It's time for another release! Over the last few months, we've been working both behind the scenes and on the user interface to enhance your experience with SpatialKey. The new release focuses on improvements to getting data into SpatialKey and visualizing it in a dashboard.
The insurance industry has long relied on location intelligence to assess and manage regional exposure to risk. But until recently, the geospatial analysis technologies available to help to extract this intelligence have been less than ideal. They’ve had high price tags, and their deployment, management, and use have required the help of dedicated data specialists. They’ve also taken a long time to process data.
Insurers and reinsurers alike are always on the lookout for tools that can provide them better predictive analysis and modeling of risk exposure, for example when faced with upcoming hurricanes, floods or other natural disasters. How will their policy portfolio be affected by a hurricane? Where should they dispatch local agents after a natural disaster? What level of reinsurance should they get when faced with new risk? All these decisions can make or break a company's bottom line as well as their customer service. Insurers use sophisticated modeling and forecasting tools to make decisions, but these tools are usually only accessible by trained analysts and getting reports takes hours if not days to receive.
Our own Doug McCune, SpatialKey engineer extraordinaire, will be presenting a session about Crisis Mapping at Where 2.0 in San Jose this Thursday, April 1st. If you are attending the event, please come to Ballroom III at 4:50pm.
Since the initial Beta release of SpatialKey in March we have received many requests for International geocoding. If you are not familiar with the term, geocoding it is the process of converting street addresses, or zip codes (postal codes) to geographic coordinates often expressed as latitude and longitude. With SpatialKey we are using TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system) to geocode our data. TIGER is provided by the Census Bureau which is freely available for public use. The TIGER geocoder is only available in the US and there is no such international equivalent. We have been researching different options for a unified international solution for SpatialKey but there are several challenges that that have prevented us from providing a solution:
Getting data into SpatialKey has always been simple but until now there was no way to programatically automate imports and updates of your datasets. Today we introduced the SpatialKey Data Import API (DIAPI). The DataImport API allows developers to utilize a variety of platforms and programming languages (like Java, ColdFusion, .Net, PHP, etc.) to automate the creation and management of Datasets within SpatialKey.