2006 November 09

This issue sponsored by


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

Editor's Introduction

This week I report on Skyhook Wireless' enhancement of its wireless positioning system and I bring you the second part of my interview with Bibiana McHugh, of Portland's TriMet. I also include a larger-than-usual compilation of news items that I have selected and condensed from press releases.

This week I am at the ESRI campus in Redlands, California, for a two-day training in ArcGIS Desktop. (In the future, I plan to also get trained in the use of products from other vendors, as well as open source software.) I have also been doing preliminary research toward a GIS project that I will start in the next couple of weeks. The training and the project will allow me to improve my reporting on GIS, by actually using the tools and facing the challenges that you, my readers, face every day — rather than only interviewing GIS analysts, technicians, developers, and managers about their work. Stay tuned!


Skyhook Wireless Introduces "Location Pull"

In April I reported on Skyhook Wireless' launch of its wireless positioning system and its free location-based Internet toolbar, Loki. The system uses existing WiFi devices to locate a user and then leverages that location to customize websites. The company has now introduced a new version of Loki with new features, such as local advertising capabilities, and, it claims, performance improvements.

Loki's new features include:

  • Time zone changer, which automatically adjusts the time on laptops depending on their location
  • SMS location, which enables users to push their current location instantly to someone else's mobile phone
  • Customizable toolbar, which enables users to add new "toolbar channels ," such as the Yahoo! Flickr channel, and to configure Loki to focus only on the user's favorite location channels
  • Optimized scanning, which improves the accuracy of WiFi location and the speed of the location lookup.

This new version of Loki adds local advertising to the "FindMe" page, which shows nearby merchants and promotions, and the ability for Web sites to request the user's location from within a Web page, using a Javascript interface. Skyhook Wireless calls this new capability "location pull." A company press release cites three examples: MetroSpark, a location-aware service that lets users meet and interact with other people on the Web and through their mobile device, Socialight, a service that lets users create virtual "sticky notes" in the real world and share them with others, and Flagr, a location-based book-marking mashup.

I discussed these developments with Ted Morgan, the company's founder and CEO. "In the past month or so, we've processed the one millionth location look-up on Loki," he told me. "A lot of those [users] have told us what they'd like to see in it, going forward. We've learned a lot from professional travelers." He cites the time zone changer as an example of a feature developed in response to this feedback.

The addition of local advertising, however, is a much bigger development. "People have been talking for years about how one of the things you will be able to do business-model-wise with location-based services is to start to make money off of local ads," says Morgan. "We've actually started doing that." To bring in these ads, Skyhook did not set up any new partnerships. Rather, it took advantage of Google's ad platform and tailored the ads on that page to the user's location. "So, as you plot yourself on a map, you will see local ads from the Google ad inventory posted right next to that map. It will be stores, merchants, tourist destinations—all those kinds of things will show up."

Meanwhile, according to Morgan, Skyhook's network now covers "almost 70 percent of the U.S. population" and the company plans to cover "the majority of the Canadian population by the end of the year."

The company plans to continue to add capabilities to the toolbar, including instant messenger application. "All of these will continue to encourage people to look at location as a key element of what they do on line."

Skyhook has also begun to strike deals with the manufacturers of cell phone components, Morgan told me. "As you see more and more hybrid cell phones out there that have both cellular and WiFi, you will see our technology in more and more of those cell phone-like devices," which are much more numerous and mobile than laptop computers.

Unlike GPS satellites that circle Earth in fixed orbits or tv broadcast towers that don't move, wireless routers are often relocated, while their number is growing rapidly. Skyhook's system, Morgan explains, takes this into account, and users are constantly helping the company update it, simply by roaming with their wireless devices. "Our network is organic," he says. "So it is changing and growing and modifying all the time. Our software, while it is figuring out your location, is also trying to determine which one of the access points in range might have moved or is not where we thought it was. So, if we see seven or ten access points in downtown Portland, we'll actually run a bunch of algorithms against those to find the one or two that moved in the last six months and we'll take them out of the calculation. Additionally, Loki will then tell our server that these two access points that used to be in Baltimore, for example, are now in Portland on a certain street corner. So, every time someone uses Loki, it is correcting and updating the database, filtering out bad access points." (This works because each WiFi router broadcasts a unique identifier.)

GIS Shops in the Portland Area: TriMet (Part 2)

Last week, as part of my systematic exploration of GIS shops in the Portland metropolitan area, I featured an interview with Bibiana Kamler McHugh, IT Manager of GIS & Location-Based Services for TriMet, the city's mass transit agency. Following are some additional excerpts from that interview.

  1. Aerial photography

    McHugh told me that about six years ago she and representatives from 25 other Portland area public agencies pooled their resources and formed an aerial photography consortium. "Every year," she says, "we get very accurate six-inch aerial photography for our entire region. If TriMet did that alone, we would not be able to afford it. TriMet is one of the biggest consumers because our boundary crosses three counties. So, it is important for us to have integrated data sets and especially aerial photography. Every year it gets more and more accurate and cheaper and cheaper."

  2. Data standards

    "We work very closely with the state on data standards for Oregon that facilitate data sharing. Without standards and common formats, you'd all have a much more difficult time sharing the data, so that it is the underlying infrastructure that is required for collaboration."

  3. Institutional relationships

    "We work very closely with many of the other [public] agencies [in the area]," says McHugh. Currently, one of the biggest projects requiring this close coordination is a light rail alignment that will require shifting over by a block, as of January 14th, the downtown transit mall—about 25 blocks of 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue that currently are largely reserved for busses and bus stops. "It is quite an effort on everyone's part."

  4. Staffing

    "I have one GIS analyst and two software engineers. I usually also have several GIS technicians, mainly during the summer, collecting and updating data."

  5. Mission statement

    "We enable the users to do their own work and we make it easy for them to answer spatial questions. We [also] provide training. Many departments do not need a full time [GIS] person or planner on board — for instance, the General Manager's office or [the] legal [department]. So, there are some departments that come to us on a periodic basis. For instance, Capital Projects already has many analysts who know how to use the GIS tools, but they may need us to help them out with a particular project or at least get them set up or provide additional support with the mapping."

  6. Proprietary vs. open source software

    McHugh was one of the organizers of the recent Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON). "The conference was great," she says. "I was very excited with the turnout and the enthusiasm." TriMet, she told me, started going open source several years ago. "For instance, it made sense to convert all of our servers to Linux wherever we could. Now we've progressed to the point where there is always an open component to our procurement, and we want to make sure that whenever we look for a system that is out there, we're also looking for any open source alternative that there may be. You have to have approval and support for that from upper management in order to really promote it. But, even with regards to hiring practices, the last two developers I hired are Java developers."

    "There are only a handful of vendors in the transit industry. Almost all of them are legacy, proprietary, stove-pipe solutions. In this day and age, we have new requirements for data sharing and facilitation and we need to have real time information facilitated through our systems. That's really pushing the requirement, and many agencies need to start thinking that they need to look to more open solutions in order to meet the growing demands."

    "Before, it wasn't a problem. We were all little transit agencies and each of us just worked within ourselves and we weren't interested in sharing data. Over the years, it has become more important to start sharing data, especially for regional trip-planning efforts. Internally, as well, 15-20 years ago there may not have been a planning department, or scheduling may not have cared what capital projects was doing."

  7. Developing applications in-house

    "We developed many of our applications in-house, mainly because a lot of them were not available from the vendors. Once we have a template, it is very easy for us to deploy other applications. For instance, [we developed] the application for maintaining grade crossings along our light rail alignments. I think it took our developer just several weeks to roll that out, just like our mapping applications. Once you have the infrastructure in place and you have a template, it is very easy to start developing applications."

  8. The GIS community in Portland

    "[What is special about it is] the abundance of data and the strong networking and collaboration in the region."

  9. Timetable publisher

    Timetable publisher enables transit agencies to generate timetables—for printing or on-line publishing—from raw data. According to McHugh, it is the first open source application for the transit industry. "We developed it in-house, with the intention of open sourcing it and giving it to other transit [agencies]. TriMet has been using it for a couple of months. We did a prototype at King County Metro Transit to work out the portability issues. It went very, very well. We are very optimistic about being able to successfully implement it very easily in most of the other transit agencies. In the next month or two, we will be looking into getting an open source license on it and looking for a home to house and maintain the code."

    "It is an application that could save several weeks or even months at an agency. It takes the raw scheduling data and provides an interface to manipulate it and format it for public viewing and for exporting it in a variety of different formats that dynamically display the data on the Web. Everything you see on the timetables, all the stops, are displayed on a map. That makes it easier for the user to manipulate, modify, maintain, and format the data."

    "We hope to learn a lot from this. The advantage of a consortium for the application is the robustness of the code. The more developers [work on] the code, the better it gets. The worst thing you can do is to start giving it away and it splinters off into a bunch of different directions. We need to manage it in a central location so that enhancements can then be available to everyone who is using it, and that is the real advantage to open source."

  10. TriMet's plans for wireless LBS

    At GOSCON, McHugh and Scott Davis, author of Pragmatic GIS, gave a joint presentation on TriMet's plans for future technology. The agency aims to invest heavily on wireless location-based services (LBS) and has carefully compared different Internet mapping options. "Where we are going is getting everything you need in a wireless device, including maps and real-time information," says McHugh. Complementing TriMet's plans, starting next summer the City of Portland will provide free Wi-Fi access throughout downtown and will then expand the coverage to the rest of the city. (The service will be funded through advertising revenue, but users will have the option to pay directly and receive advertising-free service.)

    TriMet's IT department was fielding requests from staff throughout the agency for wireless hand-held devices. So, last spring, it decided "to take a more strategic approach," says McHugh. She spent six months in the field researching staff requirements and their working environment and compiled a detailed chart of mobile computing requirements. She discovered that 35 percent of the data required in the field comes from client-server applications and only 6 percent of the information that is used over the radio actually originates in the dispatch; the other 94 percent can be provided to the field personnel with a hand-held device. "That gives us an idea as to how we need to start preparing, in IT, the resources to develop many of these applications."

    TriMet plans to push most of its applications out to the Internet. The agency has eight different business units. Across all of them, McHugh says, the most often requested piece of information is the location of staff and vehicles (busses and light rail trains): "Most of the communication over the radio is basically 'Where are you?' and 'Where are you going?'" The next most important piece of information is accidents and incidents, because they often affect the entire transit system. Below that comes maps: TriMet field staff want to be able to generate driving instructions and plan trips for customers. In short, McHugh points out, "the top four pieces of requested information are all map-based."

    Currently all of TriMet's busses and trains are equipped with GPS-based automatic vehicle location (AVL) devices. "If we equipped all field crew with a hand-held unit that had a GPS in it, we could see all of our resources," says McHugh.

    To prepare for greatly increased use of wireless hand-held devices, McHugh has proposed—echoing Google's mission statement—that TriMet and other public agencies in the Portland metropolitan region "organize [their] data and make it universally accessible and useful." As examples of "what can happen if you expose your data and make it available for the public," McHugh points to Portland Transport, Bus Monster, and Google Transit.

    "LBS also require system integration," McHugh points out. For example, TriMet's real-time bus mapper application queries tables in the agency's Oracle relational database maintained by several different business areas in the agency. "LBS also require GIS and IT integration," she says. "Everyone who knows me knows that I have been preaching this for years. In the future, there really will be no distinction between GIS and IT."

    Currently, TriMet GIS is ESRI-based and uses ArcIMS to serve dynamic maps on the Web. As part of its technology planning, however, McHugh and her staff reviewed the pros and cons of three Internet mapping options: free APIs, commercial off-the-shelf packages, and open source solutions.

    Pros and cons of Internet mapping options. Courtesy of TriMet.
    View as HTML Table or Download XLS

    TriMet, McHugh told me, intends to replace its interactive system map as soon as possible and expose all of its geo data via a standard-compliant WFS and master all of its data out of a central geodatabase via a Web service—probably GeoServer. "It is somewhat of a long-term project. We anticipate full deployment this coming summer and anticipate providing more real-time and more accurate information to our customers and to our staff this way."

News Briefs

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


    1. SPOT Image Corporation has recognized East View Cartographic (EVC) as one of the top producing resellers of SPOT's line of satellite imagery products. The recognition comes within a year that has included several notable EVC-led projects utilizing SPOT imagery, including 1:50,000 scale mapping of Afghanistan, environmental monitoring over Rwanda, and pipeline routing in southeast Asia.

      In addition to providing SPOT imagery, East View Cartographic maintains one of the world's largest commercially available collections of authoritative maps from around the world.

    2. The GPS Wing of the U.S. Air Force has awarded to ITT Corporation one of two contracts to begin to develop a Modernized Space Receiver (MSR)—a GPS receiver that will operate in space on low-Earth orbit satellites and will be able to receive new, modernized GPS signals. The GPS Wing is part of the Space and Missile Systems Center, which is part of the US Air Force's Space Command.

      Under Phase A of the contract, each of the selected suppliers will prepare a proposal for full-scale development of the MSR to be presented to the GPS Wing in mid-2007. After an opportunity to update the proposals, one of the contractors will be chosen to complete the project. ITT's Phase A work will be done at a Space Systems Division facility, and in concert with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

      ITT has a strong legacy in GPS systems, having designed, developed, integrated, and manufactured payloads for the US Air Force NAVSTAR Global Positioning System since 1974. ITT payloads have been on every GPS satellite ever launched and have accumulated nearly 300 years of on-orbit life without a single mission-related failure. Similarly, JPL has a long history of building high-performance GPS receivers, and the ITT proposal included a technology transfer from JPL to the MSR program.

    3. Airborne 1 Corporation—a provider of LiDAR services, rentals, and software worldwide—has purchased its fourth Optech ALTM sensor to expand its fleet of LiDAR systems.

    4. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has selected OneGIS to implement a Geospatial Fiber Optic Network Management System in conjunction with their existing ESRI ArcGIS enterprise GIS. The implementation will utilize Telcordia's Network Engineer software application, which is an open, integratable, geospatial environment for the comprehensive design and management of physical telecom networks and inventories.

      The project award came as a result of a competitive bid process and will include the conversion of TVA's existing fiber CAD drawings and splicing records into a new ArcGIS - Network Engineer Geodatabase. The multi-year project will also include the implementation of Network Engineer Analyst, a companion view and query software product to Network Engineer, and a Web viewing solution based on Orion Technology's OnPoint software, an extension to the ESRI ArcIMS Internet map server platform.

      Once these software products are installed and implemented, the project also calls for OneGIS to implement interfaces to TVA's Indus EMPAC asset management system and FileNet document management systems. OneGIS was chosen specifically for its breadth of knowledge with regards to ESRI application software and its telecom GIS implementation and integration expertise. Network Engineer was chosen as the fiber application because of its robust design and management capabilities and its ability to fulfill all of TVA's geospatial fiber optic network management requirements.

      Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporate entity that was created by the TVA Act in 1933. It is the nation's largest public power company, with 33,000 megawatts of generating capacity. Through locally owned distributors, TVA provides power to nearly 8.5 million residents within its seven-state region. TVA's transmission system includes about 17,000 miles of transmission lines and over 120,000 structures.

      To support its power generation and transmission activities, TVA has an internal telecommunication system consisting of backbone microwave and fiber optic transport systems for the transmission of voice, video, data, and protective relaying circuits. To date, there are approximately 2,700 miles of optical ground wire (OPGW) installed atop its transmission line structures.

      In the RFP process, TVA was seeking to procure a geospatial fiber management system for the full life cycle management of their communication assets. OneGIS and Telcordia were selected because of their individual corporate capabilities and their combined ability to deliver an efficient and cost-effective solution for the fiber network management needs listed in the RFP. The fact that Network Engineer can manage fiber assets in conjunction with TVA's corporate ESRI GIS standard was a significant factor in the selection.

    5. Trimble has added TrimPix technology to its Mapping & GIS handheld product line. TrimPix technology makes it easy to link high-resolution digital photographs to GIS features using selected Nikon cameras. TrimPix technology is being showcased at Trimble Dimensions Users Conference in Las Vegas and the European Conference for ESRI Users in Athens, Greece.

      Based on Connected Photography by FotoNation, TrimPix technology enables the Trimble GeoExplorer 2005 series of GPS handheld receivers and Trimble Recon and Ranger field computers running Microsoft Windows Mobile version 5.0 software to wirelessly connect to a digital camera. FotoNation manufactures digital imaging connectivity software solutions.

      Using the handheld device's built-in wireless LAN (WiFi), TrimPix technology makes it possible for Trimble users to connect to, and receive images from, selected WiFi-capable Nikon digital cameras, including the COOLPIX P1, P2, P3, S6, and S7c. As each photo is taken, the Nikon camera automatically transfers the digital image to the Trimble handheld GPS receiver or handheld field computer wirelessly. Once the photo has been transferred, it can then be linked to GIS feature and location data in the handheld device.

      Trimble customers with the GeoExplorer 2005 series GPS handhelds and Trimble Recon and Ranger field computers running Windows Mobile version 5.0 software can download the TrimPix software for free. In addition, Trimble is offering an introductory promotion. Until December 15, customers who purchase a Trimble GeoExplorer 2005 series handheld can receive a cash rebate from Trimble when they also purchase a selected Nikon digital camera. Customers must present the camera proof-of-purchase to their local Trimble reseller to receive the rebate.

    6. ESRI and ICMA, a local government leadership and management organization, have worked together to produce a virtual library of resources for using GIS for brownfields redevelopment. The ESRI-ICMA GIS for Brownfields Toolkit will be released at the Brownfields 2006 conference in Boston, Massachusetts, November 13-15. The toolkit contains conference presentations, reports and articles, and an extensive list of Web resources that will spark new ideas for communities wanting to use GIS in brownfields redevelopment.

      Original case studies produced specifically for the toolkit share the experiences of three communities using GIS for brownfields redevelopment: Hillsborough County, Florida; Spokane, Washington; and Worcester, Massachusetts. Hillsborough County uses GIS maps to help its citizens understand the potential impacts of brownfields efforts and to involve them in discussions about future plans. The City of Spokane found GIS helpful for planning and setting priorities for its brownfields program. The City of Worcester developed a special GIS application, the Brownfields Redevelopment Inventory Query (BRIQ), to help manage brownfields redevelopment efforts.

      The toolkit is available free of charge. Conference participants can pick up a copy at the ESRI exhibit (booth 543) in the Exhibit Hall. After the conference, the toolkit can be ordered through ICMA by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 202-962-3533.

    7. Digital Quest, Inc.'s flagship product, SPACESTARS—a fully-developed series of "turn-key" geospatial curricula for workforce development, technical schools, colleges, and universities—is listed in the newly published Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge. SPACESTARS is a partnership between Digital Quest Inc., and Berkley Geo-Research Group. The publication suggests Digital Quest's SPACESTARS as a commercially available solution for schools and colleges that prefer not to develop curricular materials on their own.

      Through the SPACESTARS curriculum students utilize a locally-customized GIS to learn detailed information about their local community and master the use software and tools standard in the geospatial industry. SPACESTARS is divided into three areas of need: 1) general geospatial knowledge (GEODESY), 2) adding geospatial skills to existing career paths (SPACE), and 3) standardized, entry-level certification (STARS).

      Published in 2006 by the American Association of Geographers, Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge addresses how higher education should prepare students for success in the variety of professions that rely upon geospatial technologies. Since 1998, scholars from many of the more than 80 institutions represented by the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) have contributed to the publication. It is expected that this book and its subsequent editions will become an important reference work and classroom resource for teachers, students, and GIS&T professionals alike.

    8. The Douglas County, Kansas, Appraiser's Office has contracted MultiVision USA, a provider of high-resolution oblique imagery and 3D viewing software, to create an aerial photo library of properties throughout the county. Located in northeast Kansas, Douglas County is a long-time user of geospatial technologies. The Appraiser's Office—which operates a GIS/mapping division that provides mapping services for other county offices and the public—selected MultiVision USA to acquire oblique imagery of its mostly rural land area for a variety of applications.

      The Appraiser's Office—which is responsible for the appraisal of all real estate, both commercial and residential, and of all personal property in the county—will be the first county department to use the MultiVision USA package in its appraisal activities. Currently, the county employs a team of 14 people who make nearly all appraisal visits on foot. Every year, they must personally visit one-sixth of the properties in the county, or roughly 6,000 to 7,000 parcels.

      Johnson expects other county departments will quickly put the oblique imagery and MultiVision software tools to good use. The imagery and viewing software can be helpful in law enforcement, fire & rescue, emergency management and other applications that benefit from multi-perspective and 3D viewing capabilities.

      MultiVision USA will begin work on the Douglas County project in November, taking photos of the 73-square-mile City of Lawrence as a pilot project for the county. Images will be delivered to the county in the beginning of 2007.

      MultiVision software integrates oblique and ortho aerial photos into a single database. It then provides onscreen tools to measure vertical and horizontal structures, such as building facades, backyard patios, and terrain features from any angle or direction. The tools are used in a variety of applications from property assessment to civil planning. The software works directly with all GIS-based applications, allowing for the importing and exporting of additional data layers.

    9. The USGS and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have selected Sanborn to perform LiDAR acquisition and three-dimensional mapping services for the state of Iowa. The company has been contracted to deliver high resolution LiDAR and digital elevation model (DEM) data comprising of all 99 counties, approximately 55,870 square miles of the state of Iowa.

      The state will use Sanborn deliverables for a variety of purposes, including hydrological modeling, surface feature extraction, wetland mapping, and terrain visualization. Current technological advances have made possible the collection and analysis of elevation data over large areas at a greater resolution than past technology has allowed. Combined with the current statewide GIS and natural resource applications, Iowa will benefit greatly from LiDAR data collection. Sanborn will provide a higher resolution elevation product to satisfy field based program needs for a variety of municipal organizations.

      LiDAR technology permits high-resolution, three-dimensional mapping and will allow the state to accurately delineate surface profiles, drainage patterns and slope. Sanborn deliverables will meet Map Modernization guidelines and specifications as provided by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    10. Intermap Technologies Corp. has completed the proactive data collection of the entire country of Germany (357,000 square kilometers / 137,838 square miles) to complete its NEXTMap Deutschland initiative. Additionally, the company collected data in surrounding countries resulting in a total of 486,873 square kilometers (187,983 square miles) as part of its NEXTMap Europe program, scheduled for completion in 2007.

      The accelerated completion of NEXTMap Deutschland was driven by demand within the German automotive, government, and insurance sectors for enabling applications that require highly accurate three-dimensional maps. Once processed, these datasets will encompass the most accurate elevation models of Germany in existence.

      Precise 3D height data will enable the automotive industry to drive the development of active safety devices, fuel performance improvements, and a host of navigation solutions. Additionally, the vertical accuracy levels of 1 meter or better creates tremendous value for the insurance industry to perform accurate risk assessments for flood and other potential environmental hazard scenarios. Likewise, government and enterprise entities will now have access to information at a level of accuracy previously not available in the market.

    11. Textron Systems Corporation has acquired Overwatch Systems. Textron, which has a solid reputation in the defense business, did not previously have a large footprint in the intelligence community. Overwatch Systems brings this market position to Textron.

      Textron believes it can grow the Overwatch Systems business at an even higher rate than Overwatch could on its own. The acquisition is currently undergoing standard U.S. government review. Textron plans to operate Overwatch as a division of Textron Systems and is dedicated to a seamless transition. The Overwatch Systems name will be retained. Overwatch Systems will continue to serve its existing customer base and will continue to grow the technology synergies it has built among the six companies it recently acquired. The entire Overwatch Systems management team will remain in place.

    12. Intermap Federal Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Intermap Technologies, Corp. has received a $1.3M contract to provide digital elevation data to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contract will deliver data collected as part of Intermap's ongoing NEXTMap USA mapping program for various applications, including assistance in preparing soil surveys.

      NRCS provides soil surveys for the privately owned lands of the nation. Via its National Soil Survey Center, the agency provides scientific expertise to enable its National Cooperative Soil Survey program—a partnership led by NRCS of federal land management agencies, state agricultural experiment stations, and state and local units of government—to develop and maintain a uniform system for mapping and assessing soil resources; thereby ensuring that soil information from different locations can be shared, regardless of which agency collects it.

      Intermap's elevation models, based on the company's Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR) technology, will be used primarily by the NRCS to speed up and improve soil survey mapping by reducing time spent in the field. The agreement is contracted through AERO-METRIC and includes data for all of Hawaii and significant portions of Texas, Wyoming, California, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Much of the data is contracted for immediate delivery, with the balance being procured through 2007 as new data becomes available.

    13. DMTI Spatial (DMTI), a Canadian provider of location intelligence solutions, is partnering with GlobeXplorer, a geographic data integration and publishing company, to resell GlobeXplorer's imagery service. The companies have joined forces to provide the Canadian market with the highest quality aerial and satellite data available today. Under the arrangement, DMTI will provide GlobeXplorer's popular ImageConnect Web mapping extensions to customers throughout Canada.

      GlobeXplorer's ImageConnect GIS plug-ins provide instant access to the largest online archive of aerial and satellite photos available. Users can easily access specific geographies of interest by zooming, panning, and honing in on target areas directly from their preferred desktop GIS software. ImageConnect also provides users a way to manage their imagery inventory and track their usage for billing functions.

    14. The City of Woodland, California, has been successfully using for its maintenance management needs Cityworks, by Azteca Systems, Inc., a provider of GIS-centric asset maintenance management solutions. In a recently published article in Woodland's eNEWSLETTER, the city detailed its use of Cityworks and how it has enhanced productivity within the organization.

      The city has been a Cityworks user for more than three years, using the system to track utilities, right-of-way, and city-owned facilities. In the past 12 months alone, it has logged 3,323 service requests and 8,943 work orders. Cityworks enables Woodland staff to plan work and address projects that need immediate attention.

      Though currently in the process of implementing ESRI's ArcGIS, the city originally deployed Cityworks in a standalone mode. As the GIS asset data comes on line, users have the capability to link service requests and work orders to assets and other geographic features, leveraging their investment in GIS data.

    15. CompassTools Inc. , a provider of GIS field data collection tools, has formed a new division as an Autodesk Value Added Reseller in Colorado and New Mexico. Based in Centennial, Coloradp, the CompassTools Autodesk Division will provide sales, support, training and solutions relating to the Autodesk geospatial product line.

      The CompassTools Autodesk Division will provide products and services to government and civil end-user markets. To oversee the new division, CompassTools has hired Robert Potter as Business Development Manager. A long-time GIS consultant, Potter brings to the new position ten years of experience with Autodesk as an applications engineer.

    16. GeoDecisions has contracted with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) to plan, design, develop, and implement a Web-based image log viewer. The viewer will enable NDDOT personnel to view images of North Dakota's highway system. The image log system will contain street-level video and include an online "motion" picture of the highway. When complete, users can conduct field views or observe the exact location of a transportation project without having to perform an on-site inspection of the location.

      The image log viewer is designed to be the foundation for NDDOT's Web-enabled enterprise portal and will guide GIS-related application development over the next several years. Users will have the ability to query or select features on a map and launch a new image log viewer for that location. The enterprise portal will provide the foundation for users to select spatial features or locations on a map and link to future Web-enabled business applications. In addition, the technology used in the portal and viewer will have the ability to be expanded to meet NDDOT's future GIS and information technology needs.

      GeoDecisions' staff of professional consultants, analysts, and developers supports clients across the United States. Fundamental to the company's approach is the integration of spatial information to empower existing systems and processes. GeoDecisions' philosophy is based on an enterprisewide approach to the integration of diverse information technologies, data formats, and systems.

    17. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has awarded a contract to Leica Geosystems to supply high-definition surveying equipment. The Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT), a specialized unit of the CHP, conducts in-depth investigations and analyses of major traffic collisions throughout the state. The MAIT studies environmental, human, and mechanical factors that may have contributed to collisions, with the ultimate objective being the utilization of these identified causal factors in the prevention of similar incidents. MAIT officers are trained in the physics of collision analysis and reconstruction, and they use Leica Geosystems' surveying equipment in order to map collision scenes. The team recently purchased five Leica ScanStation 3D laser scanners and accompanying Cyclone software in order to document severe and complex accidents involving multiple fatalities, officer-involved shootings, or officer injuries.

      The CHP MAIT have long used Leica System 1200 survey-grade GPS and total stations for major accident investigations. With this purchase, the CHP will have a full complement of Leica Geosystems measurement tools for their investigations.

      The CHP is drafting procedures and standards for forensic laser scanning to comply with the guidelines currently being established by the International Association of Forensic and Security Metrology (IAFSM), a recently formed non-profit professional association of users, service providers, and manufacturers of metrological techniques and technology working for the advancement of justice. The president of the IAFSM is Captain Larry Sonntag, head of the Scientific Evidence Division of the Albuquerque Police Department, which also uses the Leica ScanStation for crime scene investigation (CSI). Leica Geosystems is a charter member of the IAFSM and provides input to the association membership in their role as technical advisors.


    1. ESRI will showcase ArcGIS 9.2 at the GEOINT Symposium in Orlando, Florida, November 13-16. This symposium provides an opportunity for national security leaders to see and understand how ArcGIS 9.2 will reshape the intelligence landscape and allow them to tackle some of the most pressing challenges they face.

      Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI, will participate in a panel discussion on Wednesday, November 15, at 4:00 p.m. to discuss today's interoperability capabilities. With the rapid changes in technology, stronger geospatial standards, and growing adoption of service-oriented architectures (SOA), GIS technology must continue to evolve to support these and other trends.

      Dangermond will share his insights into these trends as well as provide an overview of current GIS capabilities. ESRI has partnered with the intelligence and defense communities for more than 35 years. With today's critical need to fuse intelligence data from a wide range of static and real-time/dynamic sources for rapid modeling, analysis, and decision making, it is critical for GIS to provide complete interoperability and spatial tools. Distributing this information to the diverse intelligence community provides situational awareness to the field, analyst, and command and control.

      The panel discussion follows a technology demonstration that showcases how current geospatial technologies and capabilities can enable seamless integration of actionable intelligence in today's changing world. ESRI participated in building this demonstration.

      At the event, ESRI will highlight the power and flexibility of its complete solution for geospatial intelligence by demonstrating key technologies and solutions, including

      • ArcGIS Server 9.2, which was built to provide the power of a GIS-enabled SOA to equip intelligence professionals with the speed, agility, and tools to meet many analytical and operational needs.
      • New and enhanced capabilities in ArcGIS 9.2 including innovations in data management, spatial analysis and modeling, intelligent cartography, and mobile GIS. These features will permit analysts to receive and integrate spatial information quickly. The capabilities will also improve their analysis and workflow and help them disseminate intelligence products rapidly to a community of interest using a range of platforms and devices.

      ArcGIS is especially well suited to meet many of the challenges facing the international community and national security organizations. Among these challenges are information sharing, analysis, visualization, and information capture and update. ArcGIS

      • provides a complete system for authoring, serving and using geographic information and integrating other geospatial technology and standard IT infrastructure
      • supports a wide range of IT, defense and intelligence, and GIS standards
      • provides a new way to manage and disseminate geographic knowledge, making GIS information available to anyone
      • is a powerful and flexible developer platform
      • provides a new medium for understanding by providing systematic knowledge, an integrative framework, analytic methods, and intuitive visualization
      • helps you make informed decisions; know where, when, why, and how to take action; and share your knowledge with others.

      ESRI will also demonstrate several critical solutions for the intelligence, defense, and homeland security communities, including

      • ArcGIS Image Server, a solution to dynamically manage, process, and distribute large imagery sets
      • Production Line Tool Set (PLTS) for ArcGIS, a modular solution for aeronautical, nautical, and topographic map, chart, and data production.

      More than 45 ESRI partners offering extended applications, solutions, and services for the defense and intelligence communities will be exhibiting at the show. The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation hosts GEOINT, which is expected to draw more than 2,500 government as well as academic, industry, and military leaders to Orlando. The ESRI team will be in booth #911 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.

    2. GDC, a UK provider of geographic information (GI) solutions, has unveiled GeoReveal 2.0 Studio, the new version of its Web-based tool that reveals the geographic trends in statistics by turning them into interactive Web pages and presentations.

      GeoReveal 2.0 Studio can be used in a wide range of situations that relate to communicating statistical information on "What's going up or down and where?" It can be applied in data publishing, performance review, data exploration, and management dashboards. Examples include statistics for crime reduction initiatives, census trends in local government, or performance figures for any business within the public or private sectors. Due to its Web-based technology, the interactive maps, illustrations and presentations can be easily distributed throughout an organization.

    3. DeLorme has launched its new XMap 5.0 GIS Enterprise suite of products, which includes a wide range of mapping, routing, navigation, GPS, and GIS file management features. A three-tiered solution, it delivers the appropriate measure of capabilities to users at different operational levels—GIS administrators, field technicians, and now, for the first time, top echelon enterprise GIS managers as well.

      As with previous releases, XMap 5.0 GIS supports the most common GIS data formats, including AutoCAD (.dxf, .dwg), ESRI (.eoo, .shp, .prj), .gml, .gpx, MapInfo (.mif, .tab), MrSid files, and GeoTIFF .tfw. At its various levels, XMap 5.0 GIS offers a variety of indispensable features, including geospatial querying, buffering tools, bulk geo-data import, coordinate geometry support, and command line bulk import tools for advanced GIS users. All XMap 5.0 GIS solutions include DeLorme's core mapping and GPS features.

      The three levels include:

      • XMAP 5.0 GIS ENTERPRISE (new): Advanced GIS database management designed to meet the needs of enterprise GIS administrators; $1,499.95 per seat; it
        • allows users to easily deploy their GIS data to the field—now with ArcSDE support and check out/in database controls
        • allows users to create raster layers using multi-point image registration
        • allows users to apply database integrity tools—check out/in, field redlining, and database synchronization
        • includes all of the XMap 5.0 GIS Editor features (see below)
      • XMAP 5.0 GIS EDITOR (upgrade from XMap/GIS Editor): Full-featured for administrative users, easy enough to use for entry level. Ideal as a stand-alone GIS, or as a cost-efficient supplement to existing GIS infrastructures; $749.95 per seat; it
        • allows users to import or create vector GIS layers with easy-to-use CAD, attribution, COGO, and topological editing tools
        • allows users to build buffer zones and perform geo-spatial query analysis of critical GIS data
        • allows users to share their data through advanced print, file exporting, and Web publishing tools
        • includes all of the XMap 5.0 Professional features.
      • XMAP 5.0 PROFESSIONAL (upgrade from XMap 4.5): Advanced GIS viewer for mobile professionals and field crews; $199.95 per seat; it allows users to
        • import their data with the new bulk geodata import (includes command line support)
        • view GIS data layers enabled through XMap 5.0 GIS Editor and Enterprise administrators
        • redline field data corrections using easy-to-use draw tools enabled through XMap 5.0 GIS Enterprise
        • navigate to their destination with voice-guided GPS routing

      Detailed base map and aerial imagery datasets are available separately from DeLorme including updated versions of USA/Canadian Street level Data, USA Topographic Data and Phone Data 2007.

      With its affordability, versatility, and interoperability, XMap continues to grow in popularity across a spectrum of GIS user markets, including:

      • energy and telecom—oil and gas field technicians, electrical power transmission technicians, cellular tower engineers, and cellular coverage engineers
      • natural resources—game wardens, foresters, environmental engineers, and land surveyors
      • public safety—irst responders, including fire and police agencies; police officers, fire-technicians, emergency managers, and planners
      • government organizations—unicipal managers, state GIS managers, FEMA claims processors, forest service field technicians, and DHS emergency operation planners
      • real estate—appraisers, realtors, property managers, and mortgage brokers insurance—field agents and IT managers.
    4. LeadDog Consulting, a provider of street and road maps, has released detailed island-wide geographic databases for Aruba. LeadDog maps support military, government, asset-tracking, and commercial GIS applications.

    5. Navman, a designer and manufacturer of GPS technology, has launched the smallest, autonomous GPS receiver available, the Jupiter 32. The device packs the high GPS signal sensitivity and fast access times of Navman's Jupiter 30 into an extremely small package for integration into a variety of configurations. Designed for devices where size matters, such as covert asset tracking, discrete personal location and safety products, and any application where ultra-small form factors are required, the Jupiter 32 delivers a tracking capability of better than -159 dBm.

      The Jupiter 32 delivers location data even in the most challenging conditions, including inside buildings, parking garages, shopping malls and other indoor environments; inner city urban canyons; areas with dense foliage and in vehicles with UV-coated or athermic windshields. With a form factor that is about the size of a thumbnail, the Jupiter 32 combines the most advanced components available with the SiRF GSC3 chipset in a package that is optimized for RF tracking capabilities and the fastest times to fix under all conditions.

      The Jupiter 32's 20-channel receiver supports user selectable SBAS (WAAS, EGNOS, and MSAS). Low-power operation and full use of the SiRF GSC3 power level modes, ensures wider integration capability and use in power sensitive applications, such as battery-operated devices. Ideal gain characteristics, and optimized LNA and RF signal path design, enable easy integration into products with active or passive GPS antennas. The receiver's small size and flexible design allows manufacturers to develop products for devices previously unavailable for standard GPS designs.

      The smallest GPS receiver available, the Jupiter 32 sports a 15.0 millimeter x 17.0 millimeter x 2.7 millimeter form factor and weighs only 2.0 grams. Key features of the Jupiter 32 include: fully sealed EMI edge shielding, an ultra-high sensitivity GPS receiver with an optimized RF front-end, proprietary shaped filtering to reduce noise, multi-path mitigation for track re-centering and jammer elimination, and dynamic search control to adapt to severe environments. The Jupiter 32 can be further optimized with user selectable navigation modes via a simple ASCII command that can be stored in Flash memory. These Navigation modes allow the selection of General Use, Automotive, Pedestrian and optimized Low Power modes to suit any application. For more specific requirements, these settings are further configurable.

      With indoor position fix and tracking capability better than -59 dBm, the Jupiter 32 has more than 200,000 effective correlators for superior acquisition performance in the weakest signal conditions. Additional features of the Jupiter 32 include: a high-quality 0.5PPM TCXO for optimal performance, integral LNA, an ARM7 CPU with additional capacity for custom applications, 1 PPS, 50mA average power draw, optimized low power management mode with an average power consumption of 25 milliAmpere at 1 Hertz, hibernate mode with 6.8u Ampere power draw, down to 3 volt power operation and a brown-out detection circuit.

      Further specifications include 20-channel mode GPS support; fast acquisition fix performance of 0.5 seconds (hot start), 32 seconds (warm start) and 34 seconds (cold start); ephemeris tail and bit sync for quicker time to fix in poor conditions and SiRFLoc multi-mode GPS support for improved fix availability.

    6. Intergraph Corporation has launched ImageStation PixelQue, an application offering several finishing tools needed in orthophoto production for image inspection, quality control, image enhancement, and image editing. ImageStation PixelQue combines all the tools needed into a single package tailored for production, streamlining, and driving productivity throughout the orthophoto finishing process.

      ImageStation PixelQue includes many tools for which users have traditionally employed a range of applications, many of which were not designed specifically for orthophoto production. By delivering these tools within a single application, which is tightly integrated with ImageStation OrthoPro, users benefit from support of four band and 16-bit images and preservation of georeferencing embedded in the file header.

    7. Leica Geosystems has launched the DISTO A8, the first handheld laser distance measuring tool with a built-in digital viewfinder and tilt sensor. The digital viewfinder provides three zoom levels and nine brightness settings, making it easy to aim at faraway objects. Even if the laser dot is too far away to be seen by the unaided eye, it's easy to acquire the target with the crosshairs in the viewfinder.

      The integrated tilt sensor makes it possible to measure an angle by using the housing of the DISTO or the laser beam as a basis. The DISTO A8 measures direct horizontal distances even when blocked by obstacles in the line of sight. It also permits the user to measure distances to objects that do not reflect the laser, such as the top of a mirrored-glass building.

      Incorporating Leica Geosystems' Power Range Technology, the DISTO A8 can take measurements with +/-1.5 millimeter (1/16 inch) accuracy out to 100 meters (329 feet) without a target plate, and up to 200 meters (656 feet) with a target plate. The multifunctional endpiece makes it easy to measure from edges or corners and the system automatically recognizes the point of reference. The rugged casing is splash-proof and dust-proof for reliable operation on outdoor construction jobs.


    1. This week, ten subject matter experts from Intermap Technologies, Inc. are presenting and/or moderating at various sessions and workshops during the 2006 ASPRS / MAPPS Specialty Conference. The conference, titled "Measuring the Earth (Part II): Latest Developments with Digital Surface Modeling and Automated Feature Extraction," is being held in San Antonio, Texas, November 6 - 10.

      This year's conference focuses on the evolving technology, applications, and standards that have been developed over the past two years in the geospatial industry. Intermap's experts are being joined by data users and value-added providers who are sharing their experiences using these advanced technologies to optimize projects, analyze and solve problems, and explore new applications.

    2. R.A. Smith & Associates, Inc.—civil engineering, planning, surveying, landscape architecture, GIS, and visualization consultants— of Brookfield, Wisconsin, is accepting registrations for several upcoming ESRI-authorized GIS courses. The training is part of the education component of R.A. Smith's SuccessGIS program for successful GIS implementation.

      The classes are open to any one who wants to use GIS as an effective tool for managing, analyzing, and viewing relationships between tabular and spatial information. The classes benefit individuals employed in local government, land development, real estate, police/fire/emergency services, health care, education and others.

      • QA/QC for GIS Data, November 27-28, taught by ESRI Staff. This course deals with error and quality in GIS data and provides practical guidelines for creating a complete quality assurance plan. Participants learn techniques for efficient and consistent verification of data integrity from both internal and external sources. Using ArcGIS Desktop and the GIS Data ReViewer extension, quality control tools, and workflows are presented with an eye towards ever-improving technology.
      • Data Production and Editing Techniques, November 29-December 1, taught by ESRI Staff. This course presents methodologies for performing common spatial and tabular data automation and editing tasks. Using the tools available with ArcGIS software, participants learn techniques for data preparation, conversion, and editing. Participants also learn how topology and other geodatabase validation rules help maintain data integrity as part of an editing workflow. This course teaches practical methods for working with spatial and attribute data with an emphasis on data stored in the geodatabase.
      • Introduction to the Multi-user Geodatabase, January 23-24, taught by ESRI Staff. The multi-user geodatabase uses ArcSDE software and a database management system (DBMS) to store large amounts of GIS data that many users may concurrently access. This course, designed for the end user of a multi-user geo-database, bridges the gap between the ArcSDE administrator and the GIS professional and shows how to leverage the powerful capabilities offered by the multi-user geodatabase. Students learn how to apply GIS skills in a multi-user environment and how the multi-user environment differs from the personal geodatabase (single user) environment.
      • Creating and Editing Parcels with ArcGIS, January 25-26, taught by ESRI Staff. The two-day interactive course teaches you how to effectively enter and maintain cadastral data in your geodatabase. Students learn basic concepts of the geodatabase data model and a process for editing parcels. This course addresses displaying, symbolizing and editing parcel data as well as entering subdivisions into an existing parcel fabric. The course also teaches how to create and modify tax map annotation.

      R.A. Smith also offers customized training either onsite or at R.A. Smith's in-house learning center. A course outline and materials are prepared based upon the individual's specific needs. R.A. Smith provides GIS services to the public and private sectors and has developed a program—SuccessGIS—for the successful implementation of a GIS at all levels.

    3. Civil engineering will now be a central component of ESRI's annual survey and GIS conference. This event, officially renamed the Survey & Engineering GIS Summit, will take place concurrently with the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California, 2007 June 16-19.

      The summit will continue to focus on key topics for surveyors and related industries, including geodetic control, GPS, integrating surveying and GIS technology, land management, implementing GIS, and working with government agencies. However, the new program will be enhanced to include prevalent issues in engineering, including GIS integration with site and land development, LiDAR, photogrammetry, engineering and analysis, and construction and as-built surveying.

      The fifth annual Survey & Engineering GIS Summit will also include a focused forum for survey GIS educators led by geomatics professor Dr. Gary Jeffries.

      Paper submissions are still being accepted for the summit. User presentations and paper topics should cover important issues in both surveying and engineering, such as

      • survey data requirements for GIS applications
      • GPS technology
      • survey data collection requirements, methods, and accuracy
      • engineering and analysis
      • LiDAR and photogrammetry
      • construction and as-built surveys
      • government implementation.


    1. Airborne 1 Corporation has hired a new CFO, Ted Lanes. Lanes, a USC graduate, has ten years of CFO experience in both the private and public sectors.

    2. MapInfo Corporation, a provider of location intelligence solutions, has appointed John O'Hara to the position of Executive Vice President of International Operations. In this role, O'Hara will lead MapInfo's expansion strategies in Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific, and implement MapInfo's global strategy focused on key vertical markets across these geographies to best serve its global customers.

      O'Hara joins MapInfo from Microsoft, where he served as General Manager, Enterprise and Partner Group for Microsoft UK where he was responsible for sales and services to Microsoft's enterprise customers. Prior to Microsoft, O'Hara served as Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Operations for Pivotal Corporation, a leading provider of CRM solutions to the mid enterprise, and spent 11 years at Lotus Development Group and IBM.

    3. James W. Sewall Company has hired GIS specialist Rick Martens as GIS Project Manager. He has more than eight years' technical and managerial experience on GIS consulting and data conversion projects for municipal government and gas and electric utilities. As a GIS manager for a county government organization in New York State, Martens was responsible for the coordination and allocation of resources for all GIS projects as project manager and technical lead. He formulated long-term goals for GIS upgrades by the county and subsequently supervised the building of the county's first enterprise GIS solution from the ground up. He provided customized GIS services and training to many of the county's departments, including health, public safety, highway, planning, law enforcement, engineering and HAZMAT.

      Martens has demonstrated capabilities in the proper application and use of many software packages, including the ESRI Arc suite of products, Microsoft SQL Server, CAMEO, MARPLOT, ALOHA, CATS, HPAC, and Pathfinder Office. He also has expertise in hazard prediction and assessment tools. Working out of Old Town on the Utilities team, he manages projects for gas, electric, and municipal utility clients, providing services in landbase development, customized mapping, E911 address data management, and GIS consulting. Leveraging his strengths in GIS conceptual design and implementation, Martens provides clients with a strategic view of potential solutions to best meet their specific needs, working with them to identify actionable items and initiate the implementation process.

      Martens has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Founded in 1880, Sewall has provided comprehensive GIS consulting services to government, utility companies, and the forest industry since the 1970s. Sewall's expertise in GIS project implementation is supported by 50 years' experience in aerial photography and landbase mapping and 30 years' experience in GIS database and application development. In recent years, Sewall has assisted multiple clients with implementing Web-based GIS.

    4. Pacific Alliance Technologies has hired Anthony M. Bonnici (B.Sc. Comp. Sci.) fulltime as a Principal Technical Consultant. With more than 20 years practical experience in GIS and Asset Management, he adds senior application, programming and domain knowledge to the team.

      As a Geomatics professor at Sir Sandford Fleming College, Bonnici designed, developed, and delivered courses on project planning and management, municipal GIS, database design and development, problem solving, Web programming, and Web GIS development. He wrote and self-published the "Mapping with MicroStation" series of five books and authored many technical articles on GIS and programming. In addition, having worked as an independent consultant for most of his career, he accumulated extensive experience in the municipal domain, particularly with project work at the City of Peterborough, Ontario, and the County of Haliburton, Ontario.

      With his substantial experience in Asset Management, Bonnici will be focused in this area to assist in the business analysis and delivery of asset management systems for compliance with the new PS3150 regulations. He will also leverage his extensive background in the open source Web-mapping software to Pacific Alliance's initiatives with Autodesk MapGuide. Anthony will be based in Pacific Alliance's Vancouver office and work for various clients in Western Canada.

  5. OTHER

    1. The Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) has praised U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA) for introducing the "Imagery, Mapping and Geospatial Enhancement (IMAGE) Act" before Congress recessed on September 29. The act designates the Office of Space Commercialization (OSC), an agency within the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to actively promote and advocate federal agency use and reliance on private firms for geospatial services, data, and products. This designation has been deemed necessary for implementation of a 2004 NASA Inspector General report, the 2003 White House Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy, and the 2002 CIA Memo by then-CIA Director George Tenet.

      The IMAGE Act was referred to the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee. Senator Allen, a member of the committee, represents a state with a high concentration of geospatial firms, including a major cluster in Northern Virginia. U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, joined as an original cosponsor.

      MAPPS emphasized that private geospatial firms in Virginia and across the nation stand to benefit from the bill.

    2. MapInfo Corporation, a provider of location intelligence solutions, has been named to the 2006 Forbes list of the 200 Best Small American Companies. The Forbes 200 Best Small Companies annual list is comprised of small, but growing, publicly-traded businesses demonstrating superior performance in the marketplace. To qualify, a company must have sales between $5 million and $750 million. In addition, candidates must carry profit margins of greater than 5 percent, with positive sales and profit growth, on average, over both the last five years and last 12 months.

    3. Intermap Technologies Corp. has added a fourth aircraft to its fleet of planes equipped with its proprietary IFSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) airborne data collection system. The new aircraft will begin operating in Europe and is capable of collecting approximately 1,500,000 square kilometers (580,000 square miles) of digital elevation data per year.

      This added capacity aids in the completion of Intermap's plan for the proactive collection of country-wide data throughout Europe by the end of 2007. Starting in November 2006, the new aircraft will begin updating elevation data previously collected in the United Kingdom. It will then spend the bulk of 2007 supporting the remainder of the NEXTMap Europe program, which covers 13 European countries.

GIS Monitor Back Issues

You can reach more than 23,000 GIS professionals every issue by sponsoring GIS Monitor. For more information, email us.


Please send comments and suggestions to:

Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

Ultimate Map/GIS Directory — Your search is over!

GIS Monitor is published by:

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


If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe visit our subscription page.