2007 April 12

This issue sponsored by

Professional Surveyor Magazine

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I bring to your attention three important industry announcements, then return to last week's topic, the Morpheus Data Transformation Project, with interviews with two key players in that arena. Plus, the usual dose of press releases. Many thanks to the hundreds of you who took the time to answer our six questions over the past two weeks!

Matteo Luccio

Google Introduces My Maps, Announces Developer Day

Last Thursday, just as I was sending you GIS Monitor, Google introduced My Maps—a new feature of Google Maps, available in ten countries, that enables users to create custom maps for personal use or sharing. With this release, Google is bringing maps mashups to the mainstream. My Maps allows users to mark locations on a map from a library of icons; draw lines and shapes to highlight paths and areas; add text, photos, or YouTube/Google Videos to a map; add HTML for further personalization; and view their maps in Google Earth.

Users can choose to make their maps unlisted (for personal use or sharing by email) or public (accessible through Google Maps search along with maps shared by other web sites in the KML format). My Maps users can also store maps they have created or viewed when signed into their Google account.

Yesterday, Google announced that on May 31 Google offices in ten countries will host the first Google Developer Day, a global event featuring workshops, keynotes, and breakout discussions on Google's APIs and developer tools. Focusing on the theme "Building Blocks for Better Web Applications," Google Developer Day will explore uses of Google developer products to create and enhance applications and integrate them with Google services. Members of Google's developer product teams will be on hand to answer questions and get feedback.

The event will take place at Google offices and offsite locations in Mountain View (California), Sao Paulo, Madrid, London, Paris, Hamburg, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, and Sydney. Google engineers and product experts at each location will lead sessions in topic areas such as, "Developing with Geo: Google Maps, Google Earth and SketchUp," "Tools for Better Web Development: The Google Web Toolkit, Open Source and Other Developer Initiatives," and "Mashups and More: AJAX, Google Gadgets and the Google Data APIs."

Confirmed presenters include

  • Guido Van Rossum, Google software engineer and creator of the Python programming language (Beijing)
  • Chris DiBona, Google open source programs manager (London)
  • Mark Stahl, Google data APIs tech lead (Madrid)
  • Bruce Johnson and Joel Webber, co-creators of the Google Web Toolkit (Mountain View)
  • Bret Taylor, group product manager for Google developer products (Mountain View)
  • Lars Rasmussen, Google Maps senior engineer (Sydney)
  • Greg Stein, Google engineering manager and chairman of the Apache Software Foundation (Tokyo).

Google will also offer live streaming webcasts from its Mountain View office and provide a YouTube channel with videos of Google Developer Day sessions around the world.

Fugro Buys EarthData International

Fugro NV, a large provider of geotechnical, survey, and geoscience services, will acquire 100 percent ownership of the EarthData group of companies—including EarthData International, Inc. and Horizons, Inc.

EarthData provides a full range of mapping and GIS services. It has a fleet of aircraft with which it collects aerial photography, uses airborne laser (lidar) and imaging radar (GeoSAR) systems to produce 3D terrain models, and develops or deploys other remote sensing technologies to detect thermal and multispectral information about Earth's surface. It uses this data to create and supply photogrammetric, lidar, radar, and digital orthophoto mapping and GIS applications and services, worldwide. According to a press release announcing the deal, EarthData is the only company to offer an airborne dual-band radar mapping system.

Bryan J. Logan, whose background includes 38 years in international mapping and has owned EarthData for the past 22 years, will serve on the company's new board of directors. Anne Hale Miglarese will continue as President.

The Morpheus Data Transformation Project — Part 2

Last week, I asked four GIS experts to comment on the Morpheus Data Transformation Project. This week, I talked with two key players: M.I.T. Professor Michael Stonebreaker, the project's co-lead, and Dale Lutz, Vice President of Development for Safe Software, a company mentione m repeatedly in last week's discussion.

First, let me make one thing clear, in case your were not clear about it from last week's piece or have not yet had a chance to read it: Morpheus is about the extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) of data from disparate systems. It does not handle the re-projection of coordinate systems, which is probably what most people in GIS associate with the term "transformation" when it is used in a geospatial context. (A to Z GIS: An illustrated dictionary of geographic information systems, edited by Tasha Wade and Shelly Sommer [ESRI Press, 2006], defines the term as follows: "The process of converting the coordinates of a map or an image from one system to another, typically by shifting, rotating, scaling, skewing, or projecting them.")

Interview with Michael Stonebreaker

  1. In what industries are you looking to develop this project and how does it apply to geospatial technology?

    I think the problem is absolutely universal. It can be stated in general as 'If you've got a database and I've got a database, regardless of what area that they're in, and we want to share data between us—whether it is human resources, GIS, financial services, whatever—the odds that your schema is the same as my schema is zero. So, the standard wisdom is, if you want to share data, I simply send you my data and you figure out how to convert it to the form that you can use it. Everybody I know who wants to share data ends up writing tons of these transformations. In just about any vertical market I can think of, the world's total number of transforms is not infinite. It may be in the thousands, but it is not infinite. If you can capture a critical mass of transforms in any particular vertical market, it then becomes a community repository and anyone who needs a transform will look there first [and contribute to the repository]. If you find one that is close to what you need, it is easier to morph something that is there into what you need and then put it back, then to just write it from scratch. So, if you can get the critical mass, then you provide a huge service to any given vertical market and GIS is just one example. My strong suspicion is that a few thousand transforms in GIS would get most of what people need.

  2. Safe Software already makes tools that handle many transformations of geospatial data. For all the very case-specific transformations that they don't handle—the long tail of the distribution—would it be worth a developer's time to search your repository for a close match and then adapt it, rather than just writing the code from scratch?

    You've got to get community involvement, a la Wikipedia, and that doesn't appear to be Safe's business model. I would much prefer a business model more along the lines of Wikipedia, because I think that you get the longer tail a lot quicker if you can distribute writing these things. I'm a huge fan of repositories, because then you have a chance of getting software re-used as opposed to writing it from scratch every time. As to whether or not any given transform is better written from scratch or by modifying something in the repository, that is completely transform-specific. That could well be true and it does not particularly bother me, as long as whoever writes it puts it in the repository, so that somebody else can use it.

  3. How are you proceeding with this project? My understanding is that you are scouting for one or two industries on which to focus initially and trying to identify which might be the most suitable.

    Doug [Bright] and his team—Sloan School MBAs trying to learn how to write business plans—are doing exactly what you said. In parallel, we are talking with a very large, multinational financial services institution about doing a pilot with their internal transform data. They estimate that 40 percent of all of their software is transforms that they write anywhere from 5 to 15 times each. They are looking at [Morpheus] as a way to cut down on their code base, cut down on the maintenance, and get software re-use.

Interview with Dale Lutz

  1. What is your reaction to the Morpheus project?

    My first reaction is that those guys have a very cool name for their product! It is also a very interesting idea. I found it interesting, looking at the Morpheus website, that the five or six transforms that they have are all ones that we recognized early on as well as being very important. I know that they are coming from a purely attributes side of things and not spatial; nevertheless, there is some commonality there.

  2. What do you think will be their toughest challenge?

    It will be the dream of having a library of transforms that could be useful for more than one person. Also, searching and navigating. That is all a very tough and interesting research project. We have found that an end-to-end transform is almost never re-usable between two different parties, because it's very rare that people have exactly the same data models. In some arenas, a commonality of data models is more likely. For example, in the oil & gas world, there is the Public Petroleum Data Model (PPDM), having to do with well data, and the Pipeline Open Database Standard (PODS), having to do with pipelines. Those are data models that industry groups created and implemented inside their relational databases. But those are relatively few in our experience. ESRI's model builder approach and the infrastructure that they've created for sharing models are also in the same vein as what the Morpheus team is trying to do.

  3. What distinguishes your transformations from ESRI's?

    To some degree, the ESRI models work at a little bit less fine level of granularity than our transformations, which are very tightly tied to data models on both ends. The model builder models are more about transforming geometries and doing geo-processing and that makes them a little bit easier to share, they are a little bit more generic.

  4. You have your own open, non-proprietary repository of custom transformers —FMEpedia.

    That's where end-users can post transformers that they've created. For example, someone has created one that makes interesting extruded columns for Google Earth. People can download it and use it. People can download a small software module, almost like a subroutine, that they would fit into something that they are already doing. When you download these things, you effectively get the source code, because they are expressed in our tool. So they can go in and fiddle with them or change them or modify them. These are built up from our collection of primitives.

  5. What kind of search mechanism does your repository have and how does it compare to what the Morpheus team is trying to do?

    That's where I give them a lot of credit and I am very interested in what they are doing, because they are attempting to make hierarchical searches possible. [On our site,] we use good, old-fashioned Google.

  6. So it is only text-based?


  7. How does your repository relate to your business model?

    We do this because, in general, we think that the biggest challenge we have for our products is helping people understand the kinds of things they can do with them. Often, they don't even realize that they can do a lot of the things that are on this page. The more people understand what they can do, the more they can be productive with our product, the more likely it is that they will tell their friends or continue to buy licenses and getting updates. We fund the infrastructure to host this community to facilitate the increase in knowledge of our products, which we think will have a secondary effect of helping our sales.

  8. Would you make a distinction as to the level of complexity between the transforms in this repository and the ones you sell?

    Our philosophy with FME, generally, is to provide—much like Morpheus, actually—a set of fairly primitive transformations and the glue for connecting them together in inventive ways. That is what turned me on to the Unix approach. When we went to create FME, I was heavily influenced by that concept and so we had the same policy: we'll create a whole bunch of primitives and they will pass a common thing between them—in our case, feature objects—then people can glue these primitives together in unique ways and package up the results. Consequently, the ones we ship with FME are primitives; the transforms on our FMEpedia are much more complex, because they chain together all these interesting primitives.

  9. What advice would you give the Morpheus team?

    Perhaps, instead of having complete, end-to-end transforms, they should focus on letting people create interesting combinations of their primitives. By themselves they don't actually solve any problems, they need to be glued into something bigger, but they can accelerate that process of solving a bigger problem.

  10. If Morpheus had several thousand transforms and a viable search engine, would using it be more efficient than writing transforms from scratch?

    Someone, for example, might want to bring VPF (vector product format) data into ESRI SDE, but not have a pre-defined SDE schema they need to load. So, if somebody would do a reasonable job of that and share it, perhaps others might be able to use it. With any kind of transformation tool, there is a great benefit in standing on the shoulders of others. So, even if something does only 80 percent of what you need it to do, just looking in on it can help you immensely.

  11. If Morpheus were wildly successful, would it put you out of business?

    We do transformations and formats. It would be a pretty big stretch for the Morpheus project to try to take on formats; we now deal with 190 different formats. When you are talking about spatial data, there are a lot of intricacies that right now they don't have to consider. If they ever really addressed that, then, maybe, I'd start to get more concerned. There are many other ETL tools out there—such as Informatica and SSIS. We tend to play with those things as opposed to against them and that is how I see the Morpheus project as well. If they were to become wildly successful, we would look to find a way to plug our spatial expertise into their framework and get the best of both worlds. We've done integrations with traditional ETL tools: those tools look after all the attribute stuff and we supply the spatial side to it.

  12. Would geospatial data be a good starting point for the Morpheus project?

    They would have to step up to the issues around geometry, which opens up a pretty big can of worms. There might be easier target markets to go after. Other commercial ETL vendors that have been interested in incorporating spatial—sometimes some pretty large organizations—generally have found it to be more cost-effective to partner with Safe than to do it themselves. I think that the concept of a repository for common geospatial kinds of operations is the most intriguing that comes out of this work. ESRI to some extent has had this kind of thing available or at least possible with models for quite some time. I'd be interested to know how successful that's been.

  13. What would Morpheus project have to do to go fully into the geospatial realm?

    They'd have to determine which types of transformations they wanted to bite off. They'd have to have native support for geometry and some kind of geometry model. And they'd have to deal with how to interface with external systems to move that new data type. The first step would be to do an analysis of what the data type is, what minimum set of operations they need to have, and then how they are going to get stuff in and out from that.

News Briefs

Please note: I have neither edited nor verified the content of these press releases.


    1. City of Tallahassee's Traffic Department Selects Telvent Miner & Miner's Fiber Manager

      Fort Collins, Colorado — The City of Tallahassee's Traffic Engineering Division selected Telvent Miner & Miner's Fiber Manager application as their solution for editing, viewing, and tracing fiber optic information. Fiber Manager is a set of tools within the ArcFM enterprise GIS product to manage fiber optic networks, and as a result City of Tallahassee is able to leverage their existing GIS database.

      The City of Tallahassee's Traffic Engineering Division operates and maintains a regional traffic system, which controls the City of Tallahassee's, the Florida Department of Transportation's and Leon County's traffic signals, cameras (CCTV) and the Tallahassee Advanced Transportation Management System (TATMS) software and hardware. TATMS comprises eight servers, nine workstations, eight laptops, 313 signalized intersections, 86 CCTV cameras, six dynamic message signs, and over 170 miles of fiber optic cable. The fiber optic cable allows The City of Tallahassee to have second by second communication with their traffic signal controllers and cameras.

      With the Fiber Manager application, the City of Tallahassee is now able to take advantage of tools to manage their outside plant fiber optic system including a port-level fiber optic connectivity which allows availability of tracing applications in GIS. Several traces are also provided including a fiber circuit trace, fiber availability trace and OTDR outage trace. In addition, the organization can also take advantage of functionality to manage their fiber optic cables, splice enclosures, patch panel locations and closed circuit TV cameras (CCTV).

      Prior to using the application, the organization traced fiber assets using multiple spreadsheets, CAD drawings, and manual labor. After implementing the new application, the City of Tallahassee now has the capability to report on circuit paths and fiber slices in a much more automated way.

    2. Clark Labs Announces the Development of the Land Change Modeler for ArcGIS

      April 11, 2007 — Clark Labs, a member of the ESRI Business Partner Program, is developing its Land Change Modeler for Ecological Sustainability as a new software extension for ArcGIS. Developed in cooperation with Conservation International, and currently available in IDRISI Andes, the incorporation of the Land Change Modeler for the ArcGIS platform will ensure the broadest possible use of this important tool. The Land Change Modeler offers an extensive suite of tools to assess and predict land cover change and determine the implications of change for ecological sustainability.

      "Users will be able to easily perform a variety of change analyses with two land cover maps of different dates. For instance, the user would specify the files and immediately see area gains and losses by land cover category and net change, along with specific category transitions and exchanges in both map and graphical form" explained James Toledano, Executive Director of Clark Labs.

      Tools specifically tailored for habitat and biodiversity issues include species-specific habitat assessment to develop maps of primary and secondary habitats, potential corridors and unsuitable areas. Means for biodiversity assessment, species distribution modeling, range polygon refinement and biological corridor development are also provided. Planning tools allow the user to specify infrastructural or other modifications that would impact the change to be modeled.

      "These features make the Land Change Modeler unique," said Toledano. "There are many tools on the market for change analysis and prediction, but no software has integrated them in one application. Users who are trying to understand land change and secure biodiversity will obtain great value from the Land Change Modeler. All of the analytical tools are organized into an accessible environment."

      Clark Labs has been working with the Andes Center for Biodiversity Conservation of Conservation International for several years to develop tools for analyzing and projecting land cover change and its effect on habitat and biodiversity. The scope of the project was subsequently broadened to develop a modeling environment (LCM) that could be used for a variety of land change scenarios and contexts. Further integration with the ArcGIS software extends the availability and accessibility of such important tools for users focused on land change, conservation and biodiversity.

      "We at ESRI have great respect for Clark Labs and Clark University and their contributions to the advancement of GIS technology. We are excited to support their efforts in creating the Land Change Modeler extension for ArcGIS," stated Kevin Johnston, Product Engineer at ESRI Inc.

      We feel this extension will meet the needs of a variety of ESRI users especially those involved in conservation and land change."

      The Land Change Modeler will be released for use with ArcGIS in the summer of 2007.

      For more information, contact Clark Labs at 508-793-7526 or [email protected].

    3. Seisan Takes Mapping to Madison Avenue

      Dr. Pepper's $1,700,000 Promotion "The Hunt for More" Depended on Seisan's Mapping Expertise

      Lancaster, Pennsylvania, April 11, 2007 — Visitors to Dr. Pepper's "Hunt for More" website found more than just a promotional game that could net winners nearly two million dollars in prizes. They also found a mapping application developed by Seisan to get them started. The promotion, which wrapped up in March, is one of many interactive offerings that draw on the recent explosion of interest in mapping on the Web.

      The Dr. Pepper contest, developed by parent company Cadbury Schweppes, in conjunction with several marketing firms, required visitors from the United States and Canada to use clues to find one of 23 lucky real gold coins and one "virtual coin." Twenty-two of the coins, plus the virtual one, were redeemable for between $10,000 and $250,000. One special coin was worth $1,000,000. Why 23 real coins? That's the number of flavors blended to give the soft drink its unique taste.

      Seisan developed the "Map Your Course" section of the game's website. There players used a personal Hunter's Map to plot their course by identifying where they'd been, what they'd found, and where to go next. The MapQuest API 5-powered solution enabled location searching, custom map searching via on-map shape drawing, as well as custom map creation and retrieval functionality. The easy-to-use tools made the game fun and helped players stay a step ahead of the pack.

      "Through our partnership with MapQuest and its relationship with Seisan, we were able to bring the Dr. Pepper 'Hunt for More' promotion to life. Consumers were able to plot destination points that may help them zero in on the $1,000,000 treasure right from their home PC," explained Erika Knight, Director of Interactive Marketing, Cadbury Schweppes.

      About Seisan: Seisan is a premier provider of location based solutions for the mapping industry. Founded in 1994, Seisan was one of the first companies to develop applications that can be used on the Web. Seisan provides programming and development services to the mapping community working with such companies as MapQuest, DeCarta, Google, Microsoft and other providers of online location and enterprise mapping solutions. Seisan also develops applications on platforms from ESRI, Blue Marble Geographics and MapInfo, integrating GIS application functionality into client/server based products and solutions. Seisan distinguishes itself with extensive knowledge and experience to provide a variety of geospatial information applications to clients.

      Contact Seisan at www.seisan.com or 877-9-SEISAN.

    4. Geophysical Scouting Firm Combines GPS-Photo Mapping with Google Earth to Deliver Logistics Reports for Oil & Gas Exploration

      Thornton, Colorado, USA, 10 April 2007 7 — GeoSpatial Experts announced today that a Canadian geophysical scouting firm is using GPS-Photo Link software to export georeferenced photographs directly into Google Earth for delivery to oil & gas exploration companies. These GPS-tagged photographs and field reports are saving the energy exploration companies tens of thousands of dollars in planning the logistics of seismic survey activities in Canada.

      In advance of seismic operations, Waystar Inc. of Edmonton, Alberta, scouts exploration locations and provides reports detailing the access routes and stream crossings that will be used by the heavy seismic survey vehicles and crews to reach the exploration areas. These routes and crossings must be mapped in advance with their locations pinpointed in official exploration applications to the Alberta government.

      "In the past, the exploration companies could only look at topographic maps and estimate where their equipment could cross the streams, but if they incorrectly judged a viable crossing point, they had to re-apply for a permit to move the heavy vehicles," said Wayne Starchuk, President of Waystar. "In some cases, an entire seismic crew might sit idle at a cost of up to $50,000 per day waiting for the amended application to be approved."

      Today, Waystar scouts the routes in advance and takes photographs of every stream crossing with a GPS-equipped digital camera. At the end of each day's scouting, Starchuk downloads the photos to a laptop computer running the GPS-Photo Link photo mapping software from GeoSpatial Experts. The software automatically correlates each photo with the GPS-location where it was taken. GPS-Photo Link has a built-in function to export the photos to Google Earth so that an icon representing each photo appears in its proper location on the map layer.

      "My clients can receive the Google Earth KMZ file by email and launch it on their own computers in the office," explained Starchuk. "The client can see on the map where each stream crossing is located and then click on the photo to view it in detail to determine what size vehicles can cross at that point."

      Armed with this GPS-tagged visual information and a written field report, Waystar's clients have experienced a dramatic reduction in the number of geophysical survey applications that need to be amended. This eliminates crew down time and can significantly cut the costs of seismic operations.

      Waystar, which serves as an authorized dealer for GeoSpatial Experts, uses the Ricoh 500SE digital camera with a built-in GPS module. The GPS-Photo Link software is able to integrate photos and location points regardless of whether the GPS device is built in to the digital camera or separate from it.

      "The Waystar application illustrates the valuable role that GPS-Photo Link software can play in planning logistics for any operation that requires accurate location data and photographic observations," said Rick Bobbitt, President of GeoSpatial Experts.

      For more information on GPS-Photo Link, visit www.geospatialexperts.com. Or call Linda Bobbitt at 1-303-255-2908. Please visit www.waystar.ca for more information on Waystar.


    1. DMTI Spatial To Showcase Location Hub at 2007 Location Intelligence Conference

      Markham, Ontario, Canada — April 11, 2007. DMTI Spatial (DMTI), a leading provider of location intelligence solutions, announces that it will be showcasing its Location Hub solution at the 2007 Location Intelligence Conference, the premiere industry event focused on the business use of location technology. The 2007 Location Intelligence Conference will take place April 16-18, 2007 in San Francisco. John Fisher, Chairman and CTO of DMTI, will be speaking at the Spatial Data Infrastructure & Addressing Challenges session held on Wednesday, April 18th 2007. "I am delighted that DMTI Spatial, a long time thought leader in Location Intelligence, has joined the Location Intelligence Conference as one of this year's exhibitors," said Joe Francica, chairman of the event.

      "This year's event will offer unparalleled exposure to industry leaders as we highlight the convergence of location technology among enterprise IT solutions, geographic information systems, and mobile location-based services." The annual conference brings together business leaders to discuss how to generate revenue, cut costs, improve workflow efficiency and gain competitive advantage by implementing location related products and services within their organizations. At this years conference DMTI will be promoting the launch of Location Hub using the Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment model. This new market offering represents a more practical and strategic approach to enabling location intelligence in the Enterprise. The Location Hub offering focuses on the two things that really matter: the client's business processes; and, the quality of data required to drive profitable business outcomes.

      About Location Intelligence Conference: Now in its fourth year, the Location Intelligence Conference serves as a forum for discussing the integration of location related products and services with enterprise computing and consumer products.

      The conference is hosted by Directions Media, the global leader in collectively covering all aspects of location technology: geographic information systems (GIS), location intelligence, mapping portals and location-based services (LBS). Directions Media encompasses four media properties: Directions Magazine, LBS360.NET, and All Points Blog and the Location Intelligence annual conference.

      For more information, visit http://www.locationintelligence.net Conference contact Derek Brookmeyer LI Conference/Racepoint Group 415-694-6702 [email protected]

      About DMTI Spatial: DMTI Spatial has been providing industry leading location intelligence solutions for more than a decade to Global 2000 companies and government agencies. DMTI's world-class Location Hub platform uniquely identifies and cross-references a universe of location-based data. DMTI is the creator of the CanMap suite of geospatial data products, including CanMap® Streets and RouteLogistics, the gold standard for location data in Canada.

      DMTI also provides professional services and software tools bringing full solutions to the marketplace. For more information see: www.dmtispatial.com

    2. Navman Announces Low-Power Enhancements To Jupiter 30 And 32 Series Gps Modules

      Jupiter 30 and 32 GPS Modules Reduced Power Consumption by 35 percent

      Foothill Ranch, Calif. — Navman, a leading designer and manufacturer of world-class global positioning system (GPS) technology, announced today several powerful enhancements to its best-of-class Jupiter 30 and Jupiter 32 GPS modules. With the most sophisticated weak signal processing and acquisition available, a 25% reduction in overall power consumption and initial acquisition power consumption reductions of approximately 35%, the new revisions of the Navman Jupiter 30 and 32 GPS modules now deliver maximum battery-powered operation along with renowned industry-leading performance in reduced signal areas.

      By incorporating these enhancements into the existing Jupiter 30 and 32 modules, Navman provides an easy upgrade for existing platforms. A maximum peak power draw of 57mA and dynamic power consumption allow the Jupiter 30 and 32 to deliver powerful performance enhancements in weak signal environments, significantly increasing acquisition and tracking when signal strength is poor. The elegant software design of the Jupiter 30 and 32 employs a dynamic time model that optimizes performance and power requirements when in GPS signal acquisition mode and enhances shared battery power supply life in mobile applications. Steady state tracking power requirements in strong signals are 25% lower than the previous versions of the Jupiter line. Based on the new SiRFStarIII GSC3 LP chipset, additional improvements include improved noise immunity; RTC, PLL and RF amplifier noise immunity; updated default almanac; improved SBAS acquisition and increased immunity to CW jammers on SBAS acquisition and overall improved signal acquisition and tracking.

      "We are constantly finding and implementing ways to improve the Navman Jupiter series of GPS modules," said George Arnott, vice president of Navman's OEM Division. "With a 35% power draw reduction, the Jupiter 30 and 32 adds the lowest power requirements to their best-of-class performance designation."

      The Navman Jupiter 30 and 32 provide OEM manufacturers two powerful options for industry leading acquisition times and low signal strength operation in an easy-to-integrate package. Both feature user-selectable, optimizable navigation modes including General Use, Automotive, Pedestrian and optimized Low Power modes designed to suit any application. The devices deliver indoor position fix and tracking capability of better than minus 159 dBM, and includes over 200,000 effective correlators for superior acquisition performance in the weakest signal conditions. These devices deliver acquisition fix performance of <1 seconds (hot start), 32 seconds (warm start) and 34 seconds (cold start). Jupiter 30 is housed in an industry standard 25.4mm x 25.4mm x 3.0mm form factor with a weight of 4.0 grams. The Jupiter 32 is the smallest GPS receiver available, sporting a tiny 15.0mm x 17.0mm x 2.7mm form factor and weighing a scant 2.0 grams. Its miniature footprint is ideal for applications where size matters. In addition, its low power requirements make it ideal for battery operated applications.

      The Navman Jupiter 30 and 32 GPS modules are available in production quantities. For more information and datasheets, please contact Navman Customer Service at 949.461.7150, or visit www.navman.com/Navman/Templates/standard content_116227.asp.

      About Navman: Navman Limited, a unit of the Brunswick New Technologies division of Brunswick Corporation, is a recognized world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high reliability GPS, marine, vehicle navigation and mobile positioning and communication. Navman is committed to the creation of world-class products that add value to its broad base of users. Navman's success comes from taking high cost, sophisticated technologies and applying them to mass markets. The company's growth is fueled by its reputation for providing products to its OEM customer base and through its own distribution network and partners with the Navman brand name.

    3. News And Enhancements In Mapsuite+ 5.0

      Solna, April 10 — Chaos systems AB is proud to announce the release of Mapsuite+ 5.0; the CAD-system developed for surveying calculations, COGO, transformation and for mapping, design and GIS connectivity. Every year the application is upgraded in its first number, which means a bigger step forward, than the part versions.

      Thousands of users have put their wishes and ideas to Mapsuite+ and therefore, we have a system made for surveyors. Mapsuite+ has a file format that contains more, and with the new version 5.0 it offers even better support for a large number of countries, regarding system files, code tables and symbols.

      New features. The new version of Mapsuite+ 5.0 contains many new functions and improvements. Mapsuite+ 5.0 has a new report generator, with an advanced built-in report editor that gives the user functions for designing his/her reports.

      "The new report generator helps the user to create professional reports in no time" Anja Jonasson, market assistant at Chaos systems AB.

      Some of the new generally functions are that you are able to select several files at the same time, when opening or importing files. Also, the 10 latest file names in use will be listed under the File menu.

      Regarding CAD, Mapsuite+ 5.0 supports raster format like BMP, TIF, JPEG, CALS, Mr Sid and ECW. Raster files can be imported and used as external reference in the background of the drawing. New functions are mirror command, stretch command and enhanced functions for extend and trim. In version 5.0, a new symbol for coordinate axis and scale bar is added.

      Mapsuite+ 5.0 has a better support for 3D view, and options to edit terrain model in 3D view. For users working with profile forms; version 5.0 has support for snap, edit/explode current profile in profile form and a function for comparing profiles in order to find out height differences.

      Mapsuite+ 5.0 is compatible to save files in version 4. Regarding Volume Model, version 5.0 has outer slopes in Volume Model and a detailed report for using polygons, split up in chosen areas.

      For users working with ISM database connection a support/control of the coordinate system when opening or saving map has been added. The Mapsuite+ database connector - for ArcGIS has the advantage to have only selected objects to be stored in the database. Mapsuite+ 5.0 whole field module is re-built for better field connection. It is able to connect directly to GPS instruments via NMEA 0183 interface. Now the user has navigation possibilities, you can "walk" directly in the drawing. New functions are stake out function, see arrow pointing to the object, green arrow when inside the tolerance. Also we have the measurement function, measurement of points, lines, polylines, polygons with attributes and point codes.

      These are some of the up to 100 improvements and new functions in Mapsuite+ version 5.0.

      Availability The free Mapsuite+ 5.0 upgrade will soon be available for download by Mapsuite+ customers from the Mapsuite+ web site at www.mapsuiteplus.com/ http://mapsuiteplus.donator.se.

      The application is available in English, German, French, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish and Croatian.

      Mapsuite+ 5.0 releases in April 2007.

      For further information contact Tomas Sandstrom +46 8 410 415 03

    4. World Winds, Inc. Works with XM WX to Develop "FishBytes"

      New Data Product to Help Mariners Locate Fish

      April 11, 2007 — WorldWinds, Inc., is pleased to announce the release of a new data product to help mariners better locate fish. FishBytes, a fish location product, is an additional feature of the XM WX Satellite Weather Master Mariner package and works as an analysis tool to help anglers find optimal locations for specific species of fish. The product combines real-time weather information and an innovative fish location analysis to deliver the convenience of sea conditions, fishing conditions, and weather conditions all in one easy to interpret, site-specific tool.

      The same innovative mobile weather service that changed the way mariners receive weather information on their boat is now changing the way anglers locate fish. "The XM WX service is truly a unique product because not only are we able to provide comprehensive weather data, we are now able to let boaters know where the optimal fishing conditions are for specific species of fish," said Roderick MacKenzie, Vice President of Advanced Applications for XM. "With this unique combination, mariners will be able to maximize their time on the water."

      In order to locate these optimal fishing locations, an in-depth analysis is performed considering fourteen parameters to determine favorable conditions for specific fish species, including the latitude and longitude coordinates. The fish location model employs several sources, including Bathymetry, thermal front locations (rips), Sea Surface Temperature, Salinity, Turbidity, Sea State, Chlorophyll, and numerous other important fish-specific considerations providing anglers with optimal locations to find certain species of fish.

      "We are so pleased we could be part of the development of a commercial product that is useful to the public, particularly by using information developed by our government partners at the National Marine Fisheries, NOAA, and NASA," said Elizabeth Valenti, President of WorldWinds, Inc. "I grew up in a family of fisherman and it's rewarding to see a high technology product integrated into everyday use. It really makes this work satisfying."

      About WorldWinds, Inc.: WorldWinds, Inc. was established in May 2000 as a spin-off of User Systems, Inc. WorldWinds, Inc. is a privately held, woman-owned, small business located at the NASA Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi. They provide customized consulting support and analysis of weather and remotely sensed data including accurate, near real-time, high-resolution weather forecasts. Their forecast applications are used in a variety of markets including: marine transport, oil and gas operations, commercial fishing, coastal hazard and response support, aviation, agriculture, air pollution monitoring, and insurance applications. For more information, visit www.worldwindsins.com or contact Elizabeth Valenti at [email protected] or 228-688-1468.

      About XM WX Satellite Weather: XM WX Satellite Weather is a comprehensive graphical weather data service offered by XM Satellite Radio, the nation's #1 satellite radio service. The weather data for the XM WX service is provided by WxWorx, Inc., an innovative weather company that provides site-specific, real-time weather information. Founded in 2002 as an affiliate of Baron Services, WxWorx employs the same weather data provided by Baron Services and used by meteorologists to reach more than 235 million people nationwide daily.

      XM WX sets the new standard for provision of much-needed weather information to aviation, mariner, and emergency responders. The combination of detailed and comprehensive weather data, continuous satellite delivery and exceptional coverage anywhere across the continental United States and coastal waters is simply unmatched.

      The XM WX service is available in a choice of service tiers and is available on a wide range of hardware solutions to meet the needs of the specific market. For more information, visit www.XMWXweather.com.

      About WxWorx: WxWorx, Inc. is an innovative weather company that provides site-specific, real-time weather information for the XM WX Satellite Weather service The same reliable and accurate weather information used in the service are regularly broadcast to over 235 million television viewer's everyday. WxWorx is based in Huntsville, Alabama with offices in Melbourne, Fla. For more information visit WxWorx at www.wxworx.com.

    5. Telvent Miner & Miner Releases ArcFM Solution 9.2

      Design Optimization, Geodatabase Replication, Manhole Management, and Inspector Featured

      Fort Collins, CO — Telvent Miner & Miner announces the availability of the ArcFM Solution version 9.2. The ArcFM Solution is an enterprise GIS solution for editing, modeling, maintaining, and managing facility information for electric, gas, and water/wastewater utilities. This release is also certified with ESRI's ArcGIS 9.2

      The ArcFM Solution 9.2 introduces many new features including:

      • Underground Facility Management improves the ability to manage the internal representation of underground structures including manholes and vaults by allowing users to create, edit, and view the internal structures.
      • Design Optimization allows users to interactively design using optimization and automation tools. This tool takes into consideration site conditions, design parameters, and exclusion zones as well as supports parcel aggregation and transformer, conductor, and service optimal sizing and placement. The goal of this functionality is to focus on reducing cost and materials while adhering to user-defined parameters for optimal design.
      • Inspector is a new extension to ArcFM Viewer for ArcGIS Engine that allows mobile and desktop users to edit existing feature attributes and manage related objects to support workflows for inspections, joint-use attachments, cathodic protection, pole surveys, transformer audits, leak detection, damage assessments, and overall updating of attribute data.
      • ArcFM Viewer now supports the new file-based geodatabase at 9.2 which provides mobile users exceptional data compression and has no size limitation.
      • Geodatabase Replication allows users to synchronize their personal or file-based geodatabases on their mobile clients with the enterprise geodatabase in a timely and reliable manner.
      • Database Connections are now available with operating system authentication which provides the convenience of a single sign-on and multiple databases per single ArcSDE instance.

      Responder 9.2 has several new enhancements including:

      • Predicted Probable allows a user to assign a prediction as a "Probable" state to a device that may be out.
      • Regions can now be identified by polygon feature classes. This tool allows feeders to span across regions and supports up to three levels of regions, as well as the ability to predict and manage incidents by regions.
      • Web/Dashboard allows a user to view statistics by region in tabular and geospatial formats. A map tab, which leverages ArcGIS Server technology, allows users to zoom to a customer and view neighboring calls and incidents.
      • Wires Down/Hazards is the ability to assign multiple hazards to an incident. Crews can be assigned uniquely to individual incident elements.

      'The ArcFM Solution 9.2 is a significant release in that we are providing not only the certification with ArcGIS 9.2, but major improvements to functionality and new products and features as a whole. The list of enhancements is extensive and as always, we have also focused on quality and performance in addition to adding more business value for our users,' says Mike Daniels, Vice President of Product Development.

      Telvent Miner & Miner (TM&M) is a world leader in the development and implementation of GIS software for utilities. TM&M's ArcFM Solution and extended services assist electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities in increasing productivity, lowering costs, and improving services by allowing them to effectively manage spatial information. Founded in 1946 as a full-service electrical engineering firm, TM&M has been a business partner of ESRI since 1987. This partnership has enabled TM&M to become the world's leading developer of ArcGIS applications for the utility industry. TM&M services include implementation, integration, and customization of software to fit the needs of individual utilities. For more information, please visit www.telvent.com/miner/.

      For more than 30 years, ESRI has been the leading developer of GIS software with more than 300,000 clients worldwide. ESRI also provides consulting, implementation, and technical support services. In addition to its headquarters in California, ESRI has regional offices throughout the United States, international distributors in more than 90 countries, and more than 1,700 business partners. ESRI's goal is to provide users with comprehensive tools to help them quickly and efficiently manage and use geographic information to make a real difference in the world around them. ESRI can be found on the Web at www.esri.com/.

      Telvent (Nasdaq: TLVT), the Global RealTime IT Company, specializes in high value-added products, services and integrated solutions for the Energy, Transportation, Environment and Public Administration industry segments. Its innovative technology and client-proven expertise enable the efficient and secure real-time management of operational and business processes for industry-leading companies worldwide. www.telvent.com/.

    6. Leaddog Releases Comprehensive City Street Maps For Fifteen Saudi Arabian Cities

      Anchorage, AK. April 12, 2007 — LeadDog Consulting, a leading international provider of street and road maps announced the release of detailed city street geographic databases for the Saudi Arabian cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, ad-Dammam & Khobar, Taif, Tabuk, Buraydah, al-Hufuf, Hamis Mus ayt, Abha, Al Baha, Jizan, Yanbu, and Jubail.

      LeadDog maps are in use in a wide range of applications from military and government emergency and defense support to commercial fleet management and location based services. LeadDog products provide accurate base level mapping and numerous vector layers and attributes such as:

      • Streets at 1:5,000 scale - Street names
      • Street classifications - Extensive Points of Interest (airports, hospitals, mosques, museums, government offices, gas stations, etc.)
      • Water and Landmark polygons - Political division and borders

      Saudi Arabian City Streets products are available in all major GIS formats, in both English and Arabic. A Saudi Arabian Major Roads and Highways product is available at a 1:250,000 scale.

      LeadDog has vector mapping for over 70 countries making them one of the leading mapping companies worldwide; with an extensive library that is critically focused in the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, the rest of Latin America, and Asia.


    1. 2007 GIS for Oil & Gas Conference: Date and Location Change and Call for Papers Deadline Extension

      Aurora, Colo., April 10, 2007 —The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) will present its 16 th Annual GIS for Oil & Gas Conference Sept. 24-26, 2007, at the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston, Texas. The original date and hotel for the conference (Sept. 17-19, 2007, at the JW Marriott Hotel) had to be changed because of construction taking place at the JW Marriott Hotel during that time. The Call for Papers deadline for this conference has been extended to April 30, 2007. The only conference of its kind, the event is devoted exclusively to GIS applications and technologies for both the upstream and downstream aspects of the oil and gas industry. The two-and-a-half day conference will include four half-day seminars, a series of paper presentations, a user forum, an industry panel discussion, and an extensive product and services exhibition. The five broad topics of the Call for Papers are:

      • Public Awareness
      • Land and Environmental Data Integration and Management
      • Enterprise Integration
      • Integrity Management
      • Emergency Response and Planning

      The abstract Call for Papers page, with full descriptions of topics, and submission form are located at: http://gita.org/events/oil_gas/07/call.asp. More information about GITA's 16 th Annual GIS for Oil & Gas Conference is available at www.gita.org/oilgas.

      About GITA: The mission of the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) is to provide excellence in education, information exchange and applied research on the use and benefits of geospatial information and technology in business, utility and government applications worldwide. Visit GITA on the Web at www.gita.org.

    2. Call for Papers for the AGI Conference and Exhibition

      Deadline for submissions Friday 20th April 2007

      As Chair of the AGI2007 Conference I am delighted to announce the Call for Papers for the 19th running of our annual event.

      For more than 10 years the AGI Conference and Exhibition has been the centrepiece of the GI professional's year. As the use of GIS has spread through Central and Local Government to Utilities, Infrastructure, Insurance, Marketing, Retail and broader Business Intelligence, the conference has grown to the largest in the UK. Recognising the changing nature of the industry - as GI becomes more pervasive and new entrants to the marketplace and new issues and government directives offer challenges to established practices - the AGI is seeking to significantly reshape the 2007 event to meet the needs of its members.

      For the first time AGI2007 will be a residential conference designed to bring together practitioners, academics, policy makers and suppliers with thought leaders from the UK and overseas. The conference will provide an opportunity for its participants to learn from their peers, train and debate policy and technology issues, plus build relationships through networking. The theme of the conference will be 'Building a GeoCommunity'.

      Our industry makes an enormous contribution to efficient and effective government and adds value to many commercial sectors. The conference will provide an opportunity to celebrate success, share experience, inform and debate policy and enhance skills through an exceptional training programme.

      As a presenter at the AGI2007 Conference you will have the opportunity to raise the profile of your work, share ideas, describe your activities or celebrate successes. The AGI2007 Conference provides the unparalleled opportunity to hear and make direct contributions to important debates, meet other experts in your market sectors or field and learn from others about practical solutions that can be applied to deliver the benefits of GI to your organisation.

      The conference this year will be structured slightly differently. Instead of dedicated themes in each session, the conference will be streamed by GI interest, e.g. technical, practitioner and policy / strategic. This will allow delegates to share and learn from colleagues who work in other sectors but who may be facing similar issues. Various topics have been suggested as a guide on the following page and I invite you to submit papers / workshop suggestions / debate themes that cover these at any level of interest from technical through case studies to strategic and policy topics.

      The conference committee is particularly interested in abstracts that demonstrate knowledge and opinions on trends and strategies affecting geographic information as well as examples of major successful projects, small innovative projects, programmes or organisational change initiatives that involve geographic information, but also explain lessons learned and issues overcome.

      I hope the conference theme excites and motivates you and look forward to receiving your abstract.

      Steven Feldman AGI2007 Conference Chair

    3. Merrick & Company To Offer Free Lidar Training At ASPRS Conference

      Aurora, Colorado, April 5, 2007 — Merrick & Company, a world leader in LiDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping is pleased to host the first MARS User Group Meeting at the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) 2007 Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida on Monday, May 7th.

      The MARS User Group Meeting will be held from 1 to 5 PM on Monday, May 7th in Meeting Room #7 of the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel. The purpose of this meeting is to assist current MARS users with technical issues and to provide basic LiDAR training to new users by allowing them to test drive the software application and learn its many capabilities.

      Gary Outlaw, Vice President - Business Development, GeoSpatial Solutions states, "Merrick is excited to host our first MARS® User Group at the ASPRS conference in Tampa — we believe it will be a valuable learning experience for those attendees not familiar with LiDAR technology." Merrick Advanced Remote Sensing (MARS®) software is developed and sold by Merrick & Company, a full-service engineering firm headquartered in Aurora, Colorado. MARS® is a productionquality Windows application specifically designed for processing, analyzing and managing terrain data.

      To attend the user group meeting, please send an email to [email protected] including your contact information.

      About Merrick & Company: Founded in Denver in 1955, Merrick & Company is a world-leading multidisciplinary engineering, architectural, geospatial solutions, and construction management firm. The employee-owned company provides these services to municipal, state, federal, and private-sector clients. With approximately 400 employees, Merrick has offices in Aurora and Colorado Springs, CO; Los Alamos and Albuquerque, NM; and Atlanta, GA.

  3. OTHER

    1. East View Cartographic Adds 700,000 Ikonos Satellite Images To The Online EVC Store

      Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 10, 2007 — East View Cartographic (EVC) today announced the addition of 700,000 Ikonos satellite images to the online EVC Store. This is the first time that Ikonos imagery has been available in a fully-functioning e-commerce environment complete with the support of experienced customer service representatives. Customers can easily browse available images geographically and place an order directly online or get further personalized help from a representative. EVC's President and CEO, Kent Lee described this addition as "A significant step forward in online imagery sales. Customers can buy Ikonos imagery online as easily and quickly as they can book a flight on Expedia." Lee adds "This will allow GIS professionals to easily order an Ikonos scene informed by full scene metadata and a large preview pane of the scene without having to wait for a quote. It will also allow customers without GIS experience to quickly see what is available over their area of interest." East View Cartographic is an authorized reseller of Ikonos imagery via an agreement with GeoEye, the largest commercial remote sensing company in the world.

      This extensive catalog of satellite imagery could not be easily browsed and purchased online without EVC's MetaLog Store. MetaLog Store is a robust platform with the ability to display large collections of data geographically, sort and filter using metadata, and allow online purchases. MetaLog Store powers EVC Store and is also available as a turnkey geospatial data management system.

      This selection of Ikonos imagery with less than 25 percent cloud cover is viewable at www.cartographic.com/ikonos.asp and it is the first of EVC's many imagery offerings to be added to EVC Store. New Ikonos data will be added on an ongoing basis and SPOT imagery will be added to the website in the near future. Currently, SPOT imagery, QuickBird imagery, customized Ikonos scenes, and additional satellite imagery can all be ordered through EVC customer service representatives.

      About EVC: East View Cartographic (EVC) is a leading provider of authoritative worldwide maps, geospatial data, as well as GIS services and solutions. Since the company's origins in the early 1990s, EVC has acquired a vast archive of global maps and geospatial data, including topographic maps, DEMs, imagery, vector data, geological maps, nautical charts, and related atlases and books. The company's extensive map and geospatial data supplier network allows quick access to products not in inventory. In addition, EVC provides high-quality, cost-effective mapping and GIS services and solutions to support the production of new geospatial products, custom modification of existing data, and electronic organization of data. To browse and purchase products online visit EVC Store at www.cartographic.com.

    2. FGDC Invites Public Comment On Draft National Shoreline Data Content Standard

      April 10, 2007 — The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has released the draft National Shoreline Data Content Standard for public review and comment. The FGDC encourages State, Tribal, local governments, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, the commercial sector, and other segments of the geospatial community to review and comment on the draft standard to ensure the widest possible review. Comments are critical to assure that the draft National Shoreline Data Content Standard will meet the needs of the geographic information community.

      The location of our national shoreline is a baseline for legal boundaries, nautical charts, and commercial and natural resource utilization and management. Effective use of shoreline data requires a highly defined logical data structure that is interoperable, efficient, and applicable to a broad base of government and private sector demands.

      Current practices and protocols have led to a highly variable shoreline data infrastructure that limits agencies and organizations from effectively sharing and using shoreline coincident data. The draft National Shoreline Data Content Standard ties related protocols and existing content together in a new model using recognized reference material, definitions, semantics, and structures. Harmonized shoreline content will lead to cost savings by reducing the time in design, data re-use, training, and implementation and will assist in areas such as coastal research, historical shoreline change analysis, shoreline change prediction analysis, and the effects of relative sea rise. The draft National Shoreline Data Content Standard provides a framework for shoreline data development, data sharing, and shoreline data transformation and fusion.

      The geographical scope of the standard comprises all shorelines within the coastal and inland waterways for the United States, its Commonwealths, and Territories and any other possession that the United States exercises sovereignty.

      The functional scope of the standard includes the definition of data models, schemas, entities, relationships, definitions, and cross-walks to related standards. Legal controversy has historically surrounded shoreline definitions because of the boundary implications. This standard will provide a framework inclusive of multiple shoreline interpretations, and will not attempt to resolve disputed terminology.

      The draft National Shoreline Data Content Standard may be found at www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/shoreline-data-content/ 200701_ShorelineDataContentStandard.doc. Reviewers are strongly encouraged to complete the comment form (Word, Excel) using the instructions provided in FGDC Standards Directive #2d, Standards Working Group Review Guidelines: Review Comment Template. Proposed changes are needed to ensure that the question /problem is correctly addressed and adjudicated.

      Comments shall be submitted to Julie Maitra of the FGDC Secretariat (Email: [email protected]) no later than Friday, June 8, 2007 at 12:00 midnight Eastern Time.

      Comments resulting from public review will be adjudicated following the close of the public review on Friday, June 8, 2007. After public review comments have been adjudicated and a revised draft standard based on comment adjudications has been prepared, the revised draft standard and supporting documentation will be submitted for endorsement as an FGDC standard.

      POC: JULIE MAITRA ([email protected]) Phone: 703 648 4627

    3. FGDC Invites Public Comment On Draft National Vegetation Classification Standard, Version 2

      The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has released the draft National Vegetation Classification Standard, Version 2.0 for public review and comments. The FGDC encourages State, Tribal, local governments, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, the commercial sector, and other segments of the geospatial community to review and comment on the draft standard to ensure the widest possible review. Comments are critical to assure that the draft National Vegetation Classification Standard, Version 2.0 will meet the needs of the geographic information community.

      The draft National Vegetation Classification Standard, Version 2.0, supports the development and use of a consistent national vegetation classification (the "NVC") in order to produce uniform statistics based on vegetation data gathered at local, regional, or national levels. Uniform statistics require that the composition of any map unit or inventory unit be described in terms of one or more vegetation types at an appropriate level of the NVC hierarchy. This Standard shall not preclude alternative classification approaches and systems that address particular needs. It is intended to facilitate orderly development of the NVC and collaboration with international vegetation classification activities.

      This Standard applies only to vegetation documented for a specific location and time, and the NVC includes only existing vegetation types. This Standard applies to vegetation classification efforts in the United States and its Trust Territories. Specific time need not be the present, that is, historical data may be included.

      Lastly, this Standard establishes minimum metadata requirements to ensure consistent reporting on the status of our Nation's vegetation resources. Both the NVC and the metadata requirements may be used nationally to link local level vegetation inventory and map efforts.

      The draft National Vegetation Classification Standard, Version 2.0 may be found at http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/physiognomic-levels/ Draft_FGDC_Std_November_edits3.pdf. Reviewers are strongly encouraged to submit comments in Word or Excel using the format and guidance provided by FGDC Standards Directive #2d, Standards Working Group Review Guidelines: Review Comment Template, http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/process/standards-directives/ directive-2d-standards-working-group-review-guidelines-review-comment-template. Proposed changes are needed to ensure that the question /problem is correctly addressed and adjudicated.

      Comments shall be submitted to Julie Maitra of the FGDC Secretariat (Email: [email protected]) no later than Friday, June 8, 2007 at 12:00 midnight Eastern Time.

      Comments resulting from public review will be adjudicated following the close of the public review on Friday, June 8, 2007. After public review comments have been adjudicated and a revised draft standard based on comment adjudications has been prepared, the revised draft standard and supporting documentation will be submitted for endorsement as an FGDC standard.

      JULIE MAITRA ([email protected]) Phone: (703) 648-4627

    4. Pictometry Executives Slated for Awards from Rochester Institute of Technology

      CEO Richard A. Kaplan and CTO Stephen L. Schultz to be Honored

      Rochester, New York — April 10, 2007 - Pictometry International Corp., the worldwide leader in digital, aerial oblique imagery and easy-to-use measuring software systems today announced that two of its corporate executives have been selected for awards from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

      Company President and CEO Richard A. Kaplan will be honored by RIT as this year's recipient of the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award. The annual award goes to a successful business leader whose ideas and skills have positively impacted a local company and have helped improve the Rochester economy. Mr. Kaplan is actively involved in numerous activities in the community to help advance the growth of local businesses and strengthen the influence of retaining college graduates in the area at local companies. Mr. Kaplan serves on numerous boards throughout the community, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Advisors at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at RIT. The Center is the nation's premier school of imaging science, providing extensive training and education on the latest digital imaging technologies for students at the BS, MS, and PhD levels.

      "Dick Kaplan was an easy choice for this year's Vanden Brul Award," says RIT Saunders College of Business Dean Ashok Rao. "He is a serial entrepreneur in the true sense of the word, and a successful one at that. His latest venture, Pictometry International, has contributed significantly to the economic well being of our region, and has done so largely with graduates from RIT," said Rao. "More importantly, he is an effective and articulate spokesperson for the Rochester business community."

      Pictometry Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Stephen L. Schultz will be honored as the 2007 Distinguished Alumni of RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. RIT's Distinguished Alumni Awards are given annually to one graduate from each of the university's eight colleges. The honor is presented to a graduate who has brought distinction to the college and to RIT through professional and/or community achievement. Recipients are selected by a committee of faculty and administrators from each college. Mr. Schultz is a 1989 RIT computer science graduate and developed the world's first, georeferenced digital oblique aerial imaging system (Pictometry) that is now the industry standard throughout the world.

      "While we continue to celebrate the success of every one of our graduates, Stephen's professional accomplishments as well as his contributions to our community are most deserving of this special recognition and honor," says Jorge Diaz-Herrera, dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. "His successful career is a true testimony to the charge we lead here in the Golisano College-preparing students for exciting and rewarding careers in computing."

      "Through the business leadership of Dick Kaplan and the innovative solutions developed by Steve Schultz, Pictometry has not only invented and established the worldwide market for georeferenced, oblique aerial imaging technology, but the company continues to far surpass the technical capabilities of any other offering in the market today," said Dante Pennacchia, Chief Marketing Officer for Pictometry. "We are very proud of the distinguished service and accomplishments of these two executives."

      The awards will be presented at separate awards ceremonies this month.

      About RIT Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. More than 15,500 full- and part-time students are enrolled in RIT's 340 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

      For nearly two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation's leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review features RIT in its 2007 Best 361 Colleges rankings and named the university one of America's "Most Wired Campuses." RIT is also featured in Barron's Best Buys in Education.

      About Pictometry: Pictometry International is a rapidly growing software company that provides visual information systems. The company's patented imaging process captures georeferenced, high-resolution oblique (at an angle for a 3D-like view) and ortho (straight down) Intelligent Images of counties and states. Combined with the company's interactive software solution, users can see everywhere, measure anything, and plan everything. The company has a growing customer base exceeding 400 counties, the State of Connecticut, the State of Massachusetts, the State of Rhode Island, federal government organizations, as well as private business users. Major metropolitan areas using Pictometry include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Applications include 9-1-1, appraisers, assessors, emergency management agencies, engineering, financial institutions, fire departments, GIS, golf communities, homeland security, insurance, law enforcement, planning officials, real estate, transportation, and utilities. Pictometry is a second order visualization tool that does not produce authoritative or definitive information (surveying) from its digital, aerial images.

      The company is hosting its second annual User Conference, Pictometry FutureView 2007, from October 28 - 31, 2007 in Orlando, FL. For more information on Pictometry, visit www.pictometry.com.

    5. Richmond Police Department Wins Gartner's 2007 BI Excellence Award

      Enterprise Platform Based on Integrated ESRI and Information Builders Technologies

      Redlands, California—The Richmond, Virginia, Police Department was recently honored with the Gartner 2007 Business Intelligence (BI) Excellence Award. The department received the award for its innovative enterprise platform, which takes advantage of powerful geographic information system (GIS) mapping and analysis capabilities combined with BI technologies.

      The annual BI Excellence Award honors an enterprise implementation that most clearly demonstrates excellence in its business intelligence initiatives. The award was presented at the Gartner BI Summit, which was held March 12-14 in Chicago, Illinois.

      "We're honored to receive this award," says Rodney Monroe, police chief of the Richmond Police Department. "Our vision was to use information to more accurately understand what was going on and where, in the fastest time possible. Instead of reacting to crime, we wanted to be proactive to predict where future crime might happen. We've accomplished these goals, and as a result, we're maximizing resources to lower crime and provide better service."

      When Chief Monroe first joined the City of Richmond, he met with city information technology (IT) staff, who communicated the possibilities that exist in using technology and information as a tool to fight crime. He provided the leadership to have the city Police Department meet with ESRI business partner Information Builders, based in New York City, to outline department goals and see how technology might be deployed to meet these objectives.

      The system was rolled out in a phased implementation beginning in 2005. It was developed using Information Builders' flagship WebFOCUS software for BI capabilities and ESRI's ArcGIS software for spatial analysis and visualization. SPSS' Clementine solution provides the statistical analysis functionality.

      The system provides predictive crime analysis, data mining, reporting, and GIS capabilities throughout the agency. Data from the records management system and other databases is integrated and analyzed on a continuous basis. Customized results, based on individual specifications, are provided to different users from front line police officers to commanders.

      GIS capabilities enable officers to look at specific types of crime for a given area and perform various crime mapping and analysis functions. Users can pan and zoom in on a digital view of a neighborhood, block, or street and see buildings, houses, parks, empty lots, road networks, and more. Users can also view maps of crime density or "hot spots" by location or view maps based on crime type, such as burglary or car theft, to see specific incidents within a ZIP Code, neighborhood, city district, or other user-defined area. Aerial photos and data for weather, complaint time of day, case history, associated suspects, and more can be integrated as well. The result is a sophisticated data model of criminal activity with a user-defined set of elements that characterize probable future criminal behavior. Alerts can then be sent to individuals and departments when a crime spike occurs, again based on user-defined criteria.

      The technology platform has helped the agency achieve dramatic results. The city lowered crime rates and dropped from 5th to 15th in "dangerous city" rankings, including a 21 percent reduction in major crime from 2005 to 2006. So far in 2007, major crime is down an additional 19 percent. By year's end, the city is expected to drop out of the top 25 dangerous city rankings.

      "The Richmond Police Department is an excellent example of how organizations and businesses can succeed using combined business intelligence and GIS," says Steve Trammell, alliance representative, ESRI. "They are doing remarkable work that is a model for other police departments."

      About ESRI: Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit www.esri.com.

    6. New ESRI Press Book Explains How Smarter Analysis Equals Smarter Land-Use Decisions

      University of Florida Professors Teach Spatial Analysis Technique That Creates Future Land-Use Scenarios

      Redlands, California—A new book from ESRI Press will help land-use planners, architects, and others predict how development will change the landscape over the long term. Smart Land-Use Analysis: The LUCIS Model shows how geographic information system (GIS) technology can improve the way we plan today's development for future generations.

      Written by University of Florida professors Margaret Carr and Paul Zwick, Smart Land-Use Analysis discusses the difficulty of monitoring development over time and describes an analysis process that uses spatial modeling to predict land-use trends.

      This indispensable guide for land-use planners, analysts, and students explains a new land-use conflict identification strategy (LUCIS). Developed by the authors, the LUCIS model uses ESRI's ArcGIS geoprocessing framework, particularly ModelBuilder, to analyze suitability and preference for urban, agricultural, conservation, and other major land-use categories. The model helps users build land-use scenarios and determine potential future conflict among the categories.

      "Land-use decision making is particularly important as we accommodate our growing population and often compromise our environment," ESRI president Jack Dangermond writes in the book's foreword. "LUCIS will help us understand the unintended consequences of incremental decision making."

      The first part of Smart Land-Use Analysis explains the historical development and foundational principles of LUCIS. The second part leads readers though a case study of nine counties in Florida, with a step-by-step breakdown of how LUCIS was applied. Part three discusses additional applications for LUCIS and potential future ramifications of urban sprawl.

      Assignments test readers' understanding of concepts and software functions. A supplemental DVD provides case study data and the LUCIS geoprocessing model. This package will help users explore an original, proven method that enables intelligent land-use decision making. Smart Land-Use Analysis: The LUCIS Model can also be used in the classroom for postsecondary courses on urban planning, landscape architecture, environmental studies, and GIS.

      Smart Land-Use Analysis: The LUCIS Model (ISBN: 978-1-58948-012-4, 302 pages, $49.95) is available at online retailers worldwide or can be purchased at www.esri.com/esripress or by calling 1-800-447-9788. Outside the United States, contact your local ESRI distributor. Visit www.esri.com/international for a current distributor list. ESRI Press books are distributed to the trade by Ingram Publisher Services. Call 1-866-400-5351 or visit www.ingrampublisherservices.com.

      About ESRI: Press ESRI Press publishes books on GIS, cartography, and the application of spatial analysis to many areas of public and private endeavor including land-use planning, health care, education, business, government, and science. The complete selection of GIS titles from ESRI Press can be found on the Web at www.esri.com/esripress.

      About ESRI: Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com.

    7. Boundary Solutions Inc. Digital Parcel Map Accuracy Survey Results Available

      Mill Valley, CA, April 9, 2007 — Boundary Solutions is pleased to announce that digital parcel map geographic accuracy has significantly improved over the last two years. This finding is based on 808 records in the National ParcelMap Data Portal Metadata Profile database representing 88 million parcels. As can be seen in the accompanying chart, reported map accuracy ratings provided by these 808 data sponsors are trending toward greater accuracy. The total percentage of parcels with 1 to 6 foot accuracy has increased across the board, while the percentages of parcel with an accuracy rating of 10 ft + has significantly decreased since 2005. This is true whether measured in terms of accuracy by total counties or total parcels.

      This shift is due to the accuracy of the NPDP updating process, where maps of poor accuracy are continually being updated with more accurate map data.All in all, these findings clearly show that digital parcel map database managers nationwide are truly working hard to establish and improving the excellence of this vital GIS data layer.

      Boundary Solutions Inc. assembled the most extensive database of parcel map data available from jurisdictions throughout the United States. As of March 2006, a total of 51 million parcels from 405 jurisdictions are normalized and ready for download. Terms and conditions for digital parcel map database acquisition and updates are in place for 450 more jurisdictions, a total of 86 million parcels representing coverage for up to 95% of the nation's land transaction activity. Regardless of source format, all content is subjected to over 25 modifications and metric recordings to assure universal internal consistency makes it possible for an application that works in Seattle also works in St. Pete.

      Boundary Solutions Inc. was awarded U.S. Patent 7,092,957, entitled "Computerized National Online Parcel-level Map Data Portal." Claims include multi-jurisdictional search to locate an address by displaying its corresponding digital parcel map boundary. The patent relates back to the original provisional patent application filing date of January 18, 2002. Boundary Solutions, BSI, Boundary Solutions logo, National ParcelMap Data Portal, NPDP, and Rooftop Accuracy are trademarks of BSI. All other trademarks and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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