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MORE ON PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY
If you've ever heard me speak on GIS, specifically, on CAD-based GIS, you'll have heard the peanut butter and jelly analogy. Peanut butter and jelly technology has evolved and so I feel compelled to update my analogy to reflect the change. Don't worry, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you'll be up-to-date quickly.
CAD-based GIS is about merging two technologies. The idea is to form a synergy, a merged product that brings benefit greater than the sum of the parts. My general belief is that products that achieve this synergy are far more rare than those that do not.
The example I like to use of a successful synergy is the clock radio. (Even the word is a synergy!) It's more than a clock and a radio - it's a clock that will wake you up to the radio! To measure its success, consider that nearly every hotel room I've ever stayed in had a clock radio. That says quite a lot.
On the other hand, consider a synergy that didn't make it as big: Goober, a Smucker's product that puts peanut butter and jelly in the same jar. Goober was introduced in 1968, ten years after the company's Jif peanut butter. It's still on the market today, though it can be tough to find. (I haven't seen it in New England for some time, though I confess that I don't look for it that often.)
The idea behind Goober is to cut out a few steps in the creation of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You need not find, open, and return two jars of spreads to the cabinet or refrigerator. And, you can get away with using a single knife! Still, many of us probably have a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly (or jam or preserves) on hand for the creation of the sandwich. We really don't mind the extra work of two jars and two knives
Why? I'd argue that the benefit is simply not great enough for most of us to make the investment in Goober.
The analogy then, is that while there is certainly some extra benefit to merging CAD and GIS, there is perhaps not enough to make it as popular as say, the clock radio. Instead, it perhaps falls in the category of Goober. Just as many of us use two jars to make a sandwich many, many organizations continue to have separate CAD and GIS software.
Here's the latest chapter in the peanut butter and jelly story. In 2000 Smucker's introduced Uncrustables. This is a frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts removed. The idea is that it's perfect for Mom or Dad to pack the sandwich-cicle straight from the freezer into a kid's lunchbox. Interestingly, the product has its own FAQ!
To be fair, the product does save more steps than Goober did in the sandwich creation process. But, unlike Goober, Uncrustables are a huge hit. According to the Boston Globe, the company sold $30 million worth of Uncrustables last year, and the product is not yet in national distribution. A new plant is scheduled to open in Kentucky to meet the demand.
While the economics may argue against such a product, convenience seems to be winning. A Globe analysis found that it takes 23 seconds to make the sandwich from scratch at a cost of about 41 cents. Uncrustables, which are significantly smaller, prorated to the weight of a homemade sandwich, cost $1.07 each.
My dilemma, of course, is to fit this new player in the sandwich marketplace into my CAD/GIS analogy. It's a stretch to imagine a "ready to go" CAD/GIS package that's comparable to Uncrustables. In fact, I'd argue that CAD-based GIS is perhaps further away from "ready to go" than most other GIS packages. While it's possible to load purchased data into a CAD-based GIS, my sense is that's not done too often. CAD-based GIS is rarely used for geocoding or routing or demographics, the most common uses for prepackaged data. So instead, purchasing such a software solution is just the beginning, unlike some desktop solutions that come with prepackaged data and sample or full-fledged tools, which are more like Uncrustables.
The good news from the consumer sector, I think, is that if the manufacturers remove all of the work, consumers may be willing to pay the price, in this case more than twice as much. Unfortunately, determining what GIS users want, and finding enough of them that want the same thing, is far more complicated than appealing to the tastebuds of time constrained peanut butter-and-jelly fans.
GITA'S GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY REPORT 2003
The Geospatial Technology Report is a product of the Geospatial Information and Technology Association's (GITA) Industry Trends Analysis Group (ITAG). This year's edition includes information from 187 participating organizations, a 19% increase over last year.
Some of the more interesting tidbits:
All industries covered (electric, gas, water, telco, and pipeline) had more than 47% of project come in over $750,000. It's hard to say whether this is because many projects are multi-year events, or if inflation is a factor. In either case, there is big money in GIT projects.
The top platform (vendor) based on number of projects was reported as a percentage of all projects. The top percentage-getters break out this way: Electric - ESRI (38%); Gas - GE Network Solutions (41%); Pipeline - Other (38%); Telcom - Intergraph (50%); Water - ESRI (62%). The top percentage-getters included these vendors, plus Autodesk, Bentley and Enghouse.
Windows still dominates as the operating system of choice, over UNIX or a UNIX/Windows mix. Each industry showed over 66% in the Windows category, though I'm not sure if that's projects or respondents.
Landbase accuracy seems to be on the rise, mostly due to utilities sharing costs with local governments.
In field automation, wireless use is down. The suggestion is that real-time wireless updates are simply not as cost-effective as daily "docked" updates or other solutions.
Together Autodesk and Bentley make up 22% of the platforms used in the water industry.
The report goes on to detail each sector individually. One nice addition to this year: the results detail "full use" vs. "view only" software seats. While these are reported as percentages, it's an interesting exploration of the "user pyramid" that's often presented in marketing materials. Intergraph uses the terms doers (few), users (more), and viewers (lots) to illustrate numbers of heavy-duty (top of the pyramid), mid-range (middle) and light-duty users (bottom) of GIS in an organization. Interestingly, Intergraph, is the leader in the electric and gas "view only" seats.
Another nice addition is data that reveals how often consultants were used. In electric utilities, more than a third of respondents did not bring in a consultant. Nearly one third of electric respondents were taking on conversion in-house. In gas utilities, only 12% reported implementing a project without a consultant.
One of the more interesting insights, which is highlighted throughout, is a sense that the choices being made in utilities are more and more geared to past experience with, and research into, return on investment. There were some significant flip-flops in "hot" (widely used) technologies last year (such as wireless) and a return of more staid ones that, the reports suggests, simply have a better track record for putting or keeping money in the bank.
Next year, due to the expanded membership of GITA, a new industry category- government/public works-will be added.
As usual, this is an interesting read about specific industries, and about geospatial technology in general. The 91-page report is available in PDF on CD from GITA.
ACROBAT 6 MAY CHANGE CAD; WHAT ABOUT GIS?
A few weeks ago Adobe announced a new version of its Acrobat writer and reader. Recall that most of us install the writer and "print" to it from our favorite application: Word, GIS program, graphics program, etc. Those who receive the document use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to read or print out the document.
That rather simple picture is soon going to change, when version 6 ships. First off, there will be not one, but three versions of the PDF writer (Acrobat Pro, Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Elements (volume licensing only). Acrobat Reader will be called Adobe Reader. The highest price offering, Pro, is aimed at AutoCAD users, among other graphics program users. The big excitement? Drawing files can be moved into PDF with the push of a button, and with support for layer manipulation. There are accurate measuring tools. The most detailed discussion I found of this feature, including images, is here.
Another goody for those with detailed graphics, like CAD and GIS output: a moving magnified area. It's called the Loupe tool. For the designers among us, the new version supports Flash files, MP3 files, and PowerPoint animations.
And, though I didn't see it mentioned elsewhere, UpFront.eZine mentioned "scale dependent display" (more or less detail appears as you zoom in or out) as a new feature, too. UpFront does a good job discussing how the new PDF may cut into Autodesk's own Web publishing format DWF (drawing Web format) and the details in the past few issues. One soon-to-be-gone distinguisher, DWF's support for layers, is now matched by Adobe. But, PDF still enjoys wide platform and geographic support. A competitor to Adobe in the CAD space has some more detailed arguments about the new product.
So, let's think about GIS. We use PDF - I've seen many, many local governments that make maps available that way. ESRI would like us to use ArcReader, which is a bit different in that you need access to the raw data to view its maps. Recall that PDF is but a "snaphot" in time and includes everything you need to view and print the document, no matter what its source.
Should the future be that we have a universal publishing format - PDF - that supports text, images, maps, CAD, spreadsheets, and anything else printable? Or should each industry produce its own publishing format, one that may require its own reader/viewer? It sounds like that battle is currently heating up in earnest with Adobe's added features.
This is the fourth appearance of GIS Monitor's monthly feature, Innovative Organizations. The goal is to highlight geospatial services organizations that have demonstrated new ways of performing their work, managing their personnel, or serving their clients. Our goal is two-fold: first to recognize those breaking new ground in GIS, and second to share creative ideas to move our industry forward.
This month I want to introduce the team at Positive Systems in Whitefish, Montana. Founded as an imagery services company, Positive Systems has taken an innovative approach to image processing software with a "Pay As You Go" option. Today image service customers continue to outnumber software users. Positive Sytems' Todd Twete shared the company's vision.
At one time the company only provided services (imagery collection through delivery). Now you develop, use, "lease" and sell your own software. What prompted the change?
Many of our customers are sophisticated aerial photographers an/or mapping shops and possess talented remote sensing technicians and specialists. These individuals are very versed in "post-capture" processing, thus their interest lies in processing their own imagery and not utilizing our image processing lab. Packaging and selling the DIME software as an "off the shelf" product also allowed us to tap into other segments of the industry.
Has the addition of software development and its sale changed the organization? How?
The organization has definitely changed. We've added software engineers to our original staff of remote sensing specialists and production technicians. The entire organization has become very "process" oriented as we adhere to aggressive development schedules. Responsibilities have increased from a strategic marketing standpoint, too. That department must constantly be focused on product enhancements and refinements. We have to keep asking, "What needs exist that our software isn't currently fulfilling?"
You introduced a "pay as you go system" for smaller and infrequent users of your software. When was that introduced? Other software vendors have instigated "rentals" (the CAD companies as I recall) but there was limited success. Why does this work for your customers?
The "Pay As You Go" pricing plan was initiated in 2001 and provides several advantages for our users. First, a low introductory cost (as little as $695) obviously reduces the barrier to entry for small organizations. After the small initial investment users only pay for the software as it is being used for presumably revenue-generating projects. The Pay As You Go Plan is based on a system of image "credits." Each credit costs $5.00.
Depending upon the raw file size of your imagery and the corrections and adjustments being made to that imagery, a certain number of credits are required to perform each function (i.e. mosaicking, georeferencing and color balancing an image that is greater than 40 MB requires 3 image credits). The DIME software is accompanied by a site license. This is different than traditional licensing schemes that are administered on a per user or per seat basis. Within a specified geographic location, DIME can be installed on as many computers as the user requires, which can be a lifesaver when dealing with a large project and a short deadline. In the case of government contracts, the cost of the image credits can be passed on to the client as ODCs (Other Direct Costs). This does not hold true in the case of traditional licensing schemes.
Other imagery vendors and service providers offer "soup to nuts" solutions, but you provide just a small part of that functionality. Why did you make that choice? How has it worked?
With our business partners help we, too, can provide broad solutions. In many of our service projects we act as project manager, contracting with an aerial photographer to perform the acquisition, contracting with another business partner to perform scanning services, and finally providing the rectification services in-house. The decision to stick with one key service stems from our desire to be absolute experts within this market niche.
There's a vision that only the big known software providers have contracts in government, but you have clients all over the U.S. government, and with some of the biggest names in industry. How do small companies get into those organizations?
The talent and level of expertise within the organization certainly has played a big role in our success with large government organizations. The other significant factor is our drive to deliver products of superior quality. Early on we had success with NASA, and as the clichι goes, "success breeds success," and we quickly earned the reputation of a flexible, easy-to-work-with, quality-minded organization
How do you expect imagery use to change in GIS and image analysis in the next five years?
We expect imagery use to continue to steadily increase within the GIS industry. Over time, an industry that was heavily based in the vector world is realizing the value of imagery. We expect the costs of imagery to continue to decrease (specifically via satellite) and sources of imagery to continue to increase (specifically via the Web). I believe GIS organizations are becoming more conscious of the needs of their customers and realize the tangible "visual" value that imagery provides to these customers.
A geography question: Has your headquarters location in Montana affected the business? If you had to do it again would you change locations?
Good question. Being in Montana has certainly presented some obstacles as far as capitalizing the business. Finding investors would likely be a different story if we were in Seattle. Since our customers are widely distributed across the United States (with a few internationally), a central "hub" location really doesn't exist. Finally, being in Montana has much to do with "quality of living" reasons. The team on a whole tends to be very passionate about outdoor pursuits and hobbies, and Whitefish affords us access to an incredible outdoor playground.
Do you work for, or know of, an Innovative Organization that should be profiled in GIS Monitor? Drop me an e-mail explaining why.
UPDATES AND CLARIFICATIONS
Several readers wrote with updates or requested clarifications of a few topics discussed last week.
First off, in my discussion of GIS logo changes I failed to mention Autodesk's move from its caliper logo to the stylized lowercase "autodesk" the company now uses. That change occurred in 2000. A reader confirmed my recollection that the original MapInfo logo was red on white, the reverse of recently-announced one. He chose not speculate on the significance of that reversal.
Second, I may have inadvertently suggested that the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was somehow applicable at the state level. While I referred to "state FOIAs" and have seen that reference on the Web, the term FOIA specifically refers to the federal law alone. That Act applies only to federal agencies. State laws have a variety of names, and are sometimes referred to as Open Records Laws or Public Records Laws, and apply to state agencies. These vary from state to state. In some cases there are also comparable local ordinances.
Third, I was pleased to receive several e-mails asking for permission to reprint or forward the FOIA article. I'm pleased to report on material worthy of such requests.
Tom East, a senior GIS specialist in Kentucky, has sharp eyes when it comes to maps cut into cornfields.
"Based on the map that was made in the field using a bushhog, it appears to me that two states have merged, creating a new state - MissAlabama!"
Jim Woods, GIS Lab Manager at California State University, Long Beach, offers more cautions on ESRI's ArcWeb flood zone application.
"ESRI's ArcWeb server for the FEMA Q3 data is more of a disservice than a service.
"From the ArcWeb Services webpage [ESRI states]: 'Because these services are hosted by ESRI, you can be assured that you will have access to current, reliable data, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.'
"Yet the [company] seems to whisper on their disclaimer page that if you use the data, [it's] not responsible if it is wrong. Nowhere does it talk about any of the issues [that] may affect the accuracy of the data.
"I used to work for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES). When I arrived there, during one of the orientations, the FEMA FIRM Q3 flood maps were discussed. At various times, OES had received requests to locate structures in relation to the Q3 flood line. The original FIRM maps are paper maps. The electronic version is just an electronic version of the paper map. An analysis of line widths on the FIRM maps showed that the line width was about 1/20th of an inch. The original Q3 flood maps were drawn at a scale of 1:500,000. At 1/20th of an inch, the line work would be 4,166 feet wide.
"Because of this, any time a request was filled, the letter that went with it included the disclaimer that if you are within a 1/4 mile on either side of the Q3 flood line, you may or may not be within the flood zone. Even if the line was drawn with a Pilot Razor Point pen, at 2/100ths of an inch thick, the line would still be over 830 feet wide.
"ESRI is now serving 1:500,000 scale flood data on top of GDT's Dynamap 2000 1:100,000 scale street data and delivering it at 1:24,000 scale. It is very dangerous to cross match data from such divergent scale sources. None of this information is included on any disclaimer page, just the generic 'use at your own risk.'
"Like all disclaimer pages, the ESRI disclaimer has nothing to do with helping the consumer that wishes to use the data and everything to do with protecting ESRI at all costs. There is nothing wrong with protecting the company, but how about helping the consumer? Let them know how 'off' the data could be. Let them know what they should look out for.
"Unfortunately, most of the people using the data will not stop to think nor care about where the data comes from nor how accurate it is, nor if it is even appropriate to mix the data."
Dr. Lisa Warnecke, one of the authors of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Technology in the Nation's 50 State Forestry Organizations wrote to correct my description of that report:
"Thanks for the coverage of our forestry report in this [last week's] issue. . .however, please note it also includes review of GIS and GPS activity in addition to remote sensing in the 50 state forestry organizations."
POINTS OF INTEREST
Getty Supported Geography. John Paul Getty II died last Thursday. While known as a great philanthropist, he also had a link to things geographic. His J. Paul Getty Trust funded the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN). According to the website, "The TGN is a structured vocabulary containing more than one million names and other information about places. The TGN includes all continents and nations of the modern political world, as well as historical places. It includes physical features and administrative entities, such as cities and nations. The emphasis in TGN is on places that are important for art and architecture." Thanks to Rich for passing this on.
Vermont Lands GIS Company in Border Skirmish. microDATA GIS recently considered a move from its hometown of St. Johnsbury, Vermont across the border to Littleton, New Hampshire. After much discussion, the company has landed in new digs in St. Johnsbury. Company representatives met with the governors of both states to weigh their options. In the end, the company was swayed in part by a $357,500 in Community Development Block Grant to refurbish a local building as a new headquarters.
The State of Mileage-based Insurance. The idea of basing car insurance premiums on actual miles driven is not new. And the technology to do it, either using GPS or the good old odometer, has been around for some time. In addition to a squeamish insurance industry that might anger some percentage of clients, most of whom pay the same rates no matter if they drive 10,000 or 100,00 miles, there are also legal barriers. But, that's changing. MoneyCentral reports that on January 1, 2002 Texas made such offerings legal. Oregon and Georgia both have similar laws pending. Another interesting note, the National Organization of Women backs this type of legislation. Why? Women drive about half as much as men.
Women Need Larger Monitor for Spatial Orientation. NewScientist.com reports that women's sense of spatial orientation in virtual worlds will match men's if they have wider monitors. In particular, Carnegie Mellon University researchers found, women using a monitor covering 100 degrees will match the performance of men using a monitor covering 35 degrees. The study may have implications for a variety of things, including video games.
What if GPS Goes Down? John Petersen, the director of the Arlington Institute, is tasked with thinking about when bad things happen. Recently, he was asked to think about what would happen if GPS "went down." The answer? It'd be a blow to our way of life. According to Petersen, quoted in Wired: "The cost would be incalculable. Civil aviation, trucking, shipping, and telecommunications would be worst hit, but countless other industries would be affected." No wonder the Europeans wan their own commercial version of GPS.
802.11 for Location. Using Wi-Fi for location, then tailoring services based on that location is hot. Adam Smith, writing at 80211-planet, notes four different firms working out the kinks and trying to determine practical uses for this typically "indoor" locating. It seems to me that even without some government backing there may be success here, despite the slowness of regulation-maindated E-911 in the U.S. Incidentally, one of the leading firms in this area is from Finland.
Remote Sensing Takes the Next Step. Digital Angel has received written FDA and USDA approval for injectable sensors for animals. The tiny sensor reports the animal's temperature when it's near a scanner. The idea is to alert farmers of potentially ill animals as early as possible. Another interesting tidbit from the AP article: Digital Angel started life as a company that made ear tags for farm animals. The new sensor, likely to run about $50, still competes with the $2 ear tag, which comes complete with its own electronic sensor. Another tidbit: Digital Angel investors raised questions about the AP article, which led Digital Angel to put out a press release announcing its URL.
A Story for our Time. Mobile phone users in Hong Kong can now access location-based SARS alerts. The notification, an SMS message, is delivered after a request from the user. Buildings within a kilometer of the user that have been touched by the disease are noted. The data is from the country's Department of Health. The service is free, but airtime charges apply. The company offering the service, Sunday Communications, is also offering SARS victims free phone service.
Military GPS Receivers are Old. An article in the New York Times details the status of U.S. military GPS equipment. The verdict: it's old, heavy, has only a text screen, and works with only five channels. That may explain why many soldiers carried their own recreational grade receivers from home into battle. The good news? A new device is in the works.
Where is the E-911 Tax Money Going? In New York, reports Wired, its going to "the state police, who have spent the funds on departmental dry cleaning bills, ballpoint pens, travel, car leases, grounds maintenance for precincts and winter boots." Wired's report is based on an audit from the state comptroller. Similar stories exist for other states. The article goes on to report that, "$53 million in California, $9 million in Oregon, $10 million in Rhode Island, $5 million in North Carolina and $6 million in Washington" was diverted from E-911.
Guidebook for E-911 Coming Soon. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) received a grant from the Public Safety Foundation of America to support the awareness and implementation of wireless E-911 technology. The group will develop a guidebook covering regulatory and policy issues.
Multi-purpose Nuclear Sniffer. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory unveiled RadNet, a sensor that can make calls, surf the Web, act as a Personal Digital Assistant, pinpoint locations with Global Positioning System technology, and sniff out nuclear materials.
Quote of the Week. After signing an agreement to help support the Indian National Spatial Digital Infrastructure, ESRI president and founder, Jack Dangermond, shared his thoughts on the current state of the country's spatial resources: "Indian agencies are hurt and crippled, unable to use the GIS data which could otherwise be helpful in developmental plans. ... This is India's Spatial Data Irony that you get it backwards while the entire world gets it forwards. It is stupid."
WEEK IN REVIEW
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PCI Geomatics announced that Hong Kong Geomatics Consultants Ltd. is its newest official reseller of PCI Geomatics earth observation-based geomatics software solutions for the Hong Kong and Macau regions.
ESRI announces a strategic relationship with James Lee Witt Associates (JLWA) that will provide organizations in government and the private sector with an array of crisis management and advisory services leveraging GIS tools and resources. The name sound familiar? Witt was head of FEMA between 1993 and 2001.
Eastman Kodak Company's Aerial and Industrial Materials group announced today its sponsorship of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) International Educational Literature Award (IELA). The award will be presented at the ASPRS annual conference in Anchorage, Alaska during the awards luncheon on Thursday, May 8th.
A jury ruled in favor of Laser Technology, Inc. in its patent infringement lawsuit against Nikon, Inc., and Asia Optical Co., Inc. The verdict included an initial damage award by the jury of $1.205 million and a finding of willfulness against Asia Optical Co., Inc. as to the three patents in suit, and against Nikon, Inc., as to one.
Mayor Richard M. Daley's Council of Technology Advisors has highlighted Navigation Technologies as an example of the next-generation business leadership that is located and growing in Chicago.
The Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) Estes Memorial Teaching Award will be presented to Dr. Roger M. Hoffer at the Annual Conference of The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) in Anchorage next month. This is the first time the award will be given. Dr. Hoffer is a retired professor of Remote Sensing, and retired director of the Remote Sensing & GIS Program of the Department of Forest Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) has released the proposed OpenGIS Location Services (OpenLS) Implementation Specification for public comment as a Request for Comment (RFC). The RFC defines XML for Location Services, which consists of interfaces for a variety of specific services.
The Indian Department of Science and Technology signed two Memoranda of Understanding with ESRI to pool resources on the creation of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure for the country and encourage mapping as part of schooling.
GCS Research LLC will use DigitalGlobe imagery as a component of GCS Research's recently announced Space Act Agreement with NASA. Over the course of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration (2003-2006), GCS Research will work closely with DigitalGlobe and NASA to incorporate high-resolution, QuickBird (60 cm, pan-sharpened) imagery into the Lewis and Clark Geosystem and make these images available for viewing and analysis via Internet systems.
UCLID Software is seeking beta test sites for Swipe It! version 2.0. The product works with the ESRI ArcGIS Traverse Window. Swipe It! is a GIS data entry tool that eliminates the need for typing. Anyone wishing to apply for the beta program can do so online.
Ordnance Survey has been given six demanding targets to meet for the new financial year by its government minister. These include: make more money, become more efficient in data collection, make maps more complete, increase use of e-commerce, increase timeliness of product supply, and reduce carbon emissions.
Emerge imagery, produced with its Digital Sensor System, was characterized under a protoype process by NASA. The imagery produced a Circular Error 90% (CE90) of 0.4775m, meeting the National Map Accuracy Standards requirement for a scale of 1:1,600. The CE95 was 0.5446m, which meets the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) requirement.
Haestad Methods announced its System Integration Services Department. This group will provide system integration and customized software opportunities in such fields as water resources, defense, electricity, and security.
Laser-Scan has joined the Autodesk Developer Network.
Maptuit Corporation announced that it raised an additional $2 million from Flagship Ventures to close on an $8 million Series C financing.
Dubai Municipality's Roads Department has chosen Intergraph distributor Intergraph Middle East LLC (IMEL), and Intergraph Team GeoMedia Registered Solutions Provider GCWare, spol. s.r.o., to supply and implement location-based GIS technology for the creation of a Dynamic Integrated Navigation System (DINS) to provide real-time route and traffic information to commuters and travelers.
The Adams County, Pennsylvania commissioner approved a $38,000 agreement with Pictometry International Corp., of Rochester, New York, for coverage of the county.
Full Circle Technologies signed a contract with the town of Croton-on Hudson, New York, to web-enable that towns' GIS using Full Circle's web-product, VectorEyes.
Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced that North-West Sealand Energy Supply Company (NVE A.m.b.a.), Denmark, signed a contract for the implementation of a geofacilities information management system based on Intergraph's G/Electric software.
Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, Shanghai Office announced that JiangXi Power Electric has purchased G/Electric, Intergraph's next-generation AM/FM/GIS technology for electric utilities. JiangXi Power is headquartered in Nanchong City and is one of four provinces that form the Central China region.
GE Network Solutions was awarded its largest Energy Management Services contract ever in China, by Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company (SMEPC) in Shanghai.
The United States Border Patrol recently purchased Feature Analyst to more effectively monitor the nation's borders.
LocatioNet announced that Telcel, Mexico's leading wireless operator with over 20 million subscribers, has chosen LocatioNet's LBS middleware platform and GIS engine for the deployment of Location Based Services in Mexico. Telcel will be the first wireless operator in the country to offer commercial Location Based Services.
InfoNetrix, a technical market research firm focused on utility and energy automation markets, has identified a record level of project activity - more than 360 projects valued at nearly $150 million - in its just published Q1-2003 Business Horizons Reports. GIS & Mobile Computing Solutions (GMCS) showed the largest number of projects (183) and the most significant spending outlook (over $76 million).
The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) added Tikrit to its collection of special reference maps of Baghdad, Iraq, and the Middle East.
Autodesk MapGuide 6.3 is now shipping. This version is faster, easier to use, and more flexible, according to an Autodesk release.
ESRI announced GIS Data ReViewer 4.2 is now shipping. GIS Data ReViewer is a data quality control management application that simplifies many aspects of automated and visual spatial data quality control tasks, resulting in a more efficient and consistent review process. It's an add-on to ArcMap, part of ArcGIS.
MapFrame Corporation announced FieldSmart Route, a mobile point-to-point, street-level routing system with route optimization for utility crews operating in the field.
RockWare, Inc., developer and reseller of earth science software applications, announced that an updated version of RockWorks2002 allows the direct import of shapefiles.
Mapopolis announced a new GPS unit for Handspring Treo handhelds. The unit comes with a special version of Mapopolis for Handspring Treo handhelds.
Clark Labs announced the 14th release of the IDRISI geoanalytic and image processing system (above). IDRISI Kilimanjaro extends the current analytical range while providing major enhancements in cartographic display. New display features include: enhanced cartographic symbolization for immediate classification of data into equal interval, quantile, and standardized ranges; layer blending to visually merge layers using alpha blending; background transparency, and interactive RGB compositing.
Autodesk, Inc. is shipping Autodesk Envision 8 software, formerly Autodesk Onsite Desktop, a GIS and design tool for mapping, engineering, and land-use professionals. The new version supports Microsoft .NET, the Tablet PC, and AutoCAD 2004 Design Web Format (DWF) files, as well as Autodesk DWG file format.
TIGER2002.com released the latest Census vector map data, reformatted in .TAB and .SHP formats. StreetSmart 4.0 is designed for instant creation of beautiful, accurate maps within standard GIS packages, while retaining all the analytical capabilities of the full GIS dataset. It comes with workspaces for MapInfo users and project files for ArcView users, along with over 50 data layers for the entire US, including local roads, highways, shields, census boundaries, landmarks, and water features.
ESRI Business Information Solutions (ESRI BIS) announced the release of the 17th edition of The Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics, the 15th edition of The Sourcebook of County Demographics, and the 2003 edition of Sourcebook·America with ArcReader. The ESRI BIS sourcebook product suite provides consumer demographic data available with query, sort, report, and map display software that organizations use to make critical marketing decisions.
ESRI also announced the availability of ArcGIS Military Analyst, an extension to ArcGIS that incorporates a suite of tools tailored to meet the special needs of the defense user. The new extension significantly enhances the effectiveness of core ArcGIS as a tool set foundation for the military planner and intelligence analyst. The company also released a new version of MapShop, an online tool for quickly creating maps customized to a media organization's style. The system provides access to timely and accurate geographic map data from global to street-level detail.
GE Network Solutions announced the availability of its Smallworld Design Manager 2.2 software product. The product release includes scalability improvements and new functionality for incremental job completion.
GML Developer Days will be held July 20-24, 2003, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Hires and New Offices
Ron Burdis (RDB Consulting Services) will serve as Manager of International Business Development for InfoNetrix, the U.S.-based market research and consulting firm.
Alan Ruot recently joined Woolpert LLP's Denver office as a GIS project manager.
Tadpole-Cartesia, Inc. announced the appointment of Susan Park as executive sales manager for North American operations. She comes from GE Network Solutions and PlanGraphics.
Jonathan Pollack was recently named a senior associate at Gannett Fleming, an international consulting engineering and construction management firm. Pollack currently serves as the vice president of advanced technologies for GeoDecisions.
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