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2005 September 1


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Editor's Introduction

This week I bring you two interviews — one with Bernard Catalinotto, President of Data Enhancement Services, and the other with Michael Platt, President of MapMart; a brief survey on mapping Hurricane Katrina; brief reviews of two new URISA publications — one on LiDAR and one on mobile GIS; and my usual round-up of news from press releases.

Next week I will be on vacation, so you will not receive GIS Monitor. Instead, you might want to visit our archive and catch up on any issues you might have missed. ;-)

— Matteo

Data Enhancement Services

This week I spoke with Bernard Catalinotto, President of Data Enhancement Services. "We are the conflation experts," he told me. "We are the only company that we know of that specializes in this niche."

In the GIS context, conflation is the process that aligns the arcs of one vector layer — the source — with those of another — the target, which typically has better positional accuracy — and then transfers the attributes of the source to the target. It requires comparing arcs, nodes, certain attributes (if available), and the angle, azimuth, and valence of arcs. Many organizations — such as federal agencies, local governments, and utilities — have valuable attribute information, Catalinotto explained to me, that is not aligned to their most recent and accurate vectors. For example, TIGER data, he told me, contains much valuable attribute data but is not positionally accurate. "We are of great help to these people."

In conflation, Catalinotto told me, "you match as many arcs as you can automatically, then you have to go into the file and clean it up. If you are really good at it you might get 95 percent right. We are very good at it, so when it comes to cleaning up we have very little work to do."

His company's website has several sample projects. For example, Catalinotto told me, the Bureau of Land Management arranged with DES to conflate its 1:100,000 scale property boundary file for nine townships in the center of Colorado to its more recent 1:24,000 scale public land survey layer. This pilot project was successful and BLM contracted with DES to do the same with the rest of its Colorado data.

What is the central challenge of conflation? It is automating the process, Catalinotto told me, so as to make it practical and affordable to do for large areas. The best conflation technicians can process at most 100 arcs per hour; at that rate it would take about a year of work to process the boundary data for the state of Colorado, for example, which consists of over 200,000 matchable arcs. (A street map of California consists of about two million arcs.) "Now we have programs and methods that we've written that do it ten times faster and cheaper," Catalinotto says. "We can do much bigger products for a much lower price than our competitors, who are either using the old method or have written their own routines that are not as efficient. Most people think that conflation costs about $1.50 or $2 per arc. Once they know that it can be much cheaper, the world opens up to them."

Catalinotto started out in mathematics, then became a city planner and did modeling. He got into GIS in the late 1970s, "when automated mapping became so exciting for planning projects." Later he was VP of Operations for Thomas Brothers Maps, which makes maps for California and neighboring states. Thomas Brothers, he told me, "decided to go all the way with GIS and built 10-foot positional street centerline maps. It was very expensive to pay for orthophotography." Initially, Catalinotto was responsible for building new datasets and doing various data customization projects for customers.

"I spent a lot of the 1990s seeking ways to automate conflation because my job was to lower costs." Catalinotto started out by manually conflating Thomas Brothers street center lines onto a very accurate data set for the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region that had been collected by Metro, the regional government. He also worked on conflating TIGER data and USGS DLGs to create a Pacific Northwest road atlas, covering Oregon and Washington. "Basically, we made GIS data for those two states and then for all of California for Caltrans, expanding into the rural areas what we had previously done for the urban areas." In 2000 he moved to Washington, D.C. and became the GIS operations manager for EarthData, which assigned him to manage a contract with the U.S. Census Bureau to process data for 250 counties for the Master Address File/TIGER Accuracy Improvement Project. "I learned by doing that you can make process improvements that can greatly bring down the price," he told me.

Recently, it has become much less expensive to obtain good orthophotographs and that, Catalinotto told me, "has sent shock waves through GIS." Orthophotos, he added, are also in much greater demand now, for such applications as homeland security. As a consequence, "now you have a lag in the vector world. People have vectors based on old imagery and now they want to align it to their new imagery." This increases demand for conflation.

What does he think of Google Earth? "I love it. It will make people expect more and create greater demand for vectors that align properly. It raises the bar."

What is driving the market for conflation? The single biggest application of conflation, according to Catalinotto, is for locating where people live and how to get to them in an emergency. For this reason, he told me, FEMA is pouring $700 million into updating flood maps, which includes conflation, and the U.S. Census another $300 million. State and county governments are also spending more federal homeland security and increased property tax revenues on GIS and mapping, as is the utility industry. "We are sitting around trying to figure out why business is so good," Catalinotto told me. "I had booths at GITA (the Geospatial Information and Technology Association) and at the 2005 ESRI International User Conference this year and got a fantastic response.

What are his company's principal markets? They are, in decreasing order as a percentage of the company's business, state and local governments, federal executive branch agencies, utilities, and European companies and governments.


Michael Platt is President of MapMart, a mapping and imagery solutions provider. The company is one of two divisions of IntraSearch, Inc.; the other division is SportsMapping, which makes a GIS program to manage golf courses and virtually "fly" through them in 3D. IntraSearch was started in 1951 as a mapping company for the oil and gas and mining industries. However, when work from those industries began to decline, Platt told me, the company began to diversify to other industries and applications — such as environmental surveys, engineering, and local government.

In 1997 IntraSearch launched MapMart in response to requests from its clients. "Some of our customers were frustrated at the lack of centralized mapping data on the Internet," Platt told me. "They wanted a single place to buy raster and vector data. The USGS at the time was not doing a very good job of letting the public know what it had and had not digitized. So we started MapMart as an index site. We collected government photography and databases and asked other companies whether they wanted us to sell their data. We put the data on line and it worked very well. Customers were very happy to be able to go to a single solutions provider."

Expectation began to rise and soon clients began to say "We really need this data now, immediately, in a form that fits seamlessly into our system." So, in addition to collecting databases and putting them on its hard drive farm, the company began to build a backend application that would convert customers' data to their preferred format — such as Latitude/Longitude, UTM or State Plane, and various GIS and CAD applications. "The main purpose behind MapMart," says Platt, "is getting existing data quickly." Additionally, whenever a customer needs fresh ortho-photography or mapping, MapMart refers it to IntraSearch, which has a full service photogrammetric department.

I asked Platt what he thinks of Google Earth: "I think it's a wonderful thing," he told me. "It is raising people's awareness [of satellite imagery and aerial photography]. If you are a housewife and want to buy an image of your property for your husband, then it works very well. But if you are in the GIS industry and want to obtain the data, then it is a bit frustrating. You really have to be a service provider to make that connection. We are seeing quite a bit of interest: people see the imagery on Google then continue to search and find MapMart."

MapMart's street data is from TeleAtlas/GDT. However, according to Platt, buying directly from TeleAtlas is often not very cost-effective, because, in order to get the areas that you need, you also have to buy areas that do not interest you. On MapMart, he pointed out, you can draw a box on the area for which you want to buy data and then buy it by the square mile, cropped to your boundary. According to Platt, the company has mapping and imagery of the entire world.

The results of a search on MapMart's site display all of the imagery in the company's archive for a given area. This allows users to see changes over time. For example, Platt explains, environmentalists can use decades-old images to show the damage caused by a given industrial plant. Planners can use the imagery to review a town's historical growth pattern and plan its future expansion.

According to Platt, MapMart serves as a one-stop-shop and allows users to buy data from different areas in a consistent format and projection. Customers, he says, are from across the board and the site receives hits from 5,000 unique visitors a day. Among other things, it now contains all the oil and gas wells for the entire United States.

The market for satellite imagery and aerial photography is expanding in all directions. "In the last 18 months we've expanded to the world," says Platt. "There is a tremendous demand worldwide for mapping and imagery. It is very difficult to acquire if you are, for example, in India." For this reason, the company is collecting more and more international datasets to feed that world demand.

I asked Platt what ground control points his company uses. "It depends on the project," he told me. "If an accuracy of plus or minus 30 feet is enough, then we use existing maps; we have access to maps for nearly every country in the world. That works for 90 percent of the demand. However, if you need high accuracy for a small area (say, a few square miles), it is very unlikely that you will be able to buy ground control points for your project. We have nine surveyors and we send them out to collect the minimum number of ground control points required for that project. We then take them back to our photogrammetry department and create thousands of points using analytical techniques."

I asked Platt about the most promising developments he sees in software and hardware for his corner of the geospatial industry. On the software side, he told me, there is a steady evolution. On the hardware side, he is very excited about the latest generation of digital aerial cameras. "I don't know that we are there yet," he told me, "and many government agencies are not yet convinced [that these sensors can meet their requirements]." However, not having to scan hardcopy film and taking advantage of airborne GPS "is definitely the way things will be done in the future."

What about LiDAR? For topographic mapping of terrain data, Platt says, the ideal setup is LiDAR plus a digital camera. "Of course," he is quick to add, "you can do it with a camera and softcopy techniques, using stereo imagery. LiDAR is excellent if you are flying a pipeline in Wyoming. If you have an urban area, however, it is problematic, because you have to get rid of a lot of noise and clutter. Instead of having to get rid of data that you don't need, you can use traditional methods in an additive way."

Survey: Geospatial Professionals' Response to Hurricane Katrina

Are you professionally involved in mapping the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina or in helping in the rescue and recovery effort? If your are, please take a few minutes to write up a brief (50 to 200 words) description of your involvement and e-mail it to me.

I will use the submissions I receive in two ways: first, I will compile and analyze the data and write an article about the response of the geospatial community to this disaster, without citing specific companies or individuals; second, I will select the most interesting and innovative approaches, interview the key people involved, and write up these case studie for upcoming issues of GIS Monitor.

Please specify
  1. your main field — GIS, GPS, surveying, cartography, aerial photography, photogrammetry, satellite imagery, or some other allied field — and methodology
  2. your principal client(s) — federal, state, or local government, an insurance company, a utility, etc.
  3. what goal your are helping your client achieve and what your final product will be
  4. your name (it may not be clear from your e-mail address), title, company or agency, and URL.
Please respond by COB on Friday, September 16.

Please forward this link to any colleague(s) who you think might be doing relevant work:

URISA Guides to LiDAR and Mobile GIS

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) has published to new guides in its Quick Study series: LIDAR Guidebook: Concepts, Project Design, and Practical Applications, and Going Mobile: Mobile Technologies and GIS.

Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) is now widely accepted as source of data for generating extremely accurate terrain models used in GIS applications. URISA's LiDAR Guidebook provides an overview of this technology, including its history, explains how it can be used to meet different map accuracy standards, and outlines quality control measures used to verify this data set. It also is very clear about the ways in which conventional photogrammetry still plays a role in the development of terrain modeling. Finally, it describes potential applications and provides examples and case studies of how this data has been used by various agencies throughout the United States.

The LiDAR Guidebook's authors are Brian R. Raber, CMS, VP of the GeoSpatial Solutions Group at Merrick & Company, which has extensive expertise in LiDAR, and James Cannistra, CP, VP for strategic accounts at Sanborn, which has equally extensive expertise in photogrammetric mapping. The two authors have a combined 42 years of experience in GIS, remote sensing, and mapping.

The publication is very practical and is accessible to readers with no prior knowledge of the technology. It covers all the steps involved in a typical LiDAR mapping campaign — including data acquisition, classification, and processing; supplementing LiDAR data with breaklines; typical deliverable products and formats; and quality control. One chapter details two very different case studies: floodplain mapping in Puerto Rico and production of a topographic database for a Florida county. Merrick was a contractor for the latter project.

An appendix profiles LiDAR hardware manufacturers ( Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping, Optech Incorporated, and TopoSys), software developers ( Autodesk, ESRI, Intergraph Mapping & GIS Solutions, Merrick & Company, Opten, PCI Geomatics, and Terrasolid Ltd.), and service providers (Airborne 1 Corporation, Dewberry, GRW Aerial Surveys, Inc., Kucera International, Inc., Merrick & Company, Sanborn, and Surdex Corporation).

Going Mobile is an equally practical guide. According to the author, it is aimed at "students, teachers, academics, managers and practitioners, and professionals in local government and environmental organizations" and provides readers with "background information about the availability of mobile hardware as well as mobile GIS software, and the potential for utilizing this rapidly evolving technology for geospatial data collection in the field." The author, David R. Green, is Director of the Centre for Marine and Coastal Zone Management and the Marine Resource Management Program at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.

The booklet starts out by comparing and contrasting laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), handheld computers and devices, and tablet PCs and lists the key specifications for a few of them. Of course, as the author acknowledges, "The rapid evolution of this technology often means that the specifications for PDAs ... are continually changing, and almost as soon as a device is purchased it is out-of-date, and more often than not has been superceded by a faster processor and improved specifications."

The next two chapters review currently available data storage for mobile devices and mobile GIS software. Subsequent chapters give a very cursory overview of GPS receivers, mobile communications, remote data access, photography and digital images, model airborne platforms, and data integration. A chapter on applications devotes a couple of paragraphs each to a dozen applications, including coastal zone management, utilities, and precision agriculture.

On the whole, the publication is a useful introduction to and overview of mobile GIS technologies. I cannot, however, let one minor annoyance go unnoted, because it is a pet peeve of mine: the author refers to "global positioning systems," in the plural, and even titles a chapter that way. As I never tire to repeat, there is only one Global Positioning System, though there are millions of GPS receivers! (He also refers to "the Geographic Information System (GIS)," in the singular, as if there were only one, and writes that mobile computers "can be connected to the Internet and the intranet," as if there were only one intranet...)

News Briefs

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


Canada's RADARSAT-1 satellite is being used to provide imagery and information in support of disaster response and recovery teams coping with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In particular, the imagery of the southern U.S. states is being used to map and assess flood-damaged areas. "RADARSAT-1 has been tasked to acquire imagery over the state of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast for the next few days," said John Hornsby, General Manager of MDA Geospatial Services International (formerly RADARSAT International). "This will allow agencies to monitor the progression of the floodwaters and support on-the-ground relief and recovery efforts with the latest up-to-date information," he added.
     One of the hallmarks of the RADARSAT-1 program is the near-real time delivery of data to users requiring time-sensitive information. Data is acquired, processed, and delivered to clients within one-to-four hours of downlink. RADARSAT-1 is currently acquiring data over India, Switzerland, Austria, and other parts of Europe in support of flood disaster relief efforts.
     Equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor, RADARSAT-1 can collect data regardless of inclement weather or light conditions. This provides an effective means of mapping areas experiencing severe weather — such as those under cloud cover and experiencing heavy rainfall. In addition, radar is particularly adept at discriminating between smooth water and rough land surfaces, making it easy to detect and map flooded areas.
     MDA Geospatial Services International provides Earth observation data, information products, and services from the majority of commercially available radar and optical satellites. These products and services are used globally for resource mapping, environmental monitoring, offshore oil and gas exploration, ice reconnaissance, maritime surveillance, and disaster management. MDA holds the exclusive distribution rights to Canada's RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 SAR satellites. MDA will operate the RADARSAT-2 satellite when launched.

ESRI is providing GIS software and services support to organizations responding to Hurricane Katrina. Similarly to ESRI�s efforts in responding to other emergencies including last year�s hurricane season, government agencies and private entities can contact ESRI for on-site technical support, temporary key codes, and other assistance. This support is available to any organization, regardless of its GIS platform. Agencies in need of GIS assistance should visit the Hurricane Help section of ESRI� website. This Web site also contains useful information such as hurricane advisories and related information, hurricane maps and images, and maps for journalists. ESRI business partners or corporate alliances that would like to offer software, hardware, services, or imagery should contact Brenda Martinez to coordinate these efforts.
     As part of ESRI�s commitment to disaster preparation, response, and recovery, ESRI is actively supporting local, state, and federal agencies and private organizations responding to Hurricane Katrina, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and other affected areas. ESRI has provided software, mapping and analysis services, technical expertise, field GIS, Web services, and more. Applications include assigning equipment, organizing and deploying personnel, evacuation planning, identifying emergency shelters, hurricane modeling and tracking, damage assessment, and infrastructure restoration.


Destinator Technologies, a provider of personalized navigation software and live navigation-based mobile services in Europe, Israel, and the Asia-Pacific, has entered the North American market with the establishment of its U.S. headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company sells its solutions exclusively through channels to OEMs and ODMs and it is one of the top three navigation solution providers in Europe. This year it expects to ship more than one million sets of its products, up 233 percent from the 300,000 units it delivered in 2004.
     In North America, Destinator�s software for personal navigation currently is available through Mio Technology and Orient Power, complemented by map partnerships through Navteq and TeleAtlas. The company is also working with its other partners, such as Acer, Asus, d-Media Systems, Eten, Mitac, HISYS, Mobile Computing Corporation (MCC), and Thinkware, to extend their support to the North American market.
     Destinator will unveil the next generation of its navigational software for mobile users at the DEMOfall 2005 conference being held September 19-21 at the Hyatt in Huntington Beach, California.

Digital Aerial Solutions (DAS) has purchased its second Leica ADS40 Airborne Digital Sensor, which will enable the company to double its collection capacity and facilitate faster turnaround in providing digital data products to its customers. The initial sensor was flown in a pressurized Cessna 421C aircraft specifically modified to accommodate the Leica ADS40 system in a mid-cabin sensor port. The second sensor will be flown in a Socata TBM 700 made by EADS. In order to accommodate the increased capacity generated by two ADS40 sensors, DAS has implemented Condor running on a High Performance Distributed Computing System (HPDCS) for image processing, to enhance its existing digital end-to-end solution.
     Through the data collected by the Leica ADS40, DAS generates a range of standard imagery products, including precision color orthorectified seamless mosaics, Digital Terrain Models, and multispectral imagery. DAS serves a broad customer base that uses the data for a wide variety of applications, such as urban planning, forestry and natural resource management, civil engineering, law enforcement and forensics, agriculture and emergency response projects.

Tillamook People�s Utility District (PUD), an electric utility serving 19,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Tillamook County, Oregon, has selected Designer, Miner & Miner�s integrated design solution, for designing and tracking distribution projects and maintaining GIS data. Using Designer and the Workflow Manager framework, Tillamook PUD will maintain a streamlined workflow to integrate GIS with its Work Order Management System. Tillamook PUD began data migration last month and forecasts full operation of Designer early next year. Miner & Miner will provide project management support, data modeling, data conversion specification, and configuration training as part of the technology transfer for Tillamook PUD.

Intergraph has completed Final Acceptance Testing and rollout of its mobile workforce management system, InService, at Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB). The new system enables KUB to more efficiently process service orders while optimizing its field resources for faster response to customer needs. In an earlier project phase, KUB deployed the InService outage management solution (OMS).
     InService replaces the utility's legacy workforce management system, providing a commercial off the-shelf (COTS) desktop solution for automating processes for dispatching all types of work service, emergency and routine. The outage and mobile workforce management systems at KUB support approximately 150 mobile units and 25 dispatchers as well as two supervisors. InService is flexible and open, allowing KUB to use HTML and Java Scripting to create forms and associated business logic on a mobile platform. Additionally, map data from different sources can be easily ported into InService and will look the same to users regardless of the platform dispatch, mobile, or Web.
     InService also integrates KUB's existing FRAMME facility data with intelligent street centerline data provided by the Knox County GIS. Additionally, facilities symbology is identical in both the FRAMME and InService systems allowing KUB's operations department to ensure safety when working on the electric and gas networks.

Surdex Corporation, a mapping firm, has selected Intergraph's Z/I Imaging DMC digital mapping camera to streamline its aerial mapping operations, establishing a complete digital image environment. Leveraging the DMC's fully digital workflow, Surdex will more quickly and accurately provide small- to large-scale digital images to customers.

Cadcorp, a digital mapping and GIS software developer, has announced that the next version of its Cadcorp SIS — Spatial Information System — software suite, Version 6.2, will incorporate Web searching facilities from Google. Developed using the Google Web APIs (application programming interfaces), the new functionality will enable Cadcorp SIS desktop users to access Google�s search facilities directly from within the Cadcorp SIS environment. This capability will enable users to use Google to quickly find services that implement Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Service specifications.
     Because Cadcorp SIS already has OGC Web Service client implementations built in, any services found by Google will be directly usable within the Cadcorp SIS environment. Cadcorp SIS users will therefore be able to quickly access and retrieve relevant OGC Web Services, thereby maximising interoperability and data sharing between and within organisations.
     Users of Cadcorp SIS will be able to search for OGC Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) servers, with an option to restrict the search using additional keywords. Advanced options will also be available to search for references to OGC Web Services within HTML or other files, such as PDF documents. In addition, users can provide their own Google Web API key to get their own dedicated requests per day. Cadcorp SIS V6.2, including the Google search capabilities, is scheduled for customer shipment at the beginning of the fourth quarter, 2005.


SpatialAce — produced by Carmenta, a software company based in Gothenburg, Sweden — can now be used on mobile terminals. SpatialAce LE, a toolkit for building networked GIS applications, enables development of interactive location-based services that run on handheld computers, PDAs, and cell phones. The product can use a combination of local GIS data and map layers that are accessed via a remote server and supports Java and .NET Compact Framework. Integrated with other products in the SpatialAce family, it provides a foundation for wireless GIS. SpatialAce LE uses the same data model and configuration files as SpatialAce for PC/Windows, but has been optimized for use on simpler hardware platforms. It also provides integration with a SpatialAce Web Map Server, to synchronize location-based information with the server in real time.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program is sponsoring a workshop on the state of the science in agricultural air quality. It will be held next year, June 5-8, at the Bolger Conference Center, in Potomac, Maryland (near Washington, D.C.). Prof. Ralph Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences, will be the keynote speaker.
     The National Science Foundation, The Fertilizer Institute, the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, the Kenan Institute, and Environmental Defense are providing additional support for the workshop. It will bring together a diverse array of scientists, policymakers, and nitrogen producers and users to assess the state of science regarding agricultural air quality; enhance our knowledge of research, policy, and socio-economics; foster multidisciplinary communication, exchange of ideas, and partnerships; and recommend changes and improvements in measurement technologies and monitoring methodologies, modeling, and best management and production practices to mitigate air pollutant emissions from agricultural sources.
     According to the workshop�s organizers, "Increasingly we see evidence from around the world that agricultural activities have direct impacts on the ambient concentrations of nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon compounds and particulate matter. These impacts are often overlooked and seldom compared to emissions from industrial activities. The workshop will attempt to estimate the regional and global emissions from agricultural sources. � GIS analysis of agriculture in general, and agricultural air quality in particular is becoming of increasing importance. � Recent studies provide convincing evidence that changes in agricultural crop production and increases in animal activities are altering the emissions of trace gases to the atmosphere. Maximizing the benefits and reducing the detrimental effects of agricultural production requires us to transcend scientific disciplines and political boundaries. This task challenges the creativity of natural and social scientists, economists, engineers, business leaders, and policy makers. The [workshop] will provide a venue for multidisciplinary teams of experts to share their knowledge, present new research, and work together to develop new avenues for science and technology transfer, education, and outreach. We believe this workshop will play a significant role in helping shape the future of the agricultural practices and agricultural air quality analysis framework for the United States."

The ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit will take place at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Denver, Colorado, September 12-14. This year's lineup of keynote speakers will include U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, and John W. Loonsk, M.D., acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's newly created National Center for Public Health


ESRI Virtual Campus has a new, free, live training seminar, Geoprocessing Using ModelBuilder, focused on how to use ModelBuilder to make geoprocessing tasks more streamlined and efficient. The seminar is designed for ArcGIS Desktop users who have a basic understanding of the ArcGIS 9 geoprocessing framework. There will be three presentations on September 22, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. Pacific time.
     Geoprocessing is an essential aspect of any GIS that gives users the ability to analyze and process geographic data. Geoprocessing tools can be accessed in ArcGIS Desktop via dialog boxes, the command line, multipart scripts, or visual workflow models. ModelBuilder provides a graphical modeling framework for designing and implementing geoprocessing models that can include system tools, scripts, models, and data. In this seminar, users learn how ModelBuilder can be used to create advanced procedures and workflows.
     The presenter will discuss creating, editing, and running models; how to make models more dynamic by exposing model parameters and working with environment settings; and validating, repairing, and documenting models to share with others. To learn more about the ArcGIS geoprocessing framework before this seminar, take the free, one-hour training seminar What�s New in ArcGIS 9 on the Virtual Campus.


Joe Roehl has joined the staff of American Digital Cartography, Inc. (ADCi) as a New Business Architect. In his new position, he will be focusing on the development and enhancement of ADCi and ADC WorldMap products. He will also be responsible for analyzing market and new product potential as well as creating business cases for new technology. Roehl holds a Masters of Science degree in Engineering Management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Madison in Mechanical Engineering. Most recently, he worked as a Customer Quality Manager with Endries International.

Cadcorp, a digital mapping and GIS software developer, has appointed two new regional sales and business managers. Chris Holcroft has been appointed sales and business manager for the Asia Pacific region, covering the Asian continent, Australia and New Zealand, while Adam Fox has been promoted to sales and business manager for the Americas, covering North, Central and South America. Both Holcroft and Fox will report to Martin McGarry, sales and marketing director, Cadcorp.
     Chris Holcroft graduated from the London School of Economics and has worked in digital mapping and GIS throughout his professional career. His experience includes five years in Japan in pre- and post-sales support roles with Cadcorp�s distributor, Informatix, followed by three years in pre-sales and sales in the UK with Autodesk and six years in a marketing role with Cadcorp. Most recently he was a senior product manager with Ordnance Survey.
     Adam Fox is a Canadian GIS professional with more than nine years of GIS experience in a variety of roles, including consultancy, sales and project management. With a post-graduate diploma, a B.A. and an M.Sc. in GIS, Fox has worked for some of the largest GIS organisations in Canada, including J.D. Barnes Ltd., the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and ESRI Canada. In 2002 he moved to the UK and joined Cadcorp at its headquarters in Stevenage as a GIS technical specialist. He was later promoted to a pre-sales team leader and then moved to Cadcorp�s USA office in Boston as a GIS technical specialist.


Merrick & Company, a provider of LiDAR, digital ortho-imaging, photogrammetry, and GIS mapping services, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding. Sears Merrick and Ed Lecuyer established the company in Denver, Colorado, in 1955, as an employee-owned company focused primarily on civil engineering and surveying.
     According to Ralph W. Christie, Jr., PE, Merrick�s Chairman, President, and CEO, "Mr. Merrick was a professional land surveyor, pilot, and professional photographer. He used these skills to develop a suite of mapping and surveying services for utility companies and government agencies since the company's inception." Merrick's precision landbase mapping services evolved into today's GeoSpatial Solutions business unit. The company has approximately 400 employees and offices in Aurora and Colorado Springs, Colorado; Los Alamos and Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Atlanta, Georgia.

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has published a white paper, "Free or Fee: The Governmental Data Ownership Debate," that examines the issue of governments charging for data that has been collected with public funds. The paper features a summary of policies for government data sales in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Noting that most GIS professionals agree that free map data has helped society at large, the paper also points out that the availability of free data has made possible the existence of a number of value-added firms in the private sector. However, another viewpoint in the paper argues that any product derived from free data should become part of the public domain as well.
     Several persons quoted in the paper said that the availability of free data has also helped speed the process of developing data standards, which encourages the wider sharing and use of that data.

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