GlobeXplorer had previously offered business to business web services, and during the same period of time that GlobeXplorer was building its consumer business based on a subscription service, Keyhole debuted its own product.With GlobeXplorer engaged at Stewart, Google subsequently acquired Keyhole and its imagery delivery technology now powers the "Satellite" button in Google Maps.
Shanks described what he calls a "patchwork of content" offered by the current search engines. "The content that you are seeing is very limited, but it is going to get better," he said.
Even though GlobeXplorer does not proclaim any relationship with Google or Microsoft, Shanks is encouraged by market conditions."Google has raised awareness," he noted, and "subscriptions to GlobeXplorer products have increased robustly since the Google announcement."
GlobeXplorer sees that it has four competitive advantages.
- It has experience providing imagery and map data at very high volumes on the Internet, with expertise in both 2D and 3D applications.
- It serves as the largest an
aggregator of commercial imagery data, as
well as other remotely sensed data sources and ancillary map data
overlays onto images (e.g.flood zones, land information dataparcel
data, etc.) See image above - note the integration of MapQuest street
map and DigitalGlobe image data onto a single map view.
- GlobeXplorer developed an API as a key part of its original offering. The API toolkit facilitates a multi-layer, multi-source development process (e.g.MapQuest was based on the GlobeXplorer API; the GlobeXplorer API also supports WMS).GlobeXplorer's fundamental offering is an application; a programmer's interface, such that businesses can dynamically access GlobeXplorer image, map overlay and database information directly inside their own Internet-enabled applications, devices and workflows.This core API is offered in three versions - HTTP, SOAP and WMS.This allows businesses to develop products within their own environments and workflows, enabling faster and more robust business and consumer products to be produced.
- GlobeXplorer's experience and market leadership in the business to business space (real estate, insurance, engineering, telecom/utilities, etc.) creates a compelling case to use their broad product offering.As the large search portals devise ways of making money off geographic or "local" searching, this experience and product range is valuable.
With GlobeXplorer so well positioned, why haven't we seen any announcements about deals with the major search companies? Shanks would not comment on relationships with any of the aforementioned companies except to say "please stay tuned."