When it comes to Oregon companies competing for Angel funding, I’m always going to pull for the Web-based apps. It’s just kind of how I am. And those folks are definitely starting to turn heads, whether it’s at speed pitching events like the Big Idea Bash or through competitions like Angel Oregon.
That puts the two companies in the running for a first place prize of $150,000 or a second prize of $75,000.
For those of you who haven’t yet encountered these two cool Portland companies, GadgetTrak is “the company that turns your stolen electronic devices into a sentient Neighborhood Watch for nabbing thieves.” While WeoGeo “supplies surveyors, engineers, cartographers, and scientists with the ability to conveniently store, search, and exchange global mapping and geo-content.”
So who is the competition? The Biotech/CleanTech track features DesignMedix and Tau Science Corporation and the Consumer track features Glide Cycle (I could not stop watching their demo video… something strangely mesmerizing about it) and Wicked Quick.
There are also 20 other companies who get to fly through a one minute elevator pitch—but unfortunately I don’t have their names, yet.
Now, I’m hoping the tech folks can do us proud. We’re still trying to recover from 2008, when Angel Oregon selected an apparel company as the winner.
Well on its way to being Portland-based WeoGeo will be providing its cloud computing expertise to Vancouver-BC-based Safe Software as part of an effort to get more out of Safe’s spatial extract, transform, and load (ETL) capabilities.
And WeoGeo gets something out of it, as well:
WeoGeo will use [Safe] FME technology as the basis for its spatial ETL offerings in the marketplace, providing users with the ability to restructure their spatial data into the required format and data model. Specifically, organizations will be able to author spatial data flows that convert and integrate spatial data using FME Desktop and then push the resulting datasets to the cloud for distribution using FME Server.
Yeah, okay. But what the heck does that mean?
Well, I didn’t know either. Luckily, Directions Magazine explained it to me:
WeoGeo allows users to search, find and download geodata for use in various analytical and cartographic pursuits. The one thing missing: the ability to transform and deliver data in various formats. That’s just some of what Safe Software’s FME Server can do.
Directions goes on to opine:
I think these two companies are on to something. The cloud is becoming part of our daily lives – for e-mail, for Google Earth use, for calendars. It’s time to put its reliability, scalability and offsite hardware management to the test in geospatial. I feel pretty confident everyone involved in geospatial is already using applications that run in the cloud and the number they use will only increase in the coming months and years.
So with Safe, all of WeoGeo’s cool data becomes much more usable—and more accessible. And that, alone, makes the WeoGeo existing geospatial data more valuable.
Now, combine that with whatever other geospatial magic they have up their WeoGeo-sleeve and we’re sure to see some cool things coming out of one of our newest startup residents.
WeoGeo creates a one-stop marketplace for the mapping industry. It supplies surveyors, engineers, cartographers, and scientists with the ability to conveniently store, search, and exchange global mapping and geo-content. Geo-content providers can easily list their data for sale, and users can quickly find the data they need.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the mapping and location apps that call Portland, Oregon, home. (Thanks in no small part to the reigning King of mapping, Matt King. An “*” below identifies each of his mapping projects.)
The most well-known Portland-based mapping application, Platial, is the largest independent social mapping application. According to the Platial site:
Platial enables anyone to find, create, and use meaningful maps of Places that matter to them. Our dream is to connect people, neighborhoods, cities, and countries through a citizen-driven common context that goes beyond geopolitical boundaries. We are building Platial because we adore Places.
The admittedly “we did it for the fun of it project” that helps the would-be lush-on-a-budget find the nearest happy hour. And fast.
In Unthirsty‘s own words:
Unthirsty is the work of a group of like-minded souls who were always struggling (for obvious reasons) to remember where and when they last enjoyed that good happy hour. A plan of action was drawn up on beer sodden napkins over bargain pints and some mighty fine nachos. Thus, Unthirsty was launched and dedicated to the good of all mankind’s legally drinking denizens.
Yearning for yarn? Look no further than KnitMap, your way to finding all of your needling knitting needs or simply getting your Turkish Cast-on on.
KnitMap describes itself as:
[A] site that catalogues and maps the locations of retail shops that sell yarn, knitting supplies and knitting accessories. You can search to find these locations in the US, Canada, UK and most of Europe. Its anywhere that Google maps will work, and the list is growing everyday! Once you’ve found a shop, you can rate it’s attributes, leave comments, upload photos, and add it to your Favorites.
Think Unthirsty and KnitMap are cool, but interested in putting your own spin on the “plot and find [whatever] via Google Maps”? Then look no further than SocialMap, the mapping technology that powers both of those properties.
Why release SocialMap?
SocialMap was created to help solve the problems we encountered on the web within the communities we are a part of. Through its humble beginnings as a national Happy Hour finder, then a Knitting store locator, we noticed regions and groups that had a passionate user base, but were very underrepresented online. Existing websites and search engines were not only dated in their technology but lacked the ability for users to interact with the information presented.
Winner of the “Best Mashup” at this year’s Mashup Camp, Mapdango takes other API-accessible content and plots it on the map.
Mashup Awards described Mapdango as:
An extensive Google Maps mashup that lets you explore locations with helpful information including weather (WeatherBug), photos (Flickr), facts (Wikipedia), events (Eventful), news (Google News) and more.
New to the Portland mapping scene, WeoGeo takes a deep dive into online cartography, providing extremely detailed mapping options.
[WeoGeo] supplies surveyors, engineers, cartographers, and scientists with the ability to conveniently store, search, and exchange high-resolution CAD and GIS mapping products. Mappers easily list their data for sale. Researchers quickly find the data they need.
(Bonus) TwitterLocal* (formerly known as TwitterWhere)
It’s not a mapping application, per se, so I didn’t want to include it on the list. But TwitterLocal is another Matt King project that makes location information useful in the context of Twitter. Simply plug in a location and TwitterLocal will provide an RSS feed of the Twitter residents in that area, like Portland, for example. It’s a valuable tool for getting a feel for your neighborhood Twitter types.
That’s just a short list. But, admittedly, there’s so much mapping occurring in map-happy Portland, that I may have missed some obvious maps. If I did, please feel free to admonish me in the comments.