The recent partnership announcement by GE and Google is very exciting. Finally there will be GE product support for cloud-based mapping (no mention was made of the various GE partners that have supplied this functionality for years to varying degrees).
There were lots of articles written about this partnership on the web and the major online news services covered it. Clearly there is a desire to see GE move in this direction.
The first focus has been on integrating GE's Smallworld enterprise GIS system with Google basemaps. The GE partner webinar today provided an introduction to some of the tools and applications that will benefit from this partnership. I have not found online demo videos for the new Smallworld tools, but I expect that the tools will feature prominently at GE demo booths at the upcoming GE 2013 Digital Energy International Software Summit this May.
While we all wait for public demos and evaluation installations, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the functionality that Smallworld partners have already developed that already plays in the space that GE is entering.
If GE were to demonstrate a Google Basemap addon that allows Smallworld desktop users to view Google maps as base layers under their asset layers it might look like this (plus a bit more as presented by iFactor Consulting)
Other vendors that provide similar functionality include FCSI and dpgeo.
Another way to view Smallworld data is to push data snapshots into the cloud and then use browser-based tools to overlay the Smallworld asset data there. If GE were to demo this functionality it might look like this (plus a bit more as presented by Ubisense)
Another vendor that provides Smallworld-in-the-cloud functionality is Cliffhanger Solutions.
According to press releases, GE will also use the Google partnership to push them into the mobile app space. Lucky for them, there are partners that have already moved into this space and gleaned valuable market experience. Partners include Astec Gislet and Ubisense myWorld.
I'm sure their are other partner offerings related to web maps and Smallworld. If you know of others, please comment to this post.