February 27, 2003


• Bentley World Tour
• More on Bentley PowerMap
• ArcExplorer Web Released
• Autodesk Q4 and Year End Results
• More on Columbia

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The Bentley World tour stop in Boston couldn't have been timed better. Set just three days after a two-foot snowfall in the area, the roads were mostly clear and travel was heading back to normal. Even so, a number of badges were left unclaimed at the 9 a.m. starting time.

Bentley is using this 70-city tour to give full weight to its MicroStation V8 "Generation." The "generation" is a family of products built on the same core technology. Last week Bentley announced that at v8.1 all 100+ products will be released "at once" in a synchronized manner. Typically, the engineering configurations (basically vertical products) and other add-ons lag behind each MicroStation release.

The presentation essentially had two parts. A keynote introduced nine (!) key features of the V8 Generation. After a break, there was a demonstration highlighting "A Day in the Life of a Project."

Tony Flynn, Bentley's Global Marketing Director for Building, presented the keynote. (Flynn was president of Boston Communications, at one time Bentley's public relations firm.) Flynn started out by acknowledging that the talent in the industry was not up on stage with the Bentley staff, but that it was in the audience. He explained that company managers have an obligation to communicate with users and that's part of the goal of the tour. He suggested that in his presentation he'd answer the big question: "What's in it for me?"

He highlighted the aforementioned "synchronization" and explained that Bentley had put 500 "person development years" into the release. (A person development year is a theoretical measure of the productivity of one developer for one year.) He also noted (as did a press release earlier this week) that there would be an annual "synchronization" of the products. That's an ambitious goal for more than 100 products, but I applaud Bentley's choice to formally articulate that action plan. Before delving into the nine key points about the V8 Generation, Flynn explained that with the 8.1 release Bentley delivered on users' requests for a "managed environment." Managed environment was the term of the day, and I expect, of the tour.

Flynn's nine points included:

• DWG/DGN Support

Bentley calculates that 29% of AEC content is stored in DGN files, with 41% in DWG. That, he explained, means that Bentley must offer, as it does in the release, a robust solution for both formats.

• OpenDGN

Bentley will provide Bentley-supported (not sure what that means) read/write software libraries for DGN. He emphasized that Select Subscribers would, on request, have access to the DGN format documentation and support, and unlimited access to Bentley Redline for use inside and outside their organizations.

• Change Management

There are new tools for tracking history, audit trails, displaying changes between files, and unlimited and selective undo.

• Intellectual Property Management

There are new tools for digital signatures and digital rights. He suggested these features enhance and encourage security, which in turn encourages materials to stay digital. (Note that this is in line with Carol Bartz vision of "the end of paper" discussed at Autodesk University.)

• Searching

There are new tools for searching, querying and navigating documents with AEC content.

• Connectors

There are Bentley "connectors" to other enterprise systems including FileNet, OpenText and Documentum, all document management systems.

• Content Creation

There are currently four engineering configurations. With this release Select Subscribers have access to any and all of them. PowerDraft and its upcoming vertical applications (the Power products, see below) are aimed at 2D content creation, and also have support for digital rights.

• Simplified Server Licensing

The licensing process has been updated to allow a single server-side location for license management.

• Enterprise Subscriptions

Larger organizations can choose an enterprise subscription, which for a set fee, provides an "all you can eat" offering. This, Flynn argues, means that you can test and use new software for pilots for "free." Another bonus, enterprise subscribers receive discounts with each additional year on the plan.

Flynn then outlined the four vertical teams: building, civil, plant, and geospatial. While he had something to say about the first three (either an acquisition or a vision) he was notably silent on geospatial. He outlined Bentley's financial performance (compared, standardized, to Autodesk's, it looked quite good) and mentioned that while the company is private, they've begun to report earnings just like a public one.

There were two final plugs. One, via video, was from Bhupinder Singh, VP of Platforms. His engaging, though somewhat lengthy clip explained the importance of Bentley's newsgroups to Bentley. The second plug was for the upcoming user conference in Baltimore in May.

I ran into several new Bentley employees from the Boston area office of recently acquired Infrasoft. I also met several of the "co-hosts" of this stop on the tour, the staff of a Bentley MVAR headquartered in New York. I find it interesting that there isn't a more local MVAR. Still, Symmetry Systems had quite a crew on hand, and several members of the company's staff sought me out to be sure my questions were answered.

The demonstration was an hour-long tour of an engineering project that highlighted Bentley's managed environment. The managed environment, Bentley ProjectWise, is a workflow tool that handles check in/check out, who made the last change, etc. Two Bentley employees wore different hats to represent different players in the drama. I may not have been the only person who felt that there was too much going on-too many products, too many steps, and too many hat changes. I had trouble keeping track of which software product was doing what and the relationship of each step to the ultimate goal. There was quite a lot of checking in and checking out of documents. One of the other attendees told me that when things went over his head, he counted the attendees.

One part of the presentation that I thought was particularly "cool" was an online comparison of two documents in Digital Interplot (an online sharing/review server). Putting documents online is nothing new (think DWF) but the ability to do this type of "comparison" with them was interesting.

The questions after the presentation were most revealing. The first was about the demo hardware, which consisted of two notebooks. They were 700 mhz machines with 512 Mb RAM. The questioner pointed out that they were slow. I asked a slightly different question: How would the demo shown be implemented (on hardware and software) in the real world? The answer: it depends. I probed further: What software was running? What would be hosted on a server, vs. a client machine? One of the notebooks at the demo, I learned, hosted a Web server, publishing server, file server and database (SQL Server). That, in part, explained why it was so slow. On the client side of this type of enterprise implementation you'd find Bentley Redline, MicroStation, and PowerDraft. That amount of server-side software, I learned later, made many of the attendees, especially from small shops, conclude this type of solution was not for them.

There was a question about two people editing the same file. The questioner recalled that at one point Bentley touted Project Bank and a solution that stored elements directly in the database, a solution that would do away with the DGN file as we know it. That vision, according the Bentley respondent, was ahead of its time ("You didn't want a database," he reported) and the company went back to the file-based approach illustrated in the demo. The technology for two people to work on the same file is under development for a future release, but will use a file-based management solution.

Questions about digital signatures and their legal standing did not receive adequate answers, according to the gentleman who asked. I think this is still a fairly mysterious area for many people. I'd not seen the process of acquiring and using a digital signature until a few weeks ago when I was at an Autodesk User Group meeting.

The next question was about how all the security of the managed environment works if someone "sneaks" into a document from "outside" the managed environment. The idea is that digital signatures (which are no longer valid if the document is changed) and digital rights (which control who can access the document and at what level) keep things protected.

There was a question about how change histories are stored. They reside in the DGN, even when it is compressed.

A question about the plan for UNIX received a vague response from one of the demo personnel, but a gentleman who I later learned was Lew Reed, Bentley's Regional VP of Sales for Building and Geospatial products in North America, cleared the air, "There are no future plans for UNIX."

The final question asked when 8.1 would be released. It was released on February 10th, ten days before the event.

Last week in a press release highlighting the Power Products, Bentley noted that the first one to market was PowerMap. I contacted Carey Mann, VP of Industry and Product Marketing at Bentley to learn a bit more about the product.

Recall first that PowerDraft, introduced in 1995, is a 2D (with light 3D) companion to MicroStation that boasts many of the features of MicroStation, but is aimed at a production drawing-oriented environment. Higher end tools were left out, and the price point lowered from MicroStation's several thousand dollar tag. The Power products aim to extend the focus on production into specific verticals.

Still, Mann makes clear, it's not correct to think of PowerMap as MicroStation GeoGraphics (the company's full-featured geospatial offering) "light." PowerMap is a production mapping environment, and shares a common technology base and an identical data model with GeoGraphics. While PowerMap doesn't have the extensive Oracle support or high-end tools, it offers a core tools for geometry creation and editing, clean-up and thematic mapping, GIS data import, coordinate system support, and image integration. PowerMap also offers ODBC connectivity and the ability to query Oracle Locator/Spatial data. Mann suggests the product will be attractive to contractors working with clients using GeoGraphics and with a broader mapmaking audience that may not be Bentley users at all. Bentley also positions PowerMap as a development platform for specialized applications.

One of the key points, Mann notes, is that PowerMap, and all the Power products, will participate in Bentley's managed environment.

More information on PowerMap and Bentley's plans with ESRI is expected at GITA, which will be held next week in San Antonio.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2003, Autodesk reported net revenues of $196 million compared to $189 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2003, an increase of four percent sequentially. Fourth quarter net income was $6.4 million or $0.06 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $3.9 million or ($0.03) per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2003. Net income for the same quarter a year ago was $21.8 million or $0.19 per diluted share. Said another way, fourth-quarter profit dropped 70 percent from a year ago.

CNET notes that China was the source of much of Autodesk's growth. Once known largely for software piracy, the country is now growing its software marketplace as it changes policies and joins the World Trade Organization. Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz was pleased with 40% growth in China last quarter. Subscription revenue was up 6 percent for the quarter and 58 percent for the year, ahead of original projections, which also helped boost revenue. Bartz reiterated her vision of electronic documents slowly pushing away paper. The good news, she said, is that in these slow times, there's a chance for companies to "kick the tires" of this new vision.

Also of note, the GIS Division is now the Infrastructure Solutions Division (ISD). That Division grew 10% from last quarter on strong performance from Autodesk MapGuide and Autodesk Land Desktop. In an unrelated story at AdAge.com, there is speculation of a new creative and marketing agency for Autodesk, Doremus. The article notes that the choice was complicated by the resignation earlier this year of Cathy Fox, Autodesk's vice president of worldwide marketing.


ESRI introduced ArcExplorer Web this week. As the name suggestes, it's a Web-based version of ArcExplorer. It needs no plug-ins or downloads and can access data from the Geography Network and other ArcIMS services. And, because the data behind the maps created are live on the Web, users can save the "definition" of the map (which requires an ESRI Global Account, basically a free registration) or copy the URL of the map and use them it in their own websites. For the techies among us, the HMTL for the map below is:

<!-- this JavaScript file contains the method openArcExplorerWeb() -->

<SCRIPT TYPE="text/javascript" LANGUAGE="JavaScript" SRC="http://www.geographynetwork.com/arcexplorer/javascript/openAEWeb001.js">
<!-- this is the actual link to the application -->
<A HREF="JavaScript:openArcExplorerWeb('http://www.geographynetwork.com/arcexplorer/arcexplorer.html?&link=20030223054634239_USGS_NED_Census_Diversity');">
Launch ArcExplorer Web Map

Behind the scenes, ArcExplorer Web uses Java Server Pages (JSP) and JavaScript as well as Java Advanced Imaging (JAI) to perform the image fusion when viewing two or more map services at once.


In addition, ESRI is offering services to customize the viewer. GeoCommunicator, a viewer from the Bureau of Land Management & the U.S. Forest Service, appears to be built on the ArcExplorer Web framework. It came online in October 2001.

I found two limitations of ArcExplorer Web in my quick tour. First, it's not possible to resize the application window. Second, the application does not support OGC's Web Map Service Specification (WMS), which would allow the application to tap into any other servers (from other vendors) that implement this specification. ESRI did confirm that the upcoming version of ArcExplorer 4.0.1 (which requires a download) will have an extension that will support WMS. Intergraph developed and hosts WMS Viewer, an online viewer that supports WMS.

While David Allen's article last week highlighted details of mapping Columbia debris on dry land, a
release sent to me by Tom Harvey highlighted the challenges of searching and mapping underwater.

One team from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) did its work at Six Mile, a small community on the edge of Toledo Bend Reservoir, where it was suspected many parts of the shuttle lay underwater. Craig Scofield of TPWD Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab, procured the use of a firehouse to set up a complete GIS lab with computers, plotters and a T-1 line to share data with Stephen F. Austin State University and the disaster field office in Lufkin.

The divers in the reservoir faced challenges in their search attempts due to old-growth trees that stood 80 feet tall still anchored on the lake bottom, silt clouds when objects were lifted from the bottom, and hard-to-read sonar images. The GIS team pulled out Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS) images of the area from 1960, before the reservoir was built. From these they digitized maps of the reservoir bottom, which included old farmhouses, roadbeds and other features that might be mistaken for shuttle debris. With the maps in hand divers had a better chance at finding material that was, in fact, shuttle debris. TPWD received a letter of commendation from the Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts.

• William Schauman, a cartographic technician at the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia sent a clarification to David Allen's article on mapping Columbia's debris.

Allen had written, "The FEMA command post in Nacogdoches is no longer seeking volunteers. The forestry service has sent their emergency response team that normally deals with forest fires to the site, so they have about 1200 people on the ground."

Schauman notes, "The 'forestry service' is the U.S.D.A. Forest Service."

• Intel has made progress with its Location Aware Computing (LAC) efforts. The idea, which I
noted last September, is to use the power of GPS for outdoor locating, along with triangulation techniques from wireless networks and cellular networks for indoor and hard to reach areas, to provide a hybrid solution to locating a laptop. An article from ZDNET does not mention the technology's use in phones or handhelds, strictly in laptops.

A discussion at Unstrung noted WLAN's heavy power drain in this context, which may explain the focus on bulkier devices. And, the discussion of applications illustrates some that are not typically associated with traditional LBS. For example, LAC might be used to identify the nearest printer to a laptop, and then guide the user to the printer for retrieval. Or, it might be used to track the laptop in case of theft of loss. Intel refers to its solution as a "location fuser" and expects the technology to become more common in the next two to four years. Intel is working with Microsoft's Enterprise Location Server (an LBS server built with AT&T; Wireless) and MapPoint .Net.

• Want to buy some accident records management software for a police department? Russelville, Arkansas does. The city is talking with New World Systems and the local paper, the Courier, reports this cost breakdown: $107,355 total (plus some travel/accommodation costs) includes $60,680 for application software, $44,000 for support services, and $2,675 worth of other third-party costs, including ESRI software, data files and a thermal bar coding printer. There's an $11,840 annual maintenance charge, too. And, the total reflects a $13,320 credit, if the city agrees to serve as a demonstration site for the system.

• According to an article in the York Daily Record, York County Pennsylvania will pursue a $50,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and a $100,000 grant from Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the training and support of a tactical response unit, and funding for aerial photography. Part of the proposal is called "The Pictometry Project" and would provide funding for the county to hire Pictometry to provide orthophotos and oblique imagery. Late last year eyebrows were raised in Connecticut when a state budget bill drafted by the governor's budget office, called for spending up to $4 million from a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) open space fund for "aerial photography/pictometry." Some suggested it inappropriate that a vendor name be included in the budget document.

• On Wednesday those against a war with Iraq held a Virtual March on Washington. The idea was to insure that every Senate office received a call every minute from a constituent, as they receive a simultaneous crush of faxes and email. There was even an online media room to cover the virtual march. According to organizers, this is the first time this type of event has been staged. Thanks to Larry for sending this on with his comment that this was a "legit and is a clever way to make geography not matter."

• JAGIS is a discussion list for journalists using GIS. It's a Yahoo group that's mirrored at Directions Magazine. This week there was a discussion about an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that used image analysis to estimate the size of crowds at an anti-war rally in the Bay Area. While police estimates ran about 200,000, counts from images commissioned by the Chronicle suggested 65,000 attendees.

• The BBC's children's division is producing a world geography-focused TV show for 15- and 16-year-olds in Texas. Three BBC shows have been re-edited with American voiced narration to provide 18 hour-long programs to "increase students' awareness and knowledge of world geography." Two firsts here: This is the first time the BBC has produced a curriculum for an educational system outside Britain, and the first time a non-U.S.-based academic course has the official approval of the Texas state education board.

• Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working on a series of technologies to aid in homeland security and combat. One, a six-dimensional gyro sensor designed to aid in navigation, kicks in when GPS signals are lost. The solution is not a true gyro, but a "magnetic inertial-type sensor" that tracks location based on motion. The device involves a inertial body made of glass or plastic that is encased and surrounded with a "ferro-magnetic fluid." "As the body moves inside the enclosure, the fluid is displaced and the external sensor coils of the container read the magnetic flux," one researcher said.

• Newsweek reports this week on new technologies for the field soldier including the FBCB2-a mobile computer with GPS that has maps and communications abilities. One challenge? Early versions were easy to hack. Still, with stories of using double backed tape on acetate maps in the field in the Gulf War, many are encouraged by the extensive use of technology.

• Baseball remote sensing. The latest survivor detection system, built by researchers at Penn State University, puts a microphone in a baseball. According to an article in Wired, the ball bounces down into a pile of debris and can provide adequate signals, even is there is significant noise nearby. Since metal debris might interfere with reception, researchers are looking at different kinds of antennae.

• URISA's Marketplace, once a section of its print newsletter is now 100% electronic. The job postings are hosted on the URISA website and sent out to interested members via e-mail. Members can contact [email protected] to get on the list to receive e-mails. Posting runs $200 for members and $250 for non-members.

• I reported some time ago about warchalking, the act of making chalk marks on buildings or sidewalks to identify areas of free wireless access. An article in the Orlando Sentinel suggests it may be mostly urban legend since few have seen such marks. I live in the highly techie area of Somerville/Cambridge, Mass. and have yet to see such a mark.

• 125 cities with populations ranging from 75,000 to 7 million responded to the Center for Digital Government's 2002 Digital Cities Survey, sponsored by Microsoft. Of those, Government Technology reports, 94 percent use GIS, and 80 percent make GIS available to citizens in some capacity.

• The Albany Business Review reports that MapInfo cut 30 jobs last Thursday including 14 in the company's Troy headquarters. About 10 were attributed to attrition. The downsizing saves about $2.4 million of the $4.8 million decrease the company has targeted for the year. Additional cost saving measures will include trimming entertainment and travel budgets, among other things.

• An interesting headline leads a story in Australian IT: "MapInfo Sales Boom in Terror's Wake." The article goes on to say that MapInfo CEO Mark Cattini is down-under to promote what the company's software can do. The article does not illustrate the "boom" in sales due to terrorism, but does speak of an increased interest.

• According to Glenn Letham, writing at Spatial News, the Canadian Province of Manitoba is providing all of its geospatial data free of charge for unrestricted use. The article cites many data layers including, topographic data, base maps, soils maps, land use mapping, cadastral data, forest inventory, digital imagery, geology maps, community base maps, all administrative boundaries, quarter section grids, geographical names, water resource mapping, and road maps. Canada is not known for such an open distribution policy, so this is a significant step forward.

• Discussion on GISLIST recently focused on New Jersey's pending legislation to even the pay scale for government contractor call center employees from overseas. The idea is to take away the price advantage offshore companies provide and ideally, keep the jobs in the U.S. According to an article in the Times of India, Connecticut, Missouri, Maryland, and Wisconsin are considering restrictions on outsourcing as well. There is currently quite a lot of GIS outsourcing in India. Oddly, I couldn't find any U.S. coverage of this legislation.


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• Announcements
MapInfo announced a global partnership with Ireland-based LBS company, Cyantel. Under the partnership, Cyantel will create applications from its E-Z-Manage range of LBS solution suites using the geo-spatial functionality from MapInfo's miAware mobile location services platform. MapInfo is expanding the coverage of its Location-Based Services (LBS) platform-miAware-to include Finland, France, The Netherlands, and Sweden, with a further wave of development to be announced this summer. Finally, MapInfo announced a "new aggressive pricing structure" to help stimulate the LBS market.

Telcontar, a provider of software platforms for LBS, and telematics software company, Televoke, announced that the two companies are merging to create a leading supplier of software and related services for powering LBSs in the United States and Europe. Telcontar's spatial software platform will now be coupled with Televoke's Automated User Interface to enable customers to produce powerful mobile safety, security, and convenience (MSSC) services.

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) of the Department of Defense has published the results of its evaluation of Feature Analyst. NIMA likes it. Read the report here.

The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announces a Request for Comment (RFC) on the proposed Web Map Context Documents Implementation Specification.

ESRI Business Information Solutions (ESRI BIS) has launched the first phase of its expanded Web site at www.esribis.com. The company describes the website as a one-stop shop for businesses and marketing professionals seeking marketing information applications.,The new site integrates business data with geographic information system (GIS) technology and enables users to generate reports, customize thematic maps, and store their analysis projects.

The Association for Geographic Information (AGI) announced the speakers for its annual conference, set for London September 16-18, 2003. Speakers include some UK dignitaries and GIS industry speakers including Preetha Pulusani from Intergraph Corporation, Martin Daly from Cadcorp, and David Maguire of ESRI. Daly is CTO at Cadcorp and one of those people who makes complex technology understandable.

The 2003 ASPRS Fellow Award winners are Daniel L. Civco and David F. Maune. The ASPRS designation of Fellow is conferred on active Society members who have performed exceptional service in advancing the science and use of the mapping sciences (photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying, geographic information systems, and related disciplines).

MDA reported fourth quarter 2002 revenues increased 24% to $154.5 million. This compares to revenues of $124.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2001. Information Systems contributed $80.2 million of these revenues compared to $79.9 million for the fourth quarter last year. Information Products revenues increased 65% to $74.3 million, compared with the fourth quarter a year ago.

ESRI announced the Global Urban Observatory (GUO) Grant Program. This international grant initiative is under the auspices of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). Initially, grants will be awarded to provide GIS technology and training to 350 cities during 2003 that currently do not have access to the technology. The grants consist of a package of GIS software, technical support and upgrades, and training. They are valued at approximately $15,000 each, making the entire program worth about $15 million.

The Warren Group, a New England provider of real estate news and property information, and Phoenix Data, a privately held developer of Web-based GIS announced they have agreed to jointly develop and market a suite of interactive GIS mapping products aimed at real estate professionals.

More than two hundred images of early maps of Japan, including examples of some especially rare woodblock print maps of the city of Edo (now Tokyo), from the University of California's East Asian Library Japanese Historical Map Collection are represented in the online collection. The website is the result of a new partnership between the East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and private map collector David Rumsey.

More than 2,500 site plans showing 88,000 houses and other proposed developments have been supplied by architects, house builders, and developers to add to Ordnance Survey's most detailed digital map data. It follows the launch of an Ordnance Survey initiative to gather design plans and engineering surveys for sites with detailed planning approval but still awaiting construction.

• Contracts
Casper, Wyoming, has selected CompassCom Inc. to upgrade surrounding Natrona County's mapping database to a digital system that will be E911 Phase II compliant.

GeoDecisions was recently awarded a five-year contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT). Under this agreement, GeoDecisions and CIBER, GeoDecisions' subcontracting partner, will provide IT and GIS support for PENNDOT's Geographic Information Division's (GID) Support and Development project.

ESRI BeLux has won a major cadastre contract in Belgium. The Belgian Ministry of Finances-Administration of Cadastre, Registration, and Domains-has awarded ESRI BeLux a contract for the delivery of more than 300 lightweight and heavyweight software licenses for cadastral use, based upon ESRI's ArcGIS and ArcView 8.3 software, including the ArcGIS Survey Analyst extension. The system will be deployed in all the local offices across the country.

Intrado has formed an alliance with the Microsoft MapPoint Business Unit to develop and market services that integrate maps, driving directions and other location intelligence into mobile applications for business and consumer users.

EMERGE, which provides high quality digital imagery and delivers cost effective digital sensor technology, received a contract with Obsidian Group to deliver color and color infrared imagery of 31 U.S. naval training and education sites covering 360 square miles.

The Offices for Land Surveying of two German States, Saarland and Thόringen, will to use Laser-Scan technology to develop their generalisation capability.

Marshall, GIS designers, developers, and integrators, announced that it has entered into a contract to provide GIS services to assist Simpson Resources Company in migrating its current GIS to ESRI ArcGIS.

DeLorme Publishing purchased the Leica ADS40 Airborne Digital Sensor and Leica ALS40 Airborne Laser Scanner. Together the systems allow the simultaneous capture of high quality images and digital elevation data using a unique combination of high-resolution digital imagery and LiDAR (light detection and ranging).

Industrial Magnetics has selected the SmartMaps solution for Web mapping. SmartMaps allows Industrial Magnetics to link its GoldMine and Access databases to the SmartMaps application for dynamic display of key information.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. announced that the company has been awarded contracts by three local Councils in England to begin modernizing the processing of land information requests through NLIS, the National Land Information Service.

Geo InSight International, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a contract by the City and County of Honolulu IT Department to enhance location reporting and tracking of emergency vehicles for city parks, fire, and ambulance.

The London Borough of Enfield (LBE) has chosen Laser-Scan's Radius Topology for the task of re-engineering its key corporate geographic dataset, the Basic Land and Property Unit (BLPU).

• Products
Tadpole-Cartesia, the field mapping software subsidiary of Tadpole Technology announced general availability of its ESRI-based GeoSync (View) 8.3 geospatial synchronization technology for worldwide utilities. The technology is being integrated into the software products of such GIS leaders as Miner & Miner.

ArcView 8.3 is now available from ESRI. The new release features improved annotation, support for topology, new editing tools, new add-on extensions and updated data.

Marine Geography: GIS for the Oceans and Seas, a new book from ESRI Press, is a resource for scientists, ecologists, researchers, and others interested in the development of advanced technology in the marine world. The book, edited by Joe Breman, is a compilation of case studies submitted by researchers and experts who represent different sectors of the global marine GIS community.

Clarity Communication Systems Inc announced Way-To-Go Navigator, an affordable GPS navigation system providing accurate location services from a wireless GPS-enabled handset. It's built on MapPoint .NET.

Telmap a provider of mobile mapping applications specializing in navigation, location management, and telematics solutions will officially launch its off-board navigation application "Polaris for Cellular Phones" at 3GSM World Congress 2003, in Cannes, France.

ESRI announced that ArcGIS Survey Analyst, an extension to ArcGIS 8.3, is shipping. Survey Analyst manages survey data in a geodatabase and represents survey measurements and observations on a map.

ESRI announced the availability of ArcExplorer Web, a Web-based solution for accessing Geography Network data and other ArcIMS Servers.

Verizon Information Technology has updated its Automated Workforce Administration System (AWAS) to include GPS and Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities. It's designed for large businesses that regularly dispatch field forces to serve customers.

Laser-Scan is offering a new package that includes Radius Topology and GO Loader for a discounted price over purchasing the two separately.

Wallingford Software announced that the license limit on the number of nodes in an InfoWorks network model has been doubled to 100,000.

ESRI announced that ArcEditor 8.3, part of the ArcGIS family of products, is now shipping. ArcEditor 8.3 includes full topology and disconnected editing support as well as the ability to edit features in a multi-user geodatabase.

Laser-Scan announced that a Linux version of its Gothic object-oriented database technology is now available.

DMTI Spatial released version 7.0 of its Postal Code Data Products for Canada.

• Events
The annual IMAGIN Conference, Geography on the Move: A Network of Knowledge, will take place May 5-7, 2003 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

GPS University announced that it has developed an interactive training program for users of the Garmin StreetPilot III GPS. The Garmin StreetPilot III Interactive Guide is the first release of a series of advanced, device-specific interactive training programs for consumer, recreation and marine GPS users.

URISA's 41st Annual Conference is heading to Atlanta, October 11-15, 2003. This year's conference theme is "Powering Progress Towards Process and Information Integration." The Call for Presentations has been distriubuted.

Map Asia 2003 is the 2nd Annual Asian Conference and Exhibition on the field of geographic information technologies like GIS, GPS, Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing. The conference is scheduled to be held from 17-19 July 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Abstract proposals are due March 30th 2003.

GeoSpatial World 2003, the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community International Training and Management Conference, convenes May 19-21 in New Orleans, Louisiana. New for the 2003 event are customer site visits, a Utilities & Communications Solutions track, and technical sessions focusing on earth imaging solutions.

This summer's Cambridge Conference, hosted by Ordnance Survey, is a an event organized once every four yearsw that brings together the heads of national mapping organizations and other leading players. They will discuss advances in technology and how their data can support policies on key issues, including land management, flooding, transport, education, healthcare and social exclusion.

• Education
ESRI Virtual Campus presents Spatial Analysis of Geohazards using ArcGIS, a new course that teaches how to use ArcGIS software to explore geologic hazards and analyze their potential effects on people, property, and the environment.

• Hires and Appointments
U.S. Geological Survey Director Chip Groat announced the appointment of Robert E. Doyle as Deputy Director of the USGS. He comes from BLM and is originally from Massachusetts.

NovaLIS Technologies announced that Ruel Williamson has joined the company as Land Titles Office Business Manager.


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