October 27, 2008
Interactive Mapping Platform Takes Advantage of Silverlight and WPF
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Interactive Mapping Platform Takes Advantage of Silverlight and WPF
By Susan Smith
The company ISC has just announced their new release of MapDotNet, MapDotNet UX (stands for User eXperience), described as a modernized GIS platform built on .NET technologies. The interactive mapping platform is designed for building interactive mapping solutions, utilizing newly created APIs for developers to build Silverlight web applications, as well as WPF desktop and smart client applications.
Brian Hearn, lead architect for MapDotNet., calls UX “the most significant upgrade to our product line in the last five years.” Features include a new map rendering engine in WPF which can take advantage of accelerated graphics hardware and rich symbol definitions in XAML from design tools like Expression Design from Microsoft. In addition, the product includes support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Virtual Earth in the architecture of our product.
One of the great selling points of MapDotNet UX is that the Studio component of the product will be freely licensed to anyone who wants to download it, according to Hearn. “The main purpose is simple - we want as many people as possible exposed to our products and this is an excellent way to achieve this.”
The previous 6.5 version of MapDotNet was built on MapServer as the rendering engine and was more targeted toward ASP.net. In contrast, MapDotNet UX is an evolutionary product in that it takes advantage of the new Silverlight and WPF. 7.0 relies on Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation.
MapDotNet has both interactive mapping and back office functionality, according to Hearn. Like ArcGIS Server, it has a visualization side, ADF side but also the rendering engine back end and spatial connectors for pulling in data from rendering, querying and editing data and transforming data, and interrogating the spatial data stores. The product supports shapefiles, ArcSDE, PostGIS, and SQL Server 2008.
Hearn pointed out that MapDotNet can do 90% of what ArcGIS Server does, at a fraction of the cost of ownership. It does not do what Spatial Analyst can do, for example.
The target audience for MapDotNet are state and local governments, private industry, disaster tracking - anyone who wants to implement GIS into their organization. Customers buy MapDotNet in order to build web based solutions or intranet desktop solutions.
An example is customer South Florida Water Management District which already has ArcGIS Server in place. “They a have large ESRI investment but we have still built solutions for them that consume their data that’s in ArcSDE because it is one of the supported backends that we can connect to,” said Hearn. “So the one thing MapDotNet server is not is it’s not a spatial database – we don’t have an equivalent to ArcSDE, but our product connects to ArcSDE, PostGIS, SQL Server 08, Oracle Spatial, etc.”
pre-loader. Finally we plan to upgrade Studio over time to provide additional functionality so users will remain interested in what we are doing. Some of the items slated are data-editing features, map printing and collaboration, more analysis features such as density mapping and richer thematic mapping, etc.”
Future plans for MapDotNet include enhancing support products and services, after they get the release-to-market (RTM) version of MapDotNet UX out the door. According to Hearn, “Our online documentation and support website are currently being upgraded. We are developing new training material for UX, etc. Because MapDotNet UX is built on the latest technologies (such as Silverlight which just went RTM a few days ago) we are in no hurry to look at what’s next outside our shop. Instead we will be looking at what’s next inside, such as improving performance, robustness, ease of use, samples, mash-ups, SharePoint web parts etc.”
Currently the MapDotNet product has approximately 100 customers.
Top News of the Week
ESRI, along with other organizations in the facilities management industry, has published a data model for creating, storing, and sharing information about structures and their assets. The building interior space data model (BISDM) is geographic information system (GIS) based and will allow companies to more effectively share facilities data and collaborate with other technologies commonly used for real property portfolio, asset, and facilities management. The model can be easily extended for a variety of other purposes, for example, landscape-level planning and site selection, building-level energy and environmental management, and security and emergency preparedness.
HP unveiled the latest additions to its portfolio of large-format digital printing solutions, bolstering the company’s efforts to target the estimated $53 billion page-value opportunity for the global sign and display market projected for 2010.
These additions -- demonstrated at SGIA ’08 include the following: the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer, the HP Scitex FB950 Printer, the HP Scitex TJ8550 Printer, and the U.S. debut of the HP Designjet L65500 Printer, the first of a new category of large-format signage printers to feature HP Latex Inks.
SPADAC has recently launched EarthWhere 4.3, the latest version of its patented and commercially available spatial data management product that now gives geospatial analysts faster, streamlined and enterprise-wide access to geospatial data, such as satellite and aerial imagery, terrain, digital maps and vectors.
Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances
MetaCarta, Inc. announced a partnership with
Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc., an information technology solutions and services company that works with the U.S. Government, educational institutions, and private industry. Under the agreement, MetaCarta geosearch solutions will be integrated into EarthSpector, a web-based GIS visualization and analysis tool.
Silicon Graphics, Inc. and
Coral8, Inc. announced a strategic alliance to integrate and package Coral8’s complex event processing (CEP) software with SGI Altix servers. The new agreement makes the Coral8 Engine a core part of a new real-time, visual CEP capability from Silicon Graphics.
Research and Markets announced the addition of eMarketer's new report "Mobile Location-Based Services" to their offering.
With the introduction of more-powerful and inexpensive smartphones, mobile carriers are taking steps toward making location-based services a common mobile application for consumers. What are the implications for marketers?
You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.
To read more news, click here.
-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.