Scaleable street-level map data offers new opportunities in tracking, planning and marketing
April 14, 2009 - MapMechanics, the UK-based specialist in computer-based mapping and geographic information systems, has become the first supplier in Europe to be able to offer scaleable NAVTEQ vector digital street-level mapping of the People's Republic of China to businesses using mapping in logistics planning and management, marketing and GIS.
Detailed data for more than 1,800 Chinese towns and cities is included in the product, along with connecting major roads.
NAVTEQ initially mapped the country in order to build up a comprehensive navigable street map database suitable for satellite navigation systems, which are increasingly popular in China. As in other markets, the company is now making this data available to third-party customers for use in mapping and GIS applications.
Until now, street-level digital mapping with this amount of detail has not been generally available for China, so the launch of this new data set by MapMechanics marks a major step forward in terms of opening up geographic access to the country for businesses around the world.
The data is expected to appeal strongly for applications such as geomarketing, logistics planning, vehicle routing and scheduling, tracking and other telematics-related applications. MapMechanics reports that several UK-based organisations are already on the point of starting to use the data in their own businesses.
This street-level data has many of the trademark attributes seen in NAVTEQ data for other parts of the world, including for instance address ranges, speed limits, dual carriageways, building footprints and pedestrianised streets. It also includes railways, parks, water features, administrative boundaries and urban sprawl, plus a range of points of interest.
Altogether the data incorporates detailed mapping of 1,840 settlements, which fall into several administrative levels such as municipal, prefectural and county. It also includes major roads connecting all the towns and cities featured. In total it covers more than 2 million km of road network.
There are some constraints on the availability of the data to organisations based outside China. They must have a registered office within the Republic and be actively trading there to be eligible the purchase the data, and it can only be delivered for use within the country itself.
However, MapMechanics points out that this is not likely to pose any obstacle to the many UK and European countries already active in China, which include a wide range of household names in manufacturing, retailing, transport and other business sectors.
Placenames and other annotations are stored in the data set in both Pinyin (the standard romanised rendering of Chinese script) and Simplified Chinese. Users wishing to use Chinese characters in their map displays will need computers with the appropriate character set installed. Some point of interest (POI) data is also included in English.
MapMechanics has supplied NAVTEQ map data for business use for many years, adding value to the underlying data in many ways such as by preparing and formatting it for specific computer applications, and by linking it to related data such as information on road speeds.
MapMechanics has been providing innovative solutions in sales and marketing, logistics planning, digital mapping and geographic analysis for twenty years.
MapMechanics uses digital map-based technologies to offer an extensive range of Web, desktop, paper and component solutions for a variety of business applications, from atlas production to business analysis, site selection, customer profiling and vehicle routing and scheduling.
MapMechanics distributes a wide range of data products including AA, NAVTEQ and Ordnance Survey digital mapping, as well as leading business and demographic datasets from many sources throughout the world. This data is listed in the Data Catalogue, which is probably the most extensive and up-to-date printed listing of its kind in Britain. It is published at least once a year, and is also available on the Internet.
MapMechanics is a major supplier of software solutions. It is the UK distributor of the GeoConcept geographic information system, which is used extensively in a diverse range of fields such as retail planning, marketing, healthcare, environmental planning and management, transport and logistics, site selection, network planning and territory allocation, telematics and command and control applications, policing and broadcasting, and central and local government.
MapMechanics also supplies and supports MicroAnalytics’ TruckStops and OptiSite in Britain. TruckStops is the world’s most widely-deployed routing and scheduling solution, and is in use in North and South America, Britain, continental Europe and elsewhere. OptiSite is an established and widely-deployed network modelling tool. Backing up its extensive product range, MapMechanics offers a comprehensive service of implementation support and training.
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