Please note: I have culled the following news items from press releases and have not independently verified them.
TomTom, a navigation solutions provider, has launched TomTom RIDER, designed specifically for drivers of motorcycles and scooters. The unit has the same features as the company's line of TomTom GO car navigation devices, including street level maps for the United States, choice of preferred route type, itinerary planning, turn-by-turn voice instructions, real-time access to traffic and weather information via wireless Bluetooth technology, and hands-free calling. The unit is "plug and go" and comes in a weather-proof case that can be attached to any motorcycle or scooter and is removable. TomTom RIDER features a touch screen that can be operated while wearing gloves, as well as an anti-glare screen and integrated sun-visor. It will be available this summer.
RF Micro Devices, Inc., a provider of proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications applications, has begun shipping the RF8900, its sole-source "converged" Bluetooth/GPS solution. Compared to competitive solutions, it enables a 20 percent reduction in size and a 25 percent reduction in cost.
RFMD's RF8900 is the enabling technology for "puck-style" devices that transmit location information wirelessly, enabling LBS to be received by any handheld device with Bluetooth technology and associated mapping software. The device includes a host processor that performs both the GPS navigation and Bluetooth communication functions and all system integration functions customized for high-volume applications. It is designed to interface with Bluetooth-enabled PDAs, cell phones and personal computers.
ESRI's ArcGIS 9 Military Analyst is now available. The extension maximizes the use of the standard suite of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) data products by allowing direct use and rendering of NGA's vector and raster products, line of sight assessments, Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) conversion, and Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) analysis. This extension also includes the Military Overlay Editor (MOLE), which supports MIL-STD 2525B and custom war fighting symbologies. In addition, MOLE includes a complete ArcObjects software-based application program interface for using MOLE with ArcGIS custom applications built with ArcGIS Engine.
New tools in ArcGIS Military Analyst include a geodesy calculator, which allows users to specify two coordinates and generate a great circle route, a rhumb line, or a geodesic route and to calculate bearing and distance and the end coordinate; a geodesy tool, which allows users to create great circles and rhumb lines interactively; a range ring tool, which allows users to create geodetically correct concentric ellipses at user-specified intervals anywhere on the globe; and a batch coordinate converter, which converts coordinates in a feature class, shapefile, or .dbf table. The batch coordinate converter can use the feature geometry or other fields to generate corresponding DD, DMS, UTM, and MGRS coordinates in the table.
Leica Geosystems has unveiled a new series of automatic self-leveling construction lasers for precise grade control in level, single, or dual slopes. The Rugby 300 single-grade laser and Rugby 400 dual-grade laser are designed to be used in a wide range of applications, including building pads, parking lots, and runways, precise depth control for sub base and fine grade excavation, installing septic and gravity flow pipe for drainage, concrete forming and framework, retention ponds, and setting foundations and footings. They are fully compatible with Leica Geosystems machine control systems, including the MC200 for excavators, MC1200 for motor graders, and control systems based on Leica CAB laser sensors for dozers, scrapers, box blades, and similar equipment.
CONTRACTS & COLLABORATIONS
Varion Systems, the software development and value-added reseller division of GeoAnalytics, Inc., has completed the implementation for the City of Hamilton, Ohio of Cityworks a GIS-based maintenance management system from Azteca Systems. The project objectives included implementing Cityworks throughout ten departments to manage their electric, gas, sewer, storm water, and water utilities. Using ESRI's ArcGIS 8.3 technology and ArcSDE in conjunction with Oracle and Citrix, the City now has a centralized system to manage all aspects of their departmental assets.
Varion Systems provided full implementation services throughout the project including requirements collection, installation of Cityworks for ArcGIS, configuration of service requests, integration to utility billing for automatic service request creation, implementation of standard reports, on-site training and coaching, as well as coordination of Geodatabase design services with Miner & Miner regarding the City's sanitary and storm sewer, water, electric and gas utilities.
Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) now deploys ESRI's ArcIMS 9 and ArcSDE software for an Internet GIS portal. The application was developed by GeoDecisions, a GIS/information technology consulting firm based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The GIS portal, known as the Information Network For Online Resource Mapping (INFORM), was first deployed in 2004; version 2.0 of the application is currently in development and scheduled for delivery next month.
Prior to the application, data was maintained in several locations; DelDOT employees needed to have GIS software located on their desktops to access spatial data and create maps or needed to contact DelDOT's GIS group to request data or maps. With INFORM, data is maintained and accessible from one centralized location; data redundancies are eliminated; the most accurate, up-to-date data is available to anyone who needs it; and map production is available online using standard map templates.
Trimble, has deployed ESRI ArcWeb Services to supply mapping and geographic data for its Trimble Outdoors software applications for PCs and GPS-enabled mobile phones. The Trimble Outdoors service is a trip planning, photomarking, and location-based blogging application that serves the outdoor enthusiast community. Trimble Outdoors leverages embedded GPS navigation and digital camera mobile phone features and combines the benefits of topographic, street, and aerial maps and trip planning software covering the United States.
Laurens Electric Cooperative (LEC), a member-owned rural electric cooperative in upstate South Carolina, now deploys a customized ESRI ArcPad GIS software solution for several mobile GIS applications, resulting in increased productivity and operational efficiency; improved data collection, maintenance, and accuracy; and reduced costs.
The ArcPad mobile GIS applications supplant previous paper map books and manual data collection efforts. Field crews can now use the most up-to-date and accurate service data available while in the field. This reduces dispatch radio traffic and provides the ability to capture data in the field and upload it to the enterprise GIS architecture.
MESA Solutions customized ArcPad to meet user-defined requirements. Known as Field Viewer, the application is now deployed on Compaq 7010 HP laptops for data collection and map viewing. Weekly, LEC's field crews plug their laptops into the network and in minutes download data updates of the entire service area automatically from the enterprise GIS database.
Based on the success of this ArcPad extension, a new application, the Inspection tool, is now being deployed for QA/QC of evolving data, including pole attachments, yard lights, and others.
Serco Integrated Transport, based in Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom, a developer of intelligent traffic management systems, has selected Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions' transportation solutions to develop a new Web portal, called Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL), for the Highways Agency in Great Britain. The ESDAL will be a one-stop, Web-based portal for assisted route planning and automated notification of the movement of abnormal loads.
Several hundred thousand abnormal loads are transported on UK highways each year. The ESDAL will automate and simplify the previous manual process of planning and notification of abnormal load movements among multiple agencies and organizations.
Intergraph's GeoMedia WebMap technology will enable haulers to simply draw routes directly onto a map. The routes drawn will then be used to drive other processes such as automatically identifying the organizations that need to be notified. NAVTEQ will provide the underlying digital mapping on top of which haulers sketch their routes. The system will use NAVTEQ data to convert the lines of sketched routes into a list of real-world road segments, which can then be used in ESDAL's automated processes.
Sanborn, a provider of GIS and photogrammetric services, has combined technical services with American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit citizens' conservation organization, to jointly market Urban Ecosystem Analysis (UEA). This technique creates an accurate map of a community's land cover, calculates the value of the work performed by trees and other green infrastructure, and provides community leaders with decision support material and software tools for using the data to support future projects. The partnership between the two organizations allows the two organizations to fulfill the growing need for a unique technical service that unlocks the potential of a community's natural capital (trees and other green infrastructure) as non-structural stormwater management devices and as air and water quality resources.
Lucent Technologies has signed an agreement with Telcontar to collaborate on fully integrated LBS for mobile operators. Lucent Worldwide Services (LWS) will integrate key components of Lucent's advanced IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution with Telcontar's Drill Down Server (DDS) for creating location-based services, which Lucent will then market to mobile network operators.
Telcontar, which powers such mapping and local search services as Yahoo!, Google, Ask Jeeves, Rand McNally, Motorola VIAMOTO, and Hutchison 3G wireless, will complement Lucent's LBS services, based on the Drill Down Server geo-spatial software platform.
Lucent will also collaborate on the introduction of LBS applications using Telcontar's Drill Down Server, which complements Lucent's iLocator and MiLife Intelligent Services Gateway (ISG) platforms. These applications include interactive maps and directions, as well as GPS services such as navigation, fleet tracking, points of interest information, and family finder services.
Telewest, a broadband communications company based in Woking, United Kingdom, has completed migration of 12 million network asset features from disparate legacy systems into a new corporate data warehouse, which was developed using Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions' AM/FM/GIS solutions for communications companies.
The newly consolidated database provides engineers nationwide with a consistent system for network documentation and maintenance. The system enables enterprise-wide access to network information for business tasks such as preparing commercial bids for national telecom projects.
Telewest currently markets to 4.7 million homes and provides multiple services, including multi-channel television, telephone and Internet to 1.75 million residential customers throughout the UK. With up-to-date asset information available throughout the enterprise, Telewest expects to reduce costs and response times and improve decision support and mitigate risk, thus increasing market competitiveness.
To document the network infrastructure as it was being built during rapid growth, Telewest maintained separate databases for each of its 13 franchise areas. In addition, Telewest's data was being managed by four incompatible GIS products, providing no means to obtain an overall view of the network. Within a 16-month period, Telewest and Intergraph, in conjunction with subcontractors KEMA Consulting and GTSS, successfully migrated 12 million features, including graphical information and associated intelligence into the new corporate database.
Emerging Technology Summit III: Advancing the Sensor Web, a two-day summit on the next generation of sensor technology, will take place at the Washington Hilton Hotel, in Washington, D.C., from April 14-15. Two dozen experts will discuss how sensor webs are being used in threat detection and monitoring, weather prediction and warning, defense and intelligence, mobile asset logistics, intelligent transportation, and critical infrastructure protection. For more information, click here.
The 2005 IMAGIN Annual Conference will take place May 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan. It will feature presentations on a variety of GIS topics, including "Data Sharing & Collaboration" and "Emergency Response & Homeland Security". Dr. Keith Clarke, of the University of California - Santa Barbara will give the keynote address. He will discuss the impact that high-resolution overhead imagery has had on local GIS applications. You can read the complete program here.
ESRI will hold its annual Business GeoInfo Summit on April 18 and 19 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. This two-day conference will help participants understand how GIS can improve their business. They will meet and hear from leaders in their industry and see how GIS has made them more efficient, competitive, and responsive to customers. Experts will present and demonstrate how GIS is helping to manage, visualize, and model business data and work flows.
The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI), founded 2004 January 1, has named Scott Grams its first Executive Director, tasked with supporting the efforts of the Board of Directors as well as the Outreach and Review Committees. He speaks on GISCI's behalf at professional meetings, workshops, and industry events. Grams had previously served as the Institute's Certification Program Director. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in 1999. He earned his Master's Degree from Northwestern University in 2004. There are 634 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of February 25, 2005. For more information regarding the GISCI certification program click here.
NAVTEQ, a provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, awarded the winners of the Second Annual Global LBS Challenge, which challenged developers to build location-enabled applications for wireless devices. The grand-prize winner and Asset Tracking/Field Services solution category winner was Bones In Motion, which offers users a way to wirelessly monitor, measure, and motivate users toward their fitness goals using a GPS-enabled mobile phone. Sponsors of the Global LBS Challenge include ESRI, Microsoft Corp., SiRF Technology, Inc., and Telcontar. In addition, the Challenge had several media sponsors, including Directions Magazine, Wireless Innovation Network of British Columbia (WINBC), PDA Buzz, Handheld Computing, and Location Box.
ESRI participated in the recent conference "Health Care Institutions the Balancing Act of Offering Excellent Health Care Services and Controlling Health Budget," which it co-sponsored with HP, SAP, and Microsoft. The seminar was held March 16-17 in Vienna, Austria, for a select group of health care executives and decision makers from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. It focused on the role of information technology to meet the growing demands and spiraling costs of health care. Representatives from the four sponsoring companies addressed an audience consisting of officials of Ministries of Health, major hospitals, and national, regional, and local health organizations about the growing integration of GIS technology, enterprise resource planning, and database technology into existing health care IT environments to help reduce costs and facilitate the decision making process.
CSI Wireless Inc., a designer and manufacturer of wireless and GPS products, has announced a record financial performance, with $4.3-million profit in 2004, on $82 million of revenue. According to Stephen Verhoeff, CSI Wireless' President and CEO, this marked the company's seventh straight year of revenue growth.
For the fourth quarter that ended December 31, consolidated revenues rose 145 percent to $24.5 million, compared to revenues of $10 million in the fourth quarter of 2003. Gross margins of $6.6 million for the quarter were an increase of 83 percent over gross margins of $3.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.
Tele Atlas a developer of digital maps and dynamic location content for navigation, location-based services, and geospatial products had revenues of Eur 127.7 million for 2004, an increase of 48 percent over 2003. European revenues rose by 26 percent to Eur 98.7 million, largely due to the rapid growth in the personal navigation market. North American revenues increased by 261 percent to Eur 29.0 million. Approximately Eur 15.7 million of this increase was the result of the acquisition of Geographic Data Technologies Inc (GDT) during the year.
Excluding the effect of the acquisition of GDT and exchange rates, revenue growth in North America was 95 percent compared to 2003. This increase resulted from increased sales in the personal navigation segment as well as the company's initial revenues from sales in the North American in-car navigation segment.
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