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Monday, January 30, 2006

Of the 47 people who checked out the “MapFoo” poll last week, 64% do not know of Foo. Foo is a place holder for something indeterminate, sort of like x, y and z in algebra. The blog in question used the term “Foo Foundation” to highlight that it’s unclear what the final name of the organization formally known as the MapServer Foundation will be.

It’s a fairly geeky term, one I ran into in college (thanks Sam!) and still hear around town, especially in MIT circles. More on the term here, from Wikipedia.

On to new topics: What’s the topic of the next geospatial book you’ll read? Let us know on the lower right hand side of our main page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/30 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

American Express (AMEX) is using business intelligence tool provider, Microstrategy, to build its extranet application for finding key employees in a crisis. Should a major international event occur where VIP executives need to be found in a hurry, AMEX is using a webmap-based GUI to drill down to country, then state, then city/town level in their TrackPoint application based on pre-travel itineraries and updates to those itineraries. The application was rolled out last October in Europe; Microstrategy cited AMEX at Microstrategy World for its "Best Practices in Business Intelligence" award last week.

by Joe Francica on 01/30 at 05:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tomorrow, SRC is set to release a new product called Portfolio AlteryxTM that, according to the announcement, "brings Allocate, Composer, Explorer, and even MapServer together in a single platform." Version 1.0 of the product is targeted at addressing customer requirements for mapping, reporting, and spatial manipulation tools such as grids. Curiously, a second release is planned for March 31st. Alteryx will be available as a web service. SRC has a series of desktop and web services products for demographic data retrieval and market analysis. More to come…

by Joe Francica on 01/30 at 05:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 27, 2006

A few sites report that the beta of ArcWeb explorer is available, so instead of reporting that, I actually tried it! Warning: when you visit the link above, on the ESRI website, you will see ads from companies providing data to ArcWeb Services. That took me by surprise, I confess. I guess it’s just another perk of being an ESRI data provider.

Verdict: It’s ok; I’d describe it as a sort of a Live Local/Google Local client wannabe.

It uses Flash 8, which seems to work fine. It’s Java, so you need not download anything. For now it’s a front end to some selected ArcWeb Services. In time, developers will have access to tools to customize it, as I understand.

It does, to quote the demo we gave for ArcView 1.0, about five things:

navigate - You move around the map via a strange iPod-looking wheel. I found panning slow and could see each tile redrawing. I fould it awkward to use. (It wants to be as fast and elegant as Google Local panning, but it’s not.)

find - It geocodes quite well and will find location of computer by IP address (mine was spot on) and geocode lists of addresses in an Excel spreadsheet. (I didn’t have such a spreadsheet to test, but I have to believe ESRI customers do.)

directions - It will route between up to 10 locations “dragged and dropped” form the find widget. (Live Locally to me.)

map styles - You can change map colors between default (pastelly), bright (yikes!) and gray scale.

share - you can capture (copy) or send the URL of a map via e-mail

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/27 at 04:12 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I’m not a gamer, but this is an interesting data point: an existing online multiplayer game using Google Local to develop a site map. The map has some 15,000 resources, according to the post I read at WarCry Network. From what I read about the game, the geography has nothing to do with the real world. Still, this is an interesting use of the interface.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/27 at 01:19 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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