2007 November 1

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I report on some of the ways of advertising on online maps, profile a company that is beginning to sell ad space on map tiles, and host a guest article about data quality. Plus, 14 press releases.

Matteo Luccio

Advertising on Online Maps

Online mapping sites and virtual globes are the latest growth area for advertising. The options include:

  • using Google's AdWords to place ads on Google Maps
  • using third-party software to overlay ads onto maps (three companies that specialize in aggregating ads and placing them on user mapping sites are Safarri, Mappam, launched in late June, and Lat49, launched about a month ago)
  • using Google Earth's animation capabilities to "fly" website visitors to stores, dealerships, etc. near them (for various examples, click here)
  • painting logos on the roofs of buildings (this technique initially targeted airplane passengers)
  • creating 3D models of headquarters buildings
  • placing virtual billboards (see Bright GIS).

A few questions come to mind:

  • Will new companies like Lat49, Safarri, and Mappam be able to build a sufficiently large advertiser network to achieve critical mass?
  • Will Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and other providers of online maps allow these third parties to monetize their mapping platforms?
  • Will online maps and virtual globes become cluttered with advertising?
  • Will the placement of virtual billboards and other such artifacts make it hard to distinguish between what exists in the physical world and what exists only in a virtual one?

Read more…

Lat49 Begins to Sell Ad Space on Map Tiles

Lat49 is a project of Idelix Software, a company founded in 2001 with a focus on user-interface technology. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Idelix has a staff of about 20. I discussed Lat49's technology and business model with Chloe Morrow, Vice President of Operations, who manages the company's development team.

  1. Is Lat49 essentially a mash-up?

    It is not any more a mash-up than traditional online advertising models are. Ads that are geotagged in our database can be served up on top of the map or besides the map if that is more appropriate for the particular publisher site. We are taking advantage of the fact that on a site that has a map component we know where the user is looking geographically and therefore can serve ads that are targeted and relevant to that particular geographic area.

  2. How do advertisers purchase space on a map?

    They purchase the advertising rights for their creative material for map tiles — regions at particular zoom levels — by pointing and clicking on a map view to select the tiles.


Read more…

OGC Focuses on Data Quality

Guest article by Steven Ramage, Business Development Director at 1Spatial, who wrote it for Network, the newsletter of the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA)

Data quality is a massive concern for those involved in information technology and the software business globally. The Data Warehousing Institute estimated that data quality problems cost U.S. businesses more than $600 billion per year.1 Closer to home for those working with spatial data, PIRA (Commercial Exploitation of Europe's Public Sector Information, 20002) estimated that in 1999 it would cost the European Community countries 36 billion Euros to replace its geographical information assets. This amount was estimated to be growing at 4.5 billion Euros per annum. Similar costs for the United States were estimated at $375 billion with a $10 billion growth per annum! These figures will almost certainly have accelerated in the aftermath of 9/11, with the focus on homeland security and geospatial intelligence. The increased emphasis and activity around Spatial Data Infrastructures is also driving a number of regional and national activities using geographical information assets or geospatial data, and its interaction with non-spatial or 'regular' data.

Many organizations invest significant sums in collecting these geospatial data. The demand for the 00 decade is for joined-up decision-making. In a geospatial context, geometric data quality deserves as much attention as alphanumeric data quality. Typically, most organizations spend many years collecting spatial data and integrating or conflating (merging together) their own data with third party reference data. By third party data we mean states or regions in the United States using TIGER data with their own asset data, or Local Authorities in Great Britain using Land-Line or OS MasterMap in conjunction with gazetteer information. After such a large initial investment, ensuring high quality spatial data is essential in order to achieve value from the investment.

There are numerous reasons why spatial data may not meet user expectations. For example:

Read more…

News Briefs

Please note: I have neither edited nor verified the content of these press releases.


    1. Census Tools for ArcGIS Helps Local Governments with LUCA and BAS Programs for the 2010 Census

    2. GeoAnalytics Retained By Lincoln County for GIS System Review

    3. Merrick & Company Awarded Contract in South Florida Herbert Hoover Dike and Lake Okeechobee

    4. Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging Announces THEOS Capability

    5. VELOCITIE and Azteca Systems Selected by Milwaukee County Department of Transportation and Public Works


    1. Lowrance Unveils Larger Color Display in Popular Off-Road GPS Line With Globalmap Baja 840c

    2. New Pictometry Products to Debut Today at International

    3. TNT Products View Any Orthoimagery and Overlays in Stereo

    4. 1Spatial Release Radius Vision and Radius Mobile 4.2 Featuring Oracle Database Support and Enhanced Functionality.

    5. Topcon's GR-3 Wins Second International Design Award

    6. V7 Launches New Portable Navigation Devices


    1. Automotive Veterans Join Intermap Technologies

    2. Project Manager Earns GISP Certification

  4. OTHER

    1. Sanborn Makes California Wildfire Threat Maps Available

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

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