First for SA – free access to the platform during development phase
Marking a first for the SA mapping and LBS (location-based services) industry, South African digital mapping enabler, mapIT, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with the world’s leading independent enabler of LBS , deCarta. With 15 years experience, deCarta provides software and services that can add mapping, routing and local search functionality to companies’ services, all in their own branded offerings.
The agreement, effective immediately and spanning Sub-Saharan Africa, will see mapIT providing an integrated digital mapping offering running on deCarta’s acclaimed LBS platform which currently features over 30 million users across the world.
Says Etienne Louw, MD of mapIT: “Our agreement with deCarta complimented by our partnership with shareholder TomTom Africa, whose portfolio includes digital maps as well as the most accurate realtime and historical traffic products, effectively sees us entering a new era in the provision of our international value offering to the Southern African marketplace. And together with deCarta – the world’s foremost LBS provider – it greatly enhances our digital mapping services to customers. Indeed, mapIT is now a one-stop-shop for companies looking to develop their own customised LBS.”
“deCarta is pleased to power this integrated LBS solution for mapIT’s clients and system integration partners,” says Armin Fendrich, Vice President Sales – EMEA, of deCarta. “With this exclusive package, also including features such as aggregated traffic and hyperlocal media, businesses no longer have to worry about developing LBS oriented solutions and then integrating the mapping functionality afterwards; it’s all done up front.”
The deCarta agreement will make it possible for Sub-Saharan Africa companies to have free access, during the development phase, to a wide range of LBS application programming interfaces (APIs) and services hosted in mapIT’s datacentre from March onwards. mapIT will then provide hosting services for their production applications. In addition, mapIT will resell deCarta’s Drill Down Server (DDS) products.
DDS is a geospatial software platform for building location-enabled applications. Under this arrangement, mapIT customers can now self-host their location-based services behind their firewalls to build more sophisticated applications while maintaining complete control of their user experience.
The deCarta LBS Platform is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of industry segments participating in the Location-Based Services ecosystem and value chain. These industry users include:
• Mobile Network Operators (including Service Delivery Platform providers (SDPs), and Network Equipment Providers (NEPs).
• Mobile Device Manufacturers (OEMs) including mobile handset, tablet, and navigation manufacturers.
• Local media companies and advertising networks including traditional internet yellow pages companies as well as new internet service companies providing local reviews, reservations, and shopping services.
• Application developers and content publishers including developers of navigation applications, mapping and local services applications, and a variety of other applications which may be monetised as paid apps, ad-sponsored, freemium, etc.
• Ultimately, end users who want local search, navigation, and location-based services applications.
Access to the deCarta LBS platform is particularly beneficial in providing local SMMEs the technology to develop their own, customised LBS without having to spend unneccessary funds on a solution that doesn’t offer the functionality required. “It is very important to us that we support SMMEs which often have amazing, innovative ideas but do not necessarily have access to the development platform to realise it,” Louw adds.
deCarta’s customers and technology partners rank among the leaders in the mobile and enterprise markets and include Appello, Ford, FullPower, General Motors OnStar, Local Matters, Networks In Motion (now TCS), Opera Software, Samsung, Sensis, Singtel Optus, T-Mobile, Verizon, and ZTE.