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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Chris Fisk, vice president of JIMAPCO, a small mapping company, a partner to Rand McNally offers this comment on the impact of Internet mapping on paper maps sales.

We are concluding that the products you get on the Internet, such as MapQuest, are helping to educate people about maps. So people who have never used a map before are inclined to check out something on MapQuest and it appears they are becoming acclimated to maps and going out and buying them.

The article touting the business is from the Charlotte Business Journal.
Interestingly, the deal with McNally has meant a Web service from the company has been pushed in the market, but is available.

Dubbed JIMS, for JIMAPCO Internet Mapping Service, the Internet product allows a company or government agency to overlay its data on JIMAPCO’s basic map products on a server maintained by JIMAPCO.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 07:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Marketing Shift offers an interview with the CEO of a new travel website that offers “a human level walking experience” that incorporates the opportunity to book hotel rooms. It’s built on a proprietary technology called

Panamorph and it allows users to rapidly create and edit photorealistic 3D scenes from 2D images in a fraction of the time and effort normally required to create 3D graphics. Panamorph’s visual linking technology then generates a digital walkthrough of hotel properties and their surroundings, delivering the next generation online travel buying experience to the savvy consumer. This technology has been in development for over three years.

There are but three locations available to explore: Miami Beach and Peurto Rico, with Vegas in preview mode. San Francisco, Boston and others are slated for later this year.

The app includes a photorealistic screen in the middle (Shockwave), a movable map (no idea whose technology, but it’s Flash-powered.) You can navigate via the photo or the map. The app seems to link together static images because the movement in between views if fuzzy and disorienting to me. The company distinguishes itself from local search tools with this ground level view. They will not be able to do so for long…

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 06:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Two weeks ago we asked for your take on the term Spatial Information Management (SIM). Of the 51 respondents, 35% identified it as a marketing term and didn’t much care, a quarter replied with “Huh, what?”, 22% ranked it above “geospatial” for explaining what we do, and 18% felt it was too “IT.”

Next up: How should free mapping APIs be funded? Vote on the lower right hand site of our main page.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 10, 2006

LI 2006 seemed to me a convergence of sorts. As the conference chairman, my opinion is obviously biased but my subjective observation is that the event had a similar feel to the original Business Geographics conference in 1993. At that event, geospatial software providers and geographic data vendors met, networked and produced some startling partnerships thereafter. I would suggest that LI 2006 could produce similar results.

Vendors and attendees represented an eclectic mix of technology perspectives. From Immersive Media to Planet 9 Studios to Lucent Technologies, there were some very interesting people roaming the floor. From traditional mapping to mashups, you could not help but see cross pollenization taking place. I’d have to say that if there was a successful conclusion to the event, the reason would be the ability for a variety of technologists to come together in one, neutral venue and talk about their plans to make money with location technology.

Geoff Zeis from Autodesk suggested to me that the conference represented an ‘infection point’ in the industry. I’m too close to the situation to offer an opinion one way or another. In any technology adoption curve there are inflection points, growth, maturity, but then some other catatlyst must enter to create another inflection point in order for trends to be sustained. I’d like to think that we offered an opportunity for growth to continue and where on the adoption curve we are now is hard to judge. But suffice to say, we will try to break the mold again next year and offer more opportunities to continue the discussion.


by Joe Francica on 04/10 at 01:32 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Geoff Zeiss found that the event “confirmed to me what I suggested in my last blog, that the geospatial industry is undergoing a period of major transformation.”
Between the Poles

Rafe Needleman of c|net popped in to visit with Placebase. He notes that it offers different licensing than Google, and does not have the “bandwidth limitations Google puts on maps used in mashups.”
Alpha (the c|net blog)

Greg Sterling, whose blog covers the media, notes “I don’t even think the folks at the conference are themselves totally aware of all the possibilities.” He’s right.

Ed Parsons summarizes a panel in which he participated and notes, “the mash-up session felt like a similar session 10 years ago, when the same applications were developed using the first generation of desktop GIS, the technology has changed but the commercial markets are the same ?”

Finally, Jim Steiner from Oracle was good enough to share his notes on the event at Directions Magazine.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/10 at 10:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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