Create Smart Maps

Make sense of your location Data , and set the data free!

MS SQL Spatial Extensions at ESRI 2007

MS will showcase its SQL Spatial Extension at ESRI International User Conference 2007 in San Diego, CA. 

What firms would Google buy next

To pursue their map/GIS share. Data partnership will expand, but possibly buy a few small firms in database connectivity and business logic? How about Microsoft? I have my educated guesses.

What will be new at ESRI User Conference 2007?

Wonder what will be announced and promoted. ArcGIS Server will be a sure bet, but possibly their version of AJAX implementation.  Any A&M surprises?

Microsoft SQL Server will support spatial data types

This will bring Microsoft to the club of Oracle in support of geographic data.  "Katmai" is scheduled to release in 2008. 

Google releases the Street View 

You can "drive" the road in selected cities. Remarkably similar to what Google and I discussed more than a year ago.


About Bud 

Loves to make sense of spatial data 

80/20/80 Rule To Dominate Consumer GIS/Mapping Market

Now I got your attention! Seriously if I know the secretes of dominating a market, I would be retired now.

But the 80/20/80 Rule that I have been talking about for more than 10 years have gained some tractions in the industry, so I will try to again explain what the Rule is.

80: Provide 80% of features and functions most users will actually use. It's likely that people only use no more than 15 features everyday.

20: Make your offerings at 20% the cost of a traditional and mainstream vendor.  Flood the market.

80: You will own 80% of the market.

When your competitions start to struggle, they will start to do stupid things and shoot themselves in the foot. Then you either buy them (or pieces of them) or keep on doing whatever you have been doing.

Adobe and Google

These two companies sure walk in lock steps. Something is up.

And GE and Microsoft talked about joining forces to buy Dow Jones. 

Both Google and Microsoft have too much cashes on hand. 

It's Google! Part 2

I can write all day long about what "GREAT" things Google discovers constantly. Now Google Maps support DragZoom! Oh My God! 

Long time GIS/Mapping technology vendors must be fuming now. My question is how come they could not generate such excitement themselves? The "Holier Than You" attitude surely does not help. They will probably continue to agonize over the NEW things Google/Microsoft will "discover" and remain bitter.

Or there are things they can do:

1. Patent everything they have done: Double click, Identify, LRS, Tool Tip...

2. Sell your technology or your firm to Google/Microsoft. Do not be too greed or arrogant. Take whatever the money either would offer.

Generate Buzz: Non-Stop from Goolge

This drives me nuts! Street View is NOTHING NEW as a Web Map feature and Google saw my prototype more than a year ago. But you got to give it to Google. If it comes from Google, people will talk about it. Kind of remind me of Apple.

The following article talks about people trying to figure out when the photos were taken. Get a life!

But many of Google's competitors would give them left arm if their offerings could attract the same attention.

CNET Article.

Google Map Aerial View Down

Down. No aerial available. 10:43 PM EST, June 5, 2007. 

This is a rare moment. 



KML, MINE Type, And Google Pages

OK. KML is Google Earth stuff. Most ISVs do not support KML/KMZ MINE types. Hopefully Google Pages will be OK.

Give it a shot here.  Looks like it works!

Don't Read Too Much Into It. Or Should You?

 Noticed that Google Street View requires Flash Plug-in (version 9 or above)? This is against the Google tradition. 

Why? Silverlight can be only ONE of the reasons.

Google To Invest In A Database With Spatial Components

Forgot to add a question mark to the subject <g>.

But if I had anything to say about that at Google, that's what I would do. SQLite does not have spatial data type. Google should either build it or buy one.

So far MSFT looks like to have all pieces together. They also have venues to pull the money in. And MSFT has been sleeping. Someone needs to wake up and execute. 

It's The Database, Stupid!

I have been doing GIS and mapping system development and system integration for more than a decade. As a consultant, my rate is not cheap. 

Web Mapping Services are nothing new. What's new is that big boys are coming to the play so you have the perceived stability and competition.  Now virtually everybody can mashup a map together and put it online. And the stuff you can put online are not limited to points.

I have been thinking about if I should worry about whether anybody will still pay me in a year or two. I tend to believe that there will still be needs for pros like me to be paid. As long as I know what I am doing.

Most of my recent consulting projects are doing spatial database development and query on the Oracle SDO, and using ArcGIS Server/Google Map/Google Earth/Microsoft Virtual Earth for data visualization and dissemination. And these projects are being paid, very, very well.

Mashup: Do Not Mess Up

All of the excitements about Map Web Services! Check out what Google is doing with Google Gear, and Microsoft with PopFly. 

This reminds me of the hooplas around VB and ActiveX, however.

There will be ONLY a number of Web Services I will be using, and they HAVE to come from large, known, stable providers WITH SLA. Google has all of the buzz right now with Google Map, but I will never count Microsoft Virtual Earth out.

Where Is The Money

Something has to give.

ESRI server technologies will set you back tens of thousands of dollar. Now you can pretty much do most of the same stuff either free or at a fraction of the cost with the Web Services from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

But nobody is in the charity business. It is just a matter of time somehow the businesses will get their money back.

 Or they won't be around.   

Map Checker: Help Make Smart Maps 

I gave a presentation at ESRI User Conference in 1997 on this topic. I was a GIS professor at Indiana State University at that time and my research interests were GIS Expert Systems and Intelligent Computer Aided Mapping. 

The idea about a Map Checker was inspired by a number of conversations I had with a professional cartographer. He was classically trained and in essence an artist. He had a distaste for the computer generated maps since they were usually poorly designed and "did not tell a good story."

I was thinking, if we can develop a number of business rules in making professional maps, and implement them at the algorithm level, any layman would have a better chance to make a beautiful map that can "tell a good story."

Of course it is easier said than done. In reality the Map Checker should behave more like Grammar Checker. I noticed that at the ESRI Business Partner Conference in 2007, a vendor was actually selling such a product. Guess what's product name? 

Map Checker.

Set Your GIS Data Free!

There are tons of location data out there and you may own some of them. If you know what spatial data means, you probably have heard or even used ESRI products.

And then you should know what it takes and how much it costs to map your data with traditional mapping technologies. 

Then came along Google Map API. Or wait, before then there were Yahoo and Microsoft. Now you can map lots of location data in a fraction of time and at a fraction of cost. Mapping your data will never be the same.  

Set Your GIS Data Free!