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2006 February 9


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Editor's Introduction

This week I mark my first year as the editor with a few comments on what makes this job exciting and what I have in store for the future. In conjunction with this anniversary, please take a few minutes to complete our Reader Survey. It will really help me serve you better! I also bring you an interview with Tom Stroup, CEO of SquareLoop, about the company's innovative approach to emergency messaging and LBS. Plus, my usual roundup of news from press releases.

An excellent series of articles from NASA scientists that first appeared in Earth Observation Magazine is now available on GIS Monitor's website. Take a look!

I am receiving many new entries for the calendar of geospatial conferences and tradeshows on our website. I suggest that you bookmark it and check it frequently for updates and additions.

— Matteo

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One Year Later: Editor's First Anniversary

I became the editor of GIS Monitor a year ago this week. I've covered conferences, profiled GIS shops, and reported on the GIS community's response to Hurricane Katrina; interviewed CEOs, product managers, engineers, and end users; mused on telecommuting, privacy concerns, and the lessening importance for businesses of having a showroom on Main Street; announced new products and reviewed books; and more. (In case you never noticed it or forgot about it, we have a search engine on our site, at the bottom of the home page.) It is not for me to judge how well I've done — that's for you to do, via the reader survey — but I will share some thoughts on what makes this job exciting and on my plans for my second year.

First, though, something I came across as I reviewed the past 48 issues that made me laugh and gave me a sense of how far I've come. In my third issue, I quoted a paragraph from Scientific American describing Dr. John Snow's map of London's cholera epidemic of 1832-33. I cited it as an account of "a precursor to GIS" — as if I had unearthed for my readers a precious and little-known tidbit´┐Ż Now, after reading a lengthy discussion of Snow's map in my GIS text book, scholarly discussions of it in the pages of the journal Cartographica, and countless references to it in mapping and GIS publications, I know that the story is as well-known to GIS professionals as Captain's Slocum's circumnavigation is to sailors or the origins of GPS in the exigencies of nuclear strategy is to GPS professionals.

I feel that I have joined the GIS community at an inflection point, that is due to five, intertwined, developments. First, the accelerating shift to Web-based applications. Second, the vast increase in public awareness of GIS technology, thanks to Yahoo! Maps, Mapquest, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and, most of all, Google Earth (now everyone is trying to figure out how to use these systems to make money). Third, the maturing of location-based services (LBS), after years of being prematurely touted. Fourth, the steady progress of the open source movement: on Saturday in Chicago the Open Source Geospatial Foundation was launched.

Fifth, the continued growth of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). On September 25, the United States successfully launched the first GPS 2R-M1 satellite, capable of transmitting the new L2C signals (civilian signals on the L2 carrier); launches of additional L2C satellites are planned for early this year. Russia continues to modernize and expand its GLONASS constellation: it launched three more satellites in December and President Vladimir Putin said that he wants the 24-satellite GLONASS system ready before 2008. This week, NovAtel Inc. announced that its new line of OEMV (GPS) receivers, which it launched last September, will include dual-frequency GLONASS measurements as an option. The ability to combine GLONASS and GPS measurements benefits users in two ways: by significantly improving line-of-sight satellite coverage — thereby allowing positioning and navigation even in obstructed environments, such as "urban canyons," where GPS alone doesn't work — and by improving satellite geometry and decreasing a receiver's Dilution of Precision (DOP). Finally, on January 12, Europe's first Galileo satellite began to broadcast. According to plan, the entire 30-satellite Galileo system should be entirely functional by 2010.

All of these parallel developments in important areas of the geospatial industry contribute to my sense of "living in interesting times."

What's ahead for GIS? As I was thinking about that this week, I heard a story on National Public Radio about a new kind of sonar, described in an article in Science, that maps entire underwater landscapes, along with the fish swimming over them. Next, mapping the surface of Mars! Or, perhaps, not: why would we bother to map areas that are devoid of human activity? Is it a "chicken and egg" problem?

What's ahead for GIS Monitor? In my second year I plan to
  • deepen my technical understanding and, therefore, coverage, of GIS software
  • make my coverage more international, starting with a trip to Europe this spring
  • check up on promises and predictions made by companies and the experts I interview
  • with your help, continue to expand the calendar of conferences and trade shows and keep it up to date.
What would you like me to add to this list? Please take a few minutes to tell me, in this week's reader survey.

To enlarge this image, click on it, then (depending on your browser) click on it again.
Neil, Kathy, David, Rachael
Angie, Karen, Patty
Jerry, Nicholas

Finally, an acknowledgment. It takes much more than my research and writing to make GIS Monitor happen. Behind the scenes, the staff of GITC America — which also publishes the monthly print publication Professional Surveyor Magazine, edited by Gerald McGray — provides invaluable assistance. Neil Sandler, our publisher, manages the business; Patricia Smith, our managing editor, copyedits all of my stories; Rachael Mock, our advertising manager, sells the advertising that makes the publication financially viable; Angie Crum, our administrator, manages our office and pays the bills; Kathy Whyte, our art director, produces our graphics; Karen Seldon, our circulation manager, keeps our databases current (we are now up to 23,000 subscribers!); and our network administrator, who prefers to remain anonymous, runs our servers, fixes the HTML that I corrupt, and codes special projects, like our reader survey (have I mentioned it yet?).

I feel lucky to get paid to do what I love to do — and I hope that most of you feel the same way about your jobs.

Matteo Luccio

Interview with Tom Stroup of SquareLoop

As location-based services (LBS) for cell phones and other wireless devices begin to take hold, two concerns still loom large: privacy ("Am I being tracked?") and clutter ("Will my phone beep/buzz/ring every few minutes to alert me of nearby shoe sales, all-you-can-eat restaurant specials, or minor traffic congestion?"). A new company, SquareLoop, based in northern Virginia, claims to have solved the first problem and its technology might address the second one as well. In short, rather than conveying a user's location to a central system, which then decides what news and/or advertising alerts to send to whom, the company's technology allows handsets to determine their own position — using GPS or other technologies — and then filter a stream of incoming data per user-determined parameters, including location, velocity, direction of travel, or time of day. According to a company press release, this technology "has the possibility to revolutionize communications applications ranging from public safety to consumer marketing."

Initially, SquareLoop is concentrating on the delivery of location-specific emergency and other targeted messages to wireless devices. This week, at a press conference at the Emergency Operations Center at Police headquarters for the City of Manassas, Virginia, it kicked off a beta-test of the system: when former Governor Mark R. Warner pressed a button, half a dozen emergency responders present heard an unusual tone on their phone and found a message on the screen. In the future, that is probably how they will receive the first news about, say, a chemical spill, an evacuation, or a search for a missing person. The test, which will run through the end of March, will consist of delivering LBS alerts to some of the city's volunteer emergency responders. Using their standard wireless phones — which, in this case, consist of Motorola and RIM Blackberry phones on the Sprint iDEN network — Manassas public safety officials will test the delivery of messages such as AMBER alerts, evacuation messages, or traffic congestion information to specific geographic locations within Manassas city limits.

Officials could use SquareLoop technology to send messages only to those people who were in the vicinity of, say, a biological agent release, even days after the agent was released, or to send information about a traffic accident only to those most likely to be impacted by the resulting traffic delays. Such alerts can be sent via a Web-based interface or via existing emergency management systems. According to Police Lt. Tim Kotlowski, Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management for the City of Manassas, "Reaching out to people in very specific locations with very specific information will be an extremely valuable capability, especially from the perspective of an emergency operations center."

I discussed SquareLoop's technology and business plan with Tom Stroup, the company's CEO.

How do you define your niche? "We provide the ability to push information to mobile phones based on location," he told me. "The information comes across different industries. We are part of the wireless telecommunications industry. What we provide is the enabling technology. We don't track the location of the end user; we take advantage of the processing capability of the handset to determine whether the information is relevant on a geographic basis."

What is the mix of alerts that you have in mind? "There are more national, state, and local level alerts issued than we are aware. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issues more than 50 alerts a year. Then there is traffic, weather, and so on. We consider all of the information that would be pushed out as a kind of content."

What about irrelevant information and spam? "Using our technology you are able to cut out a lot of the irrelevant information. It works on an opt-in basis, as would any advertising. The wireless industry is approaching this very cautiously. In any given demographic there are groups that have specific interests. For example, I am not interested in receiving promotions from restaurants across town."

How minutely can users configure your application? "The application is built so that it can be sub-configurable. For example, a user may specify that he wants to receive only two marketing messages a day. Much of that information is going to be determined at the content level. Limiting the number of messages protects both consumers and advertisers."

When do you plan to roll out the system? "The emergency alerting is currently in a trial. We expect to launch our mobile alert network by the end of the first quarter of this year, the delivery of such content as traffic and weather by end of the second quarter, and mobile marketing by the end of the third quarter."

How does your system handle location for E-911 purposes? "Our technology is not used for E911 purposes. That is user initiated, whereas ours is pushed out to the handset. We do use the technology the carrier has deployed for determining location. Nextel handsets have an autonomous GPS chipset. Other carriers use different approaches, from GPS to cell tower trilateration. For E-911, the data must be pushed out through the wireless network. For our purposes, we don't need to know where users are and their location information does not come back through the network."

Who developed this technology? "The technology is patented by MITRE. We have the world-wide exclusive. So far, we have not identified anybody else who is taking this approach — processing at the handset — and if they did, they would probably be running afoul of the patent."

How will you gather the content for your alerts? "We plan on partnering with entities already in that space."

How will you prioritize your development and roll-out? "In the same order as the trials. First, save lives. We are hoping that the industry will participate in the emergency alert system without legislation or regulations requiring them to do so. While there are efforts addressing this issue in both Congress and the FCC, we believe that if the industry shows it has adopted a solution that provides geographically targeted alerts to mobile phones, there won't be a need to mandate it. Several people in the industry have indicated that they do expect to participate, so I don't think a mandate will be required.
     Second, content. We will participate with those companies that are already providing that data; we provide the geographic targeting. Third, mobile advertising. This is still in its infancy. There are a lot of issues as to how it is going to be rolled out."

I presume that you don't need maps and street addresses... "That's correct. The only requirement is mapping software capable of creating latitude/longitude."

How old is the company and what is your background? "The company is a little more than a year old. My background is in the wireless industry. I have been researching LBS for some time. I realized that the big challenge was privacy. Also, location determination puts a lot of demand on the wireless carrier. About one and a half years ago I was introduced to the technology transfer program at MITRE. They were looking for an organization to commercialize this technology. My conclusion was that it certainly did make a difference and that no one else was using it. In December 2004 we signed a licensing agreement with MITRE."

How large is your company? "We currently have five employees. We are getting ready to start ramping up aggressively."

You have announced that Nextel co-founder Morgan O'Brien has joined your company. What is his role? "Morgan chairs our advisory board. He has been very actively involved, well beyond the role of a typical adviser. We've been meeting weekly, developing strategy, and providing introductions. He's been working within the public safety space for the past couple of years."

Department of Corrections

Last week, in the version of GIS Monitor that I send out by e-mail to subscribers, I accidentally mangled the name of a company in the table of contents and in the headline for an interview: the company was LiDAR Services International Inc. (LSI), not Laser Services International. I have corrected the error the version that is in our archives. My apologies to our readers and to LSI.

News Briefs

Please note: I have culled the following news items from press releases and have not independently verified them.


Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA), New York, has selected MWH Soft H2OMAP Water Suite software to supersede its existing modeling solution. The Authority will leverage the suite's powers to meet the demanding schedule for the ongoing development of its full-scale water distribution system GIS and hydraulic model for Stage 2 DBPR compliance. The move is yet another indication of MWH Soft's market-leading momentum in advanced geospatial infrastructure modeling solutions in North America.
     OCWA, one of the largest public water suppliers in the United States, provides quality drinking water to nearly 340,000 consumers in four Central New York counties: Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, and Oneida. It delivers 44 million gallons each day to 26 towns and 15 villages via 1,650 miles of water mains. H2OMAP will replace OCWA's existing modeling system with a geospatial solution for developing a detailed, comprehensive, and well-calibrated dynamic model of the Authority's complex drinking water infrastructure. This model will be used to further achieve OCWA's goal of providing improved water quality while maintaining some of the lowest rates in the nation.
     Unlike competing products, H2OMAP's innovative new network modeling technology addresses every facet of utility infrastructure management and protection — delivering the highest rate of return in the industry. Drawing on the world's most advanced numerical computation and object-component geospatial technologies, it reads GIS datasets; corrects network topology problems and data flaws; extracts pertinent modeling information; and automatically constructs, skeletonizes, loads, calibrates, and generates credible network models quickly. Once calibrated models have been established, users can run and simulate various conditions, pinpoint system deficiencies, and determine the most cost-effective improvements to achieve optimum performance and regulatory compliance.

GeoAnalytics, Inc., a provider of geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS) technology and management consulting, is assisting the Unified Government (UG) of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas with the design and implementation of its multi-year Enterprise GIS (E-GIS). Current services include enhancing the master address data management system (MAS), creating a new centerline management system (CENTRIS), and creating a parcel management system prototype. Pursuit of an enterprise-wide GIS system has required involvement from multiple UG departments, thus ensuring a broad base of interest and support.
     Since 2001, GeoAnalytics has been providing technical and management consulting services to UG to support its multi-year implementation of an enterprise GIS. Initial services emphasized overall system planning and design, followed by the deployment of a geospatial data repository based on ESRI's ArcSDE technology and relational database technology from Oracle. In addition, a Web browser-based GIS data navigation and reporting application was deployed based on ESRI's ArcIMS technology.

East View Cartographic (EVC) is now an authorized reseller of SPOT Image satellite imagery products. EVC can provide SPOT imagery covering almost the entire world as stand-alone scenes or as part of a broader geospatial solution. SPOT imagery comes in a wide range of resolutions, from 20 meters down to 2.5 meters, and the SPOT archives contain more than 10 million images. SPOT also has advanced stereo acquisition capabilities that support a range of 3D products, including 30 meter digital elevation models and a worldwide altimetry database. SPOT imagery is ideal for uses such as managing natural resources, telecom planning, or creating new street level vector data.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service has selected the Cadcorp SIS (Spatial Information System) software suite as the basis for its new, corporate GIS. Cadcorp is a developer of digital mapping and GIS software. The Service will use the new software — comprising Cadcorp SIS desktop developer and the GeognoSIS.NET Web-based GIS products — to assist a wide range of activities, including: IRMP and the integration of this with the service's enterprise information system; FSEC; fire safety, for example planning fire home safety checks and leaflet drops; hydrants and property maintenance management; transport planning and vehicle location identification; and management reporting, such as fire station performance.
     All service staff will have access to the system using Cadcorp GeognoSIS.NET over the agency's intranet. For example, fire station staff will enter fire prevention and home safety checks information, etc., using a Web browser interface. Meanwhile, 'power' users such as the FSEC, MODAS, hydrant, property and transport teams, as well as CAD system operators and the ICT development team, will use the Cadcorp SIS desktop products to analyze and maintain data and to further develop the system.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated has acquired the assets of Cook-Hurlbert of Austin, Texas, a provider of engineering design software for electric and gas distribution networks. Cook-Hurlbert's Expert Designer spatial network layout and analysis software was among the first developed specifically for utility designers and engineers. Users of this open and integrated software include many utilities, such as Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), a Constellation Energy Company, and Xcel Energy.
     Key features of the Cook-Hurlbert product line include functionality for process measurement and tracking, work order management and tracking, design layout, estimating, optimization, structural analysis, vegetation management, and job closeout; and an open architecture that allows for seamless integration with Bentley's MicroStation and other popular spatial platforms (GE Power's Smallworld Core, AutoCAD, and ESRI's ArcGIS), as well as external systems such as work management and emergency response and outage management systems.

Pictometry International Corp., a provider of digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software, and Hitachi Software Global Technology (HSGT), a provider of automatic building change detection solutions, have agreed that Pictometry will become the Master North American distributor for the Hitachi HouseDiff service offering. Under terms of the agreement, Pictometry will market and sell the Hitachi HouseDiff product as a complementary offering to its own Pictometry Professional (EFS) and Pictometry Change Analysis software systems.
     Hitachi HouseDiff automatically detects changes in an area that could go undetected, such as additions to existing structures, demolitions, land use changes, new construction, or other real property features. Pictometry Change Analysis allows the direct comparison on a computer monitor of previous aerial imagery with recent imagery of the same area. Combining the Pictometry Change Analysis Viewer with the Hitachi's HouseDiff process, users can now view the change candidates side-by-side with new imagery, as well as verify and analyze the changes using the multiple views from Pictometry's oblique imagery.

GeoAnalytics, Inc., a provider of geographic and land information systems (GIS/LIS) technology and management consulting, has assisted the City of Chicago implement a second generation, enterprise mobile asset tracking system (CMAT). This system, based on Oracle DBMS, Java, HTML, and ESRI ArcIMS technologies, provides city streets and sanitation, fleet management, transportation, water management, and revenue departments with the ability to spatially monitor and report on the current and historic positions of city vehicles, cell phones, and other mobile assets.
     Working in concert with the City's Department of Business & Information Services (BIS), GeoAnalytics has enhanced the existing CMAT system to accept data feeds from multiple AVL providers and now track over 1,200 city mobile assets. Data feeds are currently supported for GPS-enabled vehicles and cell phones. This allows a wide range of mobile assets to be monitored in real-time using a single, web-based, City-administered user interface.
     The CMAT solution also provides significant value from an enterprise IS and GIS perspective, because it leverages existing city technology infrastructure investments. A prime example of this involves recent integration of the CMAT system with the city's 311 system. This integration provides CMAT users the ability to view the location of 311 service calls in relation to city service vehicle locations. Finally, GeoAnalytics has also assisted the city develop an enterprise archive data management system that records, stores and plays back historical mobile asset information. Staff can now generate historical asset activity reports that show vehicle locations over time in a map format along with related non-map information. The City of Chicago has been a GeoAnalytics client since 2001.


ESRI has released ArcGIS 9.1 Business Analyst desktop analysis software with 2005/2010 demographic data. New features and data contained in the software help users perform marketing analyses faster and more efficiently. In addition to the familiar wizards for analyzing data for stores, customers, and trade areas, the new product is integrated with ESRI's ModelBuilder, which has templates and tools to automate the market analysis process. The product includes complete integration with the ArcGIS 9 framework; routing and drive-time tools based on ArcGIS Network Analyst; enhanced reporting capabilities with a batch framework and a custom report wizard; updated datasets, such as 2005/2010 demographic data and forecasts, and segmentation data from Community Tapestry down to the census tract level; infoUSA business data and street data from the flagship Dynamap / Transportation data product from Tele Atlas North America, Inc.; new techniques to create, manage, and compare trade areas; new Huff Sales Forecasting Models; and an automated report booklet creation wizard.
     An optional segmentation module provides capabilities that help to more precisely profile customers or constituents, tailor messages for maximum response, reveal under-served market areas, and define products and services preferred by targeted segments.
     ArcGIS 9.1 Business Analyst can be used to profile customers and constituents; find similar customer and constituent segments; craft messages to increase response from targeted customers and constituents; analyze and select the best locations for expansion; perform competitive analyses; and evaluate store/site performance.

Next week, at the International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) 2006 in Denver, Colorado, Merrick & Company, a provider of LiDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry, and GIS mapping services, will release its free MARS Viewer, a viewing application for LiDAR and associated terrain data. Designed as a lightweight visualization application, it allows users to view and navigate point cloud and surface models.
     Merrick Advanced Remote Sensing (MARS) software is a stand-alone, Windows-based application specifically designed for processing, analyzing, and managing terrain data. MARS is optimized for visualizing massive LiDAR datasets and includes a modular tool suite that is used to manage field collection, data analysis, quality assurance, production, and client deliverable workflows.

ESRI has released GIS Portal Toolkit version 2.0.1, which includes improved handling and validation of metadata; more detailed documentation; support for harvesting and publishing to and from ArcIMS 9.1 metadata repositories; and support for additional database management systems, servers, and operating systems. The GIS Portal Toolkit is a technology and services solution for implementing local, regional, national, and global spatial data infrastructure portals.
     GIS portals organize content and services such as directories, search tools, community information, support resources, data, and applications. They provide capabilities to query metadata records for relevant data and services and link directly to the online sites that host content services. The content can be visualized as maps and used in geographic queries and analyses.
     GIS Portal Toolkit 2.0.1 offers support for Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, and Sun Solaris 8; database management system support for SQL Server 2000/2003, Oracle9i, and DB2 8.2; detailed installation documentation for the supported operating systems and supported databases; the ability to download metadata documents in XML files to local drives; improved handling and validation of Metadata Content Type in published metadata documents; and support for harvesting and publishing to and from ArcIMS 9.1 metadata repositories.

Trimble has launched the MS990 Smart Antenna for satellite positioning, designed to provide contractors with a positioning sensor for use with Trimble's next generation GCS900 3D Grade Control Systems. The new antenna can track both next-generation GPS L2C and L5 GPS signals as well as GLONASS. This combination improves the contractor's ability to work in tough GPS environments at longer ranges with faster initialization times, and provides for increased productivity and reduced downtime on the construction job site.

Trimble introduced two new products as part of its Connected Survey Site model — the Trimble R8 GNSS system and Trimble NetR5 reference station receiver with added Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capabilities. The positioning products, with Trimble R-Track technology, support GPS L2C and L5 signals as well as GLONASS adding greater flexibility and more robust signal tracking to provide a seamless and streamlined workflow for all of the critical phases of surveying.

SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc., a provider of GPS-enabled software location platforms, is introducing a wide variety of new GPS products and its first multifunction offering, including SiRFLink, SiRF's first multifunction architecture integrating GPS and Bluetooth; SiRFstarIII-LT, the smallest, most power-efficient manifestation yet of its flagship SiRFstarIII architecture; the GSCi-5000, an extremely small multimode A-GPS platform optimized for mobile phones; and SiRFInstantFix, a unique service that minimizes the start-up wait time for GPS systems.
     SiRFLink marks SiRF's expansion into offerings that combine its flagship SiRFstarIII GPS technology with additional wireless connectivity via Bluetooth technology aimed at consumer platforms and accessories. The resulting product line, SiRFLinkI, is targeted for platforms with both Bluetooth and GPS, including devices where a Bluetooth radio is used to communicate location information to other devices or applications. By integrating these functions into a single-chip solution, utilizing silicon process and packaging technologies, SiRFLinkI provides size, power, and system cost savings.
     SiRFstarIII-LT family of products packs the performance punch of the SiRFstarIII architecture into a compact package 30 to 50 percent smaller than current SiRFstarIII offerings operating at 50 percent lower power consumption, making these ideal choice for ever smaller, slimmer portable handheld devices that require excellent performance.
     Optimized for cellular handsets, the GSCi-5000 architecture represents an extremely small multimode A-GPS platform for integration into mobile phones. GSCi-5000 enables manufacturers to add high performance GPS functionality to new and existing platforms with minimal size, cost and integration effort.
     Addressing the number one barrier to instant-on consumer GPS navigation systems, SiRF has unveiled its new SiRFInstantFix service that minimizes the start-up wait time for GPS systems. The service provides consumers with the ability to turn on their SiRF-based navigation devices and achieve the first fix in as fast as eight seconds, to begin navigating faster than ever before, even through urban canyons, under dense foliage and in other weak-signal conditions.
     At upcoming trade shows, SiRF is also previewing the SiRFecosystem, a community of applications and services to help manufacturers develop, test and market location-aware products and services, and the SiRFecosystem LocativeMedia Catalog, a compilation of location applications and developers for a wide range of product categories such as Gaming, Security, Navigation and Search, and Messaging and Social Networking.
     SiRF is also introducing two new products, GSC3LT and GSC3Lti, to address the needs of a wide range of mobile platforms. Both are complete navigation engines designed to provide position, speed, heading and time information.
     The GSC3LT packs the performance punch of the SiRFstarIII architecture into a compact 7 x 7 x 1.2 millimeter-sized, 153 pin ball grid arrays (BGA) chip 33 percent smaller than the current SiRFstarIII offerings and operating at 50 percent lower power consumption. A range of power management and control functions normally required to externally support GPS chips have been integrated into the GSC3LT to lower the ROM and solution footprint functions, including self-sufficient power management, power-on reset (POR) circuitry, low noise amplifier (LNA) control, and temperature-controlled crystal oscillator (TCXO) voltage supply and control.
     The GSC3Lti is a smaller, less expensive version at 6 x 6 x 1.2 millimeter in size, and 120 pin BGA 50 percent smaller than existing SiRFstarIII-based products for handheld systems that have centralized power management and do not require the GPS sub-system power supply to be wholly independent and self-managed.
     The SiRFstarIII-LT family is supported by SiRF's standard autonomous software. It also supports SiRFLoc, the Multimode AGPS software powering mobile phones optimized for location-enabled-services, as well as the new SiRFInstantFix technology. SiRFLoc improves GPS location capability in wireless system environments by providing various modes of wireless infrastructure assistance to improve weak signal reception, while SiRFInstantFix eliminates the initial task of obtaining GPS data from the satellites themselves, resulting in a time to first fix (TTFF) of less than 10 seconds, even in weak signal environments.
     SiRFstarIII-LT AGPS performance is fully compliant with the industry-standard Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) TS25.171 and CDMA TIA916 requirements, with extremely fast assisted fix speeds. In the 3GPP coarse time sensitivity test, the requirement is to achieve a 2-D position error of less than 100 meters within 20 seconds. The SiRFstarIII-LT family achieves 24 meters within 8 seconds.


The online conference program and registration form are now available for the First Annual Geospatial Integration for Public Safety Conference (GIPSC) to be held April 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference is jointly sponsored by URISA and NENA. Designed for 9-1-1 professionals, GIS professionals, addressing coordinators, incident management and emergency response specialists, GIPSC will provide a dynamic and interactive educational forum that addresses the challenges and opportunities of mapping and addressing in public safety and emergency management, while giving participants a guide to understanding the latest technology and resources.
     The conference features four pre-conference workshops: Addresses and IS/GIS Implementation: Key to GIS Success; Understanding GIS for the PSAP; Advanced GIS; and Introduction to VoIP for PSAPs. Educational sessions are organized into three program tracks: Addressing Basics, Coordination, and Standards; Emergency Response and 9-1-1; and Case Studies of GIS Integration with Public Safety. The keynote address will be delivered by Jason Barbour, ENP, Co-Founder of North Carolina's Telecommunicator Emergency Response Task Force and the closing plenary address will be given by Richard Byrd, Director of the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management in Nashville. An exhibit hall and networking events will complement the educational program.

IMAGIN has announced the details of its 2006 Annual Conference, taking place May 1-3 in Traverse City, Michigan. The conference theme is "Geography on the Move: Sustaining Your Community" and it will feature workshops, paper sessions, coordinated sessions, and facilitated networking opportunities. The plenary speakers participating in this year's conference are Jim Geringer, director of policy and public sector strategies for ESRI and former governor of Wyoming; Shoreh Elhami, GISP, GIS director for Delaware County, Ohio and Co-Chair of URISA's GISCorps; and David DiBiase, senior lecturer in Penn State's Geography Department and manager of its online Master of GIS degree program. The conference features a comprehensive exhibition, an extensive Map Gallery, an Awards Luncheon recognizing geospatial achievements in Michigan and a variety of events to encourage networking and collaboration. IMAGIN is a professional development organization committed to providing opportunities for its members to network with professionals who are using, creating, or maintaining spatial resources within Michigan. IMAGIN serves as a crossroads for spatial information users/developers at all levels of government, business, and non-profit organizations by providing its members partnership opportunities to recognize, share, and create spatial data resources for both traditional and new applications.


Sanborn, a photogrammetric mapping and geospatial company, has appointed Mr. Shankar Narayana as vice president of sales and marketing for Sanborn Technology Resources, located in Mumbai, India. In this position, Narayana will be responsible for extending growth in key international markets by developing and maintaining relationships in Asia and surrounding regions. He will work extensively with private and public sector agencies to provide bundled solutions and support the growing need for mapping and geospatial solutions.
     Narayana joined Sanborn from Space Imaging, where he served as director of Indian remote sensing satellite (IRS) operations. In this position he was successful in establishing twenty-two IRS ground station system upgrades and executed contracts with seventeen countries worldwide — including the United States, Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Europe, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Ecuador, Gabon, and Russia. He was very successful in promoting the IRS brand to international markets.
     Narayana holds a post-graduate diploma in electronics / instrumentation from the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore University and has completed proficiency advanced post-graduate courses in software engineering, microprocessor-based instrumentation, and digital data display systems. He is also a life member of the Aeronautical Society of India.

Preetha Pulusani, president of Intergraph Corporation's Security, Government & Infrastructure (SG&I;) division, has elected to retire after 25 years with the Company. Ben Eazzetta, previously chief operating officer of Intergraph's SG&I; division, succeeded Pulusani as the SG&I; division president, reporting to Reid French, the company's chief operating officer.
     Ms. Pulusani joined Intergraph in 1980. After holding numerous management positions, she was appointed executive vice president of Intergraph's Mapping and GIS business in 1998 and later named president in November 2001. In May 2005, Ms. Pulusani was named president of Intergraph's SG&I; division.
     Ms. Pulusani is expected to remain with Intergraph through late summer of 2006 to assist with the management transition. Mr. Eazzetta was formerly COO of Intergraph's SG&I; division. Prior to that, he was president of the Company's Public Safety division and COO of Intergraph's Process, Power & Marine division. Mr. Eazzetta holds a Bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering and a Master's degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech.


With the January cohort of certified GIS professionals (GISPs) the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) surpassed the 1,000 GIS professional milestone. As of January 25 there are now 1,016 GISPs. The first group of GISPs was certified in 2003 October as a result of the pilot program used to test the rigor of the process. The Institute formally opened its doors on 2004 January 1. In two years, GISCI has reviewed and certified the applications of over 1,000 professionals. Initial GISCI estimates had the Institute having between 600-700 GISPs at the start of 2006. The windfall can be attributed to the active network of GISPs who continue to promote the program and themselves through sound and ethical practice.
     ESRI has renewed its generous offer to donate training and materials to the next 1,000 GISPs. These materials are an added bonus for successful applicants and demonstrate industry support for the program.

MWH Soft, a provider of environmental and water resources applications software, has releases the second edition of Comprehensive Water Distribution Systems Analysis Handbook For Engineers and Planners (CWDSA). The 660-page instructional textbook is aimed at anyone involved in water distribution modeling, planning, design, operation, optimization, and management. It covers everything students, professional engineers, managers, modelers, health department officials, government agencies, consultants, and researchers need to know to reliably construct, load, and calibrate representative network models and use these rigorous models to optimize system planning, design, and complex operational activities. Topics range from in-depth coverage of basic network flow theory and dynamic water quality assessment to advanced optimization techniques and sophisticated transient flow and pressure calculations.
     Since its release, CWDSA has been widely adopted by consulting engineers, municipal engineers, urban planners, government officials and researchers, and has been added to the collections of premier technical libraries worldwide. With both new and expanded content, this book covers the latest in theoretical scientific foundations, advanced technological issues, and real-world network analysis applications — supported by extensive modeling exercises.
     Focused on bridging the gap between advanced modeling theory and practical application, the book includes over 100 worked out example problems and detailed coverage of hydraulic principles. Step-by-step guidance walks readers through the complete modeling process from start to successful finish and interpretation of results. The volume also features in-depth examinations of state-of-the-art network modeling techniques, explores the most current knowledge and technologies, and provides the detailed explanations readers need to become master modelers.

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