ESRI recently unveiled MapMPG, a demostration site using BusinessMap and ArcGIS Server with a Flex front end. It allows you to choose a point and visualize the range two different car makes could travel on one gallon of gas. It’s fun to compare your car to a gas-guzzler like a Hummer or Bentley, or to a dainty sipper like the smart fortwo or the Honda Insight.
The application should be beefed up with additional information on the technology behind it. I assume that if you’re reading this blog, you have an understanding of how the various components come together to give you the map and gallon ranges. The average person, however, doesn’t understand how much more involved this application is compared to something mapped using Google’s My Maps. ESRI needs to capitalize on the fact that they’ve got an attractive – and more importantly, relevant – example of the importance of GIS in daily life.