What we did in 2011 - Year in Review

by Doug McCune on January 23, 2012

Far and away, 2011 was the biggest year for SpatialKey yet. It's only fitting that for such a big year we do a quick recap to take stock of the past 12 months.

Insurance Applications

This past year marked a huge push into the insurance market for SpatialKey. We developed a number of applications that help insurance companies prepare for and respond to natural disasters, calculate their exposed risk, optimize their underwriting process, and visualize and understand the core drivers behind their businesses.

In particular, in 2011 we made great progress on our Natural Perils Suite, a series of apps focused around catastrophic natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flood, and tornados. We launched two hurricane apps, and have apps for earthquake and wildfire nearing completion.

Hurricane Applications


We launched two hurricane applications during the 2011 hurricane season. Our Current Hurricane Forecasts app comes pre-loaded with all the latest hurricane forecasts and pulls updates in realtime as storms develop. We built the app before hurricane season started, and then we were beta testing it live with customers as storms started rolling in. It was incredibly exciting summer. We were writing code, debugging, and pushing out updates to our customers while these hurricanes were developing. We were quite literally racing against hurricane force winds to get updates into our customers hands. And our customers were using SpatialKey for mission critical work to determine how much damage Hurricane Irene was going to cause.


The second hurricane application we built, Past Hurricane Scenarios, lets you take a historic hurricane and run what-if scenarios to determine what would happen if a given hurricane struck today. What would happen if a hurricane like Katrina hit today? Or what if Hurricane Ike hit 50 miles further west?


Earthquake Tablet Proof of Concept

We got our feet wet with tablet development with a proof of concept for analyzing earthquake damage. Developed for the Blackberry Playbook, this application shows the potential damage caused by an earthquake. SpatialKey gets this important information immediately into the hands (literally) of the people who need it quickly. When you’re on the ground responding to an earthquake you can understand exactly where you need to focus your effort.



Blast Radius App

We made our first foray into the terrorism insurance market by creating a bomb blast application that calculates potential damage for different sized blast zones. This application provides the tools an underwriter needs to figure out if insuring a new property would put them at too much risk for a terrorist attack.


CoreLogic Risk Score Underwriting App

We partnered with CoreLogic to integrate complex risk analysis directly into an underwriter’s workflow. Underwriters can instantly access risk scores for hazards such as storm surge, earthquakes, sinkholes, and damaging winds. Risk maps show you the distribution of risk for different hazards geographically, which gives you the context you need to establish whether a particular property is a high or low risk and how it impacts your accumulated risk in a particular area.


Guardian Crime Mapping

We kicked off the year with a custom app developed for the Guardian newspaper in the UK. The custom application, which was built on top of the SpatialKey Platform, performs crime comparisons between different crime types and different cities in the UK, delivering powerful and intuitive analysis straight into the hands of the public.



In the summer we launched SpatialKey on Salesforce. We teamed up with Arrowpointe, the provider of a great mapping product called Geopointe, which is the highest rated mapping application on the Salesforce platform. SpatialKey is offered to Geopointe customers for advanced mapping and analytics.


SpatialKey Features

And as always we've continued to improve the core SpatialKey platform with new features throughout the year. We listened to what our customers were asking for and focused on 3 main areas: core mapping capabilities, an improved user experience, and more powerful filtering capabilities.

Beefing up our mapping capabilities
We added a number of features to meet the needs of our cartophile customers. We added point mapping, a map legend, the ability to add map markers, and labeling of your maps.


Distance and elevation tools
In the insurance market, knowing the distance to the coast or the elevation of a particular property can be incredibly important. We added tools to SpatialKey that will quickly calculate elevation and distances between points.


Focus on the user experience
We pride ourselves on having one of the easiest-to-use tools on the market, but we're never satisfied. We're constantly trying to improve the overall user experience to make everything simpler, easier, and faster. Through a series of user tests and customer visits we identified some key areas that we improved. We added a better layer manager for our customers who work with many map layers, we improved the overall visualization pod workflow, we improved the main home-screen user interface to make it easier to find the dat you use the most, and we integrated SpatialKey Apps.


Improved filtering capabilities
We also added some key filtering capabilities to let you drill down into your data. We added synchronized filters, a powerful feature to keep datasets synchronized as you filter in SpatialKey, and we also added an improved radius search to let you quickly search around an address.


On to 2012!

We're excited about what 2012 has in store for SpatialKey. We have a number of projects in the works, and every indication is that 2012 will be an even bigger year for our product and our company. We'll be putting together a roadmap blog post that will cover our plan for 2012, so look for that soon.

Hooray for 2011, here's to 2012!

Topics: Releases, Salesforce

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