December 6, 2001
Location Services Gets a New Partner, Renews Old One
- A New GIS
May Find Success in Fast Food
Points of Interest, Letters, Week in Review, Back Issues, Advertise,
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Location Services Gets New Partner, Renews Old One
made two “partner” announcements this week, hoping to foretell the
success of its Location Services Division. Several clients are already
in trials with the new offerings; more details are expected in the
coming weeks. There are two real questions: Will location-based services
really BE that popular? And, is short message service (SMS) the way to
go? Autodesk answers a hearty “yes” to both.
partnership is a deal with Ericsson to provide location-based services
via short message service. The product that integrates Ericsson SMS
Gateway and Autodesk LocationLogic will be marketed and sold jointly by
the two companies. Autodesk maintains that carriers supporting such
services will increase subscriber use of SMS, thus increasing revenues.
And, since a location-based query may use several inbound and outbound
messages (1. “Find me a Chinese restaurant,” 2. a list is returned,
3. one is selected, 4. directions are returned) that’s a fair
argument. Autodesk also argues that carriers can package and sell
services to corporate clients for uses such as logistics, again upping
allure of short message service? We in the US are not too familiar with
it, in part because US carriers can provide SMS support only within
their subscriber bases. So, as a Sprint PCS customer I cannot send an
SMS message to a Verizon Wireless customer. In Europe, because there is
a standard, SMS messages travel freely between carriers and between
countries. Further, since SMS messages are typically cheaper than phone
minutes, it’s frugal way to communicate.
Here in the
US, however, we may still get our chance. The new networks, such as GPRS,
may be the host to new services including expanded SMS. Further, since
the prices for mobile minutes are rapidly dropping, US carriers are
looking for new revenue streams and SMS may just fit the bill. Stay
partnership is with Fiat. Autodesk is releasing Autodesk MobileConnect a
software layer that opens the Connect telematics solution to GSM or GPRS
mobile devices. The idea is to make the Connect system, developed
jointly with Fiat S.p.A.’s TargaSys division, available to mobile
phones. The system works by sending, via SMS, the user’s “ID” and
location to a TargaSys contact center, where an operator then handles
the rest of the work. There are some 800 operators, ready to help in 14
languages. Alternatively, requests can be made using SMS only; the
conversation will be in the language identified in the user’s profile.
telematics system was launched in April 2001 in the new Alfa Romeo 147.
Ten percent of Alfa Romeo customers who purchased cars in which the
system was offered initially chose to subscribe. The system costs 200
euros per year. Today the percentage is up to 20%. Renewals are running
about 85%. If phone use of the service is as popular, Autodesk Location
Services future does indeed look bright.
Announces Availability of Autodesk MobileConnect http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120501Autodesk2.htm
Autodesk Location Services Offer SMS http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120501Autodesk.htm
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At a recent
meeting of the National Committee for Information Technology Standards (NCITS),
the Executive Committee approved the Spatial Data Standard for
Facilities, Infrastructure & Environment (NCITS 353). NCITS is the
group responsible for approving standards such as multimedia
(MPEG/JPEG), intercommunication among computing devices and information
systems (including the Information Infrastructure, SCSI-2 interfaces,
Geographic Information Systems), storage media (hard drives, removable
cartridges) and database (including SQL3).
NCITS 353 is
an open (nonproprietary) standard for use with CAD, GIS and database
software. It’s geared to work with such tasks as master planning,
environmental planning, site planning, engineering and lifecycle
maintenance for facilities/installations, infrastructure and
environmental applications. Basically it’s a means to model and
categorize real world geographic phenomena into a set of geographic data
that can be represented in a spatial database. It’s geared to large
scale (small area) implementations in the ballpark of 1:4800 (1 inch =
400 feet) to 1:600 (1 inch = 50 feet).
press release it occurred to me that this sounded vaguely like the old
Tri-Service Spatial Data Standards (TSSDS) now called Spatial Data
Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment (SDSFIE). So
far as I could tell, it IS that standard, written by the TriService
folks, just renamed and updated. And, of course, approved by NCITS.
Bobby Carpenter of CADD/GIS Technology Center confirmed my suspicion:
“Yes, the NCITS 353 originated from the SDSFIE,” he told me. “The
data standards are the same as the SDSFIE, but the NCITS electronic
tools provide a different interface and view of the GIS standard.”
is not a data format, but a database structure. The TriService has
detailed documents explaining how to implement the standard in ArcView
and Autodesk Map but the NCITS version will be more general. The
standard does not ensure data interoperability, that is, ArcView data
developed using the standard cannot be read into MicroStation, but it
does present a format such that you will know what to “expect” from
data developed in the other product.
that the approval will push the standard into wider use in homeland
security in these challenging times. SDSFIE, though aimed at military
facilities, did get widespread usage in municipalities, universities and
other campus-like environments. With NCITS’ blessing and a plan to
garner the approval of ANSI (American National Standards Institute), who
will provide the final CD product, the standard is getting a second
Approves New CD-Based GIS Standard http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120401ERDC.htm
Implementation Guides for ESRI ArcView 3.2a & AutoCAD Map http://tsc.wes.army.mil/products/tssds-
University was last week. Did you hear anything about the conference? I
didn’t. There was even a “GIS User Conference.” Did you hear
anything? I didn’t.
one big announcement, outside the GIS arena, that Autodesk would be
developing its own solid modeling kernel. GIS Café posted the press
release on their site and delivered it as part of their daily GIS news
the GIS side of the event was limited to SpatialNews. That site
published daily exclusive coverage developed and written by Autodesk.
The material amounted to some formulaic interviews with top management,
including biting questions like: “Autodesk today announced the
Autodesk Civil Series and Autodesk Raster Design. Can you give more
information on these?” It also included reviews of sessions that had
the ring of Autodesk marketing: “Autodesk MapGuide's powerful,
easy-to-implement client/server capabilities assembles spatial and
attribute data from multiple sources and delivers it in real time where
it is needed via the Web to thousands of simultaneous users inside or
outside the customer's organization.” And, there were requisite
pictures of hardworking attendees playing car race games on Compaq’s
computers in the AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) playpen.
To be fair,
this WAS coverage. Autodesk University at one time was a great event,
with lots of value. On my desk I still have my “thank you” clock for
teaching at the 1994 edition. But I’m afraid that Autodesk’s own
coverage will not help those of you hoping to convince management to
send you to the event next year.
Coverage of Autodesk University (provided by Autodesk) http://spatialnews.geocomm.com/events/autodeskuc2001/
Develop Solid Modeling Kernel http://www.tenlinks.com/NEWS/PR/AUTODESK/112801.htm
MAY FIND SUCCESS IN FAST FOOD
may soon mean McDonald’s commerce. McQuick service, being test
marketed in the Seattle area, allows mobile phone users to dial up
requests when near the restaurant, pull into a special parking spot and
pick up their meal, with no cash changing hands. There’s a 15-cent fee
for each transaction above the cost of the food, paid from a previously
set up “bank” account. Eleven Seattle Starbucks have a similar
service with a 25-cent tack-on charge. Ontain Corp is behind the
automation at both companies. As one Illinois GIS Association conference
attendee put it to me, this type of convergence of banks, big
corporations and phone carriers is truly the next big thing. Quite
small test areas for m-commerce in the US. The closest some of us in the
US come to m-commerce is perhaps using “Speed Pass” to pay for
gasoline at the pump. With the largest number of wireless phone users,
the US is still very far behind other countries in using wireless
payment services with less that .1% of users making a purchase of this
type in 2000. Yankee Group mobile analyst Adam Zawel notes that mobile
commerce is “not a very compelling proposition for the consumer.”
consumer survey taken by Jupiter Media Metrix says the main reason for
the lack of transactions is that users do not need what’s being
offered. But I for one think McDonald’s and Starbucks are counting on
the fact that our society is not much populated with people who like to
wait - even for fast food - and that they will be among the first
winners in the m-commerce game.
Food Just a Cell Call Away (MSNBC) http://www.msnbc.com/news/663846.asp?pne=msn
Happened to M-Commerce? (Ecommercetimes.com) http://wireless.newsfactor.com/perl/story/15042.html
Clarke, chairman of President Bush's Critical Infrastructure Protection
Board, is building a new map. This one will model the interaction of
many of the US’s key transportation, communications and energy
distribution lines. The idea is to beef up homeland security.
Union officials will decide tomorrow whether to release 450 million
euros ($405 million USD) in development funds for the Galileo project, a
new GPS satellite constellation to compete with the US version. The
project, if funded, would aim to go online in 2008. As we go to press
there is doubt as to whether private funds will be available to fill out
the budget projected to be 3.6 billion euros ($3.24 billion USD).
Murphy, 50, of Boulder, Colorado uses his GPS to mark the locations of
dog poop on the town’s Sanitas Valley Trail, a popular dog walking
trail. In a one-mile stretch he mapped 1,494 mounds in a recent trip,
compared with 708 in December 2000. He’s attempting to have the
animals banned from the trail, though the city leaders want dog lover’s
to simply obey the laws regarding pickup.
advocates had a field day recently when Gate5, a 2-year-old company
specializing in location-based services (LBS) put a demo that determines
whether a mobile phone is on or off on its website. That information can
be found by calling the phone, but this method, based on short messaging
service (SMS) gave anyone visiting Gate5's website access to a carrier’s
SMS system and, potentially, the information stored therein. The demo
has been shutdown, but the incident shows how carefully the messaging
and LBS industries are being watched.
Solutions, the company behind the Digital Angel “tracking watch”
aimed at tracking children and those with Alzheimer’s disease, has
announced a merger plan. The company is at work building a deal with
Medical Advisory Systems, a global telemedicine firm that operates a
24/7, physician-staffed call center in Owings, Maryland.
Grabowski reports in his upFront.eZine that Autodesk has officially
killed their Visio-killer, Actrix. Sales will be discontinued December
15 with support running for six weeks afterward. The technology may pop
up in other Autodesk products. I remember when Actrix was a big secret
at AEC in Philly in 1998. I guess it pretty much remained a secret.
- Brian L.
Soliday of Space Imaging wrote to provide some more info on John
Schroeder, the Afghanistan expert at Nebraska.
FYI, John Schroeder is from the University of Nebraska ‘at Omaha.’ I
took courses from John as an undergrad, and we UNO grads hate for the
"big" school, Univ. of Nebraska, to get credit for our
accomplishments. Also of note is that UNO is the Center for Afghan
Studies, so they have been getting a lot of press from the Sociology
angle as well.”
- K Davies,
who provided no affiliation, thought the US should look for Bin Laden
should be looking for Bin Laden in Langley, VA. After all, that's where
he was created.”
Dec 05 -
Axion Compresses Entire USGS Image Database http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120501Axion.htm
database of digital orthophoto quarter quads (DOQQ) totaling more than
13 terabytes of data is available from partner Pixxures.
Dec 05 - GDT
Data Powers FedEx Delivery Operations http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/011204/40142_1.html
three-year contract with FedEx Corporation will incorporate GDT data
into routing and dispatch operations.
Dec 05 -
Claritas Renews Agreement With Lowe's http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/011204/40123_1.html
will provide data to provide site and competitive analysis data for the
site selection process.
Dec 05 -
Telcontar and Oracle Put Location-based Services on the Map http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120501Telcontar.htm
companies are integrating Oracle9i Application Server Release 2 and
Telcontar’s Drill Down Server 2.1.
Dec 05 -
RouteMatch Announces Routing and Scheduling Solution http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/011204/attu001_1.html
systems, RouteMatch's RSE uses an advanced algorithm coupled with
Geographic Information System (GIS)-based routing and scheduling to
calculate the real travel time between two locations.
Dec 05 - RF
Micro says to buy GPS operations of IBM http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/011204/n04308027_1.html
Ok, I admit
it, I didn’t know that IBM HAD a GPS operation.
Dec 05 -
RoadSide Telematics Selects Kivera as Location-based Services (LBS)
is “the first solution to combine roadside emergency medical
information with an LBS solution.” The distinction from other systems?
EMS technicians can get access to your blood type, your allergies, your
doctor’s contact info. It’s a high-tech version of a medic-alert
Dec 04 -
Britain Redrawn in the Most Detailed Map Ever http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120401OS.htm
The new map
went live at the end of November, with 400 million features, with detail
down to mailboxes.
Dec 04 -
Tele Atlas North America Increases Positional Accuracy http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120401TeleAtlas.htm
recently completed the repositioning of its street map data in 93 of the
top 100 U.S. Census urbanized areas. The task included moving road
geometry to match the shape and position of roads as represented in
source material including ortho-rectified imagery and field-collected
Dec 04 -
Sanborn Chosen for Portugal Project http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120401Sanborn.htm
has signed a two-part contract with EDINFOR Sistemas Informáticos, S.A.
to assist with land base planning efforts in Portugal.
Dec 04 -
Exor Announces Multiple Linear Referencing For Applications http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/011203/02035434_1.html
Manager Version 3, a core software and database technology, allows
network-related events in a single database using multiple linear
referencing methods. The software integrates with popular GIS software
at the database server level.
Dec 04 -
Winners Announced In GIS Portion Of Digital State Survey http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/011203/01035394_1.html
number 1 in GIS, followed by Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan,
Washington, Montana, Utah, Arkansas and Wisconsin. Among the
requirements in the GIS/transportation portion of the survey were a GIS
coordinating body and a clearinghouse for GIS data.
Dec 04 -
NavTech Joins Intergraph's Team GeoMedia Program http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120401INGR.htm
As a Team
GeoMedia Register Solution Center partner, Navigation Technologies will
optimize its NAVTECH mapping data for the GeoMedia environment and
ensure that it integrates seamlessly with GeoMedia-based solutions. Says
NavTech’s European marketing manager, “We're excited to be the first
Registered Solutions Center, but it should not be a surprise to anyone.”
Dec 04 -
DigitalGlobal Partners with Earth Resource Mapping America http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120401ERM.htm
Resource Mapping entered into a software agreement with DigitalGlobal,
for the QuickBird sensor model. ER Mapper users will be able to manage
and customize QuickBird satellite imagery they license.
Dec 04 -
Maporama Partners with Ubitalk http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120401Maporama.htm
The two will
build applications designed specifically for call center management,
integrating Maporama's capabilities with Ubitalk's automated voice
Dec 03 -
Compaq’s iPAQ Navigation System Delivers Routing http://www.ffgb.presscentre.co.uk/news/release.asp?ReleaseID=6711
This is a
sort of iPAQ Map ‘N Go for the UK. Cost for the GPS add-on, software
and maps? With prices ranging from £499 to £999 the solution is about
4 or 5 times less than an in-car version.
Dec 03 -
MapCloud Partners with Maps.com http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/120101MapCloud.htm
will implement FreshMaps web mapping software.
Dec 03 -
Gibson Petroleum Selects Cquay to Add Location Intelligence http://biz.yahoo.com/cnw/011129/gibson_selects_cquay_1.html
Common Ground location intelligence platform will provide real-time
mapping and spatial analysis capabilities for Gibson's TIGER project, an
intranet-based, fleet management system.
Dec 03 -
Syncline Strikes Reseller Agreement With GDT http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/011203/30279_1.html
will offer customers GDT's Dynamap/2000 data.
Nov 30 -
SignalSoft Awarded Contract and Patent http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/113001SignalSoft.htm
subscribers in Poland will get location-based services in part based on
SignalSoft’s platform. The patent outlines an interface for obtaining
and managing location information from various location technologies,
including cell/sector, Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) and Global
Positioning System (GPS), and then directing the data to a mobile
Nov 30 -
URISA Announces Leadership, Award Winners http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/113001URISA.htm
Eichelberger, GIS manager for Chester County (West Chester, PA), begins
his term as URISA president.
Nov 30 -
USGS Provides Water Quality Maps for the Nation http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/113001USGS.htm
The app uses
MapInfo's MapXtreme Java software. I found the app to be a bit clunky,
but it seems to work. MapInfo released the same announcement several
Nov 30 -
Students from Top Universities to Use TerraSeer Software http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/113001Terraseer.htm
Inc., awarded over $16,000 in software to outstanding graduate student
research proposals in its first annual Graduate Research Contest.
Nov 30 -
Clark Labs Updates GIS and Mountain Environments Workbook http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/113001Clark.htm
deals with issues of representation and interpretation of a
3-dimensional space in two dimensions and the impact of such
representations on the data.
Nov 30 -
Space Imaging Names Paul Tinney as EVP of Global Alliances http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/113001si.htm
responsible for the business development and overall management of the
company’s Regional Affiliate program.
Nov 29 -
Autodesk To Give Resellers Exclusive on Subscriptions http://www.tenlinks.com/News/PR/AUTODESK/112801subscription.htm
to a first vice president at Merrill Lync, at the beginning of fiscal
2003, this coming February, only Autodesk’s channel will sell its
Nov 29 -
Avenza Releases SVG Initiative, MAPublisher-SVG http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/112901Avenza.htm
standard SVG files, which are natively exportable by Adobe Illustrator,
MAPublisher-SVG files retain all the data attribute tables and offer
searching and querying options.
Nov 29 -
general goal of the WLIA policy is to give subscribers of a
location-based service the ability to choose whether or not to have
geographically tagged personal information collected," said Tom
Morner, WLIA's vice president for Standards and Self-Regulation (GoAmerica
Nov 29 -
TELUS/ViaVis Mobile Solutions Test Voice-activated Location-based
content from Alberta.com and myTO.com, callers seeking the closest
location of, say, a specific music store, simply dial an access number
on a cellular or landline phone, verbally provide a location and request
the information. Using recorded audio and text-to-speech technology, the
system replies with verbal directions on how to get to the nearest
Nov 29 -
KOREM Named MapInfo Canadian Partner of the Year 2001 http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/112901MapInfo.htm
named "Canadian Partner of the Year 2001" by MapInfo for its
sales and product innovations.
Nov 29 -
NovaLIS Releases Permitting/Land Development Mgmt Tools http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/112901Novalis.htm
announced the official release of Land Development Office version 8.1.
Nov 29 -
Asian Gas Relies on British Technology http://www.tenlinks.com/mapgis/news/pr/112901LS.htm
technology is part of a new facilities management system at the Titas
Gas Corporation in Bangladesh.
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