October 21, 2004


More from GEOINT 2004

• NGA and NSA: Two Generals Speak
• More from the Floor
• USGIF Academy Announced
• USGIF Award Winners


• HP Alleges GIS Software Patent Infringement Against Intergraph
• Daratech Releases Latest Geospatial Marketshare Data
• ECO Intern for Hire

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Letters, Points of Interest, Kudos and Conundrums, Week in Review (GEOINT, Announcements, Contracts, Products, Events, Training, Hires) Back Issues, Advertise, Contact, Subscribe/Unsubscribe

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NGA and NSA: Two Generals Speak

Last week I shared some of what George Tenet had to say to those assembled at GEOINT 2004. He was followed by a Q&A; session with the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr.,(left) and the director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden (below, right). Clearly, these two gentlemen know each other well and even had me thinking of them as Jim and Mike as I took notes. To be fair, their candor made it difficult at times to remember they were generals; they were just regular, plain spoken people who led two key intelligence agencies. The theme of the discussion was Integration and Partnership and it was clear from their opening remarks that working together is very important to both men.


Clapper noted that the two agencies collaborate in many areas including exchanging analysts, combining training programs, and sharing metrics for success. He reminded the audience that NGA doesn't collect anything, that others collect data on NGA's behalf. The reason, he concluded, the integration works is that NGA and NSA do not compete with one another. (Are you listening geospatial industry??)

Hayden introduced the idea that NSA was often criticized as being "screwed up." But, he noted, when the criticizer says "Why can't you be more like…?" there's no term to put in the blank. That he said is because, despite its faults, NSA is far ahead of its peers in what it does. He noted that NSA is in fact organized by disciplines, which some might suggest are stovepipes, but which he prefers to call silos. Those silos, he went on, are necessary. To be good at interpreting one type of intelligence, he explained, you really need to stay in that area. And, he noted something that is obvious, but underscores the complexity of his agency's work: his analysts are trying to find and interpret messages of which they are not the intended recipients! He didn't say this in any sort of defensive way, but rather, in a "this is the nature of our job" sort of way.

He used a very effective virtual slide (one he described and to which he continued to refer) to illustrate why the sharing of bits of intelligence across disciplines is difficult. There are basically three reasons: one is cultural (and you can't change culture to the extent that it is culture), a second is that the technology "plumbing" of the agency doesn't work that way (though he notes the agency is "getting around" that challenge), and finally the third is that even if the bits of intelligence were shared, the recipients likely could not understand the bits from other domains. As for working with NGA, he explained, after he met Jim "we skipped the five-year plan and just jumped into the pool." It made me realize that at that level, the old phrase "it's better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission" doesn't really apply.

There were questions about where the two agencies would be in 10 years with respect to integrating (both suggested they'd still be separate), dependence on the National Reconnaissance Office (both do depend on it), the use of best practices from industry (both support it, but in different ways), working with the commercial sector (both are hoping to make it as simple as possible), the role of the Defense Intelligence Agency (it has one), the need for space-based radar (yes, we need it), and other topics. One question that struck me was about the possibility of an internal U.S. intelligence agency, like the UK's MI-5. Clapper noted that all of the things his agency does for the rest of the world could easily be applied internally. He did note, in the same breath, that he got unnerved when his agency was criticized for not "caring" about civil liberties. Hayden explained that there were "too many antibodies" in our system for such a thing to work in the U.S. That analogy stuck with me and still elicits a physical response.

One final take away, for me, was from Clapper. "Where you stand depends on where you sit." Indeed.

Try FME Suite 2004 ICE Today!

More from the Floor
Just to illustrate that not everything at GEOINT was "geo," consider my visit to Boeing. I walked into the booth to find three screens staring me in the face. They didn't have maps on them, but what looked like a communications portal. I learned that each one represented a different level of clearance from "top secret" down to "none," aka, civilian. What Boeing was showing was a tool to not only keep messages going to the right group of people, but also, a complex set of rules that could help keep messages from going to the wrong group, based on their content. So, if a message contained a special keyword, it could be blocked from going to some lower levels. On the other hand, should the threat level rise, one could adjust rules to allow more data to be shared. One key part of the offering: it works with any e-mail or instant messaging software from fancy custom solutions to "everyday" Microsoft instant messaging. Data security came up now and again during the conference and typically was described as "a layer on top of" existing applications. That's exactly the nature of this offering.

On the other hand, some offerings might be considered more "geo" than "int." ESRI was using not one, but two touch tables to illustrate not only the power of the hardware but the methods of pulling it together. By looking at data on earthquakes and population, roads, and more, it was possible to figure out where in Iraq nuclear facilities might be located. A walk through a series of IKONOS images over time revealed the digging of a massive hole, the building of a huge complex, and the burial of that complex. And, using the same type of logic, we posited where a second facility might be located. If there was any question about the power of geoint, and as I noted, at this event there wasn't one, this demo would make anyone a believer.

USGIF Academy Announced
Last Thursday USGIF announced plans to create a Geospatial Intelligence Academy. The Academy mission is to educate people for jobs in geospatial intelligence. Working with the University Consortium for Geographic Information Sciences (UCGIS, which had a rep there, David Dibiasi of Penn State) and NGA, the Academy will build a curriculum and accreditation process. I had a chance to sit down with two of the USGIF members who've been working on this project, Oracle's Jack Pellicci and Booz Allen Hamilton's Susan Kalweit.

Kalweit noted that one of the goals of USGIF is education and awareness, so this program was one of the first on the organization's agenda. It will "broaden the pool" of candidates to fill the growing number of positions in government and industry, she offered. One of the challenges to NGA, she noted, was taking new employees to "journeyman" status as quickly as possible. (Kalweit served as deputy chief for North America and homeland security for NIMA, which evolved into NGA, at one time.) A formal education program will "jump start" that training.

Kalweit also sees the program serving people who are looking for new opportunities. For example, she noted, a graphic artist that already has security clearance may be a perfect candidate for a geospatial intelligence position after such a program.

Pellicci pointed out that many of the needs of NGA are parallel to those of business. Industry faces many of the same types of issues NGA faces. For that reason, he feels, the program will be valuable to those who intend to move into the intelligence community and those who may eventually end up in civilian business intelligence positions. Our industry, he noted, is "on the bubble" of exploding. "This type of program will ensure we have the talent to feed that growth," he said.

I asked for some details on the program itself. While it's still in early development, Kalweit shared that the goal was a program that can be accomplished in no more than two years and would be taught at accredited educational institutions (so it won't be taught by vendors or consultants). The Academy will develop curriculum guidelines, accreditation standards and processes, and host an online catalog of accredited programs and courses as they become available. Because of the nature of the courses, she suggests, several departments within a school or several schools could come together to offer all the parts of the program.

Why would that be? A quick look at an early outline of courses that might be in the program reveals they come from very different disciplines:

Technology courses: remote sensing, geoscience, geography, data management, GPS

Substantive courses: national security, military strategy, diplomacy, military organization, and structures

Communications courses: analytical thinking, writing, briefing

Capstone course: a project to tie these together

I found this list appealing for several reasons, not the least of which was that several of the ideas were put forward for a GIS masters program on which I recently worked. The emphasis on communications, I believe, will be a boon to those in business. And, the understanding of security, strategy, and other topics that are not covered in a typical liberal education may, in our time, be part of the background of a well-educated citizen. I had a colleague a few years ago who explained that college was designed to teach people to "read, write, and think." This program will do the equivalent of "read, write, and think" for geospatial intelligence.

I think this will be good for geography (which can use the boost) and for the schools involved. I learned from Pellicci that money that comes from certificate programs, like this one, typically goes into a department's discretionary funds, to be used by the department. That's in contrast to money from degree programs, which funnels back to the university. Said another way, this is another money stream for geomatics, geography, and other departments.

USGIF Award Winners
At the closing banquet for GEOINT 2004, the USGIF awarded its first set of awards for the GEOINT professional and student communities.

Dr. Andrew Lee, a senior scientist for Harris Corporation's Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD), was awarded the USGIF Research Achievement Award during the GEOINT 2004 Symposium. The award is presented to an individual or team for outstanding leadership and research contributions aimed at promoting the craft of geospatial intelligence and developing a stronger community among those who apply spatial data and geoprocessing to national security objectives. Lee and his team work on topographical data processing.

This year the Foundation granted four scholarships, all to current doctoral students who demonstrated academic and professional excellence in the geospatial intelligence tradecraft. The recipients were Charles Dietzel, Matthew Hutchinson, Kelly O'Neal, and Matthew Rice. Mr. Dietzel is currently completing his dissertation for his Doctorate under the Department of Geography at the University of California – Santa Barbara. Prior to attending UCSB, he attended Duke University, receiving a Master’s degree focusing on landscape ecology and the modeling of spatial systems. Hutchinson is a Doctoral student at Curtin University (Australia) and is currently enrolled in the Doctorate program. He has served as a GIS Analyst Intern at "NGIS in Australia Pty Ltd"; in Perth where his efforts were directed to adding security features to the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web services. O'Neal is a Ph.D. student in Geography from the University of Maryland who has worked as an image analyst. Rice is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California - Santa Barbara. He is a Research Assistantship at the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) where he is involved in the NGA-funded effort for the enhancement of NGA's Geographic Information Science Infrastructure.

One other set of awards was announced at GEOINT 2004: the winners of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) "2004 Innovations in Geospatial Intelligence BAA." The five companies that were selected will receive research and development funds at varying amounts that will total more than $1 million.

The winners include:

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.
($250,000) to study "Spatio/Temporal Automatic Cuing Using Wavelet Packets".

ITT Industries, Advanced Engineering and Sciences
($219,570) to study "Advanced Tasking for Spectral Technologies with the MESO/RUSTIC Rural and Urban Dispersion Capabilities and the SPEED Sensor Simulation Tool"

Advanced Software Resources, Inc., The ADAM Systems Group
($229,982) to study "AFF Enabled Geospatial Digital Asset Management Engine".

Raytheon Company, Intelligence and Information Systems
($206,563) to study "Assured Tracking from Variable Rate Multi-Source Imagery,"

Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping LLC, Leica Geosystems Defense Solutions
($109,534) Proposal: "Time Change Representation and Approaches for Updating and Managing Temporal Geospatial-Intelligence Information." I think Salem State College, north of Boston, is associated with this one.

HP Alleges GIS Software Patent Infringement Against Intergraph

Preetha Pulusani, President of Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, sent out a request recently asking for help from the geospatial community to resolve a recent patent complaint. Unlike many of the lawsuits in the technology news in recent years, this one concerns not hardware, but software. Of relevance to the geospatial community, the alleged patent infringement revolves around algorithms used in GIS software.

In June of this year Hewlett Packard issued a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Texas, Tyler Division, which alleged that Intergraph software infringed on two HP patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,574,839 [method and apparatus for automatic gap closing in computer aided drawing] and 5,694,536 [method and apparatus for automatic gap closing in computer aided drawing]). The two patents were actually assigned to Digital Equipment Corporation, which HP acquired in recent years. The two "sibling patents" as one of Intergraph's Chief Counsel, David Vance Lucas, describes them, cover the same material, but in different implementations. In brief, the patents are for software that automatically closes unclosed polygons. The algorithm is a bit more complex and might be understood in a series of steps: (1) select a number of line segments, (2) clip them out of a larger drawing, (3) looking within just the clipped out area, (4) insert closing segments. (5) If they would close, then close the figure. (5) If not, leave them as is.

Upon looking at the complaint, Intergraph's legal team felt the patent was overly broad and not novel. The company responded earlier this year and HP returned a redefined complaint which for the first time named the product that it alleges infringes on the patent: GeoMedia Professional.

In early October Intergraph responded to the redefined complaint with a set of "invalidity contentions" - basically arguing the patent was invalid. That document includes reference to prior art. Prior art is a legal term that refers to any indications of the patented idea or product being in use or even documented before the patent claim was filed (or before the date of patent conception, which can provide a bit of leeway before the actual claim was filed). Intergraph cites its own early products that predate the patent, including I/VEC, Edge Matching Software, TIGRIS, and Dynamo. There are also references to ARC/INFO and GenaMap commands. In the meantime, the company is looking for prior art from those in the broader community to boost its case.

Members of the Intergraph legal team mentioned a few things in a discussion with me last week that help put HP's actions in context. First , HP and Intergraph have been involved in lawsuits and counter lawsuits about hardware for several years. And HP, like Intergraph and others, has set up a division just to go after intellectual property rights infringement. HP has significantly increased its legal actions in the past year. Second, hardware patents are older and a bit easier to enforce than software ones. Hardware patents are "well proven in law" in contrast to software patents which really came into being in earnest in 1994. (The patent filings in this case are dated February 14, 1994 and November 12, 1996.) Third, HP has gone after Intergraph in areas such as scanning, where the concepts are used in a variety of industries. In at least one case, explained the Intergraph legal team, the HP patent addressed scanning in one particular area, but the company tried to stretch it to cover another (in that case, scanning use in geoimaging). The current "close the gap" patents stem from computer aided design, graphic animation, and digital media use. And, like the scanning patent, the two patents above were not specifically geared toward geospatial. So, while the concept might be novel in one area (scanning or CAD) and that may have been enough to be granted a patent at the time, it's unclear the patents were in fact novel in another area (geospatial imaging or GIS).

The bottom line, from my non-legal reading of the situation, is that this patent complaint could have been brought against almost any GIS (or even CAD) vendor. Like a few other patent complaints I've noted in recent year (Web mapping, contouring, even GIS/GPS integration) upholding this type of patent could do serious harm to the industry on the whole. The good news is that Intergraph has already compiled a good deal of its own "prior art." And, more is likely to appear. One of the most pulled Ph.D. theses at MIT for patent research was authored by Ivan Sutherland (of Evans and Sutherland) who wrote his thesis on an early drawing package Sketchpad in 1963. I'm not saying that document is prior art, just that CAD had a long history prior to 1994. If readers have information to share on this topic, drop me a line and I'll be happy to connect you with the appropriate contacts at Intergraph.

Daratech Releases Latest Geospatial Marketshare Data

Daratech has moved to the term "geospatial" (see Points of Interest below) and released its annual
press release detailing its findings on which companies are on top revenue-wise. The full report is available for purchase; the press release provides just a broad stroke overview.

The company forecasts total GIS core-business revenue will top $2.02 billion in 2004, an increase of 9.7% over 2003. 2003 core GIS revenue reached $1.84 billion, up 5.1% from the previous year. Core-business revenue refers to income from software, hardware, services, and data products.

As in previous years, together ESRI and Intergraph accounted for just about half the software revenues followed by (whether closely or in the distance, Daratech did not say): Autodesk, IBM, GE Energy (Smallworld), Leica Geosystems (ERDAS), and MapInfo. Software accounted for 65% of total revenue. Next was services, accounting for 24%, data at 8%, and hardware at 4%.

Regulated sectors (energy, telcos, etc.) account for 44% of revenue with public sector at 29%, and private sector at 24%.

It's very hard to say if any changes of significance have occurred from last year without details of the percentages. I suppose the one "jump" I see is the placement of IBM, which was further down the list last year. Still, that may be the difference of but 1% point.

Moreover, in the four years I've been trying to make sense of these numbers, there's been very little change at all in the ordering. I would hazard that's the sign of a mature market. If Daratech has identified a disruptive technology/company in its report, it's not sharing it via this release.

More interesting to me is who is missing from this top seven: Oracle? Microsoft? Trimble? Garmin? Do any of those count? What about open source technologies? I will suggest as the market continues to mature a different sort of measure might be appropriate, though I'm not prepared to suggest which one.

ECO Intern for Hire


I noted earlier this year I'd be sharing "job wanted" blurbs from current and former Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) interns. (I was an ECO intern in 1989. That position got me my start in this industry.)

Here's the latest potential hiree.

I am currently an ECO associate working in the recreation/wilderness department of the Bureau of Land Management in Ely, Nevada. I graduated from the University of Vermont in 2002 with a BA in geography, and a minor in geology. My work in Ely has lasted over a year with experiences focusing in GPS inventorying, digital photography, water quality testing, archaeology site identification, mining site identification, and GIS. We use ArcView 3.2, Arc 8, and GPS Pathfinder Office 2.9 to collect and manage our GIS data. I have experience in data gathering (fieldwork), data manipulation (database creation), and layout (maps/presentations).

Ideally I would like to work in the eastern or western US. The best way to contact me is via email ([email protected]) or cell phone (802-233-5730).

• Russ Gaulin of North Central Geographic Services here in Massachusetts suspects that cell phone jamming was occurring at a local hospital.

"Heywood Hospital in Gardner MA blocks cell phone use within and just outside the building, although I am not sure what the technology is about. I needed to call my insurance company from there yesterday and needed to walk across the parking lot before my signal returned. The policy to request that visitors refrain from cell phone use has been posted there for some time, but apparently it is now unnecessary to request compliance! Despite the inconvenience, I think it is ultimately a positive development for certain sensitive environments, and hospitals qualify in my opinion."

Gaulin called the hospital to ask about the jamming and was informed that the hospital does not give out that kind of information.

• Longtime reader Kirk Kuykendall of AmberGIS shared some thoughts on GIS and homeland security.

"Really enjoyed your GEOINT report.

"Seems like the GIS, um I mean Geospatial, industry is benefiting from fear just like a lot of those described here.

"No one seems to mention that Homeland security programming jobs are immune to offshoring.

"Is our industry being co-opted too?"

Points of Interest
Can't Get Enough? Read the latest Points of Interest daily on our

Mapping the Cameras. Activists and MIT researchers have adapted the desktop iSee Project for use in handheld devices. That means New Yorkers can carry around a newly created map of the city's security cameras - and try avoid them if they like. Maps are also available for other U.S. and two European cities. The idea is to promote discussions of privacy.

Covert Tenet. The Times-Picayune, the local New Orleans paper reported (some info required for access) that the "general media" not cover his talk at GEOINT 2004. Trade publications, including GIS Monitor, were invited to listen and report on the talk. "In a move that even conference organizers called 'bizarre,' Tenet insisted his remarks be closed to the general media but not to trade publications." Interestingly, The New York Times covered (sorry, requires payment) a bit of Tenet's speech. The latest on Tenet, announced this week: he's accepted a teaching position at his alma mater, Georgetown University.

AEC Tries Again. The "old" A/E/C Systems show is no more, but a new event, AEC-Science and Technology (AEC-ST) will take on "interoperability across all disciplines that exchange data in the process of planning, designing, building, owning and maintaining the world's structures and infrastructure" according to a press release dated Oct 18. The first AEC-ST is scheduled for Orlando on June 21-23, 2005. According to the website, responses to the Call for Papers were due last Friday. The conference includes an "AEC/GIS IT Analyst Conference" chaired by Brad Holtz.

Geospatial One-Stop RFQ Out. The Geospatial One-Stop Version 2 Portal Request for Quotation is on the street. Ok, well, it's online, and if you are tuned into GSA, you've already heard about it. If not, you can get a copy by emailing [email protected] and including the exact phrase GOS RFQ REQUEST in the subject line of the message. There will be a pre-proposal conference in Reston, VA on October 27, 2004 and proposals are due November 15, 2004. (That's less than a month away.) In other GOS news, the first county has added itself to the portal. It's Westchester County, New York, a very active GIS county, as I recall from my time at ESRI-Boston.

Quote of the Week. "Having followed the evolution of the GIS market for 15 years, Daratech is adopting the term 'geospatial' to replace and include GIS. In essence, 'geospatial' is 'geographic information systems' brought into the new millennium. Going forward, Daratech will broaden and deliver more value-added research in the geospatial arena." - Peter Littleton, Director, Corporate Development, Daratech, Inc.

The company proposes this definition for geospatial: "Geospatial data identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or man-made features and boundaries on the earth. This information is gathered from remote sensing, mapping, and surveying and other technologies. Geospatial technologies capture, store, manage, integrate, displays, analyze and otherwise assist in the interpretation of this data in its entire context for better decision-making."

Kudos and Conundrums
Have you seen something in our industry worthy of kudos? Or that makes you scratch your head?
Send it on. You may take credit or remain anonymous.

Kudos (concepts we applaud)

Maps Help Remove Landmines. Bill Rus, the president of Venture Analytics and founder of an organization called Roots of Peace is working to protect people from landmines. Rus got some help from his former employer, Autodesk, which donated its MapGuide software and services to effort to rid Croatia of landmines. It has been so successful that with additional contributions from Autodesk the effort is now also going to Angola and Afghanistan.

Open Source, Open Standards An updated document that explains how to implement open source Mapserver against a host of existing and forthcoming OGC specs is online. It covers: WMS, WFS, WCS, WMC, SLD, GML, and Filter. Much of the work can be credited to Environment Canada, DM Solutions, and Mapserver keeper Steve Lime.

Conundrums (concepts we question/give us pause)

No More NMEA for Garmin? Reader Sonny shared the news that Garmin, maker of GPS receivers for professionals and recreational hikers, fishermen, runners, and others has decided to discontinue support for NMEA (officially National Marine Electronics Association, NMEA 0183). NMEA is a data standard for GPS data. What's even odder, says Simon St. Laurent in O'Reilly Developer Blog, is that the company has moved away from a proprietary hardware connection to computers to standard USB.

Week in Review

Please note: Material used herein is often supplied by external sources and used as is.

Harris unveiled InReality Analyst Edition, the latest of its visualization software modules. Analyst Edition offers users a more powerful viewing application and enhances the value of 3D models by expanding their use across a variety of applications.

• Announcements
Avenza Systems Inc., producer of MAPublisher, announced that Real World GIS of Perth, Australia has been appointed as the regional distributor of MAPublisher and other Avenza products for Australia, New Zealand and other points the South Pacific area. The company also announced the winners of the 2004 MAPublisher Map Awards.

PCI Geomatics announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hansa Luftbild Consulting International GmbH of Muenster, Germany that outlines terms of collaboration for identifying and pursuing Image-Centric opportunities.

NAVTEQ announced the sponsors of the Global LBS Challenge, a contest that challenges developers to build location-enabled applications for wireless devices. The corporate sponsors include ESRI, Microsoft Corp., SiRF Technology, Inc., and Telcontar. Directions Magazine and the Wireless Innovation Network of British Columbia (WINBC) are the official media sponsors of the Challenge.

GeoDecisions recently became a member of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC).

NovaLIS Technologies added Group 1 to its Business Partner Program. NovaLIS Technologies is integrating Group 1's data quality technology to provide important value-added functionality within their product offerings.

Experian has acquired Simmons Research. Simmons is a provider of syndicated research information on what American consumers buy, where they shop, their attitudes and lifestyles, and the media channels they use.

Blue Marble Geographics announced a new partnership with German mapping software vendor, screen & paper. The German company will sell Blue Marble products.

IBM announced that it has developed a new telematics software platform for FleetBoard, a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, as part of its strategic relationship with DaimlerChrysler. The new architecture will enable FleetBoard, a provider of fleet-management solutions and telematics-based internet services, to further strengthen its position across the European market.

The U.S. Patent Office has awarded Meteorlogix a very broad patent for its innovative work on location-based alerting. Meteorlogix's unique technology enables organizations to automatically monitor weather conditions at locations around the world according to rules that the user establishes.

The Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. (OGC) announced a Request for Quotations (RFQ) from technology developers interested in an Interoperability Initiative to develop and deploy a reference implementation of OGC-based services at the state level in the U.S. The OGC Kentucky Landscape Census (KLC) Pilot Project advances OGC Web Services (OWS), the set of OpenGIS Specifications that comprise the interoperability framework for the emerging "Spatial Web." The implementation will become the basis for the Commonwealth's contribution to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Map.

TDS announced that surveyors can receive up to $1,200 when they trade-in their old data collectors and purchase a Recon or Ranger with Survey Pro.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions presented a total of six scholarships, awards, and grants to students and educators who have demonstrated exemplary performance in advancing the future of GIS at the 2004 GIScience conference, held this week at the University of Maryland. Intergraph presented three student travel scholarships with a total value of $2,000 (U.S.). The scholarships are used to cover the cost of registration, travel, and hotel accommodations for the conference. Applicants were required to submit both a resume and a paper or abstract demonstrating their involvement in the study of GIS. Scholarship recipients include Paul Robinson, University of Leicester (UK); Jeff Howarth, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Eeva Hedefine, University of Maine.

The United States Department of Labor has awarded a US$1 million grant to Nortel Networks Kidz Online, a non-profit digital education service, and the NASA Center for Distance Learning to conduct a special, two-year educational program that will use interactive multimedia tools and broadband connectivity to train workers of the future for jobs related to geospatial technology.

• Contracts and Sales
Michael Baker Jr., Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corporation, has been awarded a multi-year contract estimated at $10 million for data collection services in support of the U.S. Census Bureau's Geography Division.

The Government of Finland and ImageOne Co. Ltd. of Japan have signed US$3.44 million worth of RADARSAT-1 and -2 data and services.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has commissioned a powerful geocoding engine called QuickLocate, developed by Sydney based company MapData Sciences Pty Ltd, to streamline its data modeling capabilities.

The City of Indianapolis and Marion County have approved a license agreement for Pictometry's imagery and software.

Sanborn has purchased a Trimble GS 200 3D laser scanner. The LiDAR (light detection and ranging) instrument will be used as an alternate means of terrain and digital image acquisition.

Telcontar announced that Ask Jeeves, Inc. has selected Telcontar's Drill Down Server (DDS) to power its Map Search function on the Ask Jeeves website.

Tele Atlas and Clear Channel Traffic, a division of Clear Channel Communications, announced that they are ready to begin delivering nationwide traffic information for the top 50 markets to navigation systems using RDS/TMC -- the radio broadcast standard technology for delivering traffic and travel information to drivers.

GAF AG has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to setup a water management project appropriately known as AQUIFER. Essentially, AQUIFER will support national authorities and international institutions in aquifer management using tailored and GIS-compatible products and services that facilitate daily operations.

The City of Pearland, Texas recently switched to MapOptix to meet its enterprise GIS needs. MapOptix is an ArcIMS-based enterprise publishing.

• Products
NAVTEQ is teaming with NavInfo, a provider of a navigable digital map for China, to enable the creation of world class navigation applications and location-based services to meet Chinese market demand. Also, NAVTEQ has added five new attributes to NAVTEQ maps: enhanced geometry accuracy, speed limit, special speed situations, variable speed signs, and number of lanes.

SIA released dataMAP Version 3.11.

GfK MACON released "RegioGraph 8" and "DISTRICT 8" in premium-editions. The products include economy data and maps of all 25 EU member states. B2B- and B2C companies can gain insight into important markets. GfK MACON also provides complete 4-digit postcode areas all over China.

Radom-T's GIS ObjectLand is a GIS for Windows. There's a free version for use by non-commercial entities and education users.

- vector-raster maps;
- multiuser data editing;
- import/export for MIF/MID, SHP, DXF, DBF, CSV;
- access permissions for users;
- using native and external DBMS (ODBC);
- COM interfaces

Air-Trak, Inc., a developer of location, tracking, and messaging systems that support a combination of communications platforms and wireless networks, announced the availability of geofencing on its Cloudberry mobile resource management system. Fleets using Cloudberry can now automatically receive an alert when a vehicle or other asset enters or exits a user-defined geographic area. Alerts appear on-screen and by email, pager, or mobile phone.

Ubisense unveiled the newest version of its Smart Space platform, a location-based technology that can help reduce workplace facilities costs by 20 to 40 percent. The new version enables accurate real-time location of Ubisense UbiTags, as well as the ability to integrate a variety of different sensor types, such as RFID tags.

Microsoft wants people to know a few things about Pocket Streets 2005, which just shipped. It's available as a stand-alone product from retailers and online. It features GPS functionality for the Smartphone application (old versions only supported GPS on PocketPC). It has new maps of Australia, Brazil, and Greece, includes tools to measure distance, and has an improved user interface. The retail price runs about $24.95.

• Events
URISA's 42nd Annual Conference will get underway next month with an important keynote address from Jim Geringer, the former Governor of Wyoming.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) (formerly the Open GIS Consortium), announced that it will conduct live, multi-vendor demonstrations of Web-based geoprocessing interoperability at "Interoperability 2004 -- Integrating process, organization, systems." This conference, organized by the Institute for Defense & Government Advancement (IDGA) will be held October 20 - 21, 2004 in Washington, D.C.

During November SIA will be holding a number of free GIS browser seminars in the UK. SIA's dataMAP Internet GIS Browser is designed for incorporating a digital mapping portal within corporate websites.

Kuwait's 1st International Conference on Geographic Information Systems will be held February 5-7, 2005 at the Crown Plaza Hotel - Kuwait.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions and the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community, sponsors of GeoSpatial World 2005 to be held in San Francisco, California, April 26-28, encourage mapping and geospatial professionals to submit presentation proposals before the October 31 deadline.

The Geospatial Information and Technology Association's (GITA) has selected Chip Eichelberger as the keynote speaker for the opening session of GITA's Annual Conference 28, set for March 6-9, 2005, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo. Eichelberger is an expert at building peak individual performance and interactive team leading. He was an award-winning salesperson for Jantzen Sportswear before joining noted author and motivator Anthony Robbins in 1988.

• Training
ESRI Virtual Campus will present the free live training seminar, Working with Geodatabase Precision and Spatial Domain, on November 4, 2004, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. Pacific time. The seminar is designed for database administrators, GIS analysts, and anyone who needs to add data to a geodatabase.

• Hires
GeoDecisions will be relocating its Philadelphia office on Oct. 15. The company plans to move its suite, located at 1515 Market Street, to the 20th floor of the same building. Ric Johnson was recently named development manager for the company.

Dr. Andrew Clark, president of the Harris Corporation's Maritime Communication Services (MCS) subsidiary, has accepted a one-year assignment with Ocean.US, an interagency program office established to design, deploy, and operate a sustained Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Dr. Clark is the first industry executive invited to serve on Ocean.US; he will continue to provide executive oversight to MCS and serve in an advisory capacity to Harris throughout this temporary assignment.

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