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2005 April 28


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Editor's Introduction

In this week's issue of GIS Monitor I report on a conversation with Styli Camateros, vice president of geospatial systems for Bentley Systems, about his company's vision and its upcoming user conference. I then report in detail on the Intergraph user conference, on some announcements by the company, and on my conversations with several of its executives. Finally, I do my usual roundup of industry news from press releases.

— Matteo


Last Friday I spoke with Styli Camateros, vice president for geospatial at Bentley, about the company's vision and its upcoming user conference.
     What we have traditionally called "GIS," he told me, is now a much broader field — "geospatial" technology — which includes such things as detailed models of cities for emergency response and planning. "We are seeing that the old ways of doing things are coming he Oracle 10g database program, he added, means that "geospatial information is no longer the domain of a few specialists." but a part of the mainstream IT enterprise. He emphasized the increasing importance of Oracle 10g as a geospatial enterprise store. "We are working very closely with Oracle," he told me, "and we have a very good relationship. We are totally supportive of their models and are creating products that edit their topology model. It will be ready by the end of the summer."
     Bentley saw the emerging trends "a couple of years ago" and reached two conclusions: First, that traditional GIS was not very good at high precision accuracy and was more about "interpretation and trying to fill a database as quickly as possible," doing such operations as warping and stretching to fit. Engineers, on the other hand, try to measure much more accurately and precisely and think in 3D.
     Second, traditionally, we separated how we designed and built infrastructure from how we planned, managed and presented it. However, Bentley saw the increasing sophistication and widespread use of databases as "a wonderful opportunity to merge the two into a single process: plan, design, bid, build, draw 'as built', and manage - all in one workflow. Bentley has integrated solutions for all of these tasks."
     The company, according to Camateros is "quite far along" in this integration process. "We have solutions for the communications industry and local government and we are very good at water and waste water network modeling and those kinds of applications. By the end of the summer we will introduce some new solutions for electric utilities and other sectors." All of these new products, he added, will be extensions to Bentley's two flagship products: Microstation, for the desktop and ProjectWise, Bentley's collaboration server.
     I asked Camateros what to expect from the company's upcoming user conference, taking place May 8 to 12 in Baltimore. He told me that the conference "is mostly about training and how our users can implement our solutions" but also includes special management tracks and seminars. The conference will include messages and presentations by Bentley executives who will update users on the company's business and technology directions and the new versions of Microstation and Projectwise.
     Each; vertical industry will have its own agenda and keynote speakers will discuss the industry's future directions. Dr. Xavier Lopez, Director of Oracle Corporation's Spatial, Location and Network technologies group, will discuss how its 10g database fits into Bentley's vision. Three parallel keynotes - Technology in Action, Communications and Utilities Solutions, and Government and Public Works Solutions - "are aimed at showing our users how they can implement that vision." Bentley users will deliver presentations on the best application of the company's technology.
     The conference will also feature free, drop-in geospatial research and government seminars and an awards ceremony highlighting the achievements of Bentley users. Of 220 nominees, 44 are in half a dozen geospatial categories and several of them are among the presenters at the conference.
     Camateros summarized his view of Bentley's role in the market this way: "traditional GIS vendors don't solve all the problems that market forces now need to solve, including details and precision. When you show up at the emergency site you need really detailed data. Bentley does that very well. The documentation used to build an asset contains the best data. Why decompose that information and put it into a GIS-type system when you can put that into a system that can handle all the phases of a project and have GIS functionality?"


This week I am writing from the beautiful city of San Francisco, where I attended Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions' Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community International Training and Management Conference — or just GeoSpatial World 2005, for short!
     More than 1200 participants, from 56 countries and 38 U.S. states, attended more than 200 technical sessions, including thematic sessions, technical presentations and demos, panel discussions, hands-on and lecture workshops, keynote and plenary sessions, and
IGUC Network meetings. The topics covered ranged from solutions for cartographic production to earth imaging, from geospatial data management to geospatial infrastructure management, from geospatial intelligence to geospatial resource management, and from land information management to mobile resources.
     Organized by tracks, the technical program focused on implementations for government; military and intelligence; photogrammetry and remote sensing; transportation; and utilities and communications industries. In addition to the technical program, a foundations track included topics that are broad in scope and applicable to more than one industry, such as spatial analysis, data management, metadata standards, enterprise warehouses and location-based services platform technology, as well as topics on products and technology in general.
     In conjunction with the conference, a one-day Education Symposium was held to provide information about innovative geospatial research and instruction for educators and academic researchers in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.
     At the opening plenary, on Tuesday morning, R. Halsey Wise, the company's president and CEO, outlined Intergraph's financial situation. He refrained from going into details, however, pending the company's formal announcement of its earnings, two days later.
     According to Wise, Intergraph generates about 55 percent of its earnings and 50 percent of its revenues outside the United States and it is on its "best financial footing in modern history." Last year the company settled all its pending patent litigation and its share price "continues to outperform the NASDAQ composite index and our peer group."
     Compared to calendar year 2003, in calendar year 2004 Intergraph's revenue increased from $526 million to $551 million; its gross margin from 47.9 percent to 50 percent; its total assets from $572 million to $650 million; its operating income from $13 million to $34 million; and its stock price from $23.93 to $26.93.
     Wise also claimed that Intergraph "is more relevant than ever" and gave two reasons in support of that claim: "tightened security concerns" and "high oil prices." He stressed Intergraph's military contracts, citing specifically his close working relations with Gen. James R. Clapper, the head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the company's "high security clearance across government agencies," and its contracts to protect the National Security Agency, the Los Alamos laboratory, and 22 Canadian military bases.
     Wise joined the company in 2003 as president and CEO and was elected to the board at that time. Prior to joining Intergraph, he served as CEO, North America of Solution 6 Holdings, Ltd., the largest software company in Australia. Earlier in his career, Wise was an investment banker specializing in software and technology services. His complete presentationis available on Intergraph's Web site.
     Following Wise's presentation, Preetha Pulusani, the president of Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, said that "we are not living on GIS islands any more" and stressed the importance of seamlessly integrating GIS with other applications through adherence to open standards. Pulusani first joined Intergraph 25 years ago as an entry-level programmer, was elected vice president of the company's Government and Transportation Solutions division in 1997, was named executive vice president of the company's mapping and GIS business in 1998, and was promoted to her current position in 2001. That year she also joined the board of the OGC.


Also at the conference, on Tuesday Intergraph introduced version 9.3 of G/Technology and version 6.0 of GeoMedia. G/Technology is an integrated geofacilities management system that, according to the company, is the foundation for a comprehensive IT environment called geospatial resource management (GRM). GRM facilitates integration among engineering, operational, and customer-related corporate systems for utilities and communication companies. Version 9.3 adds capabilities for data integration, software customization, and network maintenance and analysis. GeoMedia is a suite of desktop and Web products for maintaining, integrating, analyzing, and presenting geospatial data to enable an open spatial enterprise. The GeoMedia family consists of 17 applications for national, regional, and local government, military and intelligence, utilities, communications, and photogrammetry and transportation markets. They allow enterprises to visualize spatial information. Version 6.0 according to Intergraph, simplifies end-user access to enterprise geospatial information, enhances the ability of enterprises to deploy spatial data, and provides new Web services and map display tools for cartographic output.


On Wednesday evening, Intergraph released its quarterly earnings and announced a major reorganization. Revenue for the quarter ending on March 31 was $136.5 million, an increase of 3.2% from the $132.3 million reported in the first quarter of 2004. Operating income for the quarter was $5.9 million, or 4.3% of revenue, compared to $7.6 million, or 5.7% of revenue, reported in the first quarter of 2004. The company reported restructuring charges of $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2005 and $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2004. Operating income before restructuring for the quarter was $7.6 million, or 5.6% of revenue, compared to $8.4 million, or 6.3% of revenue, reported in the first quarter of 2004. Net income for the quarter was $81.9 million, compared to $135.6 million, or $3.58 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2004. Net income includes $81.0 million and $128.7 million of after-tax intellectual property income, net of all fees and expenses, in the first quarter of 2005 and 2004, respectively.
     At the same time the company announced that it is realigning its organizational structure and streamlining its global operations from four to two divisions - Process, Power & Marine (PP&M;) and the newly formed Security, Government & Infrastructure (SG&I;). The latter will consist of core operations that previously existed in Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, Intergraph Solutions Group, and Intergraph Public Safety and will have five business units: public safety and local government, federal solutions, military and intelligence, utilities and communications, and transportation and commercial photogrammetry.
     In conjunction with this realignment the company announced various changes to its senior management team: it appointed Reid French, formerly Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Corporate Development, to the position of Chief Operating Officer of Intergraph Corporation. Reporting to Mr. French, will be Gerhard Sallinger, President of Intergraph's Process, Power & Marine (PP&M;) division and Preetha Pulusani, who was appointed President of the new SG&I; division. Ben Eazzetta, formerly President of Intergraph Public Safety, will report to Ms. Pulusani and was appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer of Intergraph's SG&I; division.
     In a conference call with reporters on Thursday morning, Wise was asked why the company had chosen to use $150 million of its IP income to buy back shares. The main reason, he responded, was to signal management's optimism about the company's future. Asked whether Intergraph would be willing to lower its licensing fees for users in developing countries, which generally have high GIS needs but enormously lower per capita income than developed countries, Wise did not answer the question, but said that the company sees the Asia-Pacific region as a key area of growth. Finally, in answer to another question, he confirmed that Intergraph will retain Z/I and IntelliWhere as distinct brands.


On Wednesday I met with

  • Preetha Pulusani, the president of Intergraph's Mapping and Geospatial Solutions division
  • David D. Holmes, director of worlwide product strategy for Intergraph's Mapping and Geospatial Solutions division
  • Dr. Ignacio Guerrero, executive vice president of Intergraph's Mapping and Geospatial Solutions division
  • Dr. Matt Tate, vice president for business development for Geospatial Solutions Federal, which is part of Intergraph's Mapping and Geospatial Solutions' division, and the head of the company's GeoSpatial Intelligence Solutions Center (GISC), and
  • Dr. Terrence J. Keating, chairman of Z/I Imaging and executive vice president of Intergraph's Mapping and Geospatial Solutions division.

I asked Pulusani how Intergaph's approach to product development has changed over the years. "We used to have core products and then the people closest to the customers would customize those," she told me. "Now we have solutions centers that create reusable solutions - such as white papers, data models, and templates." The company's global reach, she pointed out, allows it to talk to end users around the world. For example, when developing a solution for local governments, it might ask for input from potential end users in Spain, Canada, and Australia.
     "We are not trying to be everyone's GIS," Pulusani emphasized; rather, the company prioritizes the use of its resources on the basis of its strengths. As for its geographic priorities, "we see tremendous potential in Asia and the Pacific," she told me. "Russia is a pretty significant market," she added, particularly regarding data acquisition for creating cadastral databases. China and India have an abundance of well qualified and trained people, and Intergraph is supporting academic programs in those countries.
     I asked Pulusani what some of the company's challenges are in the global marketplace. She mentioned one, phrasing it very diplomatically: "Some countries have not been in the habit of paying for software..." To change this, she explained, Microsoft, AutoDesk, Intergraph, and other companies are working to develop awareness and to encourage appropriate legislation. Often, she pointed out, license holders are not able to pay for services and expect them to be included in the licence; in some cases, Intergraph steers them toward academia for support.
     I asked Pulusani at what stage of development GIS technology is. She gave me an analogy: there was a time when large companies had a VP of electricity; now they have VPs of GIS. Eventually, GIS will be so fully integrated with other software that enterprises will treat it as just another part of IT.


I asked Holmes about the company's biggest challenges. He told me that, now that Intergraph has launched into its new seamless geospatial computing vision — which aims to geospatially-enable every IT environment and embrace new IT platforms — "the challenge is to figure out how to do that with our products", following the success of GeoMedia. What will be the bottlenecks in trying to accomplish this vision? Most arise from the tension within the IT industry between open and proprietary standards. "By definition," Holmes told me, "they all have to be open to survive."
     Another challenge is to enable thick clients to run with the administration provided by Web clients. Users, according to Holmes, will soon want to do with Web browsers what Intergraph's thick clients do — while at the same time running SAP, asset management systems, and other applications.
     Whenever it can, Intergraph turns projects into repeatable solutions and then turns these solutions into products: "the challenge is to generalize," Holmes told me. "This is great for the customer, because it brings the price down." As an example, he cited the system that the company developed for the Nevada DOT, which introduced the ability to have multiple linear reference systems in the same data model. Within six months of completing the Nevada project, Intergraph incorporated this capability into GeoTransportation and made it available to all state DOTs.
     In every market there are a handful of risk-tolerant, leading edge customers, Holmes explained, adding "We love them!" Intergraph looked for such a customer for water management for its GeoMedia platform and found a perfect one: the City of Winnipeg, Canada.
     A feature becomes a market requirement when it is proven and everyone wants it; "but first you have to serve a handful of customers and be good at it. The easier we make the availability of geospatial technology and the more we push it into the mainstream of IT, the more folks will be willing to take risks."
     Is Intergraph developing access control systems? No, Holmes told me, "because that is not our business; we let IT people do that."


I asked Guerrero to explain how his division manages product development. He told me that each solution center reports its needs regarding core technologies. He and his team then take this input — as well as input from the customers and Intergraph's support network — integrate it into new products, and work out priorities, depending on the market and the relevant business issues.
     I asked Guerrero how Intergraph handles its dependence on broader developments in IT. "We leverage existing IT technology," he told me. "Our goal is to integrate as much as possible. [IT developers] are solving higher level problems."
     What are his toughest challenges? Selecting technologies in which to invest and having to forecast trends, Guerrero told me. He then gave me one example of a difficult decision he had to make a few years ago: whether or not to believe the hype about tablet PCs. They incorporated technologies — such as ink layers and character recognition — that appeared promising for geospatial applications. "It wasn't clear whether it was going to be a revolution. It turned out to be just one more thing."
     A more dramatic and consequential example, however, was the decision whether to continue supporting Unix workstations or switch to PCs, given how big a task it would be to migrate data and applications from one platform to the other. Intergraph chose to go with PCs and Guerrero is now convinced that it was the right decision. By contrast, it was easy for the company to decide to shift to a service-oriented architecture and support Web services.
     From time to time Intergraph conducts a strategic review and chooses the areas in which it wants to invest its energy. Recently, security and intelligent transportation emerged as areas of significant potential growth. "We like to maintain our focus on the industries that we are targeting," he told me. "There is always the temptation to recycle technologies, but you also need to know the industries [to which your are trying to apply them]."
     I asked Guerrero what he sees as Intergraph's greatest strengths. He listed three: its commitment to open standards, its very good connectivity with a large variety of data formats, and its in-depth knowledge of five industries: military and intelligence, state and local government, Earth imaging and photogrammetry, utilities and communications, and transportation. Conversely, the company is not interested in pursuing, for example, the health field. "We probably have the technology," he told me, "but we don't have people that understand that industry's dynamics, cycles, and requirements."
     Finally, I asked Guerrero, if GPS, other sensors, and wireless connectivity are the most important enabling technologies right now for the development of mobile geospatial computing, what is the principal obstacle? His answer was quick and emphatic: batteries!


I asked Tate how his Solutions Center fits into Intergraph's larger structure. He explained to me that the company has three levels that deal with product development and sales: product centers; solutions centers, which deal with vertical industries; and global sales regions. Intergraph gathers customer requirements and market demand from its sales regions, builds solutions, and then takes them to market through the regions for the verticals.
     The product centers operate on product development cycles — but, meanwhile, market demands are constantly changing. So the solutions centers piece together existing technologies to meet customer requirements. The solutions centers also handle marketing, pricing, and training and bring customers together for workshops (which function, in effect, like focus groups).
     Geospatial Solutions Federal, which sells into the federal government, is in effect one of Intergraph's sales regions. Tate's biggest client by far is the NGA, which is also the single biggest client for all of the company. U.S. civilian agencies, however, do not necessarily follow NGA's standards. Among these agencies, the biggest prize, of course, is the Department of Homeland Security. I asked Tate for an example of a solution developed by his Solutions Center and he cited Image Scout, a tool for broad area search that allows mosaicing and the querying of attributes. GISC put it together using GeoMedia, Z/I software, and third party software from Paragon.
     Image Scout is also the example that Tate gave me when I asked him about spin-offs from military technology to the civilian side. It was developed as an image analysis tool for the military, but then civil government agencies needed it to bridge the gap between pixel data and feature data. It can also be used to do fusion with other data types.
     I asked Tate what the major differences are between the U.S. and the European markets. He told me that the Europeans are more in tune with OGC data exchange standards, whereas the NGA is slower to adopt them. Intergraph, he added, is always lobbying NGA to follow OGC standards.
     Intergraph's GIPS (geospatial intelligence production solutions), is a set of solutions that handles the collection and extraction of feature data from imagery; the management of feature-level data; and product generation (in softcopy, in hardcopy, and on the Web). It was developed mostly for the MGCP (multi-global co-production) process. Under this system, countries produce cells of feature data, then hand them over to the NGA, which houses the data and gives each country access to the whole data library, depending on that country's contribution to it. The NGA, of course, has access to the whole library! (However, when I asked Tate for shortcomings of the system, he griped that it is maintained at the cell level, "whereas the technology today is at the feature level.")
     What is Intergraph's greatest strength? It is the company's ability to bring complex data together, Tate told me, to allow its customers to make better and faster decisions. What is its greatest challenge? Communicating across the divide between the military and the civilian geospatial communities, whose objectives are increasingly the same.
     What is the greatest geospatial challenge for the United States? Tate worries that the country may not be as prepared now in the spatial dimension as when taxpayers where paying for the USGS to map quadrangles at 1:24,000 scale and the private sector was taking those maps and adding value to them. Now that the mapping task has been turned over to the private sector, Tate told me, each vendor tends to put its own proprietary spin on the data. As a result, the data is much less accessible than most people assume - and probably much less accessible than what may be necessary in an emergency.
     On a related issue, I asked Tate about restrictions on data access due to security concerns. The data that are readily used by consumers, he told me, are all open; however, data about oil pipelines, water systems, etc. are being restricted. "That is good for all those times when you don't have disasters," he told me, "but how do you turn it back on in minutes in case of a disaster?" We have much more data available than what is in the paper maps that first responders typically consult, spread out over the hoods of their vehicles at the site of an emergency. Unfortunately, Tate concluded, it often takes a combination of economic opportunities and disaster to wake us up to the need to improve these systems.


I asked Keating to summarize the history of the relationship between Z/I Imaging and Intergraph. He began the story in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Intergraph decided to get out of Unix-based work stations and move into the new generation of "fast" PCs with accelerated graphics. Through the mid-1990s, he told me, Intergraph was bleeding money at the rate of about $20 or $30 million per year. Intergraph then restructured and came up with new "verticals" — divisions dedicated to vertical markets — that it was ready to spin off as necessary. Z/I was one of them, "packaged and isolated."
     In early 1999, to meet growing worldwide demands for digital photogrammetry, Intergraph and Carl Zeiss Inc. formed Z/I Imaging Corp., a joint venture dedicated to providing open Windows NT-based photogrammetry processes, including digital aerial survey cameras, plotting systems, and image processing software. Intergraph's Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and Zeiss' Photogrammetry and Aerial Reconnaissance divisions combined complementary hardware and software products to form Z/I Imaging, which was owned 60 percent by Intergraph and 40 percent by Zeiss. The two companies shared Z/I Imaging's board of directors, which was headed by Intergraph's CEO. Additionally, Z/I Imaging had access to all of Intergraph's software.
     Intergraph eventually came out of its hardware commodity loss when it sold its Clipper microprocessor technology for $864 million and its interest in spinning off Z/I diminished substantially. Instead, it bought out Zeiss' 40 percent interest in the company and maintained Z/I as a brand. Among other things, Z/I had the DMC (digital mapping camera) and the ImageStation platform, as well as the TerraShare enterprise infrastructure for geospatial data management and earth imaging production. Now Z/I is fully integrated with Intergraph, has cameras and scanners for data acquisition, and a collection of earth imaging tools, including photogrammetry and stereo and 3D visualization.
     Given this history, I asked Keating what Z/I's special niche in the industry is today. He told me that "it can apply industrial strength in producing data out of raw imaging" and that TerraShare's data distribution abilities are unique. Like the rest of Intergraph, Z/I is "putting a lot of time and energy into getting the user out of the business of files;" rather, it provides Web-enabled tools that allow the user to quickly get all kinds of data — internal, external, and legacy — onto the Web.
     I asked Keating how Z/I is reacting to the new security requirements, including the need for access control. "We find that a lot of environments need to put the data behind a wall of security," he told me; however, instead of getting into the business of providing this security, Intergraph "[embraces] letting Oracle do the security while we work behind the wall."
     What about the big shift, shortly after 9/11, in data access policies — when federal, state, and local government agencies quickly removed a lot of data from their Web sites? The Rand Corporation, Keating told me, studied the question and issued a report that recommended against that shift. There's a positive correlation, he explained, between a country's GNP and how available it makes geospatial information. "Now state and local governments have geospatial one-stop Web sites and nodes and all this stuff is back on line. When all is said and done, taking the information off line was irrelevant [to security concerns]."

News Briefs

Please note: I have culled the following news items from press releases and have not independently verified them.


Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) has released the Real-Time Navigation Data Service for Navigation Tool Kit, its desktop application for operational analysts that predicts how Global Positioning System (GPS)-dependent equipment will perform in complex electromagnetic environments. The Real-Time Navigation Data Service enables subscribers to employ near real-time correction data from AGI business partner NavCom Technology, Inc.'s global StarFire GPS monitoring network to assess GPS performance worldwide.
     This up-to-the-minute information is delivered directly to Navigation Tool Kit users via the Internet. Navigation Tool Kit, jointly developed by AGI and Overlook Systems Technologies, Inc., supports real-time navigational situational awareness and tactical mission planning. In addition to its compatibility with the Real-Time Navigation Data Service, Navigation Tool Kit models GPS jammer effects; GPS satellite constellation health and orbit changes; and GPS receiver operations with user-controllable parameters. Navigation Tool Kit also provides batch operation, difference analyses, and defensive-system platform support for land, sea, air, and space initiatives.


Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative of Heppner, Oregon will be conducting a GPS field inventory of its entire service territory using field services by Southeastern Reprographics, Inc. Founded in 1979, SRI will be completing a full GPS field inventory and providing GIS services through its map maintenance program, which maintains GIS databases on behalf of utilities. SRI will post all work orders to the cooperative's GIS database and make the data available for viewing and querying through a secure Web site. The utility will also be able to download the GIS data to a viewing application to take out in the field.
     The 12-month field inventory project began this month and will require SRI visiting to visit every pole, meter, and facility on the CBEC distribution system. The Information collected by SRI will be stored in an ESRI geodatabase and maintained by SRI at its location.

PGRM, the Mineral Resources Management Project in Madagascar — funded by the World Bank / International Development Association (IDA) — has awarded GAF AG, an international geo-information technology company, a consulting service contract.
     Initially, BPGRM shall manage and optimise the use of existing geological and mining information, which will be incrementally supplemented with new field data, collected using a variety of ground-based and remote methods. In addition, the system will generate core products, such as on-demand maps regarding various aspects of the mining potential of Madagascar, thereby promoting the sector and attracting investor interest.
     BPGRM will also provide the information infrastructure and know-how for properly managing, archiving, integrating and interpreting data derived from ongoing PGRM projects such as geophysical airborne surveys over major parts of Madagascar and other geological mapping projects. The project was started in February 2005 and completion is scheduled for the beginning 2006 with a following one year maintenance and support period.

Geographic Mapping Technologies Corporation (GMT), ESRI's distributor in Puerto Rico, has won the contract to implement a companywide GIS at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), following a two-year evaluation process. PREPA produces, transmits, and distributes nearly all the electric power used in Puerto Rico and is one of the major public electric power corporations in the United States.
     The PREPA GIS includes a complement of ESRI's ArcGIS software including ArcInfo, ArcView, ArcSDE, and ArcEditor as well as the extensions ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, Publisher, ArcScan, Survey Analyst, Data Interoperability, ArcPress, and Image Analysis.


Galdos Systems Inc. will host GML Days 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, from July 18 to July 22.
     The event is the fourth annual conference on the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML) and Web Services for GIS. GML is rapidly emerging as the world standard for the XML encoding of geographic information and is the foundation for the Geo-Web. It is being applied to a wide range of geographic applications including homeland security and critical infrastructure protection, integrated land and resource management, location-based services, telematics and intelligent transportation systems, and oceanography.

CarteGraph Systems, a provider of public works asset management software, will host a user group session on May 11 in Sarasota, Florida and another one on May 25 in Tucson, Arizona. These user groups are complimentary sessions designed to provide a forum for CartęGraph users to share their experience with their peers, exchange best practices, and learn about new products and services offered by the company.


The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has accepted a proposal submitted by the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) to create a Street Address Standard. The objective of this effort is to create data content, classification, transfer, and quality standards for street addresses.
     Street addresses are the location identifiers most widely used by state and local government and the public. Street addresses are critical for administrative, emergency response, research, marketing, mapping, geospatial information systems, routing and navigation, and for law enforcement and first-responders in time of crises.

Corbley Communications Inc., a public relations firm serving geospatial technology industries worldwide, has opened its new headquarters office in Winchester, Virginia, just outside the Washington, D.C., area.
     Established 12 years ago in Colorado, Corbley Communications is the only public relations firm exclusively serving the remote sensing, location-based services, digital mapping, and geospatial information systems industries worldwide. Clients include software developers, aerial surveyors, satellite operators, photogrammetric services companies and value-added mapping firms, as well as academic and professional organizations. These clients are based in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

ESRI participated in Map Middle East 2005, the region's first annual international conference and exhibition on geospatial information, technologies, and applications, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 23-25. The event focused on the issues pertaining to the growth of geospatial sciences in the Middle East, while providing a forum for geospatial cooperation within the region.
Cartographic Institute of Catalonia (ICC) has purchased Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions' Z/I Imaging DMC (Digital Mapping Camera), the industry's only large-format digital aerial camera system. The DMC will enable ICC, the official mapping and geological agency of the Catalonian government, to complete the transition of its entire photogrammetric production processes to a fully digital workflow. The elimination of film-based data acquisition processes will enable ICC to dismantle its photolab and shorten total production time for orthophoto and map generation.
     The DMC captures imagery with proven ground resolutions up to 11/2 inches per pixel. Imagery acquired with the DMC maintains its initial high geometric and radiometric quality throughout each stage of the project.

Intergraph Mapping and GeoSpatial Solutions has chartered its first Australian chapter of the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community (IGUC) following a recent successful national users community conference held on Australia's Sunshine Coast. Joining chapters around the world, including New Zealand, the Australian chapter provides local networking and training opportunities for mapping, IT, and geospatial users throughout Australia.

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