MetaCarta Enables GeoSearch for USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Crop Explorer

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Feb 12, 2008 -- MetaCarta®, Inc., the leading provider of geographic search and referencing solutions, today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) has selected MetaCarta GTS for Crop Explorer. Crop Explorer is a Web-based analytical tool used by analysts, farmers, trade officers, researchers and other government agencies that provides information on crops and conditions by region, using satellite images, live data and maps, with links to production estimates, area, yield, and crop assessments. MetaCarta's unique technology combines traditional keyword search with powerful geographic search so users can find context about a place and view the results on a map. Crop Explorer uses MetaCarta Geographic Text Search and ESRI ArcGIS to geospatially search and discover information that is visually displayed on a map. Users can now quickly and easily search for agricultural information regionally and discover all relevant information globally to create a common global agricultural picture, saving hundreds of hours searching for agricultural knowledge.

Crop Explorer will be showcased at ESRI Federal User Conference, Booth #511, at the Washington Convention Center, Washington DC on February 20-22, 2008. Bob Baldwin, Geospatial Program Manager at USDA-FAS will be speaking about Crop Explorer at the conference on Thursday, February 21 at 4:00 PM in Room 204A. The session is titled "Combine Text Search and Geography to Discover Trends in Global Asset Conditions."

Crop Explorer automates the complex processing and extraction of specific crop condition indicators from an immense amount of data. Crop Explorer's maps and charts are compiled using soil and climatic data and satellite imagery and the near-real-time estimates of indicators such as precipitation and soil moisture are displayed on maps and charts to forecast crop production. There are maps and charts for temperature, precipitation, crop modeling, soil moisture, snow cover, and vegetation indices. Indicators are further defined by crop type, crop region and growing season. Every 10 days, more than 2,000 maps and 33,000 charts are updated on the Crop Explorer Web site.

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, Web pages, statements, and bulletins. It then assigns a latitude and longitude to these references so that users can visualize patterns on a map. This helps analysts and international government organizations to "connect-the-dots" visually and provides immediate insight to crop-related information.

"There is a tremendous need for organizations such as the USDA to be able to find relevant information in a timely manner, and today's search solutions can only find location-based information in structured databases," said John Donnelly III, vice president worldwide sales and field operations. "Our technology sifts through mountains of information and enables an organization that has a significant amount of information where geography is relevant, to rapidly search that information and retrieve actionable intelligence."

About MetaCarta

MetaCarta, Inc., is the leading provider of geographic search and referencing solutions. MetaCarta products make data and unstructured content "location-aware" making that information geographically relevant. Using a map interface, 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 2001, MetaCarta is privately held, with US headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts and offices in Vienna, Virginia and Houston, Texas and resellers worldwide. For more information, please visit and MetaCarta Resource Center.

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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Lisa Allocca
Red Javelin Communications, Inc.
+1 978-470-2227

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