ESRI User Conference: Vendor Fair Opens; New Products Announced

By Directions Staff

San Diego, July 28 -- The Vendor Fair at ESRI's 19th Annual User Conference opened yesterday, with over 200 hardware, software, and service companies exhibiting their wares.ESRI also opened its 5,000 sq.ft.showcase area with hundreds of ESRI's staff on hand.

Among the heavyweight exhibitors are Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Sun, and SGI.Our favorite "booth" was the semi-trailer that SGI (formerly Silicon Graphics) parks at the back of the hall.We'll have more on this next week, with pictures.

Two new business products were introduced by ESRI's Dallas-based BusinessMap group:

  • TravelMAP is a travel planner with nationwide routing.In a clever twist, it will be sold on an OEM basis as a promotional CD.General Motors, for instance, is said to be considering a TravelMAP CD with all its U.S dealerships pre-loaded.
  • RouteMAP IMS is a full-featured intenet map server with nationwide routing.Incorporated in their product is GDT's Dynamap 2000 Transportation database.The product is designed to compete with MapQuest, and is price very aggressively at $2,995.
At a press conference hosted by founder Don Cooke, GDT announced the launch of a Community Update program.The effort, undertaken in collaboration with ESRI, offers free local data from GDT's premier database to every city in America.In return, city personnel are asked to supply improvements and additions for their local area.This data transfer will be accomplished over the web using ESRI's new ArcIMS technology.

In a private interview that concluded this reporter's stay at the conference, ESRI founder and President Jack Dangermond pointed to ESRI's burgeoning ties to ERP giant SAP as among the highlights for business mapping in 1999.

After 18 months of accelerating collaboration, SAP and ESRI have signed a five-year licensing agreement which will allow SAP to embed ESRI's MapObjects technology in products at over 17,000 companies worldwide.

Dangermond indicated that a similar agreement respecting ESRI's Spatial Data Engine (SDE) is imminent.

According to Mr.Dangermond, SAP's interest in spatial analysis was galvanized when SAP's Chief Executive Officer saw SAP internal sales performance data displayed spatially over SAP's intranet.

Let's see ...17,000 companies with up to several thousand employees each accessing and analyzing information geographically: certainly an important step forward for mapping in business!

Day 1: World's Biggest GIS Conference
Day 2: Dangermond Opens Conference

Published Thursday, July 29th, 1999

Written by Directions Staff

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