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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MAPINFO STRUGGLES IN Q1 AND Q2 of 2002
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])
Jan 04 - MapInfo Announces Preliminary Results: Q1 Loss http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker
Jan 03 - NYC Police Department Chooses MapInfo for Crime Analysis http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/010302MapInfo.htm
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WAR DRIVING: TRACKING
WIRELESS ACCESS POINTS
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
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
Driveby Hacking on the Go (EarthWeb)
NEW TECHNOLOGIES/DATA FIND A
HOME AT THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW
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
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/
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
POINTS OF INTEREST
- 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
- 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
- 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.�
WEEK IN REVIEW
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
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
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
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
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
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
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=
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.