Oracle Spatial - A True OpenWorld Story
By Jeff Erickson-Oracle on Oct 01, 2008
I heard this story over dinner at OpenWorld:
An Oracle user from biotech giant, let’s call him Richard, walked up to Oracles Spatial demo pod at OpenWorld and wanted to know more about how to leverage Oracle's mapping and spatial analysis capabilities using Oracle Application Server MapViewer. Richard is not in the biotech’s IT organization, but a user engaged in a variety of interesting analytical applications related to the biotech’s business. Much of their analysis is spatial or location-based (for example, looking at the capabilities and capacities of hospitals and other healthcare facilities for kidney dialysis and other services, with respect to demographics in the area, availability of government funding, boundaries of representatives' congressional districts, and other factors). The Oracle demonstrator, call him John, was pleasantly surprised to learn that Richard had already used APEX (Application Express), the powerful and easy-to-use development tool included with Oracle Database, to develop a few applications.
Richard was excited to learn that MapViewer could be used with APEX to incorporate maps and spatial queries into the biotech’s analytical applications. John described how easily he could build location-based applications, and how their IT group could use them as prototypes for more sophisticated enterprise implementations if desired. But Richard was way ahead of John, and already had some great ideas in mind.
Richard's next stop was the NAVTEQ exhibit booth, where Steven Pierce from Johnston-McLamb was demonstrating applications that Johnston-McLamb developed for customers using the spatial and location capabilities of Oracle Database and NAVTEQ mapping data (NAVTEQ and Johnston-McLamb are both excellent Oracle Spatial partners). After Richard described one map visualization and query application that he wanted at the biotech, Steven said "We can put that and many other similar applications together for you using Oracle MapViewer very easily. You don't have any sample data with you at Oracle OpenWorld, do you?". Richard replied, "As a matter of fact, I've got some business information from our Oracle database on this USB drive in Excel format." In a matter of minutes, Steven loaded the data into an Oracle Database table on the spot and showed it against a NAVTEQ base map using Oracle Application Server MapViewer.
Richard was sold. He sat down with Steven and drafted a brief statement of work. Johnston-McLamb got a contract on the spot to help the biotech company implement Oracle-based map visualization and spatial analysis applications.
Now that is an OpenWorld story with a happy ending!
- Jeff from the Oracle Database Insider team