viewing instances that tailor to a specific client’s needs.

Click image to enlarge

LeadDog Consulting’s Founder, Jim Anderson, explains: “We can easily display our StreetLevel Imagery work, along with i-cubed’s rich base layers, to clients wherever their area of interest may be. Our clients can deploy a solution that combines the best of digital map products from both companies, providing unparalleled imagery detail from overhead satellite imagery to on-the-ground, field-collected imagery and GIS data. GAME is the stepping stone that helped turn our data into an application.” 

 Given LeadDog’s mission-critical services to global enterprise and military/intelligence markets, it was not only important to have a feature rich application, but also a well-supported solution. i-cubed maintains a proven infrastructure, competent development team and unparalleled 24/7 operational support team. “The staff at i-cubed is responsive, helpful, and friendly. They communicate clearly and carry themselves in a very professional manner. They have also developed very detailed user manuals for the “do-it-yourself” types. We really couldn’t be more pleased to work with such a great crew,” says Anderson. 

 About i-cubed : information integration & imaging, LLC
i-cubed offers enterprise geospatial data and information management solutions for corporate and government clients. Our services and applications leverage Earth imagery and map data, as well as rich geospatial media from ground and low altitude – large area data collection missions. Our solutions encompass visualization, exploration and engineering projects, as well as environmental and critical infrastructure monitoring of transportation and energy transmission corridors. We offer a full range of products and services in imagery procurement, custom processing, analysis and distribution. Image archive management and geospatial multimedia dissemination systems are provided by our DataDoors™ and GAME™ platforms for customers with existing data collections. For more information please visit

 About LeadDog Consulting, LLC
With map coverage for over 130 countries, LeadDog’s digital map products are used by customers in every corner of the world. For over a decade, LeadDog has been developing its map databases of high quality global GIS street mapping data to support the needs of customers across many industries, such as: enterprise, consumer, and mobile asset management, as well as to meet the needs of the government, military and intelligence community who have come to count on us for our expertise in mapping the most volatile and hard-to-reach regions of the world. For more information please visit

NY Times uses LeadDog Benghazi, Libya map data

LeadDog map data is often used in NY Times map illustrations.  While the circumstances usually surrounding these maps are dire, we are honored to work with their graphics team.  Today’s article includes our mapping data for Benghazi, Libya here and here.

The NY Times used a lot of LeadDog mapping when illustrating the Libya conflict in August 2011.  Check out those maps.

Our most ‘famous’ map data of Abbottabad, Pakistan was used on the front page of the NY Times on May 3, 2011 for the graphic:  BEHIND THE HUNT FOR BIN LADEN.

Foreign Affairs article uses LeadDog mapping

LeadDog works with many major media outlets to provide mapping content for print, web and television. Our map coverage is well known in these circles as providing comprehensive and timely coverage in many of the world’s hot spots.  

Recently, Sam Pebble from Sample Cartography put together a map graphic for a Foreign Affairs article on the Triple Frontier where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. 

You can check out the map and article here

If you work as a cartographer for a media outlet, please let us know how we can assist.

StreetLevel Imagery for ten Caribbean countries

LeadDog has completed a ten island, street-level imagery collect project, driving all major streets and roads in ten Caribbean islands.  Islands include Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, Curacao and Bequia.  Street-level imagery plus detailed building and feature specific points of interest are available in all major GIS formats.

Street-level Imagery for Guam & Tobago

Guam & Tobago street level imagery / GPS field collect done. Building definitive (dare not say authoritative) POI & street data.

Anguilla GPS Street Imagery Completed

Team wrapping it up on St. Martin and Saint Maarten today then time to return to winter.