2006 September 28

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ESRI ArcGIS Interoperability

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Editor's Introduction

This week I bring you an interview with an executive of Rosum, about the launch of their new hybrid positioning module, and with an executive of MetaCarta, about that company's new grant program for state and local government agencies. Plus, my usual round-up of news from press releases.


RDC ScanEx

Rosum Introduces Hybrid Positioning Model

Throughout history, humans have sought to facilitate positioning and navigation by supplementing natural references, such as stars and planets, with artificial ones, such as light houses, horns, and, during the past century, radionavigation beacons. The first radionavigation system was the German Lorenz, followed by VOR (VHF omnidirectional range) and the British GEE, then LORAN (for LOng RAdio Navigation), then GPS. (I remember using an ancient radio direction finder (RDF) when sailing off the coast of Maine, about twenty years ago. I then used LORAN for years before using a GPS receiver for the first time about ten years ago.)

What all these radionavigation systems have in common is that they were designed and built expressly for navigation. Now, however, various companies are seeking to exploit for navigation signals that are broadcast for other purposes—especially as a way to supplement GPS where it works least or not at all: dense urban areas and inside buildings. In April, Skyhook Wireless launched Loki, which exploits the rapidly growing number of Wi-Fi hotspots. Meanwhile, Rosum has been integrating TV-based positioning with GPS. In October, it will introduce a hybrid positioning module, or HPM. I discussed this launch with Todd Young, the company's Director of Product and Business Development.

  1. What are Rosum's origins and what is it trying to do?

    We were founded in 2000 by Drs. James Spilker and Matthew Rabinowitz. Jim was one of the original GPS architects, along with Brad Parkinson, who is on our technical advisory board. Jim and Matt set out to solve the indoor GPS problem—that is, that GPS is not an effective technology for locating things indoors. They learned that we could use broadcast television signals effectively as super high power navigation beacons, without any modification to the TV signal at all. In effect, we could use all 2,800 TV towers across the United States as navigation beacons to augment GPS and allow tracking and positioning in indoor environments. TV signals are high powered and low in frequency relative to GPS, and that enables them to penetrate buildings and other structures very well. So, we have about a 40 dB indoor power advantage over GPS in terms of signal availability.

  2. How does your new HPM work?

    It includes a high-sensitivity A-GPS chipset and our TV location technology. We combine the ranging information from all available TV signals and all available GPS signals and generate the best position fix we can in every environment. When we are outdoors, we tend to use GPS signals more and when we are indoors, of course, we use only TV signals because that is all that we can receive.

  3. What is your market focus?

    We have focused mostly on public safety markets. We are doing some trials in the VOIP 911 area. We are working with a company to integrate our technology into police and fire radios. I am also engaged in getting our technology into the offender monitoring market. Obviously, people spend a majority of their time indoors and it is a bit of a mismatch to mandate tracking of offenders or high-risk individuals with a technology that really does not work indoors. So, I've had discussions with half a dozen vendors of anklets and offender monitoring devices and they are interested in our technology. Today, they use a mix of GPS and A-GPS and cell phone triangulation technologies. We did some testing at a shopping mall: the GPS and A-GPS receivers weren't able to get a single position fix and seven out the eight position fixes from the cell triangulation technology were a quarter mile away, at the local cell tower, because that technology falls back onto cell ID when it does not work indoors. Our technology was quite effective in confirming that we were at the play area at the mall.

  4. What have you done in the six years since the company was founded?

    Through 2003 we were engaged in basic R&D around TV positioning technology—developing a system that would use the timing information in both the analog and digital TV standards used in the Americas and building a test device that we could use for drive testing and stationary testing. What we had in 2003 was the size of a construction site lunch box. Since then, we have built some prototype devices that we've used for testing and understanding markets. Police departments, who use those devices for covertly tracking vehicles, really love them. With GPS, you've got to run an antenna out to the bumper, so the cops spend ten minutes or soon their backs in a bad neighborhood, while with our device they could slide under a vehicle in the middle of the day and be out in ten seconds.

  5. How small are your devices now?

    The HPM is the size of a business card and it contains both an A-GPS chipset, which we control, and our TV positioning technology.

  6. How many products do you have ready for market?

    The HPM is our first product to market. We are working with device providers in several markets. The areas where we think there is the best fit for our technology today is in law enforcement tracking, offender monitoring, and first responder applications. Finally, we are getting interest in the cargo tracking area—not for tracking vehicles or containers, but for tracking high-value packages and assets through the supply chain, because we can track them inside a truck or inside a warehouse.

  7. What about the VOIP market?

    They have a bit of a problem, because they can't accurately locate 911 callers. So, we think that we have a fantastic solution for that and we are conducting some trials with significant players in the market.

  8. Do you have partners that will mass produce, market, and distribute your devices?

    Our desire is to remain a location technology company and not get into the manufacturing of tracking devices or the business of providing service. So, in each of these markets we'll partner with a leading company or two that will integrate our technology into their products and services.

  9. So, you will license your technology?

    That's exactly right.

  10. What is your initial geographic coverage?

    Our short-term focus is certainly on the United States. From there the logical expansion is into Canada, Mexico, and Central America, and many of the countries in South America, because those are the countries that use the NTSC and ATSC standards that we support today. We built our location modules such that we can swap in a new reference code for a different world TV standard and we will be able to use that standard for geolocation. We've done a lot of the design work on those reference codes and protected them in our patent applications, but we haven't implemented any of the other world standards, such as PAL, SECAM, ISDB, or DVB.

  11. Is the available data on the location of TV towers sufficiently accurate or did you have to re-map them?

    The FCC provides the location of the towers free of charge. We start with that information, but when we go to metro areas we find that there are sometimes errors in the FCC database. A 50 meter error isn't a big deal if you are working on a tower, because it is not like you are not going to find it. For us, however, it is a big deal, so we have to make adjustments in that data.

  12. What accuracy have you achieved?

    In ideal environments—we've tested on the roof of our headquarters building, where we have clear line of sight to several TV towers—we can be as good as five meters median error. More typically, we do our testing indoors, where GPS and A-GPS fail. What we see in those locations is a twenty to thirty meter median error—E-911-compliant results.

  13. What about local area positioning?

    We have developed the ability to augment off-air TV signals with local beacons—we call them PTTs, for pseudo-TV transmitters— broadcasting a specialized TV signal into a building. We've shown that we can drop beacons around a building and locate people or assets inside to within five to eight meters. Our goal is to get to two meters.

  14. I assume that you use GPS receivers to locate the beacons…

    You're right. The hard part of this application is that you have a relative coordinate system based on the PTTs and an absolute coordinate system used for wide-area location. We have to synchronize those two for it to be meaningful for first responders.

  15. The end user cost will depend on the particular application and is a couple of steps removed from what your company does.

    Correct. Think of Rosum as a replacement for your GPS chipset that allows your applications to work not only outdoors but also in indoor environments.

  16. Have you entered into partnerships with any cell phone providers?

    We have certainly had discussions with the usual suspects in that market. We are a generation of our technology away from introducing something into that market. Our module today is about the size of a business card…

  17. …and it has to get down to the size of a dime to fit in a phone.

    Right, but it is an active area of work here at Rosum. The reason is that mobile TV—or the DVB-H [news.com.com/2300-1039-6031843.html] (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld) standard—and adoption of that standard, is really changing the market for us in a significant way. That is, TV tuners are going on to laptops and PDAs and cell phones like we never imagined they would. That's wonderful for us, because if we have a TV tuner, a processor, some memory, an antenna, and a battery, all we need to add is a software application that runs our algorithms and we turn that TV tuner into an indoor-capable location device.

  18. This is analogous to using wireless cards and WiFi hotspots.

    That is exactly right. There is one significant difference, though. Our focus is on safety of life applications. Using the broadcast TV infrastructure is a significantly different proposition than trying to use the WiFi infrastructure. When local power goes out, WiFi is non-existent.

  19. Plus, there is much more turnover in the location of wireless routers than in that of television broadcast towers!

    Right. The only significant infrastructure to stay in service through Katrina, in Mississippi and Louisiana, was the TV infrastructure.

  20. That's mostly because TV towers are placed on the top of hills to have better coverage, so they are out of the way of disasters, and they have their own back-up power generators.

    That's right.

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MetaCarta to Give Grants to States and Cities

MetaCarta, a provider of geographic intelligence solutions that fuse text search with geospatial information, will provide its GTS Analyst software for free or a highly reduced price to a very small number of state and local government agencies, through a grant program for which it is currently accepting applications. I discussed the program with Randy Ridley, Vice President and General Manager for the company's Public Sector Division. "We've gotten lots of interest from the state and local user base out there," he told me, "particularly in the GIS area." The grant program, he explains, is intended to "make it easier for some of the state and local customers to try out our technology."

Interested governments must apply for a grant by the end of October. MetaCarta, Ridley says, will review applications "in a month or two" and hopes to have the grant program "up and running" by the end of the year. "You need to get in there and fight for your grant," he says, "like many cities are familiar in doing with the federal government. When the program is over it is over." Yet he admits that, even after the application deadline, "if we come across people who meet our criteria, we are not going to be shy about offering them opportunities." Ridley expects to receive only "ten to thirty applications" because, he says, the IT shops of many cities and states "are not prepared to handle such advanced technology."

The company has hired John Troiano to manage the program, with the title of Partner Manager - State & Local. Agencies applying for a grant "must be willing to be a MetaCarta reference site, agree to a written case study with a quote, and provide screen shots within six months of the grant award," as well as "sign a pilot license agreement after notification of grant award," according to the application form.

I asked Ridley a few additional questions about the grant program.

  1. What type of government agencies does MetaCarta target?

    Our investors and the company's management are very much committed to the public sector and we believe that there are several fits for us within the state and local marketplace, such as Department of Homeland Security intelligence fusion centers, which are mostly at the state level. We believe that there is a law enforcement function for the major cities and states—particularly in the communications and case management areas. There is probably a fit in the public works area—helping cities and states become more efficient with the permitting process. Perhaps there's a good fit with departments of transportation, dealing with environmental and project management issues. And emergency management too, [helping managers extract relevant information from] local media.

  2. What are your criteria for selecting grant recipients?

    This is not a highly formal process. We have some ideas as to what we want to do with the grants and [what types of agencies] we think are good targets for us and they are kind of win-win scenarios. We don't want to offer grants to cities that have enormous budgets and can afford to buy what they want, like New York City. Unfortunately, we cannot offer grants to very, very small communities that would not have the resources to implement [our system] even if it were free. That would waste their time and ours. We are targeting a mid-range. [We want agencies that have] the capacity, at some point, to be customers of ours. These are agencies that perhaps don't have an immediate budget for buying this kind of technology, but do have resources, such as staff, and have an aggressive, forward-looking, leading-edge IT outlook. They are comfortable having very advanced GIS solutions in their enterprise and have a fairly up-to-date IT infrastructure. We want agencies that are aggressive and have a plan of action. When that is the case, we are willing to be on the phone with them. We are willing to get them started for free—or very, very cheaply—which is quite unusual. John Troiano will make the key decisions.

  3. The application form asks applicants how many "structured / unstructured" documents they have. Would most state and local government agencies know the answer?

    It's kind of a trick question. In order for our technology to work, there has to be unstructured content somewhere in the enterprise. There is no sense for anybody to try to bring us in if they do not understand that basic fact. We merge the unstructured documents—whether they are case management files, emergency management planning documents, or news stories from local newspapers. We don't care whether [the number] is exact. You can go down to your CIO shop and ask, "Do we have any of this?"

  4. Do a one-page memo in Word and a 500-page manual in PDF both count as a document?

    That's a good question. Generally speaking, in public sector organizations, most documents are from one to five pages, maybe ten to fifteen. There are the occasional tomes and there are various ways of taking a PDF document apart and breaking it up. It is not a problem.

  5. What else do applicants need to know about MetaCarta's technology?

    Our website has a lot of information, so they should peruse that first. Then they should try our online demo and get a feeling for how the product works. John can also, on a case-by-case basis, forward to applicants a couple of our white papers that can help them sort through what the fit is.

  6. What else will you look for when selecting grant recipients?

    We've fused [unstructured documents] with GIS, so, typically, when we look at a potential customer, we ask, "Do they have Documentum? Do they have Open Text? Do they have a document management system? Do they have enterprise search capabilities?" If those other tools are present in the enterprise, then it means that they have unstructured content. Just like when we look at enterprise GIS systems and people are using ESRI [products] or, perhaps, Google Earth. So, those are two clues: if they have a content management system and a GIS in the same enterprise, then we are a very, very good fit for them.

  7. Is this program also a way for you to gather information?

    Yes, that is one of the requirements of the pilot. In order to even be considered, an agency applying has to be willing to talk to reporters about why it is applying, why they won the grant, and how the pilot went. They also have to give us some written feedback, so that we can put it in our product management process to fine-tune the technology for the marketplace.

  8. What's in this for the grant recipients and what's in it for MetaCarta?

    [Grant recipients] get software very inexpensively. They try it and if it works, great. If they don't like it for some reason, fine, it is not a huge investment in capital. Regardless, we are going to come away from the pilot with feedback on what features the customers did and did not like, how it fit in, how it works. We are going to use that information to improve the technology.

News Briefs

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


    1. In conjunction with prime contractor M-Cubed Information Systems, Caliper Corporation is developing software applications for five major Census Bureau data programs for the 2010 Census. These applications will be used by more than 40,000 state, local, and tribal governments to enhance the Census Bureau's Master Address File (MAF) and TIGER geospatial database of roads, legal and administrative boundaries, and geographical area reporting units for Census and survey data.

      These updates are essential for the success of the 2010 decennial population census and the many related subsequent activities—such as congressional, state legislative, and local redistricting, the allocation of federal funds to local and state governments, and the publishing of Census data. Collectively named the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS), the five custom applications are based on Caliper Corporation's Maptitude GIS.

      Caliper is also creating two Web-based applications based on Maptitude for the Web technology. The first enables Census Bureau staff and program participants to validate the data updates. The second allows Boundary and Annexation program participants to revise their jurisdictional boundaries using standard Web browsers.

      This project assists the Census Bureau in meeting several important goals, such as reducing or eliminating the production, shipping, and handling of paper maps; making participation more convenient for participants; reducing processing cycle time; and improving the accuracy of the MAF/TIGER database.

    2. MultiVision USA, a provider of high-resolution oblique imagery and 3D viewing software, has delivered new aerial imagery of Sedgwick County, Kansas, along with viewing software, to the County Appraiser's Office for use in property mass appraisal. The company utilizes an advanced aerial imaging system to acquire high-resolution oblique imagery for use in property appraisal and assessment, law enforcement, fire & rescue, emergency management and other applications that benefit from multi-perspective and 3D viewing capabilities.

      Michael Borchard, Appraiser for Sedgwick County, is responsible for overseeing the appraisal of all real property throughout the county. Each year, approximately one-sixth of the entire county is re-inspected. He and his staff of 75 had been seeking new ways of verifying property characteristics. In deciding to purchase the MultiVision USA oblique imagery, Borchard and his team were impressed with the 3D viewing and measuring tools included in the software package, which was delivered with the imagery at no additional charge.

      The MultiVision imagery and viewing software are also valuable when a property owner wants to see a particular piece of property. The software allows the user to see homes, for instance, from four different perspectives—and the imagery can be enlarged and property features measured. This multiple perspective usually makes it easier for the property owner to see exactly what the appraisers saw when making their appraisals.

      MultiVision software integrates oblique and nadir aerial photos into a single database and provides onscreen tools to manipulate and measure vertical and horizontal structures, such as building facades, backyard patios, and terrain features, from any angle or direction. The software works directly with all GIS-based applications, allowing for the importing and exporting of additional data layers without third-party software.

    3. Galdos Systems Inc., a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) technology company, and TENET Defence Ltd., have completed the integration of multiple geospatial data across the UK Ministry of Defence into a single source through the use of open-standard Web services. Geospatial data is a key information component in all defense systems for planning, tasking, and task execution. Most missions require the coordination of air, maritime, and land forces— hence geospatial information for these domains must be integrated in real time. Latencies in information update can easily translate into lost missions and lost lives.

      The integrated Spatial Data Infrastructure system draws multiple datasets (AML 2.1, DAFIF8, VMAP0) from multiple data stores (Oracle Spatial, ArcSDE) using two Galdos Cartalinea Web Feature Service (WFS) servers. Map information is retrieved from WFS by both the thin viewing client Galdos FreeStyler Web Map Service (WMS) and the Tenet Chartlink4D Spatial Analysis Client.

      TENET Defence, which produces geospatial technology used in many of the world's most advanced mission planning and situational awareness systems, believes that the general adoption of the standards that underpin SDI will bring massive benefits to defense systems in allowing them to meet users' needs. The company is already supplying solutions, which integrate firmly into SDI frameworks and see collaboration with partners such as GALDOS as the key to success.

      Galdos' Professional Services department assists organizations and government agencies move to an open standards-based IT infrastructure. In particular, Galdos offers extensive knowledge in the areas of GML, XML, and Web services technologies.

    4. Site to Do Business (STDBonline) has selected ESRI's Business Analyst Online GIS analysis and data services to power its commercial business portal. STDBonline is now able to offer an integrated market analysis system for use in commercial investment real estate, appraisal, and consulting assignments. The service provides a one-stop shop for demographic information, mapping technology, and reporting tools for any type of company. The STDBonline website includes market analysis templates for office, retail, industrial, and multifamily properties.

      STDBonline will incorporate Business Analyst Online, ESRI's Internet-based report and mapping generation system, to provide decision-making and site analysis tools for more than 17,000 members of the CCIM Institute, the governing body of the largest commercial real estate network in the world. The system will provide on demand, presentation-quality reports and maps with GIS analysis and extensive demographic, consumer spending, and business data. Members can choose custom reports and interactive maps for any market in the United States, including detailed customer segmentation, travel zone, market analysis, flood maps, aerial imagery, and more.

      STDBonline gives real estate professionals instant access to the information they need to more profitably analyze market potential and trends, allowing them to reduce due diligence times and costs while improving the quality and accountability of the decision-making process.

      Business Analyst Online provides an online analysis system to users who need to make decisions about site analysis and site selection, analyze trade areas, and reach target markets. A Web-based solution hosted by ESRI, is easily accessible without requiring any training.

      Using Business Analyst Online, organizations can analyze trade areas, evaluate competitors, identify new store locations, find new customers, target direct mail, and reveal untapped markets.

    5. Applied Geographics recently completed a GIS needs assessment and requirements analysis commissioned by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR). The study recommends ways to improve and better coordinate the GIS efforts of organizations focused on the Maine marine environment to enable more efficient and effective coastal management. Twenty organizations were interviewed for the study, which included representatives from state, federal, conservation, research, land trust, and educational institutions.

    6. 3001, Inc., a geospatial company, has finalized the agreement to wholly acquire LandAir, which was awarded the largest number of states for high-resolution aerial photo acquisition under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP). LandAir and 3001 began teaming in 2003, when the two firms joined forces to support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the acquisition and processing of natural color imagery at 1 meter resolution for the entire island of Puerto Rico.

      Tom Olive, the president of LandAir since 1988, will stay on to run 3001's LandAir Mapping business unit, with its joint assets of nearly a dozen sensors and as many airplanes. 3001 and LandAir have been experiencing a period of dynamic growth in the past few years, with major geospatial contract awards across local, state, and federal government agencies. Both have also been engaged in the acquisition and processing of imagery data from other countries in support of private and public initiatives.

    7. Alcatel Alenia Space has appointed the Swedish software company Idevio as the supplier of map software for its next generation of fleet management systems. This first order secures tools for product development and client demonstrations. According to Alcatel Alenia Space, considerable subsequent orders are expected in the coming months.

      Idevio map products are based upon a new compression and streaming method, which reduces the size of map databases by 90-95 percent and improves access speed and network peerformance. Idevio and Alcatel Alenia Space will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding making Idevio Alcatel Alenia Space's preferred partner.

      The Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) has signed a new one-year contract, with an option for a further two years, for Idevio's products for the compression and streaming of digital maps. The deal is part of a newly signed agreement between Idevio's partner company Carmenta and FMV. The contract includes software for workstations and hand-held devices along with support, training and customization.


    1. NAC Geographic Products Inc. has released Enhanced Google Local Search, an integration of the Natural Area Coding System with Google Local Search through the Google AJAX Search API. It allows users to use a Natural Area Code (NAC) in addition to a street address to specify an area or location anywhere in the world. A NAC can represent any area or location in the world. A two-character NAC represents an area about 1,000 kilometers x 700 kilometers (such as a province); a four-character NAC represents an area about 33 kilometers x 23 kilometers (such as a city); a six-character NAC roughly represents every square kilometer area; an eight-character NAC represents an area about 35 meters x 25 meters (such as a building); and a ten-character NAC approximately represents every square meter on the Earth's surface.

      Since an eight-character or a ten-character NAC has reached the resolution of a traditional address, it is also called a Universal Address. For example, NAC: 8KDC PGFC is the Universal Address of Washington Monument.

      The integration of NAC with Google Local Search produces a real worldwide local search engine that can work anywhere in the world, overcoming the limitations of traditional address-based specification of locations. Using a Universal Address instead of a street address to specify a location on a local search can also reduce key input by 80 percent and eliminate the need for address databases that frequently produce outdated matches, no matches, duplicated matches, wrong matches, etc.

      The NAC Enhanced Google Local Search also presents its searching results with the corresponding Universal Address attached to each found item. Therefore it can be used as a Universal Address lookup service by location-sensitive businesses. You can look up the Universal Address of any street address in 24 countries. Universal Addresses can be directly measured with GPS receivers and have been widely implemented in such wireless location based services as mlbs.net) and GPS-based navigation systems as locamagic.biz. Thousands of resorts now include their Universal Addresses as part of their addresses.

      Universal Addresses can be used as universal identifiers for bus stops, gates, parking meters, street lights, trees, sewage exits, fire hydrants, and any other fixed objects. Using Universal Addresses as global postal codes can make all sorting machines able to sort mail from world level to final mail boxes automatically.

    2. ViewPoint Engineering, Inc. has released ViewPermit, its GIS-based software package for the management of municipal permits. Designed with .NET technology and utilizing embedded ESRI Developer Network resources, ViewPermit enables users to integrate their GIS-based parcel maps with permit-tracking, in a manner accessible even to users with no GIS training. Additionally, the software automates report generation.

      ViewPermit is customized for each client and can be used to track any number of permit types. Because it works out of a centralized database, the permit data can be viewed and edited by any number of users simultaneously. The software utilizes tree-based navigation to allow users to track permit history and reveal parent-child linkages between permits.

    3. Canon U.S.A., Inc., a provider of office imaging systems, inkjet technology, and digital photography equipment, has unveiled the 12-color imagePROGRAF iPF8000 pigment ink large format printer. Designed to produce professional-quality giclee prints and photographs, the iPF8000 utilizes Canon's proprietary LUCIA pigment inks to print borderless images up to 42-inches wide, with a maximum paper width of 44-inches at very high production speeds with archival image quality.

      Canon's Graphic Arts line of large format printers now includes the imagePROGRAF iPF5000, iPF8000, and iPF9000 printers at 17-, 44-, and 60-inches wide respectively. This expands Canon's large format portfolio, which includes their recently announced Corporate and CAD line of large format print solutions. The new iPF8000 printer joins its two sister products by offering a wide color gamut with a full 12-color inkset featuring LUCIA pigmented inks, along with the L-COA processor to process high resolution image data.

      With a maximum print resolution of 2400 x 1200 dpi, the new iPF8000 is well suited for color professionals with large-format printing needs. Advanced professional features such as automatic clogged nozzle detection and compensation for reliability, 330ml and 700ml selectable ink capacity sizes, a large, backlit LCD panel, and ink usage tracking are all part of the new iPF8000.

      The iPF8000 printer uses red, blue, green, gray, photo gray, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, yellow, regular black, and matte black LUCIA pigment inks, enabling it to render excellent color and neutral, stable grayscales. Like its two sister products, the iPF8000 printer loads all 12 ink tanks at once and automatically switches between regular black and matte black inks, helping to eliminate wasted ink and the downtime of swapping out ink tanks. Each printer is shipped with a set of twelve 330 milliliter LUCIA ink cartridges, and users have an option to use 700 milliliter large capacity ink cartridges to optimize efficiency.

      The iPF8000 is equipped with many time-saving features. The printer loads heavy roll paper from the front, eliminating the need to move the printer when changing paper, and users can replace the ink tank without stopping the carriage—allowing for uninterrupted operation. Additional features, such as job log, report total ink usage to a tenth of a milliliter and media usage in fractions of square feet. A larger LCD panel with illustrations helps to guide users through printer operation with minimal training.

      As the last link in the image processing chain, the L-COA processor interprets image data, directing the fast printing process. Combined with Canon's dual print head design and the most ink nozzles per color in the industry, the L-COA processor helps achieve print speeds of less than seven minutes for 33.1" x 46.8" (A0) size prints with 1200x1200 dpi resolution on a glossy photo paper. The iPF8000 printer's large number of nozzles and automatic clogged nozzle detection compensates if a nozzle becomes clogged by having other nozzles pull double-duty. This not only contributes to the printer's speed and accuracy, but also helps reduce wear-and-tear on the print heads, increasing the reliability of the printer.

      The new iPF8000 comes with Print Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop for Macintosh OS and Windows, a professional-level photo printing tool to allow printing of 16-bit RGB files, and PosterArtist (for Windows only), a sign and poster creation program, Digital Photo Print Pro (for Windows only), a digital photo correction and layout program. The printer driver for Macintosh and Windows includes "Free Layout," a new feature in which the users can freely lay out print images from various applications on roll fed paper to maximize media usage.

      The new iPF8000 printer offers digital printing professionals with a wide variety of media substrates, ranging from fine art and photographic paper and canvas to banner and signage material. The printer will be available through authorized Canon U.S.A. dealers in October, with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $5,995.


    1. Pictometry International Corp., a provider of digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software systems, has announced the agenda for its FutureView 2006 User Conference, taking place October 29 to November 1 in Orlando, Florida. It includes more than 50 workshops and presentations from Pictometry customers, leading experts, and Pictometry business partners. General sessions and workshops will provide attendees with best practices, real-life applications, and techniques utilizing Pictometry technology. Technical and executive sessions from company personnel will also enable attendees to gain new insights on industry trends, existing product enhancements, and future releases.

      An exhibit hall will feature a learning lab as well as several select Pictometry business partners who offer complementary solutions. Pictometry CEO Richard A. Kaplan will deliver the opening remarks, former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu will be the keynote speaker, and Pictometry's CTO Stephen L. Schultz will share his insights on the geospatial industry, technical advancements, and the future direction of new products.

      Sessions and workshops are scheduled to include the following topics:

      1. GIS:
        1. How Pictometry Can Aid GIS Data Creation;
        2. Success with Large-Scale Deployments of Pictometry;
        3. Adding New Perspectives to Your Existing Maps and GIS Data;
        4. Knowing How to do the Right Things with the Right Tools;
        5. Remote Access Case Study;
        6. ESRI Integration;
        7. GIS—Multi Departmental Uses;
        8. Pictometry and GIS Data Creation;
        9. Standardizing Your GIS Data Throughout the Entire County;
        10. 40 Departments Using Pictometry;
        11. Municipal GIS & Supporting GASB Requirements.
      2. 9-1-1:
        1. Pictometry and 9-1-1: Integration & Implementation that Can Help Save Lives;
        2. 9-1-1 Customer Panel Case Study;
        3. Funding 9-1-1 Integration;
        4. 9-1-1 Issues and Concerns;
        5. Building Your Next 9-1-1 Center: Technical Options for Future Growth;
        6. Next Generation 9-1-1;
        7. 9-1-1 Customer Case Study
      3. Assessment:
        1. ChangeFindr—Discover the Differences Over Time;
        2. Case Study—Assessor Presentation;
        3. Review Panels (Property Reviews) for Generating ROI;
        4. Curbside Imagery;
        5. The Power of Address Data (How to Get It; What to Do When You Can't)
      4. Public Safety:
        1. Emergency Management Strategies;
        2. Tactical Applications in Law Enforcement;
        3. Preparing for Disaster;
        4. Officer Involved Shootings;
        5. Crime Scene and Traffic Accident Reconstruction;
        6. Responding to Fires—When Seconds Count;
        7. Make Mine to Go—Mobile and In-Car Solutions;
        8. AVL/Personnel Tracking;
        9. Next Generation 9-1-1
      5. Technical:
        1. In-House Pictometry Training—Streamline and Improve its Effectiveness;
        2. Advanced Electronic Field Study (EFS) User Training;
        3. Technical Discussion of Pictometry Interfaces for Integration;
        4. Customize and Control Your Electronic Field Study Layout (EFS);
        5. Troubleshooting Session (EFS, GIS Data, Connectivity);
        6. Beyond Electronic Field Study (EFS)—Making Pictometry More Accessible;
        7. Pictometry Administrator Training;
        8. Interfacing and Integrating with Pictometry Using COM and ActiveX
      6. Other:
        1. Forensic Engineering: Wind versus Water;
        2. 3D Imaging;
        3. Pictometry Certified Orthophoto Program;
        4. Pictometry Infrared Integration;
        5. FutureView—Coming Soon to Pictometry.
    2. The 2006 ESRI Electric and Gas User Group (EGUG) Conference is scheduled to take place October 9-12, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The EGUG conference is sponsored by ESRI and attended by GIS users who provide utility services, including electric, gas, and water, from generation to distribution.

      Attendees will see GIS solutions that apply to all phases of the energy industry life cycle—from generation to distribution and from engineering to marketing—and learn how they can use GIS to leverage their databases, expand their business systems, and automate workflow processes. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who has been credited for implementing the most forward-looking clean energy agenda in the nation, is slated to share his vision about national energy policy. He has been a key supporter of the Clean Energy Development Council.

      Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is hosting this year's event. Joel Ivy, PNM's vice president of Technical Services, will be presenting at the plenary session. His experience in transmission engineering and operations will lend practical insight about the role technology plays in the future of utilities.

  4. OTHER

    1. According to a survey conducted by MapInfo Corporation, a provider of location intelligence solutions, and BusinessWeek Research Services, 64 percent of business executives believe that location intelligence can improve business processes, and 21 percent are planning to investigate it in the next year.

      About 1,700 business executives participated in this international study to gauge the role that technology can play in delivering business-relevant location intelligence. Location intelligence is a combination of software, data, services, and expertise that enable an organization to detect patterns, risk, and opportunities that CRM, ERP, and BI overlook. Eighty percent of data that an organization uses to make key decisions to improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability has a location-based component. Optimizing information such as a ZIP code, telephone number, or address enables companies to answer such questions as: Where can I find more of my best customers? Where are competitors impacting my business? Where is my newest product or service most valuable?

      For instance, MasterCard Worldwide relies on the MapInfo Envinsa location intelligence platform to power its worldwide ATM Locator service. Envinsa replaced MasterCard's previous online and phone ATM Locator services with a more integrated platform for deploying location technology across the entire organization. As a result, MasterCard was able to reduce costs and provide enhanced customer service to millions of customers.

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