MSN Virtual Earth for LTI

Labrador is to showcase its new eTriever low cost data access front end at geoLOGIC’s Calgary data center next month. The package leverages Microsoft’s new Virtual Earth AJAX-based map technology.

Following its return to the oil and gas market (OITJ Vol. 10 N° 11), Calgary-based Labrador Technologies Inc. (LTI) has now announced its flagship product, Labrador eTriever, a front end to existing commercial data sets. eTriever is the first commercial software in the upstream to embed Microsoft Network’s Virtual Earth (MSNVE) mapping technology.


LTI president Ron Sterne told Oil IT Journal, ‘Today’s data access packages are software ‘battleships.’ They try to do everything. The E&P activity in Calgary today is frenetically energized and what today’s users need is a lightweight application that lets them go, grab the data they need and get on with their work.’


One early adopter is GeoLogic, also of Calgary, which will be demonstrating the new data access technology at its Data Center next month. Sterne said, ‘We have pitched eTriever’s introductory pricing and its contract terms such that potential clients can sign up for eTriever on the spot and the negotiate with the Data Center for their specific data needs.

Visual aid

Currently, LTI uses MSVE as a ‘powerful visual aid’ rather than a full-blown Geographical Information System (GIS). eTriever is primarily marketed as a ‘quick and nimble query and reporting solution.’ MSVE’s satellite and roadmap coverage adds geographic context to a user’s area interest.


Microsoft Virtual Earth, like Google Earth, is a browser-based interface to a large volume of satellite and map data. A Virtual Earth Map Control/API lets developers like LTI tailor the interface to a specific business. eTriever also leverages ‘Web 2’ technologies—notably Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) which allows for a rich browser experience with click-and-drag map functionality.


LTI CTO Tim Breitkreutz explained, ‘Early versions of MSVE were interesting but Canadian coverage was poor. With version 2.0, released last month, MSVE now rivals Google Earth for its imagery. Most important to us though is the fact that Microsoft, unlike Google, allows ad-free commercial use.’ MSVE offers geocoding, IP-based and wireless access point location techniques for mobile workers.


LTI was an early adopter of the PPDM data model in its PetroLab product, sold to IHS Energy. LTI has been hampered by a five year non compete agreement which Sterne described as ‘death by strangulation.’ LTI plans to price eTriever at $1,000 per seat to encourage rapid take-up. More from

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