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Using Location Hub to Unlock the Power of Location Economics

Using Location Hub to Unlock the Power of Location Economics - DMTI Spatial - Power of Location Economics

Recently I had an opportunity to talk ‘one on one’ with Arthur Berrill, CTO of DMTI Spatial; a Canadian geomatics based company that has been a leader in the Location Business for several years. Arthur leads DMTI’s software development and technology group and has over 25 years of experience managing architecture, design and development of large spatial software systems. His team takes customer business challenges and develops spatial solutions that help resolve their problems.

DMTI Spatial is a Canadian based company that has been providing industry-leading enterprise Location Economics solutions for almost two decades. They started off by designing a comprehensive and tightly integrated national street network database known as CanMap®, and have evolved to integrate Location Economic solutions through Location Hub® combined with a database of unique address identifiers (UAID). – More details available from http://www.dmtispatial.com

Unlock the Power of Location Economics

Using Location Hub to Unlock the Power of Location Economics - Arthur Berrill - CTO of DMTI Spatial

I started off by letting Arthur know that as I was not really interested in doing a traditional interview but rather wanted an opportunity where he could help illustrate how ‘the Location Concept’ has been driving the success of DMTI in Canada. Then through a detailed conversation combined with a full product review I would be able to help the Canadian GIS & Geomatics readers to see how DMTI Spatial has been able to unlock the ‘Power of Location Economics’. Arthur graciously provided time for a detailed discussion, some literature and use of DMTI‘s Location Hub® Portal.

DMTI Spatial has been a frequent contributor to the free press release section on CanadianGIS.com so I was already aware of many of their products like the CanMap® geospatial datasets and how the Spatial Mapping Academic Research Tools (SMART) Program has been benefiting Canadians. Therefore we did not discuss much about other products and jumped right into how critical location based information can help make important planning decisions affecting our lives and what role DMTI’s Location Hub® Portal can play.

Arthur explained that Location Hub® is like an umbrella name or brand for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that DMTI uses to incorporate a suite of products together into an easy to use self-serve portal, allowing bulk processing of address data. It could probably be simplified into two main components; an application side and a web services side. Together they provide clients the functionality that allows them to tap into accurate, current and reliable frequently updated location data, and perform spatial location analysis all from a simple intuitive interface that is available at any time.

Using Location Hub to Unlock the Power of Location Economics - Power of Location Economics

Unlike traditional GIS that is typically built around X, Y coordinate values with attribute information and designed for more technical people whereas location analytic services uses an address as the key approach to connect attributes while defining the location spatially at the same time.

When you stop and think about it, almost nothing in everyday life uses coordinates to define locations, yet nearly all data contains address based information, therefore it makes perfect sense to have Location Hub® start with the addresses and then build a GIS behind the scenes, leveraging the most comprehensive base data available in Canada. This is perhaps one of the key components of Location Hub®, rather than referencing a single data source, it leverages DMTI’s master address repository, an extensive data base of data, kept current through a rapid, agile, frequent update cycle.

“The Master Address Repository is the largest nationally sourced Canadian geospatial database cross-referenced from more than 7,300 federal, municipal and public partnerships. The data is further augmented through content provided by our partner ecosystem to provide a single point of reference for address and address related content such as name and phone number, land use, property type, demographics, property details and much more.”

Using Location Hub to Unlock the Power of Location Economics - Location Hub ButtonsEnd users (who most often do not have much or any GIS technical background) are then supplied with attribute rich properly formatted geocoded spatial data that defines location while telling a story about those locations and the information within. After the input data is cleaned, formatted and processed, any gaps found within the uploaded files are filled in to include any missing addresses within the same geographic boundaries and duplicated data is consolidated or removed.

The target audience for Location Hub® has been typically commerce, enterprise and government but could virtually be anybody that had a database or spreadsheet of address based information. Many organizations have large data sets or lists of address but no way of providing standardized data matched or processed with accurately up to date base-data.

Built around a philosophy of the end user (What do they need? What could they use?), Location Hub® has been carefully planned with the “customer” in mind. Delivered through an interactive web interface, that is typically different than most traditionally GIS software, designed simple enough that almost anybody can use it. All the different address recognition algorithms are hidden behind the scenes so no one needs to know which ones they should be using and just feed in the data and the decisions with results are provided through end data and a detailed report.

DMTI Spatial claims that their location success lies in how they leverage technology expertise, a strong partner network and a reliable Canada-wide address database. They also claim that quality, precision and the industry’s strongest address recognition engine, make Location Hub® Canada’s most trusted source for location-based information.

Using Location Hub to Unlock the Power of Location Economics - DMTI Spatial - Location Hub

Next in part II of this feature I will take a closer look at the Location Hub® Portal to check out the simple, intuitive interface with lightning speed processing and see how well it performs at cleaning, standardizing, validating and geocoding address records. And see how well it provides the ‘Power of Location’.

DMTI Spatial offer free trials of the Location Hub® Portal and like most of my product reviews I always encourage others to try out the service or product for themselves, all you need to get started is either a CSV or XLS file containing address based data. To register for immediate access to a free trial go to https://lhp.dmtispatial.com/Registration/Register.aspx

Click Here [available soon] to continue to Part II of Using Location Hub to Unlock the Power of Location Economics – “Location Hub® Product Review” or Click Here to return to Main Feature Page

SMART (Spatial Mapping Academic Research Tools) Program

DMTI Spatial Supports Canadian Academia with SMART Program

For more than a decade, DMTI Spatial Inc. (DMTI) has been supporting Canada’s academic GIS community with the SMART (Spatial Mapping Academic Research Tools) program. The program assists a consortium of libraries at over forty Canadian universities and colleges, including the University of Toronto, York University and the University of British Columbia, reaching over 9000 students and faculty members annually.

The aim of the SMART program is to provide affordable access to data in support of social science, engineering, research, business and environmental geographic educational programs. Because of this program, Canada’s GIS students are able to work with many more hands-on, real-world examples, and be better prepared for their life after their post-secondary education is complete. The SMART program has helped individuals at member institutions with such impactful projects as determining emergency routes and plotting the best locations for hospitals and new energy sources. DMTI has lent continued support by providing licenses for its data products, including its CanMap® suite, to these institutions to use for teaching and research purposes.

“The SMART program really opened the door for academics wishing to use Canadian spatial data,” said Marcel A.J. Fortin, GIS and Map Librarian, Map and Data Library, University of Toronto. Mr. Fortin manages the program and plays an instrumental role in supporting the consortium of participating institutions. “Prior to the SMART program, there were few opportunities for university students and faculty to use quality Canadian mapping data for research and teaching. DMTI’s data is now very prevalent at SMART program institutions, being utilized in everything from first year lectures to more complex projects like advanced geocoding and the creation of 3D elevation models.”

“It was very generous of DMTI Spatial Inc. to provide Canadian academic institutions a suite of vector data, DEM, imagery and geocoding software through the SMART Program, especially at a time when geospatial data was not readily available or affordable,” said Trudy Bodak, Librarian Emeritus, York University. “At York University, the data was heavily used by graduate and undergraduate students for a variety of projects including plotting emergency routes, travel times and bicycle routes, and determining the best locations for new golf courses, hospitals and wind turbines. I always used this data as an example in my GIS Library instruction classes, because there is so much value and flexibility in using it for research analysis.”

Academia from coast to coast now continue to benefit from DMTI Spatial and their efforts to liberate access to Canadian GIS data.