Build it and they will come. Such was the faith in location intelligence technology from Church Mutual Insurance Co.'s leaders back in 1999 when the Merrill, Wis.-based provider of insurance for religious institutions began looking for a way to improve its claims operations.Seven years later, the insurance company is using mapping technology from Troy, N.Y.-based MapInfo Corp., in some surprising ways.

The desire to have a spatial view of the potential impact of claims fueled Church Mutual's initial interest in MapInfo. The insurer wanted to convert its policyholder addresses to points on a map and have access to documents with a global positioning system (GPS) location.

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