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Monday, April 15, 2013

Google Maps for Government Solution for the Export-Import Bank of the United States


Ex-Im Bank selected Fig Leaf Software, a Google Enterprise Maps Reseller and Partner, to redesign and re-engineer a custom application to report the United States’ Total Export Sale Figures at states and congressional districts supported by the Bank’s loans or lending by fiscal years between 2007 and 2012.  
The legacy application required the an administrator to manually delete the previously generated HTML static files and regenerate new files. It didn’t feature exporters and their locations throughout the United States on a map or illustrate the saturation of exporters supported by the Bank at the state and congressional district levels.  In addition, the application did not function identically with all modern browsers. The legacy application had no mechanism to sort tabular data or to filter the data set as all data was static.

Fig Leaf Software rebuilt the application with modern cross-browser compliant technologies including HTML5 and the Google Maps API for Business version 3.0 to provide new and enhanced features.  

Fig Leaf Software’s user interface design team developed a prototype using standard technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and modern JavaScript libraries like jQuery, to produce a consistent look and feel across different browsers.  Our creative team analyzed the old application’s user interface and workflow closely to identify the issues that negatively impacted the user experience, and proposed a new interface design that incorporated social media sharing, easy printing and emailing, and efficient sorting and filtering mechanisms.   

Fig Leaf Software’s web development team, stationed onsite at the Bank, implemented the prototype with precision utilizing Google Fusion Tables API and Google Maps API for Business version 3.0 to add new and enhanced functionality such as the ability to feature Street View images of the exporters’ locations and prominently display the federal, state and congressional leadership information (photos, website addresses, etc.) responsible for the growth of small business activities that were being supported by the Bank while providing the users with dynamic filters that enabled them to interact with the map and tabular display of exporter information and total export sale figures by years, type of business, and location of the business.
The new map application was intended to be used by the high-level senior management of the bank to showcase the role of the Export-Import Bank in promoting Small Businesses all over the country, starting from the entire United States going all the way down to each and every congressional district, during discussions or meetings with federal and state congressional lawmakers.  The combination of Google Fusion Tables API and Google Maps API for Business helped the application dynamically filter and display geographic information with little or no wait time between user interactions, and the attractive design of the new application seamlessly relates to the overall agency’s graphical identity and standards.  
Read more: http://www.figleaf.com/case-studies/export-import-bank-america-google-maps



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