Web sites get on the map

Three companies during the past week have announced map services on their Web sites that will help users find their way around the Internet and their intranets, as well as around their home towns.

Three companies during the past week have announced map services on their Web sites that will help users find their way around the Internet and their intranets, as well as around their home towns.

NetCarta has put its WebMap Library online. The site includes more than 20,000 Web-site maps which give a visual representation of the structure and contents of a Web site. Users can double-click on a page without having to plough through the time-consuming links often involved in Web-browsing.

NetCarta maps can be viewed with CyberPilot, a viewing tool available from the Scotts Valley, California-based company for US$14.95. The WebMap technology has been licensed, and officials say several other viewing programs are available.

Argus Technologies has opened its MapGuide site, which offers detailed street maps of the US, Canada and other countries. Users must download a free plug-in to access the site. Once there, they can announce local activities by attatching hyperlinks to the maps with Argus' MapGuide software.

For example, a person holding a garage sale in Boston could attach a billboard link right on their home. Anyone looking at the map who zooms into within a few miles of the house would see the billboard.

The Environmental Systems Research Institute has announced MapObjects Internet Map Server, which enables software developers to create and serve their own interactive maps for both Internet and intranet applications. The product can be used with a variety of Internet tools, including Java and ActiveX.

Last week, Internet search sites Excite and Lycos also released Internet road map services.

ESRI can be reached on the Web at http://www.esri.com. NetCarta can be reached at http://www.netcarta.com.

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