Software ties database info to maps

Agencies soon will have a source for a product that can tie database information to maps.

Corda Technologies Inc. — a software vendor that has sold Web-ready graph-making software to several federal agencies — on Feb. 3 will launch a product that can mine information from databases and present it in map form.

The system also will enable data to be read by a text-to-speech program, making the maps accessible to the visually impaired.

Called OptiMap, the system allows Web designers to create, for example, a map of the United States that shows the relative incidence of a type of cancer, indicated by colors. Visually impaired users who can't see the map can get the same data read to them.

"Traditionally, map [system developers] are saying it's impossible to make a map Section 508-compliant," said David Vandagriff, vice president of sales and marketing for the Utah-based company.

However, the system is limited to its pre-created map outlines. It includes all countries, all U.S. states and counties, Australian states and Canadian provinces. It isn't intended to replace a geographical information system (GIS), the powerful software that can create maps on demand showing, for example, a state's rivers and power plants.

"We're doing much less," Vandagriff said. "Traditional companies do a good job with GIS. Corda does a good job with data."

Also on Feb. 3, Corda will announce that Siebel Systems Inc. will incorporate Corda's other product, PopChart, into Siebel's Analytics 7.5 application. PopChart mines the same database as OptiMap, but converts it into bar graphs, pie charts and other visual representations. It too is Section 508-compliant.

The Corda's federal customers include the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Cancer Institute, the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the U.S. Geological Survey.

"The federal government is a huge market," Vandagriff said. "We have a lot of [federal] customers, but in terms of potential, we've barely penetrated the surface."

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