UK: The new version of GIS software from MapMechanics, GeoConcept 6.5, is claimed to be significantly faster than before (up to ten times faster in some processes), is easier to use, offers better compatibility with other mainstream computer applications and data formats, brings improvements in both thematic analysis and map displays, and is fully compliant with Microsoft’s .NET programming environment.
GeoConcept 6.5 also gains compatibility with Google Earth, the ubiquitous online world map presentation system, allowing map files to be exported in Google Earth’s .KMZ file format. GeoConcept is used to display and analyse data in a geographical context, and is used in marketing, sales, logistics and transport management. It is also a key resource behind much web mapping.
Version 6.5 of GeoConcept was given its UK launch at a seminar mounted by MapMechanics in London at the turn of the year, during which speakers detailed some of its many new features. Proximity searching (“find the nearest”) has been made quicker and more convenient by the addition of a menu item allowing users to search by criteria such as drivetime or distance. Improvements to drivetime calculations include the ability to use either an internal or an external road network.
The latest version of GeoConcept is altogether even more “web-friendly” than before. For instance, it can read in maps served by external web mapping services, using them as a background for analytical work. This function is seen as ideal for organisations such as local governments, with extensive mapping resources available via corporate intranets.
Building on the multi-user capability inherent in GeoConcept, the new version provides simpler and easier links to external data files such as Oracle, SQL, Postgres and Microsoft Access and Excel. Excel’s .XLS files can now be imported directly into GeoConcept via a familiar drag-and-drop process, without any need for pre-configuration, and GeoConcept can now work with PostgreSQL and PostGIS files in native format.
For users wanting to develop and enhance their implementation of GeoConcept, the new version supports a wide range of scripting systems, many of them suitable for the .NET environment, including VB Script, C# and CC++. There is now also a Widget Manager, designed to handle .NET-based “widget” add-on functions and programming fragments. A sample .NET widget application is included with GeoConcept, enabling users to flag up instances where incorrect information has been associated with a map.
Thematic mapping (superimposing information or the results of analysis on maps in a graphical format) gains new functionality in GeoConcept 6.5. For instance, it is now easier to highlight map detail in a meaningful way.
The new version of GeoConcept includes many other more detailed enhancements, including a more flexible Configurator panel (the interface through which parameters are set up for each project).