Have you ever wondered the differences between the main GIS/Map providers? We have too. So we asked 6 of the largest providers 6 questions to help us better understand. We will be rolling out the answers we received in a series of blog posts. This is the fifth in the series and covers our next topic: integration. Please note, the answers provided in this blog series is text supplied by each of the providers. We have not edited any of this text. We will in the last post of the series write a summary of the information provided.

Question 5: There is a growing demand for maps and GIS to integrate with popular business platforms (BI, CRM, EAM) and data. Does your offering play well with other non-GIS/mapping systems?

Pitney Bowes

We approach this kind of integration in two ways. With the growing investment by BI companies to provide more mapping functionality with their solutions we will augment those applications with better visualization functionality. Many BI software providers won’t invest in advanced spatial analysis as that’s not their core competency. For those users of BI products that need advanced visualization beyond simple thematic mapping we offer contouring, point cluster mapping, and advanced spatial querying. Second, as mentioned above, Pitney Bowes is a data company. As such, we want to supply users with the data products that facilitate their location analytics. For example, IBM is a client for our data and software. IBM represents how Pitney Bowes is supporting their users with embedded geospatial technology.

Carto

Yes, we are fully interoperable with BI and other products. Our platform (CARTO Engine) was built from the ground up to let developers (end customers or 3rd party integrator’s) expose CARTO to end users through our API and SDK. We have a Spatial REST API, a Mobile SDK and a GEO UI Framework (CARTO.JS).

GISCloud

Actually, one of the main reasons we don’t see more users utilizing mapping in their daily decision-making process is that companies didn’t have enough resources, knowledge and time to adopt and integrate their solution BI, CRM and EAM with GIS systems. With GIS Cloud a lot of companies can finally afford to introduce that spatial aspect to your existing data, that is necessary for better understanding of your assets and processes.

Our main product is our platform that allows you to integrate with any non-GIS/mapping systems in the market where you focus on the tools you need and we do the heavy lifting for you by making sure everything else runs smoothly.

Boundless

Yes! The Boundless offering does support integration with third party non-geospatial applications. The beauty of our technology being based on open source, the interoperability that is provided with OGC and open standards allows powerful and easy integration’s with other business systems.

For example, Tableau integrates with open standard web services (WMS) and provides a step-by-step tutorial of how to integrate with the Boundless open source GIS technologies. We see this with many more BI, CRM, and EAM solutions, and are only going to see the trend of integration using open standards continue to gain popularity.

Esri

Yes, ArcGIS integrates well with these and other enterprise systems. Geolocation (e.g., placing your assets and people onto facilities maps and indoor maps) is rapidly being used to extend systems like Business Intelligence, CRM and EAM. At Esri, we believe that these applications require a geospatial framework to help organize and exploit these valuable information assets and to protect customers as well as employees, especially as these systems grow in sophistication and increase their adoption of IoT and data feeds.

For example, Esri teams with companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, SAS, and SAP to integrate ArcGIS technology and information inside, along with strong support for extending ArcGIS integration more deeply. CRM and EAM systems integrate ArcGIS and asset maps as key components – location plays a critical role in these systems.

Mapbox

Mapbox has a commercial focus. Modularity is an important design paradigm. This lends itself well to integration with other non-GIS platforms. BI and analysis are important. We are used as a visualization layer by many platforms including Tableau, Cognos, Qlik and MapD.

Mango

Yes Mango plays extremely well with business platforms and we offer several paths of integration that can be configured without the need to be a tech wizard.

It’s easy to create links from feature popups back to business systems. Our interface allows you to insert an attribute value into a URL when a feature is selected. E.g.

https://my-business-crm.com/customers/{ID}

Mango will take the ID from the attribute data of the selected feature and insert it into the URL so users can navigate from the selected feature to the business system.

These links work both ways, users can create links from their business system to the relevant feature in Mango. E.g.

https://mangomap.com/my-account-name/my-map-name?layer={land_parcels}&field-name={parcel_id}&field-value={ID}

In the business system we just insert the layer name, attribute field (column) and attribute value and Mango will automatically open the map at that location with the feature highlighted and centered on the map and the attribute popup visible.

Also using our Dropbox integration feature it’s possible to automatically sync the data from the business system with your map. You can simply have your business system export a spreadsheet (CSV format) of the most up to date data at a set interval into a Dropbox folder on your computer or server that has been linked to Mango. Mango will then automatically pull in the updated data and update your maps.

See the next article in the series:

GIS/Map Providers Compared 6: Partners?

 

Author: Matt Sheehan

Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter:

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