MetaCarta Public Users Group
It was a good time at today's MetaCarta Public User Group meeting in DC. Plenty of great examples of where the company is heading, some great new implementations and improvements to their existing technology, and a great outlook for the coming year. "Did you drink the Kool-Aid?" Why yes I did. Actually, MetaCarta's GTS Analyst looks to be a great tool for watching information streams and plotting those out for enterprises looking for information in an existing area. Additionally, the new ArticleMapper application looks to be a great tool for researchers looking to parse webpages and text articles for geographic places. But the one thing that sticks out is the creation and public availabity of the MetaCara Lab. CTO John Frank is opening up this testbed to the public to access users inputs to MetaCarta skunkworks projects. As one MetaCarta exec put it, "some of these tools will never see the commercial light of day, but it's important for us to get your feedback about what works and what does not." Schweet! We the user community get to play in the MetaCarta playground. How many spatial technology companies let you do that for free? Anyway, the future is looking good for MetaCarta. They grew 50% in 2005 and look to exceed that for 2006. With MetaCarta Labs, and a Frank noting that they're working on "raster text exploitation" software, we're looking at the potential to build even better gazetteers with legacy data stored in the form of paper.