RAP contacts

Please contact these individuals for Rangeland Analysis Platform specific questions:

Brady Allred
Rangeland Ecologist, University of Montana

Matt Jones
Remote Sensing Scientist, University of Montana

Agency contacts

Please contact these individuals for agency specific questions on the use of the Rangeland Analysis Platform:

Jeremy Maestas
Ecologist, West National Technology Support Center

Colin Dovichin
Monitoring Coordinator, MT/DK

John Carlson
Sage-Grouse Implementation Lead, MT/DK

Shapefile help

Why is my shapefile not working?

Although a very common format for storing spatial vector information (polygons, lines, points), shapefiles can contain geometry errors or other misinformation that prevents them from functioning properly. If you are using a zipped shapefile and are not returned results, please consider the following:

  • The shapefile must be saved as a .zip file and contain the .shp, .shx, and .prj files of the shapefile. Only include one shapefile per .zip file.

  • Shapefiles may not work with Internet Explorer web browser. Please use Chrome.

  • 3D shapefiles are not supported, please convert to 2D.

  • Shapefiles can contain geometry errors. Please check and fix the geometries of the shapefile and try again.

  • Shapefiles with complex geometries (i.e., polygons with many vertices) or many features will result in an error. Please reduce the number of features or simplify them.

  • You may only analyze one feature at a time: after loading the shapefile, click on the feature to be analyzed; a popup will appear above the feature with the ability calculate time series for that feature only.

  • Sliver polygons (really, really small polygons that are likely mistakes) will result in an error. Please check and fix the geometries of the shapefile.

  • Although multipart polygons are compatible with the RAP, singlepart polygons are recommended. Convert to singlepart polygons.

  • Only the first 50 features of the shapefile will be loaded; the remaining features will be discarded.

If after attempting the above suggestions the shapefile continues to result in an error, please email the zipped shapefile to We will attempt to provide a solution within a reasonable timeframe.

View in GIS

Data in the RAP can be easily imported and viewed in ArcGIS without downloading big datasets. This allows for quick interaction with and visualization of the data. For instance, users can add vegetation cover to a pre-existing project map. These data can be viewed as a web map tile service (WMTS) using the steps below.


Vegetation -
Sagebrush -
Great Plains -

Connecting to WMTS

  1. In the Catalog window, expand the GIS Servers node and double-click “Add WMTS Server”. Note: The images below reference WMS, but be sure to select WMTS.
    catalog window
  2. Type in the server URL (listed above) for the desired datasets: You do not need to enter a user or password.
    server window
  3. Click “Get Layers” to see available layers.
  4. Click “OK”.

To add the data to the map:

  • Connect to a WMTS server in the Catalog window, choose “WMTS”, then drag it into your map.


  • Click the “Add Data” add button button in the Standard toolbar to open the Add Data dialog box.
  • Click the “Look” arrow and choose “GIS Servers”. This gives you a list of servers you have previously used. NOTE: If the server you want is not listed, you can connect to a WMTS server using the instructions above.
  • After connecting to a WMTS server, the service is shown in the Add Data dialog box with this icon: stack icon
  • Select this service.
  • Click “Add”.