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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Update 12/8: While the developer toolkit for DWF is available, the source code for the plug-in is not open source.

After seeing the HTML (AJAX) client of “MapServer Enterprise” many times during the week, I finally asked to see the DWF plug-in version. They are as promised identical. Ok, there is one big difference: the HTML one has the blue scale/navigation tool (the blue exclamation point) and the plug-in version does not. However, you can hide the tool in the AJAX version by pushing it “off screen” if you like. (Apparently, many people like to do that since they find it ugly!)

I was not clear on is the status of the clients. They are “somewhat” open source. The core HTML viewer code is available but the DWF plug-in is not open source. (A developer toolkit is available.) Nor is the MapServer Enterprise Studio product which allows for the easy configuration of them. It basically “builds up” the XML that is fed into these apps to create the online page the user sees. In fact, I saw a demo of literally the same XML fed into each. They looked identical, save the blue exclamation point.

Why would a developer chose one over the other? DWF may be quicker with refreshes since the data is local, but has no extra functionality. It might be best used inside a company, where the download of a plug-in is no big deal. The HTML version requires no download and may be best used for consumer/citizen websites.

Both will in time be able to offer DWF files that can be taken into the field, though for now the HTML one does not have that functionality.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/07 at 08:52 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I tracked down the technical marketing manager for “Autodesk MapServer Enterprise” who explained the FDO technology in a way I could understand. He compared it to the power converters you use when you travel. You have this base and you plug-in different connectors based on the country you visit. The base is FDO, the connectors are the FDO providers. Both of these parts (save the providers for Oracle and SQL Server) are now open sourced by Autodesk.

The fact that Autodesk has open sourced this technology means that any developer can write a new provider. A provider accesses content. That content might be a file format (SHP) or a database (MySQL) or even another interface (WMS, WFS) or program (OGR, GDAL).

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/07 at 08:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Frost and Sullivan
, the market research firm, conducted a webinar yesterday in which they released projections of the location-based services market. Now, we’ve seen pie in the sky before so I caution you with the following numbers. That said, there is no question that there is a resurgence in the market. Other articles we have published in the past note this as well. But it is interesting to note that LBS for them includes online web mapping portals, not just wireless location services. So lets start with their Navigation/Mapping category:

Traffic to Internet map sites: 48.3M visitors per month; 62% growth rate with MapQuest accounting for 35M visitors. Yahoo Maps has 16.9M visitors with more than 100% growth rate and is gaining market share on MapQuest. Google is projected to become the #3 mapping portal based on initial explosive interest.

On the consumer side, in-vehicle navigation systems and wireless handset were the main focus. As such, NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas have combined revenues of $480M with a 42% growth rate; major revenues are from in-vehicle nav systems. While there are only 2.2M in-vehicle nav systems on the road, there is a 25% growth rate projected. Europe, though 4x the size of the US, has only 1/2 the growth rate.

At the enterprise level, mobile resource management applications were identified as the key to driving LBS adoption in the short term. No surprise there.

For telcom carriers, the main categories that will spur adoption were entertainment (LBS gaming, find-a-friend; social dating), information services (POI 411, navigation, traffic/weather alerts), and security (child locator, roadside resue). Bottom line: by 2008 F&S project over 17M (non-Internet) users of consumer LBS with revenues over $1.2 Billion.

by Joe Francica on 12/07 at 07:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MSDN Webcast: Virtual Earth Tips, Tricks, and Hacks (Level 200)
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
1:00 P.M.–2:00 P.M. Pacific Time

Learn how to create several different types of map applications using MSN Virtual Earth and Microsoft Windows Live Local.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/07 at 07:36 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The AP reports that while MapQuest seems to be behind Yahoo Maps, Google Maps and others in the API department and other Web 2.0 t hings, it still leads in eyeballs. Word is that MapQuest will unviel some new features soon.

Of all people going to mapping sites, 71 percent visited in September, about even from a year ago, according to comScore Media Metrix. Yahoo Inc. drew 32 percent, also about the same as last year, and new arrival Google Inc. had a 25 percent share. (The numbers do not add up to 100 percent because some people visit multiple sites.)

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/07 at 07:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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