SOURCE: MetaCarta

September 21, 2006 10:08 ET

MetaCarta Demonstrates How Geographic Search of Public Information Can Detect Threats to Nation's Food Supply

eColi and Avian Flu Tracking Showcased at Booth 3 at the Protect-Our-Food Expo During the 2006 International Symposium on Agroterrorism

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 21, 2006 -- MetaCarta®, Inc., a leading provider of geographic intelligence solutions, announced today that it is demonstrating how geographic search of public unstructured information such as RSS news feeds can be used to identify and track threats such as eColi outbreaks or H5N1 virus (avian influenza) to the nation's food supply. The demonstrations will take place at the Protect-Our-Food Expo during the 2006 International Symposium on Agroterrorism (ISA) at the Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri, Monday, September 25, 2006 - Friday, September 29, 2006.

MetaCarta Geographic Text Search (GTS) automatically identifies geographic references using advanced natural language processing (NLP) in unstructured content found in RSS news feeds, environmental reports, statements, and bulletins. It then assigns a latitude and longitude to these references so that users can visualize patterns on a map. This helps companies and government organizations to "connect-the-dots" visually and provides immediate insight to information related to the prevention, detection and mitigation of threat to the food supply.

In the first demonstration, MetaCarta will illustrate how organizations can use geographic search of unstructured data to track food contamination outbreaks such as eColi. From news feeds, reports or other federated sources, MetaCarta can automatically and rapidly analyze documents for their geographic references and then precisely place icons on a map to show where the real hotspots are within a contaminated area. The officials in charge can click on the icon or browse through results to obtain the original content. By being able to pinpoint the concentration and visualize patterns of the outbreak within seconds versus minutes or hours, organizations can much more effectively deploy or direct preparedness and response from federal and state & local government operations centers as well as the private sector saving time, money and most importantly, lives.

The second demonstration will illustrate how organizations can use MetaCarta to gain a comprehensive Common Operating Picture (COP) for tracking avian influenza. Today, many organizations are tracking the avian flu; however, a common operating picture is lacking between agencies and global organizations. Using any map viewer, analysts can perform geographic text searches that correlate relationships with underlying structured GIS data. However, more than 80% of the relevant data that helps organizations "connect-the-dots" may only exist in an unstructured format in the form of reports and news. MetaCarta presents a complete location-aware tactical picture in seconds by enabling organizations to quickly find reports and news from the vast network currently accessible, and overlay it to the existing operational picture of bird flight paths, schools, hospitals, and other potential sites. With this complete picture, appropriate investigative resources from agriculture, FDA, homeland Security can be coordinated and deployed to the right locations at the right time.

The 2006 ISA will focus on specific topics related to the prevention, detection and mitigation of an intentional attack against the food supply. Delegates from the United States and over 20 foreign countries are expected to participate in this symposium. The event offers a unique opportunity to hear world-renowned subject matter experts in the area of agriculture and food security and learn more about what the United States, and the world, are doing to protect the food supply. The Protect-Our-Food Expo highlights vendors from a variety of disciplines to share information and promote relevant products and services.

About MetaCarta

MetaCarta, Inc., a provider of geographic intelligence solutions, provides users with map-driven geographic search, geographic referencing, and data visualization capabilities. MetaCarta products make data and unstructured content "location-aware" making that information geographically relevant. These innovative solutions make it possible for customers to discover, visualize, and act on important location-based information. Founded by a team of MIT researchers in 1999, MetaCarta is privately held, with US headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts and offices in Vienna, Virginia and Houston, Texas. For more information, please visit

MetaCarta is a trademark of MetaCarta, Incorporated. All other product or corporate references may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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