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New Geocoding Server from SICAD Covers the Entire LBS Value-added Chain

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MUNICH, Germany, June 7, 2002 - SICAD GEOMATICS can now offer an independent service component that provides a basis for location-based services (LBS), a key area of application. SICAD Geocoding Server is internet-capable, has an open documented data model and thanks to standard interfaces is independent from data providers and the geo-information system used. This has enabled the application to overcome the restrictions previously typical in the sector and provide users with dynamic links between address data and geo-information throughout their spatial work processes and value-added stages. SICAD Geocoding Server was released for sale on May 28, 2002.

The SICAD Geocoding Server bundles services for establishing the user's own position, determining the geographical location of a defined object and searching for points of interest (POIs) in various categories in the vicinity. These functions mean that the service components are designed for a broad range of possible applications. Typical location-based queries such as "Where am I on the map?", "What is the best way to get to my customer?" and "Where is the nearest bank?" can be answered with the user in mind. The application also allows users to obtain and maintain addresses and geo-reference attribute data via the address. Using the automated process, companies can use the Geocoding Server to verify, update or allocate a geographic location to large volumes of address data relating to customers or property.

So how does it work? An LBS application sends a request for an address or a position to the Geocoding Server. This determines the complete address with geographic coordinates and, in the case of requests for points of interest in the vicinity, the appropriate hit list. If the address entered is not available in geocoded format, then the next spatial subclassification is interpolated. During the next stage, the Geocoder sends the results in XML format to the spatial application. To provide the best possible hits despite various styles of writing and semantic variations, the service also has an intelligent Soundex filter for German and English and can recognize multi-lingual place names. The package also includes batch geocoding functionality. This enables users to launch tasks with large numbers of addresses instantaneously. The SICAD Geocoding Server has already proved its capabilities in terms of throughput and performance in geo-referencing projects involving large volumes of addresses and mass requests in the telecoms sector.

SICAD Geocoding Server is ideal for local and municipal authorities, utility companies, banks, insurance and real estate companies. Each of these user groups can adapt the application to meet their individual requirements and provide new services. Administrations can provide consistent address material internally and also generate market-oriented offerings for third-party users. Utility companies profit from the service by localizing house service connections and resources and through ongoing maintenance of customer data. In the everyday work of call center agents in utility companies, the increase in efficiency thanks to geocoding as a time-saving application has been significant. For property companies and financial services providers, geocoding helps to localize property portfolios and even qualify and allocate customer potential. Thanks to the SICAD Geocoding Server, companies in the telecoms sector can set up localized value-added service, intensify the use of their networks and pass on the advantages of geo-referencing directly to their customers. The value for the customer increases significantly when the geocoding applications are expanded to cover the complete value-added chain and through greater access to information and services. In addition to distribution via the internet, the geocoder can also be used via mobile terminals such as WAP, smart phones, PDAs and laptops for those on the move such as sales representatives.

Geocoding is the automatic conversion of an address into a geographic position, which can then be displayed in map form. Address data is often incorrect or incomplete so as part of the geocoding process the addresses are checked, compressed and if necessary completed, thus improving their inherent quality. However, geocoding in SICAD is not a one-way street. Thanks to the integrated reverse geocoding functionality, users can obtain an address by entering known coordinates.

The statement that around 80% of all corporate and administrative data has some spatial reference actually relates to address references and therefore underlines the significance of application-oriented geocoding. As the basis for integrating attribute data into geo-information systems and spatial solutions, geocoding services is taking on an ever more important role in creating a comprehensive geo-data infrastructure. In response to the rapidly growing demand for geocoded addresses, public authorities are noticeably expanding their offering in this segment.

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