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Avencia Adds Support for OpenStreetMap to its DecisionTree Software

Philadelphia, PA – January 21, 2010 – Avencia Incorporated, an award-winning Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software design and development firm, today announced that it has extended ESRI’s ArcGIS Flex API to introduce support for OpenStreetMap (OSM) in its DecisionTree® geographic planning and prioritization software.
Inspired by collaborative information commons such as Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap is an editable map of the whole world, which is being built largely from scratch using GPS traces and other personal surveys. Avencia has been an enthusiastic supporter of OpenStreetMap, with everyone from developers to the president contributing data to the project. Avencia decided to add support for the OSM map tiles based on several key features:

  • Appealing cartography with a relatively neutral color scheme that serves as a clear but unobtrusive backdrop for priority maps generated by DecisionTree
  • Global coverage
  • Continuous updates provided by the OSM community
  • Free distribution under a Creative Commons license
  • Use of the Web Mercator projection system employed by commercial API providers like Google Maps and Bing Maps, facilitating the integration of external geodata

“We are excited to be adding support for OSM to the DecisionTree product. I am a big fan of the OpenStreetMap project. The effort has proven enormously successful at developing and maintaining a global map that can be shared and used for a wide range of purposes,” said Avencia CEO Robert Cheetham. “We’re thrilled that we have been able to extend the ArcGIS Flex API to add support for OpenStreetMap.”

The ArcGIS Flex API supports a range of different data sources, but adding support for OSM extends the capabilities of Avencia’s DecisionTree tool by providing additional options for configuring the application to meet clients’ needs. To enable use of OSM map tiles in the DecisionTree user interface, Avencia wrote code to extend the ESRI ArcGIS Flex API used in the application’s user interface. This new extension also enables support for any service that supports a standard tiling scheme—such as CloudMade —in addition to the already supported map services from ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Online , ArcIMS, and any service supporting the Web Map Service (WMS) standard.

DecisionTree enables business owners, citizens or government agencies to weight multiple geographic factors and generate heat maps that highlight optimal locations for their activities. The first application that Avencia decided to release with the OSM tile set is its Economic Development demonstration application. The sample application enables users to test economic development scenarios such as siting a new business based on proximity to relevant geographic decision factors such as tax incentives, transportation amenities, and demographic characteristics.

 To try the sample, visit: http://sample.avencia.com/DT_EconDev/
DecisionTree is currently used by the City of Asheville’s mapAsheville Priority Places application, which won the prestigious ‘Excellence in Economic Development’ award in the ‘New Media Initiative’ category from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in 2008. The technology is also applicable to a variety of different domains and activities, such as real estate, elections and political campaigns, resource allocation, conservation planning, risk analysis, and environment and sustainable economic development.

About Avencia
 Avencia is an award-winning, Philadelphia-based geographic analysis and software development firm specializing in the creation of innovative location-based software tools to enhance decision-making processes. Avencia believes these location-based technologies can help promote the emergence of more dynamic, vibrant communities. For more information, visit www.avencia.com

About OpenStreetMap

 OpenStreetMap is a voluntary non-for-profit organization that anyone, anywhere can join. The goal of OSM is to provide free maps that can be used by anyone. All of their maps are freely available on the internet at www.openstreetmap.org.

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