2007 January 18

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Editor's Introduction

This week I bring you another batch of responses to my geospatial industry survey, including one by Matthew O'Connell, CEO of GeoEye, and a review of an ESRI Press book on the use of GIS for environmental management; also, a mention of an article on the dwindling budget for Earth observation and a small clarification. Plus, a large compilation of news items from press releases.

After writing this newsletter for nearly two years, starting this week I include my last name, below.

Matteo Luccio

Geospatial Industry Survey

Here's a second batch of responses to my industry survey questions. I will have many more next week. Please send me yours!

Respondent Job Title Company
Matthew O'Connell CEO GeoEye
Randy Johnson Chair Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
Joydeep Chakraborty   RMSI
John Brandes Manager of Specialty Products Agfa Corporation
  1. What are emerging as the biggest drivers and the narrowest bottlenecks in the delivery of interactive maps and location-based services, including local search, to consumers?

    1. Matthew O'Connell

      GeoEye is a key provider of imagery to Microsoft Virtual Earth and Yahoo. Obviously, as technology has changed so has the mapping industry. People are now used to looking at satellite imagery maps or some type of hybrid version. They expect it and in the future they will expect to see more current data than what's available now on many of the search engines. Since your questions deal with consumers, I think the search engine that can boast they have the most accurate and most current satellite imagery married with the most functionality will be the victor and attract the most eyeballs. As to bottlenecks, for feature rich content it will always be the size of the pipes that will be the limiting factors. Regardless, the number of people using these engines will increase. In July 2006, according to a comScore study released last fall, 63 percent of U.S. Internet users—some 109 million—used a local search engine, up from 43 percent in July 2005.

    2. Randy Johnson

      Right now we are seeing an increased interest in oblique imagery. In our latest deployment of our interactive mapping service, we have created a link to the oblique images that we had contracted earlier in 2006. This link allows the user to view every square inch of the county via an angled aerial photo, which reveals more information than the more typical straight down aerial photo. This application also gives the user more freedom to control the visible layers and labeling, thus delivering exactly what the user is looking for. As users become more GIS-aware, through such tools as Google Earth and Local.live, delivering applications that they can control more will be what they are looking for in the future.

    3. Joydeep Chakraborty

      I believe the improved hardware capability and their standardization, along with robust GIS software applications and emerging standards such as OGC, will be the key drivers. The bottlenecks or rather challenges will be the quality and accuracy of the data and information and, of course, the limited availability of skilled professionals.

  2. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the pace of development of the NSDI? Are you involved in the process?

    1. Joydeep Chakraborty

      We are optimistic about the pace of development of NSDI. Lately some good work has been done; however, standardization of such diversified data always remain a challenge. RMSI is not directly involved in the process, however we observe its movement closely.

  3. Which sector of the geospatial industry do you think will grow the most this year? Why?

    1. Matthew O'Connell

      Since 9-11, the Defense and Intelligence sector has grown most dramatically. Almost half our revenues come from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. We have an excellent relationship with the NGA and their NextView program is a superb example of a successful public-private partnership. This community of users will grow with the availability of high-quality imagery from next-generation commercial imaging satellites. We expect overseas markets to continue to be strong as nations see the value of having access to imaging satellites for their economic and national security. Commercial markets are more scattered, so the cost of sale is higher. But the search engines have created an awareness of "all things geospatial" that advertising dollars could never buy. The search engines have given the commercial markets a persistent tail wind.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      Health GIS—tracking trends in health care with GIS. Decision support systems—legacy decision support systems integrated with modern location-based services. Online gaming—a new concept, where the games in which terrain-based maps are used will use real-time GIS-based maps.

  4. How is your company / agency benefiting from the greater availability of satellite imagery?

    1. Joydeep Chakraborty

      RMSI has a dedicated group for delivering Geospatial and Engineering solutions. The data is one of the key components in these solutions. There used to be many solutions that faced feasibility issues because of availability / cost or the time it takes to acquire the data. Easy availability allows us to propose and deliver such a solution to a larger audience.

  5. Have you switched to 3D or begun to use it more? Is it enabling new applications for you?

    1. Randy Johnson

      We have not enabled 3D yet. We just started a project for multiple addresses that has a phase where we intend to use 3D. 3D would be used to render the vertical component of the multiple dwellings (apartments, condominiums, townhouses, etc.).

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      To some extent, yes. Over the recent past, we have developed some 3D applications for some of our clients. However, these applications were limited to simple mapping and querying capabilities. I believe that advanced GIS functions in the 3D space is still at its nascent stage and will take some more time to reach its potential.

  6. Are you planning to access large amounts of CAD data from your GIS this year or to migrate CAD data into your GIS?

    1. Randy Johnson

      We are not planning on accessing/migrating any CAD data into our GIS at this time.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      Yes, definitely. We are seeing an increased trend of CAD to GIS migration, particularly in areas like facility and space management.

  7. Have you implemented any open source solutions? Do you plan to do so this year?

    1. Randy Johnson

      We have not implemented any open source solutions at this time, but it always remains an option.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      RMSI has made constant efforts in providing cost effective solutions to its customers. One of the recent open source implementation at RMSI was a WebGIS application using UNM MapServer API's. We do intend to continue implementing open solution this year as well as long as it benefits our customers. We also have implemented a 3D application for our client, based on a NASA WorldWind-like open source API named WW2D Plus One. While the use till now (in most cases) was limited to parts of the applications, with the maturing of the open source community, our efforts will be to deliver more and more applications that are built on popular and mature opens source solutions.

  8. Are you satisfied with the coverage, accuracy, update frequency, and cost of commercial street centerline data? Do you expect any major improvements this year? Do you expect to make any major changes in how you acquire this data?

    1. Randy Johnson

      Currently the Hennepin county Surveyor's office is developing our own county street centerline data set. It is expected to be finished in the second quarter of this year. This data set has long been overdue and we are very excited for its release.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      We are not very satisfied with the street data altogether. The availability in some parts of the world is reasonable, though. If we a want to deliver solutions across the globe we expect the consistent data in terms of coverage and accuracy. The cost is another bottleneck for these data. There are only a limited number of takers for very good data. If we want the applications to run on every desktop and want the user to expect it as default and as a part of OEM then we are pretty far off.

  9. In what ways do you expect geospatial technologies to contribute the most this year to solving global problems, such as climate change?

    1. Matthew O'Connell

      One of the biggest contributions imagery can make may be in helping to understand the geographical component to national security issues and imagery can help the developing world stay informed on such issues. Another may be climate change. We have some 255 million square kilometers of map-accurate IKONOS and Orbview-3 imagery in our archive. In understanding the impact of climate change, older satellite imagery at 1-meter resolution can be compared to newer imagery to see any changes. I saw an image of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and there isn't much snow on it anymore. Imagery is only one small element in helping understand how climate change may impact changes on the ground. Imagery may be like the canary in the mine and be an indicator or queuing tool for those studying these issues. Vanishing snow pack can be measured and mapped, multi-spectral imagery can help us understand how fast permafrost may be melting, imagery can 'see' more open water where sea ice used to be, and even map tree lines and then - over time - see how those lines change with regards to elevation. For years satellite imagery has helped monitor, measure, and map the underwater coral reef habitat using IKONOS since scientists have documented 'seeing' some 90 feet under clear still water like in the Caribbean or South Pacific. Coral reefs are very delicate ecosystems and are impacted by changes in water conditions such as acidity and temperature. Finally, commercial imagery may even play a part in verifying what countries may be claiming regarding global carbon credit trading.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      It is widely accepted that GIS and related technologies will play an important role in global change research. Remote sensing will clearly be the most important source of data for global change research, at least within its physical dimensions, because of remote sensing's potential for high spectral resolution and uniform coverage of the surface of the Earth. GPS is clearly important to all kinds of field observation. The importance of GIS, on the other hand, can only increase as global change research becomes more data- and computation-intensive, as it moves from studies of single processes to integrated modeling, as it struggles to link human and physical processes, and as it places more emphasis on policy formulation and decision-making.

  10. Which conferences and trade shows do you plan to attend this year? How far in advance do you plan these trips?

    1. Matthew O'Connell

      Our two biggest shows are the Twenty-Seventh Annual ESRI International User Conference, June 18-22 in San Diego, California, and GEOINT 2007 Symposium, October 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas. But we are also scheduled to attend many other smaller shows. Given the cost, logistical concerns, and the importance of getting hotel reservations we have to plan these far in advance.

    2. Randy Johnson

      We usually send several employees to the ESRI Annual International User conference each year. We plan for this when we create our budgets in the spring of the previous year.

    3. Joydeep Chakraborty

      The Annual ESRI International User Conference and Map India. These trips are planned two to three months in advance, because, in addition to attending these events, we also participate actively in them by showcasing some of our technology implementations.

  11. What do you expect to be the next really big thing in GIS data or applications — of roughly the same import, say, as the introduction of TIGER files?

    1. Joydeep Chakraborty

      The next big thing in the space of GIS applications will be the return of the thick clients over the Web. In the early years of the Internet revolution these were considered bad, as the bandwidth and client processing power were limited. But, with the emergence of cheaper hardware and ample bandwidth, these applications seem all set to make a return. Also, thanks to the emergence of such technologies as AJAX, Webservices, Flash/Flex, etc., these new age avatars are not only going to add power to Internet/Intranet applications but also add more ease of use, thanks to the simplified UI. For example, look at such applications as Map24 and Microsoft Virtual Earth's 3D plug-in.

  12. What are Europeans doing better with regards to geospatial technology than North Americans?

    1. Joydeep Chakraborty

      Apart from consuming the applications, there is a lot of work happening in the enterprise GIS arena to make GIS as hub for successful analytics.

  13. Has Google Earth become a de-facto standard? If it has, is that good or bad? Why?

    1. Matthew O'Connell

      Although Google Earth has received most all the attention in this area, you can't overlook Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo, and others. Mapquest was launched in 1996. It is humbling to think just a little more than 10 years ago we had no notion of using the Web for geospatial applications. I have a background in investment banking, communications, and the cable television industry. It took 38 years for the radio to attract 50 million listeners; 13 years for television attract 50 million viewers and only four years for the Internet to attract that many users. No one could have predicted the rapid rise of the Internet. One great advantage our industry has is that geospatial products can easily flow over the Internet since they are both based on digitized pixels of information. Google Earth was released in June 2005 and has been the race horse to beat ever since. Last July Google was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary so the company and its products have become part of our culture. But, don't count out Yahoo and Microsoft Virtual Earth. A comScore study last fall reported Google had 29.8 percent of the market for local search and Yahoo has 29.2 percent.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      The best thing that Google Earth has done is to deliver the wonderful world of imagery and maps to most of the desktops. This tool is not only perceived as a geospatial tool but also taken as a leisure tool. We agree that what users want to see in their geospatial application is based on what Google Earth looks like. However, as far as technology is concerned, it is still far from being a de-facto standard. It is good as it is going to increase the public participation in GIS through features like Google Earth community and Digital global coverage. One of the great usages was when Google Earth participated in the U.S. election this year by allowing people using Google Earth to get them registered for voting.

  14. What do you expect to be your thorniest legal issues this year? Liability? Copyright? Privacy?

    1. Matthew O'Connell

      Big issues for us and many other companies with far flung operations are export control laws which dampen on our ability to be agile and flexible. We once waited nine months to get a license to export a piece of hardware to replace a piece already on-site in a ground station in a foreign country that is a strong U.S. ally. We also have asked the government for a waiver on the current licensing constraint that will prevent us from delivering half-meter imagery from out next-generation satellite to customers immediately. Current rules say that we have to hold such imagery for 24 hours before making it available. Another issue is government competition. We believe a lot of people in the U.S. government now realize that imagery from the commercial sector is the most cost-effective mapping solution for the U.S. government, in part because the U.S. government benefits from the commercial industry's investment in Wall Street-backed commercial imaging satellites. We provide a critical outsourced support to the Defense and Intelligence community for high-quality, map-accurate satellite imagery. Future U.S. government land imaging systems should focus on technology and capabilities that U.S. commercial imagery companies can not or choose not to provide.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      Copyright and privacy.

  15. Scientific American, Technology Review, and the New York Times, just to mention a few of my favorite publications, almost never mention GIS specifically, even when talking about GIS-related topics. Why do you think that's the case? Do you expect awareness of GIS to significantly increase this year?

    1. Matthew O'Connell

      Awareness of GIS will increase at an exponential rate. Thanks to the search engines, the Internet, GPS, and commercial imaging satellites, people are using forms of GIS as part of their intellectual toolkit for understanding the world. In 1948 Harvard University dumped its geography program. But just last spring, Harvard established a Center for Geographic Analysis run by an eight-person faculty steering committee composed of GIS pioneers. At Harvard, geography — and GIS — is back and in a bigger way enabled by technologies never dreamed of 60 almost years ago. It is predicted that the early decades of this new millennium will present daunting challenges to the international community. According to a recent U.S. government report, by 2015 the world's population will hit 7.2 billion with 95 percent of the growth occurring in developing nations. There will be many mega cities with populations of 10 million or more and three billion people will live in water-stressed nations. As these conditions develop, I see a need for more current and accurate geospatial information so that critical decisions can be made to manage issues affecting humanity and preserve the changing face of our planet.

    2. Joydeep Chakraborty

      Most publications prefer not to use the term "GIS.". This could be because the common person often does not relate to the term, and in many cases, it is often confused with GPS. With the GIS sector poised to witness another year of growth, one does expect the level of awareness about GIS to grow, though not significantly, as the impact of the growth might still not be apparent in daily life, at least for this year.

John Brandes

As always, representing Agfa, a supplier of aerial film to the mapping / GIS industry, I have a difficulty in answering GIS surveys since aerial films do not "fit" into the typical questions being asked. However, let me give you some reflections from my position as Manager of Specialty Products, Agfa Corporation, selling aerial film products to the North American market.

First of all, I do see an opportunity for major growth in demand for GIS information. Global warming, fact or fiction, will continue to demand data for ongoing investigation. The recent situation in Greenland with diminishing glaciers will need constant re-mapping as this activity progresses. The NY Times stated only today that Greenland could be losing up to 80 cubic miles of ice per year, equal to three times the volume of all the glaciers in the Alps. All this could have great impact on ocean water levels with resulting impact on coastlines throughout the world. Expanding population, demographic changes, economic and political changes will all have an impact on the Earth's surface and the atmosphere above it. So, no doubt the demand for GIS information will be growing.

From my perspective, representing Agfa Specialty Products, Aerial Imaging Films, I am tasked with supporting an "unglamorous" product line in a very fast moving technological environment of a rapidly changing digital evolution. However, I do not back down on the conviction of the present level of performance and quality of image that silver halide film technology continues to deliver. It is a proven fact that in the area of archiving, a situation that digital technology flees from, silver halide film is king. Flexibility in extracting data from film is also proven. Whether the image is from aerial films 50 years old or imaged yesterday, the image can be printed photographically, scanned electronically, converted to digital files and incorporated into any present software used today. That is something that will be highly unlikely for any digitally acquired raw file image 50 years from now.

Film imagery, unlike a digital image, does not need software to interpret the ones and zeros comprising the data acquired on a CCD. The latent image on the film after exposure and chemical processing is visible and archivally permanent, accepted in a court of law as an original document, as a record of the scene captured on the film. One can say both imaging technologies require processing to see the image, but only the silver halide film image does not require a software to interpret the data, a process that leaves the digital image data open to manipulation, simply to view it and further to print it. The original film, once visible after processing is a visible record, archival for 500 years according to present ANSI specifications for silver halide films.

In the environment of fast moving technologies, I consider it important that we don't eliminate proven technology before its time, in our haste to advance to the next level. The principle of silver halide film technology may be over 160 years old, but it is no less as advanced, a technology of today. The recording of our Earth's changes should in many cases be recorded with proven archival importance. Before photography, we had only documents written, drawn or painted, all important historical records we look back to today. With the photographs of the last 160 years we have improved that ability to record history. Until we have a proven archival technology to replace film, we should not hasten its demise in unjustified statements like "film is dead." It is alive and well and doing an outstanding job.

Book Review: GIS for Environmental Management

Robert Scally, GIS for Environmental Management
(Redlands, California: ESRI Press, 2006)
Paperback, 187 pages

Local government planners, biologists, geologists, conservationists, and others increasingly rely on GIS to manage land use, identify and prioritize targets for protection and restoration efforts (see my piece on this topic in last week's issue), monitor change in land coverage, and justify and document policy decisions. Often GIS is the only practical way to comply with complex environmental regulations over large and diverse areas.

This collection of twelve short case studies, culled from an initial pool of 200 candidates, showcases some of the most innovative GIS environmental projects created by governments, businesses, and nonprofits. It covers a broad spectrum of environmental management challenges—from protecting biodiversity in Madagascar, kelp forests along California's coast, wetlands in upstate New York, and trees in New York City, to identifying the source of the dust plaguing an urban area straddling the U.S.-Mexico border, to reducing the risk from unexploded ordnance in West Virginia's wilderness. The book also discusses the people and organizations that conducted each project. In most cases, they were cooperative ventures between federal, state, and local agencies, often with the actual data collection and analysis contracted to academic research centers, nonprofit conservation organizations, and/or private businesses.

Written in a journalistic style interspersed with brief quotations from one or more of each project's principals, the book describes the interplay of data collection, subject matter expertise, and sophisticated spatial analysis that they used to meet specific environmental challenges. These brief, self-contained case studies serve as both a survey and teasers. Each one briefly describes the key features of the area in question, the goals and limitation of the project, how GIS was used to solve environmental problems and/or meet legal mandates, and the principal findings.

The author pays much attention to human factors and inter-agency cooperation. On the technical side, for each project he specifies the data sources and layers, the hardware used for field data collection (such as tablet PCs or PDAs loaded with ArcPad), the software used for display and analysis (mostly from ESRI), and the final product. He explains, in context, such techniques as gap analysis, prediction algorithms, and kriging. The book is also a useful survey of some of the lesser known varieties of environmental challenges.

While change detection is the technique most discussed throughout these studies, each chapter highlights a particular technique. For example, a chapter on wildlife management in California goes into great detail on the use of Microsoft Access SQL and ArcGIS to develop geoprocessing models.

As usual with publications for ESRI Press, the plethora of beautiful maps and remotely-sensed images is one of the book's most striking and useful features. For example, in a chapter on the redevelopment of brownfields in an urban area in England, a five-page sequence of maps shows the use of GIS as a "time machine," to trace decades of change in land use. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, maps are often shrunk to the point that legends and notes are too small to read.

Occasionally, the book is synthetic to the point of obscurity. For example, the case study on air pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border does not explain how inferring emissions from certain mapped sources—such as paint factories, restaurants, auto body shops, and drycleaners—differs from directly measuring airborne dust. In the case study of kelp along the California coast, the lead researcher, Paul Veisze, is quoted as saying "We were literally trying to stay ahead of the storms because they would come in and rip out the kelp we were trying to survey."—leaving me to wonder what the point was of mapping something that was about to change. In the case study on urban forestry in New York City, the author states: "Because of the shadows cast by tall buildings, most aerial and satellite photos often inaccurately depict the street tree population." Yet, on the facing page, he quotes one of the study participants, Dave Nowak, as saying just the opposite: "We had high-resolution digital images flown for all of New York City at the start of the project and produced cover maps for the three neighborhoods."

Despite these minor flaws, the book is a valuable addition to any GIS library.

Briefly Noted

The January 16 issue of the New York Times ("Science Times" section, page D4) carried an article by Andrew C. Revkin titled "Scientists Warn of Diminished Earth Studies From Space." Here are the first four paragraphs:

The nation's ability to track retreating polar ice and shifting patterns of drought, rainfall, and other environmental changes is being put "at great risk" by faltering efforts to replace aging satellite-borne sensors, a panel convened by the country's leading scientific advisory group said.

By 2010, the number of operating Earth-observing instruments on NASA satellites, most of which are already past their planned lifetimes, is likely to drop by 40 percent, the National Research Council of the National Academies warned in a report posted on the Internet yesterday at www.nas.edu.

The weakening of these monitoring efforts comes even as many scientists and the Bush administration have been emphasizing their growing importance, both to clarify risks from global warming and natural hazards and to track the condition of forests, fisheries, water, and other resources.

Several prominent scientists welcomed the report, saying that while the overall tightening of the federal budget played a role in threatening Earth-observing efforts, a significant contributor was also President Bush's recent call for NASA to focus on manned space missions.

Department of Corrections

Last week, in my article about Microsoft's deal with GlobeXplorer and DigitalGlobe's purchase of the company, the word "announced" in each of the two bullet items, coupled with the order of those two items, was misleading. While my headline correctly indicates the sequence of events, the announcements occurred in the opposite order, on January 8 and 9.

News Briefs

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


    1. NATO's NC3 Agency has awarded the GIS Data Preparation Contract to TENET. Supporting TENET on this contract will be Galdos Systems Inc. and IIC Technologies Inc. The project involves the generation of a wide range of geospatial data models compliant with some of the latest spatial open information standards from OGC and ISO and the conversion of many terabytes of vector, raster, and gridded data. A large proportion of NATO's paper holdings of maps and charts will also be digitized and converted to the same set of open standards. The objective is to create an open and shareable map database as part of NATO's core GIS infrastructure within the Alliance.

      At the forefront of these open standards are the two key encodings of GML (Geographic Markup Language) used to encode vector data, and GMLJP2 which uses both JPEG2000 and GML to provide effective encoding for raster and coverage data. The conversion and validation process will result in image, vector, and scanned paper maps being available in GML. Furthermore, the project includes the conversion of many different data formats, including for example S-57/AML, VMap, and DAFIF, together with a wide range of color and panchromatic imagery and terrain information. These sources incorporate geographic information objects for land, maritime, and aeronautical domains.

      The project utilizes TENET's knowledge and technologies in the area of automated data conversion and quality control as well as in the area of open Spatial Data Infrastructures and reinforces TENET's position as a specialist in high performance distributed geospatial solutions.

      GML is an open-standard format for encoding geographic information. Galdos Systems Inc. pioneered the standard as well as collaborating closely in the development of GMLJP2 and provides detailed expertise and technology in the open formats used.

      The paper conversion process is also very significant, with the decision to scan a very significant proportion of NATO's paper map holdings. IIC Technologies Inc. will scan and process several thousand terrestrial and aviation maps in support of this effort. The contract is a component of a much larger initiative to provide interoperable geospatial information systems across all NATO, addressing the entire range of issues (hardware, software, communications, training etc) to improve NATO's capability to exploit geospatial information.

    2. DigitalGlobe, a provider of commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products, is partnering with Lowrance, a manufacturer of marine electronics since 1957 and GPS navigational systems since 1992. DigitalGlobe will provide the satellite imagery for the Lowrance iWAY 600C portable navigation device (PND). This is the first portable navigation device to give drivers access to the world's highest resolution commercial satellite imaging system.

      The iWAY 600C offers detailed satellite imagery of select metropolitan areas and marine mapping / navigation, in addition to precision NAVTEQ road mapping with voice and visual navigation, audio player with built-in FM modulator, picture viewer, and 5" high-res display. DigitalGlobe's "bird's-eye view" satellite imagery will be the sole provider of digital imagery for the product.

      Additionally, the iWAY 600C will feature a touch-screen display, more than 5.5 million points of interest, lake and U.S coastal water maps with depth contours, MP3 audio player, full spectrum FM modulator, and a 30 GB internal hard drive.

    3. Digital Data Technologies, Inc. (DDTI) has installed its AccuGlobe E9-1-1 Dispatch mapping software in the Zanesville Police Department. The Department can now dispatch emergency units to the locations of 9-1-1 calls with greater efficiency and confidence, as the origin of every call is displayed on a digital map for the dispatcher. Calls from land lines zoom directly to the structure in which the call originated, using the county's existing orthophotography.

      AccuGlobe E9-1-1 software also offers easy search capabilities, automatic routing applications, and automatic vehicle location (AVL). The DDTI 9-1-1 software now provides accurate mapping capabilities throughout Muskingum County, since the company had previously installed its AccuGlobe E9-1-1 Dispatch and Mobile software in the County Sheriff's Office. AccuGlobe E9-1-1 Mobile offers the functionality of the dispatch environment console, but with a design formatted specifically for field use in mobile data terminals with large touch-screen buttons and optional audible routing directions.

      Further strengthening the effectiveness of the AccuGlobe 9-1-1 suite, the software depends on a highly detailed GIS dataset collected by DDTI, known as the Location-Based Response System, or LBRS. LBRS is a program that establishes partnerships between state and county government for the creation of spatially-accurate street centerlines and field-verified, site-specific address locations. The Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program (OGRIP), the state's coordinating body for GIS activities, is administering the program. DDTI is the only vendor to have successfully delivered a project.

      DDTI captures highly detailed information that surpasses even LBRS specifications, including assets that can impact emergency vehicle routing: one-way restrictions; traffic control devices; railroad crossings; speed limits; school zones; and visible bridge and culvert locations.

      AccuGlobe E9-1-1 Dispatch mapping software functions as a stand-alone product, or integrates with an agency's existing Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD).

    4. Timmons Group, a provider of geospatial and engineering consulting services, has been selected to design and build the mapping component of a new interactive Website set up by Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine and the Council on Virginia's Future. The new website shows how Virginia compares to other states in seven different areas: education, government, economy, the environment, public safety, transportation, and health and family. Users can review measurable performance targets for various agencies and state institutions as well as obtain demographic profiles at state, regional, and local levels.

    5. Pictometry International Corp., a provider of digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software, has begun a collaborative effort with AML Solutions Group (AML) in Bellevue, Washington, that enables AML customers who utilize the Smallworld 4 Product Suites from GE Energy to use Pictometry software directly from Smallworld 4 Products.

      AML is a software product, services, and consulting company that delivers enterprise solutions to utility, communication, and public sector companies. The company is a "Premier Valued Added Reseller" for GE Energy's Smallworld software products. Using a newly designed interface, AML customers who use the Smallworld 4 Products can now view and measure on Pictometry's oblique imaging of buildings and land areas that correspond to the location and mapping data from Smallworld 4 Products.

      GE's Smallworld 4 Products provide a proven geospatial platform for delivering solutions as well as industry-focused applications for utilities and telecommunications companies. By utilizing Pictometry's high-resolution, oblique aerial images, Smallworld 4 Product users can now see up to 20 different 3D-like views of every square foot of their network infrastructure and corresponding properties. Pictometry's industry software also enables users to easily obtain measurements such as distance, height, elevation, and area directly on the oblique images. The combined Smallworld and Pictometry solution from AML provides enhanced decision-making capabilities for network operators, field personnel, and others involved with company operations.

      AML is planning to develop additional functionality that will enable its customers to utilize Pictometry's measurement software features directly in the Smallworld 4 software. This will empower AML customers who utilize Smallworld 4 to view and measure on Pictometry's oblique images without leaving the Smallworld 4 software environment.

    6. LizardTech, a division of Celartem, Inc., and a provider of software solutions for managing and distributing digital content, has become an associate sponsor of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

      LizardTech has been a continual supporter of open standard initiatives such as JPEG 2000 and GML, and, by becoming an associate sponsor of OSGeo, the company is demonstrating its commitment to supporting the open source community now and into the future.

      LizardTech uses several of OSGeo's open source projects, such as the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL), to help build its expanding line of geospatial products. In addition, LizardTech's engineering manager, Michael P. Gerlek, is a founding member and vice president of OSGeo.

    7. The Douglas County, Nebraska, Engineer has chosen Varion Systems, the software development and value-added reseller division of GeoAnalytics, Inc., to implement a GPS-based AVL system and Web-based GIS tracking and reporting application.

      Varion Systems will implement tracServe, their Web-based GIS solution for automated vehicle tracking and related operations monitoring. Powered by ESRI's ArcIMS technology, tracServe is a semi-custom software solution that integrates with enterprise GIS data layers stored in ArcSDE.

      Varion Systems will partner with CompassCom Software Corporation, a provider of mobile asset tracking, which will provide its CompassLDE Server AVL database software, in-vehicle hardware, and related communications and system support for the vehicle-tracking portion of the project. The tracServe solution will integrate seamlessly with CompassLDE Server and provide a full suite of capabilities for real-time and historical-playback reporting.

      Varion Systems' services will include installation of tracServe within the County's ArcIMS Server, integration to their GIS application server to access existing spatial data via ArcSDE, establishing communication links to the CompassLDE Server database, and final testing and validation that the system is operational.

    8. Infoterra Ltd (an EADS Astrium company), a provider of geographic information products and services, will lead BOSS4GMES (Building Operational Sustainable Services for GMES), a key project within GMES, Europe's principal environmental monitoring initiative. The project will ensure the development of an operational foundation for the long-term sustainability of the GMES initiative.

      The BOSS4GMES project will focus on three main pillars: technology (to improve the efficiency of services), business (to provide contractual, organizational, and financial frameworks), and communications (to establish and implement a communications strategy to increase awareness about GMES). By establishing an operational foundation, the coordination of environmental monitoring and exchange of information should be significantly improved.

      Infoterra's experience as a lead organization for major Pan-European programmes and its recognized expertise in geo-information systems design & development, together with the knowledge brought to the project by the consortium members, led to this award.

      BOSS4GMES is partially funded by the European Commission, together with a significant level of private investment from the consortium of European organizations which will be working on the project.

    9. Aliant Directory Services, a source of business and consumer information and an advertising medium for growing local businesses, has chosen DMTI Spatial (DMTI), a Canadian provider of location-based solutions, to improve the quality of the maps in their Yellow Pages directories.

      DMTI is reproducing all directory maps for Aliant Directory Services in Halifax, Moncton, St. John's, PEI, Saint John, and Fredericton on the eastern coast of Canada. DMTI Spatial is applying a wealth of Canadian geographic data from products such as CanMap Streetfiles, CanMap Populated Place Names (PPN), CanMap Water, and important urban themes, such as Building Footprints and Land Use.

    10. The City of Dublin, Ohio, has chosen Varion Systems, the software development and value-added reseller division of GeoAnalytics, Inc., to implement Azteca Systems' Cityworks. Cityworks will be deployed to accommodate the maintenance, management, and reporting needs of multiple departments and work groups, including Streets, Grounds, Horticulture, Forestry, Facilities, Signs, Electric, Call Center, and Finance. Once implemented, the system will improve communication and coordination among departments, and provide more accurate information regarding asset status, use, cost of maintenance, and residents' needs.

      As part of the implementation, Varion Systems will provide software installation, service request, and work order template construction, reporting, and user and administrative training. The project is expected to begin in February and last approximately 5 months.

    11. Airports Authority of India (AAI), the national agency responsible for the management and maintenance of the country's civil aviation, both on the ground and in the air, has awarded the No Objection Certificate Application System (NOCAS) project to NIIT Limited, parent company of NIIT-GIS Ltd. (ESRI India).

      A No Objection Certificate (NOC) for height clearance issued by AAI is required for construction projects, such as high-rise buildings or communications masts, that fall within 20 kilometers of an airport. The NOCAS project automates the prioritization and processing of NOC applications based on criteria established by AAI, which will greatly streamline the approval process.

      The enterprise-wide GIS application will be Internet-based, with a link available at the AAI Web site. Two categories of users will have access to the site: NOC applicants and employees involved in the certification process. ArcGIS Server products will be installed on the AAI Web server and will be linked to a database server hosting ArcSDE and Microsoft's SQL Server. The application will be written using ArcGIS Server Application Development Framework (ADF) for .NET and will make use of ArcObjects, a suite of mapping and GIS components. Users will access the application through Internet browsers.

      In addition to ArcGIS software and training, the implementation will include GIS services from NIIT Technologies and ESRI India.

    12. Frankfort Plant Board (FPB) has chosen the Fiber Manager application by Telvent Miner & Miner (TM&M) to help manage their fiber optic network within their current ArcFM-based enterprise GIS. FPB has been using ArcFM to support the maintenance of their electric and water distribution system and elected to expand it to include support for their fiber optic system.

      The Frankfort Plant Board was created in 1943 as a municipal utility to provide low cost electric and water service to the citizens of Frankfort and Franklin County. FPB is also a total home solution resource for cable TV, local telephone, high speed Internet and more.

      TM&M has worked with the FPB Cable/Telecommunications Engineering Division to implement the Fiber Manager application to maximize the efficiency and productivity of the ArcFM solution software. With these new tools, FPB will better manage their existing fiber optic network at the fiber and port level, decrease outage times, analyze the system with advanced tracing tools as well as quickly design new fiber routes with fiber-level connectivity tools. The new system will have one to two data editors, three to four system analysts, and up to forty consumers of the data within the enterprise GIS.

    13. REIS, Inc. has awarded a contract to Merrick & Company, a provider of LIDAR, digital orthoimaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping, to deliver raw and processed LIDAR data and digital black and white orthophotography for approximately 900 square miles in Sullivan County, New York. The flight missions are planned for this spring, with delivery of data expected in May. The geospatial data will be delivered in accordance with FEMA guidelines and will support 2-foot contour generation.

      Sullivan County is located 60 miles north of New York City and is growing due to demand for affordable housing within commuting distance of the city. Anticipating continued growth, REIS is assembling a consortium of survey companies that will participate in the ownership of the geospatial data. In addition to FEMA's scheduled flood mapping update in 2008, the data will be available for use by developers and government entities to manage the County's growth.

    14. Michael J. Baker Jr, Inc. has contracted with Marshall and Associates, Inc. to provide professional GIS services to the City of Norfolk, Virginia. As a sub-contractor to Baker, Marshall will provide GeoResults software products and professional services to support the enterprise integration of the City's ESRI GIS and Hansen business systems.

    15. 1Spatial, a provider of certification of spatial data quality, has achieved Oracle Certified Partner status membership level of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). Oracle Certified Partner status reflects 1Spatial's recognized expertise in Oracle spatial technology and its commitment to the Oracle technology platform. The company is now part of a select group of partners that meet Oracle's strict joining criteria and display a high level of commitment to their alliance with the world's largest enterprise software company.

    16. ScottishPower has awarded a #750,000 contract to ESRI (UK) to provide their second generation mobile GIS, which will enable up to 800 engineers working across 70,000 miles of ScottishPower's UK electricity networks to access and record map-based information while in the field.

      The GIS will enhance ScottishPower's network operations function by giving field engineers immediate access to accurate information, such as the location of cables and plant. Field engineers will be provided with the latest technology, including rugged tablet and notebook PCs to replace legacy field mapping and inspection platforms, giving access to a complete set of mapping, operational, and infrastructure data. This will ensure better service for customers reducing the need for engineers to travel to offices or depots to access network information, hence increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs.

      The contract includes software and services from ESRI (UK) including ArcEngine, a development tool for building customised, geographically enabled software applications and GeoField Network Map Viewer, a comprehensive field mapping application designed for the utility industry and developed by Sigma Seven, an ESRI (UK) business partner. Consulting services are also being provided by ESRI (UK) and Sigma Seven to tailor the field based software for ScottishPower and integrate it with their existing systems.

      ScottishPower provides electricity transmission and distribution services in the UK, supplying in excess of 4.3 million homes and businesses in Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales. Investment in the latest geographic information tools supports ScottishPower's business goals of continuous improvement and operational excellence. It also supports their initiative to provide timely information to field engineers enabling them to be more effective.

      The ESRI-based system will integrate mapping information and geographic data with other documents, such as new proposals, plans of substations and asset inspection schedules so that field engineers have all of the information at their fingertips.

      ScottishPower has been using field-based GIS for many years. It chose the ESRI (UK) and Sigma Seven next generation solution following a competitive tender including other major GIS providers in the Utility GIS market. The system is currently being delivered and scheduled to go live across ScottishPower's north and south regions in February 2007.


    1. R.A. Smith & Associates, Inc. — civil engineering, planning, surveying, landscape architecture, GIS, and visualization consultants — has launched a newly designed website for complete GIS solutions. The site is useful to anyone who wants to use GIS as an effective tool for managing, analyzing, and viewing relationships between tabular and spatial information, including individuals employed in local government, land development, real estate, police/fire/emergency services, health care, education and others. It addresses the planning, building, integrating, and education aspects of implementing a complete GIS solution.

      Information included on the site consists of ESRI live news feeds, podcasts, upcoming training sessions and software patches, local user meetings, conferences and regional meetings, publications, news releases, on-site ESRI training dates, new GIS solutions, and recent client success stories and quotes.

    2. Navman, a designer and manufacturer of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, has launched a tethered, ultra sensitive GPS receiver and antenna device, the Smart GPS Sensor. With an all-in-one design, very fast time-to-first-fix, low power requirements, and SiRFStar III technology, the Navman GPS3260 series Smart GPS Sensor is the smart way to provide location-based capabilities to a variety of mobile applications, from PDAs to commercial vehicles.

      Easily adapted to automotive, scientific, commercial, government, and leisure uses, the flexibly of the new Navman Smart GPS Sensor supports a host of individual applications. Common uses include inexpensive digital mapping and navigation programs on notebook computers, data gathering and logging for scientific, environmental and inventory applications on handheld computers, vehicle tracking on mobile data terminal solutions, and vehicular digital video recorders with GPS options.

      A fully integrated GPS antenna and receiver, the Smart GPS Sensor features a 49.0 millimeter x 41.0 millimeter x 14.2 millimeter form factor and includes an ultra-high sensitivity 20-channel receiver, as well as over 200,000 effective correlators for rapid satellite acquisition fixes and tracking even in weak signal conditions less than -59 dBm. The device provides fast acquisition fixes with less than 1 second hot starts, 32 second warm starts, and 38 second cold starts (typical). Featuring the same core firmware as Navman's Jupiter 30 series of products, the GPS3260 supports SiRFInstantFix, advanced power management modes, user-selectable datums, and SBAS (WAAS, EGNOS and MSAS) differential GPS. A built-in Lithium ION battery holds system data for rapid position acquisition and includes a green LED that indicates GPS fix. Units ship standard with a fixed 3 meter cable for the RJ11 (GPS3260) and a fixed 2 meter cable for the USB (GPS3261) connector models.

      Fully waterproof (iPX7 submersible), the Navman Smart GPS Sensor is operational at altitudes up to 60,000 feet (18,462 meters), velocities up to 1,000 knots, acceleration up to 5 G, and within a temperature range of -22 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees to 85 degrees Celsius). The operating voltage of the device is 4.0 - 6.0 VDC and power consumption is a mere 63mA at 5 VDC. The Navman Smart GPS Sensor supports SBAS, multiple advanced power management modes for a plug and play GPS solution in battery powered applications.

      Both the RJ11 and USB models of the Navman Smart GPS Sensors are currently available in sample quantities and will be available in production quantities in February.

    3. TerraGo Technologies will bundle several of its mapping solutions used to create and distribute GeoPDF files into a special package for colleges and universities. The bundle gives campus labs an opportunity to install MAP2PDF and other supporting technologies for use in educational programs at prices starting below $1,000.

      The MAP2PDF family of products allows customers to publish and collaborate on GeoPDF files, which contain robust cartographic data and mapping capabilities, including layers and embedded feature attributes. GeoPDF files give users detailed digital maps and comprehensive mapping functionality in a lightweight, flexible, and easy to use format that most people are already familiar with because the product leverages the ubiquitous Adobe Reader. Users simply download a free GeoPDF toolbar from TerraGo Technologies and they are able to view and manipulate maps whether they're connected to the Internet or not.

      TerraGo's higher education bundle includes the school's choice of MAP2PDF for ArcGIS or GeoMedia as the GeoPDF creation tool, MAP2PDF for Acrobat, MAP2PDF for GeoTIFF for converting high resolution images, Map Assembler, and GeoMark Enable, the tool that makes it possible to export updates from Reader to GIS applications via ESRI's shape (.shp) file format. Licenses are renewable on an annual basis and each educational lab bundle includes up to 50 seats.

    4. Bentley Systems, Incorporated has launched its new Bentley OnSite software that connects the worlds of civil engineering design and construction. This offering automates and streamlines tasks for stakeout, inspection, and measurement in the field, facilitating project management and helping to ensure unprecedented levels of accuracy during construction.

      Employed in concert with industry-standard GPS hardware, the software runs on portable devices and is used by field personnel in applications ranging from earthwork and grading to drainage, utilities, and signage. By improving the flow of design information, Bentley OnSite also brings benefits to the infrastructure owner, engineering consultants, and contractors.

      Bentley OnSite streamlines construction by taking design models directly into the field, avoiding the pitfalls of disconnected design and construction information. By integrating up-to-date electronic design intelligence with on-site information from GPS hardware, field crews can, on demand, automatically attain elevations, determine cut and fill, position stakes at desired intervals and offsets, and accomplish a variety of other critical tasks. This increases accuracy, decreases rework, and speeds construction by eliminating the need for reverse engineering.

      Bentley OnSite also streamlines the inspection process - everything from locating, measuring, and verifying constructed features to generating reports and records of project status. Rather than being encumbered with paper documents, inspectors carry a single portable device containing electronic versions of all pertinent documents and images, standards manuals, specifications, drawings and plan sheets, contracts, construction directions, and inspection forms.

      With instant access to all relevant information, the construction engineer is able to complete tasks correctly the first time, avoiding costly errors and their ripple effects across the project. Where site conditions require design changes, construction and inspection staff are able to quickly assess the situation, and then make revisions and accurately record them.

      Another feature of Bentley OnSite is its ability to routinely deliver true as-built project status as stakeout and inspection updates are completed. This ensures accurate construction, provides a critical record that enables accurate and timely progress payments, and facilitates maintenance, repair, and improvements throughout the lifecycle of the asset.

      In addition, by eliminating paper documents in the field, Bentley OnSite greatly simplifies the compilation and management of all construction records. This reduces production costs and improves the ability of team members to find and review essential information in a timely manner.

      Bentley OnSite has been field proven by several organizations, including the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). In project after project, this new software continues to demonstrate its ability to increase efficiency and decrease project risk and rework by connecting designers, surveyors, contractors, and inspectors for the benefit of all.

      Although Bentley OnSite does not require any other Bentley software products, in the case of NYSDOT, the OnSite solution takes advantage of a statewide implementation of Bentley's ProjectWise collaboration servers. ProjectWise provides a single, scalable system for secure project management, enabling distributed enterprises such as NYSDOT to collaborate among internal and external teams of designers and construction personnel to successfully deliver infrastructure projects.


    1. GIS users from around the world will gather June 18-22 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California, for the largest annual GIS conference in the world. The Twenty-seventh Annual ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC) will provide both experienced and new GIS users with the tools to expand their knowledge and use the full potential of geographic information in all levels of government, business operations, and society.

      The ESRI UC is a unique opportunity to learn, share, and grow at the largest and most comprehensive GIS event of the year. Technical staff, analysts, application developers, decision makers, business owners, and anyone who relies on geographic information will learn about the current direction of the technology and the latest developments.

      Throughout the week, meetings, sessions, and presentations form an opportune setting for attendees to network with other GIS users and gain support and insight into their own projects. ESRI staff is on hand to help with any technical issues and demonstrate the new functionality of the latest software releases. Dozens of regional and special interest user group meetings provide additional opportunities for users to meet with others from their industries to share insight and experiences.

      The 2007 conference will feature a new Benefits of GIS track, designed for managers and senior executives to discuss the value of GIS technology within government and utilities as well as private sector organizations. This track will explore how GIS is helping organizations realize these benefits by improving collaboration and information sharing while empowering GIS analysts and information officers to deliver more valuable and beneficial services to their user communities.

      The ESRI Education User Conference (ESRI EdUC) and the ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS Summit are concurrent events that will take place June 16-19 in San Diego. The ESRI EdUC is for educators and administrators to share information on geographic learning and the use of GIS in classrooms, museums and libraries, community outreach, and other learning environments. The ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS Summit will bring together surveyors, engineers, and GIS professionals to explore solutions on integrating survey, engineering design, and GIS technology.

    2. The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) is partnering with the Open Geospatial Consortium to organize the next in a series of Emerging Technology Summits (ETS IV) focusing on information system interoperability standards, such as Building Information Models (BIM). The event is slated for March 21-23 in Washington, D.C.

      Increasingly, public and private sector organizations all over the world are understanding the importance of information processing standards that speed up productivity in enterprises in the physical infrastructure, capital project, and building management industries. This ETS will focus on those standards and the benefits of BIM.

      These benefits include:

      • lower costs and risks for designers and engineers
      • first responders being able to respond more quickly
      • lower operating costs through efficient monitoring
      • better views of facilities, resulting in better decision-making
      • realtors, appraisers, and bankers saving time and money
      • lower costs for regulations compliance and
      • reduced costs and risks for subcontractors.

      OGC has positioned itself to help architecture / engineering / construction (AEC) professionals collaborate and develop, approve, and deploy interoperability standards. Many GITA members and GITA Annual Conference attendees are those AEC professionals.

    3. The Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg (GI Forum) will take place July 03-06 at Salzburg University, Austria. GI Forum focuses on an international audience that shares an interest in Applied Geoinformatics. Researchers who design and develop advanced geoinformatics methods and techniques and apply them to a broad range of application domains are invited to submit papers on emerging topics and research outcomes related to Geoinformatics methodology, including:

      • Geospatial data acquisition
      • Spatial analysis and knowledge extraction
      • Advanced visualisation and cartography
      • Distributed and mobile services
      • Dynamic modelling and simulation

      Application fields comprise natural resources, health and environment, sustainable management of resources such as energy and water, transportation and infrastructure, participation and administration as well as security and emergency management.

      GI Forum 2007 gives authors choices about the type of submission they want to make in order to accommodate a variety of interdisciplinary contributions. Submissions must be in English, according to the formatting guidelines.

      Full papers and extended abstracts for publication are due by February 1; extended abstracts for poster and/or oral presentation are due by April 27. Submissions are only accepted online. Accepted submissions will be published by Wichmann Verlag as part of a book.

    4. The inaugural Rocket City Geospatial Conference, October 15-17 at the Huntsville Marriott, will focus on GIS and location-based services (LBS) applications developed by organizations from northern Alabama and surrounding regions. Huntsville, "the Rocket City," is home to a diverse blend of companies and organizations from the aerospace, defense, software development and environmental industries.

      The unique relationship between NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Cummings Research Park, the Redstone Arsenal, the University of Alabama-Huntsville, and the many private firms in the region supports a variety of research and development projects affecting government, education, and commerce. These organizations take advantage of GIS, Internet mapping, satellite imaging, and remote sensing for work related to missile defense, urban planning, homeland security, and meteorology.

      The Rocket City Geospatial Conference is part of Directions Media's conference programming, and expects to draw close to 300 professionals. The agenda and keynote speakers are currently being developed and a call for presentations will be launched March 15. Registration for the event will open in May.

      Members of the conference organizing committee include:

      • Chris Johnson, vice president, US Space and Rocket Center - GTAC
      • Peter Batty, chief technology officer, Intergraph
      • Dr. Mike Botts, Univ. of Alabama-Huntsville
      • Jay Arnold, vice president, 3001, Inc
      • Steve Perkins, GIS manager, City of Huntsville
      • Tim Heinse, GIS manager Amtec Corporation & the US Army Garrison at the Redstone Arsenal
      • Beverly Richey, GIS analyst, Teledyne Brown Engineering
      • Radhaji Mani, president, GISbiz Inc.


    1. TerraServer, an Internet mapping company that owns and operates the TerraServer.com website, has recently hired Brian Randy Funk as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

      Prior to joining TerraServer, Funk was employed with LandNet Corporation, where he was instrumental in the development and operation of the LandVoyage mapping and imagery website. Funk has been an active member of the geospatial industry, most recently serving on the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA). As COO, Funk will oversee and plan the reorganization and growth of the company. Additionally, Funk will direct all future development of the TerraServer.com website as well as manage corporate business processes. He will be responsible for increasing operational efficiency and developing innovative technology strategies.

    2. Azteca Systems, Inc., a provider of GIS-centric asset maintenance management solutions, has appointed William Lang as its new Account Manager for the Midwest Region. Previous to joining Azteca Systems, Lang was an Information Systems Coordinator at the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District in Vail, Colorado. He has also worked at Carter & Burgess, Inc., as a GIS Specialist and Environmental Planning GIS Data Manager, and at Ternary Spatial Research as a GIS Specialist and Engineering Technician, both located in Denver, Colorado.

      Lang graduated with a B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater in 1998. He assumes responsibility for Azteca Systems' Midwest region, serving the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

  5. OTHER

    1. ESRI has expanded its 4-H Club GIS grant program for 2007. The grants include GIS software, training, and supplemental materials.

      The 2007 initiative offers grants for both introductory- and intermediate-level GIS programs. The introductory level supports 4-H Clubs new to GIS and GPS technology. The intermediate level is for clubs that have successfully applied for and received software under a previous 4-H GIS grant from ESRI and have completed the requirements of submitting a Community Atlas project, participating in a GIS Day event, and completing a community service project.

      American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit citizens' conservation organization, is joining with ESRI on the 4-H grants by providing its CITYgreen extension for ArcView for intermediate applicants doing tree inventories as part of their community service project.

      The grant program is one aspect of a multifaceted initiative currently being developed by ESRI in cooperation with National 4-H Headquarters that will help its members expand their current GIS programs. The programs include the National 4-H GIS/GPS Technology Integration Team and the National 4-H GIS/GPS Technology Program. In addition, the 4-H geospatial curriculum, Exploring Spaces, Going Places, was released in October 2006.

      ESRI has supported 4-H Clubs with its GIS grant programs since 2004. To date, more than 300 grants of ArcView and ArcPad software and Virtual Campus training have been awarded to selected clubs, enabling those members to learn and use GIS technology in their community service projects.

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