GIS MONITOR, January 17, 2002
- ESRI Acquires CACI
Marketing Systems Group: Part 1
- Comparing MapMart and GIS
Data Depot for Free DEMs
- Survey Update
Departments: Points of Interest, Buzzword Watch, Week in Review, Back
Issues, Advertise, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
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This issue sponsored by:
ESRI ACQUIRES CACI MARKETING
SYSTEMS GROUP: PART 1
News of the ESRI acquisition of CACI’s Marketing Systems Group
started appearing on Tuesday Jan 8. Though ESRI has not released a
formal statement as we go to press, several articles appeared around the
Web with further details. The articles themselves are not so interesting
as the responses they sparked. On one message board the announcement
received exactly NO response. Comments about one article were far more
focused on comparing MapInfo’s product and support to ESRI’s. I can
only conclude that those replying are just not that interested.
However, the acquisition is significant since it seems to indicate a
slight change in ESRI’s direction even if it causes little impact on
the GIS marketplace. In the past thirty plus years, ESRI’s
acquisitions have included relatively raw technology as well as packaged
software. Examples include the SDE technology, AtlasGIS and Mapplex.
ESRI even built its flagship ArcInfo on the purchase of the INFO
database, release 9. But for the first time, ESRI has consciously bought
into attribute data. Of course, ESRI has included some demographic data
with ArcView for some years, and as an ESRI representative explained,
some is licensed from various vendors and some ESRI owns. That was the
arrangement for BusinessMap and Business Analyst, as well. Now, ESRI
will have a data arm that in fact “makes” demographic data.
It is worth remembering that the early days of business applications
for GIS, in the early 1990s, were the heyday for companies hoping to
sell inexpensive software and more expensive data. Strategic Mapping and
MapInfo followed that model. Then, when Strategic Mapping closed down,
the software (AtlasGIS) went to ESRI and the data arm to Claritas. The
tide of whether data and GIS software should live together in a company
swung the other way and data giants began to grow. GDT and TeleAtlas are
among the largest GIS data vendors these days. This recent ESRI
acquisition could be signaling that things are heading back the other
Why did this acquisition happen? Perhaps this part of CACI didn’t
quite fit with the rest of the business. Perhaps ESRI wanted to
streamline its relationship with the data vendor and cut the costs
associated with licensing and renegotiating contracts year after year.
Perhaps ESRI needed CACI’s experience in marketing business data and
applications to further enhance its sales and marketing team in the
marketplace. Looking back at ESRI’s history, its early focus on
natural resources (the name, of course is really, Environmental Systems
Research Institute), years of selling GIS to small and large
governments, and a big push toward utilities as Smallworld entered the
market, left little energy and resources for business geographics to
The practical aspects of the acquisition have not been released as we
go to press. Next week, I plan to take a look at those details and some
share some thoughts from experts in business geographics.
ESRI purchases CACI Marketing (Directions Magazine) http://news.directionsmag.com/article.php3?story_id
Data Options for Business Analyst http://www.esri.com/software/businessanalyst/components.html
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COMPARING MAPMART AND GIS
DATA DEPOT FOR FREE DEMS
MapMart.com is the latest commercial vendor to partner with the USGS
to distribute free SDTS DEMs on the Internet. What will make it
different than, say, GIS Data Depot, the first company to do so?
I put the two sites “head to head” by downloading a single quad’s
worth of 10 M DEM data. I used Rose Crossing in Flathead County, Montana
to examine the process at each site. I do not download data regularly
and this was my first visit of any length to MapMart. I have had
experience with GIS Data Depot in the past.
At MapMart, the front page lays out all that is available: imagery,
vector, TIGER, paper maps and more. The DEM icon notes that 10 and/or 30
meter SDTS DEMs are available for free, with entire U.S. coverage. The
next page details pricing of the free and non-free DEM products,
provides a discussion of formats available and links to samples.
Choosing “begin” presents a thematic map of the US, showing where 10
and 30 meter data is available. You can click on the map to zoom in, or
query by county, city, lat/lon, township/range, quad or street address,
which was a pleasant surprise. The site, by the way, is powered with
MapInfo’s MapXtreme. With the quad name known, I was ready to begin
ordering. That seems odd, but you do in fact have to “order” free
You can order by quad, county or user defined rectangle. I chose
quad. A form listing what was in my order confirmed that 10 meter data
was available and that I could move to checkout. The complete order
form, including all of the for pay options like formats, contours and
projections, is a bit dizzying for someone looking for free data. You
need to choose the FREE option and then fill out detailed personal
information, including name and address to complete the order. I found
that a bit intrusive – my e-mail, maybe, but there’s no need to get
my home address, is there? Once you submit the form, you are taken to
yet another page with the URL for downloading. I still had no idea of
the size of the file I was about to download. The 1.17 MB file came down
in about 20 seconds via my DSL line. For those looking for multiple
files, there is a 10 file per order maximum.
Mike Platt, the president of IntraSearch, the firm that that runs
MapMart, responded to some of my comments. He points out that
Intrasearch is a data provider that specializes in providing “plug and
play” data to clients. “That,” he explained “is why the order
form is very detailed. It is designed to serve all of our clients.”
The personal information required is used to manage client accounts and
to provide the USGS with monthly profiles of those who download their
files. The quick download speed, Mr. Platt explained, is due to the
company’s recent move to a 10 megabit burstable pipe. Even before
taking on the free data distribution, the company’s T-1 line was
heavily trafficked. Platt was candid about why the company took on the
free data: “to gain exposure.”
The same process at GIS Data Depot went like this. The GIS Data Depot
homepage isn’t about data; it’s actually the SpatialNews homepage.
That’s a great resource, but not only data. From there, I chose the
Free Data link. The USGS DEM Resources link will take you to a listing
of articles and tools AND a link to download the data. There are also
links to status graphics detailing what’s available, though these are
not used to actually select the data. Find the link titled, DOWNLOAD DEM
DATA HERE, and you are presented with a US Map.
I could find no way to search for the data by quad name or city – I
had to use the map. Clicking on Montana took me to a list of the
counties. Clicking on Flathead took me to a list of all of the free data
for that county, DEMs included. The DEM (24K) link took me to a list of
the 137 files available. I did not see any information about the
resolution of the data (10 meter vs. 30 meter). I worked through the
text list and found Rose Crossing. I could see the size of the file, the
ID number and the options for a “regular” or “premium” download.
I was presented with 4 files, two zipped TAR files and two text files. I
downloaded the same file as I did from MapMart, 1705640.DEM.SDTS.TAR.GZ.
It took several minutes. The time comparison is of course not scientific
at all and reflects a number of factors including the popularity of GIS
Data Depot, time of day, traffic on the Internet and more. For those
looking to download multiple files there are speed and connection limits
at GIS Data Depot, but the site offers a paid Premium Service for faster
Glenn Letham, Managing Editor, The GeoCommunity, detailed why the GIS
Data Depot site doesn’t seem to be a data site. “The home page for
data is http://www.gisdatadepot.com. This is the ‘data’ portal for
the GeoCommunity. Clicking the ‘GIS Data’ button at the top of any
page takes you to the Data Depot home. The page http://www.gisdatadepot.com/catalog/index.html
is actually the entry point to all downloadable data.” He also
explained how I could find my data by name: I should use the site’s
search engine. “Toggle Data Depot and enter the following ‘Flathead
Montana DEM’ yields this http://www.gisdatadepot.com/catalog/US/61047/8/group4-3.html
as the #1 result. Viola, exactly where you need to go!”
Each site has its strengths. MapMart provides more ways to “find”
the area of interest including a 100% mapcentric option. The speed is
quite good, but may slow as more people find the site. GIS Data Depot
requires no registration to download its free data and provides other
free data and resources as well.
Clearly the USGS is working to make more free data available through
more sites. I give them credit for choosing sites and organizations that
clearly have the infrastructure and knowledge to provide the service.
Still, both MapMart and GIS Data Depot are moneymaking ventures, so
end-users should be prepared to “pay” by giving up personal data,
seeing ads, or being offered products other than the free ones they
GIS Data Depot
USGS Partners with MapMart.com to Serve Geographic Data http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011502USGS.htm
We want to thank all GIS Monitor readers who spent a few minutes
filling out our online survey at the end of last year. We have a winner
of the GeoMedia software, provided by Intergraph Mapping and GIS
Solutions. I want to share the e-mail from the winner, Priscilla G.
Minotti, UMSEF- Direccion de Recursos Forestales Nativos, Argentina, who
will be receiving a Spanish version.
“With all that is going on in my country, being a winner of such a
powerful software feels really like a miracle!
“I'm a consultant in data integration and QC/QA for the First
National Native Forest Inventory of Argentina, a project funded by a
loan from the World Bank.
“My working place is UMSEF (Unidad de Manejo del Sistema de
Evaluacion Forestal) a unit of the Direccion de Recursos Forestales
Nativos (Native Forest Resources Directorate) that will manage our
national Forest Evaluation System, currently under construction.”
This new, occasional department will highlight first sighting of new
buzzwords and acronyms in the geospatial realm.
Term: EAM Definition: Enterprise Asset Management Source: Indus
Corporation Use: “Indus International is a world leader in delivering
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software solutions to
capital-intensive industries around the world.”
POINTS OF INTEREST
- In 1967, sociologist Stanley Milgram created the idea that anyone
on the planet could be connected with a second person through a chain of
just six friends. I ran into that idea in grad school (thanks Professor
Gould) and I bought it. It sounded reasonable. Then, at my first job, I
was told that within the company, you needed only three phone calls to
reach an expert. That held true for the three years I was at Arthur D.
Little. Now, two studies are testing the six degrees of separation idea
via e-mail while they try to map the social relationships of the
- AUGI (Autodesk User Group International), not Autodesk, sent out
this reminder on January 14, 2002: “Release 14 Upgrade No Longer
Available After January 14th!!!!!!! At the end of today's business day
you will no longer be able to upgrade AutoCAD Release 14. Contact your
VAR for details ASAP.”
- According to the Albany Business Review, a New City Company, NewTek
Capital has purchased an Albany area venture firm, Exponential Business
Development Company Inc. One of the six principals is Mike Marvin, a
soon-to-be ex-MapInfo board member.
- OGETA, Inc., Open Geodata Consortium, is a not-for-profit
partnership of public and private sector organizations working together
to provide a spatial indexing utility for metropolitan regions. It’s
hosting a forum on the "Social Benefits of Spatially-Enabled
e-Government" in Atlanta on January 25, 2002.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Jan 16 - Caliper Ships
Maptitude GIS for Windows Version 4.5 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602Caliper.htm
Caliper, as always, states
its value proposition in no uncertain terms: “Shipped as a single
package for $495, Maptitude 4.5 provides many capabilities that are not
supported by desktop mapping products costing three times the price of
Jan 16 - Autodesk Location
Services Launches LocationLogic 2 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602Autodesk2.htm
Unlike other solutions that
require components, Autodesk argues, “Autodesk LocationLogic provides
a common framework for administrative, maintenance, provisioning,
billing, and user profile services for all of the applications and
databases used by the LocationLogic platform all within a highly secure
Jan 16 - Laser-Scan Releases
Gothic 4.1 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602LS.htm
Gothic 4.1 updates all the
Laser-Scan products, including the latest Java-based additions, Gothic
JADE and Gothic Web Mapper.
Jan 16 - Ordnance Survey
Hosts MPs' Question Time http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602OS.htm
MPs were interested in a plan
to provide all 400 government departments and agencies with access to
the OS’s mapping system.
Jan 16 - ImageLinks Launches
RasterWare Appliances http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602ImageLinks.htm
RasterWare Appliances are a
line of hardware/software systems that store, process and deliver
customized geospatial imagery and related information directly to the
end user’s desktop. The “next thing” in imagery, it seems, is not
analysis but management.
Jan 16 - QUALCOMM Enhances
Capability for gpsOne Technology http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602Qualcomm.htm
The big change: now the
system can determine its location without connecting to a location
Jan 16 - Webraska and Parrot
to Launch Telematic Solution http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602Webraska.htm
Bluetooth is used to “sync”
a handheld with mobile for navigation and other tasks.
Jan 16 - Autodesk and BEA
Deliver Location-Sensitive Wireless http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011602Autodesk.htm
The two companies announced
an agreement to jointly offer location-sensitive wireless data services
to carriers. Carol Bartz, CEO and President of Autodesk, is on the board
of directors of BEA Systems.
Jan 15 - Tadpole Wins
Benchmark Mobile GIS Software Contract http://www.tadpole.com/tec/about/press/2002/011502.htm
From the very oddly worded
press release I gather that Tadpole is providing some add-on tools to
ESRI’s ArcPAD to be deployed by Consumers Energy of Michigan. No
information on the value of the contract or how many folks will use the
application, but the contract “paves the way for the energy provider
to put quality task and spatial data into the hands of over 1,800 field.”
Jan 15 - Planet GPS Chooses
Maporama For Fleet Management App http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011502Maporama.htm
The release argues that using
Maporama's street level maps, Planet GPS has created “the first
application of fleet management and security with automatic real-time
vehicle spotting on maps.”
Jan 15 - PlanGraphics Busy at
Home and Abroad http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011502plangraphics.htm
Ready for five announcements
at once? The big one is a multi-year $1.28 million contract with the
Sichuan Urban Environment Project Office (SUEPO) to provide consulting
services to undertake the development of an Urban Management Information
System–Geographic Information System (UMIS-GIS). The rest are smaller:
a services contract with the state of Maryland, a rollout of a project
for RI Dept. of Transportation and the implementation of a GIS for Lower
Merion Township, PA and finally, the company was placed on two
contracting vehicles: State of New Jersey GIS Services Term Contract and
the Los Angeles County Information Technology Support Services Master
Jan 15 - Trimble Raises
Additional $19.2 million http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011502Trimble.htm
The company has pulled in
$45.95 million in the sale of stock.
Jan 14 - Microsoft, Accenture
Heat Up Telematics Party http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nf/20020111/bs/15751_1.html
The newly formed Accenture
Services Bureau for Automotive Telematics will market services and
products built on Microsoft Car.NET architecture, including Windows CE
for Automotive. The idea is to build cost-effective automotive data
systems and perhaps sell them to OnStar.
Jan 14 - SDS Introduces $1.5
Million Technical Services Grant http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011402SDS.htm
Between January 1, 2002 and
January 1, 2003, SDS will set aside $1.5 million to assist state,
county, and city assessment offices with their expanding GIS needs.
Jan 14 - Indus and Cook-Hurlbert
Expand Strategic Alliance http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020114/142129_1.html
Cook-Hurlbert will use the
IndusConnect for the GIS/API Design Tool.
Jan 14 - WINfirst Expands
SPATIALinfo Network Inventory Mgmt Sys http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011402SpatialINFO.htm
Denver-based WINfirst requested that Spatialinfo expand the recent
implementation of its core SPATIALnet network database system.
Jan 14 - Conservation
Geography: New ESRI Press Book http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011402ESRI2.htm
Those in GIS will not be
surprised to learn the author is Charles L. Convis, Jr., is ESRI's
conservation program coordinator.
Jan 14 - ESRI's DMS and SCADA
Chosen for Chinese Utility Company http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011402ESRI1.htm
Jiangsu Provincial Power
Company, located in eastern China, has implemented a geographic
information system (GIS) based on its software.
Jan 14 - Seitel Selects Tobin
International for Cartographic Info http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020114/dam017_1.html
Superbase combined with Seitel Solutions products and services will
enable Seitel customers to view seismic data while at the same time
identifying existing land surveys, state/county lines, oil and gas well
locations, pipelines and roads.
Jan 11 - UK Government to
Launch Online Emergency GIS http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2102338,00.html
The UK Cabinet Office is
planning to launch an Internet-based emergency planning service in
March. A trial of the system began in late October 2000 and ended in
early May 2001.
Jan 11 - GPS Vehicle Locater
Aims To Thwart Thieves http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nf/20020110/bs/15712_1.html
Wingcast has enlisted the
services of Directed Electronics (DEI) to deliver a GPS (global
positioning system)-based platform for vehicles equipped with the
Wingcast system. Basically, if the vehicle goes out of predetermined
bounds, owners are notified.
Jan 11 - MAPPS Wins Census
Switch to QBS for MAF/TIGER http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011102MAPPS.htm
Apparently, under the old
procurement method, qualifications based selection (QBS) was not used.
MAPPS highlighted that the work includes both surveying and mapping,
which, under the Brooks Act, means that QBS IS required. If I follow
this correctly, now qualification, not price will determine those
selected for the contract.
Jan 11 - Cost Reduction
Program at Leica Geosystems http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011102Lecia.htm
The Company stated that this
program would result in an additional total worldwide reduction of 150
of its total of 2820 positions over the next six months. With its many
acquisitions and these challenging economic times this comes as no
Jan 10 - ASPRS Adopts
Strategic Plan http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011002ASPRS.htm
The Strategic Plan is meant
to be a living document. ASPRS will measure its success by how well it
meets its goals. I’d summarize the document in these two words:
outreach and communication.
Jan 10 - PCI Introduces New
Geomatica V8.2 for 2002 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011002PCI.htm
V8.2 includes new web tools,
added spatial analysis functions, and 3D stereo feature
Jan 10 - LizardTech Appoints
Chief Financial Officer http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/011002LT.htm
Case Kuehn, new vice
president and chief financial officer will direct the financial planning
and resource allocation for LizardTech's leading image, digital document
and server solutions. He’s new to LizardTech but has been around high
tech for a while.
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