Expanding GIS Custom-development Possibilities

Expanding GIS Custom-development Possibilities


Located in Gdynia, Poland, TatukGIS develops and licenses GIS software development toolkit (SDK) products supporting multiple development environments and frameworks, e.g. Embarcadero Delphi/VCL & FireMonkey, Microsoft .NET, ASP.NET and ActiveX, and Java. TatukGIS products enable the development of custom GIS applications for the Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX and iOS, Android and Linux operating systems.  

TatukGIS is a private company founded as a start-up business in 2000 with the objective of providing superior GIS software and custom GIS development tools in terms of price and quality. While much has changed in the GIS software industry since that time, TatukGIS has steadily persevered with further developing its in-house GIS technology and products. Today, customers in over 50 countries use TatukGIS products for custom GIS applications and solutions in industries such as transportation and energy infrastructure management, environmental engineering, utilities, agriculture, forestry, mining, telecommunications, military and more. TatukGIS products reflect the company’s own intellectual property, without reliance on third-party software or components except as may be required to support certain proprietary data formats.

Web-centric business model

The philosophy of TatukGIS is to support all widely used data formats, databases and technologies for the benefit of its customers. Products are compatible with most GIS/CAD industry data formats, most geodatabases and database engines, and many open GIS standards. TatukGIS enthusiastically supports open data formats and, unlike some GIS software companies, never pressures customers to store their data in proprietary (i.e. not publicly documented) formats.

Herman Moyers, president of TatukGIS, comments: “When starting the company, we briefly considered using our in-house GIS technology/intellectual property to provide GIS subcontracting services for large IT contracts. After some time, we realised our real strength was developing the underlying GIS technology – and SDK products created from that technology – to enable TatukGIS customers to create great custom GIS applications and final solutions. We have remained true to that objective ever since. After all, it is our customers who really understand the GIS solution requirements of their respective industries and markets.”

TatukGIS licenses its SDK products free of royalties or run-time fees, which helps customers also make their GIS solutions available to less specialised users for whom GIS access might otherwise not be practical or economical. Partly because TatukGIS customers are scattered across industries, geographies and time zones, the company employs a web-centric business model. Licence sales, sales support, product delivery, product technical support and upgrades are all performed online, managed from the TatukGIS office in Poland. In other words, customer technical support is provided by the same software engineers who develop the products.

Development scope

TatukGIS licenses Developer Kernel (GIS SDK) product editions for the following development environments and frameworks:

  • Embarcadero RAD Studio (Delphi/C++) for VCL framework for Microsoft Windows 32 and 64 bit applications
  • Embarcadero RAD Studio (Delphi/C++) for FireMonkey (FMX) framework for Microsoft Windows 32 and 64 bit, Apple OSX and iOS, and Android applications
  • Microsoft .NET for WinForms and WPF (support for Xamarin under development) for 32 and 64 bit applications
  • Microsoft ASP.NET for WebGIS applications
  • Microsoft ActiveX for Microsoft Windows 32 and 64 bit applications
  • Java for Windows, Linux, Unix, OSX (and other Java-enabled platform) applications

Key features include the extensive TatukGIS object API, state-of-the-art support for coordinate systems, efficient on-the-fly vector/raster map layer reprojection between approximately 5,000 pre-defined coordinate systems, 3D visualisation, top performance with huge datasets and royalty-free SDK licensing. For enterprise-level solutions, TatukGIS supports most spatial geodatabases, including PostGIS, Oracle Spatial and GeoRaster, Microsoft SQL Spatial Server, and IBM DB2 Spatial Extender and Informix Spatial DataBlade.

Customisable and extendable

The desktop TatukGIS Editor presents an additional GIS development option because its built-in scripting capabilities (Pascal & Basic syntax) and full API access make the product so customisable and extendable. The Editor is an interesting development option because the starting point of development is a highly functional, well-tested and seasoned desktop GIS. This can dramatically reduce development costs, project risk and time to completion. For others, the Editor is attractive because the default features fulfil the requirements of many GIS users without the overwhelming complexity, learning requirements and expense of some market-leading desktop GIS products. The popular desktop TatukGIS Viewer and Coordinate Calculator are excellent free demo applications of the TatukGIS technology.

TatukGIS makes a big effort to support multiple development technologies because this offers its customers tremendous possibilities and reduced risk. For example, TatukGIS continues to accommodate customers of its ActiveX SDK edition by supporting and upgrading this product, even though Microsoft depreciated the ActiveX technology long ago. When these customers eventually decide to migrate their application development from ActiveX to a more modern development platform, TatukGIS gives them options. They might move to the pure .NET SDK edition with C# or VB.NET, or perhaps to the native Delphi SDK edition with Embarcadero C++Builder, or even to Java, without having to redevelop their applications or learn a different GIS technology. TatukGIS customers are never locked into a development technology or data storage format.

Looking ahead

In 2016 TatukGIS is releasing the latest generation of its GIS SDK product line (version 11) enabling, for the first time, development for non-Windows operating systems, e.g. Apple OSX and iOS, Android, Linux and Unix. The full TatukGIS API is now available for mobile development, meaning any TatukGIS-supported GIS mapping functionality can be developed, royalty-free, into an iPad or Android tablet application. Furthermore, existing TatukGIS SDK-developed desktop GIS applications can be run on an iPad or Android tablet relatively easily. For Embarcadero RAD Studio developers, TatukGIS offers the world’s only high-level native Delphi source code GIS SDK. The new TatukGIS SDK for Java may be the only Java GIS development product available.

Version 11 introduces other important features including GPU acceleration for improved map rendering performance, high-resolution ‘retina’ map rendering support for new-generation 4K monitors, redesigned support for pixel operations with vector-to-grid interpolation algorithms for Kriging, IDW and Splines, heat-map algorithm and enhanced 3D mapping functionality. The same features will appear later this year in the Version 5 upgrade of TatukGIS Editor.

Although historically stronger on the vector mapping side, the redesigned support for pixel operations paves the way for more grid analysis functionality. TatukGIS is also working on native topological layer support. TatukGIS recently introduced a new online help system with full API documentation and regularly updated content.

In the future, TatukGIS intends to continue what it has done in the past, which is to provide and support its customers with the best and most cost-effective GIS development tools in the industry, develop support for useful new technologies and attract new customers.

Every month GIM International invites a company to introduce itself in these pages. The resulting article, entitled Company's View, is subject to the usual copy editing procedures, but the publisher takes no responsibility for the content and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the magazine. 

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