GIS giant Esri has announced the acquisition of location data extraction technology from ClearTerra, a creator of geospatial and activity-based intelligence tools.
ClearTerra’s text-mining technology, known as LocateXT, automates analysis of unstructured data, such as large document sets and outputs structured data, placing the results into geospatial features. This acquisition means that ArcGIS users will soon be able to discover and extract geographic data from unstructured textual data like emails, briefings and reports, and generate geocoded data that integrates into their maps.
Additionally, search technology known as FindFZ also acquired from ClearTerra will potentially enhance search capabilities for the ArcGIS platform, with powerful techniques now standard in internet search engines, such as tolerance for misspelled words, as well as wildcard and Boolean logic searches.
“We are excited to bring ClearTerra technology into the Esri stack,” said David Eastman, Esri Australia’s national security industry specialist.
“The unstructured data tools are powerful not only for those who have made use of this technology for a number of years, such as in the military, but also have useful applications for so many more Esri users.”
Esri claims this capability will make mapping this type of information — traditionally highly labour-intensive to extract and clean — easier across many industries, touting defence, intelligence, and public safety organisations as entities often working with large volumes of unstructured data.
ClearTerra has been a member of the Esri partner program, providing their software to ArcGIS users via desktop, server, and the cloud. Esri has advised that support and maintenance for the software will continue with no interruption of service.