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April 15, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:19pm


By CBR Staff Writer

UK Internet market analysis and research company, InferNet Ltd is developing a global mapping application for use over the Web to provide exact geographical information about addresses across the world. InferNet expects development of the Informix Corp DataBlade module to be completed within the next couple of months, incorporating its Geo-code technology. The Geo-code pinpoints the exact longitude and latitude of establishments, providing a geographic location of database records, and can be used to facilitate spatial searches and pin-pointing of addresses on an on-line map. The Ipswich, UK-based company is aiming its mapping technology at multinational organizations for management of global accounts among other things. InferNet’s business development manager, Mark Griffiths believes the technology will increase in popularity and functionality as the Internet develops, with consumers using the service to pin-point their local supermarket to place an electronic order, for example. InferNet’s mapping technology closely follows rival company MapInfo Corp’s SpatialWare technology which incorporates SQL extensions, enabling users to locate graphically-coded objects such as rivers or telephone boxes stored in a relational database (CI No 3122). Griffiths says InferNet’s technology is somewhat different to MapInfo’s, and claims it has more functionality. He refutes that the two companies are rivals. Matthew Spencer, MapInfo’s European marketing communications manager says the products are different, and claims MapInfo’s are more sophisticated. Datablade pioneer Informix Corp’s, technical marketing manager for Northern Europe, Terry Lawlor says the idea behind the DataBlade modules is precisely to provide the user with a choice, and Informix has hundreds of the modules in development across the world. The InferNet technology uses the Illustra Web and 2D spatial DataBlade modules in its building phase, and the company says Geo-coding of woldwide locations is around 80% complete. Lawlor believes mapping Web sites are going to become more prominent as the Web develops. It’s going to be very much the way things will move in the future, Lawlor said, and demand is set to really take off.

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