A geoanalysis finn used by many banks to plan lending and branching has captured the largest share of the desktop mapping market, according to a recent study.

MapInfo Corp., Troy, N.Y., has a 19.3% share of the projected $141 million worldwide 1994 desktop mapping market, according to a report by Datatech.

Daratech is an independent market research firm in Cambridge, Mass., that analyzes the geographic information systems industry and publishes an annual report on its findings.

MapInfo's closest competitor is Strategic Mapping Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., which has 17% of the market.

The report also looks at the $500 million international geographic market, which includes desktop, workstation, and mainframe software.

In this category, MapInfo ranks third, but is the fastest-growing company.

"The broad appeal of MapInfo's highly usable and capable software, together with the company's development of effective distribution channels in key geographic markets worldwide, has propelled MapInfo into third place in GIS software overall," according to the Daratech report.

Banks have used mapping for years to plan marketing and branch placement, but a new demand for mapping tools has been fueled as regulators have emphasized Community Reinvestment Act compliance.

Banks can use demographic mapping to determine the location, race, and income of potential borrowers.

Randy Drawas, vice president of marketing for MapInfo, said the product can tell bankers more than they now know about borrowers and what kinds of loans they make.

Of 150,000 Maplnfo customers, 12,000 are banks. Big bank clients include Chase Manhattan Bank and Standard Federal Bank.

This month, the Housing and Urban Development Department also became a customer. HUD will use the software to track where grants are going and to monitor the success of funded projects.

"The new system will enable community planners to spend less time pushing paper and more time developing effective housing and community development strategies," said HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

Founded in 1986, MapInfo went public in February. MapInfo's revenues jumped 75% last year to $21 million. Brian D. Owen, chief executive of the company, credits the company's success with its simple, but high-tech geographic analysis.

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