There has been a
tremendous investment in developing this data in the Asia/Pacific
the United States
government agencies first developed this data and it was relatively
go" as GIS applications developed that could make use of it.The
the opposite in the Asia/Pacific region, Mayr explained.There was a
"make" the data first before applications could develop around it, at
enormous and on-going cost.However, as multi-national companies look
into the region, they have demanded this data - they've become used to
accessing it elsewhere on the globe - and so the business case has been
for its development.
some specific questions asked by Directions
Directions: Can you help
our North American and European readers understand how a street
created in the Asia Pacific region?
MapInfo: Products like StreetPro
are created using similar means to those in the US
and Europe.Sources such as
satellite imagery, field capture and specialised content aggregators
in the compilation process of the StreetPro data product suite across Asia.The key ingredients are local knowledge
to tie all of these disparate parts together.MapInfo and its Asian
network together provided the local knowledge and associated skills to
out this enormous task.Standardised MapInfo production methodologies
employed to ensure a standard look and feel and utility across the many
varied countries in the region.
We have worked
with key strategic partners in each country to develop the data.Each
is a unique challenge, and methods that work in one area may not work
Directions: Is it very
different country to country, or are similar processes involved?
MapInfo: Each country in Asia is different when it comes to
structures, source data availability and military restrictions.However
apply the same methodology in the compilation of all of MapInfo
StreetPro's in Asia.This ensures a
uniformity and consistency, which is very important to our customers.
occur.For example there are a significant proportion of metropolitan
roads in India
not physically named, let along addressed.In Singapore
the 6-digit postcode is
regularly used as the principle address reference.In New Zealand,
post codes are almost never used in a common address reference.All of
factors need to be considered when compiling StreetPro for each of
countries to ensure maximum utility and value.
Directions: To what
extent are government data available as a basis for such a product?
India (click image for larger view).
|StreetPro Malaysia (click image for larger view).
Singapore (click image for larger
||StreetPro Thailand (click image for larger view).
MapInfo: Government data
is, on the whole, an important component in the compilation of our
products.However, this data is very raw and needs to be significantly
supplemented and value added before it is of commercial grade suitable
business analysis use.We found that there was good progress in the
improvement of Government foundation data, however, it is basically a
terms street and geocoding data is well behind regions such as Australia and New
Zealand, North America and Europe,
and probably further behind in a routing sense.However, the gap is
quickly as market demand in this fast growing region justifies further
investment and speeding up of the "evolutionary" process.
Directions: What are the
major challenges in creating and maintaining such a database in this
one of the biggest challenges we have relates to data piracy.
custodians and value-adders are very wary of releasing their
property on the open market.This has been a major impediment in our
to establish our Asia Pacific data portfolio and has taken years to
custodians and stakeholders that the rewards outweigh the risks.
restrictions have also made our journey very interesting.Numerous
have military related data access restrictions in place.These
come in the form of only certain scales of data being available, to
warping being integrated, to a total ban of any data exporting.As
as these restrictions are, it is certainly understandable why such
are in place.The irony is we are finding significant demand for these
products by organizations driven to ensure security for their citizens
Here is an anomaly that
you would not be likely to find elsewhere.In
China, in order to work around issues relating to release of data
versions of StreetPro will be released - one for use outside the
country, and a
"premium" version that can be used inside the country.
Directions: What about
street naming/numbering conventions?
MapInfo: Street numbering
systems in Asia are generally
Street numbering does exist in various forms, in some parts of some
However, it is not consistent at a regional level and also very costly
capture and maintain.Heavy investment has been made to obtain the best
available addressing, however sometimes this is restricted to a street
within a local geo-coding polygon.Today, that is primarily in the form
detailed streets within small administrative boundaries or postcode
There are situations where we have geocoding "nirvana"; in Singapore
the 6-digit postcodes which basically relate to an individual address.
the main, we need to rely on searching streets or points of interest,
building names, within small administrative boundaries - such as
Kelurahan in Indonesia,
Kampung in Malaysia
or Tambon in Thailand.
Directions: Can the
street databases be used in geocoding an address to interpolate an x,y
MapInfo: Users of
StreetPro can leverage the geocoding facilities of most spatial systems
establish an X and Y coordinate for a nominated address.The resolution
X and Y coordinate will vary from country to country.Our objective is
provide the best possible geocoding on the market.With increased use
subsequent investment we will continue to improve geocoding precision.
is responding to significant and growing demand and sees its role as
this present "best of market" base which in turn will act as a
catalyst for spatial industry growth in the region.
Directions: Are street
databases commonly used in this region, or are they still relatively
does that vary from country to country? What are the key uses?
MapInfo: Street databases
are not commonly used in Asia.In
use of spatial technology in business analytics is not common.However,
situation is changing.Business is going global at an exponential rate.
Organizations want to use their existing expertise in spatially
business analytics to evaluate new markets in Asia.
These organizations need consistent, high quality data products.
invested over three years into the establishment of the Asian StreetPro
of products.However as the evolutionary process has really only just
is our intention to continue to invest strongly in the quality,
precision and coverage of our Asian data.