How to Remove the Burden of Managing Map Data

November 27, 2019
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This article is brought to you by HERE XYZ.

Managing map data is not the same as making maps. So why does geodata management have to be so hard? Mapmakers and developers spend an inordinate amount of time creating maps in a counterintuitive process that involves working on a truckload of elements that are not the map.

In the average workflow of creating a map, 80% of the time is spent wrangling data and 20% of the time is spent making the map – there’s a tool that flips that equation around – HERE XYZ, a cloud-based service from HERE Technologies

To begin with, the data management side of map making is nontrivial. Collecting, gathering, storing and tracking data for mapping is intensive. One of the notions behind HERE XYZ is having a place to store that data and being able to get it back out in usable formats, rather than having it sleep as giant files in some directory on your desktop.

The tiling process is also a big deal – an existing system may force you to limit how many points you can call in one request, or you have to handle tiling manually. It’s a pain. HERE XYZ is doing that for you, automatically and on the fly, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about, and you can spend more time actually mapping.

Once you have your data in a cloud-based space, you can get that data back out or serve it out in a variety of ways. It’s open ended, and it’s made to help the workflows you already have in place.

If you don’t want to use the HERE XYZ renderer – no problem, you can use HERE XYZ Hub to deliver data to your map renderer of choice, like for example Tangram. Need to use the tool for tiling? You can do that. Want to upload multiple, heavy data sets through CLI? You can to that too. Want to build the API into your own workflow? Easily done.

Take a data journalist as an example. They probably already have a workflow that feeds into a standard map for their program or publication. HERE XYZ can manage all the data, then provide the information back into a standard or dynamic map that they’re already using. In this, you’re solving the headache of supporting multiple different map display systems while keeping the data clean and organized in a central place.

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For Interline Technologies, a San Francisco-based startup that improves transportation networks digitally, the HERE XYZ Hub API is accessed via a custom “connector” that enables push updates for live datasets.

“HERE XYZ is a great addition to Interline’s toolkit for our team and for our users,” says Drew Dara-Abrams, Principal at Interline Technologies. “The command-line interface has become part of our regular workflows for visualizing and inspecting our work-in-progress and other miscellaneous geodata. XYZ Connectors are opening even more interesting possibilities for our production systems and real-time data updates. They’re a powerful hybrid of managed-cloud services, open-source components, and common data formats like GeoJSON and GeoJSONL.”

Managing geospatial databases in cloud networks is time-consuming and uninteresting. HERE XYZ lets you do that flexibly at scale, whether you’ve got 100 points or 100 million points. The same infrastructure can serve out the maps and data you need. If you want to try it out, sign up for the HERE Freemium plan: head over to the HERE XYZ Studio and get started in 30 seconds. Get started: xyz.here.com

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