October 10, 2002


Geographic Profiling
MapInfo Expects to be Profitable in Fourth Quarter
Carry a GPS, Help Determine Advertising Rates for Billboards

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Geographic profiling has gotten a lot of press this past week due to its use in the shootings in and around Maryland on the East Coast of the U.S. The process actually dates back more than ten years. Its originator, one-time Vancouver Police detective Kim Rossmo, is working on the Maryland case.

Geographic profiling is based on the idea that criminals generally attack in places they know, except in areas close to home. According to an article at GIS Lounge, this idea ties directly back to the "principle of least effort." It also ties to a criminal's "image of the city" or "mental map." The locations of attacks and/or victims are geocoded, and the results crunched to suggest possible "home" locations for the attacker. Like any detective work, the more information, in this case the more locations of attacks, the better the system works.

Kim Rossmo worked out a mathematical formula to suggest possible "home" locations while studying for his doctorate at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University. The algorithm can take a 10 square mile area and suggest a few blocks that are most likely. The program develops a "jeopardy" surface. The algorithm is included in a software package from Environmental Criminology Research Inc. (ECRI). Rosso maintains that of the roughly 450 cases that have used geographic profiling, it's been helpful in about half.

According to ECRI's website, two factors determine the effectiveness of geographic profiling: the identification and confirmation that a set of crime sites belong to the same series, and the validity of geographic modeling of the travel distance to crime sites.

MapInfo announced this week that for the three months ended September 30, 2002, (the company's 4th quarter) it anticipates revenues to be approximately $23.6 million, which translates to a $0.01 per share profit. Last quarter, the company reported $22.7 million in revenues and a loss of $0.03 per share. For the same quarter last year, the company reported a loss of $0.14 per share. During the quarter this year, MapInfo repurchased approximately $1.5 million worth of common stock, another sign of an upswing in financial health.

Though not a huge profit, even a penny a share is good news in these tough times. MapInfo's stock was up 14%, at one point, on the news yesterday.

The company will announce final results on October 31 at 8:30 am EST. To make it a full day of reports, plan to listen to the Intergraph call at 11 am EST.

MapInfo also stated its commitment to Microsoft's .NET framework this week. According to the release, MapInfo Professional, MapInfo MapX, MapInfo MapX Mobile, and MapInfo MapXtreme will fully support the Microsoft .NET Framework by early 2003. The press release explains the benefits this way: developers who can currently build desktop applications using MapInfo, will, with .NET be able to build Web applications at the same time.

For years the Nielson folks have measured who watches which TV shows. Those numbers help set advertising rates for different programs. The Super Bowl, for example has high rates since many viewers of that extravaganza are in a key spending demographic (young men). Late night reruns draw a different demographic, and demand different payments, and thus host different ads.

Until now, there has been no definitive way to measure who sees outdoor advertising. Enter Nielsen Outdoor, a newly formed unit of VNU Media Measurement & Information. The idea is this: In a defined area, find a random group of demographically-balanced people. Give each a battery-powered monitor with a GPS that tracks their movements every 20 seconds. Take the records, I'd imagine for a month, geocode them and compare visited locations to outdoor advertising locations. In essence, this process captures what VNU calls the "opportunity to see" the ad. Neilson Outdoor is working with advertising industry leaders to develop consensus for a worldwide measurement currency. The first test will be in Johannesburg, South Africa. The first expected use, should the pilot work and consensus be reached, will likely be in the U.S. where $5 billion is spent on outdoor ads annually.

Until now, outdoor advertising effectiveness was measured using traffic analysis (counting passing cars) and recall interviews ("Did you see a billboard for such-and-such a product?") neither of which are deemed to be highly effective. Will this method be more accurate? Will people be comfortable with Nielson tracking where they go, versus what TV programs they watch? And, of course, there are similar issues to the TV measurements: What if the TV is on, but no one is in the room? What if the billboard is there, but trees obscure it? What if those monitored are close to the back of the billboard? The GIS tool to determine line of sight, and thus a "true opportunity to see," will need to be pretty clever. Nielson Outdoor will be using technology from Seattle-based RDP Associates.


• Chris Barber wrote to correct something I said in my review of Autodesk's GIS Expo last week:

"I was at the Atlanta GIS Expo. That's a good summary. One thing though, I believe Larry Diamond said he doesn't know of a country without a legal/illegal copy of AutoCAD, not a company without it."

Editor replies: My notes say company, but I could be wrong. Either way, it is a strong statement about the proliferation of the software.

• MGM Mirage will be the
first U.S. casino company to dip into the waters of online gaming. The strict U.S. rules have deterred others from entering the fray. Today most existing online sites are based in the Caribbean or Costa Rica, and interestingly, 60% of players are from the U.S., though that is illegal. MGM will host its service on the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea. The operation will use Quova's geolocation technology to check locations of gamblers and use other tools to assure that age restrictions are met. Another big hurdle: many U.S. banks will not let credit card holders use their cards for gambling, arguing that they lose too much money when card holders deny making bets.

• Todd Danielson has taken over responsibilities for GeoReport from GeoTec Media.

• NASA announced its Earth Observatory Natural Hazard image service. Freely useable images are available that cover all sorts of natural hazards. I saw images of Hurricane Lili in the southeast U.S., fires in South America, a failing glacier in Russia, and flooding in Indochina. Details about the images and descriptions of the locations make the site a great resource for teachers. Another bonus: historic images are available for comparison.

Government Technology reports that satellites from RadarSat, along with apporpriate software capable of identifying oil spills, are on guard in the waters off Canada. The Department of Fisheries, along with Environment Canada, the Defense Department, Transport Canada and the Canadian Space Agency teamed on the project, which costs $300,000 for six months. The area, off the Atlantic coast, is too large to be monitored by planes. The maximum penalty for a ship caught discharging oily bilge water is a $1 million fine, but the highest fine paid so far is $125,000.

• For a limited time GeoComm is offering a 30-day trial account at GeoBids. The cost? 1/3 that of a 90 day commitment.

• The National Imagery and Mapping Agency is establishing The National Center for Geospatial Intelligence Standards (NCGIS). The Center will oversee NIMA's evolution toward an enterprisewide standards management policy for the National System for Geospatial Intelligence. According to Teri Dempsey, NIMA's chief geospatial intelligence standards officer, who spoke to Federal Computer Week, NIMA is moving away from developing products and instead will focus on providing information.

• Parham Aarabi is using sound for navigation, but not in the "traditional" method of sonar, according to NewsFactor. Sonar sends out signals and waits to hear the "bounced" sound back. Aarabi's version uses a handheld device to listen for sounds, compares them to where they "should be" on a known map, and from that, deduces actual location. The University of Toronto professor is using the expertise of the blind to help the electronic box locate itself. Another side benefit: if you know what sounds are expected at a location, it's possible to filter them out to make mobile phone calls exceptionally clear.

• ESRI is running a survey for ArcGIS 8.x users looking at the possible use of DVDs for data distribution and other issues.

• Two weekends ago the new Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity in Boston held its grand opening. Eddy was the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, better known as the Christian Science Church. This is significant because the library now houses the three-story, stained-glass globe known as the Mapparium. Visitors walk inside the globe and look out at the continents. The original lighting designed in 1935 has been updated to include 206 LED lights that can show the movement of great ideas across the globe. The spherical shape also leads to some very interesting acoustical properties and makes it an interesting place to take youngsters. The other reason this is significant: I borrowed the title of this publication from the Christian Science Monitor.

• The discussion about the wording of the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance came up recently and a friend from Iowa quoted this suggested wording, which he attributed to comedian Robin Williams: "…one nation, under Canada, over Mexico…"

• This week USA Today had two interesting articles about online mapping. One highlighted the "field work" done by Navigation Technologies staff and the other focused on the rise of the online mapping services, despite their imperfections. Both articles were in the Entertainment section!


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Intergraph announced that it has signed an agreement with the Carl Zeiss Group to acquire its minority interest in Z/I Imaging, making the earth imaging company a wholly owned subsidiary of Intergraph. Z/I Imaging, formerly a joint venture between Zeiss and Intergraph, is an earth imaging industry, offering solutions for the acquisition, exploitation, management and distribution of imagery.

Governor Bill Owens of Colorado has proclaimed October 7-11 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Week in Colorado.

The latest webcast in GITA's 2002 series is GIS and the Small Utility on October 23.

GeoSolution (Alpharetta, Georgia, USA) is the newest Leica Geosystems GPS distributor in the southeastern United States.

Information Builders and ESRI have entered into an agreement to co-market their successful business intelligence and GIS mapping software products.

ESRI has introduced an online Undergraduate Research Guide.

QuickSpace, a leading provider of online real estate marketing tools, and Pixxures, Inc., the world's largest provider of online mapping services, today announced an exclusive strategic partnership that will increase the accessibility of aerial photography, satellite imagery, and mapping information to real estate professionals.

Directions Magazine launched "MapMart on Directions," an online store for purchasing maps and digital geographic data.

Analytical Surveys, Inc. (ASI) announced that shareholders have approved a one-for-ten reverse split of the Company's common stock, effective Oct 2. In conjunction with the reverse split, ASI's stock will trade under the ticker symbol "ANLTD" for 20 trading days, at which point it will revert back to the former symbol "ANLT."

Bayfield County, Wisconsin, and Benchmark GIS announced the deployment of MapViewer, a land records public access web mapping application built using the University of Minnesota's open-source MapServer development environment.

David Schell, president of the Open GIS Consortium, Inc., (OGC) was nominated by GITA and named a recipient of CIO Magazine's 20/20 Vision award.

The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announces that a Request for Quotations (RFQ)/Call for Participation (CFP) in the OGC Geospatial One-Stop Transportation Pilot (GOS-TP) Initiative and Demonstration.

Analysts at GartnerG2 report that it will take at least two years before there is widespread acceptance of the in-dash communications/location systems.

Cadcorp appeared in position 83 of this year's Sunday Times ARM Tech Track 100 listing with a percentage annual sales growth of 62.84%. Cadcorp is the only PC mapping software developer listed.

KOREM announced GEObroadcasting 2002, which will be held from December 3rd to December 5th, 2002 at the Château Frontenac in Québec City. This annual conference is dedicated to exploring the potential of Web-mapping applications and the showcasing of MapInfo products.

ESRI and Geographic Data Technology (GDT) are sponsoring a seminar October 10, 2002, in New York City that will detail the benefits of using a GIS for post-September 11 risk analysis.

Internet Pictures Corporation, a company providing mission-critical imaging solutions, announced the formation of iPIX International, a joint venture between iPIX and Soroof International, a Saudi Arabia-based corporation. The new company will be the exclusive distributor for iPIX Immersive still products, including the iPIX GPS Mapping System, outside of North America and Asia. iPIX technology delivers full 360-degree by 360-degree ("Virtual Tour") imaging.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) was presented with an Award of Excellence at ESRI Canada's annual ESRI Regional User Conference in Kelowna.

LaserFiche Document Imaging has become a strategic business partner of ESRI.

A record total of 588 people attended GITA's 11th Annual GIS for Oil & Gas Conference Sept. 23-25, in Houston. Last year's GIS for Oil & Gas Conference was cancelled soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Geographic Data Technology, Inc. and Telcontar, provider of a software platform for location-based services (LBS) announced a strategic partnership. Both GDT and Telcontar will participate in product development efforts designed to increase compatibility between Telcontar's software tools and GDT's street network products. The two companies will also demonstrate a joint software and data solution to prospective customers and will participate in joint sales and marketing activities.

A new 12,000-square foot, $1.5-million high-tech incubator in the 300-acre Center for Applied Research & Technology at Central Michigan University (CART) in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, offers flexible lease options for emerging start-up companies, plus access to a powerful IBM supercomputer, high-speed Internet connections and state-of-the-art geographic information systems (GIS) and data mining technologies.

The U.S. Border Patrol project, "GIS as a Border Enforcement Tool", was recognized as 2002 Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement finalist. The award is presented by The International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Leica Geosystems has announced the appointment of Spatial Technologies Inc. as its GPS dealer for Southern Alberta and Southern Saskatchewan. Leica Geosystems' subsidiary CYRA Technologies Inc. has also named Spatial Technologies as a dealer of the CYRAX 2500 laser scanner and software in Western Canada.

Contracts and Sales

Trimble announced that it has been awarded a contract from the City of New York to supply GPS-based products for mapping and GIS applications. The two-year contract is valued up to $1 million.

Minneapolis-based Meteorlogix, a commercial weather services provider, announced that it has signed a contract with the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command to provide them with its exclusive GIS weather technology for use in classified tactical decision-making.

Applied Geographics, Inc. (AGI) won a contract with the City of Rye, New York, to conduct a major photogrammetric data conversion project.

har*GIS LLC, a provider of mobile and wireless applications for utilities and local governments, announced that its TruckMap* software suite has been installed by United Power, Inc. a Touchstone Energy partner.

Orange has entered an agreement with privately-held group Webraska, a provider of location based services, to provide users with interactive map displays, traffic alerts, and information enabling them to locate their nearest petrol station, bank, or restaurant. The service will be launched in the UK and France and roll to other European countries in 2003.

Harris Corporation announced that it has been awarded a $5.1 million Lot 2 production contract by the U.S. Navy to provide Tactical Airborne Moving Map Capability (TAMMAC) Digital Map Computers (DMCs) for U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Army aircraft.

Applied Geographics, Inc. (AGI) will create a set of bike maps for the New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT).

ImageLinks Inc. announced that it has received a contract from the National Technology Alliance (NTA) for the creation of a plan for introducing open source software development practices into government programs. The contract, specified at more than $250,000, will assist ImageLinks in the creation of an initial plan for an Open Source eXtraordinary Program (OSXP) that will provide an organizational interface between traditional government programs and open source software projects and companies. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) manages the NTA program as the Executive Agent for the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.

ESRI announced that Downey Regional Medical Center of Downey, California (DRMC) recently launched an enterprise geographic information system (GIS) using ArcSDE and ArcIMS software. The first GIS application to go online, DRMC's Bed Management System has optimized its bed management process and improved the way the hospital serves its patients.

FirstEnergy Corp., the holding company for the nation's fourth largest investor-owned electric system, has selected the Smallworld PowerOn software application from GE Network Solutions to manage electrical outages for its seven electric distribution companies.

Geographic Data Technology, Inc. announced that the Centrus* Division of Sagent has selected GDT's Canadian postal codes for use in Centrus GeoStan Canada.


Vanessa Lawrence, director general and chief executive of Ordnance Survey, holds one of the pen computers that will run Tadpole-Cartesia and ESRI software to build and maintain the digital face of Britain. Left is Mark Ketteman, general manager of Tadpole-Cartesia, and on her right, Andrew Duff, of ESRI UK. Under an international license and partnership agreement with Ordnance Survey, Tadpole-Cartesia intends also to market the field editing and data management system to other mapping agencies around the world.

The City of Loveland, Colorado, is combining PowerCAD CE from GiveMePower Corporation a "go anywhere" mobile/wireless handheld CAD system, with AutoCAD Map.


Visual Learning Systems, Inc. (VLS) of Missoula, MT announced the release of the Standard and Professional versions of Feature Analyst. The software supports feature extraction and land-cover classification. The Professional version includes change detection tools and other high-end extraction tools.

DigitalGlobe announced that during the month of October the company will offer reduced prices on archived QuickBird imagery to honor the one-year anniversary of the QuickBird launch, which occurred Oct. 18, 2001. Orders placed through resellers and master distributors are also eligible. When placing orders, customers must specify the promotion code "1002ARCH" in order for the reduced pricing to apply.

Vexcel nnounced the release of its multi-purpose web-based GIS system, VexLinkTM, for homeland security applications. The system was originally developed to facilitate the installation of high-speed wireless data networks by assessing clear line of sight conditions between geographic locations. The newest expansion of Vexlink's capabilities includes the addition of emergency preparation and emergency response simulation functions.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. announced that the company will provide three-dimensional information products of the Florida Everglades to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville.

Caliper Corporation has announced the release of Maptitude for Great Britain. Maptitude comes with extensive UK data, such as points of interest, Postcode boundaries and points, land-use, demographics, and London streets, as well as providing a Postcode locator tool and enhanced Ordnance Survey NTF support. The London and National data is sourced from Bartholomew, and the Postal data is sourced from data sellers who derived it from the UK Post Office. Like its U.S. counterpart, the product is value-priced.

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, and Cross Country Automotive Services announced the availability of Volvo On Call Plus (VOCP), Volvo's first comprehensive telematics system in the US. Volvo On Call Plus, available in selected 2003 models, was built in collaboration with Cross Country and features Automatic Crash Notification, Mayday Services, Alarm Notification, Stolen Vehicle Tracking, Location-Enabled Roadside Assistance, Remote Door Unlock, and Remote Vehicle Diagnostics. Volvo On Call Plus is standard on top line cars and available as a factory option on other for under $1000. Included in the price is a 12-month subscription. Thereafter, a monthly service fee applies.

Mapping Solutions has introduced Map-In-A-Box, a MapInfo add-on that links in data and functionality of Microsoft's MapPoint. A review at MP2K Magazine gives the product high marks, but notes that the most valuable part of MapPoint, its nationwide street data, is only available as a raster backdrop. The product, which requires both MapInfo and MapPoint, sells for more than $1000.

Kivera announced its automotive navigation system based on Bluetooth technology. The system allows automotive manufacturers to provide customized navigation and point-of-interest content via the driver's existing Bluetooth-equipped wireless device, eliminating the need for bulky in-vehicle navigation units and costly dedicated wireless subscriptions.

Hires and Appointments

Choctaw Geo Imaging (CGI) Enterprise, a digital mapping services provider, welcomes Jim Markel as its new project manager.

Will Mitchell, president of Mitchell Geographics, Inc.(MGI), was appointed to the Board of the Maine Library of Geographic Information for a 3-year term. MGI is a GIS consulting firm and MapInfo business partner based in Portland, Maine.

PlanGraphics, Inc. has hired Mike Langley, who has more than 20 years of experience in IT Management and IT Business Development, as Vice President/Central Region Practice Manager.

MOORE Resource Systems, a division of Enghouse Systems Limited, announced the opening of its Houston, Texas, office and the appointment of Keith Cote as Sales Executive, Southern Region.

Cadcorp has established a new subsidiary in Sydney Australia, Cadcorp Pty Limited. Robert Greenfield was hired as Director of Sales and Business, Asia Pacific Region and is supported by Kenneth Wong. Greenfield joined Cadcorp from AutoDesk Inc., where he was Sales Development Director, Asia Pacific Region for the Building Industry Division.

Autodesk appointed Tom Vadnais as executive VP of its Professional Services organization.


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