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Home arrow Articles arrow Software arrow Spotlight on GeoCortex Essentials, insights from the Latitude Geographics GeoCortex User Conference     

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Spotlight on GeoCortex Essentials, insights from the Latitude Geographics GeoCortex User Conference PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Letham (@gletham)   
30 April 2009

During the last week of April in Victoria, BC, Canada, Latitude Geographics hosted a number of users and business partners at their annual GeoCortex User conference, an educational events designed to inform, educate, and stimulate users of the company's web-based mapping solutions.

 I estimate that there were about 40-50 users at the event with attendees coming from Canada, the USA, Europe and other distant locations. In addition to sharing knowledge and corporate visions, the company used the event to share their take on industry trends, provide insight on future software releases, and to provide ideas of how and why Geospatial technology users should deploy the company's web mapping solutions. Interesting to note, according to company founder and President, Stephen Myhill-Jones, he does what he does mainly because he wants to leave the World as a better place than when we started and plans to do so by helping people use geography and geographic technology.

In case you aren't familiar with Latitudes' solutions, the company has garnered much attention and recognition for their flagship product, GeoCortex. The solution is complemented by add-on solutions, GeoCortex Essentials, and GeoCortex Optimizer.

2009 is a special year for Latitude Geographics and Myhill-Jones in particular - he sees people doing great things with ArcGIS Server and he has essentially bet the farm on the direction of ESRI's ArcGIS Server technology, something he is very excited about with the recent release of ArcGIS Server at R 9.3.1. For some time now, ESRI web-mapping customers have been slowly adopting ArcGIS Server while turning away from IMs. according to Jones, there is no better time than now to make the change to Server - in a nutshell, ArcGIS Server 9.3.1 is ready for prime-time! In his opening address to attendees, Jones noted "I've been waiting for this release since 2005". So why is release 9.3.1 so exciting? The following major developments were identified as being crucial in this release:

- offers the performance that IMS provides
- the evolution of "fashionable" developer APIs (REST, JavaScript, SilverLight, .Net) resulting in much faster and simpler application development - note, it was pointed out that for a great take on REST the Chappell keynote (SOAP vs REST) from the ESRI Dev Summit is a must view!
- Web ADF licensing has been freed up (run it where you want)
- editing is now part of the standard edition along with many other advances and features.

For those of you wondering about the company, Latitude Geo's web mapping division is driven by a number of business and industry trends including a widespread adoption and move towards .Net along with the widespread emergence of Web ADF and APIs. The company prides itself in being known as a software company (software accounting for 60%+ of revs) and aims to eliminate efficiencies with their solutions rather than capitalizing on them - a nice touch!

The company's GeoCortex Essentials solution, unveiled 2 years ago, has been built from the ground up for ArcGIS Server and was the company's investment in the future - Myhill-Jones seemed to be very excited that it appears his gamble may now be paying off - good to know as he reiterated to clients and users that they are in this for the long haul!
For those of you interested in more information on the company's web-mapping solutions I urge you to check out their GeoCortex Resource Center on their website where you will find live examples along with a reference section, templates, and reports. As the solution evolves over time it will be aligned with ESRI technology - the company has an excellent relationship with ESRI and communication is vital and a real strength (of interest, ESRI is a Latitude Geographics business partner).

"If I was building and deploying a web mapping solution I would be implementing ArcGIS Server now." (Steven Myhill-Jones)

About Latitude Geographics:
10 years in business
constantly investing inn new technology
debt free
growing (now with 46 FT staff, up from 37 last year)
realizing growth from both services and software
strong emphasis on business partners
growing partnerships with ESRI's International business partners
consider themselves a software company
in it for the long haul

What is Geocortex Essentials?
Simply out, it's a web mapping viewer with numerous out of the box tools. It is also a web-based management tool providing a framework for managing enterprise applications. GCE provides administrators with a tool for building and deploying, editing full featured web mapping applications through Web ADF for ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, WMS, ArcGIs Online etc. at R2.0, Geocortex Essentials splits the development between the web ADF framework and REST based approaches using ESRI's JavaScript, Flex, and SilverLight APIs along with complimentary APIs from GeoCortex.

GeoCortex Essentials Manager is the administration tool that comes with GCE enabling complete website (web mapping) creation with no programming required. The web-based admin tool provides for remote file access and configuration/management.

Some users of GeoCortex Essentials include:

  • The City of Los Angeles
  • Ireland EPA
  • Washington DOT
  • Milwaukee County
  • Golder Associates

See Also:


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