GIS MONITOR, February 21, 2002




- 3GSM World Congress Hosts Locations Services Demos 

- Maps On the Web Using Flash 

- Geospatial Technologies at the Olympics, Part II


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It’s time again for the communications conference that’s now become the hot show for location-based services (LBS). This year, at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes France, the LBS demos and press releases flew furiously.


Topping the list was MapInfo’s announcement of its first ever implementation of its miAware platform in conjunction with Vodafone’s D2-NightGuide service. The service covers 1,600 German cities and provides location-based services revolving around nightlife. MapInfo’s technology provides the tools for “find the nearest,” routing and navigation. MapInfo also signed on with Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group to integrate miAware with Siemens Location Enabling Server. MapInfo has been very patient in waiting for location services to actually bring in money, so these are two significant wins.


MapInfo is taking a path focusing on developers as evidenced by the release of MapInfo MapX Mobile for Pocket PC Devices and a developer program for miAware. Instead of building an end-user product for the handheld market, as did Autodesk, ESRI and IntelliWhere with OnSite, ArcPAD and OnDemand, MapInfo has released the developer component. The idea is that the loyal MapInfo development community will build horizontal and vertical applications to extend MapInfo technology to the field. MapX Mobile is designed to work with MapInfo’s miAware platform. My sense is that in the challenging financial times that MapInfo is facing, this is a good move. Hopefully, it will also bring new blood into MapInfo’s developer community.


TCS is showing off its Multimedia Message Service Center (MMSC) which manages delivery of rich text e-mail messages, sound, fax, color photos, animation, video, Internet and location services to multiple device types. The company claims it is the first and only system to fully integrate multimedia messaging and mobile location services. TCS is free to argue with Autodesk, which makes a similar claim (see below).


Like many such announcements, I have to ask: What does this mean to me? The example provided in the press release details a new parent sending an image of the baby to a friend and the friend using the service to find a map to the nearest florist, get a coupon, and make his or her way to the hospital bearing a bouquet. Until the companies behind this technology come up with a more convincing “killer app,” I shall remain skeptical.


Autodesk maintains it has the industry's first location MMS (location-enabled Multimedia Messaging Service). Autodesk’s example for the technology was also not “killer,” describing how someone would use their location knowledgeable device to find a nearby hotel, and using the multi-media support, to see images of the facilities. Autodesk has grown its solution from using SMS (Short Messaging Service) to MMS.


The division signed an agreement with wireless operator, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) to participate as the provider of location-based services. The services will be offered to TIM's enterprise customers. Autodesk also rolled out a suite of applications dubbed Location Logic Connect, built on its Location Logic platform. The applications include Autodesk Business Connect, Autodesk Friend Connect, Autodesk Entertainment Connect, and Autodesk Directions Connect.


IntelliWhere was sharing space with IBM at the show. New to me was an announcement of a hosted service aimed at companies who want the wireless service, but not the expense of implementation. IntelliWhere will host a version for mobile workforce automation only, and a second one combining workforce automation with location-based services. The company is also showing off its new tracking technology aimed at tracking vehicles, assets and users.


CellPoint brought its partners along to show off their location-based applications. UnwiredFactory is showing off three location-based applications - a location-based battle game, a treasure hunting game, and a location-based role-playing game. Xmarc and CellPoint will demonstrate a live concierge service running on Xmarc's WIISE platform. The service contains information about cinemas, restaurants, amusement parks, etc. in the London area. It runs over WAP and provides the user with maps and routes. The company also announced the launch of its Mobile Location System 6.0 (MLS) Platform, targeted toward GSM/3G operators worldwide.


Nokia Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage mobile technology companies, used the conference to show off progress of funded companies. Of the six, WaveMarket caught my eye because, the press release claims, “Wave IQ software … significantly outperforms existing GIS and relational databases.” According to the company website, “WaveMarket has developed the world's first in-core (in memory) LBS database. Location Intelligence is over 20X faster than traditional relational databases (Oracle, IBM/Informix) and existing spatial engines (Oracle Spatial, ESRI ArcSDE).”


Digital Earth Systems, developers of GeoMode wireless location positioning software, used the show to announce that the City of New York Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications will try the software with the City's public safety and emergency services.


And, don’t think that Microsoft was not at the conference. The company announced a new operating system, Pocket PC Phone Edition, which takes the OS from handheld machines to phones. I suppose the handful of phones that now run PalmOS were beginning to make the folks from Redmond nervous.


Despite a substantial crop of “find the nearest” restaurant, entertainment, hotel type apps, Ben Wood, a senior telecommunications analyst with Gartner in London didn’t think that was the way to the big money. “I think you're more on the money with games, or things that are community-based.” As noted above, there were some of those at Cannes, too. I’ve mentioned location-based games and friend finders before, but a rather new topic is location-based dating services. Webraska and other European carriers are testing out services from Freever, among others. The idea is that after keying in descriptive information, those eligible, within range, can access that information. Still, liability issues continue to be a hold up. What if a potential date turns to a stalker?


Perhaps the best marketing news from the conference is that GITWiT, a company focusing on intelligent phone faceplates for the youth market, changed its name to Wildseed. Good move.


MapInfo's 1st Location Services Platform Deployment 


MapInfo Introduces MapInfo MapX Mobile for Pocket PC 


TCS Demos Messaging and Location Services Integration  



Autodesk First With Location-enabled Mobile Messaging 


Autodesk Location Services Introduces Location Connect 2 


Autodesk Location Services Selected as Location-Based Services Partner for TIM's Enterprise Applications 


IntelliWhere Joins with IBM at 3GSM Exhibition 


CellPoint at 3GSM World Congress in Cannes 


CellPoint Announces Mobile Location System 6.0 


Six Nokia Venture Partners Funded Companies Report Milestones at 3GSM World Congress 




New York Selects GeoMode for Trial 


Microsoft Rings in Pocket PC Phone Edition 


New Uses Coming for Cell Phones (AP)  ap_on_hi_te/mobile_phones_location_4


GITWiT Changes Name To Wildseed 


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More than one company has claimed that instead of custom browser plug-ins supporting maps, a simpler solution would use the Flash plug-in from Macromedia. HSC Group, based in Italy, touted its Flash-based MapWorld server solution this week.


I visited the site for a look. One big distinguisher, highlighted in the company’s press material, is that users can determine the session’s speed. That made me scratch my head – the default was 5,120 bytes per second. I, for one, have no idea what number should be in that box. I took the default and selected one province to explore. One odd thing on the layout: a scale bar that did not use round distances. My scale bar included 1460.74M multiples.


I liked the “zoom box” tool very much. Instead of a thin line outlining my area of interested, a shaded area grew and shrunk as I decided on the final dimensions. This was very easy to see and see through. Another feature I do not often see: the ability to rotate the map in 18 degree increments.


What I really wanted to do, however, was evaluate how well Flash works for mapping. The maps drew quickly and were very pretty. Since I already had the plug-in there was no waiting for installation. The layer “on/off” legend worked similar to other Internet mapping apps with custom plug-ins.


Is Flash the next generation of plug-in for mapping? To date, none of major players in GIS have implemented support of Flash, but that leaves room for smaller innovators like HSC. And, from what I saw, for map exploration, Flash worked just fine.







Voice-enabled 511 system technology, in place since December 18, 2001, gives callers in Utah access to information about traffic so they can plan their routes. Used in only a few other regions, 511 is playing a key role in getting people to and from Olympic venues. The system converts caller requests in the data queries and returns spoken answers. The initiative, one of six across the US, was developed in part to simplify the jumble of 12 existing hotlines available from four state and local agencies.


Back in July 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assigned 511 to traveler information, a decision supported by many state departments of transportation and other agencies. The goal is to eventually have one nationwide system, similar to 411 and 911. However, without any federal requirements, implementations are few. 


But, lest we think that the state has traffic all wrapped up for the Olympics, Utah’s Department of Transportation selected Westwood One and Tele Atlas North America, Inc. to provide real-time traffic information on local television during and after the Games. Tele Atlas North America's Traffic Check real-time automated traffic television program is available on government access channels throughout the Salt Lake City area. The company’s traffic database also supports a live weather and traffic show produced by Westwood One for KUWB, a Warner Brother affiliate, which is carried on broadcast and cable stations throughout the state. 

Bluefish Wireless Inc. is using 60 infrared access points around Salt Lake City to beam Olympics and local interest information to visitors to the games. We’ll know this technology has arrived when, instead of being available only at high profile events like the Olympics, it’s available everywhere, all the time.  =153400&TICK=PALM&STORY=/www/story/02-19-2002/0001671588&EDATE =Feb+19,+2002


ESRI also has a hand in the Olympics – its software, along with that of partners is in use by the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command (UOPSC). 





- Last week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave the go ahead to a new spectrum-sharing scheme: Ultra-wideband (UWB). Unlike using radio bands on a specific frequency, UWB data is transmitted using pulses of energy, across a wide swath of frequencies. There was concern that the sharing might compromise GPS signals, so a conservative rollout will include UWB use in only three areas: imaging systems, including ground-penetrating radar and medical imaging and surveillance; vehicle radar systems for collision avoidance; and communications and measurement tools for fast home and business networking equipment. The signals go through walls and other obstacles better than existing technologies and can locate devices to within one-centimeter resolution.  story&u=/nf/20020215/bs_nf/16374





- Announcements

ESRI is porting ArcIMS and ArcSDE, for use with Oracle software, to Hewlett–Packard’s HP-UX 11i operating system. 


Trimble and ESRI have formed a strategic alliance aimed at mobile GIS solutions. There were no details provided on what is planned. 


The City of Calgary, Alberta has gone live with phase one of its assessment project with the successful rollout of a residential assessment solution using NovaLIS Technologies’ Assessment Office. 


Autodesk Location Services announced it has been elected to the management board of the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF) Ltd. The Open GIS Consortium and LIF signed an agreement to work together toward interoperability in location-based services. 


Tele Atlas introduced the Tele Atlas Data Pack for ESRI's ArcIMS Route Server extension. 


Intermap Technologies announced data sales of US $280,000 of digital elevation data to Space Imaging. The data covers Puerto Rico and Jamaica and will be used to enhance the accuracy of IKONOS satellite imagery offered by Space Imaging. 


- Contracts


MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. announced this week that Wards Solicitors in Bristol have signed up with TransAction Online, the MDA Channel that's part of the National Land Information Service (NLIS) project in England and Wales. The company has entered into an agreement with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to extend the Mission Feasibility study for the proposed RADARSAT-2/3 Topographic Mission. 


New Sarnoff Corporation and SRI International, in a joint venture, have claimed a procurement agreement from NIMA (National Imagery and Mapping Agency) to develop and commercialize technologies of interest to the U.S. Government's National Technology Alliance. The agreement focuses on three areas: (1) imagery, GIS and Cartography; (2) digital processing, analysis, and management; and (3) digital technology infrastructure. The agreement is for five years and is worth more than $200 million. 


- Hires


Michael Olkin, formerly GIS Manager for the Town of West Springfield, MA, has joined Applied Geographics, Inc (AGI). Olkin will be based out of AGI’s new Manchester, Connecticut Office. 


Snowflake Software has appointed new a Director, Simon Perry. Simon has 14 years experience in the IT industry, as a software engineer and consultant. 


ImageLinks announced the hiring of Jody Hencin as Vice President of Applied Technology. She was previously with Silicon Graphics. 





- Abbie Moor of Florida DOT responded to an article a few weeks back on the challenges of sharing spatial data after September 11 with this story.

“On a similar note, I have a pamphlet by the USGS on aerial imagery. They decided to zoom in on the Pentagon. The image is pretty clear. I doubt they would make that choice again.”


- D. Mikesh wrote to ask about the lack of discussion of MapInfo and how TenLinks is structured:


“Your email ‘infograms’ consistently either downplay or don't even mention MapInfo products or companies that have developed apps using that platform. Is TenLinks just another GIS reporting site (like several trade mags) that has ESRI CEOs on their board of directors, therefore ESRI is overloaded to the dismissal of other GIS software?? MapInfo and ESRI are the major GIS players.”


The editor replies: I have not tallied how much coverage MapInfo or any other company receives in GIS Monitor. My methodology is simple: I review the news of the week and write about what is interesting to me or significant, in my opinion, to the industry. TenLinks does not use its board of directors for this purpose, nor does GIS Monitor have an editorial advisory board, so there are no ESRI, or any other company’s, CEOs or staff involved. As for the author’s statement that MapInfo and ESRI are the major players, Daratech consistently rates ESRI and Intergraph in the double digits in terms of market share based on revenue, with MapInfo in the single digits along with Autodesk. 





Feb 20 - ISIS Posts a Net Profit for First Quarter After Loss in 2001 

Net income for the first quarter ending Dec 31, 2001, was $37,934 compared with a net loss of $369,252 one year earlier. The company also gained nearly $2.7 million through a shareholder rights offering, which closed Feb. 1. Directors, officers and employees, shareholders and others invested in this offering.


Feb 20 - Cadcorp Launches mSIS - mobile Spatial Information System 

Cadcorp is delivering an end-user mobile application. The distinguishing feature: mSIS is OpenGIS-compliant for Simple Features (vector data structures), Coordinate Transformation Services and Grid Coverages (raster data).


Feb 20 - Auto Navigation Systems Powered by Navtech Data 

If you are keeping track, the eight new models sporting NAVTECH data include the Jaguar X-Type, Lexus IS300, Lexus ES300, Lincoln Blackwood, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Nissan Maxima, Oldsmobile Aurora, and Toyota Camry.


Feb 19 - Maporama Launches Maporama Sales Solutions 

Maporama Sales Solutions, a module of Maporama Enterprise Solutions is specifically designed for sales managers in the retail industry.


Feb 19 - Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Launches GIS Enterprise 

Choctaw Geo Imaging (CGI) is a technology integrator established by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to provide comprehensive digital mapping services for regional government, outdoor recreation and other geospatial professionals.


Feb 18 - GeoNorth Announces New Extensions, Contracts 

The two extensions to ArcGIS make the software more enterprise friendly. The company also now offers services under the Portland Oregon Master Services Agreement.


Feb 18 - IDELIX Awarded GeoConnections Contract 

The partnership will integrate IDELIX’s Pliable Display Technology with an Internet Client. This partnership is through the GeoInnovations program of GeoConnections.


Feb 15 - Analytical Surveys Reports First Quarter Results 

The Company reported first quarter net earnings of $4.0 million but that includes extinguishment of $9.6 million of debt and a $3.6 million write-off.


Feb 15 - Cadcorp Wins Contracts in UK, Mexico 

The Welsh Health Estates has selected Cadcorp SIS for a project involving the analysis of health service facilities. The company also announced a contract for over 160 licences of its software for the Mexican Federal Police for use in its crime mapping, analysis and prevention initiatives. Scott Oglevee, once of GDS and recently Revit, now heads the Cadcorp US office.


Feb 15 - Spatial Data Pvt Ltd Launches "Spinfo Tamil Nadu 2002" 

The combination of the Spinfo SIS Map Engine and digital maps of the state of Tamil Nadu yields a desktop GIS for the area.


Feb 15 - CellPoint Inc. Reports Q2 and Six Months Results 

Revenues were about 1/4 of what they were a year ago.


Feb 15 - CanMap RouteLogistics V6.0 Released 

The new version includes a route hierarchy for optimized routing across Canada, road gradient information for heavy and dangerous goods transportation, road elevations for adjusted distances and travel times and rail data for intermodal routing.


Feb 15 - Blue Marble announces the BeyondGeo Re-Seller Program 

The Internet-based mapping service from Blue Marble Geographics is now available to resellers through a private label program.


Feb 14 - DigitalGlobe Announces Rollout of Quickbird Operations 

DigitalGlobe is conducting a controlled and phased rollout of the company operations that leads to its broad commercial product availability in the third quarter of 2002.


Feb 14 - Geodis, s.r.o., Selects Z/I Imaging's TerraShare Suite 

Geodis, one of the most advanced mapping agencies in Central Europe, implemented TerraShare to manage and distribute all geoimaging and project data across their production workflow.


Feb 14 - Maptech's MapServer GIS Makes Using USGS Topos Easy 

MapServer GIS is a special version of Maptech's MapServer Professional specifically configured for MapInfo and ESRI users. Standard areas of coverage include the entire US or any 100, 50 or 30 topographic map regions.


Feb 14 - DMTI Extends Street Coverage to 99% of CA Population 

According to the company CanMap Streetfiles V6.0 boasts over 6,900 kilometers of new named street segments and over 2,100 kilometers of new addressed street segments, representing the most comprehensive Canadian street map data available.


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