GIS MONITOR, October 18, 2001


- GeoCommunicator Explored
- Intergraph Pushes Its Partners
- Clarifying M-Commerce

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GeoCommunicator could correctly be called a “channel” of the Geography
Network catering to those interested in public lands. A joint effort of
the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and ESRI, it went live
in June. GeoCommunicator is the first part of a National Integrated Land
System (NILS) project, aimed at providing better tools for efficiently
managing national forests and public lands. All data published through the
Geography Network is available through the GeoCommunicator, and vice

More than just another data warehouse on the Net, GeoCommunicator will
feature a subscription and notification function - available later this
year - allowing interested parties to keep tabs on new data and events
involving a particular geography within US public lands. Also of interest
is Land Manager, a tool to determine which agency administers a given

There are a few interesting ideas tied together in GeoCommunicator. This
is a true portal including the availability of interaction via forums.
Further, once a visitor registers, it is possible to save queries.  The
site also provides vector streaming of data, useable in ArcView 8.1 or
ESRI’s free ArcExplorer. To my knowledge no other clients can tap into the
data stream; it is proprietary (that is, the format is not published).

What does ESRI have in store for the future? I would not be surprised to
see other focused communities pop up, each with its own GeoCommunicator
portal. I’m thinking first of environmental data (such as wildlife
management and conservation) and not such highly competitive communities
as utilities or real estate (though those might be secure areas only
accessible to those who are “members”).

Surely ESRI would be happy to have the Geography Network be the backbone
of them all. The NLIS efforts, coupled with the fact that public lands
data is mandated as public, make this initiative an easy place to start.
I’ll wager that GeoCommunicator for public lands is just the beginning.

ESRI, BLM, and Forest Service Deploy GeoCommunicator 

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Intergraph’s Mapping and GIS Division is making a significant investment
in its third party developers, also known as Team GeoMedia. Though the
program has been around as long as GeoMedia, the recent addition of 54 new members and a dedicated website for developers and end users looking for solutions, shows a commitment to partners that is becoming more rare in
GIS, CAD and other industries.

Intergraph is proud of its numbers. When you visit a link
boasts the current count of Registered Solutions Providers (73 at my
visit), Subscribers (452), Certified Trainers (14) and Certified
Developers (114).

Anyone with a GeoMedia license, a current maintenance contract, and $495
can be a subscriber. This is the lowest level of membership for in-house
application developers, research labs and schools. Registered Solution
Centers build on GeoMedia, sell their products but don’t resell GeoMedia.
They pay $4,500. Registered Solutions Providers develop and sell apps AND
resell GeoMedia. They also pay $4,500.

Individuals can become certified product trainers, certified developers,
solution trainers and consultants. All require taking Intergraph’s courses
(no teaching yourself, so far as I can tell) passing tests, and paying

Since this program began in Europe, all of the current listings are
outside the US. The search tools are easy to navigate and should return
appropriate results. One small annoyance: once you’ve found a solution of
interest, you must visit ANOTHER Intergraph page before visiting the
target company’s own site.

Why the enhanced interest in partners when other GIS and CAD vendors are
buying up or letting go of their channels? Intergraph’s reseller channel
may not have been as vigorous as Autodesk’s or ESRI’s, but the company’s
developers tended to be quite strong. And, with GeoMedia coming out of the
gate as one of the first VBA-based GIS development environments,
Intergraph hooked developers early. Recall that the ESRI channel for the
most part is just learning VBA for use with ArcInfo 8.x. With a strong
start for Team GeoMedia in Europe, it is time to rally the US partners,

I think the emphasis is well placed. The partner who simply sells a box is
less and less appealing to software vendors - for example, consider the
sharp drop in Bentley MVARs. Training, application development and
continued relationships are the keys to a healthy partnership with the

Intergraph Launches  

Intergraph's Team GeoMedia Adds 54 New Members 


A report from the Yankee Group, "Mobile Commerce in Europe: Premium
Content Remains the Priority," suggests that m-commerce has a ways to go
in identifying what end-users truly want. One of the things the report
does is break down m-commerce - a term widely used but perhaps not so
widely understood - into three basic categories: premium content, remote
payment and point-of-sale applications. Here’s my take on these

Premium content refers to data, applications (including directions, find
the nearest apps) and entertainment not available for free. This form, the
report suggests, will generate 75% of the revenue by 2006. I think that’s
interesting since my sense is that most Web users, at least in the US,
currently do not pay for content regularly. Perhaps they are more likely
to do so in a mobile environment? I suppose if the service provides a
“one-off” buying option, I might buy a movie on my iPaq if I’m stuck at
the airport.

Remote payment means ordering from the road, say, ordering a sweater from
LL Bean or groceries from the supermarket while walking down the street. I
think more of us, again in the US, need to get comfortable doing that from
a wired device, such as a home computer, before we will do so from a phone
or handheld.

Point-of-sale is the idea of using the phone to buy soda from the machine
or pay for groceries at the store. I recently saw the use of Mobile’s
Speed Pass as a form of payment at McDonald’s. That service, if not a big
money generator, will help educate and calm fears of consumers in the US.

Mobile Commerce Market to Be Worth Over $50 Billion in Europe by 2006 


National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has purchased the exclusive
rights to Space Imaging’s IKONOS imagery of the Afghanistan war zone. The
contract, which took effect on October 7, has NIMA paying not only for the
imagery but also for the operation of the satellite during its passes over
the area. This way the organization effectively prevents Space Imaging
from sharing the imagery with others.

Why does NIMA, who some suggest has technology significantly better than
the one-meter resolution of IKONOS (meaning it can distinguish objects
over a meter in size, such as cars) bother with commercial imagery? First,
it seems likely that NIMA hopes to get additional information from this
source. Second, there are good reasons that the military would like to
keep these images out of the hands of others.

Space Imaging, for its part, is quite happy with the deal. Though there
are no details on the money changing hands, Mark Brender, noted that “it
was a wonderful business transaction.”  If you’d like to extrapolate:
IKONOS  pictures can cost buyers up to $200 per square kilometer of
imagery, with quick turnaround costs adding $3,000.

Military Buys Exclusive Rights to Space Imaging's Pictures of Afghanistan
War Zone 


- Ready for a puzzle? This was on the latest installment of Car Talk, from
National Public Radio. The answer is at the end of this column.

A man was driving in an unknown part of the state late at night when he
began to feel the discomfort associated with a heart attack. He got off
the highway and found himself in a residential neighborhood. He carefully
parked the car and took out his cell phone to dial 911. The operator asked
his location and he replied that he did not know. She asked which exit
he’d taken off the highway. He did not know. She asked if he could drive
to the intersection of the street he was on, and he replied that he was
not up to it. She asked that he honk the horn to raise someone. No one
responded. Finally, she asked him to do something, which he did, and soon
the ambulance arrived. What did she have him do?  (Car

- More locational data deemed a security risk has been removed from
websites. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has shut down its website,
including specific longitude and latitude locations of the nuclear power
plants, until it can be scrubbed. It should be back up by week’s end. An
Army Corps of Engineers website that outlined an underground military
command center near Washington, D.C. has been hidden.
has refused to remove that collected from military sites before the
attacks.  Google, which retains cached versions of “old versions” of
websites, has been removing those that could be considered an aid to
wtc_011015_internetsecrets_1.html (

- An updated version of the 1976 Atlas of Oregon is now out. The
University of Oregon is providing a gift copy to each public school
library in the state. Retired UO geography professor Bill Loy and Medford
cartographer Stuart Allan - along with a team of geographers, editors and
students at the UO - spent two years on the project. Stuart Allen is the
publisher of Raven Maps, the prettiest maps around. "Atlas of Oregon II
constitutes a new benchmark for state atlases," Ron Abler writes in a
review. "For atlases of all kinds, it sets daunting standards for beauty
and quality in cartographic and graphic presentation." Abler, now
executive director of the Association of American Geographers was once on
the faculty of Penn State, one of main players in another top-rated state
atlas: the Atlas of Pennsylvania, thought by many, including me, to be the
premiere state atlas. I spent some of my grad school years working on it. 
(Register-Guard, Eugene, OR)

- "Indiana GIS 2002 Conference: Moving to the Mainstream" will be held
February 28-March 1, 2002 at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites at
Keystone at the Crossing. The conference includes a variety of workshops,
exhibitors, session tracts, reception, poster session and luncheon.

A keynote address will feature Ron Matzner, the I-Team Liason of the
Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). Abstracts for this conference
are due by December 15, 2001.   

- The Open source GIS - GRASS users conference will take place in Trento,
Italy, 11-13 September 2002.  

- Puzzle Answer: She asked him to read her the license plate of the car in
front of him. Since it was a residential area, it was likely the vehicle
was owned by someone from the neighborhood. From the plate number, she
looked up the owner and an address. That’s where she sent the ambulance.  (Car


Oct 17 - Ericsson Adds Location-Based Features to New Phones 
This deal is the reverse of most: instead of the handset maker buying
accessories from the third-party company and selling the complete package
through its own channel, the developer, in this case Chapman will sell
them, too.

Oct 17 - Innovative Systems Selected by PA Dept of Public Welfare 
DPW purchased five-year licenses for Innovative's data cleansing, data
linking and CASS/geocoding software. This contract continues the

Oct 17 - Computer Map Archive Reveals Changing Face of Britain 
A view of the industrialization of Britain is available publicly on a free

Oct 17 - LAND INFO Delivers Global Sub-meter Russian Imagery 
The company announces availability of 0.95-meter, 1.56-meter, and 2-meter
imagery from Russian satellites. The data includes recent satellite photos
for hundreds of major cities in such regions as the United States,
Germany, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey.

Oct 17 - ESRI Announces Health GIS Conference, Nov 12-14, 2001 
The event is designed for health and human services professionals and
geographic information system (GIS) users.

Oct 17 - Knoxville Utilities Board Selects Intergraph 
The multi-million dollar contract includes software, services, support,
and maintenance over five years.

Oct 17 - Tadpole And Leica To Develop Field Survey Software 
VisualSurvey will replace Leica's current Fieldlink 5.01 software. ESRI
and Leica have been working on ArcSurvey for some time. Perhaps this new
player in the mix will move things along?

Oct 16 - Syncline Announces App Tracking Municipal Infrastructure 
San Antonio, Texas, now boasts a mapping system with custom-made online
permitting capabilities, enabling utility companies, contractors and city
officials to see the location of all projects that impact San Antonio's
streets and sidewalks, underground cabling and piping and overhead wiring.

Oct 16 - EarthSat Inc. Invests in Forest One, Inc. 
Though no terms were announced, EarthSat noted that it hopes to grow into forestry-related applications of remote sensing.

Oct 16 - GeoConcept Announces Roadshow 
GeoConcept currently sells 50% of its licenses outside its native France.
It’s looking for more!

Oct 16 - CellPoint Reports Fiscal Year-End Results 
Cellpoint closed down its telematics subsidiary, Unwire, and is doing
better. It’s not clear that their “we can do it!” letter to the FCC will
encourage US carriers to buy into their location service for mobile

Oct 16 - MediaMapper Technology Aids Intelligence, Defense 
Simply said: the company’s videologging linked to GPS is getting
widespread use in the military.

Oct 16 - Azteca Systems Expands Regional Support 
New offices have opened in Arlington, TX and Norcross, GA.

Oct 16 - CADTEL Appoints Steve Fenton as Enterprise Consultant 
Fenton comes from Enghouse and will oversee the US Eastern region and the
Canadian provinces.

Oct 16 - ERDAS, Inc. Launches "Image to 3D GIS Solution" 
This is a suite, a packaging of software that is a “highly-accurate,
easy-to-use, end-to-end, photogrammetric solution that is finally

Oct 16 - Airbiquity Awarded Product and Technology Patents 
The patents are for geoSpatial internet protocol addressing and an
accessory module for a cellular telephone.

Oct 16 - DEM Manual Available October 2001 from ASPRS 
The DEM Users Manual makes its debut at the ASPRS/MAPPS 2001 DEM Specialty Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida,  October 30, 2001; list price $120, ASPRS members $75.

Oct 16 - GeoData Alliance Publishes "Lessons from Practice" 
Six successful geodata collaboratives have documented their organizational
experiences in their own words.

Oct 16 - TCN Worldwide Selects geoVue for Geodata and Services 
TCN Worldwide, a consortium of independent commercial real estate firms,
provides complete integrated real estate solutions locally and
internationally. TCN will provide desktop, Web-based and wireless
analytics; geographic and demographic data; and related services.

Oct 16 - Cape Breton Implementing NovaLIS’ Solution 
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is the first Nova Scotia community
to fully implement NovaLIS Technologies’ Land Development Office solution.

Oct 16 - 2001 MAPublisher Map Competition Winners Announced 
The overall "Best Map" prize of a Palm Vx went to The Louisiana Geological
Survey for its submission, "Official Map of Louisiana 2000." This was the
first competition.

Oct 15 - GlobeXplorer Announces Agreement With DigitalGlobe 
The Millennium Mosaic image content from DigitalGlobe is accessible
through GlobeXplorer's interactive image viewer.

Oct 15 - Snowflake Software Opens Its Doors 
The ex-OS technical consultants will focus on Java and XML in mapping

Oct 15 - Marshall and Hansen Information Technologies Ally 
Under this agreement, MARSHALL will be the exclusive provider of ESRI GIS
products and services to spatially-enable Hansen’s suite of citizen
relationship management products.

Oct 15 - Spatial Insights Releases Batch Map Production for MapInfo 
The application provides automated batch production of maps in MapInfo.

Oct 15 - RGI Begins Distribution of Landsat 7 Images 
The company distributes Landsat 7 images under sub-license from Natural
Resources Canada, the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS). Landsat 7 data acquired by CCRS covers all of Canada, eastern Alaska and most of the continental USA.

Oct 15 - PlanGraphics' Implements Online Mapping for NYC Disaster 
Originally designed as a Web-based GIS application to direct residents of
New York City to shelters in the event of weather emergencies,
PlanGraphics added new dimensions to EMOLS in response to the September
11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Oct 12 - WhereNet Installs Pilot System At American Airlines 
The system provides real-time tracking of over 1,800 tugs, freight carts
and dollies, allowing American to maximize and streamline its cargo and
mail operations. The company claims it is the first to design, build and
market wireless supply chain visibility solutions for locating, tracking
and managing supply chain resources.

Oct 12 - TELUS Geomatics and UMA Group Ltd.: Mapping the Future 
The two companies will combine their expertise in geographical information
system (GIS) services and use of the Web to create, capture and deliver
digital information and GIS solutions.

Oct 12 - IntelliWhere and Terramapserver Join Forces  
“The agreement … will allow businesses such as portal operators, mobile
network operators, and short message service (SMS) service providers to
quickly build and deploy sophisticated, high-performance location-based
services without incurring the capital cost and investment risk of an
in-house implementation.” Terramapserver provides access to its data
portal. IntelliWhere LocationServer is the new name of the former
IntelliWhere Genie software product. Good choice – Genie always made me
think of Jini, a network technology from Sun.

Oct 12 - Kodak Software to Speed Viewing of Images with MrSID 
New releases of IDL (version 5.5) and ENVI (version 3) support
LizardTech's MrSID format for image data compression. GIS Monitor was one
of 240 publications that received a 1 MB image illustrating the
integration – and no, it was NOT in MrSID format!

Oct 11 - Intermap Announces US $1.22 million in New Contracts 
The contracts are from DigitalGlobe of Longmont and Aero-Metric, Inc. of
Sheboygan, WI.

Oct 11 - SignalSoft Expands Sales Force 
New recruits include: Chris McGuire, vice president of sales for the
Americas, Martin Williams, vice president sales, Europe, Middle East and
Africa (EMEA), Roy Kligfield, vice president of sales, Asia Pacific (APAC)
and Chris Long, director of worldwide sales engineering.

Oct 11 - Trimble Announces "Better" Q3 Preliminary Earnings 
Trimble attributed its higher than anticipated earnings to strong demand
for the company's land survey and geographic information systems (GIS)
products, the positive impact of the its efforts to reduce fixed costs, a
foreign exchange gain of approximately $800,000 and lower than expected
income tax expenses.

Oct 11 - MapInfo Announces Participation in OpenLS Initiative 
MapInfo will provide recommendations to assist Initiative sponsors in the
development of specifications that will benefit the entire location-aware

Oct 11 - ESRI Announces LBS Track for EMEA User Conference 
The conference adds a location based services (LBS) track.

Oct 11 - ESRI Wins Transportation Contract with New York State 
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles in conjunction with the
New York Department of Transportation and the New York State Office for
Technology signed a $5.3 million, three-year contract with ESRI and
partners on July 19.

Oct 11 - ERDAS Releases Stereo Analyst V1.2 
The new version, a standalone product, includes sensor support for IKONOS,
SPOT and IRS-1C stereo imagery. It integrates with ERDAS IMAGINE and
ArcView 3.2.

Oct 11 - MAPPS Urges Resumption of Aerial Photo Flights 
The Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) has implemented a campaign to permit the resumption of flight operations. This is one industry that is not back to normal following the events of September 11.

Oct 11 - GlobeXplorer Expands Collection of Online Aerial Images 
GlobeXplorer's latest additions, from other image vendors, include the
following areas: Birmingham, Dallas, Ft. Collins, Hawaii, Miami, Modesto,
Portland, San Antonio, San Luis Obispo, Seattle, Stockton, Tucson,
Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.


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