Picked up pieces after attending the CartoDB Partner Conference…

Posted on December 15, 2015 in Thinking

By Michael Terner, Executive Vice President, who attended the Partner Conference along with Mike Wiley and Jim Scott.

Note: Here in Boston, we are privileged to have some of the greatest sports writing in the country on the pages of the Boston Globe. For the second time, this blog is being written in the style of, and in homage to both Dan Shaughnessy’s (@Dan_Shaughnessy) “Picked Up Pieces While…” columns, and Bob Ryan’s (@GlobeBobRyan) “Emptying Out the Desk Drawer of the Sports Mind…” columns.

Given CartoDB’s origins in Madrid, Spain it should not have been a surprise, but I wasn’t expecting the partner conference – which was held last Thursday and Friday at their new headquarters in Brooklyn, NY – to be such an international affair. Suffice to say that the partners showed up from around the world with a heavy contingent from Europe that almost matched the USA attendees.

The attendees also included representatives of some of the bigger names from technology and consulting such as IBM, Bloomberg and the Boston Consulting Group; accompanied by other new geo technology startups such as Fulcrum and Planet Labs. It was also clear that several other of the partners were driven to CartoDB in the aftermath of Google’s deprecation of Google Maps Engine (GME). AppGeo is a Google Maps partner and in addition to ourselves we saw several other successful Google partners such as Onix, Wabion (Austria), NT Concepts and Woolpert. Clearly, GME customers’ loss has been CartoDB’s gain.

CartoDB’s recent .

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Crowdsourcing New York City’s High Speed Broadband Data While Building A Broadband Marketplace

Posted on October 29, 2015 in Thinking

When it’s time for your high tech business to move to a New York City address, one thing you’ll need is a high speed Internet connection. Looking at websites of available properties won’t help you learn which buildings have that service, but the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (NYCEDC) New York City Broadband Map will.

The map-based application envisioned by NYCEDC is both an information portal and a marketplace for broadband services. The first version went live in December of 2013, and AppGeo and NYCEDC have been collaborating ever since to study and improve it, incorporating crowdsourcing and a new mapping platform along the way. This is the story of how vision became reality.

Step One: Gather Data From the State, City and Internet Service Providers

NYCEDC partnered with AppGeo in 2013 to build the application and the first order of business was data. NYCEDC and AppGeo tapped the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) and the City’s Open Data Portal for its building footprint data to provide information at that level of detail. NYCEDC was happy to use Google Maps for roads and other features as it provided a familiar, detailed view of the city as well as a well-known user interface. NYC programs WiredNYC and ConnectNYC, and the New York State Broadband Map also contributed data.

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MapGeo 2.0: New Features Address the Needs of Local and Regional Governments

Posted on September 9, 2015 in News

Question: What do you get when you cross your local data, Google Maps and CartoDB?

Answer: MapGeo 2.0

MapGeo 2.0, AppGeo’s hosted local government mapping solution, weaves together technology from Google Maps and CartoDB and a whole lot more. The new version serves local and regional government employees, businesses and citizens with a fresh intuitive interface, enhanced data integration, and stunning map options. MapGeo leverages these technologies and provides new features in response to what we heard from MapGeo subscribers. Other related posts talk about the uses and benefits of MapGeo, and look back on our motivation for creating MapGeo.

Here’s some of what’s new in MapGeo 2.0:

Leveraging Google Maps API and Data – MapGeo users told us they wanted to keep the interface simple while adding the power of familiar map tools and high quality base maps. Google Map’s tools are powerful and its interface familiar. MapGeo layers Google’s high quality imagery, search, directions and basemaps with your local authoritative geospatial data. And, when either source is updated, so is MapGeo.

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Why We Built MapGeo

Posted on September 8, 2015 in Thinking

When you were a student it’s likely your parents and instructors reminded or scolded you to “Pay attention!” They believed that keeping an eye on what’s going on around you is valuable both for learning content and for getting ahead in life. At AppGeo we work hard to pay attention to our clients needs, to technology changes and new software and application licensing and delivery options. These were all part of bringing MapGeo (AppGeo’s hosted local government mapping solution), and now MapGeo 2.0, to market. Other related posts include what’s new in MapGeo 2.0, and a description of the uses and benefits of MapGeo.

Our Clients are the Driving Force behind MapGeo

AppGeo has served local and regional governments for more than 20 years. Our consulting and programming staff listened to customer requests and probed their needs, resulting in dozens of well received custom GIS websites. All that experience revealed some common needs. So, we started a list. Our local government customers needed:

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How MapGeo Delivers Value for Cities and Counties

Posted on September 7, 2015 in Thinking

AppGeo created MapGeo (AppGeo’s hosted local government mapping solution, first launched in 2011) to help city and county governments better use and share their geospatial and property data. Now in its second release, MapGeo is putting more data, tools and answers to questions into the hands of local government leaders, staff, businesses and citizens. Below we describe how MapGeo aligns with the expectations of today’s consumers of map-based information. Other related posts include a description of what’s new in MapGeo, and a look back on our motivation for creating MapGeo.

Beyond the Basics

Nearly everyone involved in government, both insiders and constituents, is sold on the need for accurate data, transparency and accountability. These same people are also sold on the value of maps in visualizing those data, sharing information and making decisions. But today’s challenges go beyond just creating and sharing maps. Municipal leaders and those who work for them demand quick access to a wide variety of data and new ways to view, measure and share project outcomes. Citizens are more savvy; they want quick answers to their questions and assurances their concerns are received and addressed.

The maturation of local government mapping systems revolves around performance based management. Municipal leaders and constituents are pushing maps to address performance questions:

  • Are we taking the right actions?
  • Are we effectively communicating what we are doing?
  • Are we meeting our goals in a timely manner?

For example, city leaders might set a goal of improving response to citizen service requests. Maps showing the status of service requests built off the latest data would help leaders determine if the selected strategies were working, help citizens follow progress and provide regular reports on meeting goals. A time series map could show exactly how the status changed weekly, monthly or across the year.

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Certified Partner to CartoDB

Posted on September 1, 2015 in News

We are proud to announce our certified partner status with CartoDB. Through this relationship, AppGeo will help its customers to take advantage of this exciting new location intelligence and data visualization engine, including building custom applications, adding CartoDB to your enterprise GIS implementation, and providing CartoDB licenses.

“Without question the CartoDB platform advances the speed and elegance of geographic data visualization for our clients,” said Rich Grady, President of AppGeo. “Our customers look to us for empathetic solutions that lower costs, increase public engagement, enable collaboration, integrate the newest datasets and visualize them in variety of expressive ways. CartoDB’s toolset is a key part of the current and future Applied Geographics solution stack for government and commercial enterprises.”

“We are excited to see the valuable technology solutions AppGeo will craft with CartoDB to help clients make better decisions,” says Javier de la Torre, CEO of CartoDB. “We believe this partnership will bring robust tools that help local government use data to uncover insights and enhance their operations.”

Based on its extensive functional capabilities, AppGeo has already built CartoDB mapping into the latest release of our MapGeo hosted Web mapping solution for local government.

In keeping with our mission, AppGeo continuously explores new technologies that match customer requirements for performance, functionality and cost-effectiveness when applying geography to solving problems. CartoDB meets our standard in all respects. Our geospatial analysts and developers consistently find that CartoDB technology provides faster turn around on geographic analysis and application development, yielding better results at lower cost.

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MapGeo Online Property Mapping wins Best Web Map Application Recognition at 2014 FOSS4G

Posted on September 17, 2014 in News

Map Gallery judges at the 2014 annual international FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for GIS) conference chose MapGeo as a “Best Web Map Application” from among the almost 100 entries.  MapGeo was developed by AppGeo for local governments to empower them to provide access to authoritative geographic and detailed property information through a modern, useful and high performance mapping interface. 

The scalable MapGeo platform leverages the Leaflet open source javascript library; PostGIS for data storage and geospatial queries; GeoServer for web map services and cartographic styling; GeoWebCache as well as Arc2Earth for tile cache creation; Amazon Web Services as Cloud-based Infrastructure with Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) for servers and Simple Storage Service (S3) for tile cache storage.  AppGeo continually adds to and improves MapGeo, which is provided on a subscription basis to local governments across the nation.

More than 75 municipalities and counties currently enjoy the high performance and utility of MapGeo for sharing their property data with government staff, businesses, and residents.

Pictured below is Beverly, MA .

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Applied Geographics Develops Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool for the Western Governors’ Association

Posted on December 13, 2013 in News

We are proud to announce we recently partnered with the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) to develop and implement the West-wide Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) for 16 states.

The online mapping tool was unveiled yesterday during a press conference at the WGA Winter Meeting in Las Vegas attended by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and governors from the 16 states.

The CHAT is a cooperative effort to provide public leaders, private citizens and industry decision-makers a high-level overview of crucial habitats across the West. Crucial habitats are places that are likely to provide the natural resources important to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, including species of concern, as well as hunting and fishing species.

AppGeo was selected by the WGA to design, develop, and host the application. The design process was collaborative, and the resulting application is robust, intuitive, and extensible. To meet the high design, performance, and scalability requirements, the application was developed using a hybrid of geospatial technologies, including Boundless (formerly OpenGeo, a leading provider of enterprise-grade, open source geospatial software), Esri, and Google. AppGeo was assisted by GreenInfo Network in designing the CHAT site.

The CHAT helps users in the pre-planning of energy corridors and transmission routes, or in comparing fish and wildlife habitat, by establishing a common starting point across the West for the intersection of development and wildlife. The tool is designed to enable industry to reduce time, costs, conflicts and surprises – and inform conservation groups – while helping state agencies ensure wildlife values are better incorporated into land use decision-making.

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AppGeo Develops Innovative Website for Olmsted Parks

Posted on April 25, 2013 in News

The National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) and Applied Geographics, Inc. (AppGeo) have launched Olmsted Online, a Web site designed to bring together the vast collection of detailed, hand-drawn plans and drawings, as well as images of sites and parks designed by Olmsted, his sons and successor firm.

Olmsted Online’s digitized materials currently cover a pilot area of Olmsted-designed locations in and around Seattle and Spokane, Washington, including the University of Washington. There are more than 300 plans and drawings available to search and view, offering unique details and previously unavailable information about each site. Of the 300 current drawings, over 100 are geo-referenced allowing users to overlay original plans on present-day maps. In addition, Olmsted Online presents searchable data derived from the archives of the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, National Park Service, for all Olmsted landscapes across North America. To read the full NAOP press release, click here.

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is widely considered the father of American landscape architecture, and is famous for designing well-known urban parks, including Central Park in New York City and the grounds of the United States Capitol. His sons, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and John Charles Olmsted, and their associates led the firm from the late 19th Century until 1979, designing thousands of landscapes across North America and internationally.

AppGeo, a GIS consulting firm specializing in custom web-mapping applications, led the team that worked collaboratively with NAOP staff to design and build the Web site. Team responsibilities included careful handling and scanning of original documents that were more than a century old, geo-referencing plans and drawings to current landscapes, data integration for plan-related photos and descriptive data, graphic design, and web design and programming. AppGeo is also managing the hosting of the site.

“The field of GIS owes a particular debt to landscape architecture,” said John Roache, AppGeo senior project manager, who coordinated the AppGeo team. “Via this unique project, which combines current GIS tools to highlight important landscape architecture and planning documents, we are partially repaying that debt. AppGeo is proud to help NAOP realize its vision for making these unique and informative documents more widely available.”

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A Mobile Application for When Your Data Needs A Breath of Fresh Air

Posted on February 15, 2013 in Thinking

Departments of Public Works staffs throughout the country are out in the field every day, taking care of our public infrastructure. Typically, their (digital) data is back in the office.  It does not have to be.  Sometimes departmental data needs to be freed from the confines of local servers and Local Area Networks; it needs a breath of fresh air.   

In Gloucester, Massachusetts, this historic city also has historic infrastructure to manage, which makes it all the more critical for staff to have access to plans and documents at any location where work may occur. 

To enable Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW) workers to access drawings and plans for specific locations when outside the office, AppGeo developed a web application that is customized and optimized for mobile devices, primarily tablets. 

 “The tablet application has significantly reduced the amount trips and phone calls I have to make to get the utility information I need.  Anything that makes my job easier I’m gonna like, and this tool makes my job easier,” said Bill Gilliss, Gloucester DPW, Superintendent of Utilities.  

Gloucester Mobile Utility Application Screenshot Showing Selected Features (cyan pipes) with their linked plans (buttons on right) continue reading...