RMIUG Meeting Minutes - Mapping on the Internet
Tom Bresnahan started the March of the
RMIUG started at 7:00 and first called for
- Gene Lewis indicated he was putting
together a group to discuss Dynamic HTML
at the Tabor Visual Media offices at 38
South Broadway in Denver. Contact info:
phone: 303-871-9192, fax: 303-871-9234.
- Mike Rabb (email@example.com)
invited people to the Colorado ISDN Interest
- Mike Marsh from the Internet Chamber
of Commerce invited people to speak to
him if they are interested in having a
Boulder Area interest group of the ICC.
- Randal Mayer indicated he was interested
in forming a Front Page interest group
in the Denver Tech Center area. Contact
him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting the meeting on Mapping on the
Internet Bresnahan introduced the first
speaker, Joan Blake (email@example.com),
the Business Development manager from MapQuest.
Joan began by asking how many in the audience
had used MapQuest and many raised their
hands. She explained the MapQuest is owned
by GeoSystems Global in Lancaster, Penna.
This company has a 30 year history with
technical and cartographic skills in CD
and special applications. The MapQuest web
site was the first consumer web site, appearing
in February 1996. They are committed to
free consumer maps that can be put everywhere.
They started with a T1 and were getting
30 million page views per month. MapQuest
moved to Denver for infrastructure and life
style. Now they are drawing 2 million maps
per day from about 40 unix servers.
In response to questions, she explained
they make money by selling a license fee
for mapping applications, and by selling
sponsorships and branding. They currently
charge $20 CPM (Cost for 1000 ads Per Month).
This is GeoCentric advertising, sending
banners based on where the client is searching.
Click through rates were dependent on the
advertising. Joan indicated that an average
user spends 16.2 minutes on the MapQuest
site, so it's a challenge to create enticing
banner ads. She quoted click through rates
of .6% to 8% with one GeoCentric ad at 11%.
In response to another question on pricing
she said MapQuest charges $1500 to setup
and from a low of about $6000 a year to
$12,500 a year for using MapQuest applications
on an individual web site. On updates, Joan
said there are 10 levels of maps ranging
from continents down to streets. The data
is updated regularly from an ARCView data
base. Would MapQuest online maps replace
paper? No, it's a complimentary use of mapping.
Tom Bresnahan introduced the next speaker,
Sol Katz, (firstname.lastname@example.org), a GIS
Specialist/Webmaster from the US Bureau
of Land Management. Wearing a distinctive
piece of headgear, Sol gave a humorous visual
account of different mapping applications
which he has cataloged. Examples ranged
from the NSDI (National Spatial Data Initiative)
to the oldest interactive mapping internet
application, XGLIS, using telnet.
The third speaker was Kevin Andrews, email@example.com,
the chief financial officer from InfoNow.
Kevin explained that InfoNow sells a service
which focuses on specific business applications
requiring maps. Their first site was in
July 1996 and was an ATM locator. They provide
a lot of work on the back end (server side)
for web applications. Companies are using
these applications, cost justifiable, to
address the question of "where is something"
that must be answered to support the customer
set. The justification for this is that
the applications allow the customer to save
money, provide better answers and to collect
data about the customers. Kevin gave another
example of an automatic Voice Mail application
(1-800-345-1518) of a dealer location which
is also the same as an internet web application.
Kevin noted that these mapping applications
were developed in the US market, they are
now also moving to other countries and other
data suppliers. In response to a question
of Voice or Web he noted that Voice is faster
since it's not drawing a map, but the internet
is becoming an alternative to using a call
center. Are phone numbers harvested? No,
generally. How big is InfoNow's install
base? About 35 large customers, all with
The final speaker was Jeff Garland, firstname.lastname@example.org,
a consultant at Environmental Systems Research
Institute in Boulder. He talked about their
products like ArcView and ArcExplorer, and
their Internet mapping technology which
includes an ArcView map server, a Map Object
Internet Map Server and a GIS data server.
Jeff noted that the direction is to a "societal
GIS" where everyone interacts with GIS systems.
To the question "ActiveX vs Java" Jeff indicated
that ESRI is leaning toward ActiveX. On
the question about a Common Mapping Data
Interchange Jeff answered there is OpenGIS
and a trend towards open environments where
spatial data base engines will read CAD
files, etc. Sol Katz observed that he's
seen this common interchange -- "Lot's of
them!!" Jeff stated that GIS applications
are growing about 20-30% a year and he forecast
that GIS will be subsumed into large data
base structures as spatial data.
The 4 panelists converged on stage and
responded to questions from the audience.
Q: What can you do with a map you get
from the internet?
A: BLM data is public domain. Local governments
also provide public domain GIS data. MapQuest
is a free service, and you can put it on
your web site as long as you retain the
logo and copyright. InfoNow's data is from
commercial systems and its use is control
by the owners. In general, check the copyright
pages on the web sites.
Q: Did "avoids" get removed from the TripQuest
application on MapQuest?
A: No, it was moved to the options.
Q: Is the Analytic Market Saturated?
A: Opinion is that spatial analysis in universities
is just not seeing a lot of growth.
Q: Was 16.2 minutes per view on MapQuest
viewed as good?
A: Yes, it was considered good consumer
Q: What job skills are required in the
A: Most are looking for system integrator
skills, 1/2 systems and 1/2 geography.
Q: What about the future of car "computer
A: Cost of GPS (Global Positioning System)
is coming donw, so maybe. But be aware that
GPS has selective availability and can be
turned off and does have a bnadwith issue.
PDA's and cellular phones will be used more
than stuff in cars. It may be an essential
part for delivery trucks and rental cars,
but maybe not essential in all cars.
The meeting closed at about 9:15. There
were approximately 90 attendees.