2006 September 07

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I catch up with India-based RMSI; discuss the relationship between CAD, surveying, and GIS with an ESRI manager; and propose a way to widely expand public awareness of GIS. Plus, my usual round-up of news items from press releases.


RMSI Climbs the GIS Value Chain

RMSI is a geospatial information and software services company founded in 1992 by Stanford University graduates, based in India, and owned by one of the UK's largest listed companies, the Daily Mail and General Trust plc. RMSI has its headquarters in Noida, near New Delhi, a development center in Hyderabad, and offices in the United States and the United Kingdom. Eight months ago I interviewed the company's CEO, Ajay Lavakare. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet with Joydeep Chakraborty, who heads RMSI's software development, and Puneet Sharma, its general manager.

In the course of our conversation, Chakraborty and Sharma stressed that the company constantly seeks new partners around the world, aggressively pursues innovation and ways to climb up the GIS "value chain," and focuses heavily on developing reusable frameworks.

Read more …

CAD, Surveying, and GIS

Over the past few months, I have been exploring the changing relationship between CAD, surveying, and GIS. This week, I discussed the subject with Lindsay Hernstrom, ESRI's Technical Marketing Team Lead. After six years in research and development at ESRI, four years ago she moved to corporate and technical marketing, where she does a mix of presentations and illustration of what ESRI products can do for users as well as help the company understand their needs. She and the other dozen members of her team develop demonstrations for meetings, webcasts, conferences, client meetings, and the annual user conference.

At this year's user conference, Hernstrom demonstrated how ArcGIS is open to AutoCAD. "In AutoCAD there are many ways to get at the geodatabase or imagery supplied by ESRI servers. One of the methods that I showed was distributing the geodatabase to AutoCAD. This demonstration was showing a process of 9.2 functionality, coming out at our server release, that allows you to use geoprocessing models to do an ETL ("extract, transform, and load") process on your data and provide it to other clients. In technical terms, we have a model on the server that talks to our geodatabase, the geodatabase was exported into a CAD file, and that CAD file was already open. From our Web application we were able to push these features, now CAD entities, into the existing CAD files in their own layers. So I have an ETL process that was written to go from one place, which is the geodatabase, into a CAD document in another place. There are many considerations. This is not the one solution for every CAD user; this is one solution that we wanted to highlight that is possible with ArcGIS Server."

Read more …

Showing GIS to the Public

ESRI recently released 12 four- to eight-minute videos showing different applications of GIS technology. The videos, on a CD titled GIS Day Video Kiosk CD, are intended to help presenters at GIS Day activities explain the roles of GIS in analyzing and mapping data in fields such as public safety, firefighting, health care, and retail marketing. According to an ESRI press release, the videos use "slides or video of maps or GIS users at work" and "narrated segments" to show how scientists, fire agencies, law enforcement officers, and others use GIS.

This collection is as useful as it is overdue. However, it should be just the start of a trend. Now it is up to other GIS developers, vendors, and large users to produce many more multimedia presentations showing how GIS helps address a wide range of scientific, public service, and commercial challenges. These presentations should be distributed widely to schools, libraries, and the mass media, and posted on websites.

Read more …

News Briefs

Please note: I have culled the following news items from press releases and have not independently verified them.


    1. On September 13, at the GIS in the Rockies conference, in Denver, Colorado, geospatial industry leaders, executives of the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA), Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and members of state and local workforce investment boards will launch the Geospatial Industry Workforce Information System (GIWIS, pronounced gee-whiz). Read more …

    2. Intermap Technologies, Inc. has entered an agreement with CyberCity 3D LLC to use Intermap's elevation models in conjunction with ViewTec's TerrainView software to create 3-D visualization models of five California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, and Ventura. Read more …

    3. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has purchased the entire suite of DigitalGlobe's CitySphere product, which it will use to access imagery of 200 of the world's major metropolitan areas. Read more …

    4. The City of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has deployed aerial imaging technology from Pictometry International Corp., a provider of digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software systems. Read more …

    5. On July 31, in Bangkok, Thailand, Mr. Chanchai Peanvijarnpong, Deputy Executive Director of the GeoInformatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) of Thailand and Dr. Bob Ryerson, President of Kim Geomatics Corporation of Manotick (Metro Ottawa), Ontario, Canada signed a contract that will see Kim Geomatics providing advice on data policy and related strategies for the Thai Earth Observation Satellite (THEOS) to be launched in the late 2007/early 2008 time-frame. Read more …


    1. ORBIT Geospatial Technologies has released Orbit FlashMap for 64bit processors. Read more …

    2. MWH Soft has released InfoSWMM Conduit Storage Synthesizer (CSS). Read more …

    3. Karttakone has produced a map series covering all Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) that can be used in online services, as background in GIS applications, or as media maps. Read more …

    4. With hydrocarbon exploration and production activity increasing in the Williston Basin, WhiteStar Corp. has expanded its line of CartoBase digital cartographic products to include North Dakota. Read more …


    1. The Northwest GIS User Conference will take place September 13-15, in Spokane, Washington. Read more …

  4. OTHER

    1. Students at Kealakehe High School in Hawaii will be hitting the beaches this year with GPS-Photo Link software from GeoSpatial Experts, to study the extent and possible causes of shoreline erosion. Read more …

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