2007 February 15

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Professional Surveyor Magazine
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Editor's Introduction

This week, I report on the perspective of geospatial groups that oppose the lawsuit by MAPPS et al. against the U.S. federal government. It is a complicated and important story, so I am dedicating the whole issue to it. I look forward to your comments! Plus, my usual selection of news items from press releases.

Matteo Luccio

Professional Surveyor Magazine

Geospatial Groups Oppose Lawsuit By MAPPS et al.

The future of the U.S. geospatial industry may depend on the outcome of a legal battle that is taking place in a federal court. Last week I reported that a coalition of organizations representing photogrammetrists, surveyors, architects, and engineers filed a lawsuit last June against the U.S. federal government on the question of the application to surveying and mapping of the Brooks Act, which mandates qualifications-based selection (QBS) for certain federal procurement contracts. This week I report on the position of another group of geospatial organizations that opposes the lawsuit and has stepped into the fray on the side of the federal government.

The plaintiffs are asking a federal district court to compel the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council to change the regulations implementing the Brooks Act to "define 'surveying and mapping' so as to include contracts and subcontracts for services for federal agencies for collecting, storing, retrieving, or disseminating geographical or digital data depicting natural or man-made physical features, phenomena, and boundaries of the earth and any information related thereto, including but not limited to surveys, maps, charts, remote sensing data and images, and aerial photographic services."

The Association of American Geographers (AAG), the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI), the Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA), the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), have filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief in opposition to the lawsuit. According to the brief, a victory by the plaintiffs would have disastrous consequences for most of the GIS industry because it "would not only insulate all federal mapping contracts from price competition, but also exclude everyone else—that is, everyone and anyone other than licensed engineers and surveyors—from even being eligible to receive a federal mapping contract, even where engineers and surveyors lack the training and subject matter expertise needed to perform the contract."

"Limiting federal procurement of all mapping and GIS services to licensed engineers and surveyors," the opponents of the lawsuit argue, "could cripple the GIS industry; damage U.S. geographic science, research capacity, and competitiveness; and shackle government agencies, all of which depend upon the productivity, talent, scientific and technical skills, and the creativity and innovation that characterize the vast majority of the existing GIS and mapping workforce."

In a response to the lawsuit URISA's board of directors argues that the plaintiffs' claims, "if accepted, would expand the scope of architectural-engineering surveying and mapping far beyond the scope of any professional expertise certified by registration or licensing as a surveyor, engineer, or architect." These claims, URISA says, are therefore "in fundamental conflict with the norms of professional practice across the geospatial professions" and "contradict the NCEES Model Laws and Rules."

Furthermore, according to URISA, the plaintiffs' claims, if accepted by the federal courts, would

  • "likely influence the development of state licensing and registration laws"
  • "cause significant harm … to the majority of geospatial professionals—those who are not licensed surveyors, engineers, or architects;"
  • "place under the responsible supervision of licensed surveyors, engineers, or architects crucial federal geospatial services requiring expertise in geography, remote sensing, information science and technology, and numerous other specialties, all well outside the licensed professional competence of surveyors, engineers, or architects"
  • "cause inefficiency and waste of public funds, and … risk significant harm to the public health, safety, and welfare"
  • violate professional ethics by "[e]ncouraging licensed professionals to claim competence in areas outside their professional expertise" and
  • "[attempt] to achieve by regulation what cannot be sustained through competition in a free market economy."

"The plaintiffs' claims," URISA's statement concludes, "[would subordinate] all geospatial professions to surveying and engineering, thereby disenfranchising the majority of URISA's members and threatening the quality of spatial data available to the public."

Most of the legal wrangling in the case thus far has been on the question of whether the plaintiffs have standing to sue. According to the federal attorneys defending the suit, they don't because they cannot prove that any of their members have been harmed by the regulations that they are challenging: "Plaintiffs have failed to identify a single contract for which their members have been unable to compete, or to identify any state in which their members actually or imminently risk being penalized in the future."

If the suit survives this challenge, the key legal issue will be whether the Brooks Architect-Engineers Act is limited to "surveying and mapping" services of the types traditionally performed by surveyors or covers all mapping activity— "including the great majority of mapping and GIS activity that cartographers, geographers, GIS specialists, computer science and IT professionals, planners, academics, GIScientists, technicians and many others in the 'non-A&E firm' mapping community and GIS industry have historically performed and are continuing to perform for the federal government," according to a legal briefing on the AAG's website.

According to the briefing, the plaintiffs' claims rely "on a tortured reading of the law and its history." Therefore, both the federal government's response to the lawsuit and the amicus brief delve into the relevant legislative and regulatory history. The FAR, they argue, did not pull its definition out of thin air; rather, it based it almost exactly on a statement on the floor of the House by Representative Brooks, the sponsor of the original act.

The plaintiffs, the brief concludes, "have failed to show that the term 'mapping,' as it appears in the Brooks Act in the phrase 'surveying and mapping,' clearly and unambiguously includes mapping separate and apart from the traditional work of surveyors. … Further, plaintiffs have failed to show that the challenged regulatory provision, which draws a distinction between 'mapping' services traditionally associated with the architectural and engineering ('A-E') industry and 'mapping' services associated with other disciplines, is not a permissible construction of the phrase 'surveying and mapping,' as it appears in the Brooks Act."

Dr. Doug Richardson, AAG's executive director since 1983, has 30 years of experience in the fields of geography, mapping, and GIS and has written more than 100 publications. In an affidavit he filed with the court on January 24, he argued that "[T]he technological revolution that has been taking place in the geospatial community (comprising [GIS] and mapping) goes well beyond the scope of any 'traditionally understood and accepted architectural, engineering, and land surveying activities. … The vast majority of personnel in the geospatial community are not licensed surveyors. … To limit federal procurement of all mapping and GIS services to licensed engineers and surveyors would cripple the GIS industry and the government agencies that depend on the talent, scientific and technical skills, and the innovation of the vast majority of the existing GIS and mapping workforce."

Professional Surveyor Magazine

Interview with Ed Wells and Al Butler, of URISA

Last week I interviewed the executive director of MAPPS, John Palatiello. This week I discussed the lawsuit with the president of URISA, Ed Wells, and a member of the organization's board of directors, Al Butler, who has 32 years of experience in planning and mapping and has written more than 90 publications related to GIS, mapping, and planning.

  1. How did the differing definitions of surveying and mapping emerge?

    Wells: "[The plaintiffs] presented to the court a definition that … was written into a House-Senate committee report in 1999 … to explain, to some extent, the Defense appropriations bill of that particular year. … That was also about the year that several organizations came together—including MAPPS, three of the plaintiffs, and some of the associations that are parties to the amicus brief—and worked out a compromise, the NCEES model laws. If all the parties could get together around the table and have a long, long, detailed thoughtful conversation, with lots of argument, about the boundary between surveying, which requires the expertise of a registered surveyor, and mapping services, which do not, in light of the changing technologies that have revolutionized all of these professions, sciences, industries, and technologies, where would that boundary be? That conversation started in about 1999 and continued for a couple of years. It was led by Jim Plasker, Executive Director of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), who was cited by all as the leading force to bring people together and pursue this conversation to a thoughtful and deliberate conclusion. That was agreed to by the task force in 2001 and went through further vetting by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), and was adopted by them in 2003. … The Brooks Act concerns architectural engineering services and places surveying in the context of that surveying and mapping. The plaintiffs wanted to expand the scope of services that were subject to the procurement regulations embodied in the Brooks Act. Apparently, they were not able to persuade Congress to amend the Act; so, they have instead pursued a court-ordered remedy to compel revision of the regulations that implement the Act."

  2. What motivated URISA to oppose MAPPS' lawsuit?

    Wells: "It is unclear to us how anyone has actually been harmed by the present state of affairs. There are claims made about professionalism and ethics, [but] no one has actually shown that anyone in particular has suffered any direct and actual harm, professionally, because of this and, in fact, Mr. Palatiello said so in [last week's interview with GIS Monitor]. … If this definition were to be written into regulation, in the opinion of URISA's board, it would cause substantial harm to a great number of professions and people. That is what motivated us to stand in opposition to MAPPS's case. We want to emphasize: it is just this case and it is just this argument: … we respect the professional expertise of surveyors, engineers, and architects, and everybody else involved in the industry. It is just a matter of disagreeing on this particular case in court."

    Butler: "Let me speak a bit more directly, as an independent person. The overall objective of the lawsuit appears to be to place the products that are produced by MAPPS and the other plaintiffs within the QBS process. There is only one way to reliably do that, given that the FAR Council has rejected any attempt to create a spatial data category within QBS: it is to get spatial data defined as surveying and mapping products, and then to get all surveying and mapping products defined as architecture and engineering services—so that, by A=B=C, all spatial data would then be within the province of architecture and engineering. [The problem is that,] when you define all spatial data as surveying and mapping and you place surveying and mapping under architecture and engineering, then you are placing spatial data under the purview of state regulatory bodies that regulate architecture, engineering, surveying, and mapping. When that happens, the Brooks Act and the part of federal code that implements it kick in and [require you to] be licensed to do this work at the state level."

  3. Why do you think MAPPS filed this lawsuit?

    Butler: "The reason, I believe, was that they have been getting away with this type of behavior at the state legislative levels for the last 10 or 12 years. They have been increasingly expanding the scope of surveying and mapping to embrace other forms of spatial data, without any significant resistance from the rest of the spatial data community. [This community] isn't organized to be able to represent itself in the lobbying environment of a state legislature, [where] surveyors have full-time lobbyists and political action committees. The filing of the amicus brief represents a change in policy for the balance of the spatial data community in that they recognize that this is headed in a direction that would harm not only their interest but also those of the public."

  4. What do you see as some of the consequences, should the plaintiffs prevail?

    Butler: "[It would have] some fairly crazy results: for example, no one except a licensed architect, surveyor, or engineer, whatever term applies in [that person's] state, would be able to supply spatial data to the federal government. That means that no geographer could draw a map, no forestry specialist could say where [certain] trees are located, no FEMA representative could map the location of a damaged house in a hurricane disaster zone. In addition, when you put spatial data within that category, you are now making it very difficult to do multi-state data collection projects: because of the way most state laws are written, you would have to be licensed explicitly in that state in order to practice, which makes it very difficult for a national organization to function."

  5. What do you think is really behind the lawsuit?

    Wells: "This is not really about QBS. QBS is already the sole means of procurement for a certain defined set of services—architecture and engineering services and services incidental thereto. We have no objection if the federal government wants to follow certain procurement methods. No party to the case said anything about replacing QBS or altering it in any way. The issue is, what is the scope of professional services for which QBS will be required? Therefore, by extension, what is the scope of services that must be considered 'architecture/engineering?' If we restrict ourselves to discussing architecture, engineering, surveying, and mapping, there is no controversy. The issue here is the desire of the plaintiffs to expand that scope and all of the consequences thereof."

  6. If the plaintiffs were to prevail, how would that change the procurement process?

    Butler: "The federal statute says only that you must comply with state laws regarding the practice of architecture, engineering, and, by extension, surveying and mapping. It does not say that all procurement under that process has to be done by licensed individuals. So, one of the issues here is that if surveying and mapping in your state does not include photogrammetry then a procurement for photogrammetry could be bid on by anyone. If, however, your state defines photogrammetry within the practice of surveying and mapping, then in that state only licensed surveyors and mappers may legally bid for that work. [In a multi-state procurement, different rules would apply and it would not be clear who would be able to bid for it.] The most restrictive state, potentially, would control that."

    If the state is looking at the federal government as a guide for how they might classify different types of spatial data and the federal government has said 'All spatial data is part of surveying and mapping and, therefore, part of the regulation of architecture and engineering,' then the state is going to be much more likely to broaden its licensure laws to include all spatial data under the practice of surveying and mapping. That would result in a lot of spatial data professionals being unable to practice."

News Briefs

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


    1. The Maine State Police has chosen the XMap 5.0 GIS Editor program by DeLorme, a manufacturer of mapping, GPS, and GIS technology, to provide mobile GIS and GPS navigation services in emergency response situations. XMap 5.0 GIS Editor will be installed in the State Police Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) headquarters. It will be deployed with the team's Mobile Command Vehicle, allowing on-site GIS data collection, processing, and sharing regardless of the location.

      Because it is a fully functional standalone GIS data management tool, XMap will allow the IMAT Team to operate in any environment in a self-sufficient manner, eliminating the need for external GIS support. Members of the IMAT Team attended a DeLorme training program on the use of XMap for response situations. This custom class provided step-by-step instructions on the relevant functions of the software and gave the team members a solid foundation on which to begin to build their GIS infrastructure.

    2. Timmons Group has extended the existing VDOF ArcGIS Server project Integrated Forest Resource Information System (IFRIS), previously completed for VDOF, to the field. Adhering to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) model, the same Web services used on the server to support the IFRIS Web solution are being leveraged from mobile computing devices. VDOF will ultimately deploy 176 Trimble GeoXM devices within the coming year.

    3. The Spatial Information and Mapping Centre (SIM-Centre) of Badan Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstrucksi (BRR) NAD-Nias in Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, is using ESRI GIS software to support the activities of humanitarian agencies rebuilding after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. SIM-Centre is actively building sustainable GIS capacity in the government through the creation of an online data catalog, training local personnel in GIS technology, and creating a spatial data infrastructure (SDI).

      SIM-Centre has standardized with ESRI ArcGIS, an integrated collection of software products for building a complete GIS. ArcGIS enables users to deploy mapping and spatial analysis wherever it is needed—on desktops, on servers, in custom applications, over the Internet, and in the field. SIM-Centre uses ArcCatalog to create metadata, which is then hosted on the online metadata catalog, a free-of-charge service available to all cooperating agencies in the area. Not only does the metadata catalog provide guidance and accessibility to necessary datasets, but it also establishes confidence in the quality of the data, something lacking in the area before the tsunami.

      SIM-Centre has created and supports a GIS user group and GIS consortium to advance the use of GIS in the area. Currently, the GIS consortium is creating a customized training manual for ArcGIS written in Bahasa Indonesian and based on Aceh Province datasets.

      Since the transfer of GIS capacity from the United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator (UNORC) in early 2006, SIM-Centre has trained 115 people on the use of GIS and GPS in the region, filled approximately 750 client requests for GIS data, and printed more than 3,500 maps.

    4. ScottishPower plc, headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, has awarded a contract valued at 750,000 pounds (approximately US$1.5 million) to ESRI (UK) Ltd. to provide a mobile GIS. The second-generation system will enable up to 800 engineers, working across 70,000 miles of ScottishPower's United Kingdom electricity networks, to access and record map-based information while in the field.

      The GIS will enhance ScottishPower's network operations capabilities by giving field engineers immediate access to accurate information such as the location of cables and other remote equipment. Field engineers will be provided with the latest mobile technology, including rugged notebook and Tablet PCs, to replace legacy field mapping and inspection platforms, giving them access to a complete set of mapping, operational, and infrastructure data. This will ensure better service for customers by minimizing the need for engineers to travel to company offices to access network information, thus increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs.

      The contract includes software and services from ESRI (UK) Ltd. including ArcGIS Engine, a development tool for building customized, geographically enabled software applications, and GeoField Network Map Viewer, a comprehensive field mapping application designed for the utility industry and developed by Sigma Seven limited, an ESRI (UK) Ltd. 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 the utility's existing systems.

      ScottishPower provides electricity transmission and distribution services in the United Kingdom, supplying more than 4.3 million homes and businesses in Scotland; Merseyside, England; and North Wales. Investment in the latest GIS tools furthers ScottishPower's business goals of continuous improvement and operational excellence and also supports its 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, for example, new proposals, plans of substations, and asset inspection schedules, so that field engineers will have all necessary information at their fingertips.

      ScottishPower has been using field-based GIS for many years. The ESRI (UK) and Sigma Seven next-generation mobile GIS solution was chosen 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.

    5. Networks In Motion (NIM), a wireless navigation and location-based services (LBS) company, has announced that its NAVBuilder Developer Program is available to Sprint independent software vendors through the Sprint Application Developer Program, which offers an array of developer resources to create, test and deploy innovative wireless applications for Sprint's CDMA and iDEN networks.

      NIM's NAVBuilder Developer Program and related products provide software developers with a platform for the integration of LBS into their applications. NIM's NAVBuilder platform provides a set of Java, BREW, and Web application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable developers to integrate NIM's core location, content, and navigation capabilities into their applications and business processes.

      The NAVBuilder Developer Program includes a complete software development kit, support, and ongoing services that speed development, lower cost, and provide the reliability carriers and customers demand. NAVBuilder is designed to operate on devices with BREW 2.1.3 or greater or J2ME MIDP 2.0.

    6. The municipality of Nynaeshamn, a community of 25,000 near Stockholm, has joined Bentley's Municipal License Subscription (MLS) program, which offers municipalities all the software they need to design and manage all their infrastructure for a fixed annual fee based on population. The program enables them to improve productivity and reduce administrative costs by outfitting their entire mapping and engineering organizations with fully integrated software for GIS and engineering workflows.

      Nynaeshamn has under way or in the planning stages several major infrastructure projects that will serve its citizens as well as its expanding business sector. The projects include a four-lane highway, a double-track commuter line that will also accommodate additional rail freight transportation, and a new deep-sea port. Nynaeshamn's new MLS program will help facilitate each of these projects, along with a growing list of others, and enable the municipality to streamline its GIS and engineering workflows.

      Nynaeshamn will take advantage of the program's cost-efficiencies to expand its use of MicroStation. In addition, it will begin to deploy other applications in Bentley's comprehensive portfolio of software across its entire organization.

    7. Bentley Systems, Incorporated has acquired C.W. Beilfuss & Associates, Inc. (CWB), a provider of consulting services, software development, and licensed software products to engineering firms and transportation government agencies, including more than 40 U.S. state departments of transportation (DOTs).

      CWB's fully integrated SUPERLOAD software for permit administration and safe routing of oversize and overweight vehicles, live load bridge analysis, restriction management, and commercial vehicle information systems and networks (CVISNs) is used by 10 state agencies. Its bridge software has been instrumental in the analysis and rating of bridges on the National Highway Network, and is compatible with the AASHTOWare Virtis software and BRIDGEWare database.

      The SUPERLOAD solution offers fully automated availability via the Internet. It accepts applications, performs all the required completeness, compliance, and technical analyses, and issues permits 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

      In addition, its capabilities recently have been expanded to provide Web-portal-based permits for the trucking industry using CWB's multistate permitting solution. Through the first hosting of this solution—for the state of West Virginia—more than 20,000 permits were issued in 2006.

      CWB's entire staff in both its Downers Grove, Illinois, and Houston, Texas, offices will become Bentley colleagues, and Chuck Beilfuss will become a consultant to the company.

    8. The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department has deployed the MultiVision 3D Plus oblique imagery solution as a tactical aid in positioning personnel to safely approach and enter the scenes of unfolding emergencies. The MultiVision 3D Plus system includes oblique aerial imagery and 3D viewing software, which enables Kansas City Police to view buildings, alleys or entire neighborhoods from any perspective in three dimensions on their computer screens.

      The MultiVision 3D Plus system won a bidding process conducted by Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), a non-governmental agency that supports seven Missouri and Kansas counties in the greater Kansas City area. The city of Kansas City, Missouri, purchased the MultiVision 3D Plus system for property appraisal and then shared it with the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD), which saw the benefits of oblique imagery viewing for a variety of public safety applications.

      The Kansas City SWAT team uses the MultiVision system for pre-planning their approach to hostage situations, barricade incidents, and other emergencies. The team has already used the system for real-time assistance on critical emergency calls — termed "Operation 100s" — where an armed suspect has been barricaded inside a building.

      Integrating the MultiVision 3D Plus package with a GIS mapping system, Kansas City SWAT teams are able to view and print layouts of buildings and their surrounding neighborhoods, to determine where traffic should be diverted, and to plan the best locations for tactical officers as they approach and enter a building. By combining the 3D imagery from MultiVision USA with live video feeds of the scene on mobile data terminals in the field, commanders can easily and accurately position tactical teams to ensure the highest level of safety for all involved.

      The new MultiVision 3D Plus solution was developed to enable users to fully exploit the unrivaled clarity and information content of MultiVision USA oblique imagery. Acquired with a proprietary aerial imaging system, MultiVision 3D Plus imagery offers a pixel resolution of +3 inches, sufficient to identify and measure small building details or infrastructure assets. The MultiVision 3D Plus solution includes 3D modeling capabilities showing actual building facades, 3D flood simulation analyses, and integration of existing GIS layers.

      The department anticipates using the technology in the future for other public safety applications as well, including parade- and marathon-route planning, and further analysis of areas experiencing high crime rates. MultiVision is also currently being used to analyze intersections with high accident rates to determine whether physical aspects of the area are contributing factors. Additional tactical officers in Kansas City are now being trained in the use of the MultiVision system, and the software will soon be aiding the city's Street Narcotics Unit in pre-planning for serving search warrants as well.


    1. GfK GeoMarketing has released RegioGraph 10 and DISTRICT 10 geo-marketing software programs for analyzing company data on digital maps. In addition to new functions for market analysis and territory planning, the two products contain the GfK Purchasing Power data 2007 for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The programs are used in companies across all branches of industry to optimize market development from a regional perspective.

      With its wealth of analytic tools, RegioGraph is customized for use in marketing and controlling activities. DISTRICT provides the same range of functions and additionally contains special functions for sales territory planning.

      RegioGraph 10 and DISTRICT 10 contain more maps and market data than ever before. In the edition now issued for the German-speaking countries, RegioGraph and DISTRICT contain more than 100 administrative and postal code maps as well as GfK Purchasing Power data 2007. GfK Purchasing Power has been published since 1937. GfK GeoMarketing is currently the only company that offers a geo-marketing software including market data of such high quality.

      RegioGraph 10 and DISTRICT 10 are based on Microsoft's .NET technology and also run using the new VISTA operating system. The new program architecture makes the software quicker than ever, especially for large volumes of data. In addition, compatibility with Office programs and to special CRM, ERP, and Business Intelligence solutions has been greatly improved.

      These improvements "under the hood" of the two programs are matched in Version 10 by highly intuitive and flexible desktop functions. For example, maps appear automatically in a logical sequence on the worksheet, with area layers such as federal states appearing at the bottom, and city points appearing on top. Color settings can be saved to color palettes and can be recalled at any time. This allows maps to be customized quickly to match a company's corporate design.

      One of the biggest improvements are the wizards which guide users through complex applications, such as importing data, analyses, or sales territory planning. The new RegioGraph 10 and DISTRICT 10 offer a total of over 100 different analyses and depiction options. These include several completely new methods, such as multi-dimensional symbols that can be used to visualize up to 3 variables simultaneously. The analysis wizard guides users by asking just a few targeted questions to select an analysis method. For example: "What does your data look like?" and "What should your presentation depict?"

      The maps can be used as decision support tools in in-house presentations and business reports, for example. The territory planning options in the new DISTRICT 10 software contain the largest advancements since the first program version. Borders and natural barriers, such as rivers and mountain ranges, are automatically considered in the planning. In addition, generating and optimizing territories and districts now has become even more flexible and transparent.

      Users can weight multiple optimization criteria. For example, a comparison of territories based on number of customers could count twice as much as a comparison based on territory size. At the same time, users can observe the software's calculations in real-time and make interactive manual adjustments supported by detailed statistical information on any territory.

      Also completely new is the option of creating territory reports in DISTRICT 10. A document can be created that shows a summary for each territory in tabular form and as charts, containing statistical information on the territory and its deviation from optimum and average levels.

      The new software programs are scheduled for delivery starting at the end of February. English language versions of RegioGraph 10 and DISTRICT 10 will be available later this year.

    2. Hemisphere GPS has developed an alternative to subscription networks and high-priced base systems. Using high-definition, single-frequency RTK, Outback BaseLineHD provides the same accuracy as dual-frequency RTK but at a fraction of the cost. Used in combination with Outback S2 and Outback eDrive, BaseLineHD provides one inch pass-to-pass accuracy in an affordable hands-free GPS steering system.

      Outback BaseLineHD includes an integrated base station and a single rover unit. Multiple vehicles can be equipped with additional rover units all operating from a single base system. In effect, producers can effectively add high-definition GPS to the combine, sprayer, spreader and/or several tractors. Outback BaseLineHD is especially adept at season-after-season repeatability, consistency, and accuracy in straight-line, contour, and center-pivot modes. This feature is particularly valuable for controlled traffic applications where multiple field operations are isolated to specific zones.

    3. Set for release on March 7, ER Mapper Image Compressor is a desktop application for high-speed JPEG 2000 or ECW image compression that begins a new era of low-cost geospatial image compression where any organization, large or small, can maximize the value of geospatial imagery by using compression.

      Image compression is used to make large datasets more accessible and easier-to-use in GIS and other desktop applications. This allows the true value of imagery to be exploited. Raster imagery is increasingly becoming a default base data layer in many GIS applications.

      A key feature of Image Compressor is its high-speed image compression to the open standard JPEG 2000 format. The adoption of the JPEG 2000 format ensures maximum data interoperability between software applications as well between organizations. JPEG 2000 is particularly attractive to government agencies needing to comply with Freedom of Information legislation.

      The flexible "pay-once" licensing model is multi-tiered to fit an organizations budget and imagery assets. The tiered licensing levels are based on input-file sizes - not per megabyte compression charging. Image Compressor provides color balancing, mosaicking, cropping, reprojection and many other features to compliment the image compression work-flow. All of this is accessed via an easy-to-use interface.

      On March 7 at 3pm (EST), ER Mapper will hold a Web seminar to launch the Image Compressor product. George Davis, ER Mapper Technical Manager, will host the seminar that will demonstrate the features of the Image Compressor. After the seminar, users will have the opportunity to discuss the Image Compressor with George on ER Mapper's forum. A trial version of the software will also be available for download.

    4. QCoherent Software, provider of Limitless LIDAR software tools, has released LP360 (1.4), the LIDAR extension for ArcGIS. LP360 employs a specially designed ArcMap data layer to access LIDAR points directly from LAS files. The unique architecture of LP360 supports enormous quantities of point cloud data. LP360 facilitates the use of complete LIDAR point clouds with other GIS data types supported by ESRI's ArcGIS software.

      New features included in LP360 (1.4) include dynamic on-the-fly tinning and contouring, elevation masking, LAS header reporting, and new data management options for terrestrial (ground) based LIDAR data sets. In addition to its considerable capabilities, LP360 provides access to LPObjects where users can develop custom tools and scripts. With the new release, QCoherent Software continues its mission of developing LIDAR software that enables users of LIDAR data to easily and efficiently access and interface point cloud data with day-to-day operations.


    1. The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has expanded its second annual competitive Poster Session, set to be displayed as part of its 30th Annual Conference, slated for March 4-7, in San Antonio, Texas. Organizations wishing to display posters depicting various uses of geospatial technologies are encouraged to submit their entry forms by Friday, February 23.

      The posters will be on display on the conference's 100,000-square-foot vendor exhibit floor, where each poster will be eligible to win an award in five categories: Best Cartographic (for the best use of cartographic techniques in creation of intuitive map product), Best 3-Dimensional (for the best use of three dimensions in representation of spatial data), Best Analytical (for the best interpretation of spatial relationships to extract meaningful results), Best Nontraditional (for the best portrayal of nontraditional geomatics information in a geospatial context), and People's Choice. The People's Choice award will be determined by popular vote among the conference attendees. The four remaining awards will be determined by a panel of expert judges. Winners need not be present to win.

      The conference, noted for its high-quality education and unbiased approach, will also include 14 half-day seminars, 99 technical paper presentations, user discussion forums, networking socials, panel deliberations, and an extensive product and service exhibition.

    2. The inaugural 1Spatial Conference 2007 will take place at Ordnance Survey Great Britain, in Southampton, UK, on May 2-3 and is this year's premier event on the transformation, management, and quality control of spatial data to achieve fit for purpose spatial data for effective sharing and reuse.

      Based around the current hot topics of spatial data infrastructures and data quality, the conference will explore the efficient use and reuse of spatial data across and within organizations; discuss effective spatial data sharing and the advances in mainstream IT; stimulate debate for delegates that aim to implement spatial data infrastructures; engage delegates with presentations from industry experts, demonstrations, workshops and real-world case studies and current leading research; provide a detailed insight into spatial data management and current best practice; and provide an industry-wide view through a leading-edge exhibition of industry best practices.

      The 1Spatial Conference is essential to anyone interested in sharing and using spatial data effectively, and caters for all roles from Chief Executives and Directors through to expert Practitioners, Consultants and Programmers. With presentations already confirmed from the OGC, OSGeo, INSPIRE, OSGB, and Oracle, and with case studies from Norway, Australia, Ireland and the UK the event will have a very international relevance. Both existing 1Spatial users and non-users will benefit from the state of the industry presentations, real-world case studies, insight into current research, and interactive software workshops.

      The inaugural meeting of the 1Spatial Partner Community, an alliance of like-minded organizations committed to open, standards-based, spatial data sharing, will also take place at the event.

      A discount is available to those booking their place before 1st April, and sponsorship packages for the event are available on request. Due to an unprecedented amount of interest in the conference, and with more than 200 delegates expected from around the world, 1Spatial recommends that prospective delegates confirm their places as soon as possible.

    3. Pictometry International Corp., a provider of digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software, will be hosting its second annual Pictometry FutureView User Conference in Orlando, Florida, October 28 to 31. The company is also announcing its annual Call for Presentations to Pictometry subject matter experts from customers and partnering companies who would like to present at the industry's only conference on georeferenced oblique aerial imaging technology.

      Interested applicants can contact their Pictometry District Managers or the Pictometry corporate office to submit their presentation ideas. Session proposals must be received by May 1. The Pictometry FutureView User Conference will feature a wide range of Pictometry and user-hosted sessions focusing on uses for the company's geospatial technology in such applications as 9-1-1, property appraisal, community planning and development, disaster response and recovery, emergency management, fire, GIS, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, transportation, and in private industry.

      Pictometry's business partners are also invited to exhibit at the event. A full conference agenda will be announced in the coming months. Company executives anticipate that this year's FutureView attendance will be even greater than last year's numbers that topped out at over 220 attendees.


    1. Leica Geosystems Inc., Americas, has promoted Ken Mooyman to vice president of geomatics for the USA. In his new role, he will be responsible for sales, support, and product marketing for the survey, engineering and scanning businesses in the United States and will report directly to the company's president, Bob Williams. Mooyman will continue to be based in San Ramon, California.

      Initially educated as a surveyor, Mooyman managed a multinational GPS services business in the mid-1980s, before joining Trimble Navigation, where he held roles in customer training and consulting before launching into a sales career in 1991. He joined Vicinity Corp. (purchased by Microsoft) in 1999 as sales director, but quickly returned to the surveying industry when he joined laser-scanning industry pioneer, Cyra Technologies, as vice president of sales.

      At Leica Geosystems, Mooyman started up and developed the company's European HDS sales and support organization, immediately after Leica acquired U.S.-based Cyra Technologies in 2001. In 2003, he was promoted to senior vice president of Worldwide HDS sales and support. Under his sales guidance, the division's revenues grew by more than 200 percent. In 2006, he became general manager of Leica's worldwide laser-scanning business where he continued to drive record growth and product innovation.

      Mooyman brings to his new role valuable experience in sales, support and product development as well as considerable business experience in the surveying industry.law enforcement, public works, transportation, and in private industry.

    2. GeoDecisions, a provider of geospatial solutions, has promoted Susanna Kodlick to manager of GIS and Steven Korzekwa to director of advanced technologies.

      Kodlick, based in GeoDecisions' corporate office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is responsible for implementing and coordinating GIS technology strategies for the transportation, military, government, and commercial and private sectors. Prior to assuming her new role, she served as a lead GIS analyst. Kodlick holds a master of science in GIS and geography from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of arts in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also teaches GIS as an adjunct faculty member at Dickinson College.

      Also based in Harrisburg, Korzekwa is responsible for investigating new technologies and technical training support, coordinating companywide technology strategies, and ensuring that the firm maximizes efficiency and quality for the services it provides.

      Prior to assuming his new role, Korzekwa served as a technical architect. Korzekwa holds a bachelor of arts in geography from the University of North Texas. He is also an adjunct faculty member at The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

    3. WilsonMiller has promoted Michael H. Maxwell, P.S.M., from Vice President and Principal to Corporate Business Unit Leader of Survey and Mapping. He previously served as Lower Southwest Florida Regional Manager of the business unit, which precisely locates and documents information to define real estate rights, geographic boundaries, and topographic features.

      Maxwell, who has spent his entire 27-year career with WilsonMiller, has been responsible for all types of surveys for public and private clients covering several thousand acres in Southwest Florida. He also occupies a leadership role in industry organizations.

      A licensed Professional Surveyor and Mapper (P.S.M.), Maxwell has been responsible for boundary, topographic, and jurisdictional surveys, as well as construction stakeouts, for several thousand acres in Southwest Florida. He has managed major surveying projects for private clients and governmental agencies that include Collier County, Key West, the South Florida Water Management District, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

      Maxwell has also served his local community, Collier County, and the state of Florida through his volunteer activities with the Education Foundation of Collier County, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society (FSMS). He served as FSMS president in 2002, when he was named Surveyor of the Year, and president of Collier-Lee Chapter in 1995. He received the FSMS Outstanding Professional Award for Civic Contributions in 1999.

      Currently a member of the FSMS Board of Directors, Maxwell is serving in his third year as a National Society of Professional Surveyors Governor representing Florida. As such, he acts on behalf of the entire Florida surveying community in legislative and other matters.

  5. OTHER

    1. Since February 2007, TopoSys North America Inc., a new subsidiary located in Denver, Colorado, serves as a sales and support center to satisfy the ever increasing demand for TopoSys Lidar systems in North America. Experienced and knowledgeable staff are committed to support and share the unique TopoSys expertise with American, Canadian and Mexican customers.

      TopoSys Lidar systems are very economically priced, thus allowing smaller engineering and mapping firms to use this technology for large-scale surveys like engineering site development, road surveys, power and pipeline monitoring and hydrographic studies of floodplains and coastal erosion. Operational flexibility, efficient workflow and quick product turn-around are key features of TopoSys Lidar systems.

      TopoSys North America Inc. is managed by Roman Kathofer, a geomatics engineer and photogrammetrist with many years experience in hands-on photogrammetric mapping and airborne sensing operations.

    2. WilsonMiller, due to the growth of its operations, will relocate its Fort Myers office to the Westlinks Business Park in early March of 2007. For more than 20 years, WilsonMiller has provided a full complement of professional consulting services, including planning, design, civil engineering, environmental permitting, and surveying services, in the Fort Myers area.

      WilsonMiller opened its Fort Myers office in 1983 and relocated to its current facility on Colonial Boulevard in 1989. In the new, two-story Westlinks building, the firm will occupy the entire second floor and about two-thirds of the first floor.

      Westlinks Business Park is located within Gateway, a 5,000-acre master planned community between Interstate 75 and Southwest Florida International Airport. The location offers direct access to I-75 and U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail).

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