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  • Laser-Scan
  • Radius Topology
  • Spatially enabling e-Government, Education and Commerce

    By Dr. Robert N. Starling (Posted August 28, 2002)

    Printer Friendly Version
    The e-volution of service delivery is happening. Changing the point of customer contact from a “counter” to a “self-service” terminal, often at home, requires a radical re-examination of business processes and resource allocation. As soon as data is to be made more accessible the first questions are “Is the data accurate? Is it reliable? Will it stand up to public scrutiny? Is it going to expose any direct or contingent liabilities?” Data consistency and value is very difficult to assess; systematic data cleansing is prohibitively expensive. Where agencies and businesses are geographically dispersed, suppliers are spatially separated from buyers/customers/consumers. Data visualisation on maps, charts and diagrams is an essential tool for enabling e-generation business processes, checking data validity, scheduling the release of quality data and providing a vehicle for delivery.

    Empowering IT
    Laser-Scan’s Radius Topology software enables the vision of incorporating spatial information into mission critical planning, management, operations support and service delivery systems for e-government, e-education and e-commerce. Developed in collaboration with Oracle, and within the framework of the Open GIS Consortium, Radius Topology empowers information technologists to incorporate spatial representation into information acquisition, analysis, reporting and delivery applications, without needing to be GIS experts. Spatial inquiry and visualisation system users from the Cabinet, to board rooms, classrooms and the home, no longer have to wonder “where” something is. Locations, networks and patterns are part of the presentation.
    Enabling access to information
    Executives not only search for new business or service delivery opportunities, but seek to leverage existing markets, products and services. For example, a government department, with an annual budget of a billion dollars, provides services in governance, education, community economic and social development, and is charged with facilitation of health services. The department manages its responsibilities using conventional technologies. Graphics, and especially geo-graphics and charts, are prepared for the Annual Report. If such forms of presentation are useful in annual reports to ministers, shareholders and stakeholders, why are geo-graphics not used as part of monthly reporting and indeed daily operational applications?

    Geo-graphic representations of activities and issues are equally, if not more, beneficial for viewing what is going on where and when, what is not on schedule and what is to be done on a daily basis. The Executive Action Item is to leverage a static form of presentation used at the end of the quarter or year into a dynamic business tool. In this example, the department is undertaking a proof-of-concept project to address a critical, politically sensitive issue. The proof-of-concept has little to do with technology. It has everything to do with creating awareness and evaluating the business and political benefits of providing a more intuitive and timely mechanism for accessing, and reporting decision-critical information.

    Creating the connections
    Radius Topology has been created to enable key officers, owners, directors, managers and stakeholders to ask questions of their organisations, suppliers and service providers, and to demand delivery of relevant and timely information in a comprehensible and pragmatic fashion. As the name implies Radius’ primary business function is to connect the centre of an organisation with the edges of its influence, traversing the landscape of the organisation to provide a complete picture of its past, present and planned operations.
    Technology for ubiquitous access
    Utility companies, military and political strategists, and tacticians all use spatial concepts and constructs for bringing together and visualising vast quantities of data to create a platform for inquiry, analysis and reporting. Planning for success is a question of positioning, relative to others in time and space, whether it is on the rugby field or positioning voices in a choir. Access to enabling technology, to take the representation of space and time relationships from the drawing board to the computer, has, to date, required specialist skills and incurred considerable costs. These factors inherently limit uptake, and demand vision and persistence to create value propositions for risk minimisation and application. The outcomes are obvious. Their justification in terms of the organisation’s profit and loss statement was not - until now.

    The Radius Topology suite of data processing, management and display tools provides a mechanism for increasing levels of service and product (including data/information products such as annual reports) recognition, utilisation and delivery. Data acquisition or delivery may be from or to screen, printed page/fax and/or mobile phone, thereby addressing the full range of visual, verbal and auditory communication channels. Radius Topology crosses the digital divide by providing ubiquitous access and value within an intuitive and practical presentation model.
    Intelligence for e-solutions
    Radius Topology makes it possible to bring spatial information into executive management, committee rooms, board rooms and Cabinet as a most powerful adjunct to decision making and operational management for e-government, e-education and e- business. Mapping the landscape of your organisation and understanding the context and space/time relationships of trends, opportunities and competitive threats is basic to any organisation. Placing such maps into the computer, through Radius Topology and Oracle, builds a corporate intelligence, communications, command and control information system (CIC3) infrastructure. The CIC3 approach integrates and visualises the location of information, assets, inventories, human resources relative to constituents, beneficiaries and transient items. This, in turn, creates an environment for effective management and stewardship on behalf of voters, tax payers, stock-holders and other stakeholders.

    If your organisation is involved with e-government, e-education or e-commerce, and has a geographically dispersed service delivery and user/customer/taxpayer base, then Radius Topology is worthy of your consideration.

    Dr. Robert N. Starling
    GeoComm, Sydney, Australia.
    Note: There is no affiliation with GeoComm International Corp. or The Geocommunity

    If you have news, announcements, or comments from the event, please be sure to tell us about it. Send details to the Editor (

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