Geo API’s #WIN or #FAIL
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Geo API’s #WIN or #FAIL

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There has been a lot of discussion and presentations about the benefits software as a service, data as a service and cloud computing over the last 2 conferences. Providers such as Google, Yahoo & ...

There has been a lot of discussion and presentations about the benefits software as a service, data as a service and cloud computing over the last 2 conferences. Providers such as Google, Yahoo & Microsoft have been pioneers in this area. But what is available beyond the basic applications of Mapping, Routing and Geocoding. What services are available that tackle more sophisticated spatial analysis and data processing functions? Do we still need the Desktop GIS, or can we pick and choose what we want from the cloud? What is this so called "GYM" club doing to offer more advanced API’s? How are traditional vendors responding to this change?"
This presentation aims to tackle these questions and also uses a real world example of a customer requirement for spatial analysis in which a ASP (Application Service Provider) Geo API solution was the preferred approach. The presentation will initially set some context; discuss history and evolution of Geo API’s and finally talk through the case study and recommendations.

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  • Hi, my name is John Fagan and I am going to talk about Geo API’sAny body went to wherecampeu?
  • I am sure most of you have not heard about Axon ActiveWe are start-up company that among many things uses gis technology to solve customer problemsThe founder originally founded Endoxon....But i would like to segway, this might be a bit random, but i would like a moment to recognise the end of arguably one of the most well known geo websites in UK.....and that is Multimap.com
  • Yes, as of the end of this year Multimap.com will no longer be. I guess most of you would not care, as you have not used Multimap for yearsWhy am i mentioning this?Well i spent the best part of my working career at Multimap, plus there is a valid reason that Multimap were succresful at building geo api’sMultimap was not just about the consumer siteIt was all about the Business Services, the consumer site was just a play ground to test new services
  • Building Geo API’s that allow mainstream customers to embed maps in their sitesThis could be achieved by the average joe web developersimple imgsrc tag to embed a mapUsing simple terms such as pixels and postcodesWeb developer did not need to understang GIS or know about itIn fact freshly off my GIS degree at Kingston, Sean Phelan said we are not a GIS comapnyBut we did need GIS technology to run Multimapand in the very early days we used a Desktop GIS
  • Later we worked with ESRI and they hacked Maplex (desktop) and built a automation object to work with MapObjects, so we can serve maps over the web
  • OK, the GEO API we built, but it was not very excitingTraditional vendors had a lot more to offer and far more exciting compared to the web 1.0 mappers who just served up maps, no flexiblity, the same type of map, same projectiong over and over again
  • Geo API’s should be simple and accessible.
  • Fast forward a few years and there are a lot of great companies with far better geo api’sBetter coverage, more data types, more functional etc..
  • Even traditiona vendors providing api solutions
  • Axon Actives position is to sit above all these providers and use the best bits to meet our customers needs (when they have a geo requirement)For me, starting at Axon Active, this was an attractive proposition. For so many years i had been involved in building Geo APIs and tracking the industry seeing what else is available,Now I have the opportunity to use all the great technologies available on the market today
  • as a gisindudstry are we really in the mainstream. still a lot of in accessible technology locks up on the desktop of server softwarewhercampeu brain storm – came up with these ideasCompanies to watch ? Googles Fusion Tables and GeocommonsGeoIQ product (for visualisation)

Geo API’s #WIN or #FAIL Geo API’s #WIN or #FAIL Presentation Transcript

  • Geo API’s #WIN or #FAIL
    John Fagan – Axon Active
    @johnbfagan
  • Hoi! from Switzerland
  • RIP Multimap.com
    1995 – Dec 31st 2010 – 15 years old
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    3
  • Geo API- Inline Maps– circa 1996
    <html>
    <body>
    <imgsrc="http://www.multimap.com/map/gif.cgi?pc=ec1n2ns&width=500&height=500">
    </body>
    </html>
  • Desktop GIS - MapInfo Desktop for Power Mac v4 – circa 1996
  • 1996 - MultimapGeoStack
    Multimap.com
    gif.cgi
    Mapping API +Caching engine
    places.cgi
    MapInfo Desktop
    for power mac
    Hacked to make it serve maps over http
    MySQL
    Collins Bartholomew
    Raster maps
    Bartholomew & OS
    Gazetteer
  • Gif.cgi Geo API
    • Application Service Provider (Cloud?)
    • PAYG Business Model (transaction based)
    • No installation of software
    • No Maintenance
    • No Hosting
    • Just a HTTP endpoint
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    7
  • Traditional GIS Vendor vsMultimap
    Simple & Scaleable
    Cost Effective
    Fast
    Complex & Standalone
    Expensive
    Slow
  • 70% of all UK Retail companies adopted Multimap in early 2000’s
  • >> Fast forward a few years
  • Traditional GIS Vendors
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    11
  • Axon Active position
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    12
  • First project @ Axon
    Drive Time Analysis
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    13
  • Isochrone Requirement
    • Drive Time and Walking Isochrones
    • Web Service
    • Cost effective
    • Fast
    • de-coupled
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    14
  • GYM+ Club #FAIL
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    15
    Isochrones not really mass market
  • ESRI #WIN
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    16
  • ESRI #FAIL
    Hosted Service ?
    European Coverage?
    Costs?
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    17
  • Computer says no.....EU Isochrones
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    18
  • ESRI – slightly confusing
    ArcGIS Online
    ArcGIS Online Map Services
    ArcGIS Online Sharing
    ArcGIS Online Task services
    ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs
    Business Analyst Online API ($3.30 report)
    ArcWebServices
    ArcGIS Server
    ArcGIS Online World Geocoding (North America only)
    Arcgis.com
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    19
  • Pitney Bowes #WIN
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    20
  • Pitney Bowes #FAIL
    €6.40 per isochrone request
    6 sec per isochrone request
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    21
  • Desktop GIS to the rescue
  • 2010 - GeoStack
    Axon Active Platform
    x
    Service
    Isochrone Service
    x
    Service
    x
    Service
    x
    x
    x
    PostGIS
    Isochrone cache
    x
    MapInfo
    pre-compute
    x
    x
  • Summary
    • Geo industry has come along way #WIN
    • Routing, Geocoding, Mapping
    • But more work to be done to improve accessibility to more advanced spatial functions
    • Geo API’s should be simple and accessible.
    • Much can be done
    Isochrone API
    Choropleth API
    Heat Map API
    View Shed API
    Buffer API
    Point in Poly API
    www.axonactive.com
    9/29/2010
    24
  • Thanks
    john fagan
    Axon Activeubergeo.com@johnbfagan