Case Studies – PostGIS
Rento is a free web service that makes it easy to find a place to rent in Greece. Powered by PostgreSQL and PostGIS, it provides ad listings with photographs displayed on a map. Searching is accomplished through map navigation and natural language processing, with the search engine being capable of answering complex (spatial) questions such as "flat near the University of Athens" or "loft up to 800 euros near a metro station" (in greek).
The City of Vancouver collects water readings from thousands of residences and businesses, but has never optimized the pedestrian routes the readers take. Refractions developed algorithms to create the most efficient routes of the correct length for readers.
Biodiversity BC and its government and non-government partners were looking for regional-level environmental statistics. Refractions proposed a new approach to generating GIS summaries, using the power of a relational database and web tools to provide GIS analysis to users who previously had no access to it.
Refractions provides full-service support for the British Columbia Digital Roads Atlas – systems design, maintenance, data conflation, client service, and rapid response.
Western Forest Products wanted to move to an open source infrastructure to roll out internal data gathering applications. Refractions helped set up the initial infrastructure and built a template application for landslide reporting.
Refractions helped SANZ tune their database design and database queries to provide maximum performance and flexibility for their EarthWhere application suite.
AT&T Wireless needed to roll out web map services to a public audience, but their proprietary software was too slow and expensive to scale up. Refractions built a pilot project on open source software and free data that demonstrated a 10-fold performance increase and no licensing overhead.
The British Columbia Ministry of Health was charged with creating an access program to cover costs of medically necessary travel. But how much would it cost? Who was traveling for treatment? Where were they traveling to and from? Refractions analyzed 50 million records from the medical insurance database and delivered a report on travel patterns and interactive map application for exploring the data.
Refractions helped LAUSD add a mapping component to their OpenACS content management system. LAUSD had built an infrastructure tracking solution in OpenACS, but needed a mapping component, Refractions delivered one using open source components that integrated with the LAUSD technology.
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