GIS MONITOR, February 14,
- IntelliWhere Introduces PDA
- Quova’s GeoPoint
- Geospatial Technologies at
Departments: Points of
Interest, Business Notes, Letter, Week in Review, Back Issues,
Advertise, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe
If a URL runs more than one
line, you may have to cut and paste the second line of the URL into your
This issue sponsored by:
INTELLIWHERE ANNOUNCES PDA
Intergraph’s IntelliWhere division this week announced a new PDA
(personal digital assistance) product called OnDemand. The product has
some of the features of ESRI’s ArcPAD and Autodesk’s OnSite while
staying true to its GeoMedia heritage.
OnDemand runs on a PDA, on Windows CE or PocketPC operating systems,
but is really part of a linked system of desktop and enterprise
computers. I may be off base, but all PDA “CAD/GIS” apps seem the
same to me. OnDemand supports panning and zooming, and an identify
command to click on a feature and see its attributes. In this first
release, attribute queries are supported but spatial queries are not.
Majdi Zahran, executive manager, made it quite clear that OnDemand
addresses ease of use, stability and performance, which, to be honest,
should not even need to be mentioned. What is interesting to me is how,
and how well, the PDA software plays with the back office. That is
something Intergraph -- and by extension -- IntelliWhere are addressing
with significant thought.
OnDemand can work in “sync ‘n go” mode or “wireless” mode.
The former describes traditional syncing, where the PDA, in its cradle,
or via other wired or infrared connection, gets new data from the
desktop and provides new data to the desktop. Afterward, the user takes
the PDA to the field. Wireless mode describes a wireless connection that
may or may not be continuous. Think of the intermittent nature of cell
phone connections as one travels. OnDemand on the PDA is “smart”
enough to save up data that needs to go back to the server until the
connection is made.
The details of the data movement between the “office” computer
and field “PDA” are the most interesting part of this solution. The
simplest way to use OnDemand is in conjunction with GeoMedia. A gateway
extension allows the user to select which data is to be moved to the
PDA, as well as scale dependencies (at what scale layers turn on and
off) and other details. The “export” command basically grabs all of
the data within the active GeoMedia window, from whatever warehouses are
accessed by GeoMedia, places both spatial and database information in a
single spatially indexed, compressed file. That file is then moved to
the PDA. The compression ratio is roughly 10:1.
Once on the PDA, there are tools to click on a feature and see its
attributes, pan and zoom. Changes are collected in a redline layer,
called “session graphics”, so that only that small file needs to be
sent back to the database for updating. Majdi Zahran argues that most
anyone, even if they’ve never used a PDA, can learn to use OnDemand in
15 minutes. The software comes with basic tools and some sample
applications for reviewing, say, electric poles and other field tasks.
New applications can be built using Microsoft’s eMbedded Visual Basic
and eMbedded Visual C++, trimmed down versions of the full languages
used for development on PDAs.
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper. What if you do not run GeoMedia, but
want to get data into OnDemand? OnDemand includes a “less interactive”
gateway extension to grab data from competing applications such as
ArcInfo. My sense is that if OnDemand becomes a hot field solution,
Intergraph or third-party developers will put together a “flashier”
What if your PDA has GPS capabilities? Then you can do more
interesting things including having the software pinpoint your location
within the data set. Or, if that data is not stored on the PDA,
wirelessly talk to the server to grab the correct area. If your job is
data collection, OnDemand can be used to input attribute information and
use the GPS to populate the location values. Then, the data can be
uploaded to the main database.
Updates from multiple users might compromise the integrity of, say, a
water network. So, once changes are uploaded, GeoMedia can highlight
compromised topology. And, more than likely, some approval process would
be set up back at the office to manage the array of changes. To manage
long transactions and attempts by several field personnel to change,
move or delete the same feature, the OnDemand team plans to integrate
OnDemand with GeoMedia Transaction Manager in the coming months.
And, what of OnDemand’s relationship with IntelliWhere’s flagship
product, Location Server? Using OnDemand in conjunction with the
Location Server basically allows wireless connections between the two.
For example, it allows the server to actively poll for updates and pull
them back to the server. This, Majdi Zahran suggests, would be very
useful for emergency response situations. Use of the Location Server
also allows updates to attributes to be posted in real time, when the
IntelliWhere Announces OnDemand PDA Mapping Software http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020207/72290_1.html
====== a message from our sponsor ===============
Safe Software releases web-based data delivery software,
SpatialDirect 2002 distributes and retrieves spatial data over the
Internet or through an intranet, allowing users to download data in a
GIS or CAD format of their choice.
QUOVA’s GEOPOINT MATURES
GeoPoint is Quova’s
technology for associating an IP address (Internet Protocol, a computer’s
address on the Internet) with a geographic location. Said another way,
it’s a way to determine the location of website visitors. When I first
covered Quova a year and a half ago, the technology was seen as a great
tool for targeting advertising on the Internet. Now, as the Internet and
GeoPoint have grown up, Quova has bigger fish to fry.
In particular, Quova is aiming its technology at regulatory and
licensing issues. For example, how can the technology be used to assure
that video licensed for distribution only in the US, stays in the US?
Or, how can those trying to commit fraud using illicit credit cards be
tracked down before the transaction is complete? These are high-value
uses, which should mean a strong revenue stream for the company.
When I last spoke about Quova, their success rate was quite high for
“simple” IP addresses. They could not, however, assign locations to
AOL (America Online) users (most appear to be in Virginia, home of AOL’s
main server farm), or Web surfers using proxy servers or anonomyzing
websites. At version 4.0, there is progress on both fronts. The company
now can identify AOL users to the country level at about 95% accuracy.
(AOL provides Internet connectivity in thirteen countries including the
US.) And, though Quova cannot trace behind a proxy server or anonomizer,
the new system will flag IP addresses such as these to note that the
location may not be at the site of the server.
The country location of AOL users may not appear to be a big deal,
but for issues of fraud and licensing, it is quite appropriate. Tom
Miltonberger, Quova's senior vice president of products suggested that
GeoPoint is really aimed at traditional business challenges, including
operating within the law, and allowing the Internet to be part of the
business. One high stakes area for the company may be online gambling,
as that industry slowly moves toward regulation worldwide.
Most of Quova’s users are large companies including Visa, CNET and
Amazon but the company offers services that might be of interest to
smaller players. GeoTraffic Analysis will produce a report, based on
website IP logs, of the geographic distribution of visitors to a site,
something of use to a wide variety of online operations.
At V4 GeoPoint supports Microsoft’s .NET initiative, which allows
it to be “plugged” together with other services. One might, for
example want to map the locations of all those visitors, with another
.NET service such as MSN MapPoint.
Quova GeoPoint 4.0 Raises Bar for Geolocation Technology http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021302Quova.htm
GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY AT THE
The Olympics are always a good venue for a bit of marketing. I noted
last week the use of satellite imagery in a video used in the TV
coverage. That piece, and the one for the Super Bowl, had almost no
media coverage or press releases from NASA or Space Imaging. I was
pleased to find that out and hope that people who saw it simply said,
“hey, that’s neat” and didn’t feel the blatant hucksterism of
most Olympic advertising.
But, of course, other companies are using the event to highlight the
work they do.
GeoFocus’ press release described its technology in use in and
around the trains to the Olympic venues. GeoFocus provides technology
that tracks trains and provides audio and text messaging to each of 20
stations that notify passengers when the next train will arrive.
GeoFocus Helps Keep the Olympic Trains Running On Time http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020206/62508_1.html
Olympic biathletes, participants in the sport combining cross county
skiing and shooting, are being tracked using infrared beams along the
skiing course. Time and ID information are wirelessly sent back to
coaches’ laptops to determine their speed and position in the pack.
The coach can then relay strategic information the old fashioned way –
Olympics: Could wireless help athletes? (ZDNet) http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-832987.html?legacy=zdnn
POINTS OF INTEREST
- I discussed “war driving” the art of mapping unprotected
wireless Internet/intranet access, a few weeks ago. Security issues
surrounding wireless networks have pushed the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory to ban wireless LANs (local area networks)
temporarily. "There is temporary ban on (wireless) LANs in all
areas of the lab while we do a technical evaluation and develop a new
policy for their use," David Schwoeglen, a lab spokesperson said.
- The ACME Rent-a-Car case, which involved a Connecticut company
fining a driver for speeding based on the use of a GPS in the car,
passed another hurdle this week. An officer at the hearings determined
that the practice of using satellite technology to track and penalize
speeding customers violates state law and should stop immediately. The
recommendation, which goes to the Connecticut Department of Consumer
Protection Commissioner for a final decision, says New Haven-based Acme
is violating the state's Unfair Trade Practices Act.
- This was not a great week in GIS publishing. Every once in a while
GIS editors receive a press release, dutifully post or publish it, then
receive a message that “recalls” the release. This week that
happened not once, but twice. And, I’m sorry to report another
incident of inappropriately cited quotations in a published article.
- QUALCOMM this week announced the first nationwide launch in South
Korea, beginning February 1, 2002, of gpsOne-enabled wireless handsets
and their associated position location service plans by carrier KTF. The
combination of the handset and service provides access to personal
safety services that include Web-based tracking and Call Center
services. The tracking is said to capture a subscriber's location to
within 50 meters in open areas. The company suggests it is appropriate
for managing the security of high-risk individuals such as children and
- Philips claims to be the first to bring to market a fully
integrated "telematics” chip. The company argues that this lower
cost chip, which includes positioning satellite, remote diagnostics, and
dashboard Web surfing, will bring typically expensive telematics to the
masses. The bottom line, at least as I see it, is that this is a service
– just like a cell phone service. The phone is cheap, the service
$50+/month. Like phones, when the initial investment and the service fee
combined are low enough, users become interested.
- The European Parliament backed the Galileo satellite project in a
vote on February 7. That’s the good news. The bad news is the body
rejected a European Commission proposal to team up with the private
sector. The conflict over the role of the private sector has left this
project “on the edge” for months. I suppose that here in the US we
are lucky the military built our GPS constellation.
- PayPal has been trying to launch an IPO (Initial Public Offering)
for some time. The company allows transfer of payment via the Internet
without a credit card. After a patent challenge, the company this week
was informed by the state of Louisiana that the PayPal could not do
business there until it had a license. The company has been doing
business, unregulated, since 1999. PayPal has a license to transmit
money in Oregon and West Virginia and is seeking similar licenses in 14
other states. The IPO is still on, and as we go to press the company
plans to price shares today and begin trading on Friday. Alas, the
Internet does not do away with geographic boundaries or regulations.
- I’ve noted the lack of GIS Web services available in recent
months. Industry players are also frustrated by lack of action in this
potentially lucrative services market, prompting Microsoft, IBM, BEA
Systems and Intel to launch the Web Services Interoperability
Organization (WS-I), a consortium aimed at boosting Web services. Since
many of the members are involved in the Open GIS Consortium, hopefully,
there will be some input on things spatial.
BUSINESS NOTES (Hires, Office
Openings, Events, Contracts Jobs)
PCI Geomatics is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with
special events and promotions.
Laser-Scan is taking part in the OpenGIS Consortium Military Pilot
Project, Phase 1 demonstration on February 15th 2002.
GITA reminds potential attendees to register before February 18 and
save up to $125 on registration at this year’s conference.
ESRI has announced the ESRI Education User Conference 2002 for July
5-7, 2002 in San Diego, California. The conference is aimed at existing
users, though other interested parties are asked to inquire about
Alissa Bails, GIS division manager, and Eric Fowler, GIS project
manager at R.A. Smith & Associates, Inc., Brookfield, Wisconsin,
will speak on “Leveraging GIS Data to Make Decisions” at the annual
conference of the Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA) to be
held March 12-15, 2002 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. http://www.wlia.org/2002Conference/index.htm
The third international conference on “Mapping the News” is
scheduled for April 12-14, 2002 at American University in Washington,
DC. It’s aimed at journalists, media companies & human rights
Clark Labs announces that the Applications in Hazard Assessment and
Management workbook is now available for use with Idrisi32. http://www.clarklabs.org.
GIS Services has been designated a "Master Reseller" by
LizardTech. The company now provides direct support for sales to
LizarTech Program participants.
SICAD GEOMATICS introduced itself and local representative Stalker
K.M. at the “Forum on GIS Trends in Bulgaria” held on January 31st,
2002 in Sofia. http://www.sicad.com
UCLID is making available a free trial of its IcoMap extension for
ArcGIS. The trial period lasts 15 days and a code provided by UCLID is
required to run the software.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. has been awarded a contract
by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to initiate the
first phase of its Andaman Environmental Resource Information Network (AERIN)
project in Southern Thailand.
The Capital Regional District (CRD), of Vancouver Island in British
Columbia (BC), has selected ESRI's ArcGIS software as their enterprise
geographic information system (GIS).
Telcontar, the provider of the premier software platform for
location-based services, today announced Ann Cowan has joined the
company as Vice President of Engineering.
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council, the regional planning
organization for the Baltimore area, is seeking an experienced GIS
Analyst/Project Manager. Close date: March 1, 2002
- New Office
Boston-based Applied Geographics Inc. is opening an office in
Manchester, Connecticut. Steve Anderson will manage the new office. http://www.appgeo.com
Ken Lovett of the Illinois Department of Revenue caught me with
another unexplained acronym.
“My E911 contact told me to be careful when I discuss CAD, or is it
CADD. Insomuch as the emergency of homeland security and all, emergency
response is rapidly coming into the GIS realm. As such, I am more
sensitive to CAD vs. CADD, and caught the acronym in your Autodesk
piece. Not wanting to be critical, only helpful - you used 'CAD' the way
I had for years (computer aided design). However, 'CAD' is
computer-aided dispatch. 'CADD' is computer aided drawing and design.”
Editor’s response: That debate has been going on for some time. And
I’ll suggest that the tradition I’ve seen in the GIS community is
that unless otherwise noted “CAD” was computer-aided design. I
imagine in the dispatch world, it’s the other way round. By the way,
here are some other meanings of CAD: communications aids design, cash
available for distribution, Center for Advanced Diagnostics, confined
aquatic disposal, computer aided detection and coronary artery disease.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Feb 13 - NavTech Announces
Rollout of Voice Data http://www.navtech.com/Press/02-12-2002-124.html
Beginning with a February
launch in Germany, Navigation Technologies will rollout NAVTECH Voice
Data in France, Italy, the UK, Spain, and the U.S. in 2002.
Feb 13 - Axion Maps Chemical
and Biological Threat Detection http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021302Axion.htm
Axion will provide several
software components for Dycor's Chemical and Biological Threat Detection
System (CBTDS). The GIS software user interface will be able to control
and display data from an array of sensors in Dycor's proprietary
Feb 13 - Global Geomatics
Joins Integrator in French Contract Win http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021302GlobalGeo.htm
Global Geomatics will deploy
its new MapFusion GIS interoperability software within the French
Ministry of Defense (the Délégation Générale pour l’Armement DGA).
French systems integrator Générale d'Infographie won the contract and
Feb 12 - Farmers Let Trimble
GPS Technology Do the Driving http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021202Trimble.htm
The new automated steering
system uses Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) technology to
guide agriculture vehicles in consistent rows for tilling, spraying and
Feb 12 - ABACO Announces the
Latest Products http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021202ABACO.htm
New embeddable components and
an Internet map server round out the product line.
Feb 12 - SchlumbergerSema
Signs Contract with Yankee Gas http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021202Schlum.htm
At Yankee Gas,
SchlumbergerSema will deploy the first component of its Digital Utility
Model Office, the technology framework used by the firm to transform
utilities into digital enterprises. Sound familiar? This was the
technology of Convergent Group, which was purchased by Schlumberger.
Feb 12 - EMERGE Delivers
Imagery Ahead of Schedule http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021202Emerge.htm
The company provided 35,000
square miles of imagery for the Southern California Association of
Governments two months early.
Feb 12 - PocketGIS 1.6 Now
New features include support
of compact flash storage, support for barcode scanners, customizable
forms and the ability to move a variety of data formats all at once to
the handheld device.
Feb 11 - Autodesk Puts Bass
in Charge of Design Solutions Division http://www.tenlinks.com/NEWS/PR/AUTODESK/0208bass.htm
Carl Bass, executive vice
president, will lead the new Design Solutions Division, which for the
first time combines the manufacturing, geographic information systems,
and building industry product groups with the worldwide sales and
marketing teams that bring those products to market. Location Services,
which previously reported to Bass, now reports directly to CEO, Carol
Bartz. Further analysis of the re-org is available. http://www.tenlinks.com/NEWS/ARTICLES/cadserver/adesk_reorg.htm
Feb 11 - Sanborn Chosen for
Mapping Projects in the Carolinas http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021102Sanborn.htm
The company will work on five
projects, including three in North Carolina and two in South Carolina.
Feb 08 - LAND INFO Drops
Prices on Afghanistan Datasets http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020802LANDINFO.htm
The February discounts
include a 45% discount on 1:50,000 scale topographic maps. I’ll
suggest that demand for this data has leveled off since the fall. Still,
as organizations gear up to rebuild, the data could be quite useful.
Feb 08 - ESRI Announces
Release of MapShop 1.5 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020802ESRI1.htm
MapShop is a Web application
for creating and customizing maps for output to editable EPS, GIF,
shapefile, and other formats aimed at newspapers.
Feb 08 - SDS Delivers Parcel
Data For Cook County http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020802SDS.htm
SDS delivered data for Cook
County, Illinois' including over 1.1 million parcels.
Feb 07 - Avenza Announces
MAPdataUSA 2K http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020702Avenza.htm
MAPdataUSA 2K is a 19 CD
library of the complete US Census 2000 TIGER/Line data set converted to
Shape file format. The price: $499 with discounts for those who already
Feb 07 - CSI Unveils Combined
GPS/SBAS Receiver & Antenna http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020206/to099_1.html
The new “SERES'' high-
performance positioning product: a combined GPS/SBAS receiver and
antenna system for precision agriculture, GIS & mapping, and other
Feb 07 - World's Largest
Carrot Producer Picks Trimble GPS http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020702Trimble.htm
Grimmway Farms, the world's
largest carrot producer, has purchased six AgGPS Autopilot systems for
use with its tractors.
Feb 07 - Leica Geosystems
Meets Third Quarter Expectations http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020702Lecia2.htm
The company met expectations
with the GIS & Mapping business, showing a sales climb of 18.6% over
the second quarter.
Feb 07 - Leica Introduces
Software for Geodetic Monitoring http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020702Lecia.htm
The software, GeoMoS,
integrates information from a wide array of sensors, including
terrestrial robotic total stations, GPS receivers, meteorological
sensors, strain gauges, tilt sensors, and more into a single network.
Feb 07 - GeoComtms Maps
Customer Success http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020702GeoCom.htm
GeoComtms is adding a 3.56
million-mile upgrade of NAVTECH digital map data to their routing and
fleet management software.
Feb 07 - Z/I Imaging Releases
the ImageStation 2002, New Sales http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/020702INGR.htm
The 2002 modular rack-mount
design allows for easy expansion with a 12 unit chassis that includes 5
units for the host computer offering dual 2.0 GHz, 512 KB L2 cache, Xeon
processors; 1 GB of RDRAM; 36.7 GB system drive and two 73.4 GB data
drives. Also, a Chinese company purchased the first Digital Modular
Camera and Simmons Aerofilms Limited purchased the POS Z/I 510 Position
and Orientation System.
GIS MONITOR BACK ISSUES
ADVERTISE WITH US
You can reach more than 6,000 GIS professionals every issue by sponsoring GIS Monitor. For more information, email us.
Please send comments and suggestions to:
GIS Monitor Editor
Ultimate Map/GIS Directory - Your search is over!
If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your preferences visit our