IBM, ESRI Target Geospatial Data

IBM and Oracle want to integrate geospatial data to speed decision making.

Enhanced data management offerings from IBM and Oracle Corp. aim to enable faster decision making by integrating geospatial data across multiple systems and mobile devices.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., is working with GIS (geographic information systems) software vendor Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc., known as ESRI, to construct an integrated technology stack packaging ESRI technology with IBMs DB2 database and WebSphere Everyplace Access Server middleware, according to ESRI officials. The result of the collaboration will be Mobile Task Manager, or MTM, said John Spinney, industry manager of Location Based Services for ESRI, of Redlands, Calif.

MTM is the prototype of a mobile dispatching, tracking and response application that uses WebSphere Everyplace Access in a Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition environment for intelligent notification services and location-based services. According to Spinney, the software could be used to accept input from a variety of business applications to deploy appropriate employees and other resources to a specified location with exact geographic details in tow.

MTM uses ESRIs ArcWeb Services to provide to users handsets the locations of problems, nearest responders best suited to comply and appropriate action required. It does this in real time via Java 2 Platform, Macro Edition, Spinney said.

While acknowledging its work with ESRI, IBM would not divulge its plans for offering MTM in product form.

Meanwhile, Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., will feature spatial technology at the database and application server level in its impending Oracle 10g products, due by years end.

Oracle 10g beta tester Fred Limp, director of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, said Oracle has seized the value of using the database to make geospatial information available.

"Once [geospatial data is] managed with [common] data tools, it means all other information you can now look at in a spatially enabled way," said Limp. "I think its going to be enormous."