Disruptive Cloud Technology Tears Down Cost and Complexity Barriers to Unleash a Renaissance in Map-based Apps for Government Organizations
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, Apr 03, 2012 -- Where 2.0 Conference - Socrata today unveiled Mondara(TM), the first cloud service that enables mainstream web content developers - the Other 99% who are not GIS experts- to rapidly create an exciting new class of data-driven, interactive online maps. The new Mondara(TM) service democratizes access to valuable geospatial and location data in government, currently locked up in inaccessible, proprietary formats, by making online map creation as easy as adding a photo to Facebook(TM).
Until today, creating data-driven, interactive online maps has been the exclusive domain of experts in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and skilled programmers. As a result, the vast majority of government geospatial data is still being shared as download-only files, delivered in formats that are inaccessible to everyday information consumers, such as Esri Shapefiles and Google KML files. These barriers have limited the reach and utility of millions of otherwise valuable public information assets.
"GIS Professionals have plenty of sophisticated software already. We invented Socrata Mondara(TM) for the other 99% who just want the freedom to create interactive online maps and share them with the public," says Kevin Merritt, Socrata's Founder and CEO. "We eliminated costs and complexity by moving the entire creation-to-consumption lifecycle of online maps to the cloud, where our customers can leverage the power of Socrata's open APIs and easy-to-use web and social interfaces to create compelling, data-driven, interactive content for their constituents."
With no cumbersome desktop software, or GIS expertise needed, webmasters, communications professionals, and online content developers can drag-and-drop readily-available geospatial files from their GIS department to the cloud, and instantly transform those files into interactive online maps. Mondara(TM) leverages the Socrata Open Data Platform architecture to enable content creators to easily combine layers from geospatial maps with related location data to create a new class of contextual, socially-connected, map-based applications.
Socrata Mondara is the latest example of a greater shift in government towards adoption of Open Data platforms, pervasive cloud access, and standards-based APIs for information delivery. Three years ago, the same innovations unlocked tabular transactional data for citizens, analysts and developers, while driving down the total cost of operation for government.
Today, The City of Edmonton, one of the recognized leaders in the Open Data movement, announced it has deployed Socrata Mondara(TM) to its Socrata-powered Open Data Cloud. Chris Moore, Edmonton's Chief Information Officer, says, "Socrata Mondara(TM) provides significant value to Edmontonians in a quick, cost-effective way. By providing the ability to deploy rich interactive maps in a matter of minutes, with ease and limited technical experience, employees and residents are able to visualize relevant municipal information like neighbourhood boundaries, school zones, and the maps of the City's service infrastructure in an easy-to-understand way."
Socrata Mondara(TM), is available immediately, as a plug-and-play cloud service with any Socrata Open Data Portal(TM), or as a standalone portal for data-driven, interactive online maps. Mondara offers these unique design features:
-- A simple drag-and-drop of KML files and Shapefiles to the Socrata cloud instantly transforms them into rich, interactive online maps; -- Newly-empowered online map creators can add points on a map from any related location data, and mix and match different map layers for added context; -- Citizens and non-technical consumers enjoy interactive online map exploration, unlimited social sharing and embedding just like they do with YouTube videos; -- Professional users get automatic conversion to multi-format file downloads for high-fidelity bulk data; -- Developers can continue to use the same standards-based, RESTful Socrata Open Data API (SODA) for all data, geospatial or transactional. Socrata Mondara(TM) was developed using open source technologies, including GeoServer and OpenLayers and supports OGC standards including Web Map Service and Web Feature Service.
For more information about Socrata Mondara(TM), including a three-minute demonstration video, and our introductory offer, go to www.socrata.com/Mondara .
Socrata is the leading developer and provider of Open Data cloud services, a category of Web 2.0 solutions that enable public sector organizations to dramatically improve citizen access to information and online services, while reducing costs.
The Socrata Open Data Cloud(TM) optimizes the management and speeds up the dissemination of data-driven interactive content to citizen, professional and internal government audiences, through multiple interfaces: Web, social, mobile, API, apps, voice, SMS. Information assets include tabular data, geospatial data, unstructured content and real-time data from government transactional systems of record.
Socrata customers include cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City; states such as Oregon, Illinois and Oklahoma, and federal agencies such as Medicare, SAMHSA and GSA (Data.gov). Socrata is a private company, based in Seattle, Washington, with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.