GIS MONITOR, April 18, 2002
- Note from the Editor
- MapPoint .NET Version 2
- Intergraph Settles with
Intel on First Case
- GPS Wireless Conference
Quiet on GPS
- The State of the World's
- MapInfo Update
Departments: Points of
Interest, Business Notes, Week in Review, Back Issues, Advertise,
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NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
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MAPPOINT .NET VERSION 2
MapPoint .NET is Microsoft's
first commercially available SOAP/XML Web service. It's interesting that
the first service is a mapping service. Perhaps Microsoft is counting on
developers to buy into a mapping service, or on non-techies to grasp
that such a service could be widely applicable. Mapping functionality, I
think, is a fairly easy way to illustrate .NET to a broad audience.
MapPoint NET Version 2
supports the Web service standard SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).
The service provides basic GIS functions including geocoding in the US
and Canada, proximity searches, directions, and distance calculations.
Delivery is available in nine languages.
An analysis of the role of
MapPoint .NET by Art Wittmann in InfoWorld raises a key question about
the service, "… the question isn't whether MapPoint .Net is a
useful service, but rather, whether you should trust Microsoft to
provide such a critical piece of functionality." In particular, I
think he's asking if Microsoft can meet reliability needs (24x7) and
keep the system up-to-date.
Payment for MapPoint .NET is
assessed per transaction. Transactions cost between one and four cents
depending on how many are purchased. All functions, whether a rendered
map, or route creation are charged at the same rate. Though details are
still being worked out, eWeek reports that the lowest amount a customer
would pay is a $15,000 annual fee, which includes 2 million
Microsoft will render maps
with subscriber logos and icons and capture user preferences-such as
favorite webpages. Down the road, Microsoft will add in demographic
information so that subscribers can track the average age or income from
just an address. Wittman suggests that the cost is too high for
advertising based portals, but might be appropriate for commercial or
MapPoint .NET is something
like a hosted version of MapPoint 2002, the desktop version. However,
the ActiveX API for the desktop version provides far more functionality
than the early releases of .NET.
Developers can sign up for a
30-day free trial of the service. This includes full access to the
technology but a limited number of transactions and watermarks on
Microsoft Announces MapPoint
.NET Version 2.0 http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041202Microsoft.htm
TechEd: .Net Evangelist Talks
Shop (InfoWorld) http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/fixup.pl?story=http://www.infoworld.com/
Location, location (Art
Wittman, InfoWorld) http://www.infoworld.com/articles/se/xml/02/04/15/020415semappoint.xml
Microsoft Debuts Mapping Web
Service (eWeek) http://www.eweek.com/article/0,3658,s=1884&a=25346,00.asp
INTERGRAPH SETTLES WITH INTEL
ON FIRST CASE
On Monday, Intergraph
announced a settlement with Intel related to its first patent lawsuit.
The companies had been in court ordered mediation discussions since
April 3rd. According to the agreement, Intergraph and Intel will grant
each other patent rights and Intergraph will sell unrelated patents to
Intel. Intel will pay Intergraph $300 million and the case will be
There will be no ongoing
royalties from Intel, however Intergraph plans to hold discussions with
other companies that it feels are benefiting from its technology. The
company hopes to discuss plans for using the incoming monies during the
scheduled April 30th webcast on earnings. The suit was filed in 1997 and
relates to Clipper patents.
The second suit, set for
trial on July 1, 2002 will go on as scheduled. However, the companies
have agreed to liquidated damages that run from $0 to $250 million
depending on who wins and whether they win on appeal. This second case
was filed in July 2001 and involves parallel instruction computing (PIC)
Liquidated damages refers to
a dollar agreement for settlement as opposed to trying to guess at
future royalty payments based on future sales. The range of dollar
amounts basically allows Intel to "know what it's getting
into" in the second case. Best case they pay nothing; worst case
Just to put the $300 million
dollar figure in perspective, Autodesk just purchased Revit for $133
million. Intergraph made $8 million in operating income in 2001 for the
entire company (all five divisions). So, in short, this is a LOT of
money. But, according to a CNET article, Intergraph was seeking $2.2
billion in damages on its original patent claims and was asking a judge
to triple that amount in damages.
That high expected value,
stock watchers suggest, is why Intergraph's stock dropped from recent
high near 17 before the announcement to the mid 14s on Tuesday morning.
As one savvy investor put it, "investors buy on rumor and sell on
confirmation" and that's exactly what happened here.
Intergraph Settles with Intel
for $300 Million in First Case http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041602INGR.htm
Intel to pay in chip patent
dispute (CNET) http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/cn/20020416/tc_cn/
GPS WIRELESS CONFERENCE QUIET
The sixth annual GPS Wireless
conference was held at the San Francisco Airport Marriott last week. The
mood was not jubilant. Larry Sweeney, conference chairman and vice
president of Tele Atlas North America, quoted in Wired magazine, noted
that the world was much different a year ago. "Everyone thought
that the e911 mandate was going to happen by now, and that's been
delayed. We weren't looking at a recession and the Internet bubble
hadn't burst completely." To make things seem worse, industry
experts argue that carriers' reluctance to implement location tracking
via GPS indicates a lack of demand outside the e911 requirements.
SiRF Technology estimated
that only 9 million GPS enhanced phones shipped in North America last
year. The part of the market with money and demand seems to be vehicle
tracking. On the consumer side, industry analyst David Sonnen suggests,
consumers will not be so willing to get directions from an in-car based
GPS when they can get a map from the convenience store for a few
GPS: Still Wandering in Space
THE STATE OF THE WORLD'S
The US military is concerned
that more and more countries are building better and better imaging
satellites. Where once only Russia could compete on resolution, now
China, India and other countries, along with a variety of private
companies, have effective eyes in the sky.
The new technology is not the
result of purchased components or stolen technology secrets, but of
in-country research and development. The US has, for some time, banned
the sale of satellite components overseas, which has encouraged new
manufacturers to spring up. Unfortunately, that policy has also meant
fewer manufacturers are in business in the US.
With the new satellites up
and running, the US has to take a new look at either putting the systems
out of commission or blocking retrieval of the downloading imagery
during war time. For now, the US military can only "control"
US based companies to some degree, as they did by purchasing all of
Space Imaging's products over Afghanistan last fall. It's not clear that
non-US companies will bite on such deals.
US Loses Edge on Spy
Satellites (AP) http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020408/
U.S. Monopoly on
High-resolution Satellite Imagery is Eroding (AP) http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020408/
The rumor mill surrounding
MapInfo was working overtime this week. There are rumors of a
significant sales/reorganization meeting in Denver in the past week and
departures of senior employees, but no details or confirmations are
Here is what is known. Gary
Schaffer did indeed leave. A press release about his new position as CEO
of Inmedius Inc., a maker of software to streamline maintenance
processes, came out last Monday. Schaffer was MapInfo's vice president
of product and market management. He founded OnTarget, a telco data and
app developer, which MapInfo purchased in 1998.
Also, this past week, the
Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce announced a new award in
honor of MapInfo Corp. co-founder Mike Marvin called the MIKE award.
Marvin will receive the first award, which is designed to recognize
individuals who play a significant role in the tech community on April
30th. MIKE stands for mentoring, inspiring, knowledge and
As we go to press some of the
rumors have been confirmed in today's conference call. See the link
below for my take on the call.
Inmedius appoints president
and CEO http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2002/04/08/daily4.html
Inmedius names Gary L.
Schaffer President & CEO (PDF) http://www.inmedius.com/Downloads/4-8-02.pdf
creates MIKE award (Albany Business Review) http://albany.bizjournals.com/albany/stories/2002/04/01/daily34.html
MapInfo Lowers Loss,
Reorganizes (MapInfo earnings conference call review, Adena Schutzberg) http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/articles/comment/041802MapInfo.HTM
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Navy officials say they've
been using NASA satellite data to guide ships and planes in the war in
Afghanistan. The excitement? This is the first time they've used NASA
imagery. Some in the US congress feel that NASA may be outside its
civilian charter, but NASA notes that the imagery is public domain.
- In other geographic news
from the military, it is unclear that the detainees from Afghanistan,
currently in Cuba, actually understand where they are. The US military
had planned not to tell them, but the Red Cross workers shared the
location information. Still, the name of the country may mean little to
those brought halfway around the world from their mountain homeland.
- This time of year there are
hundreds of little stories about local elementary and middle school
students winning the latest round of the Geography Bee. I want to
highlight just one: Johnny Pascale, 13, of Grants Pass, Oregon. He'll be
representing his state at the national championship in May. Pascale is
autistic and just loves maps.
- Directions Magazine reports
that last week's GeoTec event in Toronto had 2,300 attendees down from
the 2,600 that attended last year in Vancouver. The exhibit hall was
- My estimates last week of
1,500 registered GITA attendees at this year's conference fit fairly
well with past totals shared by a reader. In 2001 there were 3,252 total
attendees and 1,645 registered attendees.
- The next step after war
driving (finding "free" wireless access to the Internet) may
be accessing digital feeds from home security cameras. According to the
New York Times, signals from the infamous x-10 digital camera can be
picked up with off-the-shelf equipment up to 1/4 mile away. Under US law
this does not appear to be illegal.
(New York Times, free
- At the National Association
of State Chief Information Officers' midyear conference in Denver,
several GIS advocates shared their frustration about limited movement in
using GIS for homeland security. "We have not really put anything
new in the hands of people who rush into situations," said Bryan
Logan, president and chief executive officer of EarthData. Karen
Sideralis, the USGS GIO (geographic information officer) pushed for
continued development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure and Jack
Dangermond of ESRI argued that the country should take advantage of all
of the local efforts and monies in GIS to weave together a shared
homeland security effort.
- Another sign of the times:
a press release details Hitachi Software Global Technology (HSGT) choice
of a Web solution to be sure the company does not sell imagery or image
processing software to those parties on security risk lists.
- I'll be at the FIG/ACSM/ASPRS/
conference in Washington, DC next week. I hope to see some of you.
***** BUSINESS NOTES
InfoTech Enterprises Europe
received accreditation to the international Quality Management standard
BS EN ISO9001:2000 by Bureau Veritas Quality International.
Kivera has joined the
Location Interoperability Forum (LIF), a global, open industry forum
founded by Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia to advance the worldwide
deployment of LBS.
TTP Communications and
Trimble announced an alliance to develop a range of products that
combine TTPCom's GSM/General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Bluetooth
technologies with Trimble's proprietary Global Positioning System (GPS)
Pixxures will incorporate
Maporama's worldwide street maps, driving directions and Location Based
Services (LBS) into its online services. Maporama has made Pixxures its
imagery provider for all of its global LBS services.
ADCi has been named the
number one reseller of Tele Atlas North America digital maps for the
year 2001. This is the fourth year that Tele Atlas has honored the
Services, Inc. of Dallas (ATS) has been accepted into ESRI's Desktop
Reseller Program. On the same day I learned the company signed as the
first (Intergraph) Team GeoMedia Registered Solutions Provider (RSP) in
Greene County, GA, located 75
miles east of Atlanta, awarded a $325,000 multi-year contract to Merrick
& Company for a full range of mapping services.
York Region, Peel Region and
the Government of Ontario have made financial commitments that will
cover an orthophotography project for the greater Toronto area to be
carried out by JD Barnes Limited.
With a bit of bravado, BEA
Systems announced "Colorado County Selects BEA Over IBM for
E-Government of the Future."
NovaLIS Technologies' Land
Development Office solution is being implemented in Volusia County,
Storage Area Networks and
ImageLinks are partnering to deliver ImageLinks RasterWare™ spatial
information processing engine within the SANz EarthWhere™ family of
geospatial data management products.
A new version of CommunityViz
from the Orton Family Foundation, which utilizes GIS software
technology, was unveiled at the American Planning Association
Conference. The decision-support framework includes a scenario
constructor, a 3D site builder and a policy simulator.
CSI Wireless introduced two
new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) GPS chips. The new Evolution
is a printed circuit board (PCB) module that is accurate to within two
or three meters when differentially The SX-1, is a PCB module that is
accurate to less than one meter.
Undersea with GIS, edited by
Dawn J. Wright, is available from ESRI Press. Wright, an associate
professor in the Department of Geosciences at Oregon State University,
collected works from experts in marine biology, oceanography, aquatic
resource management, and other fields to highlight the ways in which GIS
is beginning to help improve our understanding of the oceans.
Plangraphics announced a
series of hires: Vinod Belani as a Senior Research Analyst; Marcus
Brothwell as a Senior Systems Analyst; Mark Gaylord as a Senior Systems
Analyst; Sam Zhang as a Systems Analyst. They all come from Xmarc.
Jeffrey Martus from Baltimore County Government GIS Department has
joined the company as a Quality Assurance Specialist. Jeff Melia has
joined the company as a Quality Assurance/Quality Control Specialist.
Bridget Starr from Peregrine Systems has joined the company as a Senior
Consultant. Michael Wiley, formerly a Plangraphics contractor, has
joined the company as a Senior Systems Analyst.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Apr 17 - ObjectFX to
Integrate its SpatialFX EJBTM with Oracle9i http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/041702ObjectFX.htm
SpatialFX EJB is deployable
on Oracle9i Application Server (Oracle9iAS) for location services
Apr 17 - Farallon Spatially
Enables Kaho'olawe Island Ordnance Data http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/041702Farallon.htm
Farallon used Web technology
to publish spatial data to the web in near real time. This was key since
the project involves clearing bombs from a 45 square mile island near
Apr 17 - Red Hen Systems
Announces Partnership with iPIX http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/020416/160354_1.html
The integration of iPIX
imagery will allow MediaMapper to use the expansive 360-degree
field-of-view offered by the iPIX® patented photographic process.
Apr 17 - Free Online Version
of MapFinder USGS Quad Locator http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/041702DDS.htm
It's free, but you must
Apr 17 - Leica Geosystems
"Win With IMAGINE" Contest Winners http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/041702Lecia.htm
The winners are Mike White,
Applications Senior Analyst for Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), and
Earl Saunders, Planning Consultant for Saunders & Associates, who
co-authored an ERDAS IMAGINE® application paper entitled,
"Colorado Irrigated Lands Project." The grand prize for the
Win With IMAGINE contest is a 35mm Leica minilux zoom camera.
Apr 16 - Global Geomatics
Discounts MapFusion Workstation Pricing http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041602GlobalGeo.htm
MapFusion Workstation drops
from $2500 to $495 USD. That in turn brings the "small
enterprise" implementation price down from $25,000 to $20,000. I
think it's interesting that the price drop occurred just five months
after the software was announced last December. The company also added
support for even more military GIS formats.
Apr 15 - TelePointer Selects
Webraska for LBS Across Europe http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041502Webraska.htm
TelePointer Giessenburg, the
Netherlands, selected Webraska to provide server-based software
solutions for wireless navigation, fleet management and LBS to the
corporate sector and automotive after-market.
Apr 15 - Leica ADS40 Airborne
Digital Sensor Makes American Debut http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041502Lecia.htm
The digital sensor, which
captures 3 panchromatic channels (forward, nadir and backward) and 4
multispectral bands (RGB and NIR) simultaneously, will remain in the
States until June for a series of demonstration flights.
Apr 15 - Same Day Scanning
Service for USGS Maps Launched http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041502DDS.htm
Digital Data Services will
walk across the street to the USGS, find the map, scan it and put it in
the mail the same day.
Apr 11 - German Telematics
Firm Comroad Involved in Audit Fraud http://www.faz.com/IN/INtemplates/eFAZ/docmain.asp?rub
In a scandal as big as Enron
is in the US, 98 percent of 2001 sales booked by the Munich telematics
company Comroad appear to be fraudulent.
Apr 11 - Intergraph Stock
Jumps Over Intel http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020410/
ap_on_bi_ge/intergraph_2 As I
noted last week, Intergraph's statement of ongoing negotiations with
Intel raised the stock nicely.
Apr 11 - Ordnance Survey
Launches Personalised Map Service http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041102OS.htm
By using a tool on the
Ordnance Survey website, surfers can request a 40 km by 40 km map,
centered where they'd like, printed and delivered by mail in five days
for L12. The application for selecting the center of the map is rather
friendly, but I fear the less map savvy may be confused by seeing the
boundaries of the map in one frame, and the level of detail in another.
Basically, there is no way to preview the "whole" map.
Apr 11 - E-Plus Selects
Webraska for First i-mode LBS in Europe http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041102Webraska.htm
E-Plus chose Webraska to
develop and host the first Location-Based Services for i-mode.
Apr 11 - Intergraph and IBM
Announce GIS Marketing Agreement http://www.tenlinks.com/MapGIS/news/pr/041102INGR.htm
The two companies are teaming
to sell Intergraph's GeoMedia suite together with IBM's DB2 database
management software. I wonder how many organizations purchasing GIS do
not already have a mature database. And, I wonder how many organizations
looking at DB2 are thinking of using it to store geographic information.
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