FireWhat has purchased Bend-based Geo-Spatial Solutions in a merger that aims to take advantage of the two GIS companies complementary capabilities. FireWhat (one of our #50startups) is a Dunsmuir, Calif.-based company with an expanding presence in Bend.

The company specializes in emergency disaster response mapping, and operates, an online resource for tracking wild fires. Founded 16 years ago, Geo-Spatial Solutions uses GIS to map water resources and irrigation systems.

“The merger of the two companies combines our people and resources to put us in a much better position for the demand we’re seeing across our two industries,” says Rusty Merritt, former CEO of Geo-Spatial Solutions and now the COO of FireWhat.

The companies’ executives met at a business startup program offered by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). Both are Esri Silver Partners.

From Sam Lanier, FireWhat CEO:

“We’ve always attributed our success in part to Esri, but the merger of two companies from the Emerging Partner Program really underscores the value of Esri’s programs.  We look forward to combining our resources and developing new and innovative solutions for our customers”.

The deal was an asset purchase in exchange for FireWhat stock/equity for the Geo-Spatial shareholders, Lanier says. Eight employees from Geo-Spatial now work for FireWhat at the company’s newly dubbed Bend GIS Tech Development Office in NW Crossing. The newly combined company is also hiring four positions at the Bend location, and will continue to have offices in Redding and Dunsmuir, Calif.

The three locations are strategic for rapid emergency response, while at the same time being well positioned to serve the water infrastructure and irrigation mapping needs of the Western United States, according to a company news release.