GIS MONITOR, February 21,
- 3GSM World Congress Hosts
Locations Services Demos
- Maps On the Web Using
- Geospatial Technologies at
the Olympics, Part II
Departments: Points of
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3GSM WORLD CONGRESS HOSTS
LOCATION SERVICES DEMOS
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
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
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,
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021902MapInfo.htm
MapInfo Introduces MapInfo
MapX Mobile for Pocket PC http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/022002MapInfo.htm
TCS Demos Messaging and
Location Services Integration http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker
Autodesk First With
Location-enabled Mobile Messaging http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/022002Autodesk2.htm
Autodesk Location Services
Introduces Location Connect 2 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/022002Autodesk.htm
Autodesk Location Services
Selected as Location-Based Services Partner for TIM's Enterprise
IntelliWhere Joins with IBM
at 3GSM Exhibition http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/022002Intelliwhere.htm
CellPoint at 3GSM World
Congress in Cannes http://www.cellpoint.com/PR/020219eng.htm
CellPoint Announces Mobile
Location System 6.0 http://www.cellpoint.com/PR/020220eng.htm
Six Nokia Venture Partners
Funded Companies Report Milestones at 3GSM World Congress
New York Selects GeoMode for
Microsoft Rings in Pocket PC
Phone Edition http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020219/sftu104_1.html
New Uses Coming for Cell
Phones (AP) http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020219/
GITWiT Changes Name To
====== a message from our
ERDAS is part of the Leica
Geosystems GIS & Mapping Division.
With the integration of ERDAS
and LH Systems, Leica Geosystems has expanded its product areas to offer
airborne data acquisition, geographic imaging, GPS/GIS, and land
MAPS ON THE WEB USING FLASH
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
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
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.
GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY AT THE
OLYMPICS, PART II
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
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).
POINTS OF INTEREST
- 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.
ESRI is porting ArcIMS and
ArcSDE, for use with Oracle software, to Hewlett–Packard’s HP-UX 11i
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
Tele Atlas introduced the
Tele Atlas Data Pack for ESRI's ArcIMS Route Server extension.
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
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.
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
- 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
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.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Feb 20 - ISIS Posts a Net
Profit for First Quarter After Loss in 2001 http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020219/190258_1.html
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
Feb 20 - Cadcorp Launches
mSIS - mobile Spatial Information System http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/022002Cadcorp.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/022002Navtech.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021902Maporama.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/02190Choctaw.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/02180GeoNorth.htm
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 http://www.idelix.com/press_release_20020218.shtml
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 http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020214/lath139_1.html
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021502Cadcorp.htm
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" http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021502Spinfo.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021502CellPoint.htm
Revenues were about 1/4 of
what they were a year ago.
Feb 15 - CanMap
RouteLogistics V6.0 Released http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021502DMTI.htm
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
Feb 15 - Blue Marble
announces the BeyondGeo Re-Seller Program http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/02150BM.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021402DG.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021402ZI.htm
Geodis, one of the most
advanced mapping agencies in Central Europe, implemented TerraShare to
manage and distribute all geoimaging and project data across their
Feb 14 - Maptech's MapServer
GIS Makes Using USGS Topos Easy http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021402Maptech.htm
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 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/021402DMTI.htm
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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