February 21, 2005
Telcontar's Secret Success: What's Under the Hood?
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Message from the Editor -
Welcome to GISWeekly! What's so great about Google maps? Scalability of platform, speed, and responsiveness so Google can handle billions of transactions every day, with no degradation of service. The engine underlying this capability is Telcontar's Drill Down Server (DDS) geo-spatial software platform and application development tools. Read about it in this week's Industry News.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Telcontar's Secret Success: What's Under the Hood?
By Susan Smith
Take a look at Google
maps and see what you think. Google engineers created and launched Google maps as a service that includes a unique map user interface that fits the screen (not found in outsourced maps from companies like Mapquest), plus the ability to “click and drag on the map to pan in real-time. Users can receive online turn-by-turn directions, maps and search results based on location from Google Local. Some other unique features include text "flags" that identify the address on the map, plus the flag includes links for directions to and from the location. When looking for something nearby, or a "point of interest" with respect to a
certain location, the service will produce a list with teardrop icons on the map displaying the location of the business or nearby service.”
Looks good, but what's so great about it? Scalability of platform, speed, and responsiveness so Google can handle billions of transactions every day, with no degradation of service. The engine underlying this capability is Telcontar's Drill Down Server (DDS) geo-spatial software platform and application development tools.
of our customers do.”
The platform is fast, accurate and highly scalable, and very customizable, so that if you were to view Google maps side by side with Yahoo maps they have a different look and feel.
”The Google engineers have come in and taken our software and our development tools, then customized it according to their preference,” said Fennell.
need to have all
the topology and term restrictions embedded in the database and it becomes a more difficult engine to solve. So we built an engine to do routing, not necessarily thematic maps, although we have the ability to manage that map layer underneath very well and can put points of interest on top of a map. We do routing well, and do it in an architecture that is stateless, so any user can go to any server and have that query processed.”
On the business side of things, until today, location has been shown on an outsourced map from service providers such as Mapquest, which was in the vanguard of providing this type of product. However, customers now want something customizable and not “branded.”
“We're starting to see that high end service providers want to have the ability to have their own look and feel and unique set of applications,” said Fennell. “They want to take mapping services and local search to the next level. Google is a good example of that. To do that they needed a platform of their own rather than outsourcing it. We're not an ASP. We are a software company that provides software to customers like Google, they install it on their servers behind their own firewalls. We focus on high end service providers like the search companies, travel portals, wireless carriers who want differentiating services.”
The Google maps service is currently in beta, with coverage for the US, Puerto Rico and parts of Canada. Current browser support includes Internet Explorer and Mozilla, with content being provided by Telcontar partners NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas.
In a recent ESRI press release announcing that company had been awarded a contract by the Department of the Interior to develop the full implementation of the Geospatial One-Stop Operational Portal (GOS 2), there was mention of the use of “a new method for integrated spatial and subject searching uses the proven Google Search Appliance and allows for subsecond metadata searches.” When asked if Google maps will be part of Geospatial One-Stop (GOS), Fennell wasn't sure, however, he did say that Google likely has rights to refranchise and resell their geospatial mapping services on top of Telcontar's software.
is another big area where Telcontar is helping the auto industry with next generation navigation solutions.
In Response to the South Asian Tsunami and Earthquake
Among those traveling to tsunami country in hopes of making a difference is Dr. Frank Chang, URISA GISCorps' first volunteer. He left for Indonesia on Saturday, February 12th, traveling with a member of Global Map Aid to Indonesia to assess the situation resulting from the tsunami. He will also travel to India where he will meet with representatives from SeedsIndia and Map Action. Frank will be communicating regularly with the GISCorps committee about his activities via his personal blog link on the GISCorps website,
Other informational sites:
The Third Earth Observation Summit draws NASA officials and representatives from more than 50 countries to a meeting in Brussels. The purpose of the Summit is to bring together Earth observation resources to create a worldwide network to streamline the distribution of data, information products and services to society. We should be hearing more about this Summit in next week's GISWeekly as some topics important to the entire world will be discussed, such as development of a comprehensive Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). For information about the Summit on the Web, visit:
You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.
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