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SpatialNews Press Release

Syncline Launches MapCiti Academic Program to Promote the Benefits of Web-based GIS Across Multiple Fields of Study

    BOSTON, Dec. 10, 2001-- Students at University of Illinois Explore Interactive Web Mapping As a Powerful Resource for Planning and Development

    Syncline, Inc., today announced the launch of its MapCiti(TM) Academic Program, an initiative designed to raise awareness about the impact that Web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can have in enhancing development, planning and research efforts. As part of the MapCiti Academic Program, students learn to use spatial information to solve problems, to support theories, and to visually highlight trends or relationships in a geographic context.

    The MapCiti Academic Program allows students to explore innovative approaches to research, planning and policy-making in their specific areas of study through the combination of Web technology and GIS. Students gain hands-on experience with GIS by using MapCiti, Syncline's fully automated online mapping service, to easily create, publish and share their maps over the Internet.

    By using MapCiti to demonstrate the numerous applications of Web-based mapping, the MapCiti Academic Program provides academic institutions and students alike with several advantages, including:

    --Remote access and management - As a hosted service, MapCiti is available to students anywhere they have access to an Internet browser -- at home, in dorm, at the library or in the classroom.

    --Affordable deployment - MapCiti requires no additional hardware, software or programming, providing academic institutions with an economical instructional resource.

    --Interactivity - MapCiti's digital maps enable students to dynamically query and analyze data for greater insight into the issues they are researching and for instant access to relevant data.

    "Syncline developed the MapCiti Academic Program to draw attention to the value that GIS brings to a variety of disciplines," said Matthew Gentile, CEO and president of Syncline, Inc. "MapCiti introduces students to Web-based mapping as a new strategy for analyzing information visually to reveal patterns, trends or relationships that may not have been apparent through traditional means."

    MapCiti and the University of Illinois at Chicago

    The College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois' Chicago campus offers graduate programs in planning and policy analysis. To encourage students to explore non-traditional approaches to the planning problems and issues they study, the College joined the MapCiti Academic Program and began using Web-based GIS in the classroom.

    Through the MapCiti Academic Program, students in the Urban Planning and Policy program use MapCiti to build interactive maps that support their research. For example, one assignment required students to create maps using demographic data that supported their theories about the Chicago region's need for more affordable housing and economic development transportation infrastructure. With MapCiti, the students created maps that clearly reflected nationwide and local trends supporting their arguments.

    "Before we were introduced to the MapCiti Academic Program, we struggled with the logistics associated with setting up and maintaining a GIS and data infrastructure for one or two lectures in the context of an introductory planning class," said Michael J. Shiffer, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois' Chicago campus. "As an Internet-based service, MapCiti has proven to be both an effective and an economical tool for a rapid exposure of our students to the value of GIS in the planning profession."

    About Syncline, Inc.

    Syncline's software and services enable customers to visualize and analyze spatial data using maps they create, share, and manage via the Internet. The company's offerings are MapCiti, a hosted, automated Web-based mapping service designed specifically for government and utilities; MapAnalyst, a data management platform that unifies disparate data streams into "intelligent maps"; and an Enterprise Development group that designs, develops, and deploys customer spatial applications. Syncline's partners are ESRI, GDT, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. Clients include Verizon, Telephia, USGS, the City of San Antonio, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Syncline, which was founded in 1997, is located in Boston, Mass. For more information, visit

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    Dec 10, 2001 Jun 26, 2002

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