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Delving into an increasingly complex world on the web

HAVE you ever looked at a satellite picture of Australia and wished you could zoom in on your house? Well, with a unique new Perth technology on the streets, you can.

The aptly named i-delve lets you delve into a map on your web browser and get increasingly complex levels of information the further in you go.

Already making a splash in the local real estate industry, i-delve is only the beginning, according to its developers.

Steve Lieblich, who joined i-delve’s creators Amristar nine months ago to help commercialise it, said the Geographic Information Systems market was growing at about 20 per cent a year and was worth $32 billion worldwide.

It’s a very broad market, he said, with everybody, from governments keeping an eye on public transport assets and miners mapping deposits, to farmers trying to plan floodways from land elevations.

It works by drawing an image on your web browser that you can zoom in or move around on by using your mouse, updating itself live by constantly streaming data from the dataset –a detailed CAD of the Pilbara, for example – over the web.

“Most of the technology is the ‘reload the image and go and make a cup of tea’ type,” Mr Lieblich said, referring to the speed static images change according to movements of your mouse (employed by the popular street directory sites).

i-delve’s other advantage is its ability to include vector data (the use of mathematically defined lines) over a pixel image by identifying landmarks with shapes, which can then be linked to anything from the rental price of a property to capacity of a gas pipe.

“There’s nothing else commercially available that does this,” Mr Lieblich said.

“The vector layer has the real value, because you can bury lots of metadata behind it.”

i-delve co-developer Dr Paul Williams said the company already has had bites in international waters.

“Investors in Singapore have talked to us about moving all our operations over there,” he said.

But Amristar is happy with the Perth lifestyle, market potential and what Mr Lieblich describes as its ‘strategic alliances’ – joining other organisations to promote i-delve’s benefits rather than simply selling it.

And the first, with local real estate portal aussiehome.com, already is offering a better service, thanks to the i-delve-driven map (offered on their website alongside their old mapping system).

“It’s working really well,” aussiehome.com co-director Nick Streuli told Business News.

“It’s faster than the system we used before. It’s more customised to what we want.

“The old system was getting twice as many visitors as the i-delve one, now i-delve is getting four times more use than the old one.”

And it’s about something more than money.

“In terms of revenue, there’s no change,” Mr Streuli said. “But it gives the customer a better experience.

“The feedback we’ve been getting has been good.”

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