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GIS Planning celebrates 25 years as GIS software leader

25 years is a long time in the tech industry. Celebrate our cutting edge innovation & excellent customer service with new designs & features, starting NOW

Alissa Sklar
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on January 10, 2023
Alissa Sklar
Vice President of Marketing

Anatalio Pablo gradOnce upon a time, economic development marketing meant printed brochures, VHS cassettes, telephone calls and in-person visits. It's hard to imagine now, but back then, if a prospective investor wanted GIS data visualized on a map, you'd have to request this from the GIS department and wait for them to generate one. Two Berkeley University graduate students named Pablo Monzon and Anatalio Ubalde (pictured at right) recognized how incredibly powerful it would be if website visitors could do this on their own, especially when paired with a commercial sites and buildings database. The pair built the first prototype of the online web tool we now all know as ZoomProspector. 

Economic development has never been the same. 

First ZoomProspector release 1998Exactly twenty-five years ago - the very same year Google was founded - GIS Planning's ZoomProspector disrupted the practice of corporate site selection by putting GIS analysis in the hands of non-GIS users (see the screenshot of our first release on the left). This product was so radically creative and different from anything that came before it that it attracted coverage from top media organizations like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Inc. and Forbes Magazines. As with Google, the transformation of data analysis and visualization instantly democratized access to information. It was suddenly fast and easy, even fun, to put complex data to work for any website visitor who wanted to understand and use it. And just like Google, GIS Planning's ZoomProspector has remained far and away the industry leader and innovator as competitors have come and gone. 

We recognize that the celebration of our 25th anniversary is very significant. Twenty-five years is a really, really long time in the tech industry. Very few other software companies founded in 1998 continue to be in business, let alone remain their industry's leading offering. The screenshot of our first company website below is a testament to just how much things have changed over the years. While GIS Planning has retained the nimble flexibility and commitment to innovation of a startup, we've matured along the way into a well-run and consistently reliable company with an emphasis on personalized customer service. We've got the power of the Financial Times behind us since we were acquired six years ago, ensuring we can remain committed to the R&D that makes us the most innovative software on the market. 

1998 GIS Planning company website

I know I speak for my colleagues at GIS Planning when I say we are all very proud to be part of this team. There is virtually no churn around here - many of us have been here for ten years or more, and we continue to welcome new team members as we grow. Many of our core team members were themselves economic development professionals before they joined the company, so we have the experience and context to understand what our clients need in ways tech personnel never could. Whether it's intuitive virtual tour-building software, easy-to-use 3D renderings, unmatched business and industry data or property and community comparison, we take pride in the constantly new and useful tools and features we offer our clients and their website visitors. 

After 25 years of raising the bar with cutting-edge GIS data software for economic development and corporate site selection, we are proud to remain the fastest-growing company in the industry. No other company on the market can match our pace of innovation and new releases and our commitment to top tier customer service. It is this excellence to which we attribute our incredible growth: GIS Planning software serves more than 72% of Americans and can also be found in Canada, across Europe and in South America. 

We invite you to join us all year for a series of celebrations, new features and new tools, starting tomorrow (January 11th) with the launch of our redesigned virtual tour building software, ZoomTour. Click below to claim your place at tomorrow's free overview webinar and learn how your organization can quickly and easily generate compelling virtual tours to promote properties and top features in your community. 

Claim your place at the new ZoomTour launch event