The Sidwell Company was first organized in 1927. Sidwell's organization as a company succeeded the existence of the W. W. Hixson Mapping Company; Hixson was actually a branch-off from the Ogle Map Company, which dated back to the late 1800's. At the time of organization, company founder Joe Sidwell purchased the rights to numerous atlases of counties in the Midwest from Hixson. During the period from 1927 to 1947, these atlases were maintained and many counties were remapped to afford clients better coverage.
Mr. & Mrs. Joe H. Sidwell
Between the years of 1947 and 1955, The Sidwell Company experienced steady growth in the Midwest marketplace and became established as one of the country's leading legal descriptive and map-making companies. Offset printing of their map product was replaced by the company's ability to provide photographic reproduction maps and their burgeoning expertise in the use of diazo printing techniques.
Sidwell Company staff - 1952
In 1957, The Sidwell Company was selected to provide a mapping and parcel numbering system to Cook County, Illinois. In this project -- the largest and most comprehensive ever completed by the company -- nearly 8,000 maps were prepared, along with a parcel numbering system comprised of approximately 1.3 million parcels of real estate.
In 1958, the company was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois, succeeding the proprietorship of Joe Sidwell. In 1960, the company acquired the equipment and trained the personnel necessary to enter the aerial survey field. Sidwell obtained their first stereoplotter in 1966, which marked the company's entry into the fields of topographic and planimetric mapping. Since that time, the company has completed more than 2,000 topographic and planimetric mapping projects, including many which encompass small development sites, municipalities, counties, and also large federal land projects. Sidwell's current scope of photogrammetric services supports these applications, as well as volumetric studies, and digital orthophotography development.
Sidwell Company staff - 1960
A logical progression in the development of the company came in 1982 when Sidwell began to direct their resources toward the arena of computer-aided design and drafting. This move became the foundation of the company's push toward a dedicated computer-based geographic information system (GIS) environment. Since 1987, Sidwell's dedication to this developing technology has allowed them to provide their clients with fully automated mapping systems and the necessary capabilities for ongoing system maintenance, whether performed by the county or by Sidwell staff dedicated to this discipline.
In 1986, the company introduced a suite of software products designed to perform accounting, recording, and related functions at the local government level. The company later elected to divest itself of these products in order to focus on its core competencies in the mapping arena. Since that time, Sidwell has established cooperative business relationships with a number of firms that provide those types of services.
In 1990, the remaining family members with primary ownership interest in the company elected to divest themselves of these holdings. Rather than allowing the firm to be absorbed by a larger entity within the rapidly developing computerized mapping and GIS industry, they instead chose to entrust the company to its employees. The Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was established in 1990.
The increasing technological demands of the GIS industry led the company to seek a facility that would not only support these demands, but would also allow it to more effectively meet the needs of both its clientele and staff. In 1999, the company moved from their offices in West Chicago, Illinois, to a 28,000 square foot state-of-the-art production facility in nearby St. Charles, Illinois. This move allowed the company to create a production and support framework that would meet its current technology needs as well as the anticipated needs of future growth and technology.
In 2000, as a constant forerunner in mapping and GIS technology, Sidwell introduced the capability for on-line viewing of map and parcel data to their clients in the local government environment. The year 2001 brought this service to Sidwell's commercial client base. Since that time, Sidwell has also entered into partnerships with various governmental entities to host GIS data for these jurisdictions across the Internet. In addition, the company has also developed its capabilities in the areas of airborne GPS and softcopy photogrammetry. 2004 saw Sidwell bring their Parcel Builder™ software suite to the GIS marketplace, providing a significant productivity toolkit for Mappers and GIS technicians at all levels. Since that time, Parcel Builder has been deployed in more than 90 jurisdictions across the U.S.
As the depth and breadth of the GIS industry continues to broaden and mature, Sidwell has taken the step of establishing an official Business Partner program, and entering into strategic industry partnerships that will allow the company to provide the most comprehensive range of professional GIS services to its client base.
As we move further into the new millennium, Sidwell continue to look toward the future. As has always been the case, we are dedicated to managed growth; but more importantly, we are devoted to the development and support of the best in quality products and services to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our most important asset -- our clients.
Sidwell Company staff - 2006