GIS MONITOR, January 10, 2002


- MapInfo Struggling in Q4 2001 and Q1 2002 

- War Driving: Tracking Wireless Access Points 

- New Technologies/Data Find a Home at the Consumer Electronics Show


ESRI acquired the assets to the Marketing Systems Group of CACI, Inc. This acquisition was finalized Monday and a press release is expected in the next day or two. TenLinks will provide analysis once further details are available. Visit http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis

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Syncline http://www.syncline.com 



This week, while co-founder Mike Marvin continues to pack his bags for a February departure, CEO Mark Cattini warned about losses in the quarter just ended and the one ahead. Based on a preliminary review the company expects to report revenues of about $22 million and a loss of 10 to 13 cents per share for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2001. The next quarter is not looking too good either as MapInfo�s customers tighten their belts. �Postponement of investments,� a theme that ran through the end of last year, appears to be continuing.

Further layoffs are possible, though cost-cutting measures will take first priority. The company had its first-ever layoffs last year. I expect more details in the January 22 conference call.

There are a few bright lights shining for the company. The location-based services area is growing with some big proposals still outstanding. Also, the company received a contract from New York City to move its crime analysis mapping application to the MapExtreme platform. Finally, MapInfo secured a mortgage to complete a new office facility.

MapInfo expecting loss for 1st quarter (The Business Review [Albany]) http://albany.bcentral.com/albany/stories/2001/12/31/daily25.html

Jan 04 - MapInfo Announces Preliminary Results: Q1 Loss http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker  =maps&script=410&layout=6&item_id=242509

Jan 03 - NYC Police Department Chooses MapInfo for Crime Analysis http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/010302MapInfo.htm

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If geocaching doesn�t tie high technology and mapping together enough for your taste, consider War Driving, the mapping of 802.11b Wireless Access Point.

War driving takes its name from its predecessor �war dialing,� which used early modems to call phone number after phone number to find a responsive computer. Remember the film �War Games�? Matthew Broderick was doing just that. For the modern version, take a GPS, a laptop with a wireless card and signal sniffer software and drive around. Wherever the laptop gets a signal you place a dot on the electronic map.

The low cost and ease of installation means that many businesses and homes now fill the air with wireless access to the Internet. And from what I read, most access points are not secure. That may well mean free access to the Internet as well as access to company secrets for wireless surfers in range. This should be a concern to private citizens and corporate security managers.

War Driving Website 



The war over 802.11x security (ZDNet) http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/ 0,5859,2783681,00.htm 


Driveby Hacking on the Go (EarthWeb) http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/secu/article/ 





The Consumer Electronics Show, CES, was held in Las Vegas this week. Among the hot news stories were a new iMac, new digital cameras, and digital music players and of course new products aimed at mapping and navigation.

GDT announced an upgrade to its flagship data, Dynamap. GDT has realigned 1.27 million miles of roads throughout the United States to an accuracy level of 5 to 12 meters. Another press release notes that RESPONSE Services Center, LLC will incorporate GDT's street and address database into a suite of telematics, vehicle tracking and roadside assistance services. Why is GDT at CES? Why are these announcements, which at least to me, are not of interest to the consumer, being made at this show? My guess is that CES, despite its name, is as much about companies marketing to each other as marketing to consumers.

More appropriately aimed at the consumer is a new Timex sports watch, complete with GPS from Garmin. Don�t get too excited: the GPS, about the size of a small cell phone, must be attached to an arm or leg. It communicates wirelessly with the watch to track time, distance and speed. As a runner, I�ll be waiting for a product like this at just the size of a watch. I already carry a cell phone-size item: a Walkman.

For communication in the great outdoors Garmin introduced FRS (Family Radio Service, that is, for regular people, no license required) radios with GPS built in. Again, don�t get too excited. Although these devices can communicate the location (distance and bearing) of one radio to another, they cannot as I understand it, communicate that information to authorities. The FCC has given Garmin a waiver for what is referred to as �peer-to-peer position reporting� on FRS spectrum.

The radios do have standard GPS features, including Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) support. The lower end RINO 110 has a range of two miles on FRS channels. The fancier model, RINO 120, can go five miles on GMRS channels, but you need a license. The 120 also includes maps and 8 MB of built-in memory for downloading maps from Garmin's CD-ROMs. Both models are expected to be available this spring at about $211 and $311 respectively.

Thales, who now owns Magellan, also announced new products. The new Magellan Meridian Platinum handheld GPS receiver is making its debut. It sounds like a GPS with ALL the bells and whistles: 3 meter accuracy (with WAAS I assume), a moving on-screen map, a 16 MB, searchable U.S. street mapping database, a three-axis electronic compass and support for Secure Digital (SD) format for memory expansion. I particularly like the idea of the compass � it means that the GPS �knows� which way you are facing, even if you are not moving, something �budget� GPSs can�t determine. I�m still not a fan of those little maps on the GPS.

Magellan GPS Companion for the Palm m500 series includes Rand McNally StreetFinder Deluxe Travel Navigation Software and Magellan NAV Companion software. Basically, this package makes a Palm a working navigation system for those on foot, bike or car.

For the car, there is Magellan 750M and 750NAV Series Vehicle Navigation solutions. A portable NeverLost system, the product can be moved from one car to another or carried on a plane to the next destination. As I see it, if telematics takes off and ends up in every car, the market for this type of product is rather limited. Moreover, if you have the Palm noted above, why invest in this product?

Arik Hesseldahl, writing for Forbes.com, points out that none of these products is groundbreaking. Audiovox introduced radios with GPS last year and Casio markets a watch comparable to Timex�s. Finally, there are many GPS/mapping/navigation tools for the Palm. None, he suggests, are winners just yet.

GDT Releases US Data with Verified Positional Accuracy http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010802GDT.htm 

RESPONSE Services Center Chooses GDT http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010802GDT2.htm 

Timex Sport Watch Uses GPS for Time/Distance Info http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020108/cgtu002_1.html 

Garmin Two-Way Radio 'RINO' Includes GPS http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020108/cgtu003_1.html 

New Magellan Meridian Platinum for Handheld GPS Navigation http://www.thalesnavigation.com/pages/ pr020107MeridianPlatinum.htm 

Turn-By-Turn, Route Calculation, GPS for Palm m500 Series http://www.thalesnavigation.com/pages/pr020107GPSCompanion.htm 

Magellan 750 Series Vehicle Navigation Solution Announced http://www.thalesnavigation.com/pages/pr020107750Advanced.htm 

CES Does GPS (Forbes.com) http://biz.yahoo.com/fo/020108/0108tentech_1.html 



- Despite advances in geotargeting (the ability to discern the geographic location of a computer) there will be no webcasting of the upcoming winter Olympic games. There is no way, for now, to assure that the company who paid for exclusive rights to broadcast the games to a particular geography cannot cross the border via the Internet.



- Forget Ginger, parking patrols in Northern California are testing out a computer labs on wheels, called AutoFind, which among other things, takes digital pictures of license plates of parked cars and compares them to an existing database of stolen cars. Complete with a GPS, the system can track vehicles that have overstayed a 2-hour limit. The $60,000 cart is said to reduce repetitive motion injuries that sometimes result from manually chalking tires the old-fashioned way. AutoFind is also fast, capturing 1,000 license plate numbers an hour. One glitch: it can only read �new� plates - those with a special reflective paint.


- Volkswagen is working on a new hybrid car-truck-sport utility vehicle called Magellan. True to its name, the vehicle includes �GPS to go,� a removable navigation system that can be used outside the vehicle. There were no details yet on whether the system is made by Magellan.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20020108/bs/  auto_show_highlights_5.html




- Among the Top Ten list for 2001 I cited the apparent disappearance of Java in GIS. Raj Singh, CTO of Syncline, suggests why it�s been so quiet.


�The main reason for slow Java client adoption in my opinion is poor performance. In the last few years, though, CPU performance and cheap memory has made this point moot. All consumer quality PCs can now do a fine job of running Java software. This still does not excuse Sun from doing a poor job on improving and optimizing Java Virtual Machines over the years.


�Maybe more importantly, we don't hear a lot about Java-based software because it's not an exciting or novel concept anymore -it's just software, not �Java� software. I know in the OGC testbed community, about 80% of the companies use Java for XML and Web services software development. It's more of an exception to the rule NOT to use Java on the server.�


Just to put Java use in perspective, ZDNet accuses Microsoft of �rigging� and online poll regarding planned use of Java vs. .Net. Before Dec 21, 2001, Java had about 50% of the votes for expected use in Web apps compared with 22% for .Net. After some aggressive voting from the Microsoft domain and other irregularities, .Net captured 75% of respondent�s interest.




- Duane Marble points out another influential GIS figure who passed away this year.


�2001 also saw the passing in late Sept. of Dr. A. R. (Ray) Boyle who, among many other things, invented the free-cursor digitizer. He worked in the UK with David Bickmore on early automated cartography systems, and developed the first digital electronic chart system for the Canadian government and worked with Roger Tomlinson. At the time of his death, Ray was Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.�





Jan 09 - Merrick Announces Reseller Agreement with DigitalGlobe http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902Merrick.htm 

Merrick & Company will have imagery distribution rights within the United States of the recently launched QuickBird satellite.


Jan 09 - ESRI's Conversion Engine Integrated into SignalSoft Product http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902ESRI1.htm 

ESRI's geodetic conversion source code library will be incorporated into SignalSoft's Location Manager product, a gateway for mobile operators worldwide. Geodetic conversion means moving the location data from one projection to another.


Jan 09 - SignalSoft and Webraska Sign Reseller Agreement http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902Webraska.htm 

SignalSoft will embed Webraska's SmartZone GeoSpatial Platform (SGP) in its offering and will become a reseller of Webraska's middleware.


Jan 09 - MTS Communications Selects Intergraph�s G/Comms http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902INGR.htm 

MTS, a telecommunications provider for the Canadian Province of Manitoba, has adopted Intergraph�s G/Comms solution as its next-generation Geospatial Operations Support System.


Jan 09 - New Barcode Scanning Feature for PocketGIS http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902Pocket.htm 

REMU, an electrical utility company in the Netherlands, is currently using this system to simplify the collection of asset information for more than 100,000 lampposts - each with its own unique barcode.


Jan 09 - Client Systems Adds ObjectFX to its List http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902ObjectFX.htm 

Client Systems will participate as a premier distributor of the award-winning SpatialFX Platform.


Jan 09 - OS Uses Child's Eye View for Tourism Tips http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902OS.htm 

The national mapping agency is unveiling a Web-based curriculum resource produced by children that will build a unique tourism guide to Britain's most child-friendly places. The mapping app is quite nice.


Jan 09 - Garmin Taps NavTech Mapping Data to Power BMW Bikes http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020108/cgtu044_1.html 

NAVTECH digital map data will be used by Garmin International to power navigation systems designed for a specific line of 2002 BMW motorcycles.


Jan 09 - New Zealand Utility Company Uses ESRI's GIS Software http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902ESRI3.htm 

DELTA Utility Services of New Zealand has successfully rolled out a GIS implementation using ESRI's GIS software as to build its asset management system.


Jan 09 - GIS Day 2001 Celebrated in More Than 80 Countries http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010902ESRI2.htm 

Next year, GIS Day will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2002, during Geography Awareness Week.


Jan 08 - Denver Water Chooses Sanborn for GIS Update http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010802Sanborn.htm 

The purpose of the project is to rectify existing ArcInfo coverages to their real-world coordinate positions, thereby producing a more accurate end result.


Jan 08 - Miner & Miner Releases the Latest Version of the ArcFM http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010802Miner.htm 

The 8.1.2 is the sixth release from Miner & Miner based on ArcInfo 8.


Jan 08 - AGI (UK) to Manage Operations with GeoMedia http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010802INGR.htm 

The twelve-year-old organization will now use the technology it promotes. This brings to mind a rather unfortunate story. I was attending a board meeting of a national geospatial organization. There was a discussion about how the location of the annual meeting (East Coast, West Coast) affected attendance. The president, after listening to a member explain the complexity of getting to the DC area from Portland, OR, actually said, �So, the meeting location matters?� This was not said in jest; rather, it was clear this was the first time he had contemplated the issue. I was floored. I�m hopeful AGI�s choice to use GIS will give its members deserved confidence in its understanding of geospatial technologies.


Jan 07 - United Utilities (UK) Chooses Autodesk GIS Utility Solutions http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010702Autodesk.htm 

Autodesk signed a $3.8 million USD contract with United Utilities of the United Kingdom for the development of a GIS utility solution for its electricity distribution network division and a three-year support contract. Together these parts constitute Autodesk's largest global GIS sale of 2001. The significance here, I think, is that Autodesk is slowly moving from a software company to more of a services organization.


Jan 07 - LA County Web Mapping Site Shows Business Opportunities http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020107/hsm003_1.html 

The application shows training sites and businesses around the city, searchable by zip code and industry.


Jan 07 - Bordeaux City Council Applications Go Live Using GeoConcept http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010702GeoConcept.htm 

Bordeaux acquired 15 licenses from GeoConcept in October 2000, on the strength of its ease of use and ability to be personalized for different users.


Jan 07 - Kivera Receives Frost & Sullivan Market Engineering Award http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/010702Kivera.htm 

The award is given to the company that has demonstrated excellence in technology leadership with respect to location-based services.


Jan 07 - Ontario Introduces Satellite Monitoring of Sex Offenders http://www.canada.com/ottawa/story.asp?id= {D61D311E-A5C0-4C24-999B-98A8B6FBC286} 

Since 1998, 27 American states have adopted GPS to track 1,200 offenders.


Jan 04 - UtiliCorp United Selects Smallworld Design Manager http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020103/32249_1.html 

UtiliCorp will use a phased approach for rolling Design Manager out to 71 remote offices, beginning with a pilot implementation with a select set of key users.


Jan 04 - Northrop Grumman Becomes OGC Strategic Member http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/010402OGC.htm 

This level �defines a leadership role in harnessing OpenGIS Core Technology to information community product requirements.�


Jan 04 - New SICAD Internet Suite: More Clients, More Applications http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/010402SICAD.htm 

The new Version V5.1 of the SICAD Internet Suite contains the JAVA Classic client in addition to the HTML client and the JAVA OGC client.


Jan 04 - M.J. Harden's Pipeline Division forms New Construction Group http://www.mjharden.com/inthenews/news12-18-01.html 

The group combines the talents from the company�s photogrammetric mapping and pipeline GIS teams to support the mapping and data integration efforts associated with new pipeline construction.


Jan 04 - SSESCO Teams With WantSomeWeather.com for Maps http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020103/32277_1.html 

WantSomeWeather.com is such a great name for a company!


Jan 03 - TELUS/Cquay Partner to Offer Location Intelligence Services http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/010302TELUS.htm 

TELUS and Cquay will integrate the Common Ground service platform with Siebel�s CRM system and other enterprise applications provided by TELUS, and jointly market this capability to TELUS customers.


Jan 03 - Horizons Awarded Multiple National Park Project Contract http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/010302Horizons.htm

The project involves the production of orthophotography meeting USGS Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangle (DOQQ) specifications in conjunction with lower altitude aerial photography for vegetation studies.


Jan 03 - Analytical Surveys Reports Q4 and Year-End Results http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020102/law041a_1.html 

Fourth quarter revenues were $6.6 million versus $13.6 million in the same period a year ago. The company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $5.6 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, versus a net loss of $22.9 million, or $3.28 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter last year. For the year the net loss was $9.7 million, versus a net loss of $38.6 million last year. There are still losses but they are getting smaller.