October 3, 2002


Autodesk GIS Exposition 2002
Update on MapInfo Lawsuit

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Last week Autodesk held the first of its latest series of seminars, the Autodesk GIS Exposition 2002, in Atlanta, GA. About 100 potential, new, and experienced users, and a handful of members of the press joined two dozen Autodesk staff and partners for the day. The goal was to firm up Autodesk's commitment and vision for GIS.

The day started with a keynote from Autodesk's GIS Division VP, Larry Diamond. He made it quite clear that he'd said all this before, noting not that we should be bored, but that the vision had not, and would not, change every few months. Having heard this vision in earlier form at GITA in March, I can confirm that he kept his word.

Diamond started out by introducing Autodesk, commenting, "I don't know of a company that doesn't have a legal or illegal copy of an Autodesk product." The mission of Autodesk's GIS Division is three-fold: to help customers (1) make better decisions, (2) discover new business opportunities, and (3) enhance customer care and retention. Exciting? Not really. Practical? Yes.

Diamond reiterated the GIS Division's focus, seen in print ads and elsewhere, on using GIS data throughout the workflow. The end of the line, long term maintenance, he noted, makes up about 80% of the cost of a road. He outlined the three series currently or soon to be available: Civil, Mapping, and OnSite. There is a new version of OnSite, now called OnSite Desktop to distinguish it from the unrelated Windows CE product, which debuted earlier this year in the Map Series. OnSite Desktop 7 is now part of the Civil and Mapping Series. The latest version of Autodesk Map, version 6, is the biggest release since release 1.0, according to Diamond. The newly announced OnSite Series is aimed at Web collaboration and will be available later this year.

Autodesk Map 6 does have some big improvements. My pet peeve concerning the complexity of cleaning geometry and creating topology has been addressed with a wizard. COGO has been added as well as some rather smart annotation tools. Also interesting, the Map Series has been split - you will be able to buy Map, Onsite Desktop and Raster Design separately.

Diamond made it a point to discuss the extra energy the company was expending on GIS partners. The partners had their say, both in a Partner Pavilion and in breakout sessions after the keynote. While it's most pleasing to see a healthy mix of Autodesk GIS partners after what has seemed like a dry spell over the past few years, I was disappointed that the session I attended on Homeland Security didn't address, well, homeland security. To be sure, I saw some great technology (from TransDecisions and Kanotech, for example) but I didn't have the opportunity to see it address homeland security challenges.

Further on in the keynote, Diamond reported back on the research he'd done during the past year while visiting with clients worldwide. In the mapping arena, he learned that Asia Pacific is being pushed forward by active urban planning, Europe by the need for "smart data," and the Americas by homeland security and asset location. He rattled off drivers, the push factors, for civil and infrastructure as well. The most interesting point was in reference to the civil drivers in Europe. The free flow of money introduced with the Euro has meant the free flow of goods. The free flow of goods has meant that limitations relating to old infrastructure (old roads, old bridges, old trains) are now apparent. In response, there are significant investments underway in that arena.

Following the keynote, two Autodesk Application Engineers (AEs) presented a live demo highlighting the use of a single set of data throughout the workflow. Each of the AEs played one or more roles as the new development was planned, surveyed, visualized, and so on. Have you seen this before? I have. What was different? The products: I saw MapGuide and Land Development Desktop, an allusion to Buzzsaw for data sharing, and most notably, OnSite Desktop 7.

Recall that there was OnSite 6, a desktop product packaged with the previous Map Series. Version 7 is what you want to see when you next visit with Autodesk. OnSite Desktop 7 looks new, with a Windows XP interface, and boasts a .NET pedigree. It reads all your favorite formats (vector, raster, LandXML), supports both 2 and 3D, appears very easy to use, and includes "real" analysis tools-like estimating cut and fill volumes and draping images on terrain models. I'm not sure of the demonstration machine's horsepower (it was a laptop), but draping a huge 260 Mb ECW file took but a few seconds. Panning and zooming over the image was smooth in real time. The presenters took the audience on an animated spin down a newly-created road alignment in 3D. So how do you describe this hybrid visualization, analysis, and feedback tool (it includes red-lining) aimed at both technical and non-technical folks? I'm not sure, but it's cool.


Last week I referenced a story in the Albany Times Union about MapInfo's lawsuit with SRC. MapInfo's press relations firm contacted me to note that the paper printed a clarification on September 23. The clarification explained that the suit alleges the use of SRC software after the agreement had ended. There certainly was some confusion as the The Albany Business Review reported that the SRC suit is about "breach of contract, libel and disparaging Spatial's product."

The latest coverage in The Albany Business Review cites MapInfo's COO Michael Hickey describing the relationship as a "marriage gone bad." The story highlights that SRC was MapInfo's top reseller for two of the last three years. MapInfo president and CEO Mark Cattini questioned why SRC brought the lawsuit when it did and highlighted that MapInfo is going after the relatively small $100,000 suit for royalties on behalf of shareholders. SRC's suit, he explained, has no merit and is "kind of an overreaction."

MapInfo goes on to say that the royalties it expects are from copies of TargetPro 3.7 that SRC "gave away" before the license agreement ended. The report also notes that MapInfo info attempted to acquire SRC during the four years of their relationship, without success.

Joe Francica interviewed Mike Hickey, MapInfo's COO and Dean Stoecker, president of SRC about the lawsuits at Directions Magazine.

Tom Misek adds two more GIS definitions to our list.

"Monster.com currently has a job listed for a 'Golf Irrigation Specialist' or GIS. Of course, please add banking's 'Global Information System,' whatever that is."


According the Birmingham Business Journal, Jim Taylor of Intergraph and Craig Barrett of Intel could not hash out an agreement in their current lawsuit, as requested by the judge last week. The two, along with their companies, will wait for the judge's verdict, expected in mid-October.

This Saturday is the "Showcase" of the American Kitefliers Association Annual Convention. That means the nearly 500 fliers in attendance will be "showing off" for the public on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, between 2nd and 4th streets. Special thanks to Paul and Marge for letting me use their hotel room to send out the GIS Monitor this week from Ocean City. Be warned, some old hotels are not wired for dial-up!


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Fastrax Ltd., a provider of components for optimal utilization of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and Benefon, a developer of GSM+GPS mobile telematics instruments, announced a cooperative relationship that improves commercial and consumer use of GPS technology in application areas such as security, mobile workforce management, personal safety, fleet management, and asset management.

GIS Planning's Chief Operating Officer Anatalio Ubalde won the Outstanding New Developer of the Year award at the International Economic Development Council's annual conference in Oakland. Ubalde, of the Berkeley-based Internet geographic information systems development, was praised for his work on developing online geographic information for the following communities: San Francisco, Honolulu, Sacramento, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe, Los Angeles County, and Sioux City, Iowa.

GiveMePower Corporation announced that its website has received over 4 million hits
since the Company became a Microsoft Mobile Solutions Partner and introduced PowerCAD CE, a computer-aided design (CAD) system for Microsoft's Windows CE mobile and wireless computing platforms.

Schneider will become a reseller of Azteca's software Cityworks.

For the second year, TerraSeer is offering licenses of BoundarySeer, ClusterSeer, and/or SpaceStat to the ten best graduate student research proposals. Research proposals will be accepted through November 27, 2002 and projects will be expected to use the software as part of the analysis.

The Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) was presented with an Award of Excellence at ESRI Canada's fifth annual ESRI Regional User Conference in Regina.

The latest and possibly final version of the GIS Code of Ethics is available on the
URISA website for review and comment. The current version will be available on the Web until November 15th, and this is last chance to comment.

Autodesk, Inc. has completed the acquisition of CAiCE Software Corporation. Autodesk also announced that it has formed the new Transportation Group within the Autodesk GIS Solutions Division.

Intergraph Corporation announced that it has entered into a patent license agreement with Fujitsu Limited for use of Intergraph's parallel instruction computing (PIC) technology in consumer electronics products and embedded applications. This is likely to be the first of many hardware licensing agreements that will bring the company a regular money stream.

ESRI reminds GIS users that GIS Day 2003 is just around the corner and asks that those hosting events register them here. This is a great opportunity to educate children, friends, and community about the power of GIS technology. In other GIS Day news, the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA) has joined the list of GIS Day sponsors.

ESRI announced that the Electric and Gas User Group (EGUG) 2002 Conference will be held October 14-16, 2002, at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Idaho. The 2002 EGUG conference is being hosted by Avista Corporation and will feature keynote speaker Roger Woodworth, V.P. Operations, Avista.

The Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICIS) was presented with an Award of Excellence at ESRI Canada's annual ESRI Regional User Conference in Victoria.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the American Geological Institute (AGI) announced a cooperative agreement that will focus on making the USGS Global GIS database readily available to educators and the general public in the form of a DVD based world atlas.

More than a quarter of the world's nations participated in the 6th Global Spatial Data Infrastructure conference that took place in Budapest from Sept 16 - 19th. A record total of 225 delegates from 51 countries heard over 80 presentations on a wide range of topics relating to the conferences "global to local" theme.

The Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICIS) was presented with an Award of Excellence at ESRI Canada's annual ESRI Regional User Conference in Victoria.

Whereonearth has been ranked in the top ten of Britain's fastest growing technology companies by the ARM Tech Track 100, published this week in The Sunday Times. The annual survey of Britain's technology industry identified Whereonearth as one of the UK's fastest growing privately held technology companies. It was the only LBS company in the index.

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. has acquired the assets of Open Telephone Network, Inc. (d.b.a. Otelnet), a privately-held provider of real-time and on-demand Intelligent Notifications and alerting solutions for the wireless industry.

Contracts and Sales

Geographic Data Technology, Inc. announced UPS Logistics Technologies has named GDT as its preferred vendor for Western Hemisphere street and address data.

The Village of Saukville has selected Ruekert/Mielke, Waukesha, WI, to undertake a utility field inventory/data conversion/web application development project as part of the implementation of a Village-wide Geographic Information System (GIS).

Sanborn has won a contract with the city of Staunton, Illinois, to develop mapping for the city's planned GIS. Sanborn also won a contract with Woburn, Massachusetts, to update the city's GIS.

CellPoint Inc. announced it has received a purchase order with an initial value of more than $2 million dollars to supply and support a location solution in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. No details are available on the client at this time.

Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) - Valcartier, an agency operating within the Ministry of National Defence (DND), has selected JMap from KHEOPS Technologies as a mapping server. Support of SVG and the OpenGIS Web Map Server specification were factors in the choice.

Intermap Technologies Inc., announced it will map the island nation of Vanuatu in the South West Pacific Ocean. The contract with the Commonwealth of Australia is for the provision of terrain elevation and imagery data for more than 40 major islands of Vanuatu.

SPOT Image Corporation and RESOURCE21 signed a five-year Channel Partnership contract under which RESOURCE21 was awarded the exclusive distribution rights for SPOT products and services to the U.S. civilian government market. This market includes U.S. Federal, state and local government entities, and all U.S. universities.

Refractions Research Inc. has chosen Safe Software's surface modeling and translation capabilities to complete a project for the British Columbia Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management.

Navigation Technologies announced that the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has licensed its NAVTECH maps for use in a number of Homeland Security initiatives.

A contract estimated at $154 million has been awarded to SAIC, of San Diego, Calif., for operation of the U.S. Geological Survey's EROS Data Center, in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Aquila Networks recently purchased 14,000km of MAPS orthorectified ECW imagery "off the shelf" from UK Perspectives.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. has signed an Agreement in Principle to supply and launch a constellation of Earth observation satellites and provide the ground-related infrastructure for the RapidEye project in Germany. The supply project is valued at approximately $100 million (U.S.). RapidEye AG of Munich is planning to operate this multi-satellite constellation and related ground infrastructure to deliver agricultural land information products and services such as crop monitoring and mapping, yield prediction, and natural disaster assessment.

Geographic Data Technology, Inc. announced that Mobitrac will incorporate GDT's street and address information into the Mobitrac software platform to provide a routing, tracking, and location forecasting solution for fleet, mobile workforce and mobile commerce applications.


Thales Navigation introduced a direct Internet-connected GPS receiver, the Thales Navigation Internet-Enabled Continuous Geodetic Reference Station (iCGRS) System. Users simply plug iCGRS into an Ethernet connection just like a PC, gaining full Internet access. The user can stream data in real time to up to five separate IP addresses.

Research Systems, Inc. (RSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Company, announced that its IDL Software has been integrated into semiconductor diagnostic products developed by k-Space Associates, Inc.

Eastman Kodak Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Kodak Global Imaging, Inc., announced it will update its aerial imagery archive of the Atlanta, Georgia area to add to its Kodak Citipix aerial imagery portfolio.

Hitachi Software Global Technology, Ltd. (HSGT) announces the release of Version 2.5 of its interoperable GIS platform, Any*GIS. Built on Open GIS Consortium standards and open systems architecture, Any*GIS allows access and dynamic updating of multiple GIS data sources by eliminating compatibility problems between data formats of competing GIS software vendors.

DigitalGlobe, PCI Geomatics and the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS, Natural Resources Canada), announced support of the QuickBird Rigorous Sensor Model within PCI Geomatics software. According to PCI, this is the first commercial software support of the QuickBird Rigorous Model, developed by Dr. Thierry Toutin at CCRS, which allows the orthorectification of QuickBird Basic Imagery Products with the highest degree of accuracy.

IDELIX Software Inc. released Version 2.1.0 beta of the Pliable Display Technology (PDT) Software Development Kit and the PDT 3d SDK beta featuring platform support for Mac OS X and "PDT 3d", a new application of PDT that extends "detail-in-context" viewing functionality to three dimensional models.

LocatioNet has collaborated with Ericsson to develop the "Where Are They Now" application, a mobile MMS emergency application utilizing both WAP 2.0 and SMS to enable mobile users to know the whereabouts of their friends and family at anytime.


INPHO GmbH, Stuttgart launched a new version of SKIP, the advanced software for post processing of airborne kinematic GPS data.

Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions announced the worldwide availability of GeoMedia Terrain 5.0, a powerful desktop software for terrain generation, elevation processing, and 3D visualization.

Data management software with geospatial capability, once used primarily for military operations, is now commercially available from Boeing Autometric and supported by the Teradata data warehouse. The software, called Spatial Query Server, or SQS, was developed by Boeing Autometric, a unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, part of The Boeing Company.

Nextel Communications announced the availability of the Motorola i88s mobile the newest addition to Nextel's growing product portfolio and the first Nextel handset to support location-based services with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology.

Autodesk, Inc. announced Autodesk Map 6, a new version of the company's software for map creation and maintenance. The application serves as the foundation for Autodesk's suite of mapping software, the Autodesk Map Series 6. The Map Series combines Map 6, Autodesk Raster Design 3, and the new version of Autodesk OnSite Desktop 7. Map 6 includes new features including classification, COGO, advanced annotation, advanced Oracle Spatial support, and a new polygon object. OnSite Desktop 7 is "an application designed to extend an organization's investment in spatial data." Raster Design 3 is an existing product with no enhancements. The Map Series, and OnSite Desktop 7 are expected to be available for purchase in October. Map 6 is available now. Each part of the Series can be purchased separately. The company also announced that it has added OnSite Desktop 7 to the Civil Series.

Choctaw Geo Imaging (CGI) Enterprise has launched geoHUNTER, a new recreational mapping product line for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. The flagship software package, geoHUNTER, formerly marketed under the OakVue Software brand, offers hunters a time-saving aid for scouting wildlife areas. It combines 1:24,000 scale topographic maps and DOQQ aerial photography into a single, multi-featured tool for users.

Earth Resource Mapping announced the release of a FREE ArcPad v6.0 ECW Plug-in v1.0 that allows users to view ECW and remote ECW images (ECWP) within ArcPad v6.0.

Hires and Appointments

Navigation Technologies announced the appointment of Robert P. Denaro as Vice President and General Manager of its North American Business Solutions Unit. Denaro will leverage his extensive background in the positioning, location and mapping industry to expand Navigation Technologies' business in the GIS, Fleet and Enterprise markets.


Applied Geographics, Inc. (AGI) announced the appointment of Peter Girard as Vice President. Mr. Girard is a recognized leader in the field of GIS applications, design, and development. Prior to his appointment he served at AGI as the Director of Software Architecture, providing applications programming and database design services. At left, Peter Girard.

David A. Dzikowski recently joined GeoDecisions as a project manager.

Laser-Scan's Product Architect Seb Lessware has taken the Deputy Chairmanship of the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) Spatial SIG, organized by the UK Oracle User Group.


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