June 20, 2002


From the Editor
MapInfo Announces Grants for Homeland Security
Bentley Goes Virtual
Three Laws of Location-based Services
John Antennuci Interviewed by Wall Street Reporter

This issue sponsored by:

Click here
Points of Interest, Business Notes, Week in Review, Back Issues, Advertise, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Here's an update on the status of GIS Monitor, the website. Many of you receive this newsletter and are not aware that it grew out of a mapping and GIS directory now housed here. There you will find handpicked lists of products, articles, and resources. Want to get some insight into the GIS job market? I've got a list of great articles. Want to pick a free GIS viewer? I'll give you my preferences. Those are just two of the hundreds of lists I've put together in the last two years. Want to include your company in the consultant listings? Want to suggest a great product I don't have listed? Send me an e-mail message and I'll check it out.

The website is also home to past issues of the GIS Monitor newsletter and the latest news. I realize that many sites publish press releases everyday. I try to post the ones that are particularly significant and save others for the "Business Notes" section of the GIS Monitor newsletter. And, I troll the non-GIS press daily to find out how the rest of the world looks at geospatial technology. Want to know how GIS is used in fighting wildfires? Want to know the implications of out-of-date FEMA flood maps? Want to know how GIS fits into architecture? These are some of the articles posted on the front page of gismonitor.com in the last few days. And, if you are interested in the GIS press, listings of articles from that arena are updated weekly.

And I have a request for those who send me the news: please update your address book to reflect my new e-mail address: [email protected]. My "old" TenLinks address will be phased out shortly.

Finally, if you you've not taken a look at this newsletter in HTML, check it out on the website. If your mail program supports HTML, I encourage you to switch your preference. Those receiving the HTML version note that it's prettier and easier to read. And again, we have no plans to cut off the text version; we just want to be sure you are aware of the "pretty" version.

Thanks for your continued support.

[email protected]

GIS Job Market Articles

Free GIS Viewers

GIS Current Features

There is a sense that funding for homeland security initiatives from the U.S. government will take a while, so a second software vendor has taken matters into its own hands. Following ESRI's grant program, announced in March, MapInfo this week announced a program to give smaller municipalities up to $12,000 in software and county-level data. Cities with populations up to 150,000 are eligible for the 100 available grants. Those seeking grants are asked to provide a homeland security, public safety or continuity of government plan for the use of MapInfo software.

The grants include MapInfo Professional, MapInfo Discovery, MapInfo StreetPro county level addressed street segments and MapInfo MapMarker geocoding software.

MapInfo confirmed that this is its first such grant program. The company hopes to parlay its success at agencies such as FEMA and the New York City Police Department to local government users. According to an article in the Albany Business Journal, "the goal is to show municipalities that they have a need for this software product; the hope is that they will buy other MapInfo products." President and CEO Mark Cattini said, in the same article, "What we're saying is, take the technology, play with it. If you like it, that's great. If you don't, that's great too. It's a no-lose situation."

Grants have already been provided to two local governments: the City of Troy, NY, and Jackson County, IL. The company plans to deliver the next set beginning in early July through August, with the final group going out by the end of November. Applications will be reviewed by a cross-functional group of MapInfo managers and associates and grants will be awarded based on several factors including the quality of the homeland security/public safety mission statement and strategy and expected use and benefits. Preference will be given to those not currently using MapInfo technology.

Posters to a MapInfo stock discussion board raised some questions. They were concerned that with telecommunications in a slump, this was not the time to give away software. They were also wondering if it was wise to try to move into ESRI's large user base in local government.

MapInfo Launches Homeland Security Grant Program (Press Release)

Local Companies See Opportunities in Security Products (Albany Business Journal)

ESRI Unveils Series of Homeland Security Initiatives

Bentley had big plans this week to show off its shiny new report from Ziff-Davis about MicroStation V8's ability to read in AutoCAD DWG files and to recreate its recent user conference online. I had some trouble accessing the online seminar, but eventually I did. I give Bentley credit for having end-users speak, but it still sounded like a sales pitch. Ralph Grabowski raises some interesting points about the report itself in UpFront.eZine.

I also visited the Virtual Bentley International User Conference which I'm pleased to say was quite nice. IBSystems, who runs AEC Café, hosted the event. Tuesday through Thursday there are people "staffing" the booths allowing online Q & A. The exhibitors numbered three: Bentley, Hewlett Packard and Armilian Technologies, a Bentley Integrator. The Bentley booth featured representatives from each of its product lines along with slides, videos and literature. The slideshows without audio were tough to follow, but the videos were entertaining. One video defines the "V8 generation" - who they are, how they want to work, etc.

The interface to interact with booth staff was slick and several attendees could "speak" at once. Three of the keynotes were also available in the virtual "auditorium" including Keith Bentley's. Is this edition of the conference as good as being there? Not quite, but it's not too far the mark.

The virtual conference runs, unmanned, until August 31, 2002.


Virtual BIUC

A press release from Webraska caught my eye this week since it spoke about "laws of location-based services" (LBS). When I read that the laws were modeled after Asimov's laws of robotics (robots may not hurt people, robots will obey people, and robots protect their own existence) I was further intrigued. Asimov's laws are not like Newton's laws of physics that describe how the world works. Instead, in his novels, the writer set up his robots to follow certain rules. In a sense, he laid out how the world should be. Jean-Michel Durocher, Webraska's CEO and Founder laid out three rules for LBS that suggest how LBS should work at a recent meeting of wireless carriers hosted by the company:

First Law: Location, through its availability or non-availability, must not allow a human being to come to harm.
Second Law: The availability of one's Location must be in one's complete control, except where such control would conflict with the First Law.
Third Law: The providers of location-based services must be allowed to create a profitable business from these services as long as such business does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

I think this is pretty clever and sets up some nice practical and ethical guidelines. Asimov set up his rules to help the public become more comfortable with the idea of robots. Durocher is doing the same thing, just not in a science fiction story. Many argue that Asimov's laws are not in use now (since robots of various types drop bombs and contribute to other atrocities) and it's not clear that the technology developers and users will follow Durocher's laws either.

Like most technology, LBS can be used for good or evil. The choice is ours.

Jean-Michel Durocher, Webraska's CEO proposes "Three Laws Of Location-Based Services (LBS)"

On Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics (article by a writer who argues that Asimov's laws are NOT guiding robotic development)

The Wall Street Reporter Magazine regularly interviews business leaders of public companies. There is no payment either way for these, according to the publication's website. This week the publication interviewed John Antenucci, Vice Chairman, President and Acting CEO of PlanGraphics. He was also the company's founder.

The interviewer asked Antenucci about factors that distinguish the company. Antenucci used the work the company did in New York City before and after 9/11 to illustrate. PlanGraphics designed the system for NYC before the attack and worked there throughout the rescue and recovery. He outlined PlanGraphics deep understanding of how government operates, both technically and from a management perspective. He went on to say that the staff members act as management consultants first and technology consultants second. He mentioned PlanGraphics' success in getting NYC systems back online-in hours for example-and then moving them as needed to other locations. As for the future, the company already sees state and local governments "pre-positioning themselves" for federal grants related to homeland defense which should help drive revenue.

In the next one to two years Antenucci predicts revenues and income will rise. He explained that PlanGraphics is at the end of a turnaround - reworking the four-year-old relationship by a small defense company (ISIS). He sees growth of 18%, and expects income to rise.

The board's objective is to increase revenue and get back on the NASDAQ. The company currently trades over the counter. The move back to the NASDAQ, Antenucci feels will likely happen in the next two years. The driving force will be new business (homeland security, emergency response) that leverages past government experience.

Interview With: John Antenucci (free registration is required to listen to the interview)

PlanGraphics, Inc. President John Antenucci Discusses Future Directions with The Wall Street Reporter


• Applied Generics is testing a system that uses cell phone locations to map traffic on UK and Swedish roads. According to articles from the BBC and New Scientist, the system tracks location via cell tower to track hundreds of drivers' locations. And, when many in the same geographical area make a call, the system figures they are calling to say they will be late. A similar system was developed in the U.S. but was not put into practice. An Automobile Association rep (the UK version of the AAA here in the US) says that the information is incomplete as it does not tell the reason for the backup, which is important to drivers. Still, a European phone company hopes to put the system into use soon and sell the information to subscribers. Thanks to reader Nick Park at GeoFields for the tip.

Mobilize, a company involved with mobility solutions for field-based workers for more than 5 years shut down this past week. The company rallied around a Gartner Group statistic that suggests that the failure to move to mobile technology would cost an organization 20% in productivity. The company slogan, ironically, was Mobilize or Die. They clearly did the latter.

• This week there was a piano competition in St. Paul, MN. All of the judges were in the hall, save one, who was in Japan. The New York Times explains that the "e-judge" sat at Yamaha Corporation listening to the performance through a Yamaha Disklavier Pro piano. The Disklavier basically "records" the nuance of the performance, then recreates it, on a real piano by lifting the hammers and controlling the pedals. The cost for one of these? A concert grand retails for $152,995. How long will it take to send the musical piece to Japan via the Internet? It took about half and hour and the judge also saw a video of the performance while listening. Is it live or is it Disklavier?

• InterPUG, a Palm portal online since 1999, aims to connect users from around the world. But, there is controversy, according to PalmStation.com, as a map on the site mistakenly assigned part of Turkey to Greece. The group received about 50 protests and promised to fix the map quickly.

• Radiation known as terahertz waves are the key to a new sensor that can see through fog, smoke, and even walls and clothing. Though touted for use in security screenings and medical applications, there are those looking to use the new sensors on the earth's atmosphere. The story is reported at Space.com.

• According to the Albany Business Review, John Cavalier, chairman of the board at MapInfo, ranks #2 in a list of the area's highest paid executives. The article did not note his total compensation. In other MapInfo news, a former executive, Michael Reiff, the company's vice president and general manager in the Asia Pacific region from 1998 to 2000, settled a breach of contract law suit for $275,000. He was seeking $17.6 million in damages.

• I ran across this naming tidbit in a company profile of Surdex. The company changed from its original name, Engineering Services, to Surdex (a combination of survey, design and exploration) because the State of New York would not "accept a company name that included the word engineering." Surdex is an aerial photography company based in St. Louis.

• An AP news story on the use of high tech in the war in Afghanistan suggests computer maps are great tools, but as a knowledge management officer put it "a computer with a bullet in it is just a paperweight. A map with a bullet in it is still a map."

• One of the suggestions of a The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology formed by two northern California leaders (the mayor of San Jose and Rep. Mike Honda) suggest using GPS to track vehicles in secure areas.

Bentley is holding a Geoengineering Summit November 4-5, 2002, in Madrid, Spain. You'll need to set up a login at the Bentley site to access further

Maporama, a provider of online location-centric applications and Navigation Technologies, has announced a strategic partnership to enhance location based service (LBS) offerings of Italy¹s WIND Telecomunicazioni customers.

ESRI announced that it received a Certificate of Special Recognition from the National Association of Counties (NACO) for "its outstanding leadership and generous support to help rebuild America after the September 11, 2001, tragedies."

9106-1150 Quebec inc. bought all the assets of SoftMap Technologies Inc. and will resume the operations under the name SoftMap Technologies (2002) Inc. Softmap, the old one, produced maps of Canada.

Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions Transportation Solution Center for North America awarded GeoDecisions Corporation the first annual Transportation Partner of the Year award, which recognizes innovative geospatial data access capabilities and enterprise deployment.

geoVue and Pixxures have signed a deal for comprehensive site analytics that integrate Web-based mapping and demographics with high-resolution, digital orthorectified aerial imagery.

The Association of Canadian Map Librarians and Archives (ACMLA) awarded DMTI Spatial, Canada's leading mapping data and geocoding solutions provider, with their Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of DMTI's 'Spatial Mapping Academic Research Tools' (SMART) program. DMTI Spatial's SMART program provides participating Canadian Universities and Colleges with access to leading geospatial mapping products.


United States-based Landair Mapping, Inc. has completed the purchase of the Leica ALS40 and RC30 airborne sensors from Leica Geosystems' GIS & Mapping Division. With the ALS40, Landair will be able to provide LIDAR data to its customers who require fast and accurate digital terrain models (DTMs).

Global Geomatics Inc. announced a contract for the installation of its MapFusion Workstation and Server products at the University of Quebec at Hull.

Thales Navigation announced today that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has purchased more than 6,000 Magellan GPS handheld devices for state and local law enforcement officers who investigate vehicle collisions.

MESA Solutions, a Telcordia Technologies subsidiary announced its selection by Alabama Gas Corporation (Alagasco) to provide implementation and systems integration services for a complete geospatial network management solution. The company also announced it has signed an agreement with Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) to provide systems integration and implementation services. The new agreement is the second phase of a two-phase project at SEC to plan and deploy an integrated geospatial network management solution.

The city of Leipzig will be using SICAD for its extensive spatial information systems for another four years. Leipzig and SICAD GEOMATICS signed a contract for future cooperation at the end of May 2002.

PlanGraphics, Inc. has been awarded a new series of tasks under an extension to an existing master agreement for GIS Management and Support Services to the City of Columbus Department of Technology.

UK-based Cadcorp announced that Kiama Municipal Council in New South Wales, Australia, has selected Cadcorp SIS - Spatial Information System. Kiama Municipal Council becomes the fifth Australian council in New South Wales to join the Cadcorp SIS user community.

The GeoInformation Group announced that Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in England and Wales, has purchased City Heights Birmingham city centre database for a broad range of height critical urban planning projects. GeoInformation Group produces the Cities Revealed line of imagery.

Jefferson County, Alabama is implementing NovaLIS Technologies' computer assisted mass appraisal solution, Assessment Office.

Choctaw Geo Imaging (CGI) Enterprise, a provider of digital mapping services, announced it had won a major service contract with Southern Timber Venture, LLC through CLAW Forestry Services, LLC, a land management corporation for Southern Timber Venture, LLC (STV) headquartered in Jackson, MS. CGI will provide custom aerial photography and custom data integration for more than 276,000 acres of forestlands.

CARIS announced the release of CARIS HOM AML software for Additional Military Layer (AML) production in the IHO S-57 format.

WhereNet Corp., a provider of wireless location and communications solutions for managing mobile resources, announced the availability of a dual mode tracking and security solution for shipping containers managed by terminal operators and shippers. The product is aimed, in part, to support homeland security.

LibraryDecision from ESRI is a cost-effective planning tool to help library administrators plan and allocate resources, initiate demand-responsive services, and anticipate future service requirements.

CompassCom Inc., an Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology provider added Craig Snapp as Chief Technology Officer, and Montie Carr as Chief Marketing Officer. Both positions are aimed to support Homeland Security and related programs.

CellPoint Inc. announced that Stephen Childs is the company's new chairman of the board, and Carl Johan Tornell has taken over the day-to-day operations from Mr. Childs as president of the company.

Terry W. Branch recently joined Woolpert LLP as a survey project manager in the firm's Virginia Beach office.

Mark Irvine is WhereNet's new vice president of worldwide sales and field operations.

Becky Cheadle joined Azteca Systems as regional representative for the Midwest Regional Office. The company moved its Southeast Regional Office to Knoxville Tennessee.


June 19 - Leica Geosystems' Imaging Products Support QuickBird
Leica Geosystem's IMAGINE Advantage, IMAGINE OrthoBASE, IMAGINE OrthoBASE Pro, and Stereo Analyst products all support the sensor model.

June 19 - Successful OGC Demo Launches FEMA Hazard Mapping
One of the results is a framework for sharing data.

June 18 - ESRI Licenses MainSoft Technology
Mainsoft Corporation, a software porting company announced that ESRI has licensed Mainsoft's Visual MainWin as part of its cross-platform strategy. ESRI will use Mainsoft products to port ArcGIS to UNIX platforms.

June 18 - Avenza ships MAPublisher 5.0 for Illustrator
This version includes support for Adobe Illustrator 10, Apple Mac OS X and import of MicroStation Design (DGN) files.

June 17 - Ron Lake Receives OGC's Gardels Award
Ron's been actively involved with Geography Markup Language (GML) since before it was born.

June 17 - Claritas and GlobeXplorer Partner
Claritas will deliver aerial images over the Internet using proprietary technology developed by GlobeXplorer. The company will also incorporate GlobeXplorer technology in other products.

June 17 - Satellite Image of Colorado's Hayman Fire
Space Imaging regularly provides imagery related to the news, lest we forget that near real time imagery is available worldwide.

June 13 - ESRI to Integrate GeoFusion's Visualization ArcGIS
ESRI plans to integrate GeoFusion, Inc.'s GeoMatrix Toolkit technology into the ArcGIS family. GeoFusion's technology provides high-performance, high-quality, three-dimensional visualization of imagery, terrain, vector, and annotation data from outer space to street level.

June 13 - Blue Marble Geographics Releases v 6.0 Translators
Version 6.0 of the TIGER to Shapefiles (TGR2SHP) and TIGER to MIF (TGR2MIF) translators are part of the TIGER/Line 2000 Map Kit, a collection of U.S. map data.


You can reach more than 6,000 GIS professionals every issue by sponsoring GIS Monitor. For more information, email

Please send comments and suggestions to:
Adena Schutzberg
GIS Monitor Editor
Ultimate Map/GIS Directory - Your search is over!

If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your preferences visit our
subscription page.