Steve Lieblich presentated “iDelve Hyper-interactive Web Mapping” at the Melbourne Commercialisation Expo, 19-20 June 2006, with the aid of a grant from the WA Department of Industry and Resources . The paper described early-stage commercialisation of the revolutionary iDelve Web mapping technology developed in Western Australia.
The paper explained that iDelve is a revolutionary technology for delivering maps as a web service – usually as part of a service or application that incorporates the maps
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are resource-intensive applications of ICT and therefore implementation of a distributed architecture on a constrained-bandwidth network (such as the Internet) is challenging.
iDelve was purpose-built for quickly and efficiently interacting with maps in Web applications. It is quite different to the traditional paradigm for serving maps on the Internet. The technology focuses on functionally delivering the most via the Internet.
iDelve’s revolutionary technology delivers a natural, intuitive, very fast user experience, which we call “hyper-interactive” .
The user interacts (on screen) with live objects and associated meta-data cached on the client machine. The screen view is assembled from available data, even while additional data is streaming to the client. This eliminates the frustrating “click & wait” experienced with traditional technologies.
Distributed infrastructure / data management
Bandwidth constraints force applications using traditional technologies to aggregate all the spatial data needed for an application, on a single server. This requires replication of infrastructure and data, and also of the human resources to manage those replicated sets of infrastructure and data.
iDelve servers contain a powerful integration engine that seamlessly accesses and integrates different kinds of data in-situ from various local and remote sources. Data types include vector, raster and attribute information.
INITIAL COMMERCIALISATION ACHIEVEMENTS
The iDelve system was originally developed in Western Australia and first released in 2002. Initial prototypes included systems for a spatial data custodian with remote customers and for a real-estate portal. System development and enhancement opportunities were identified in dialogue with the users of the prototype systems, and with other prospective users.
A key challenge in the initial commercialisation relates to the introduction of a new paradigm for publishing maps via the Internet. (this is a common problem in our industry.) Prospective users and even their ICT advisers were initially not aware of the capabilities of iDelve (or didn’t understand their potential impact) and therefore tended to conceive of new applications on the basis of traditional, web maps. Our response to this challenge included:
- Working with customers who are innovators and have the vision to appreciate the new paradigm and adopt it to advantage in their enterprise. Either they are receptive and prepared to take the time to understand and incorporate the technology in their conceptual planning or they are prepared to take the advice of experts and consultants.
- Being prepared to provide the “total” business solution so that the customer receives software, services, data etc bundled with the iDelve software, and that the bundle as a whole provides the business benefits that the visionary customer needs, to justify the investment. When the paradigm is new, there are few integrators and added-value service providers who can complete the total solution. So we have to show the way, by doing it ourselves
- Focussing on one or two market niches. As a small, self-funded start-up, we have to very carefully marshal our resources. Trying to be a total solutions provider across a broad market would spread us too thinly.
This meant that although we envisage iDelve as a global product and therefore need to build a “product house”, our early steps in commercialisation require us to behave like an integrator or “total solutions provider”. We created two separate corporate entities: iDelve Pty Ltd, the owner of the IP and nucleus of the product house; and Amristar Solutions Pty Ltd, a total solutions integrator and reseller of the iDelve software.