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Basic solutions, good business

clip_image001[1]TRANSLATION NOTES: Please read some comments at the end of this post.

There is always something that tools of big companies don’t do very well, on this small ones take advantage to develop solutions that meet clients’ needs, generally themselves were clients.

If it is a good business or not, the model is interesting, often go to the annual conferences to promote their products or services; I remember seeing one of the ESRI conferences in San Diego, a stand of Sketchup! Yep, the software that Google purchased after some time. We’ve also seen several of these small companies soon end up being acquired by great empires or selling small solution that in the next release comes as a new extension.

Usually large companies leave them work closely, to not harm their business and knowing that they complement although bad practice is usually acquired once you run the risk of affecting your business or to avoid the risk of going with the competition.

There are thousands of businesses as well, which certainly move a lot of money under this model. In this case I want to show one of these examples that, since wireless is fatal in this old hotel and after the rainy season has started it seems to be a very long night.


This company is located in New Jersey, is dedicated to very specific business solutions for those who make maps and do not want to think a lot(*) with text handling.

As we know, the tagging is done “quickly and without much detail“(**) by most CAD / GIS programs and while not affects us much for cabinet’s work, when we remove a map which will go to print, the company’s cartographer suggests that many poorly arranged texts must be moved of their position. This will cause us a terrible headache because there are so extreme cases the only way to solve it is by converting the text in graphics.

And just in that moment MapText gets into scene, with solutions for the placing of text without human intervention. They are interesting basic functions such as:

  • Automated leadering
  • Block auto numbering
  • Curved Text on a shape
  • Curved Text on linestrings
  • Data Tables
  • Rotulado de curvas de nivel

Now there are also working web-oriented tools, but its flagship product called Label E-Z works with leading software providers:

  • ArcGIS 8x and 9x
  • ArcInfo
  • ArcView
  • AutoCAD Map
  • Geomedia
  • Mapinfo
  • Microstation
  • MGE

A very simple product geared to a basic need of companies which produce maps for printing; it seems simple but to conceptualize it is not so.

Other examples:

Corporate Montage, made products for Microstation users based on their great weakness: printing. Bentley finally bought their solution and now it is offered as CADScript and MAPScript certainly very robust to create output layouts of very high quality and indispensable function in the mapping of the past (printed as stated by Cadastre 2014)

Now they entertain with CADform, a solution for standardizing standards between AutoCAD and Microstation in conjunction with Altiva Software.

Axiomint, these are dedicated to many solutions that Microstation users require and although their applications could be integrated by Bentley, they have been respected at the extent of being considered almost a business partner since also come to the training and they produce a newsletter called Microstation Today. Perhaps I will speak about them some day because their products are quite a lot and are very appreciated by the Bentley’s users, now that they are taking advantage of the xml format.

HNG Systems

They make almost anything, you just have to see their area of expertise to determine what I call egeomated; this is the case of a company that is walking in this trend and according to what their manager told me, they were nearly to be sold to a very great company but they managed to overcome the temptation … for now

They make small solutions for big business; either in Outsourcing or under a conventional sub contract, in the case of geospatial solutions includes ESRI, Bentley and Manifold. By now they have their own products, such as the Dossier Manager I told about last year and now work in MapBox, a sublime (***) smoke that is not intended of being a new GIS program but a manager of geographic data for municipal use working with Manifold 8x.


(*) romperse el coco: This is a typical jargon used when you want to say you must think a lot to solve one problem.

(**) a lo bestia: This jargon is used when you make some thing in any way, without thinking a lot and probably with not enough time to finish it.

(***) para cortarse las venas: Its literal translation is: ‘by cutting the veins’ ; this jargon is used when something is so inspiring, transcendental or sublime that you feel nothing can be compared with it.

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