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Navagis on map with Google Earth

Above is a Google Earth-generated map created by Navagis of downtown Jackson with the State Capitol in the foreground and the Mississippi Coliseum in the distance.

Above is a Google Earth-generated map created by Navagis of downtown Jackson with the State Capitol in the foreground and the Mississippi Coliseum in the distance.

New, small company in Mississippi has large horizons, has his large milestones

 

There is no other company in the world quite like Navagis, LLC. Located in the Mississippi e-Business Innovation Center at the JSU E-Center in Jackson, Navagis has achieved some significant milestones in its first year of operations. It is definitely on the map.

The small business works closely with Google Earth Enterprise, which allows organizations to visualize, explore and understand information on a fully-interactive three-dimensional or two-dimensional browser-based maps.

Navagis has the distinction of being the only company in the world solely devoted to Google Earth Enterprise deployment, installation, training and custom software development services.

“It has definitely exceeded my expectations,” said David Moore, president and founder of Navagis. “Business has really started to explode the last few months. I guess we are in the right place at the right time.”

It was obvious early on that Moore was destined for a career in technology. He grew up in Jackson, and had a fascination with computers. When still a teenager, he helped design the operating system used by one of the largest Mississippi-based accounting firms.

Moore went on to Mississippi State University, and entered the computer science program with an emphasis in software engineering. There, he met Ben Hubbard, a Louisville native who was also majoring in computer science. Upon graduation, the two split — Moore went to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg while Hubbard landed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Shortly after arriving at the ERDC, Moore began working with Google Earth Enterprise, culminating in the creation of the massive Corpsglobe, which was developed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It consists of more than 800 terabytes and is used for homeland security and emergency response. In 2007, he won the Commander’s Award from the U.S. Army for Corpsglobe. Before long, Moore became known as an expert in Google Earth Enterprise technology, and people began calling to get his knowledge and expertise.

Seeing a niche, Moore left the ERDC after approximately four years to form Navagis. With contacts in place, Moore started landing prospects immediately. Needing help, he called Hubbard, who left a well-paying, secure job because he felt Moore had started a company with tremendous potential.

Turns out, he was right. The company’s first really big break came while on a trip to Reston, Va. A Google Earth Enterprise staffer said there was a group in town that was needing Navagis’ services, and introduced Moore to Discover Mississippi, a Google Earth Enterprise platform operating under auspices of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security. Ironically, not only is Discover Mississippi also headquartered in Jackson, it is housed on the floor just above Navagis in the JSU E-Center.

With Discover Mississippi on its resume, Navagis began working with Virtual Texas, conducting similar work in the Lone Star State as it had for Discover Mississippi. After five months of efforts, that project was wrapping up at press time.

Navagis is also working with Alabama and Louisiana, and has aspirations for a project called Virtual USA. The company is in negotiations for numerous other projects, and Navagis recently opened another office at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.

The company’s work is indeed impressive. For instance, a Navagis demonstration shows a group of military vehicles traveling through a war zone. Not only can the vehicles be tracked in real time, giving their speed and direction, but also live streaming video is provided to show what the personnel in these vehicles is actually seeing. Another demo shows a virtual flyover of a shooting range, giving pilots a heads-up on where they can safely fly. And, all of this is provided using a standard web browser.

“We have been delighted to have Navagis as a Google Earth Enterprise partner,” said Dylan Lorimer, product manager, Google Earth Enterprise. “The Google Earth Enterprise community has really benefited from Navagis’ expertise, and we look forward to continuing to work together.”

“We want to become the premiere Google Earth Enterprise provider in the United States,” Moore said.

That is a high goal for a company that only consists of Moore, Hubbard and business relations director Elizabeth Salathe. However, Navagis is quick to point out that it has gotten a lot of assistance. Among the company’s supporters and/or mentors is consultant Jim Finley, attorney Martin Willoughby and Bomgar Corporation founder Joel Bomgar.

The Navagis team is also adamant that their success would not have been possible without the Innovation Center. The center offers affordable rent and a myriad of services designed for company’s such as Navagis.

“When we talk about the profile of the type of company who will benefit best from the services and mentoring offered at the Innovation Center, Navagis is certainly one which comes to mind,” said Deanna Adams, director of the center. “They have a unique, cutting-edge product, they have enthusiasm for the company they are growing, and not least of all they desire and welcome the advice and mentoring, which we offer here at the Mississippi e-Business Innovation Center. They will one day be a home grown company that Mississippi can point to with pride.”

By WALLY NORTHWAY I STAFF WRITER

wally.northway@msbusiness.com

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