Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I've joined the Advisory Board of FortiusOne

Today it was announced that I've joined the new Advisory Board of FortiusOne, together with Jeff Harris, who has a very distinguished background in the Intelligence world, and Michael Frankel and Wolf Ruzicka, who bring great expertise in Business Intelligence and enterprise software. We actually had the first Advisory Board meeting just recently and it's a great group.

I've followed the development of FortiusOne with interest for a few years now, and I did a bit of consulting for them back in the fairly early days of the company. Their CEO Sean Gorman and CTO Andrew Turner are two of the leading thinkers in the geospatial industry. I am a big proponent of their philosophy of de-mystifying geospatial analysis and making it accessible to a much broader audience of non-specialists. You can check out their free GeoCommons site which lets you easily search for, upload and download geospatial data, and produce great looking maps and spatial analysis like this:

(Click on the map to go to the interactive version)

One cool feature of GeoCommons is the ability to upload spreadsheets containing addresses or place names, which will be automatically geocoded using the free and open source GeoCommons geocoder. There are lots of nice examples of using GeoCommons on the FortiusOne blog, for example these posts on health care, the Afghan Elections, and home foreclosures. FortiusOne sells enterprise versions of their application (as a service or an appliance), which have additional analytic capabilities beyond those on the free public site, but with the same focus on simplicity and ease of use. I look forward to working with the team at FortiusOne, and watch for more cool new things coming soon!

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