the process, freed workers to perform other necessary tasks. GIS Planning has set up portals for over 30 cities, both large and small, over the past four years.

SF Prospector is powered by GIS software leader ESRI's ArcIMS Geodatabase server. The data typically comes from multiple sources, tapping into a city's census and tax records databases, its existing geographical data and satellite photography, and property data uploaded from all the participating real estate brokerages. Ubalde said cities have no trouble finding real estate brokers who are eager to provide listings for the Web site. San Francisco's has been online for just over six months, and already has 50 brokers providing over 500 property listings.

In order for GIS Planning to maintain a business focus and a lean staff, they stick to implementation and avoid branching into related ventures such as developing new data for clients. "If they want to get aerial photos of their commercial zones, we can refer them to others who will do a great job," says Ubalde, adding that he intends for his company to "do one thing - economic development."

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