GIS MONITOR, November 8, 2001
- Intergraph Continues to Make a Profit, MapInfo Does Not
- The Illinois GIS Association Conference
- GeoMode Locates Cell Phones Without Hardware Changes
Departments: Points of Interest, Week in Review, Back Issues,
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INTERGRAPH CONTINUES TO MAKE A PROFIT, MAPINFO DOES NOT
After introducing the new CFO, Larry Laster, who is also the CFO for
Intergraph Public Safety, Intergraph management got right to a very
earnings call. MapInfo’s was equally short, I’m pleased to report!
Jim Taylor reported that all five Intergraph divisions were again
profitable. The company reported a net income of US$1.2 million on
revenues of $127.1 million. Revenues, Taylor made clear, are flat and a
bit below projections, not because of any shift away from Intergraph
products and services, but rather because of a sluggish economy.
The five divisions' highlights look like this:
Process and Building – leasing revenues are up, seats are up 10%,
increasing numbers of customers are moving to leases, services were
expectations as the business grows
Public Service – profitability was up due to a large software
public safety demand is up while utilities and communications continue
Government Solutions – several long-term projects are now realizing
revenue, and next quarter will show low profitability due to the
Mapping and GIS – there is a decline in profitability due to the
profit” contribution of resources to the current war effort
Z/I Imaging – no significant notes on this group
On the corporate side Taylor noted changes in hardware and the sale
Middle East operation. Q3 saw the end of hardware services. Spare parts
and spare part repairs are the only ongoing activities. Intergraph is
selling the remaining Middle East assets. Divestiture will be complete
In response to a question about cost-cutting, Taylor noted a drop in
corporate costs and head counts in Q2 and Q3. He suggested that 9/11 has
created uncertainty and that each division will be impacted differently.
IGS receives substantial income from the federal government and expects
see it grow with the federal response to the recent attacks. Z/I sales
have slowed, but NIMA and homeland security interest may foster growth.
IPS will likely be flat in communications and utilities, but there is
increased interest in workforce and infrastructure management. Public
safety and airport security are two areas with active marketing agendas
the wake of the attacks. Airports in Pittsburgh and Chicago (Midway)
recently purchased facilities management systems. Plant and Building
Services revenue depends a lot on new building projects, which are
to be scarce in the coming months. Mapping and GIS will continue to be
supported by recurring government sales, while private sector sales will
remain weak until the economy rebounds.
The fourth quarter, generally the strongest quarter, was not kind
at least in part due to the disruptions of September 11. A net loss of
$2.1 million, or 14 cents per share, compares unfavorably with the
previous year's positive net income of $2.8 million, or 19 cents per
share. The company cut jobs and expenses and plans to break even on
revenues of $26.5 million per quarter. MapInfo shares lost about 81
percent of their value this year, from a high in the 50s.
Figures for the year further highlight the slump: although revenues
$110.0 million - up from the $96.2 million reported for fiscal 2000 -
income was $2.9 million, or $0.19 per share compared to $8.1 million, or
$0.54 per share, for fiscal 2000. President Mark Cattini noted that a
slight upsurge overseas, though lower than in the past five years, was
overridden by stagnancy in the US market. Asia/Pacific was up 45%,
in Australia. Cattini noted that the company hopes to continue to pursue
CRM (customer relationship management) accounts and push forward with
their location-based services initiatives.
The layoffs numbered 67 - about 8% of the company worldwide. 23
eliminated positions were in sales and marketing.
Predictions are for a stagnant first quarter of 2002 and 25% growth
second half of the year.
MapInfo has been stalking the wireless/location-based services (LBS)
for 18 months. The company announced its LBS platform, MiAware, built on
existing server technology with new LBS tools. MapInfo signed a big
contract at the end of September with Siemens, with delivery expected in
early 2002. Revenues are already coming in for this project.
The pricing model for LBS is still in development, and MapInfo’s
goal is to get the technology to the carriers. The carriers are moving
slowly on this large technology investment. The Siemens bid was one of
bids MapInfo put out, mostly unpaid. LBS may be 5% of total revenues for
PSAP Pro for call process planning was released in Q2. There are
21 users of this dataset. MapInfo hopes to offer a complete solution,
the data integrated with its software, in the future.
Cattini noted that there was an increase in the public sector's use
MapInfo products after September 11. CRM is growing too, especially in
conjunction with MapInfo partners, such as Seibel. MapInfo currently has
the only validated LBS solution for that platform. The expectation is
a “perhaps seven figure” revenue from that partnership in Q2 of next
A question about the reseller channel revealed that 30% of revenues
from that sector, a bit lower percentage than in most quarters.
A question about MapInfo’s wireless/LBS competitors had the company
leadership touting a slight landscape shift. MapInfo hopes to
itself by providing an application platform first, and apps as needed.
Other companies hope to build just applications. MapInfo feels that
getting in on the ground floor with the platform will assure income no
matter who builds the apps. The Webraska/AirFlash merger has created a
short-term competitor, but in the long term MapInfo expects to compete
with traditional GIS vendors “when they pay more attention to it.”
Intergraph Reports Revenue Down But Shows Profit in Q3
MapInfo Swings Into Net Loss
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THE ILLINOIS GIS ASSOCIATION FALL CONFERENCE
I continue to be impressed with the work that gets done at the
GIS conferences. ILGISA’s fall conference (they also have one in the
spring) gathered about 200 of the state’s practitioners for a two-day
event. Day one was a series of half-day workshops, including a hands-on
session from ERDAS; day two included the keynote and nine paper
The vendor area was so full that some vendors were turned away!
A well-attended vendor-led workshop on GPS covered the basics of GPS
highlighted the differences between recreational, mapping and survey
instruments, and presented a clear picture of the issues involved with
each type. It’s good to know that there are still those new to GPS,
the questions tackled issues beyond the basics – the possible return
selective availability, the resources for real-time correction and the
reasons for limited satellite access during the solstice.
New to me were the GPS corrections available from the Federal
Administration: Wide Area Augmentation System, WAAS, and Local Area
Augmentation System, LAAS. The former, for wide area correction, is
and in use, especially by those in precision agriculture, though the
system is still in beta. Unfortunately, the service was shut down for
routine maintenance just after September 11, which caused a bit of a
scare. LAAS, a local, more detailed correction stream, is expected in
coming years. The idea is that the location information will be good
enough to land a plane, automatically, in white-out conditions.
Two attendee presentations were of particular interest. One
group of Illinois municipalities that banded together in a consortium to
benefit from economies of scale. By working together, they get a good
and can provide effective support to those just getting started. The
second presentation, from the GIS manager of the tiny Village of Vernon
Hills shared his tips for putting together a “no budget GIS.” He
highlighted applying for grants (money, hardware and software), looking
for alternatives to expensive aerial photograph (such as Kodak’s 6”
resolution 2000 imagery, which runs about $300 per square mile), and
creative solutions to data collection. He had an intern collect data on
iPaq running the beta of ArcPad. Because he didn’t need GPS, he used
detailed imagery on the handheld to locate signs and capture their
attributes. He also pointed out how much free data he could get from the
local county. The best piece of advice I picked up was that if you are
running a mapping group (rich or poor) getting maps up on the wall makes
it clear that “you are doing something.”
ILGISA, The Illinois GIS Association
Geographic Information Consortium
FAA and GPS Correction Programs
GEOMODE LOCATES CELL PHONES WITHOUT HARDWARE CHANGES
Digital Earth Systems seems to have come up with a winner: a
software-only method of locating any wireless devices called GeoMode.
is a clear advantage over other solutions to locating devices, which
require either upgrading the phone itself (say with a GPS receiver) or
cellular network towers (to better triangulate location).
Needless to say, the company is a bit sly about explaining in detail
the process works, but it has to do with “analyzing the current
signal data” from the device. Fair enough. The demo (which requires
requested a password) tracks three devices, at least one of which is in
New Zealand, and communicates with the phone and shows its current
location on a map. I supposed the requirement for tracking is knowing
“I.D.” of the phone, perhaps its phone number.
According to the company, anywhere there is a phone signal for the
the location can be determined, which is not necessarily the case with a
GPS-based locating solution. Clearly, the solution is raising eyebrows.
LocatioNet announced its new partnership with Digital Earth this past
Cambridge Systems and AirFlash have also demonstrated a similar
triangulation system, as has CellPoint.
In many ways the argument about how to locate wireless devices
reminds me of the old argument in Internet mapping about whether to use
vector delivery. A raster solution needs no action on the client side,
while a vector delivery typically requires a download. Each has its
strengths. In the end, I’ll suggest that most solutions to date are
simpler raster. I expect that in the early days of location-based
services, the software-only solution will prevail.
LocatioNet and Digital Earth Systems Partner on LBS
Why carriers may need to look for a non-GPS solution to E911
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Microsoft’s new MyCar service alerts Seattle drivers about
problems on their phones or computers. But an article in the Seattle
suggests there’s more to it: Microsoft is going after AOL-style
subscription revenue even while it “teaches” new users how these
will work. Now free, the service is expected to grow into a
fee-for-service model in the future.
- Aerie Networks, which bought Richochet, the wireless ISP, last
for $8.25 million, has plans to let city governments sell the service in
much the same way that utilities provide consumers with water and
- The geography of the Internet is continuously mapped. A study
Packet Geography 2002 measured and ranked global Internet cities
to how much Internet capacity links them to other areas of the world. To
many experts' surprise, a stop in the US is becoming less and less
as worldwide Internet growth climbs. The top five cities in terms
interregional bandwidth include only two in the US:
1. New York 149,989.5 Mbps
2. London 85,518.7 Mbps
3. Amsterdam 24,479.6 Mbps
4. Paris 22,551.8 Mbps
5. San Francisco 20,813.6 Mbps
- TYDAC has been porting its mapserver, Neapoljs, to LINUX. According
the company the solution is completely based on Open Source Software:
LINUX (Operating System), Apache (Web-Server), MySQL (Configuration
Database), PHP (application Server) and MapServer
(Web-Mapping-Software). The server supports MapInfo TAB, ArcView Shape
and SDE. The group hopes to add support for a Geo-Database, though I’m
not sure what that means in this context.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Nov 07 - BusinessMAP Travel Edition Now Available
BusinessMAP Travel Edition is priced at $49.95 and includes the complete
Dun & Bradstreet business listing, searchable down to 8-digit
Nov 07 - Nebraska Conservation Organization Selects ERDAS
ERDAS software will further on-going prairie restoration, conservation,
education and community development projects across the state.
Nov 07 - Maptech Adds Hi-Tech GPS Sleeve for Pocket Navigator
The GPS sleeve, which works with Pocket PC devices, costs $250. For that
the company claims you get better maps (on your $500 handheld device)
on a GPS that includes maps.
Nov 07 - TRANSMAP Delivers Roadway Asset Inventory
In less than two weeks, TRANSMAP field engineers captured digital images
of roadway assets on 285 centerline miles, information that will be used
to update the village’s existing GIS generated from orthophotos.
Nov 07 - Leica Geosystems Announces Second Quarter Earnings
The company met revised guidance. Delayed GIS orders, which amounted to
approximately US$4.0 million, were caused by the events of September 11.
Nov 07 - MapInfo Part of $3-5 Million California GIS Contract
The company was selected as a preferred vendor in a multiple award
contract designed to provide geographic information software,
and services to state and local agencies. Interestingly, the company
nothing that I recall about local government in their earnings call.
I’ve not seen them at a “local government” type of GIS show in
Nov 07 - Laser-Scan Technology Helps to Launch Land Cover Map
The map updates the Land Cover Map of Great Britain (LCMGB) of 1990 and
was produced with the aid of Laser-Scan's technology.
Nov 06 - U.S. to Renew Exclusive Rights to Satellite Images
NIMA said the 30-day contract, worth at least $1.91 million, would
on Dec. 5, but the government had the right to terminate the agreement
any time. NIMA must pay Space Imaging an additional fee, calculated at
per square kilometer, for any satellite data it uses.
Nov 06 - GeoConcept SA Launches New Version of GeoConcept
“G5 is specifically designed to fulfill two key production criteria:
simplicity of use and power.” G5 to me means Generation 5, which was
another GIS company.
Nov 06 - Cross Country Automotive Services Partners with Kivera
Kivera will integrate its Kivera Location Engine technology into CCAS's
existing infrastructure, and the enhanced capability is scheduled for
availability in early 2002.
Nov 06 - Schneider Corporation Expands GIS Services
The company will now support solutions for gas distribution mapping,
electric distribution mapping, and municipal gas and electric
Nov 06 - IntelliWhere Shows LBS Solutions in Sweden
The company is previewing a soon-to-be announced intelligent location
product for personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Nov 06 - NAVMAN and Tele Atlas Team Up
NAVMAN will incorporate Tele Atlas' digital maps into its wide range of
B2B applications and B2C consumer products.
Traffic to TenLinks Sets New Record
Thanks for visiting us!
Nov 05 - Manitoba Hydro Chooses TerraPoint's LIDAR Technology
Now this is cool – a Manitoba Hydro company will use LIDAR to map
Nov 05 - The City of Saskatoon Implements Enterprise GIS
Another city picks ESRI.
Nov 05 - Huntington County (IN) GIS Releases Internet Application
The release of this application, on GIS Day, concludes four years of
development of the countywide GIS.
Nov 05 - Detailed Height and Terrain Data Available From eMapSite
The new agreement will allow eMapSite to offer and deliver interpolated
grids with output resolution identical to the 10m input resolution. The
agreement is with Ordnance Survey.
Nov 02 - Telemorphic Launches Free Afghanistan Web Mapping Site
The interface is nice, but the data is rather slim. But then, the goal
here is to introduce their front end for ArcIMS.
Nov 02 - UK Royal Air Force Chooses Geomatica by PCI Geomatics
The Air Force will use Geomatica for their data translation and various
other production tasks.
Nov 01 - U.S. Department of Agriculture Extends LANDSAT 7 RSI
The contract now runs until September 30, 2002. The data is used by USDA
to estimate crop production, investigate crop vigour/health, and to
the extent of crop damage from adverse weather.
Nov 01 - Trimble GPS Helps Respond to Forest Fires in Portugal
With the help of Trimble’s technology the region's firefighting
are better able to accurately locate and quickly respond to forest
Nov 01 - Syncline Chosen By OGC To Develop Software Specifications
Well, not exactly, since Syncline will work with ESRI to create
specifications for a geographic data and services registry system.
Nov 01 - MDA Delivers 3D Map of Columbia to NIMA
The data comes from Canada's RADARSAT-1 Earth-observation satellite.
Nov 01 - Autodesk Announces Autodesk MapGuide 6
What’s new: Support for Oracle9, map editing for non-technical users,
support, ECW and MrSid support, and a new symbol manager.
Nov 01 - Zonith and European Standard Software Enter Partnership
The partnership covers joint development of new innovative Location
Services for the Mobile Internet, exchange of geographical map data and
joint marketing and sales of both companies' products.
Nov 01 - Leica to Reduce Construction Instruments Workforce
72 positions will be discontinued.
Nov 01 - ESRI's 2nd Education User Conference Announced
The EdUC is scheduled for July 5-7, 2002, in San Diego, California,
immediately before the ESRI International User Conference, July 8-12,
Nov 01 - Next-Generation MediaMapper 4.0 Released
Better digital editing and enhanced HTML export top the new features.
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