The new feature is likely to have particular appeal for organisations running very busy Web sites or intranets that have to handle extensive amounts of data traffic. It enables them to handle higher volumes of simultaneous map page requests without having to upgrade their Web server, and without incurring a degradation of performance.
For end users, the result is a smoother, faster and more seamless browsing experience, with much less delay when on-screen maps are redrawn as they pan around.
The system works by “second-guessing” what the end user is going to do next. In a large proportion of online mapping applications, once a map is in view on screen, the user is likely to pan to an adjacent area, perhaps by dragging the map with the mouse or clicking on an arrow symbol.
Historically, if a user pans around in this way, the Internet server has to call up a new segment of map data covering the area now required, and transmit it to the browser at that point. In effect, a new page view is generated and delivered, which can mean a brief delay.
With the High Traffic Client system in action, GeoConcept automatically serves an adjacent segment of map to the browser each time the user pans to a new view. This adjacent area is already available locally within the browser’s memory cache when the user pans, so there is no need for the browser to make a further call to the server. As the user continues to pan, the system is able make intelligent estimates about which area will be called next, and download that segment transparently.
The result: noticeably quicker map redrawing for the user, and substantially reduced stress on the Web server for the provider.
GeoConcept Internet Server is used extensively throughout the world to generate and deliver online maps, which feature in a wide range of applications such as vehicle and asset tracking, routing and scheduling, “how to find us” systems and similar location-based services. GeoConcept Internet Server is a special Web-enabled version of GeoConcept, one of the top-selling geographic information systems.
The introduction of new High Traffic capability follows a series of enhancements in GeoConcept’s online map presentation. One of the more striking of these, both visually and in terms of performance, has been the introduction of Flash mapping, which takes advantage of Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash technology to draw maps in browser windows. Flash provides a more satisfying visual experience in which map views “dissolve” into one another when redrawn, and zooming between views is smooth and progressive.
About MapMechanicsMapMechanics 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 supplies and supports MicroAnalytics’ TruckStops 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.
MapMechanics is also the UK distributor of the GeoConcept geographic information system, which is widely used in a diverse range of fields including retail planning, marketing, healthcare, environmental planning and management, policing, broadcasting, asset tracking, transport and logistics, as well as in central and local government.
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 MapMechanics Data Catalogue, which is probably the most extensive and up-to-date printed listing of its kind in Britain. It is published twice yearly, and is also available on the Internet.
Backing up its extensive product range, MapMechanics offers a comprehensive service of implementation support and training.
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