Archive for the ‘Layerscape’ Category

Self-Service BI Mapping with Microsoft Research’s Layerscape–Part 1

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Self-Service BI Mapping with Microsoft Research’s Layerscape–Part 1 by Chris Webb.

From the post:

Sometimes you find a tool that is so cool, you can’t believe no-one else has picked up on it before. This is one of those times: a few month or so ago I came across a new tool called Layerscape ( from Microsoft Research which allows you to overlay data from Excel onto maps in Microsoft WorldWide Telescope ( “What is WorldWide Telescope?” I hear you ask – well, it’s basically Microsoft Research’s answer to Google Earth, although it’s not limited to the Earth in that it also contains images of the universe from a wide range of ground and space-based telescopes. It’s a pretty cool toy in its own right, but Layerscape – which seems to be aimed at academics, despite the obvious business uses – turns it into a pretty amazing BI visualisation tool.

Layerscape is very easy to use: it’s an Excel addin, and once you have it and WWT installed all you need to do is select a range of data in Excel to be able to visualise it in WWT. For some cool examples of what it can do, take a look at the videos posted on the Layerscape website like this one (Silverlight required):

Looks like I am going to be putting the latest version of Windows and Office on my Linux box.

Will applications like Layerscape raise the bar for BI products generally? Products for the intelligence community?

Update: Self-Service BI Mapping with Microsoft Research’s Layerscape–Part 2

Chris plots the weather data from the earlier post onto a map. I think it looks pretty good. Am concerned if the 150000 row limit Chris mentions are in Layerscape or in his hardware?

I may have to beef up the RAM in my Ubuntu box for the Windows/Office combination.