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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I sat down with Kim Fennell, CEO of deCarta (formerly Telcontar) for a discussion about his company’s business model and product plans. deCarta has been successful at winning four of the big six mapping portals for geospatial processing: Google, Yahoo, Ask, and Rand McNally (so, they have not won over and Microsoft and MapQuest…yet). And they are working on upgrading their capabilities in international geocoding, traffic modeling (in a partnership with Inrix), landmark routing, among others. deCarta/Telcontar has weathered a number of changes over the course of their corporate developement but they now seem poised for expansion by attracting developers (see the deCarta Developer Zone) to their platform in hopes of attracting partners who can develop successful niche applications, which already include some of the more prominent companies in the LBS space like Wavemarket, Motorola, TeleNav, Netorks in Motion, and Local Matters. Fennell says they are content agnostic and was very clear in pointing out that "we’re not a GIS company." But, let’s face it, their Drill Down Server is already a very robust mapping and spatial querying platform. Fennel mentioned some of the interest they have had from large corporations about using their platform. Granted, they have a long way to go with name recognition and just being the "Intel Inside" of the mapping world for these major mapping portals doesn’t really give them much exposure. But they have a goal of attracting a larger partner network with the recent hire of Mike Agron, formerly the partner channel director for MapInfo.

by Joe Francica on 06/14 at 10:35 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Let’s get beyond the infotainmaps already. The one disappointing thing I saw at Where 2.0 was a barrage of startups that "think" they are the next best thing to come to mapping. Without question, I applaud their efforts. It makes for great energy and buzz. But, its time to understand what will resonate with those whose eyeballs make their way to the major mapping portals for entertainment information. Enough about tagging locations with "your opinion" or "your favorite bistro". Please…do you really think people will read this stuff? The value of a good infotainmap is the quality of the information, i.e. rich content. I think I would trust Zagat about the food at Le Cirque than John from Indiana…that’s just my humble opinion. Social location networking has its place…perhaps its your group of friends that do their personal restaurant review and you want to see what John wrote about the Olive Garden in South Bend, Indiana. Maybe. I see infotainmaps ruling "personal location networking" but if the entreprenuers looking to sell their platform to Google are hoping to attain mass adoption by creating a vast network of "your opinions", then map-blogging just to give your restaurant review lacks a certain credibility factor.

by Joe Francica on 06/14 at 10:14 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

TechDirt decries two annoying trends in websites: use of flash and use of Intellitext. The “skip animation button” is apparently the most used on the Internet. That should tell Web designers somthing, eh? Intellitext, that green double underlined text that appears in real editorial content on some sites, is just plain annoying. (You might even see it on some GIS sites…) It’s advertising: if you mistakenly click on such a word you get ad info and the hosting site get some change.

If you hate this stuff, lobby your company to drop these practices should they currently implement them.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 04:43 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Perhaps this was overshadowed at Where, but now Yahoo Maps can be used for most commercial apps, something restricted (or at least you need an “exception”) in the past.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 07:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Not sure this is a big deal, but I know how much we like touch tables:

A PhD candidate working at Mitsubishi rigged that company’s touch table (not the Northrup Grumman one you saw at ESRI) to run Google Earth.

via Search Engine Watch blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 07:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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