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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

At the Information Builders User’s Conference in Orlando this week, I had a chance to meet briefly with Jerry Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Information Builders as well as a more extensive chat with Dr. Marty Slagowitz, another co-founder and senior VP. Both left no doubt in my mind that IBI is aggressively marketing their relationship with ESRI to broaden the solutions they offer to their customers with a GIS component. And their customers are listening. Even better, their customers are asking the right questions and demanding to know more about how location technology can benefit existing business intelligence applications.

Bob Hazelton, IBI’s GIS coordinator (and Location Intelligence Magazine editorial board member) is in reactive mode only because his customer base wants more information about the spatial aspects of their data warehouses. "People are getting more comfortable with maps," said Hazelton. When I was introduced to Cohen, he immediately rattled off the appropriate buzz words of GIS and the more prefered acronym of "Geographic Business Intelligence Systems," or GBIS. Sounds like something he and Jack Dangermond cooked up, both of which have recognized similarities in their businesses…both are private; both run by strong, original owners; and both started some 30-odd years ago. I’d suggest taking a look at IBI’s GIS integration demos. We’ve mentioned this link before but if you have BI tools from Information Builders then you need to understand the bi-directional interface between WebFOCUS and ArcIMS. In the works is an architecturally more robust integration between WebFOCUS and ArcGIS Server. As a tool provider for data analysis and reporting, IBI seems to be a much more proactive BI vendor when it comes to offering location technology integration.

There will be more information forthcoming about some of their customer success stories from companies like Hillman, a parts distribution company that recognizes that its entire supply chain as well as sales and marketing team will benefit from "seeing" spatially-related business data. Hazelton and ESRI rep to IBI, Steve Trammell, are talking with many companies that keep telling them, "I never knew I could do that before," referring to the visualization and analysis capabilities of GIS. "There are many ‘ah ha’ moments at the conference this year," said Hazelton. From my perspective, it never fails to amaze me that after 17 years of writing about GIS in Business that we are still getting ‘ah ha’ moments. But at least now, there seem to be many more of them. 

by Joe Francica on 04/25 at 09:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 24, 2006

GOLF SMARTER, a podcast that describes how to play each hole on a particular course has gone Google Earth. Now, with the help of a Google Earth savvy listerner, other listener can “follow along” in Google Earth.

I’d love to have my coach and/or some verteran runners offer such a guide for marathons and other key races. “Know the course, lower your score” is the moto of the company behind the podcasts. Clever.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/24 at 07:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In-Q-Tel, the venture capital “arm” of the CIA, which funding such start ups as Keyhole (now part of Google) and MetaCarta (still on its own), will not be unique among federal agencies. NASA and the Department of Energy are looking to mimick In-Q-Tel and set up similar investment arms to drive technology for their respective areas in the private sector.

FCW covers the story and notes that NASA is ahead. It’s Red Planet Capital may be up and running in to time to make its first investments in fiscal 2006. Red Planet will “invest in early-stage companies that focus on communications and data systems. NASA is interested in improvements to space suits and technologies that can help astronauts maneuver outside a spacecraft. Its other interests include water recycling, reuse and reduction; technologies that can fix hardware onboard; and biomedical support for exploration missions.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/24 at 07:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A new version of the the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s spatial data catalogue FAO GeoNet is up an running. The website “provides agricultural information to decision-makers, allowing them to access satellite imagery, interactive maps and spatial databases from FAO, WFP, CGIAR and others” according to a press release.

The site includes a metadata search tool (I believe is uses OGC Catalog Services) as well as an interactive map viewer. The latter supports WMS and ArcIMS servers.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/24 at 07:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

SRC this morning announced it would make its Explorer geocoder technology available under an open source license. Directions Media editors offer their interpretation of the move. SRC offers the code and a listserve.

Update: Just today Zillow announced it will use Group 1’s geocoder.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/24 at 06:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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