A Discussion with Holly Ross, Vice President, Sales, Applied Spatial Technology
Earlier this month, Spatial Insights and Applied
Geographic Solutions (AGS) announced the formation of a new company,
Applied Spatial Technology (AST), to market and
further develop Freeway. Freeway creates simulated drive time polygons
(polygons that represent how far you can drive in a certain amount of
time from a specific point) that can be accessed by applications. Drive
time areas are important to both retail developers and marketers as a
model of the reach into a geography that is adjacent to a source of
products or services.
AST is an extension of both the parent company, AGS, and its new
partner, Spatial Insights. AGS is a well-known provider of demographic
and related data, and Spatial Insights is a pioneering innovator in the
application of business geography. Both companies are strong in their
own rights (data and applications) and can bring substantial resources
to this new entity. I talked to Holly Ross, vice president of sales of
the new company.
Hal Reid (Reid): AST appears to have been formed to market Freeway.
Since Freeway is very successful most business-oriented products on
the market use it - what is the logic behind spinning it off into its
Holly Ross (Ross): AST has been formed not just to market Freeway,
but in fact to revitalize and expand the product substantially. It is
ASTs intention to considerably enhance Freeway by adding a premium
version, which will include, among other things, the ability for
developers and end users to load their own street networks for other
Reid: The press release indicates that this new company will produce
other products for spatial analysis. Are there additional press
releases we should be looking for?
Ross: Yes, but our first focus is on Freeway. After that, we will
turn our attention to additional analytical products that will work in
a similar manner to Freeway, that is, embedded modules that existing
business geographic products can employ with minimal effort.
Reid: Freeway has historically been a database-driven product. Will
this new venture move it to more of a road network-based product?
Ross: At the present time, no, although this is certainly on the
discussion table. A road network-based product, while relying on many
of the same core algorithms, is oriented toward a rather different
market than is Freeway.
Reid: Freeway has been considered by many to be a standard in
generating drive times for several years. Do you have an estimate of
the number of users and number of companies that license Freeway?
Ross: We would estimate that at least 1,000 companies license the
Reid: What is the most important thing that you would like to convey
to existing users of Freeway about how this change will affect the
Ross: For developers, the current update of Freeway includes no
API changes and should be readily incorporated into systems. The
premium product will undoubtedly require some changes, especially in
order to incorporate new features. For end users, the new version of
Freeway means an updated road database.
Reid: Are there any plans to enter the fleet management and/or
in-car navigation systems markets with Freeway?