December 16, 2004


• Editor's Note
• Chasing the GECCo
• Acquisitions, Acquisitions!
• More from Autodesk University

This issue sponsored by:
GITC America

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

If, for some reason you cannot read this document, visit:

Editor's Note

I'd like to keep readers up to date on the GIS Monitor holiday schedule. Next week, Dec 23, the great tradition of the annual "top ten" continues with my pick of the top geospatial happenings of the year. Have one to suggest? Drop me an e-mail.

The following week, Dec 30, GIS Monitor will go on vacation. The first issue of the new year will be in your mailbox on January 6, 2005.


Chasing the GECCo

I've read a few articles covering GITA's GECCo (Geospatially Enabling Community Collaboration) program, officially part of the association's
NGI4CIP initiative. The whole project has happened very quickly, beginning with a GITA-sponsored trip to Japan to explore its Road Administration Information Center (ROADIC) project. That's written up here (pdf). What came out of that and a request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on critical infrastructure, was an effort by GITA to explore the "ability to leverage geospatial to support communities to respond to events that impact critical infrastructure." Events, it's important to note, come in several flavors, but require much of the same kind of community participation and response. In the GECCo world, "events" are classified as natural (floods, hurricanes, etc.), man-made (terrorism), and the everyday accidents caused by routine digging (excavation).

The GECCo project formally began with meetings at the Seattle GITA conference earlier this year, a workshop in Hawaii (which was chosen in part because of its similarity to situations noted in Japan), and a November workshop in Denver. The workshops bring together the players of a geographic community to tackle the big bugaboo in this work: data sharing.

I visited a GECCo event in Washington, D.C. last week that served as a milepost of sorts, describing work to date and exploring the way forward. A sampling of people around the table included many GITA board members (from private utilities, public utilities, and private companies), Open Geospatial Consortium staff, Association of American Geographers staff, state and national one-call organizations, a representative from the Department of Homeland Security, a staffer for Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, and GITA staff.


GECCo is GITA's response to Strategic Directive HSPD-7, which deals with the protection of critical infrastructure. Ryan Cast of DHS requested GITA input after the Japan trip noted above. After some discussion "the primary obstacle of data sharing" was identified as the focus for the effort. The pilot projects, planned for launch next year, most likely, will bring together players in a single community, in a single geography, to address data sharing issues. The goal is to create a body of knowledge, a framework that can be shared with other communities. That framework will include the identification of key data, processes, interoperability and enterprise architecture insight, and technical information. Dave DiSera of EMA, Inc., who facilitated the briefing, was quick to point out that perhaps, ten years ago, the bulk of issues may have been technical, whereas today, they are focused in other areas, notably those involving people.

This structure or framework will be "what should already be in place" in a sense, to be ready for "events." In fact, someone noted, the framework should be in use every day. A representative from D.C. government noted that local government (and other government officials, for that matter) have "asked for too much" from utilities. He went on to say that "what we need are guidelines for what a responsible utility should provide and what a responsible government should ask for." That, another attendee noted to me later, is really what this project is about, bringing the two groups to a compromise that will serve both.

The Project

GECCo is laid out in three phases. The first is to validate a process, run workshops, set up pilots, and hopefully fund pilots. The second involves developing an implementation plan for the resultant framework. The third involves longterm/ongoing community projects, with some GITA monitoring and support.

The Workshops

At each workshop, attendees participate in three activities: identifying barriers to data sharing, identifying security/collaboration issues and efforts, and finally, walking through a "customized incident." During the incident attendees consider the types of data needed to respond, who owns it, issues involved in using it, etc. The issues noted in the scenario are broken down into technical issues, practical/organizational issues and data issues. Most fall into the last two categories.

The Findings Thus Far

The most interesting part of the overview for me was the summary of findings of the two workshops completed to date. They can be divided into three areas: what's needed (which falls into four themes: collaboration and support, data and database management, interoperability/access and practice/process), barriers to data sharing, and keys to success.

Here are some of the items identified:

• What's needed:

Collaboration/Support - data agreements, contracts for data collection during incidents, lists of personnel and vendors with skills needed during an incident, funding, backup data center, consolidation of multiple datasets into a single environment

Data and Database Management - database model, single landbase, metadata

Interoperability/access - media plan, interoperability standards, mobile mapping, assign data collection jobs ahead of time (to internal or external players)

Practice/process - organize internal and external players, ensure there are duplicate centers, establish production across agencies

• Barriers:

security issues, the sharing of competitive information, vulnerability of some infrastructure is not known, data in different formats, data with different accuracies, what can be shared vs. what cannot, how can data provided be used?, data completeness, data timeliness, emergency response plans out of date, some players do not yet use GIS

• Keys to Success:

funding, a dedicated pilot team, identification of key stakeholders, clear roles and responsibilities, educated local officials, educated company executives, following state/federal mandates, a common operating picture, ties to National Response Plan, facilitation by a non-biased organization (like GITA)


The team around the table shared a wealth of experiences and suggestions:

We need to make this type of collaboration "a local issue." In fact, local efforts should drive policy. If we wait for federal efforts to mandate sharing, not only will it take too long, the policies will not be the best for local entities.

In Pennsylvania, 300 of the 3,000 members of the commonwealth "one call" organization have put their data into a shared database, accessible only for "one call" purposes. Thirty-seven states mandate participation of utilities in state one-call efforts.

Each geography/organization had a story about how they "got into"/ "were pushed into" collaborating. In Edmonton, Ontario, Canada, an explosion involving gas and water infrastructure was the impetus. The participant went on to note that moving to the metric system was a second reason to "get everyone on the same basemap." In Jacksonville, Florida, site of the next workshop, the "Better Jacksonville" effort helped CEOs involved see that it's cheaper to "dig it up once" rather than not share data and dig multiple times. Recent challenges caused by hurricanes were a second contributing factor to interest.

Several utility representatives noted that there's been a "change of heart" about data sharing. While there have always been "proprietary" short term data use agreements ("you can use this data for this purpose for this time, and then must destroy/return it"), utilities are understanding the value of providing up-to-date, but not necessarily detailed data about roughly where their pipes and wires are. Figuring out the level of data needed by local governments and the need to keep competitive information "close to the vest" need to be balanced.

Liability is a key barrier to data sharing. No one wants to share data if they cause an accident. Several people suggested a "federal law on liability" or a "geospatial good Samaritan law." One astute geographer noted that the data sharing success going on in Honolulu may have a lot to do with its island geography, somewhat less connected, than say, Denver. I suppose that's may be another factor that makes it "more like" Japan, too.

The National Pipeline Management Service (NPMS) work was cited as a successful example of sharing with "stick rather than a carrot." Pipeline companies must put their data in the system, or they are fined with a $1 million penalty. The National Map was cited as another (but less "stick-like") example.

In retrospect, said a representative from a private utility, instead of selling base data to local communities, years ago, they should probably have given it away. That would have been a simple way to ensure everyone was on the same landbase, which would save money today and further enable sharing.

Next Steps

The GECCo players are already compiling results from past workshops and validating them with the participants. Honolulu is complete and Denver is in review. GITA is briefing federal agencies on its work and exploring input/participation of other organizations. Finally, the team is working on funding for more workshops, pilots and longterm support.

My Take

The representative from Senator Akaka's office made clear that she was having a difficult time distinguishing the GECCo effort from other geospatial efforts. While that was disappointing, I can't fault her. There are a number of similar efforts, for sure, that even we inside the geospatial arena have trouble parsing. So, what is different in GECCo? It's focused on local geographies (grass roots, ground up), it has a clear base in utilities (where GITA came from, remember AM/FM International?) and it's already shown some level of success and interest. Finally, it's led by a "nonpartisan" group. I for one am very impressed with the work to date and hope it will grow further.

Try FME Suite 2004 ICE Today!

Acquisitions, Acquisitions!
Business writers have a variety of acquisitions to discuss this week. Of course there's the long awaited "Larry Ellison usually gets his way" Oracle acquisition of PeopleSoft. I don't have much to add on the Oracle acquisition; for a geo-take on that, check out this


Then there's the "interesting only to those in GIS, IT, or utilities" majority investment in Miner and Miner by Telvent ("specialize[s] in solutions with high added value, in four specific industrial sectors [Energy, Traffic, Transport and Environment] in the Americas, Spain and China.)" Both Miner and Miner president Jeff Meyers and ESRI president Jack Dangermond will retain an equity interest in the company for now, but Telvent has an option to acquire the remaining equity at a future date. This investment, and perhaps eventually this acquisition, prompts me to think about where GIS should fit in the business landscape.

There are a few options. In the early days GIS was offered only by GIS/software companies. ESRI and Intergraph come to mind, though of course the latter offered hardware products.) That situation "works" as MapInfo, Autodesk, and many smaller GIS companies have popped up. Some consulting organizations offered software; Convergent Group comes to mind. That situation had limited success for Convergent, the consulting arm of which was acquired by SchlumbergerSema, which was in turn acquired by Atos Origin. The software is still supported by Informatix. About the time I started watching the GIS market seriously, vendors in a particular industry began acquiring GIS software for their arena of expertise. GE acquired Smallworld and later MJ Harden. Marconi Wireless acquired Northwood Technologies Vertical Mapper, which was widely used for cell communications analysis. While Vertical Mapper did in time revert to MapInfo ownership, Smallworld and MJ Harden still live within GE.

The Telvent investment is a bit different as the company is an IT company aimed at a variety of "GIS friendly" sectors. Is that a better fit than Smallworld's and Harden's at GE? Recall that GE makes products and provides non-IT services for electrical and pipeline projects. Does a specialized GeoIT software/services provider fit better within a broader IT shop like Telvent's? Oracle, IBM and Microsoft certainly are growing GIS/spatial groups internally. To date however, it's my understanding those are 100% horizontal offerings which are not specifically targeted to one or another industry. That of course may change.

The week's latest acquisition with a geo-twist occurred on Wednesday morning: the $35 billion Sprint acquisition of Nextel. Sprint is the number 3 wireless carrier in the US; Nextel is number 5. Together, they'll still be number 3, to Cingular (with its orange asterix mascot) and Verizon (with its slogan "Can you hear me now?"). Nextel has the most visible (and comprehensible) campaigns touting location-based services. Many of Nextel's Motorola phones are GPS-enabled, including several rugged, field-usable offerings. It's jumped on the TeleNav bandwagon (a phone service offering directions and shortcutting the need for an in-car GPS). When I looked into a local tracking solution (uLocate) it was all about Motorola phones (and some European ones, too, that were just becoming available in the U.S.) as are other LBS offerings. So, I for one, as a long-time Sprint user am curious how LBS will play out across the merger.

More from Autodesk University
Finally, one more note from the exhibit floor. At the urging of HP during its visit to the AUGI meeting, I looked in on its
HP Remote Graphics Software. While most of the application for this type of thing seems to be for mechanical design apps, GIS users might find it useful, too. Here's the deal: One machine (the sender) "drives" a fancy 3D application (whatever you like - think of a flythrough or even a 3D drape, something graphically challenging) and "client machines" (receivers) with a small software installation can view it (and its motion) in just about real-time. That includes real time spinning, etc. Now the cool part: one of the clients can take control of the application and drive, and again, everyone else sees the changes and cool graphics in real-time.

So, what's the difference between this and say NetMeeting? Mostly, it's that the HP solution is optimized for complex graphics. The software compresses the graphics (no data is transferred) and zips them over to the other machine. It looked really smooth when the two machines were side by side on a wired network, but the reps did note that on dial-up it'd get a bit crunchy, but still be workable (and far better than NetMeeting). Still, for distant visualization and collaboration, it's pretty cool. It's cheaper for HP hardware than for non-HP hardware, but the prices quoted seemed pretty reasonable to me.

• Anthony Quartararo shared comments on two points from last week's issue. First, he disagrees with the Florida ruling that stated a county could not copyright, and thus not get royalties from the resale of public data by private companies. Second, he wonders about the Open Geospatial Consortium.

"I would disagree with the judge who ruled against Collier County, FL. Whether or not the public had previously paid for the data development and maintenance through taxes would seem irrelevant to the County charging a 'cost-recovery' or 'licensing' fee to a commercial entity for its own for-profit use. This is an important difference. The public at large should not be assessed this fee, or at least not more than a nominal reproduction fee (i.e., paper printout or CD burn charge) for the same data, but for a commercial company to have essentially unlimited and 'free' access to this data in order to generate corporate profits does not exactly 'reimburse' the taxpayer for having paid to develop the data in the first place. A more amenable arrangement would be a fair and equitable cost-sharing arrangement where the County charges less than 'fair-market value' to the commercial firm, in exchange for the commercial firm agreeing to update and maintain the database on a frequency that is acceptable to the County. There are many examples where this has worked to everyone's mutual benefit, particularly in the utilities market.

"Where would GDT, and [its] subsequent sale price to TeleAtlas be, without the inexpensive access to the TIGER line data, but correct me if I am wrong, but did the US Census ever benefit from that unilateral arrangement? In fact, didn't the US Census just issue a project that would exceed $1B in taxpayer money to 'improve' this national dataset? How many times over will taxpayers pay for updates to US Route 1 (Maine-Florida) before we (taxpayers) get 'reimbursed.' MapQuest, Navteq, TeleAtlas, Yahoo, the list goes on, surely the market cap of all these commercial for-profit entities would demonstrate the value of the data at the core of their respective businesses, which in many cases, was paid for by taxpayers.

"Sure they have all invested a lot of their own corporate resources to add 'value' to those basic datasets, just as MicroDecisions has surely done, but the judge should not have limited the County from doing business. Commercial entities do not represent the 'public' at large, so, they should have to pay to play.

"You wrote; 'The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced a new trademark licensing fee structure that increases the value of membership for current members while making new membership more affordable. (It's sort of complicated, read the website.)'

"The part in the parentheses is the most telling. OGC continues to barrel ahead, not a week seems to go by without some new press release about some new initiative, licensing scheme or standard. But if you, someone that is on top of the daily vibe of the industry suggests that something OGC does is complicated, then what about the normal, everyday industry professional who is not elbow deep in all-things OGC? And this 'complicated' item isn't really even about technology, but rather a 'trademark licensing' fee structure. Well, as the saying goes, if it looks like, tastes like, smells like, it must be…"

The editor replies: On the first topic, I point readers to a second article on the decision here. I'm still trying to digest the implications of the decision, and the legal issues. The Appraiser's lawyer says his client will "request a rehearing with the Lakeland court before possibly taking the case to a higher court, such as the U.S. Supreme Court."

On the second, I agree that what OGC does is complex. And, that includes its recent licensing program. Still, the licensing, despite its complexity, does benefit the licensees; it's cheaper than it was in the past. (I consult to OGC.)

• Bruce Westcott sits on the other side of the Collier County ruling. Just to put his comments in context he notes that he served as Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Geographic Information, Inc. from 1990-1998. He was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed under Vermont's "Access to Public Records" statute in 1991 and dismissed by the Vermont Supreme Court several years later.

"I marvel at the chutzpah that local jurisdictions continue to demonstrate on the general topic of 'Public Records in the USA,' after all the discussions in GIS circles over the past decade. Granted: there are 50 state laws, and many differences. But a pretty constant theme is that public information can be used by citizens (not just taxpayers) for their private purposes, unless otherwise unlawful. And usually for some nominal cost.

"Does the same county appraiser feel that companies in the business of delivering goods and services should be dunned for their use of the public highways? The old news is that they already are paying their share! The dunnage is called "taxes," and these levies pay for great varieties of public goods and services, including public information. Wherein lies the distinction between tax-financed highways and tax-financed information?"

The editor replies: An editorial in the local Florida paper agrees with Mr. Westcott, but for a different reason: that it keeps access open to all citizens. A copyright, it is argued, would limit that access.

• Long-time reader Keith Raymond at Bentley Canada shared his trick to finding lost cars in the parking lot.

"Here's my take on locating lost cars. I travel a lot and have to rent cars in many cities. After so many cars, most of them bland looking, you can very easily forget what kind of car you rented. The good news is that most cars now come with automatic door unlockers and trunk openers. I call these devices AVL for automatic vehicle locator. You just need to get yourself back to the general area where you parked and press the trunk button. Trunk flies open and you know where your car is!"

Points of Interest
Note to Points of Interest Fans. Read the latest Points of Interest daily on our

News From Space. This week's coverage of the Colorado Space Rendezvous revealed a few interesting things. First, the Arlington, Va.-based Aerospace Industries Association said that sales in the aerospace industry rose 8 percent in 2004 and that its 2005 forecast is for 7.5 percent growth. Space Imaging chief executive Robert Dalal said he the loss of the contract to ORBIMAGE was not the end of the company. "While consolidation is an option," he said, "I want to sustain myself for another two or three years." The article title of a second article "Space-industry Firms May Join Forces" suggested, at least to one Denver newspaper reader, a merger between DigitalGlobe and Space Imaging, but I've found no corroborating facts in the article or elsewhere.

Secret Spy Satellite. There's a new $9.5 billion spy satellite system in the works, according to hints dropped to the Washington Post last week. It seems the Senate intelligence committee has been trying to kill the project, which has strong support for CIA director Porter Goss, for some time. The alleged proposed satellite, perhaps the third generation of undetectable imaging satellites, can only take pictures during the day and in good weather. That, say opponents, makes it useless in the current situation. More details are available at

New GIS? Interfax, the news agency in Russia introduced me to a new mis-statement of GIS: geographic identification system. "... This project in Nanning employed a great deal of cutting-edge technologies such as GPS (Global Position System) and GIS (Global Identification System), and…"

Galileo A Go! European transport ministers agreed to release funding to start the construction and launch of spacecraft for Galileo. That means after much discussion of participants, interoperability with the U.S. system there is motion. Two teams are bidding on the work: The Eurely alliance includes Alcatel, Finmeccanica, and Vinci, while the iNavsat consortium comprises Thales, EADS, and Inmarsat. A decision on a winner is expected in the next few months.

Space Imaging Sale to Geo360 Off. A reader pinged me regarding the state of the sale of Space Imaging's Federal Civil/Commercial Solutions Business to Geo360. I contacted Space Imaging and Gary Napier shared this statement. "We have not been able to close on the deal with Denver-based Geo360 for the sale of Space Imaging's Federal-Civil Solutions line of business. Discussions with Geo360 have been terminated. We are committed to fully support this line of business and will continue to meet all of our customer's requirements." This is the second significant sale in geotechnologies that's not gone through in the last few months. Recall that Intermap's acquisition of AirPhotoUSA also fell through.

Top Gadgets. It's end of the year "top search list" time. The folks at AOL list the most searched words in various categories here. Of interest to this community: Top Gadgets and Devices: 1) Cell-phones; 2) Digital Cameras; 3) MP3 Players, including iPods; 4) PDA devices; 5) GPS devices. Not bad, eh? (I already received my GPS-based holiday gift from my parents.)

Glonass and GPS. Russia and the United States have signed a joint statement that said that both sides intend to cooperate on matters of civil satellite-based navigation. The statement, which was issued on Tuesday in Washington by the U.S. State Department, said, "Delegations of the United States and the Russian Federation met in Washington D.C. on December 9-10, 2004, to continue discussions on matters relating to GPS and Glonass cooperation.

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)

Unhealthy ZIPs. A study by researchers at the State University of New York at Albany, to be published this month in Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology suggests that living in one of the state's 213 ZIP codes could make one more susceptible to a variety of diseases. How many people live in those areas which are near waste sites with persistent pollutants? 2.8 million New Yorkers, or about a sixth of the state's population. Yikes! The full report (PDF) is available here.

Loud Mobile Talk? I can speak from experience on this one: too many people speak too loudly on their cell phones in public. Worse yet are the "two way" Nextel phones were everyone hears the "ring" and both sides of the conversation. Along with many others at the post office yesterday, I heard far too much about how one of my neighbors received money from her sister for groceries. "Stop the madness" is the message of SHHH, the Society for HandHeld Hushing. You can print out cards here (pdf) to give out to offenders. May you enjoy the quiet!

Conundrums (concepts we question/give us pause)

New Life for Old Phones. Have an old cell phone? Want to put it to use? How about purchasing a kit that includes a motion sensor and a tools to send SMS messages? That transforms the old phone into a remote car alarm. Leave it in your car when you are off shopping or whatever, and if the car moves, you get an SMS message. Remember, the old phone needs to have a service contract and it's not entirely clear how valuable that SMS message will be since it doesn't provide location information.

Nonexistant Island Nets $26K. You heard it here first. Someone paid $26,500 for a virtual island. Let me explain, it's a piece of property in a virtual world used for multi-player gaming. The game, Project Entropia, has a real cash economy. The new owner can mine, hunt, sell property, and otherwise use his virtual resources. My college geography professor was correct: as we move forward, geography matters less and less…

Week in Review

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

• Announcements
ESRI and two of its partners, Digital Quest, Inc. (DQI), of Ridgeland, Mississippi, and Berkeley Geo-Research Group (BGRG) of Orinda, California, are combining efforts to expand the educational programs that answer the needs of the quickly growing geospatial workforce.

Analytical Surveys, Inc. announced financial results for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2004. Revenue for the fiscal year was $11.7 million compared with $15.0 million in fiscal 2003. The Company's operating loss in fiscal 2004 totaled $2.1 million before interest and other expense and a $1.475 million gain on the extinguishment of debt, as compared to an operating loss in fiscal 2003
totaling $3.1 million before interest and other expense. Net loss available to common shareholders was $1.2 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, versus $3.9 million, or $4.76 per diluted share, last year.

Nextel is teaming with Research In Motion (RIM) to bring enhanced location-based services to the BlackBerry platform.

Atmel Corporation and Thales Navigation have signed a technology agreement, under which the two companies will partner in the development and marketing of inexpensive GPS chipsets, sub-systems, and associated software. Full details will be announced at CES in January.

The Spatial Technologies Industry Association is launching a study of workforce readiness for jobs in the fast-growing spatial technologies industry, using (it said "utilizing" in the release) a nearly $700,000 grant recently awarded by the US Department of Labor. (GIS Monitor reported on this award in October.)

LocatioNet announced that Partner Communications Company Ltd, operating the orange network in Israel, has launched LocatioNet's MyMap application. The launch was part of Partner's launch of its new 3G network in Israel, where MyMap was one of several new advanced data applications. MyMap is a graphical mapping guide that allows users to easily view and scroll colorful maps, use an advanced key-word search engine to locate any point of interest (POI) from a comprehensive database and calculate best routes to get to any address or POI in Israel.

@Road, Inc. and Research In Motion (RIM) are working together to develop @Road Workflow Manager for BlackBerry. @Road Workflow Manager will help to streamline the mobile workflow process by identifying and automating communications between the field service representative and the mobile workforce supervisor. The solution is designed to use GPS auto-detection to minimize task reporting and data entry by the field representative, automatically update work status and location, and provide dynamic routing to the next job site.

Space Imaging Middle East (SIME) signed a cooperation agreement with Khatib & Alami (K&A;) a multidisciplinary architectural and engineering consulting company in the Middle East. This agreement will enable SIME to add specialized GIS solutions to the market place, which consists of satellite and aerial based imagery, digital maps, and GIS solutions for hosting and publishing data.

Snowflake Software announced that MapInfo Limited will become a partner re-seller of GO Loader, Snowflake's tool for the set up and loading of GML data, in particular OS MasterMap.

CH2M HILL and Information Patterns announced a teaming arrangement to provide collaborative GIS solutions for emergency response to municipal, state, and federal agencies. The teaming arrangement enhances both companies' abilities to respond to the nation's growing need for effective collaborative response during emergency situations. Information Patterns, which works in the field of geo-collaboration solutions, has developed Toucan Navigate -- the GIS map navigation tool for Groove Virtual Office, which provides real-time data updating, location awareness, and shared map viewing for teams.

• Contracts and Sales
Merrick & Company announced a new contract with the City of Casper, Wyoming to update its geographic information system basemap.

Michigan State University (MSU) Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Science Research and Outreach Services (RS&GIS;) selected ER Mapper for work on a groundwater management project. One part of the study involves the creation of county mosaics from a statewide set of USGS Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quad (DOQQ) images of Michigan using ER Mapper. ER Mapper creates mosaicked ECW image files that are loaded into ESRI's ArcSDE an embedded raster catalog and accessed using ESRI's ArcIMS. This aerial imagery serves as a backdrop for statewide basemap features from the Michigan Geographic Framework and water well data from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

ESRI announced that Datumcom Corporation and LOC-AID has been selected by Telefonica Moviles Peru to provide location-based services (LBS) application development and Assisted-Global Positioning System (A-GPS) support for the company's Latin America service area. Telefonica Moviles Peru is the first wireless carrier in Latin America to fully deploy nationwide LBS.

iSECUREtrac, a company that provides secure GPS tracking solutions announced that on December 10, 2004 the South Carolina Probation Parole and Pardon Services Agency has awarded iSECUREtrac Corp with a $1.7 million contract to provide GPS offender monitoring systems.

MapInfo announced that Marco's Franchising, LLC selected MapInfo's Smart Site Solutions technology to provide market and real estate intelligence for the restaurant chain's national expansion and ongoing growth. Marco's Franchising, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, currently has 127 Marco's Pizza restaurants primarily in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Nevada.

NAVTEQ has been selected by SIRIUS Satellite Radio as the traffic data provider for the SIRIUS traffic service.

Pictometry announced that Monroe County, NY Sheriff's Office and the Gwinnett County, GA Fire Department have become the first public safety agencies in the country to deploy Pictometry's new touch screen interface with their county-wide image databases on mobile laptop PCs.

MapInfo signed a three-year deal with the New South Wales Ambulance Service for an undisclosed sum. The contract covers both data and software licensing and aims to extract savings, bolster decision-making support, and provide demographic trend modeling for future locations of Ambulance bases.

• Products
Smart Data Strategies, Inc. (SDS) announced the release of Mapper Desktop 9 and Analyst 9, now compatible with the ESRI ArcGIS 9 product line. Mapper Desktop is the integrated parcel editing tool within the SDS DREAMaps suite of real property management tools. The new release is better engineered to work with both the Personal and Enterprise Geodatabase platforms. Analyst, the integrated data analysis tool within the SDS DREAMaps suite, has been modified to take advantage of the latest release of ArcGIS 9, while adding substantial user-requested changes as well.

Thales introduced Magellan MapSend Topo 3D USA software: a map database with topography, street detail, and thousands of searchable points of interest (POIs) for the 48 contiguous United States and Hawaii.

Scan/US, Inc. announced DataXPT, demographic software system which combines innovative cartography and population databases. People using standard GIS can now make maps using current-year Scan/US MicroGrids.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions introduced the Z/I Mouse, a high-precision 3D mouse that simplifies digitizing data and capture of stereo data for input into photogrammetric processes. The new mouse is now shipping with the company's redesigned Z/I Imaging ImageStation digital photogrammetric workstation and Z/I Imaging ImageStation Stereo Softcopy Kit (SSK).

Blue Marble Geographics announced the release of a new version its coordinate conversion software, the Geographic Calculator 6.2.

NAVTEQ is now offering detailed coverage for all of France.

Avenza Systems Inc. announced the release of MAPublisher 6.1 for Adobe Illustrator. Significant new functionality in MAPublisher 6.1 includes joining points based on attribute values, the ability to copy the coordinates of a known point location, and the ability to rotate point symbols based on attribute data.

Laurel Hill GIS, Inc. announced that GeoData Diagnostics 3-Use Trial is now available. GeoData Diagnostics is an off-the-shelf software product for ESRI's ArcGIS personal and enterprise geodatabases. It allows users to compare structures and properties of two geodatabases and report differences in user friendly HTML.

• Events
Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced an array of in-depth training seminars, site tours, and an Education Symposium for its fifth annual GeoSpatial World conference. Themed "Enabling the Spatial Enterprise," the conference is sponsored by Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions and the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community (IGUC) and is scheduled for April 26-28 in San Francisco, Calif.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, announced BE Meeting Prague 2005, a special geospatial summit being held February 28 to March 2, 2005 at Prague's Diplomat Hotel. The summit is the European geospatial venue of BE Conference - Bentley's annual, international professional training event.

GIS software developer Cadcorp has announced the appointment of Richard Rollins as marketing manager.

The 8th Annual Crime Mapping Research Conference, organized by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), at the U.S. Dept. of Justice, will be held September 7-10, 2005. NIJ, as part of the Office of Justice Programs, is focused on research and practical assistance (funding, criminology/criminal justice research, technology development, conferences, training, etc.) for state and local law enforcement agencies. NIJ's Mapping & Analysis for Public Safety (MAPS) program works to advance spatial analysis of crime, multi-jurisdictional crime mapping, and other GIS applications for law enforcement.

Open Source Geospatial '05, an international conference addressing geospatial data technologies developed by or of relevance to the Open Source community, will be held June 16-18, 2005 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The conference will bring together the MapServer, EOGEO, and OSGIS communities with the intent to be broadly inclusive. This event is "not to be missed," based on my experience last year.

Exor, a provider of highways management software, announced a series of UK seminars to address the individual needs of Authorities and Utilities in response to the Traffic Management Act (TMA).

MapWorld 2005 User Conference will be held at the Sonesta Beach Resort in Key Biscayne, Florida on April 6-8, 2005.

• Training
The North Dakota Career and Technical Education Department (CTE) has made arrangements with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) to provide free GIS software to all K-12 public and private schools in North Dakota, including ten North Dakota colleges. The statewide license includes ArcView 3.3 for Windows, ArcView 9.x for Windows, ArcView 3.0 for Macintosh, and the ArcAtlas data set. The software is free to all North Dakota schools even if they have not participated in training provided through CTE.

UCLID Software released its December schedule of parcel mapping webinars to demonstrate the latest release of IcoMap which is optimized for ArcGIS 9.0. Attendees will learn how to save time when working on parcel mapping projects in ESRI ArcGIS. The live 20-minute sessions are informative, free of charge, and easy to attend.

Texas A&M; University announces 2005 class dates for the popular GIS for Emergency Response class. Class dates are January 26-28, April 20-22, June 27-29, and September 21-23, 2005. The January class is being offered as a "Snowbird Special" at 20%OFF the regular rates. Details at: 361-825-3333.

During the recent combined GIScience 2004 conference and annual Assembly of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), ESRI donated 23 Student Travel Scholarships, two Young Scholars Awards, and 15 Student Software Grants. Recipients were among more than 300 faculty and students as well as government and industry leaders attending the event. GIScience 2004, held October 20-23, 2004, at the University of Maryland, provided academics the opportunity to meet with educators from a range of disciplines.

ESRI's 2005 4-H Grant Program will award 75 grants for software, introductory training, and other materials to U.S. 4-H clubs completing successful application and grant acceptance. A permanent software license will be awarded to grant recipients when they participate in and submit a project to the ESRI Community Atlas Program (ESRI CAP) by May 30, 2006.

• People
Networks In Motion announced that it has hired Doug Antone as President and CEO of the mobile workforce management and location-based services company.

Intergraph announced that Kevin M. Twomey was elected to its Board of Directors and appointed to serve as a member of both the Compensation and Governance & Nominating Committees.

Joe Greco, a CAD columnist, analyst and "industry guy" passed away suddenly on December 7 of a heart attack. A scholarship has been set up in his name through the CAD Society. He became president of that organization in recent months. Having just hung out with my "CAD" friends at Autodesk University, I realize how close knit the community is.

The board of directors for VISTA Technology Services, Inc. (VISTA) has approved the hiring of B. Ray Summerell as Vice President, Corporate Development. The company focuses on IT solutions for federal facilities infrastructure analysis. Summerell most recently served as Director for US Sales, Civilian Agencies, and Architecture/Engineering/Construction for DigitalGlobe.

Martin Roche will head EarthData's GIS operations in Orlando, Florida, and New York, New York. Roche, who has more than 16 years of experience in GIS, information technology, and urban planning, will develop EarthData's GIS service offerings and lead the organization's expansion into new GIS markets.

GIS Monitor Back Issues

Advertise With Us
You can reach more than 17,000 GIS professionals every issue by sponsoring GIS Monitor. For more information, email

Please send comments and suggestions to:
Adena Schutzberg
GIS Monitor Editor
Ultimate Map/GIS Directory - Your search is over!

GIS Monitor is published by:

GITC America, Inc.
100 Tuscanny Drive, Suite B1
Frederick, MD 21702 USA
Tel: +1 (301) 682-6101
Fax: + 1 (301) 682-6105

If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your preferences visit our