2007 April 19

This issue sponsored by

Professional Surveyor Magazine

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Editor's Introduction

This week I present the results of our reader survey; host an appeal to local governments by the national Geospatial One Stop program; report on a congressional hearing on voice over IP (VoIP) and the future of the 9-1-1 system; bring you the comments on the hearing by a representative of Rosum Corporation; and report on Boeing's selection of Rosum as a subcontractor for DARPA's Robust Surface Navigation Program. Plus, my usual dose of press releases.

As always, I encourage your feedback.

Matteo Luccio

Who You Are

We recently asked you to tell us a little about yourselves. Here are your responses, as percentages:

Q1. Which title best describes you?

  • Manager — 21.3
  • Technician — 19.5
  • Other — 14.8
  • Engineer — 14.1
  • Surveyor — 9.7
  • Scientist — 8.3
  • Research Analyst — 6.5
  • Planner — 3.6
  • Policymaker — 1.4
  • Journalist — 0.7

Q2. Which category best describes your involvement with GIS?

  • End-User — 37.5
  • Manager — 26.7
  • Data provider — 18.8
  • Software Developer — 8.7
  • Researcher — 8.3

Q3. What is your organization's primary business function?

  • Other — 20.9
  • Mapping — 17.9
  • Software Development — 13.6
  • Geographic Analysis — 9.9
  • Utility Management — 9.2
  • Education or Media — 5.9
  • Resource Management — 5.5
  • IT — 4.8
  • Scientific Research — 4.4
  • Data Acquisition — 4.0
  • Image Processing — 2.2
  • Research and Planning — 1.8

Q4. Within the geospatial industry, with which of the following vertical markets are you most closely associated?

  • Government — 44.0
  • Other — 14.4
  • Utilities — 9.7
  • Agriculture v7.2
  • Education — 5.4
  • Transportation — 4.7
  • Real Estate — 4.3
  • Telecommunications — 2.5
  • Energy — 1.8
  • Oil & Gas — 1.4
  • Healthcare — 1.1
  • Insurance — 1.1
  • Media — 0.7
  • Retail — 0.7
  • Banking — 0.4
  • Manufacturing — 0.4

Q5. Do you use GIS Monitor as a resource when making your purchasing decisions?

  • No — 54.9
  • Yes — 45.1

Q6. Are you involved with major purchasing decisions within your company?

  • Yes — 68.2
  • No — 31.8

and the winners are…

From all of the respondents to our survey, we randomly selected four, to each of whom we will send a $50 gift certificate for dinner at a restaurant near them:

Vern Vogt, Supervisor, Georeferencing Services, Integrated Land Management Bureau, Province of British Columbia, Canada

Linda Y. Haven, CAD/Drafter, Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Columbus, Ohio

Matthew McCready, Geographer, U.S Census Bureau, Geography Division, National Geographic Partnerships Team

[As of press time, the fourth winner had not yet responded to my request for permission to print his/her name.]

GOS Reaches Out To Local Governments

Web Mapping Services Important Toward Building National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)

Sam Wear, the Assistant CIO (GIS) for Westchester County, New York, is on a temporary detail with the U.S. Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), serving as the national local government liaison to the Geospatial One Stop. His focus is building local government capacity in GOS. He sent GIS Monitor the following:

The Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) project encourages local governments to register and publish metadata for Web mapping services on the GOS portal at www.geodata.gov.

Increased availability of data and Web mapping services through the GOS portal significantly supports local, state, tribal, and federal government agencies, and improves homeland security and disaster relief efforts across the country. It is widely recognized that local governments make a tremendous contribution towards building the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

New enhancements to the GOS portal include improved spatial search functions, tools to identify potential partners in data acquisition efforts, easy-to-use registration forms to start publishing metadata records, and greater access to a growing number of on-line Web mapping services from across the country.

Local governments interested in getting started with publishing metadata for Web mapping services — which can take as little as 15 minutes — are encouraged to visit the www.geodata.gov or contact Sam Wear, local government liaison to GOS, at [email protected] or 914-995-3047.

U.S. Senate Hearing on VoIP and 9-1-1

In 1968, the only people who communicated over long distances by flipping open small, hand-held devices were the crew of the starship Enterprise. That was the year when the 9-1-1 system was launched, and yet its basic architecture has not changed to reflect the huge changes in technology and in people's communications habits. Additionally, according to the National Emergency Number Association, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in rural areas covering 20 percent of the country and 50 percent of the counties still do not have enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) capability—which provides to 911 operators the location of callers who use traditional land lines—and only 46 percent of PSAPs, covering one third of the population, have the necessary technology to locate wireless 9-1-1 callers.

Today, in addition to many more ways of communicating—by voice, e-mail, instant messaging, etc.—we also have a large variety of sensors that could provide additional information to emergency dispatchers—such as digital photos and videos from cell phones, data from automatic crash notification systems, alerts from medical devices, and bio-chemical information from sensors in subways. The current 9-1-1 infrastructure, however, is not able to handle such inputs.

All of this is relevant to the GIS community, for two reasons. First, because location, of course, is a key component of every emergency call. Second, because the prodigious expansion in the popularity of cell phones—and, hence, of the number of 9-1-1 calls originating from them—led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress to mandate wireless carriers to phase in, over a period of a few years, the capability to locate handsets and pass that information on to 9-1-1 operators at PSAPs. This requirement to location-enable millions of handsets, in turn, laid the groundwork for the development of location-based services (LBS).

Now, the growth of Internet telephony—or voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)—is at a similar inflection point and poses analogous challenges to PSAPs. Popular VoIP services include Vonage and Skype. As VoIP technology matured, service providers began to interconnect VoIP with the public telephone network and marketed the VoIP service as a cheap alternative to traditional phone service. Initially, the FCC allowed them to experiment with various ways to connect with PSAPs. However, as people's inability to call 9-1-1 using VoIP began to make headlines, the FCC acted: in 2005 it required that VoIP services that interconnect with the public telephone network begin to provide 9-1-1 service and provide notice to their consumers concerning the 9-1-1 limitations.

However, implementing E9-1-1 poses serious technical challenges for VoIP, both because it uses the Internet and because users can be nomadic, making it very difficult to geolocate them. A further obstacle is that, to fully interconnect VoIP to 9-1-1, VoIP service providers must interconnect with the 9-1-1 telephone trunk—owned and controlled by their competitors, the traditional fixed-line telephone carriers.

Last week, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the United States Senate held a hearing on VoIP and the future of 9-1-1 services as well as a bill on the subject, S. 428, introduced by Senators Nelson and Snowe earlier this year.

Five witnesses testified at the hearing:

  • Dale Hatfield, former Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, independent consultant, and Adjunct Professor in the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Wanda McCarley, President of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), International and Operations and Training Manager for the Tarrant County 9-1-1 District
  • Jason Barbour, President of NENA and 9-1-1 Director for Johnston County, North Carolina
  • Sharon O'Leary, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Secretary of Vonage, a VoIP provider
  • Stephen Meer, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Intrado Incorporated—which, he said, "provides the core of North America's 9-1-1 call routing, data management, and communications infrastructure and is a central figure in the integration of multiple technologies that feed into the 9-1-1 system."

Following are some of the comments they made on the issues most relevant for GIS.

Indoor location challenges. As people "increasingly rely upon VoIP or cellular phones for voice communication, sometimes fully substituting such services in lieu of traditional wireline services," Hatfield said, VoIP and cellular calls are commonly made from inside buildings. However, he pointed out, while signals from nearby cell phone towers, at times boosted by various devices and systems deployed inside buildings, often allow cellular subscribers to complete 9-1-1 calls from deep within buildings, the signals from distant GPS satellites are too weak there for handset-embedded GPS receivers to use. The result is that PSAPs receive their calls but are unable to locate them. He stressed the need for the FCC to "encourage stakeholders to agree on a common testing methodology … for assessing location accuracy involved in finding 9-1-1 callers" and that this revised methodology "take into account increased indoor usage of wireless devices."

Furthermore, according to Hatfield, when VoIP customers relocate their computer—usually from an indoor location to another one, because VoIP requires a broadband connection for good performance—they often fail to manually re-enter their location information. "Thus, in considering the interrelationship between wireless and VoIP E-9-1-1 requirements, it is quite possible that there could be substantial benefits from developing an automatic location system that would serve both needs."

Integration of various sensors and systems. "With the camera phone that I have in my pocket," Hatfield said, "in calling E-9-1-1, I could send a picture of a suspect's car speeding away from a crime scene because modern, all-digital packet switched networks based upon the IP suite are perfectly capable of conveying voice, data, image and even video traffic. The challenges to that vision include not only the still-remaining limitations of the existing wireline E-9-1-1 infrastructure but also the ability of the PSAP to receive, process, and display such information."

According to McCarley, "Next generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems, will ultimately occur within a broader array of interconnected networks comprehensively supporting emergency services; from public access to those services to the delivery of emergency information to call-takers, dispatchers, and first responders. This development is an evolutionary process to enable the general public to make a 9-1-1 call from any wired, wireless, or IP-based device."

"The same IP network that will allow a 9-1-1 center to receive voice, text, video and multi-media information from the emergency calling public," Barbour said, "should be the same network that enables increased information sharing, voice and data, on a variety of traditional and new devices among all aspects of the emergency response system." He pointed out that NENA "started with 'One nation — One number,' and now we add, 'any device, from anywhere, at anytime.'"

Funding. All of the speakers agreed that, as people increasingly switch from wireline to wireless and VoIP telephone, funding the 9-1-1 system is increasingly a challenge, because it has traditionally been funded by a surcharge on wireline telephone subscribers within a given service area. McCarley said that her organization "strongly supports" the provision of the bill that ensures the ability of state and local governments to "impose or collect a 9-1-1 fee from VoIP service providers."

Liability parity. "Some 9-1-1 authorities are reluctant, or even refuse, to complete VoIP emergency calls," O'Leary said, "because they lack the legal safeguards that protect them from liability," which exist today for wireline and wireless emergency calls. She called for extending these protections to VoIP, as did Meer.

Access to E9-1-1 infrastructure. "Nomadic VoIP providers, like Vonage, need access to parts of the telephone network to complete a 9-1-1 call," O'Leary said. "Unfortunately, there are areas in the country where Vonage cannot gain access to these vital network elements. By including access provisions in the legislation, you ensure that the 9-1-1 system remains a public trust, not a tool to block competition." Barbour said that NENA supports a provision in Senate bill 428 that requires owners of the E9-1-1 infrastructure to provide access to VoIP providers who require it to provide E9-1-1 service.

Rosum Corporation's Comments on the Hearing

I discussed the hearing with Jon Metzler, Director of Business Development for Rosum Corporation, which manufactures devices that supplement GPS by deriving positioning from broadcast TV signals. The company is happy to see the emphasis on the need for indoor 9-1-1 capability. In particular, Metzler pointed to comments by Hatfield about the need for hybrid offerings, "which is precisely what we are."

Some of the themes of the hearing—such as funding problems for PSAPs and the need for the 9-1-1 system having to adapt to new technology—have been around for more than a decade. So, what's new? According to Metzler, new data shows that the majority of wireless calls, in general, and wireless 9-1-1 calls specifically, are being made from indoors, and that people are increasingly doing away with their wireline phone completely, varying from 5 percent of households in San Francisco to as many as 19 percent in Detroit. These data, Metzler says, have highlighted the need for 'in-building' 9-1-1.

How does Rosum's technology help address this problem? Metzler explains that when his company began integrating them with GPS receivers, TV tuners for computers were large, heavy, and power hungry. Now, however, as the market grows for notebook PCs able to function as entertainment centers, the number of tv-capable devices has dramatically increased and tuners' size, cost, and power requirements have dropped enormously. "So, it makes our sales effort much, much easier."

At the hearing, Stephen Meer, Intrado's CTO, exhorted Congress to think ahead and not just react to the challenges posed to the 9-1-1 system by every new communications technology. "We wholeheartedly agree with Meer's remarks," Metzler says. "It is not about any one location technology or method; it is about being prepared to accept or work with location information generated by whatever offering is in the field at that point in time. We are a device-based technology, but I think that this is broader than any one company's technology. Say that you do have a sensor-equipped building with IP connectivity: you might call 9-1-1 through that building, we don't know. But I think that Meer is precisely correct in pointing out that that option may occur, so we should be ready."

With regards to how emergency calls are routed, "we are upstream from that," Metzler says, "in that we are a location technology. That said, I think it is in everyone's interest to make sure that that location information is transportable, that the mechanism for transporting it is robust, and that it is transporting it where the call takers can do something with it."

DARPA's Robust Surface Navigation Program

The Boeing Company has awarded to Rosum Corporation a contract in support of Boeing's development for the Robust Surface Navigation Program (RSN) of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The RSN program seeks to exploit "signals of opportunity" to help deliver location information to U.S. troops in environments where GPS works poorly or not at all—such as in urban canyons, inside buildings, and in the presence of GPS jammers. Rosum will develop subsystems utilizing its proprietary positioning technology, which uses terrestrial broadcast signals, such as those from television transmitters. The project team also includes Navsys and Shared Spectrum.

Rosum, whose founding team includes the original architects of the GPS constellation, derives positioning from either unmodified broadcast TV signals or a combination of TV and GPS signals. The company has also developed a deployable signal offering in support of defense and first response applications.

According to Bart Ferrell, Boeing Phantom Works program manager for Precision Navigation Programs, the goal of the 15-month DARPA program, executed out of the Army's Battle Command Applications Division, is "to evaluate the available signals of opportunity, with the intent of using them to make a navigation system much more robust." In addition to those from television transmitters, such signals may include those from radio transmitters and cell phone towers, as well as from Iridium, Galileo, and GLONASS satellites. The final product, he says, should be "a very robust, integrated system that uses space-based signals, like GPS, along with terrestrial-based signals."

Phase 1 of the contract began on February 1 and is worth $2.6 million, according to Ferrell. It focuses, he says, on "assessing the enabling technologies." Phase 2 would then be the development of a prototype.

I can see how Rosum's technology can work well in advanced industrial countries, where there are many such signals of opportunity, but what about in such places as Afghanistan? "This system will be designed to be used in all areas of the globe," Ferrell told me, "so one of the challenging aspects of this program is to assess which signals are in fact available and which ones would be suitable to use in this integrated system." A key question is whether a given transmission includes a signal that can be used for ranging. In areas where there are absolutely no usable signals, U.S. forces could deploy stand-alone beacons.

An RSN receiver would be similar in form factor to current hand-held GPS receivers. "Obviously, we don't want to burden the foot soldier with a huge piece of equipment," Ferrell says. "Our goal would be to make this similar in size and weight to what is used today in theater. But, until we understand the suitability of these signals and what has to be done to use them, we won't know for sure."

Will Rosum's hybrid positioning module (HPM) be at the heart of the new device? "I think that is a very strong possibility," Ferrell says, "but at this point we are assessing all of those systems and I don't want to predict which one we are going to use." Jon Metzler, Rosum's Director of Business Development, is even more cautious: "As a subcontractor to Boeing, our intent is to build a solution where the sum of the various ranges is greater than the value of the individual parts. Our goal is to provide TV ranges. If there is a location where TV is dominant, that's one thing. If there's a location where other systems are dominant, that's fine as well. While I won't speak to the end deliverable, our goal as a company is to provide specific ranges to the integrated solution that Boeing comes up with."

News Briefs

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


    1. ESRI (UK) Helps Amey Increase Scottish Road Safety

      12 April 2007, Aylesbury — Amey's Scottish Trunk Roads Asset Management Team is using geographic information system (GIS) technology from ESRI (UK) to ensure incidents on its roads cause minimum disruption by improving efficiency in Amey's control room.

      Amey and ESRI (UK) have developed ORCID (Operations Room Control of Incident Database), a new user-friendly system based on ESRI GIS for recording incidents on the trunk road network that Amey manages and maintains in southern Scotland. ORCID has already helped Amey deal with over 13,000 incidents more efficiently in the last eight months.

      Amey's 24/7 Operational Control Room deals with incidents across the network. The control room team, liaise closely with the emergency services and regional broadcast travel desks to ensure incidents are managed professionally and safely.

      ORCID allows control room staff to see a complete picture of the roadside environment where an incident is taking place. The system includes detailed inventory such as safety fences and signs and has links to digital network videos and photographs - all at the touch of a button. Using this mapping information, and accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, control room staff plot an accurate position of each incident. Staff can then dispatch Amey's Trunk Road Incident Support Service (TRISS) unit immediately to a precise location.

      Prior to development of the ORCID system, calls were logged in a stand-alone MS Access database with only a vague description of locations. This system was not resilient and did not allow multi-user editing of information. Amey has worked with ESRI (UK) to customise its ArcMap software application to allow automated, user-friendly input, and has also taken advantage of ESRI's ArcSDE server software for secure data-retrieval by multiple users. Information is then served on an ESRI ArcIMS- based intranet site to allow real-time information and historic trends to be viewed.

      ORCID quickly identifies long-term incident patterns and cluster sites. Amey's Accident Investigation and Prevention Team have welcomed the system's installation as it recognises areas susceptible to incidents, such as accidents, flooding and barrier strikes which would benefit from safety improvements.

      ORCID has also proved to be a useful resource for Amey's Environmental Team as it allows them to identify patterns in incidents such as animal road deaths, allowing them to consider mitigation measures such as badger tunnels or deer fencing.

      Gary Nulty, project manager, Amey, said: "We recognised the need for a new system to better record incidents on the network and were keen to use our in-house GIS skills to come up with a solution. The result has been a product that we can tailor exactly to our needs that provides us with accurate information which can be re-used throughout the business, at a reduced cost to the company.

      "The system has proved to be a useful resource, benefiting several departments within Amey. It has been a major achievement for the team to have been involved in the development of such an innovative and successful project."

      Frauke Diehl, account manager, ESRI (UK) said: "Working with Amey demonstrates how GIS can help where response times and effective deployment of resources is critical, while improving efficiencies within an organisation by making the most of a company's data assets."

      About ESRI (UK): ESRI (UK) is part of the global ESRI network. With the single, largest pool of GIS expertise in the UK, the company is the technical authority on GIS. ESRI (UK) provides solutions, technology and services including off the shelf applications built on the ArcGIS software suite and an extensive range of consulting and training services.

      Its offerings meet a range of business needs in different markets including Local & Central Government, Public Safety, Insurance, Utilities and Telecommunications, as well as catering for system integrators and application developers through the ESRI Developer Network.

      ESRI (UK)'s customers include both public sector and commercial clients such as Manchester City Council, Royal and Sun Alliance, Thames Water, National Grid and The Environment Agency. ESRI (UK) also works with charities such as MapAction, Birdlife International and the Red Squirrel Protection Partnership.

      About Amey: Amey is a leading provider of integrated business and infrastructure services to the public and private sector and is working closely with central and local government to develop major projects, including PFI and PPP projects, in the education, health, transport and defence sectors. Services range from the management of large scale transportation infrastructure to the delivery of professional and back office services, all of which are underpinned by leading-edge technology and a genuine partnering philosophy.

      Since 2003, Amey has been part of Grupo Ferrovial, one of the largest services and construction groups in Europe.In February 2006 Amey acquired professional support services provider, Owen Williams. Owen Williams is the professional services division of Amey, providing management and consultancy services, for clients in strategic highways and transportation, railways, operational services and local government sectors.

    2. DigitalGlobe Imagery Powers Latest Garmin Marine Cartography

      New BlueChart g2 Line of Cartography Features DigitalGlobe's Satellite Imagery

      Longmont, Colorado, April 16, 2007- DigitalGlobe, provider of the world's highest- resolution imagery and geospatial information products, today announced that it will provide to Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), the high-resolution imagery for Garmin's BlueChart g2 — its new line of highly detailed cartography. BlueChart g2 with DigitalGlobe imagery is one of the first electronic charting devices to give boaters unparalleled access to the world's highest-resolution commercial imaging system.

      "By supplying the detailed imagery behind the BlueChart g2, DigitalGlobe is helping to bring a new level of accuracy, realism and reliability to one of the leading nautical navigation devices available today," said Marc Tremblay, vice president and general manager of DigitalGlobe's commercial business unit. "We look forward to continuously enhancing the development of our digital archive, supplying Garmin's customers with the finest high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery available."

      The BlueChart g2 is part of Garmin's award-winning line of charts. The BlueChart line of cartography has an amazing range of features and functions — all priced significantly below comparable electronic charts. The BlueChart g2 plotters now feature worldwide imagery from DigitalGlobe for a realistic "view from space" map depiction. With the addition of BlueChart g2 Vision software, these images are upgraded to super high-detail imagery with true 3D-view perspective, both above and below the waterline. Additional enhancements include general coastal road detail, marine services information, and improved IALA navigational symbols. Other chart features include port plans, wrecks, restricted areas and more.

      "Leveraging DigitalGlobe's images, the BlueChart g2 is one of the most advanced cartography devices available today, far surpassing traditional maps in its usability and accuracy," said Greg DeVries, Garmin's director of marine sales and marketing. "Our decision to utilize DigitalGlobe imagery was based on the company's reputation as one of the best providers of imagery available. DigitalGlobe has both the technology and customer base to prove it, and we are excited to work with them."

      In related news, DigitalGlobe will attend the Location Intelligence Conference in San Francisco this week, presenting today on how DigitalGlobe imagery is enabling the global enterprise, as well as participating in a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 about the role of satellite imagery in local intelligence. For more information, contact R.J. Bardsley at 415-694-6701 or [email protected].

      About Garmin: Garmin International, Inc. is a member of the Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq:GRMN) group of companies which designs, manufactures, markets, and sells navigation, communication and information devices and applications -- most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin is a leader in consumer and general aviation navigation and its products serve the automotive/mobile, outdoor/fitness, marine, and aviation markets. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200. Garmin, and BlueChart are registered trademarks, and g2 and g2 Vision are trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.

      About DigitalGlobe: Longmont, Colo.-based DigitalGlobe (www.digitalglobe.com) is the clear leader in the global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information market. The company's technical superiority and innovation, unparalleled commitment to customer service, extensive business partner network and open systems philosophy make DigitalGlobe the preferred supplier of imagery products to government and commercial markets.

      DigitalGlobe is the only geospatial content provider to take an end-to-end approach to geospatial imagery, from acquiring proprietary high-resolution images through a leading- edge satellite and aerial network, to integrating and distributing that data through GlobeXplorer, a proprietary web-based search and retrieval system that makes it easy to find, purchase and download global imagery. DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite is the world's highest resolution commercial imaging system.

      The company's next-generation WorldView 1 satellite is scheduled to launch in mid-2007, and its WorldView 2 satellite is anticipated to launch in late 2008. The company's updated and growing ImageLibrary contains over three hundred million square kilometers of satellite and aerial imagery suited to countless applications for people who map, view, navigate and study the earth.

    3. InMaps Implements Automated Driving Survey for Yankee Gas

      Holderness, New Hampshire, 16 April 2007 —Integrated Mapping Services Inc. (InMaps) has implemented its GIS-based Automated Driving Survey (ADS) application at Yankee Gas Services Co. in Berlin, Connecticut. The InMaps ADS application automates record-keeping related to the mobile gas detection surveys that natural gas utilities must perform annually in compliance with federal and state regulations.

      The largest natural gas distribution company in Connecticut, Yankee Gas serves nearly 200,000 customers in 72 cities and towns. Each year, federal and state guidelines require the utility to inspect its entire 3,000-mile network of underground distribution pipes for potentially dangerous gas leaks. As is now common with most U.S. gas utilities, Yankee Gas conducts the inspections using vehicles equipped with flame ionization hydrocarbon detection devices.

      "The record-keeping is a huge administrative undertaking," said Kevin Dupre, Director of Gas Operations for Yankee Gas. "Prior to implementing ADS, we had to maintain daily 'To-From' sheets showing precisely which street segments had been surveyed, and then we transferred survey details to 400-scale maps to track the progress and pinpoint locations of leaks. This information had to be updated constantly as an auditable record for state regulators."

      InMaps, a GIS consulting services firm specializing in electric and gas utility applications, developed ADS to facilitate the reporting aspects of the government-mandated driving surveys. InMaps ADS interfaces with an onboard GPS receiver and runs on a GIS-equipped laptop in the vehicle to automatically track the streets that have been surveyed. When a leak is discovered, the vehicle operator can map its precise location in ADS with a single key stroke on the mobile computer.

      "We developed ADS to streamline the survey reporting process and ensure that leak detection and status records are always up to date," said Richard St.Pierre, InMaps President and CEO. "Our goal was to cut the staff time required by gas utilities to satisfy the government regulations."

      The InMaps ADS application runs inside the GIS which allows the user access to leak location data with leak status information existing on the GIS. This enables operations managers to click on the GIS-based distribution network map and access status on open leaks and repaired leaks on a segment of pipeline. ADS outputs survey summaries in a variety of graphical and tabular formats for hardcopy or digital presentation to utility regulators. InMaps designed ADS to run on the GE Smallworld platform, but it will soon integrate with other popular GIS packages.

      "We are pleased with the performance of ADS because it helps to minimize staff time spent on paperwork, which previously accounted for about 25 percent of the time required for leak detection survey compliance," said Dupre. "And having ADS operate inside our GIS gives us a better understanding of our infrastructure and operational performance."

      About InMaps: InMaps provides geospatial consulting services for natural gas and electric utilities, with special emphasis in Smallworld systems. Consulting services include application development, technology upgrades, PowerOn® support, system integration, compliance reporting, training, and on-site services. Products include GPS Locator and Dimension Toolkit. Field solutions include Automated Driving Survey, for the natural gas industry, and Mobile GIS, which gets Smallworld into the field. InMaps is a GE Energy Value Added Reseller.

    4. Merrick & Company Begins Digital Orthophotography Update for Lake County, Illinois

      Aurora, Colorado, USA — Merrick & Company, a world leader in LIDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping is providing color digital orthophotography for Lake County, Illinois this Spring as part of a multi-year contract. Merrick will use its Digital Airborne Camera System (DACS) for imagery collection instead of film.

      DACS, a medium format (39 megapixel) metric digital camera system, receives its orientation from both the airborne GPS and Inertial Measurement Unit co-mounted in the Cessna aircraft. Merrick orients the imagery and LiDAR with the same AGPS and IMU and thus eliminates the need for analytical aero triangulation, saving time and reducing cost. The County will receive color digital orthophotography at a half-foot pixel resolution for 470 square miles with final delivery expected in September 2007. This follows previous projects in the same coverage area.

      The 2002 phase included 1"= 100' 6-inch pixel resolution digital black and white orthophotography, LIDAR based two-foot contours, and planimetric features. The 2004 phase included black and white digital orthophotography at a 1-foot pixel resolution and the 2005 phase included black and white digital orthophotography at a half-foot pixel resolution.

      Gary Outlaw, GISP, Merrick's Vice President of Business Development, GeoSpatial Solutions states, "We have enjoyed our professional relationship with Lake County since 2002 and our work in this area dates back to the early 1990's. It is rewarding to follow through on a complete geospatial data lifecycle." Lake County and its citizens are benefiting from consistent data collection procedures and products as they are used for efficient management in Lake County.

      According to Richard Hilton, GIS Division Manager for the Lake County Department of Information Technology, "Nearly every county department uses the digital orthophotography for geographic analysis and for communicating with the public.

      All aerial data is available to other government agencies and to the public for the cost of reproduction and is also included in the county's public interactive Internet GIS application." (www.co.lake.il.us/maps)

      Lake County is situated on the shores of Lake Michigan between Chicago and Milwaukee.This predominantly suburban landscape, home to more than 600,000 people, is continuously experiencing new development. Lake County's ongoing digital orthophotography program provides essential information for managing rapid growth."We are measuring changes in land use to analyze issues and understand trends in ways that aren't otherwise possible," concludes Hilton. Visit Lake County's GIS and Mapping Division on the Web at www.co.lake.il.us/gis.

      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; Atlanta, GA, Ottawa, Canada and Guadalajara, Mexico.

    5. Plateau Wireless Selects TruePosition to Provide E-911 Phase II Location Solution

      Berwyn, Pennsylvania, April 13, 2007 — TruePosition, Inc., a leading provider of wireless location technologies and solutions and a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation that is attributed to its Liberty Capital Group, announced its agreement to provide its wireless location system to Plateau Wireless. The system enables the New Mexico-based wireless carrier to satisfy the Phase II requirements of the Federal Communication Commission's Enhanced-911 mandate.

      TruePosition provides complete end-to-end wireless location solutions that employ a wide array of position determining techniques. This wireless location system, in an implementation specifically-designed for Plateau Wireless, uses network-based Uplink Time Difference of Arrival (U-TDOA). Plateau Wireless has a coverage area that spans 67,000 square miles in eastern New Mexico and western Texas.

      "Location-enabling our network and becoming E-911 compliant is simply one more step toward our goal of offering the best possible service to our customers," stated Joel Drahman, Chief Operating Officer for Plateau Wireless. "TruePosition shared our vision and understood our commitment to offer Enhanced-911 to our subscribers as soon as possible. At Plateau, we live and work in the communities that we serve, so we wanted to make sure that everyone could take advantage of this technology and have the ability to be located in times of need."

      One of the major benefits of TruePosition's network-based location solution is that the calculations take place within the wireless network, which means that subscribers do not need to replace or modify their current cell phones in any way. As a result, all wireless subscribers can be located when they dial 911 on their cell phones. Consequently, this system also lays the foundation for Plateau Wireless to launch location based services — like local search and family minder services — to all of their customers.

      "This project was unique and challenging due to the aggressive timelines that we set for ourselves," noted Todd Elliott, Vice President of North American Sales for TruePosition. "TruePosition and Plateau Wireless rose to the challenge, however. Plateau Wireless is a forward-thinking company, and we are pleased to be working with them to add location capabilities to their wireless network."

      About TruePosition: TruePosition is dedicated to the development and implementation of advanced wireless location products, services and devices, providing complete solutions to support the wireless location needs of the global marketplace. In addition to providing industry leading core location technologies, TruePosition supports all levels of the wireless location value chain to offer turnkey solutions.

      TruePosition's foundation was built on the development of advanced location systems, which include handset, network and hybrid location solutions. Today, TruePosition can offer hybrid location systems that incorporate Cell ID, Enhanced Cell ID, Uplink Time Difference of Arrival, Angle of Arrival, and Assisted GPS to power the next generation of location-based services. TruePosition is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation that is attributed to its Liberty Capital Group (NASDAQ: LINTA, LINTB, LCAPA, LCAPB). For more information, visit www.trueposition.com

      About Plateau Wireless: Plateau Wireless headquartered in Clovis, NM operates on behalf of partnerships to provide advanced wireless communication services in 16 counties of eastern New Mexico and 10 in the Texas Panhandle. The company also operates 15 retail store locations in the region.

    6. San Diego Pushes GIS Out To Blackberry Smartphone

      April 16, 2007 & Dayton, Ohio — SanGIS, one of the highest profile GIS groups in the United States selects Freeance Mobile to allow San Diego County/City employees to access GIS maps on standard Blackberry Smartphones.

      Freeance Mobile will allow SanGIS to use existing GIS and databases resources to quickly create interactive maps and custom forms that will run on any Blackberry smartphone. This spring SanGIS personnel will begin building and piloting mobile applications for the "walk and work" government employees. Field workers will be able to view and search GIS maps, read databases and populate custom forms complete with GPS locations from the Blackberry devices or any Bluetooth GPS receiver.

      Future possible plans include letting the public access these Freeance Mobile applications expanding the number of users accessing SanGIS data, and allowing the "where work happens" platform to be available to the thousands of mobile users in California's second largest city.

      About Freeance Mobile Software: Freeance Mobile is innovative, easy-to-use location software for efficiently making mobile applications. You can now make your GIS available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is hassle-free software for users and IT administrators alike. Designed for the ESRI and Blackberry environments, Freeance Mobile is a well-balanced approach combining off-the-shelf simplicity with the ability to make custom applications.

    7. North West Acquires Additional Leica Airborne Sensors

      April 18, 2007, Calgary, Alberta, Canada — North West Geomatics Ltd. today announced that to meet increased capacity demands it has purchased the first worldwide Leica ADS40-II digital sensor with the unique SH52 sensor head and a Leica ALS50-II LiDAR sensor. To compliment these additional sensors, North West has also acquired an additional Cessna Conquest-II aircraft. Both sensors are currently in use on North West's 2007 imagery acquisition programs and LiDAR DEM for Alberta and NE British Columbia.

      In making this announcement, North West Vice President, John Welter stated "With the rapid growth of our business, this was an essential step to growing North West and meeting the needs of our valued customers. Leica's latest push broom imagery technology is clearly superior to any other digital technology on the market and our ability to rapidly process this data with our specifically designed Pixelgrammetry workflow, allows for extremely fast ortho turnaround time. In addition, Leica's latest LiDAR technology, has allowed us to completely revolutionize the financial model of the LiDAR acquisition business. Our recently announced western Canadian LiDAR program is evidence of this by delivering high quality LiDAR derived products at pricing once reserved for other lesser technologies."

      The addition of these new sensors is critical to North West's planned 2007 programs in Canada and the United States. North West's full compliment of sensors and aircraft are also used to support the operations of its business partners in the United States and to support the growing demand for more current imagery within its Valtus Imagery Services distribution system.

      About North West: North West Geomatics Ltd. is a leading aerial photography and remote sensing firm based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It owns and operates 6 aircraft, including a Lear 25 and 3 Cessna 441 Conquests. North West conducts aerial photography and LiDAR operations throughout North and South America. In 2006 North West finalized the migration to a completely digital imagery acquisition process employing the latest Leica ADS40-II digital sensor. It is the owner of the largest private ortho imagery data base in Canada. This imagery data base is Internet distributed through its Valtus Imagery Services subsidiary which serves approximately 100,000 images per day. North West is an ISO9000 registered firm and employs over 50 staff.

    8. Geomatic Technologies Designs Online Editing Solution in Partnership with DSE

      12th April 2007, Victoria, Australia — The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) has recently completed a trial phase of the newly conceived 'ONE' — Online Notification and Editing System, an Internet based mapping solution designed in partnership with Geomatic Technologies (GT).

      Over the last quarter of 2006 GT has designed and produced ONE to become an extension of the Victorian Mapping and Address Service (VMAS). The new features consist of services that provide spatial data editing capabilities (mark-up), user notification and application workflow management. These features complement the existing VMAS services of address searching, matching, map creation etc.

      The purpose of the ONE solution is to streamline the update of the Vicmap digital data via an online, simple to use, scalable application. In addition to providing a series of online redlining and attribute tools to report anomalies in the Vicmap framework datasets, ONE includes a workflow that communicates, tracks and notifies relevant parties throughout the life cycle of amendments.

      The ONE solution has recently been through a three month trial phase with the Country Fire Authority of Victoria (CFA) and three nominated Local Government Authorities. The workflow begins with the CFA volunteers noting anomalies (known as 'observations') against the map data (Vicmap and CFA map book data), which in turn will alert the appropriate Local Government Authority (LGA) to review and accept/decline the observation accordingly. Examples of possible observations detected by the CFA volunteers are misspelt road names, roads missing and incorrect road classifications from the maps. All transactions in the system are logged and provide a complete history of events against each anomaly recorded. The approved observations are then manually applied to the base data (Vicmap data) by the DSE and reflected back in the ONE site once the Vicmap data has been reloaded into VMAS (as part of a regular update). The future intent is to have the same approved observations applied and published in hard copy map books.

      The Web-based application development undertaken by GT streamlines the maintenance of the Vicmap digital datasets. The ONE solution leverages the flexible Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) of VMAS.

      The ONE solution can be easily adapted to support businesses that are in need of an Internet based mapping solution with a simple workflow for communication, notification and updating of framework datasets.

      About Geomatic Technologies: Geomatic Technologies Pty Ltd is a leader in the provision of spatially based business solutions, information products and services including spatial database hosting and web services, photogrammetry, linear asset mapping and field workforce solutions. The company services Government, Transportation, Utilities, Telecommunications and other commercial enterprises.

      For more information please contact Geomatic Technologies Pty Ltd on +61 3 9694 4244, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.geomatic.com.au.


    1. ESRI Announces Updates to the ArcWeb Services REST API

      API Provides an Easy Alternative to SOAP-Based Mapping Applications

      Redlands, California—ESRI announced today that the latest version of the ArcWeb Services REST application programming interface (API) is now available. This API is hosted by ESRI and offers developers an easy alternative to using SOAP-style Web services for building mapcentric, decision-making applications.

      The ArcWeb Services REST API offers a number of benefits for Web developers including ease of use, faster deployments, and interoperability. Developers who understand HTTP and XML can start building mapping applications immediately using their existing Internet application development toolkits. The REST API is inherently lightweight, using simple HTTP URL requests, so that any client application with HTTP support can easily make API requests to ArcWeb Services without the need for a SOAP WSDL.

      Using the ArcWeb Services REST API, client applications only need to know about sending and parsing plain text URLs. This means that applications can be built faster because the mapping application logic is simplified. Knowledge of XML specifications is not required, and SOAP toolkits aren't needed to build functionality for forming XML requests and parsing results.

      Interoperability is also a key component of the ArcWeb Services REST API. Because requests are based on HTTP GET or POST statements, the API is truly multiplatform compatible. The majority of today's Web development languages allow for the use of these basic HTTP protocols as well as parsing text using native tools. This is an advantage when incorporating mapping into environments that contain a variety of Web development languages, operating systems, and Web servers. Developers can easily adapt the API to their existing workflows.

      The latest features in the ArcWeb Services REST API include

      • Control for multiple layers of map data
      • Access to tiled map data sources
      • Ability to automatically manage map projections

      The layer control lets developers quickly combine base maps, such as streets, with other data to create a single view with layers that can be switched on and off or adjusted for transparency. Tiled map data provides high-resolution aerial and satellite data for the world. The REST API also offers functionality that automatically returns the map in the best projection for a particular scale and area. By using automatic projections, all calculations are made on the server side; no parsing takes place and no calculations are performed on the client side. This ensures a swift response from the server and makes it easy for developers to use.

      ArcWeb Services are designed for the integration of mapping and geographic information system (GIS) technology into service-oriented architecture (SOA) environments. ArcWeb Services is hosted by ESRI and also includes APIs for SOAP, JavaScript, and Java Micro Edition (Java ME) as well as extensive geographic content. The functionality is designed to assist with a wide range of business problems in areas including business intelligence, fleet management, and economic development. The geographic content is aggregated from more than 20 providers and includes more than 500 different data layers such as streets and imagery as well as business and demographic data.

      To start a 90-day evaluation of the ArcWeb Services APIs, visit www.esri.com/arcwebservices.

      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.

    2. Hemisphere GPS Introduces Crescent VS100 Series GPS Compass

      Calgary, Alberta — April 16, 2007 — (TSX: CSY) Hemisphere GPS, a designer and manufacturer of advanced GPS products (wholly owned by CSI Wireless Inc.), today introduced the new Crescent VS100 and VS110. These new "Vector Sensor" products represent our most precise heading and positioning systems incorporating Hemisphere GPS's Crescent Technology. This achievement by Hemisphere GPS presents an affordable and robust heading and positioning solution for machine control and marine navigation applications including dredging and hydrographic surveying. Hemisphere GPS's Crescent VS100 Series GPS Compass delivers the performance necessary to replace traditional gyrocompasses and other precision heading sensors at a fraction of the cost.

      "Crescent VS100 represents an innovative GPS advancement that allows us to replace traditional heading solutions," said Steven Koles, President and CEO of Hemisphere GPS. "The affordability and accuracy of Crescent VS100 will increase the adoption of GPS compass technology as the preferred heading solution."

      Hemisphere GPS' Crescent Receiver Technology offers the unique advantage of supporting two separate antenna inputs. Crescent VS100 computes and outputs heading and either pitch or roll angles by processing the data between the two antennas using a single GPS receiver. The receiver features status lights with a menu and display system simplifying product configuration. The Crescent VS100 receiver can be conveniently installed near the operator while its two antennas can be mounted remotely. With a suitable distance between the two antennas, Crescent VS100 computes heading solutions with up to 0.1 degree accuracy and positioning within 60 cm.

      Crescent VS100 offers several differential options including SBAS (WAAS, EGNOS, etc.), e-Dif and radio beacon (VS110 model). Hemisphere GPS' exclusive COAST° technology is also included in order to maintain sub-meter positioning for 40 minutes or more after loss of differential signal. An integrated gyro within the Crescent VS100 receiver maintains heading for up to 3 minutes after loss of GPS signals.

      About Hemisphere GPS and CSI Wireless: Hemisphere GPS, a division of CSI Wireless Inc., designs and manufactures innovative, cost-effective GPS products for positioning, guidance and machine control applications in agriculture, marine and other markets. The Company owns leading brand names, numerous patents and other intellectual property. The Company's head office is in Calgary, Alberta, and it has major product development and sales and marketing facilities in Arizona, Kansas and Texas. For more information about Hemisphere GPS and CSI Wireless, go to www.hemispheregps.com and www.csi-wireless.com.

    3. ESRI's Latest Mapping API Helps Organizations Improve Efficiency

      Redlands, California—ESRI's ArcWeb Services JavaScript API offers a competitive advantage to organizations looking to replace outdated decision-making systems. The API provides developers with the tools and functionality to build solutions that accelerate mapping application adoption rates, increase ease of use, and provide greater workflow efficiency.

      According to Jay Lucas, president of Site To Do Business (STDBonline), an online provider of services to a real estate association, "[ESRI's] ArcWeb Services has enabled us to build an intuitive, easy-to-use decision-making and site analysis system that replaced a complex and inefficient interface. The new system combines our real estate data with more than 7,500 demographic and population variables in a manner that is user-friendly for our members. In fact, this new system has been instrumental in helping our members close hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial transactions each month."

      The ArcWeb Services API saves time because most of the complex mapping, visualization, and analysis functionality have been pre-built into the JavaScript library. Developers don't have to build this functionality from scratch.

      Other enhanced capabilities include the ability to animate individual mapping elements based on real-time data feeds. For example, vehicle icons or real-time precipitation data can be easily programmed to move dynamically over a background without the need to refresh the entire browser for each data update. Or end users can hand draw sales territories using mouse clicks on a map, then easily retrieve the related sales data for the region defined within the boundaries of the hand-drawn shape.

      It is also easy to use AJAX to connect to any database, then use the API to quickly blend any location data with the mapping data being used in the application. Examples of this data include customer addresses, real estate metadata, and real-time tracking data.

      ArcWeb Services is designed for the integration of mapping and geographic information system (GIS) technology into service-oriented architecture (SOA) environments. It is hosted by ESRI and includes APIs for SOAP, REST, and Java Micro Edition (Java ME) as well as extensive geographic content. The functionality is designed to assist with a wide range of business problems in areas such as business intelligence, fleet management, and economic development. The geographic content is aggregated from more than 20 providers and incorporates more than 500 different data layers including streets and imagery as well as business and demographic data.

      For more information on ESRI's ArcWeb Services, visit www.esri.com/arcwebservices.

      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 ESRI at www.esri.com.

    4. BOWE BELL + HOWELL Expands Product Line With Company's First Wide-Format Scanner

      New Infinity WF Offers Sharper Images at Faster Speeds, Superior Paper Handling

      AIIM Conference & Expo, Boston, April 17, 2007 BOWE BELL + HOWELL announced today the addition of a new wide-format scanner to the company's full line of durable, cost-effective document scanners. Infinity WF is designed to convert documents up to 48 inches wide into digital images with speed and accuracy.

      Available in three models with maximum scanning widths of 36, 42 and 48 inches, the Infinity WF can scan documents in bitonal, grayscale and color at 600 dots per inch (dpi). Depending on the model, it can scan at rated speeds of 3.2 to 4.2 inches per second (ips) in color and up to 12.6 ips in bitonal.

      Designed to handle large format documents such as land surveys, architectural drawings, airplane engineering plans and maps, Infinity WF is equipped to meet the scanning needs of geographic information systems (GIS) and reprographic houses, as well as architectural, engineering and construction firms.

      "We shape our product line to reflect customer needs, and we see considerable demand for a fast, easy-to-use wide format scanner," said Russell Hunt, president of BOWE BELL + HOWELL Scanners. "Built with the same high-quality standards our customers expect from BOWE BELL + HOWELL, Infinity WF's intuitive touch screen and simple feeder will make scanner operation as easy for a novice as for an experienced user."

      Designed to Provide Unsurpassed Image Quality Infinity WF employs SharpShooter Trilinear CCD cameras that provide sharper pictures at faster speeds. This combined with its innovative LED light source allows for even distribution of light that helps the scanner extrapolate to 1200 dpi for extremely high-resolution images.

      Bundled scanning software augments the scanned image quality with color gamma correction, black/white point adjustment, color dropout and monochrome image enhancement.

      Infinity WF is packed with features that make the scanning process easier and more efficient. Image Rotation, for example, allows users to feed a large document lengthwise and then rotate the scanned image to the proper orientation. This is a very useful feature for users who need to scan documents that exceed their scanner's maximum document width. "Image Rotation allows users to scan more efficiently at the rated speed," said Stacy Sax, product manager at BOWE BELL + HOWELL. "With the ability to feed landscape documents lengthwise, customers can scan documents they otherwise couldn't. This also gives them the option of buying a smaller scanner model than they would have had to."

      Tough Product for Fragile Documents. Infinity WF features advanced paper handling and an easy-to-use feeding mechanism for oversized and delicate documents. Automatic Width Detection allows users to feed fragile documents through the middle of the scan table without the danger of paper guides tearing or fraying edges.

      Users also can manually adjust the amount of pressure between the document and the glass plate. Transport wheels with individually mounted, spring loaded ball bearings secure placement of the scanned document to ensure smooth and gentle document throughput.

      Infinity WF has built-in feet, which allow the scanner to be placed on a table to scan fragile documents that cannot be bent, such as photographs, archival blueprints, city maps and construction drawings.

      Simple Installation, Low Maintenance. Infinity WF is easy to maintain, has low noise output and nearly no recurring costs on consumables. The cameras are enclosed in glass to protect them from dust, and the LED lights will last the life of the scanner. The scanner also includes automatic camera calibration so that the Infinity WF is ready to scan as soon as it is turned on.

      Infinity WF includes everything an end user needs for simple set up and operation:

      • Traditional network cable or a crossover cable for easy connectivity
      • Scanner stand with all assembly tools
      • Software for image capture and enhancement, and the ability to scan to PDF, JPEG or TIFF files, and also scan to network, print, USB or email
      • Power cord, calibration kit, roller cleaning paper, installation guide and startup CD

      "We want our customers to be able to open the box and start scanning right away with no need for additional components or software," said Sax. "The Infinity WF does not require users to install drivers on a dedicated computer. Instead, they can access the scanner from any computer connected to the enterprise server and the Internet."

      Offered exclusively by BOWE BELL + HOWELL's value-added resellers in the United States, Infinity WF is Energy Star: Imaging Version 1.0 compliant. Infinity WF will be on display at the AIIM 2007 Conference & Expo in Boston at booth #2351.

      About BOWE BELL: + HOWELL Scanners BOWE BELL + HOWELL, Wheeling, Ill., is focused on making the most reliable, productive and easy-to-use document scanners in the industry. BOWE BELL + HOWELL scanners are sold through the two-step channel of distributors and value-added resellers.

      In addition, BOWE BELL + HOWELL is the only scanner manufacturer in the industry that is willing and able to customize its scanners to meet the unique requirements of its customer. For more information on BOWE BELL + HOWELL, call 800-SCAN-494, or visit www.bbhscanners.com. More information on BOWE BELL + HOWELL Co. can be found at www.bowebellhowell.com.


    1. ACSM to Delay Annual Conference Co-location with GITA

      Aurora, Colorado, April 17, 2007 — The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) announced that it has been informed by the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), Gaithersburg, Md., that due a conflict with a major construction industry trade show, ACSM will be unable to co-locate its annual conference with GITA's annual conference and exposition in 2008. The two organizations have agreed to postpone the co-location of their respective conferences to an as yet undetermined date. GITA will hold its Annual Conference 31 March 9-12, 2008, in Seattle, Washington.

      "We regret having to make this difficult decision, but we look forward to finding even more ways to bring our events together in future years," said Curt Sumner, ACSM executive director. "In the meantime, we'll continue to strengthen the partnership through ACSM member organizations."

      "Planning to co-locate our conferences was a bold move on the part of both organizations and one that GITA undertook with a lot of forethought about the impact upon our membership," said Bob Samborski, GITA executive director. "We still think that bringing the surveying and GIS communities closer together represents a positive step for both associations and the industry in general, but it now appears that additional circumstances will need to be addressed before we can make it happen. GITA will remain very open to any collaboration that benefits the geospatial industry."

      ACSM and GITA originally decided to participate in a co-location during GITA's Annual Conference 29 and the 2006 ACSM Conference, which were both held in Florida in April 2006.

      About ACSM: The objectives of ACSM are to advance the sciences of surveying and mapping and related fields, in furtherance of the welfare of those who use and make maps; to encourage the development of educational programs in surveying, mapping and charting; and to support publications that represent the professional and technical interests of surveying and mapping.

      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.


    1. Avineon Names Ramkumar Valliyur Director of Engineering Services

      Alexandria, Va. — April 16, 2007 — Avineon, Inc., a successful provider of IT, geospatial, engineering and program management services, announced today the appointment of Ramkumar Valliyur as director of engineering services. With more than 30 years experience in engineering operations, project management and strategic planning, Valliyur will lead business development efforts and serve as a liaison between Avineon's North American customers and the company's offshore engineering services facility located in Hyderabad, India.

      "Ramkumar's exceptional leadership ability and technical expertise will be a driving force in our continued operational and technological growth," commented Gary Wilkison, vice president of Avineon's Geospatial and Engineering Services division. "His efforts will enable Avineon to further develop its domestic and international presence as a premier provider of quality engineering support services."

      Prior to joining Avineon, Valliyur served as vice president of engineering for National Filtration Systems, a division of Clark Reliance. While there, he oversaw all aspects of divisional engineering and product development in industrial filtration and separation systems, gas conditioning systems, gas purification systems and process equipment for the power, oil and gas industries.

      Additional responsibilities included cost control, managing product design, quality control and assurance, regulatory compliance and process improvements. Valliyur has also held positions with Mascon and Kaveri Engineering Industries Ltd. Throughout his career, he has gained extensive exposure to conducting business in international marketplaces including Europe, the Pacific Rim, Middle East and North America.

      "Avineon is a dynamic and diversified company with tremendrous growth opportunites for engineering services in the North American market," stated Valliyur. "I look forward to working with the Avineon team to expand the company's presence in North America and continue to deliver quality services."

      Valliyur received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras in Chennai, India. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a regular conference speaker and published author of articles for the Indian Institute of Welding, the Institution of Engineers, Institute of Metallurgy and other professional groups.

      About Avineon: Avineon, a CMMI Maturity Level 3 and ISO 9001:2000 registered company, is a diversified high technology company that provides information technology (IT), geospatial, engineering and program management services. With headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and offices in Alabama, Florida, Indiana and Virginia, Avineon also maintains subsidiaries in Europe and India. In IT, Avineon specializes in web-based architecture, systems engineering, application development and on-going network and security support. For additional information please visit www.avineon.com.

  4. OTHER

    1. OSGeo Graduates MapGuide Open Source to Full Project Status

      Autodesk's Contribution to the Geospatial Open Source Community Gains 'Seal of Approval' From Developers

      San Francisco, April 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Location Intelligence Conference — Following the first anniversary of its launch, MapGuide Open Source has achieved a new status within the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) as a fully endorsed project. Originally developed as Autodesk MapGuide software by Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), and released to the open source community in 2006, MapGuide Open Source is a Web-based platform that enables users to develop and publish online mapping applications and geospatial web services.

      During its incubation process, the project's community of more than 600 members actively engaged in development and application efforts to validate the software's functionality, viability and support. As part of the project's graduation, Robert Bray, platform software manager and architect of geospatial solutions at Autodesk, has assumed the role of OSGeo vice-president -- MapGuide Open Source.

      "As a new open source project, it was crucial that MapGuide Open Source show clear signs of an open development process and community involvement. Early in the incubation process, community members were already collaborating to identify new ways to use the technology and to request new features needed in future releases," said Tyler Mitchell, executive director of OSGeo. "Now that it has graduated from the incubation process, becoming an official OSGeo project, developers can have added confidence applying the MapGuide Open Source platform to meet their specific web mapping needs."

      With more than 25,000 downloads in its first year and an average of four to five thousand downloads per month in 2007, the software is already being embraced by the geospatial open source community. To date, MapGuide Open Source has had three version releases, with the most recent update in January 2007 adding direct support of KML files for Google Earth mapping service.

      "As a sustaining sponsor of OSGeo, Autodesk is excited by the number of innovative projects that open source developers are building with MapGuide Open Source," said Lisa Campbell, vice president of geospatial solutions at Autodesk. "This network of professionals brings new capabilities to local and regional audiences around the world much faster than Autodesk could, if the software were still proprietary."

      One new geospatial project using MapGuide Open Source is the San Francisco Urban Forest Mapping System, a dynamic online resource for residents, community groups and city employees to update and share information about trees within the city's urban forest. As the Urban Forest Mapping Project is a community-based initiative by public and non-profit organizations, MapGuide Open Source was the ideal platform because it offered the flexibility to adapt the technology to suit the project's unique needs. The project partners plan to contribute the Urban Forest Mapping Project technology to the open source community for the benefit of other cities or organizations. The source code for the map will be released to the open source community at http://www.sftreemap.org/.

      In addition to MapGuide Open Source, Autodesk contributed its Feature Data Object (FDO) data access technology as an open source project to OSGeo. Autodesk is also a sustaining sponsor of OSGeo, further showing their support of the open source community.

      For more information about MapGuide Open Source, visit http://mapguide.osgeo.org/.

      About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation: The Open Source Geospatial Foundation, or OSGeo, is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data. The foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community. It also serves as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit. OSGeo also serves as an outreach and advocacy organization for the open source geospatial community, and provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration. The foundation's projects are all freely available at http://www.osgeo.org/ and useable under an OSI-certified open source license.

      About Autodesk: Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit http://www.autodesk.com/.

    2. CARIS Opens Asia Pacific Office

      Fredericton, NB, Canada — April 16, 2007 — CARIS has established a regional office in Australia to maximize support of its rapidly growing Asia Pacific customer base and expand its presence in this market.

      CARIS, a leading developer of geomatics software, recently opened its first office in the Asia Pacific region in Adelaide, Australia. CARIS' new office will deliver the company's geomatics software to military agencies, hydrographic survey contractors, ports and harbours, municipalities, land administrators and will enable CARIS to better serve its existing clients in the area.

      Christian Fellinger is CARIS' Asia Pacific Account Manager, and will be based in Adelaide, Australia.

      "We're expanding our commitment to this thriving market with the establishment of our first office in Asia Pacific, and we're very pleased to have Mr. Fellinger on board to continue the momentum for us," said Andy Hoggarth, CARIS Marketing and Sales Manager. "The office expands our ability to offer local sales and support and to meet the prevalent and increasing demand for our software."

      Mr. Fellinger joined CARIS in 2003 working as a Cartographic Specialist in both the Canadian and Netherlands offices providing training and technical consulting services to clients. Mr. Fellinger also works on projects and represents CARIS at conferences and working group meetings including the NATO Geospatial Maritime Working Group (GWWG) AML meetings. Previously Mr. Fellinger was employed with Offshore Systems Ltd. where he worked in the charting division producing Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs) under contract to the US Coast Guard and NOAA.

      Established in 1979, CARIS is a leading developer of geomatics software. In addition to its Canadian headquarters, CARIS also has offices in The Netherlands and the United States. There are also more than 30 resellers bringing sales and support of CARIS brand software to more than 75 countries. For more information about CARIS visit www.caris.com.

    3. Mapping New Ways to Learn about the World

      Book from ESRI Press Shows How Instructors Use GIS to Teach Students to Think Spatially and Critically

      Redlands, California—Maps created with geographic information systems (GIS) software are worth a thousand words. Instructors and their students learn that daily through classroom experiences chronicled in Understanding Place: GIS and Mapping across the Curriculum, a new book from ESRI Press.

      Understanding Place takes readers into colleges and universities around the country, where instructors describe in case studies how they've successfully incorporated GIS into teaching subjects as diverse as biology, musicology, religion, foreign languages, urban studies, geology, and sociology. The book illustrates how using GIS to analyze data and create digital maps can teach students how to think spatially and develop quantitative reasoning skills.

      "We gain important insights by looking at data displayed as maps," the book's editors, Diana Stuart Sinton and Jennifer J. Lund, write in the chapter introducing GIS to readers.

      The first part of the book covers topics such as how to think with maps, how mapping encourages quantitative reasoning, and how GIS software works. The authors use Sir Francis Drake's perilous voyage in the 1500s as a case in point, showing how tables of information—captain's logs and historical data—can be analyzed and mapped to quickly show where the fleet of ships ran into trouble and why. "Students reading about the tragedy of this trip are learning about Drake and are also finding drama in data," Sinton and Lund write.

      GIS mapping software is a powerful tool for teaching and learning, and becoming skilled in the technology opens up a world of knowledge, according to the authors. "When students use GIS and mapping to augment their inquiry, they see more, understand more," write Sinton and Lund. "They are empowered to pursue their own questions and curiosities. They can investigate pressing local issues and make valuable contributions to their communities."

      The second part of the book is devoted to 17 case studies in fields such as economics, environmental studies, and political science. Instructors describe how they incorporate GIS into their syllabi and talk candidly about the successes and challenges of bringing GIS technology into the college classroom.

      Class projects using GIS also show how students use the technology to make a difference in their communities. For example, students at Ohio Wesleyan University used GIS in tandem with GPS receivers to map and analyze bike paths to create a network of community trails and green spaces in Delaware, Ohio. Political science students at Virginia's Washington and Lee University used GIS to propose redistricting changes that reflect statewide demographic trends.

      Understanding Place: GIS and Mapping across the Curriculum (ISBN 978-1-58948-149-7, 314 pages, $49.95) can be purchased at online retailers worldwide or at www.esri.com/esripress or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, contact your local ESRI distributor. Visit www.esri.com/distributors for a current distributor list. ESRI Press books are distributed to the trade by Ingram Publisher Services. Call 1-800-648-3104 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, science, and many others. 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.

    4. 3D Nature Provides Free Imagery for Earth Day

      In honor of Earth Day 2007, 3D Nature wants to help the world get a better look at itself by providing free usage of our widely-recognized "Ultimate Earth" photorealistic 3D rendered images of the Earth from space. Free usage is available for any events, activities or publications relating specifically to Earth Day 2007, in print, video or web mediums.

      This series of images features beautiful satellite images of the Earth showing each of the major continents as it would appear when viewed floating in space above the planet. Available both with and without clouds at extremely high resolution, they are the perfect accompaniment for any Earth Day event. 3D Nature only requires a specific copyright and credit notice accompany each usage.

      Visit http://3DNature.com/EarthDay2007.html for details and to access the images.

    5. City of Sheboygan Wins APA Award Using Autodesk Emergency Response Solution

      Application With Advanced CAD and GIS Integration Boosts City's Disaster Planning and Response Capabilities

      Washington, April 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today extended its congratulations to the City of Sheboygan, a recent recipient of the American Planning Association's (APA) award for the Best Use of Technology to Plan for Natural Disaster Prevention or Recovery. The City of Sheboygan, Wis., uses integrated Autodesk emergency response solutions to help city planners and emergency responders plan for, respond to and manage critical events.

      Implemented in 2004, the Autodesk Crisis Command solution quickly became a critical tool for the City of Sheboygan's emergency preparation and response initiative. Sheboygan planning, fire and police departments now have the ability to visualize and interact with a single-screen view of multiple data sets, including photographs, aerial imagery, maps, demographic and property data. This capability provides a powerful advantage to coordinated rescue teams during both training scenarios and emergency situations.

      Other key mission essential capabilities include:

      • Rapid access to accurate area and building information while responders are en route to emergencies;
      • The ability to leverage precision data for training simulations
      • Access to vital tools, including the National Emergency Response Guide.

      "The City of Sheboygan recognized the benefits of an integrated emergency response program and made it a priority to establish their program early on," said Juliana Slye, Director, Autodesk Government. "The result of their efforts is an advanced program that delivers the integrated data needed by planners and responders to react quickly and effectively to all types of emergencies."

      "The City of Sheboygan is extremely pleased to have been nominated and selected for the '2007 Best Use of Technology to Plan for Natural Disaster Prevention or Recovery Award,'" said Juan Perez, Mayor of Sheboygan. "The City commends our engineering department staff who have made it their goal to provide the citizens of Sheboygan with a safer, more efficient and proactive emergency response system. The Autodesk Emergency Response solution offers our emergency responders the capability to access building and asset location information during critical situations."

      About Autodesk Government: Autodesk Government is a dedicated organization within Autodesk that has served the needs of federal and state/local government agencies for more than 20 years. Autodesk Government delivers software solutions that integrate geospatial, manufacturing, design and engineering data with other critical information to reduce the time it takes to make informed decisions. In roles that include emergency response management, physical infrastructure design and protection, mission rehearsal, simulation and training, and asset tracking, Autodesk Government is a trusted partner to help agencies ensure mission success.

    6. NAVTEQ Study Shows Integrated Navigation Reduces Costs — including 15% off fuel

      Integrated Navigation business initiative launched with landmark study

      NAVTEQ (NYSE: NVT), a leading global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has launched an Integrated Navigation initiative intended to facilitate the development of solutions based on enterprise user needs. To support the initiative, NAVTEQ's Enterprise Europe Business Unit commissioned a research study, the results of which highlighted significant benefits for integrated navigation solutions: such as a 40% reduction in communications costs, a 15% reduction in fuel costs, and an 18% reduction in driver hours, among many other benefits for mobile enterprise applications.

      The concept of Integrated Navigation entails "connecting" an in-vehicle navigation solution to enterprise IT systems with navigation functionality to improve communication and operational efficiency. Examples include fleet dispatching systems, field force optimisation solutions and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Two-way information flow between the enterprise and the mobile environment improves information sharing, reduces job allocation errors, lowers communication costs between fleet and dispatcher and improves man-machine interface safety. To determine the benefits and the market potential of integrated navigation solutions for the distribution and service industries, NAVTEQ conducted an analysis with Frost & Sullivan.

      "We have a unique view of the enterprise industry given our interactions across verticals," commented Eric Fumat, Enterprise Europe Vice President and General Manager for NAVTEQ. "We saw an opportunity to facilitate the development of enterprise solutions which really meet the needs of end users. The study spotlighted the benefits of integrating satellite navigation solutions with enterprise IT systems - enabling, for instance, field workers to receive details of their next job directly through their navigation system which then guides them to the job address. We see many such opportunities which will improve business efficiencies."

      The research included face to face interviews with leading companies in both the distribution and service industries which have been able to leverage return on investment (ROI) through integrated navigation. The findings reflected clear differences between the two industries in the perception, use and benefits of the integrated navigation concept (see attached graph). Overall, the results were extremely positive, highlighting many potential business benefits and a progressive level of return - supporting NAVTEQ's belief in the concept.

      Key benefits included:

      • 18% reduction in driver hours
      • 15% fuel saving
      • 11% reduction in driving distance
      • reduced downtime for breakdowns
      • increased productivity
      • improved customer satisfaction
      • up to 40% savings on communication costs

      In addition to direct cost savings and improvements in operational efficiency, it seems returns from increased revenue generation had previously been underestimated. The study showed repeat business in the service industry could increase by as much as 10% as a result of more punctual arrivals and the subsequent increase in customer satisfaction. Fleet operators in the distribution industry could, for example, increase their customer base by up to 30%. In time, staff turnover could also be reduced and driver training may, in some cases, be cut by as much as a month. Above all, the study highlighted that the implementation of integrated navigation solutions can provide real value to the enterprise industry.

      "Although the first pioneering companies introduced integrated navigation in the late 1990's, the technology — including wireless communication — has since become more widespread and price accessible," added Eric Fumat. "Consequently, we believe the time is right for mass adoption in the enterprise, particularly as our research found that assimilating integrated navigation into existing structures and processes is a relatively straightforward task."

      Participating fleet operators are continuing to roll out their strategies across entire fleets and this is the best possible testimony to the success of these existing integrated navigation solutions. NAVTEQ's Enterprise Europe Business Unit will be working with various companies demonstrating that successful implementation of integrated navigation into mobile enterprise applications can provide direct cost savings, improvements to operational efficiency and a significant increase in revenue generation.

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