On April 11th 2013, Microsoft announced a project codenamed “GeoFlow” for Excel 2013 on their Excel Blog.
GeoFlow lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive ‘tours’ to share with others. […] GeoFlow adds to the existing self-service Business Intelligence capabilities in Excel 2013, such as Microsoft Data Explorer Preview and Power View, to help discover and visualize large amounts of data, from Twitter traffic to sales performance to population data in cities around the world.
The three key points of the add-in are (1) map data, (2) discover insights, and (3) share stories. It features timeline capabilities, annotation, capturing and sharing. Sounds familiar? It does to me at least; it reminds me of GeoTime, a visual analytics product developed by the company Oculus. GeoTime was first described in 2008 by Eccles, Kapler, Harper, and Wright in a research paper called “Stories in GeoTime” in the journal Information Visualization (7, 3-17).
What do you think, has Microsoft stolen Oculus idea here?