2006 September 28

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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.

Read more …

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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."

Read more …

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. Read more …

    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. Read more …

    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. Read more …

    4. Site to Do Business (STDBonline) has selected ESRI's Business Analyst Online GIS analysis and data services to power its commercial business portal. Read more …

    5. Applied Geographics recently completed a GIS needs assessment and requirements analysis commissioned by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR). Read more …

    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). Read more …

    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. Read more …


    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. Read more …

    2. ViewPoint Engineering, Inc. has released ViewPermit, its GIS-based software package for the management of municipal permits. Read more …

    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. Read more …


    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. Read more …

    2. The 2006 ESRI Electric and Gas User Group (EGUG) Conference is scheduled to take place October 9-12, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read more …

  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. Read more …

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