MapMechanics presents new version of the mapping and geographic information system
January 14, 2009 — The new version 6.5 of GeoConcept, the internationally-renowned geographic information system from MapMechanics, is significantly faster than before (up to ten times faster in some processes), is easier to use, offers even better compatibility with other mainstream computer applications and data formats, brings improvements in both thematic analysis and map displays, and is fully compliant with Microsoft’s .NET programming environment.
It also gains compatibility with Google Earth, the ubiquitous online world map presentation system, allowing map files to be exported in Google Earth’s .KMZ file format.
GeoConcept is one of the world’s leading systems for displaying and analysing data in a geographical context, and is used widely in marketing, sales, logistics and transport management. It is also a key resource behind much web mapping.
Version 6.5 of GeoConcept was given its UK launch at a seminar mounted by MapMechanics in London at the turn of the year, during which speakers detailed some of its many new features.
Proximity searching (“find the nearest”) has been made quicker and more convenient by the addition of a menu item allowing users to search by criteria such as drivetime or distance. Improvements to drivetime calculations include the ability to use either an internal or an external road network.
During the seminar, delegates were shown how GeoConcept can take an Experian Goad map of retail premises, which has no underlying road network in itself, and call on a user-defined road network file to calculate travel times (driven or on foot) between premises.
The latest version of GeoConcept is altogether even more “web-friendly” than before. For instance, it can read in maps served by external web mapping services, using them as a background for analytical work. This function is seen as ideal for organisations such as local governments, with extensive mapping resources available via corporate intranets.
Building on the multi-user capability inherent in GeoConcept, the new version provides simpler and easier links to external data files such as Oracle, SQL, Postgres and Microsoft Access and Excel. Excel’s .XLS files can now be imported directly into GeoConcept via a familiar drag-and-drop process, without any need for pre-configuration, and GeoConcept can now work with PostgreSQL and PostGIS files in native format.
For users wanting to develop and enhance their implementation of GeoConcept, the new version supports a wide range of scripting systems, many of them suitable for the .NET environment, including VB Script, C# and CC++. There is now also a Widget Manager, designed to handle .NET-based “widget” add-on functions and programming fragments. A sample .NET widget application is included with GeoConcept, enabling users to flag up instances where incorrect information has been associated with a map.
Thematic mapping (superimposing information or the results of analysis on maps in a graphical format) gains new functionality in GeoConcept 6.5. For instance, it is now easier to highlight map detail in a meaningful way.
Delegates at the launch were shown how dependent roads (notably cul de sacs) can be differentiated, and how property density can be displayed – useful for handling dwell times at individual locations on delivery rounds. Delegates at the launch were also shown an example in which GeoConcept calculated the “green score” (environmental friendliness) of neighbourhoods and presented the results against unit postcodes alongside related information.
A further presentational enhancement is seen in GeoConcept’s automated SmartLabel system for placing text such as street names intelligently on maps, avoiding clashes with other important data. Version 2.0 of this system uses a new native font-smoothing process that works independently of Windows’ own system, allowing cleaner, sharper display of text.
The new version of GeoConcept includes many other more detailed enhancements, including a more flexible Configurator panel (the interface through which parameters are set up for each project).
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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