Pitney Bowes tracks 1978 Mini as it drives around the world

Duncan Mortimer and his 1978 Mini Clubman 1275 GT stopped in Toronto last week to visit the lead sponsor of his drive around the world to raise funds for various charities.

Pitney Bowes Business Insight, a division of Pitney Bowes Software Inc., donated $10,000 to the UK-based world charity drive, which aims to raise money for cancer research, the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust and the Help for Heroes Fund.

The 31-year old Mini is equipped with Pitney Bowes’ mapping and geographical analysis software MapInfo Professional, which is linked to a GPS system that Mortimer is using to replace paper maps.

Pitney Bowes is tracking Mortimer’s trip through his GPS-enabled cell phone and providing updates on the tour via a Website that launches today. Visitors to the site will be able to subscribe for notifications on Mortimer’s location and status.

The most important part of the technology is the global addressing, according to Justin Barota, architect in Advanced Concepts and Technology at Pitney Bowes, who was on-site at the Toronto event. If you want to meet Duncan in downtown San Francisco on June 8 and he happens to be there, the system will notify you that he is in the vicinity and provide a route to the event, he said.

Federating information streams and global addressing in terms of the individual are the future of location intelligence software, according to Barota. As an individual, you won’t have to maintain your postal address, because it becomes virtual you, attached to your identity, he said.

Mortimer’s 10-month tour will include an estimated 36,000 miles of driving. Stops are scheduled for Canada, the U.S., Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Russia and Poland. This is Mortimer’s third world tour for cancer fundraising, with previous trips taking place in 1996 and 1999.

Pitney Bowes is also using the sponsorship to promote today’s launch of MapInfo Professional Version 10. Designed for business analysts, planners and GIS professionals, the Windows-based application performs geographic analysis and reports and creates base maps for location intelligence systems.