July 24, 2003


Laser-Scan User and Partner Conference
The Great Arc
CTO's View: An Interview With Cadcorp's Martin Daly
Thales Offers A New Navigation And Capture Solution
Professional Surveyor Receives ESRI Award

This issue sponsored by:
Safe Software

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Laser-Scan held its 14th conference in its hometown of Cambridge, UK last week. The High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire officially opened the conference and explained the role of a High Sheriff. I'm pleased to report that those who live in the UK listened as intently as those of us from overseas.

After welcoming attendees, Mike Sanderson, Laser-Scan's Managing Director (MD), took the stage to the strains of "Eye of the Tiger" from one of the Rocky movies. He first reminded the audience of what he said last year, in particular, about the three themes the company would focus on: developing a winning team, developing a strategy for interoperability, and hitting targets. He did, however, note that one word summed up what would make the company successful: interoperability, or "interop" for short. That term, along with some other more business focused topics, wove in and out of nearly every session.

Who Owns Laser-Scan?

Sanderson's most important early morning task was to answer the question on everyone's mind: What would happen to the company, which recently announced that its owner Yeoman Group placed the company in administration, basically putting it up for sale?

He wasted little time in explaining how Laser-Scan management and staff now own the company outright. "External shareholders are gone," Sanderson reported, "We are in control of our own destiny." This is the first time in 22 years that the 34-year-old company has been independent. (That makes Laser-Scan exactly as old as ESRI and Intergraph, if you are keeping track.)

There were two other key announcements: one noting that Korean Cadastral Survey had selected the company's Gothic to deliver its cadastre in digital form and a second echoing the announcement from Intergraph's GeoSpatial World that Intergraph would resell the company's Radius Topology technology.

While clearly pleased at how the past six weeks have played out since the announcement of administration, Sanderson pointed out some of the disadvantages on the path to "going private." There were some staff losses, he explained, and the company would have to seek opportunities to grow. On the positive side, he noted the company had added some external board members (that is, ones that do not work for Laser-Scan) and confirmed that Peter Woodsford, a longtime Laser-Scan employee, would stay on as a member of the board.

A Keynote and a Look at Laser-Scan Strategy

I spoke next, highlighting the "Elusive Nature of Geospatial Interoperability." I outlined the flavors of interoperability from the simple "snapshot" type provided by PDF format and GIF files to the complexities of semantic or "language" interoperability. I then shared some anecdotal data to explore the demand for interoperability and examined what appeared to be limited demand. I illustrated how geospatial standards organizations appear to relate to/interact with/compete against information technology ones. Finally, I made some predictions about the growth of geospatial interoperability.

Duncan Guthrie, Sales and Marketing Director, who joined the company from Earth Resource Mapping within the last year, outlined Laser-Scan's commercial strategy. The general theme: the company would change from a focus on specialized solutions, to a focus on mainstream IT offerings. That would require developing partnerships, growing and learning from relationships with customers, enhancing product offerings, and implementing a focused marketing plan.

Guthrie was very open in sharing statistics illustrating the state of the company over the last few years. Losses halved, then turned to a profit in the first five months of this calendar year. Revenues dipped as the economy slumped and headcount dropped from 100 to its current 49.

Partnerships were clearly the most important topic for Guthrie. He asked everyone who considered himself a Laser-Scan partner to stand. About 15 or 20 people did, about two-thirds of the audience. He compared that to about two people who would have felt the same way last year, he pointd out. Laser-Scan was moving from a direct to an indirect distribution model, he explained, asking "Why compete, when you can cooperate?" He offered that partnerships create new opportunities for interoperability and the delivery of best-of-breed solutions. He listed several partners in different stages of partnership who were in attendance: Intergraph, Autodesk, Oracle, MapInfo (with whom working while part of Yeoman Group was a challenge, since Yeoman, like MapInfo, was involved in LBS) and Cadcorp. The plan is to double the existing ten solution providers in the next six months. The goal was not to "blanket" the earth with partners, but rather to choose "strategic partners." Steven Ramage, Business Development Director, now has this responsibility.


Guthrie continued by highlighting the key role long-time and new customers play in moving the company forward, then laid out details for expected future revenue. The plan, in short, is to increase revenue from new technology, that is the Radius technology, so that in three years it accounts for some 48% of total revenue. Radius currently refers to just a single product, Radius Topology, one of the many slices currently being "ported" from the company's proprietary Gothic system to an Oracle/Java implementation. In time, more Radius products will be available, including Radius Studio [object behaviors], Clarity [generalization], ClearText [text placement], and Lifecycle [active, not passive, objects]. (More on these below.) In terms of marketing Guthrie highlighted the important role the company's website played, and will play in the future, and the plan to exploit the Internet to educate the marketplace.

Two Ways of Looking at Interoperability

Guenther Pichler, MD for Open GIS Consortium (Europe), explained the role of that group as a "project organization" focusing on the outreach and community adoption part of the OGC mission. (I consult for OGC and was pleased to meet my "colleague" for the first time.)

After lunch I missed several sessions (I was sending out GIS Monitor at the time!) but I was able to see a "replay" of what was referred to as the "interoperability demo." The demonstration showed the loading of Ordnance Survey's OS MasterMap data into Oracle9i via partner Snowflake Software's Go Loader and access by clients from MapInfo (MapInfo Pro), Autodesk (Map), Intergraph (GeoMedia), Cadcorp (SIS), and Laser-Scan (LAMPS2). The demonstration was both remarkable and non-remarkable at the same time. It was remarkable because all of the clients could edit and post changes, and others could immediately see those changes. It was non-remarkable because what made it possible was simply that the client software products had an existing connection to Oracle that allowed it to "just work." Woven into this, of course, was Radius Topology, Laser-Scan's topology creation tool for Oracle. Since Radius Topology adds extra tables to Oracle (to store topology) and extra operators (such as LSL_TOPO_RELATE which can be used in place of traditional Oracle Spatial SDO_RELATE), it also "just works" with these clients.

David Sonnen on the Structure of SIM Market and Geospatial ROI

David Sonnen of IDC gave the second keynote. He spoke about a strategy to tease out the return on investment from geospatial data and technology. This was not a "step by step" recipe, but rather a generic framework that each organization would need to tweak to its specific processes. While I found the strategy interesting, (it sounded like it would work), I was far more intrigued by his introduction, which shared a draft of his current understanding of the state of the Spatial Information Management (SIM) marketplace.

Sonnen's current model has four parts: GIS (where location is the most important thing), enterprise location services software (ELSS, basically business apps that call on location, but where location is not the most important aspect), personal location services software (PLSS, how individuals get data-think MapQuest), and geopositioning services ("finding out where things are"). Sonnen offered that ELSS is where the most growth is happening, PLSS is looking for a revenue model, and geopositioning services is just coming on the scene and may include apparently unrelated technologies like RFID tags, indoor GPS, and more.

I'd never heard Sonnen speak before this conference, though I've read some of his articles. Should you get the chance to hear him, I recommend that you do.

Case Studies, Data and the Future (and past) of Laser-Scan Technology

The morning continued with a presentation from the Ordnance Survey's Director of Sales and Market Development and a case study describing how the Borough of Enfield, London cut the clean-up time for its data (which is currently stored in MapInfo TAB files) from an estimated five years of production to about five weeks using Radius Topology. Most of the five weeks was spent tracking down errors that couldn't be handled automatically. The stats: the automated process found and corrected 94% of errors, leaving just 6% for manual clean-up. So, what's so special here? This is server-side topology creation and clean-up. It's done in Oracle with Radius Topology on a nice big server, not on the desktop where most GIS users have done this work in the past. (And, while this may be "new" to many readers, Laser-Scan has been doing this in Gothic for ten years!)

To wrap up the morning we heard the technology plan from Laser-Scan's Director of Software Development and Programs, Gareth Patterson. For me, this was like coming in halfway through a movie. Laser-Scan has been on a technology path for about two years and I missed what happened in the 32 previous years! Luckily, I got some background from Peter Woodsford, who has been there practically from the beginning, so I can share the story, which is pretty interesting.

Laser-Scan's core product, Gothic is object-oriented. It was written before Oracle was as powerful as it was, and before there were any well-structured object-oriented programming languages. Laser-Scan therefore created its own proprietary data structure and a language called Laser-Scan User Language, or LULL. (This is not so different from what Cambridge-bred neighbor Smallworld did at about the same time with its own proprietary database and language, Magik.)

Laser-Scan someday planned to move from the proprietary world to the more standard information technology world, but the thought of porting the entire Gothic product was overwhelming. When Sanderson came to the company in 2001 he approached the problem differently: "What part of Gothic could you port to Oracle and make available via Java?" he asked the development team. After some thinking, the team replied that it could port the topology part of Gothic. That became Radius Topology, first released last year. The plan now is to peel off more layers of Gothic and to add more of them, one by one to the new environment.

At the conference the "next" layer was announced, an automated generalization product called Clarity that has just been launched. Clarity will ultimately be available in the Oracle environment. A Linux port of Gothic is already complete and some Gothic-based "flowline" development is underway. There's also been some architectural "clean-up" of the code.

The future includes more layers including Radius Studio, which will port the ability to manage an object's behaviors (or rules) to Oracle. This is the basis for Clarity and ClearText, expected around year-end. Patterson noted that Laser-Scan is good at tackling the "hard things" and it will likely continue to do that. One "hard thing" floated for possible attention: conflation.

This discussion and one later in the day reinforced for me the idea that this company is focusing 100% of its energy on the server side of geospatial technology. There was little mention of Laser-Scan clients; most of the energy was spent on partners' clients. I can think of another company with this type of focus: Oracle. On the other hand, I can't really think of another GIS company that focuses exclusively on the server. That certainly gives Laser-Scan a niche.

After lunch, partners had their chance to share company vision and how they planned to leverage opportunities with Radius Topology. The Autodesk representative explained how Radius Topology allowed Autodesk Map to scale from small, file-based data sets that could be cleaned on the desktop with the built in topology engine, to larger implementations which could use Radius Topology to complete that work on the server. He noted that Map, Envision, and MapGuide could all tap into Oracle, and thus the data in Oracle Spatial, and thus use Radius Topology tools. (AutoCAD cannot participate because it does not have a connector to Oracle.)

The Intergraph representative noted that GIS is trapped in an outdated package and that the trick now is to move it toward IT. To do that, it was necessary to follow IT standards. MapInfo appears to be the only partner that already has an interface built to take advantage of Radius Topology. It's a prototype, but provides menu access to Radius Topology queries, and tools to manually explore and fix errors identified by Radius Topology. For those who haven't heard: MapInfo 7.5 is expected to ship in September and will act as a client to the OpenGIS Web Map Service specification. Support for Web Feature Server will have to wait for the first .NET implementation, expected after 7.5. A final partner presenter, SciSys, highlighted the geospatial challenges the firm address from large customers like Thames Water (also an Autodesk client) and where backend solutions like Radius Topology may help.

Wrapping Up

The final session of the conference was a Q& A with management. I asked how Laser-Scan hoped to make these partner relationships "real," noting how many partnerings in our industry simply don't "take." Guthrie noted that these are not "technology swapping" or "loose strategic alliances" but rather partnerships that will yield solutions for customers.

Another attendee asked about possible future support for .NET. Patterson noted that trying to support both .NET and Java would distract from the task at hand. Sanderson candidly stated that Laser-Scan is still exploring what .NET "is."

The final question was how Laser-Scan might actively put Radius Topology on Oracle's radar. Oracle of course has many partners in general IT, in addition to a whole list in the spatial arena. Sanderson didn't make a specific promise, but noted slyly "as you've seen over the last two days, we have a phenomenal amount of energy."


To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the start of the Survey of India, several organizations have sponsored the Festival of the Great Arc. It's a celebration of Indo-British collaboration of the Survey, highlighting achievements in mathematics, astronomy, mapping, and GIS. An exhibit travels through Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Manchester in the UK and then moves to France, Spain, and The Netherlands before returning to India for the conclusion of the festival. Sponsors include India's Department for Science and Technology, The Survey of India, Rolta, and Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions.

I mention this in part because I was lucky enough to be in Cambridge to see the exhibit. It's very impressive with lots of details of the survey, the instruments (that's one big theodolite!), the illness, the subterfuge… The museum-like panels are combined with interactive computer displays that explain everything from the geometry of the triangles used in the survey to how GPS works. Towards the end there's a video about the wonders of GIS. And, it's nice that while there are plenty of Intergraph illustrations, there are a few graphics from other vendors as well.

When I meet up with companies I typically run into two representatives: one from the marketing side (which is sometimes the CEO/President/VP) and one from the technical side (which is sometimes the Chief Technical Officer (CTO), or head of products). When I dropped by Cadcorp's London development office, I learned that the managing director was away on business in Spain, and the head of marketing was working "on tour" in the U.S. That gave me the opportunity to have a one-on-one chat with CTO Martin Daly.

I worked for Cadcorp in 1999 and opened up the firm's U.S. office, based outside Boston. Back then, Daly was one of team of programmers. The team is still there, and is still active within the Open GIS Consortium (OGC, currently a client of my consulting firm) as it has been since before I joined the company. Cadcorp proudly displays its certificates of conformance to OpenGIS specifications for several products in the outer office.

Still a new product in the U.S. market, Cadcorp Spatial Information System (SIS), is widely used in the UK, Europe, Australia, and Japan. [For those who like history, Cadcorp was the company behind MicroGDS. Cadcorp has in the last ten years grown into a 100% GIS-focused company.] Now at version 6, the SIS family includes desktop products, a mobile product, an Internet map server, a COM developer kit and a mobile developer kit. The mobile product, mSIS, uses a desktop product, mSIS Office, to sync data to and from the field unit. Among other traditional field data capture and update applications in the U.K., the product is used to track abandoned cars and map dog "doo."

Most U.K. users are longtime Ordnance Survey (OS) data users, too. At one time Cadcorp SIS was one of the only products that could read the "old" NTF format directly. Since the OS has since chosen to distribute OS MasterMap data in Geography Markup Language (GML from OGC), Cadcorp added that format, as well as a generic GML import tool. Enhanced support for Oracle Locator and Oracle Spatial was also added, and Daly reports that the speed is impressive. "Even without taking advantage of all the tuning and indexing available in Oracle Spatial," he reports, "tens of millions of features load right in." Part of it, he concedes, is Oracle, but the drawing speed to the screen reveals that he and his team are doing their parts, too.

Another addition at V6 was support for writing out PDF files. I found that to be a curious addition, but Daly explained that one of the big challenges that comes with Web mapping is developing effective printed output. "The raster pictures" he notes "don't provide enough detail. But PDF will. And, everyone has a PDF reader."

That led me to ask about another Web format for which I don' t think many people have the reader: scalable vector graphics, or SVG. Once support for that vector format becomes available in standard browsers without a plug-in, I asked Daly if he felt it would "take off" for mapping and other applications. He explained that SVG, which is built on XML, "still needs to be parsed, that is, chopped up on the client side to make sense of each map element. That requires significant overhead for reasonable amounts of data," he noted. Moreover, that parsing requirement doesn't go away, even if there is more bandwidth to transport the XML. I asked what that means for GML, an XML encoding for spatial data. "It has some of the same challenges as SVG, but OGC is looking at ways to make it smaller and easier to work with." Daly also noted, however, that SVG does produce very nice graphics, and that Cadcorp has already added the ability to export to SVG to its products.

One particular feature of XML gives Daly pause: it's a text format. As he sees it, the format is designed for machine to machine delivery of data. Although it was intended that people would be able to read the data to aid in understanding, that can be just too tempting for some people! "What happens," he recounts from experience, "is that people actually get into the XML or GML data and make changes. That's not how it's supposed to work."

Next, we turned to Web mapping. Daly isn't too surprised that for now there is limited demand for Web Feature Service (a specification for delivering vector data) or even Web Map Service (WMS, a specification for delivering maps as raster "pictures") implementing software. "Now," he reported, again from experience, "when I go online to create a route or find a street, I don't need more than what MapPoint or another solution gives me. I get a map, maybe directions, and I print them out. There's no need for anything more complex." When will that change?

Daly feels that two things will push the use of these specifications. One involves data and reliable online catalogs. If, for example, OS provides perhaps a coarse version of its imagery data for all of Britain via WMS, the demand to use it with other sources (which both WMS and WFS allow) will be significant. The second push might come in the form of many different types of clients-from desktop, to mobile, to Internet-all demanding access to data. These open interfaces will ensure each one is served.

In closing I asked for some hints about what is to come in SIS v. 6.1. First off, he noted, "We've decided to put our support for WMS, WFS and other OGC specifications front and center and not hide it deep in the interface. We believe that if users start to tinker around with the interfaces, they'll see the power of what's possible." There's also an "ArcReader"-like solution in the works. Desktop SIS (with no additional add-on) will be able to publish files referencing data from the variety of data sources that all Cadcorp products can access. The files will be readable from a free viewer, Map Reader. A second free desktop product, Map Browser, underlines Cadcorp's commitment to OGC. Map Browser works only with Web services like WMS and WFS and "formats" like Web Map Context and GML. Says Daly, "We need to invite users to explore this new way of making data available and these new ways of accessing it via a service."


Thales Navigation has an interesting history. Magellan (which produced consumer-style GPS products) merged with Ashtech (which provided professional grade GPS) to form Orbital Sciences Corporation. Orbital was bought by Thales, which changed the Ashtech brand name to Thales. Thales also does work in avionics, defense, and Information, Technology, and Services (IT&S;).


At the ESRI conference I got the first look at the company's new hardware offering, officially announced this week, a low-priced "navigation and capture" GPS. Stig Pedersen, the marketing manager outlined the several months of research that led the company to develop a medium level of accuracy (1-3 meters), data capture-ready GPS with a $1,500 price point. To date, comparable devices carried price tags of about $5,000. The product, MobileMapper, is a rugged blue GPS about twice the size of the recreation grade GPS I use for geocaching. The color screen is far larger than my recreational model, and supports the upload of maps from the Geography Network and desktop GIS or CAD software.

MobileMapper Office software can be used to set up data collection tools (pull downs with attributes to select-for example). It can also import GIS data structures to use as a starting point for these "jobs." The most impressive feature is one that sets up a grid for sampling, then guides the user to each point to capture the needed data. I immediately thought of how useful it would have been for my sediment sampling work after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

MobileMapper is built on its own operating system and uses a proprietary compressed data format. Pederson explained how the company wanted to bring the company's "consumer side" knowledge to bear on "professional GIS/GPS." And, he offered, we want to make it easy to "own, use, and deploy."



For the first time ever, an ESRI Special Achievement in GIS award was presented to a magazine, Professional Surveyor. The award is presented to "organizations that have embraced GIS technology to better serve the world." Said Marc Cheves, the magazine's editor, and my boss, "I consider this award to be a great honor."

I've been a fan of Professional Surveyor for some years. Back in 2000, I picked it as the top GIS publication in GIS Monitor's Top Ten. If you want to get a sense of what surveyors do, what issues they face, as well as read about some interesting puzzles in math, law, and business, check it out. Subscriptions are free in the U.S.

Pictured (left to right) are Mike Weir, Marc Cheves, and Jack Dangermond.

Woz Offers Tracking Solution. Stephen Wozniak's new company, Wheels of Zeus, has
revealed what it's up to: the company is working on technology for inexpensive locator tags for people, pets, and products. The details of the technology, called WozNet, are still hazy, but tags will cost about $25 to produce. The tags will use GPS and radio signals to communicate with local base stations and provide location information to those with permission.


Making Maps Accessible. CORDA Technologies, Inc. graphics components, including one for mapping, allow the National Cancer Institute to provide Section 508-compliant maps, which display cancer mortality rates for the United States. Section 508 refers to making data accessible to those with disabilities. (Use the "D" option for the format to view the text version.) So how does it work? Those without visual impairments see a thematic map of say cancer mortality in shades of pink (left). A visually disabled person sees an alphabetical text listing of the values by state (below). Sort of removes the geographic element, doesn't it?


Less GIS for USDA. The Agriculture Department's Common Computing Environment might be trimmed if the Senate follows House cuts. Most of the $45 million increase in the budget was marked for GIS, but the House cut it.

Satellite Images Track Ebola. A new European Space Agency (ESA) project will use satellite imagery to predict and combat epidemic outbreaks, and search for clues about the Ebola virus. Detailed vegetation maps of Congo and Gabon will be part of an ESA Data User Element (DUE) project called Epidemio. The Gabon-based International Centre for Medical Research (CIRMF) will combine the images with other data to try to spot particular environmental characteristics associated with infected sites.

Kansas Is So Flat… Geographer Mark Fonstad of Southwest Texas State University and colleagues have been studying how flat the state is for the Annals of Improbable Research. The research used a digital terrain model to determine that "Kansas is considerably flatter than a pancake."

New Uses for RFID Tags. Notable concern has been raised about the idea of retailers attaching tiny tags to merchandise. The tags are only readable with a nearby scanner, but some consumers were concerned that the tags would be used to track the "life" of a product (or its packaging). The Guardian reports on a different scenario, at least in Cambridge, U.K. At Tesco, RFID tags on Gillette razors trigger a camera at the display where the consumer picks one up, then triggers another camera at the checkout. The idea is to make sure the same person who picked it up takes it home. If there is no match, it's likely a package was stolen. A store spokesman confirms the practice and notes it's not for anti-theft but rather with a supply chain test. He did note that the store has significant signage noting the use of cameras. While recently in Cambridge I visited Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury, but by sheer luck avoided the Tesco.

When in France… The French like to keep their language pure, and in doing so have come up with a French word for "e-mail." The term is "courriel."

Stopping Fire in Its Tracks. The New York Times reports that a patch of forest in California, selectively thinned and burned to study how different management practices affect ecosystems, stopped the Cone Fire in its tracks. It's an interesting unintended consequence.

Internet Access. This week I ran across Geektels, a list of hotels worldwide that provide Internet access. Because more and more hotels offer the service, for a fee or free, according to an article in The New York Times, the website may be getting out of date, but it may be worth a look for those planning to work in a hotel room.


Please Visit Our News Sponsor.

Loral Space and Communications sought protection in federal bankruptcy court and Boeing said it would take a $1.1 billion charge against its second-quarter earnings. This is not a good sign for these two satellite manufacturers.

In June, OGC members voted to adopt the OpenGIS Location Services (OpenLS) Implementation Specification and the OpenGIS Web Map Context Implementation Specification. The OpenGIS Location Service Implementation Specification defines vendor and application-neutral interfaces for implementing location service applications that can access directory, route determination, location determination gateway, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and portrayal services.

Leica Geosystems and Intuicom have formed a strategic relationship for integrating Intuicom's proprietary high-bandwidth wireless data transmission technology with Leica Geosystems' advanced high-precision GPS network technology.

Safe Software has donated technology valued at $20,000 US to the Children International Organization to support their Program Services Area GIS Mapping Project.

ESRI Business Information Solutions (ESRI BIS), a division of ESRI, announced that Community, its next-generation of ACORN segmentation system, is currently being developed for release later this year. ACORN was introduced more than 20 years ago to cluster households and neighborhoods based on socioeconomic and demographic composition to improve marketing and targeting efforts.

Mapping Science, Inc. (MSI) announced that it has awarded exclusive reseller status to three leading US-based GIS services organizations. Ascent GIS, Inc. (Spokane, WA), GCS Research, LLC (Missoula, MT) and One Stop Airborne Solutions (Albuquerque, NM) will provide sole source distribution and support services for MSI's GeoJP2 image encoding software and server products throughout the western portion of the US.

The USDA has granted three Leica Geosystems customers (North West Geomatics, EarthData and Horizons) the rights to conduct a digital imagery acquisition project with the Leica ADS40 Airborne Digital Sensor. This marks the USDA's interest in shifting from the use of traditional film cameras to the use of digital sensors to obtain aerial imagery.

MapInfo reported earnings per share of $0.03 for the third quarter of fiscal 2003 on a 24 percent gain in revenue over the third quarter last year. Revenues were diversified among telecommunications, retail, and public sector, with telecommunications and retail each contributing 21 percent and public sector contributing 15 percent to the total.

The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) has recently published a handbook that addresses the basic GIS needs of central cancer registries. The handbook is entitled "Using Geographic Information Systems Technology in the Collection, Analysis, and Presentation of Cancer Registry Data: A Handbook of Basic Practices." The handbook addresses key topics such as address standards, data confidentiality, geocoding or geolocation of address data, spatial analysis, and cartography.

Contracts and Sales
Clark Labs has been awarded a contract with the Andes Monitoring and Modeling Unit of Conservation International to develop new, spatially-explicit tools within the IDRISI Kilimanjaro software to aid in the analyses and simulation of Andean land-cover change scenarios and their effect on biodiversity. Dominant land uses in the Andes include deforestation, agro-business, mining, oil exploration, illicit crops, armed conflict, and urbanization.

Progress Energy has selected MapFrame's FieldSmart technology to equip its workforce with GIS mapping data and automate redlining and routing processes.

PlanGraphics, Inc. will develop an on-line mapping system for the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) under a contract signed in March.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. announced that the company's Geographic Information Products group has received orders from local government agencies worth approximately $2 million (CDN). Clients include the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and local government agencies in New Jersey, Virginia, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

Geographic Data Technology, Inc., and UnderTow Software, Inc. announced that UnderTow Software has selected GDT's street and address data for use within UnderTow's development tool kits and electronic consumer map products, MapTivate and MapOCX Pro.

Autodesk, Inc. announced implementation of the OpenGIS Web Map Service (WMS) Specification, an industry consensus specification that enables organizations to efficiently, effectively, and immediately share and visualize data. The WMS Extension for Autodesk MapGuide 6.3 software is ideal for organizations that produce and distribute geospatial information, develop and integrate software systems, or use image processing and GIS. These organizations will be able to share data throughout the lifecycle of a project using open standards. The WMS Extension for Autodesk MapGuide 6.3 is currently available in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

Visual Learning Systems Inc. (VLS) reports that its flagship software product Feature Analyst is now listed on the U.S. Government's General Services Administration (GSA) schedule.

TatukGIS announced the release of the LITE version of its GIS Internet Server product, an ASP.NET server component designed to utilize the visual design capabilities of any ASP.NET IDE, such as Microsoft Web Matrix, Microsoft Visual Studio.NET, or Borland C#Builder. The IS LITE, which is priced at only $590 per server installation, can also be programmed with any standard HTML Editor.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced that two free interoperability extensions are available for download - the OpenGIS Geographic Markup Language (GML) and the OpenGIS Web Feature Services (WFS) data servers, as well as the GML export command. These extensions are designed for any GeoMedia 5.1 product. Additionally, the OpenGIS Web Map Server (WMS) adapter kit for easy creation of a WMS server is now available for GeoMedia WebMap products.

ESRI has added the first premium service to MapShop from GlobeXplorer.

Tetrad Computer Applications released the final installment of Canada's 2001 Census which completes the package of data delivered with its PCensus product.

Navigation Technologies has completed mapping three of the four Nordic countries, recently adding Norway to its roster. NAVTECH maps of Sweden and Denmark are also available, with a map of Finland to follow within 6 months.

uismedia Lang & Müller introduced MapViewSVG Professional. The Extension has the same functionality as the standard Version of MapViewSVG for ArcGIS 8.x., but adds the ability to load layers dynamically depending on their visibility in the map view.

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has selected George W. Tenley, Jr. of the Pipeline Research Council International, Inc. (PRCI) to provide the keynote address at the GIS for Oil & Gas Conference-A Toolbox for System Integrity, slated for September 29 to October 1, 2004, in Houston, Texas.


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