BI-LI Integration: Company Overview of IDV Solutions

By Joe Francica

Following in the wake of mapping portal madness are companies that apply their domain expertise to create solutions for customers that leverage application programming interfaces (APIs). IDV Solutions is one company that knows location technology well and is driving location intelligence solutions by embracing a "dashboard" approach to visualization. Taking a page from the business intelligence (BI) software playbook, IDV is delivering maps, text, charts and imagery in a single view to help companies like NGA, British Petroleum (BP) and Pulte Homes evaluate their operations (see Figures 1 and 2). The company leverages their Location Feature Server, a .NET, server-side product to build on the concept of map-based data visualization, which is supported by a variety of Web services.

Figure 1. Click for larger image.

Figure 2.
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Mark Morrison, IDV's president, said he does not set up companies with just a GIS solution but tries to leverage a variety of location technology solutions that target a customer's information challenges. IDV has tackled several projects for BP for safety and security, asset tracking and oil field monitoring and visualization as well as helping the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency in their efforts to support relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina (see Figure 3). Morrison believes that it is essential to be able to pull disparate information from multiple sources and deliver business information to those who need to have information readily available. Another important aspect of IDV's focus is to deliver projects quickly. They typically have a two-week iteration cycle. Their solution comes together fast and could be seen as almost "disposable software" with the next, more tailored version delivered quickly to replace what was the first level of understanding of the client's requirements by them and the client. The company's principals believe that the document centric approach commonly used by BI vendors is on the way out and that the future is in annotated maps.

Figure 3.
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IDV's Location Feature Server (LFS) integrates a company's enterprise data and overlays them as intelligence vectors over raster background. LFS resides behind the firewall giving the enterprise the security it needs with sensitive data. Flash technology is used on the presentation side. The company has used Microsoft's SharePoint
as a base for portal software and MapPoint Web Services as well as ESRI's ArcGIS Server technology. IDV has also incorporated IONIC Software's Red Spider Web.

Morrison said clients are requesting development within Google Earth / Google Maps and IDV display data from both ESRI's SDE and the Google environment. They can integrate data from SDE with LFS and overlays the information with Google Earth using Keyhole Markup Language (KML).

Published Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Written by Joe Francica

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