Scottish geographic information systems (GIS) company thinkWhere is setting its sights on global expansion with the launch of a new cloud-based platform for GIS and geographic data, called 'theMapCloud'. It allows maps, open data and business records to be accessed anytime and anywhere through a web-connected computer or mobile device. Using standard web browsers, users can view, retrieve and share maps, geographic data and other open datasets. As well as providing a platform for GIS and other web applications, theMapCloud can be used for a host of data services and software as a service (SaaS) applications.
theMapCloud is initially offered with fully managed datasets from publishers such as Ordnance Survey and OpenStreetMap along with a selection of other open datasets. Designed using the latest cloud and open source technologies, the platform provides a truly flexible, secure, scalable, resilient and high performance solution for serving geographic data and applications.
The platform focuses particularly on organisations that require better access to, and easier sharing of, geographic datasets. At the moment, digital maps and geographic data are held in a wide range of formats and structures across different stakeholders making it difficult to share the information easily. It is therefore an ideal solution for government, local government, infrastructure companies, map publishers and utilities. thinkWhere also offers a range of software applications and services to help organisations successfully migrate to hosted solutions using theMapCloud.
theMapCloud has been developed over the last two years in association with a number of key users in the UK and the USA. It has already been successfully implemented by the Scottish Government to provide access to mapping by around 100 members of the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) and other adopters include the British Library, US-based Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and the humanitarian NGO, People In Need.
The Scotland-based company has also utilised theMapCloud for their own ecommerce data store. Called mapTrunk, it is an intuitive web service for purchasing OS MasterMap and is an example of the type of mapping application which can be built upon theMapCloud. The company now also provides the data services for their web GIS products, Location Centre and groundMapper, directly from theMapCloud platform. Looking ahead, the company will continue to enrich the range of geographic and digital map data available on theMapCloud as well as provide an extending range of data, analytics and software services.
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