VCs fund efforts to map the Web

Antarcti.ca Systems, founded by XML co-inventor Tim Bray, raises an additional $1.4 million in funding as it works to display search results as graphical maps.

Software developer Antarcti.ca Systems, founded by XML co-inventor Tim Bray, said Tuesday that it has raised $1.4 million in its latest round of funding, bringing its total financing to $3.9 million.

The Vancouver, B.C.-based company said its second round of funding included investments from the Business Development Bank of Canada, Bosa Ventures, Working Opportunity Fund and Primaxis Technology Ventures.

Antarcti.ca is developing technology that displays database search results as graphical maps, rather than textual lists. Antarcti.ca said the technology, dubbed Visual Net, offers a different way to make sense of data. For example, a university library with a collection spread across several buildings could use the software to provide a 2D map showing the physical location of a specific book.

"Visual user interfaces long ago won the battle for the desktop," Bray said in a statement. "It won't be long before visual interfaces are the norm on intranets, directories and the Internet itself."

Bray is the co-inventor of XML (Extensible Markup Language), a software method that lets anyone set up standard ways of describing digital documents, such as word processing files, Web pages or diagnostic data. He launched Antarcti.ca three years ago. In November 2000, the venture quietly opened its Web site to the public.

Antarcti.ca said it will use the additional financing to build its sales team as well as fund the development of new products and upgrades. Antarcti.ca said its clients include Intel, Belmont Abbey College and IBM.

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