Until only recently, the right of way industry was dependent upon paper. From parcel maps, photocopied deeds and title documents, to notes on negotiations with landowners, paper has ruled an industry that is so essential to public and private infrastructure and project development.
Reliance on paper is giving way to advancements in technology. Through Web-based software and easy-to-navigate dashboards, organizations can manage right of way projects and land assets in a real-time, paperless environment that enables collaboration and error reduction. This technology produces efficiencies that help individual right of way agents work smarter and boost the bottom line of land service companies.
geoAMPS, a technology company located in the Columbus, Ohio, area, has been leading
these advancements. The company introduced mobile technology to the right of way industry. Leading land service companies in the United States and Canada have turned to geoAMPS to enhance their technological capabilities.
Through geoAMPS, these organizations are also utilizing geographic information system (GIS) mapping which can prove critical to right of way project staff in the office and in the field.
geoAMPS will again call attention to its technological focus at the International Right of Way Association’s 59th annual International Education Conference scheduled June 23-26 in Charleston, W.Va. As a Platinum Sponsor of this event, geoAMPS, appropriately, has developed a mobile application that attendees can use to obtain a wealth of information, like right of way agents in the field, while on the go at the conference. This marks the second consecutive year that geoAMPS has developed the mobile app.
In addition, geoAMPS is planning a booth activity at the conference that will showcase GIS technology.
As attendees to the conference are aware, efficiency in obtaining right way and tracking property and infrastructure information is critical to keeping projects – such as a new wind farm, road, pipeline or solar panel field – on schedule and within cost parameters.
rowAMPS, one of the suite of software products offered by geoAMPS, helps meet this critical need by creating new opportunities to make the process of acquiring and tracking right of way go as smooth as possible. Right of way agents gain the most up-to-date information on individual tracts within the project area quickly. They can retrieve this information on their mobile phone or laptop in the field. They can also upload new information, notes and photographs into the computer file on each individual tract.
“This the most valuable tool to me in the field,” said a Senior Right of Way agent working for a geoAMPS customer. “I can retrieve a landowner’s contact information in seconds without carrying my entire assigned tracts file box. I can take pictures of structures, land improvements and infrastructure items that may be of concern and sync them to their assigned tracts at the end of the day in minutes, without having to wait until returning to the office. I used to have to download from a camera, save it to my hard drive and upload them to the server.
“I can also add notes to a landowner’s file in seconds. If I am on the road for several hours and have talked to five to eight landowners, I don’t have to remember hours later what we talked about when I have to do my update. I have already made a note on my phone after the conversation is over and the notes can be synced to the landowner’s file by a press of a button.”
Prior to utilizing mobile technology, this agent faced the same hurdles as others in the right of way profession. Special landowner requests and ingress-egress permissions were hand-written in a notebook or stored in a bulky tract file box. Title searches were done at the county courthouse. There were weekly meetings with other agents and the need for multiple spreadsheets prone to error. An agent received a new assignment on a paper record transferred in a folder, and the agent called or emailed his supervisor to report if the parcel was acquired or the progress of negotiations.
rowAMPS provides access to all project information through a central database. It features timesaving tools, such as lease management, bulk document generation, bulk update, auto reminders, scheduled reports and managing workflow.
Attendees to the International Right of Way Association Education Conference will have the opportunity to not only see, but also experience how geoAMPS technology is advancing the right of way industry.