ESRI has announced the implementation of a flagship ArcIMS Web site that spatially enables the Reuters humanitarian news portal known as AlertNet (http://www.alertnet.org). The Web site provides a unique, geocoded news feed where online visitors can search for stories by geographic region or retrieve digital maps showing locations where stories are taking place. The system provides a fast, efficient online method to discover where news is happening.
ESRI (UK) LTD. Business Partner and systems integrator ESYS (sponsored by the European Space Agency) built the Web site using ESRI’s ArcIMS technology. A key component of the Web site is the ability to automatically link a Reuters news story or a piece of content submitted by a relief agency to an interactive map and vice versa. A user can click on a news story and link to geographically related maps. Conversely, a user can click on a geographic area to view news stories related to that region. A user can pan, zoom in and out, rotate the digital map, and select data layers such as political boundaries, infrastructures, and geographic attributes.
For the site’s spatial data, Reuters selected the Global Insight data product from Europa Technologies providing up-to-date 1:1,000,000 scale digital mapping for the entire world. The product provides up-to-date political entities, coastlines, international borders, some first level administrative borders, time zones, and more than 650,000 named places with urban sprawls.
Reuters is now working with ESRI (UK) LTD. to plan the next phase of the implementation with greater functionality, additional data sets, and improved usability. Future applications may see the addition of satellite data as well as the ability to receive automatic news alerts based on user-defined geographic parameters. In addition, geographic data may be available for download via the Web site for users to deploy in the field. Users could upload data as part of the geographic information exchange.