2007 May 3rd

This issue sponsored by

Professional Surveyor Magazine

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Editor's Introduction

This week I report on a new source of location data and bring you the highlights of the Bentley user conference. Plus, a handful of press releases.

Last week I forgot to remove "TEST!!!" from the subject line when sending the issue out to the subscriber list, after sending it to our internal list. Then, I immediately sent it out again, because I thought that most of you had probably deleted the first one. I had made this mistake before, weeks ago. My apologies!!!

Please note, next week I will be on vacation and we will not publish GIS Monitor.

Matteo Luccio

First American Begins to Sell Location Data

While companies like Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ have long been in the business of collecting location data solely for the purpose of selling it, on April 16, First American, a company that has long been collecting location data for internal use, began selling it to select external partners. It aims to collect data for most of the United States by the end of next year.

Started in the 19th century in California as a title company, First American now has more than $8 billion in annual sales and is one of the largest U.S. providers of business and real estate information. According to the company, its products touch more than 90 percent of all property transactions that occur in the United States every year and it manages a portfolio of more than 80 million properties for the largest U.S. lenders.

First American originally developed its geospatial technology to analyze its internal flood-zone risk data for the mortgage and insurance industries. It claims that it makes more than 10 million flood determinations a year and is, therefore, perhaps the largest volume user of GIS applications. These determinations require extreme accuracy and reliability, because the company must guarantee every one it makes.

To support its core business, First American developed a parcel and point database with data on 141 million parcels. To create and maintain this database, it had to develop complex procedures to reconcile boundaries and verify address data—a system it now calls ParcelPoint—as well as establish relationships with state and local governments. Because in the United States parcel data is usually maintained by counties, but 2,225 of 3,141 have not yet digitized their parcels, First American relies heavily on the interpretation of aerial photography—a very labor-intensive process, for which it has opened a large facility in India.

I discussed Parcel Point with David Rogers, First American's director of marketing, and Scott Little, senior vice president of operations. They were very tight-lipped as to what, exactly, the company has developed and is productizing—referring to "certain patent-pending things that we're not at liberty to talk about at this moment." Basically, they explained, it comes down to quality assurance processes and methodologies and a group of parcel-centric GIS "capabilities" that they built.

"We provide flood determinations to mortgage lenders and insurance companies," says Rogers, "which is a federal requirement anytime anybody buys a home. If they are in a FEMA floodplain, they are required to buy federal flood insurance." According to Little, the company was using normal GIS data—such as street layers, geo coders, and aerial photography. "Over time," he says, "we began to acquire and normalize parcel data, whether it was digital or raster, and convert it. By the middle of last year, we had collected around 25 million parcels that we were using to locate not only boundaries but also the structures within each boundary and overlaying it with different aerial imagery. At that point, other people began to express interest in acquiring a normalized data set."

Parcel data is very decentralized and comes in all different types of formats, Little explains. "Just to acquire it, normalize it, and maintain it is a task that doesn't make sense for a lot of companies to do. For us, being our internal business, it makes a lot of sense. So, around the middle of last year we decided to move toward building a national parcel layer. We have partners in place to acquire and convert the communities that are only in raster format." For those communities that can't even acquire or compile the raster data, he adds, "we have people and processes in place to get that work done."

First American will ship the data—in tabular format and with boundary shapefiles—to companies that buy a yearly license, for them to use in street data sets, geocoders, and other products. In the second quarter of 2008, it plans to release Web services for those who just want to download data on one parcel at a time. "The technology is really on the back end," says Little. "Our overall goal here is to build up the entire data set and make it available to people. Then we will start working on building solutions around that data set."

To acquire data in remote areas, Little points out, First American relies on its staff all over the country, who have relationships with small communities, especially with regard to titles. The more densely packed an area is, I suggested, the better the traditional methods work, whereas in rural areas, and in some suburban areas, geo-locators don't work as well because buildings are spread out. "I think you are exactly right," Little said. "We have to do a lot more Q.C. in rural communities." By contrast, he says, large cities usually have GIS departments and good data.

First American does between 50,000 and 60,000 flood determinations a day, Little says. "We have a high automation rate, but around 5,000 to 6,000 still require a manual determination by a map analyst. We have a pretty large built-in quality control mechanism and we're using the digital parcels, aerials, and street networks. So, if a community has bad parcel data, we're usually able to identify that real quick and then work back with the community to correct it." This is a key point, because this iterative process provides value to these communities. Also, for communities that don't have digital data, FAC will digitize their raster images. "In some ways," says Little, "we're subsidizing some of their initial GIS build-out for the parcel data."

Because First American's internal needs drive the process, Rogers points out, the company also constantly maintains the data—and can do it efficiently because of the many relationships it has established. Initially, he says, it will focus on providing the data to large customers in a few key markets—such as navigation, wireless, and emergency services—who will query First American's servers. "In Austin, Texas, where we're based, we have two different separate data centers, plus a data center in Dallas, and a premier data center in Santa Anna, California. So we have the bandwidth and the capability to manage that. We will also probably have some regional partners that may require us to dish out the data on a disk."

Unlike companies that sell only address point data, FAC will also be able to sell polygons and the coordinates of front and back doors, fire hydrants, driveways and so forth—as well as such information as the most prevalent type of roof in an area.

Bentley Expands Geospatial Capabilities

Bentley's next major release, due out next year under the name Athens, will include a feature that Bentley calls geo-coordination: essentially, it consists of support for projection on-the-fly in MicroStation, ProjectWise, and vertical solutions. Bentley is replacing Bentley Navigator with Projectwise Navigator and now "deprecates" MicroStation Geographics, which it launched in 1995. "Geographics was Bentley's entry into spatial," said Styli Camateros, Vice President, Civil & Geospatial Products. "We realized that it didn't have a core purpose. It was a hodge-podge of a thousand things. It was a tool box and a bunch of, frankly, experimental stuff." In short, it was not a polished end-user product. In 2004, Camateros explained, Bentley began to develop Geographics' replacement, which became Bentley Map, an end-user tool, and the MicroStation Geospatial Extension, a development platform. New versions of both are due out in August.

Bentley has so extensively updated Bentley Map, Camateros said, that it is, in effect, a new product. "We invested a lot of effort and time trying to understand what we needed," he said. "Getting GIS functionality—data management, feature modeling, spatial analysis—into the platform." The next layer up consists of applications for the various verticals—such as communications, water, and sewer. Above that is the Geospatial Server, which enables the management of geospatial data.

In his geospatial keynote address, Camateros noted that, since last year's user conference:

  • the cities of Toronto, Montreal, Helsinki, Calgary, and Edmonton have joined Bentley's Municipal License Subscription (MLS) program
  • Bentley became a principal member of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC); as part of its OGC membership, Camateros noted, Bentley participated in the OSW-4 initiative and in the ongoing implementation of OGC standards in products (including WMS, WFS, GML, and CityGML)
  • Bentley released the first industry application on the Industry Application Framework and XFM technology, for electric utilities, with the promise that applications for gas, water, and communications will follow, later this year, and
  • Bentley released WaterGEMS V8 XM Edition.

As indications of Bentley's "openness," Camateros cited the integration with Oracle 10g Spatial and the adherence to OGC standards. At a press briefing, however, he indicated that Bentley "has no plans"

to financially support open source software development. "It is a decision for users to make," he said, "whether they want to take the operational systems they need and put them in the hands of the open source community. I think that debate is ongoing and we are going to keep an eye on it." Also at the press briefing, in response to a question about analytical capabilities across verticals, Camateros announced that Bentley will move "some of the really common analysis functionalities into the XFM designer layer."

I asked Camateros whether, down the line, he saw CAD, GIS, and BIM (building information modeling) merge into a single product. "The answer is yes," he answered. "We definitely think it is merging. It is not Bentley's idea. The response of the OGC to OWS-4, for example, is not something that Bentley promoted; this is something that they got from their sponsors. We are talking about folks like the Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense… Large organizations that have to manage many assets and it did not make much sense to actually have them in different silos. GIS for infrastructure has to be enabled to handle building design."

Vonnie J. Smith, P.E., Director, Electric, Gas, & Communications Products, described Bentley's Geospatial Desktop and Geospatial Server and stressed the integration with Oracle 10g Spatial. She pointed out that the industry solutions—for electric, water, storm, sewer, communications, gas, and district heating—all support XFM persistence workflows, allow Bentley Industry and Expert Designer to work together, and are packaged with Bentley Map and the Geospatial Extension.

Camateros introduced several demonstrations. In one of Geo Web Publisher, I learned that the administrator tool is a fairly "thick" layer: it allows the administrator to control which analysis, reporting, and collaboration tools, as well as what data, users are able to access.

Alain Lapierre, Chief Product Architect, discussed how Bentley users can

  • access large raster mosaics from an Oracle spatial database using the GeoRaster support in MicroStation Geospatial Extension Athens
  • benefit from the thousands of existing Web map servers using the WMS standard directly in MicroStation Athens
  • view and edit intelligent features (such as vectors and attributes) on the Web using the WFS/GML standard directly in MicroStation Geospatial Extension XM
  • access a 3D City on the Web by accessing a WFS/CityGML server with Bentley Map Athens and
  • share a 3D City with its infrastructures with the public by converting MicroStation data (and other data) into indexed Google Earth data.

The following companies won this year's BE Awards in the geospatial category, announced Monday night during an awards ceremony hosted by National Public Radio's Peter Sagal:

  • Geospatial Communications: Nacap Telecom BV, Fibre Optics 'Zuid-Limburg', Isilinx
  • Geospatial Government: Gemeente Amsterdam, Dienst Ruimtelijke Ordening, IJburg
  • Geospatial Mapping and Cadastre: Petrobras SA, SGO Project Petrobras Subsea Assets Tracking
  • Geospatial 3D GIS: AAMHatch, True Orthophotography and 3D Model of the City of Melbourne
  • Geospatial Water Resource Management: ISKI Genel Mudurlugu, Infrastructure Integration of Mega City, Istanbul
  • Geospatial Utilities: Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., The BGE Bentley Project
  • Geospatial Innovation: Dutch Ministry of Finance, Geospatially Enabling the Dutch Ministry of Finance; Putting 'Where' into SAP
  • Geospatial Distributed Enterprise: Sandia National Laboratories, Power Through Integration

Full disclosure: Bentley paid for travel and lodging for me to attend the conference.

News Briefs

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


    1. Delorme Xmap Gis Software Chosen By Idaho Fish And Game Department As Key Wildlife Management Tool

      YARMOUTH, Maine - DeLorme, the innovation leader in mapping, GIS, and GPS technology, today announced that its XMap 5.0 Enterprise Suite has been selected by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game as a geographic information system (GIS) software solution.

      The Department will be using DeLorme's XMap 5.0 GIS Editor to organize GIS data layers and to create wildlife management maps using multi-level base maps and aerial imagery sets. XMap integrates advanced geospatial data management into DeLorme's core GPS mapping framework.

      "XMap allows me to make high quality maps with our GIS data incorporated into an easy-to-use wildlife management tool," said Jeff Short, Idaho Fish & Game Regional Wildlife Populations Biologist. Short indicated that he would be using XMap on a wide variety of key wildlife management projects, including:

      • Conducting habitat studies, cross referencing species activity data with land ownership records
      • Tracking and mapping radio collared animal trails to monitor population health and to support capture and relocation programs
      • Analyzing wildlife survey methods and results
      • GPS navigating and planning helicopter aerial surveys of wildlife populations
      • Designing surveys by layering significant landmarks, survey boundaries, past animal occurrence data, flight safety hazards, refueling and landing locations against multi-level base maps

      "A very important aspect of XMap GIS Editor is that I can exchange data files with other GIS users by exporting and importing shapefiles," Short continued. "This allows me to share my XMap data and use virtually any available GIS data. XMap is a powerful, fast and easy tool to use for a variety of GIS applications."

      XMap provides easy-to-use GIS functionality that enhances productivity throughout an organization. Using XMap's included in-vehicle GPS navigation capability, Idaho field agents can quickly and efficiently find their way to targeted areas of study. They can even add routable roads and trails to the base map that may reflect new logging or snow mobile trails.

      About DeLorme:

      Located in Yarmouth, Maine, DeLorme has 30 years of cartographic and software experience and over 130 employees dedicated to creating the best in mapping, GIS, and GPS products. DeLorme digital products are rooted in the DeLorme XMap development platform, which is scalable for future growth and endorsed by millions of dedicated digital mapping software users worldwide. The DeLorme business model transforms innovative technologies into affordable and easy-to-use navigation and mapping products. For more information, visit www.xmap.com.

      About Idaho Fish and Game:

      The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is dedicated to protecting our wildlife heritage. We accept the challenge, responsibility and obligation to preserve this legacy for future generations and for all who value a wild Idaho. Headquarters: 600 S. Walnut, Boise, ID 8

    2. Homeland Security Seminar Adopts GPS-Photo Link Software to Teach Critical Infrastructure Protection

      THORNTON, Colorado, USA, 1 May 2007 - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is using GPS-Photo Link software from GeoSpatial Experts to teach state and federal officials how to perform surveys of critical infrastructure and sensitive areas. The photo-mapping software has been incorporated into the OPM's Homeland Security: Critical Infrastructure Protection Seminar.

      "We use GPS-Photo Link software to show the participants that inspecting and mapping infrastructure is as easy as taking a digital photograph of their kids," said Tom Patterson of ESRI Inc., which provides instruction on GIS technology in the seminar.

      The GPS-Photo Link software automatically links digital photographic images with GPS location data and then accurately maps the photographs in their correct georeferenced locations on a GIS layer. In addition, GPS-Photo Link creates web pages in which the watermarked photographs are integrated with satellite imagery, street maps, or other GIS-based mapping layer. The software enables users to display their photo locations as icons in a Google Earth map layer and add arrows indicating the directions in which the photos were taken.

      OPM developed the seminar to assist government officials in complying with federal regulations that mandate protection of critical infrastructure such as military installations, power plants, bridges and utility facilities. A major requirement of these regulations is the mapping and inspection of these sites. Seminar participants are taught to look for vulnerabilities in and around the facilities, including damaged fencing, improperly stored hazardous materials, dense vegetation and other deficiencies in security.

      "We give these non-GIS people a digital camera equipped with a GPS and a secure digital card," said Patterson. "They go out in the field and take pictures of the potential deficiencies they find at a training facility. The GPS card automatically acquires locations coordinates for every photo."

      Back at the classroom, the participants take the secure digital cards, which contain the digital photos and the GPS coordinates where each was taken, and input the cards into a laptop computer running GPS-Photo Link. The software correlates the photos with their locations and maps them on a digital GIS map or image. Simply by clicking on a photo icon on the screen, the participants can view the photo and any notes that were taken on site.

      The digital photo provides documentation of potential vulnerabilities that can be reviewed later by experts, who can decide what measures, if any, should be taken. With the feature location mapped accurately on the GIS map via the GPS-Photo Link software, the inspectors know they will quickly and easily find the site again to make the necessary repairs. Seminar participants are taught to take additional GPS-stamped photos after repairs have been made to verify the site meets regulations.

      "The seminar participants love using the camera for mapping…because everybody knows how to take a picture," said Patterson.

      "Among state and federal clients, we are increasingly seeing GPS-Photo Link software used in disaster preparedness plans to create location- and time-stamped visual records of asset condition," said Rick Bobbitt, President of GeoSpatial Experts.

      For more information on GPS-Photo Link, visit www.geospatialexperts.com. For more information on the OPM's Homeland Security: Critical Infrastructure Protection seminar, visit http://www.leadership.opm.gov/Programs/Policy-and-Initiatives/HDC/Index.aspx. The next seminar will be offered Sept. 24-28, 2007 at the OPM Eastern Management Development Center in Shepherdstown, WV.

    3. 3Dconnexion Navigation Devices Now Supported By Microsoft's Live Search Maps Offering

      Advanced 3D Control and Navigation Delivers Immersive Discovery and Exploration in the Virtual 3D World

      SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 1, 2007 - 3Dconnexion, a Logitech company, today announced its line of 3D navigation devices are now supported by the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform, enabling customers to fly through the Live Search Maps 3D world in a manner not previously possible with a mouse and keyboard alone. With 3Dconnexion's SpaceNavigator™ device, geo-browsing enthusiasts can take advantage of the same powerful navigation control popular with 3D artists and computer-aided design (CAD) professionals.

      3Dconnexion's devices significantly enhance the Live Search Maps experience. When navigating 3D worlds with a mouse and keyboard alone, people must repeatedly stop to switch tools or toggle keyboard shortcuts to change directions. Using a 3Dconnexion device, people can fly seamlessly through the visually rich 3D world of Live Search Maps to learn, discover and explore by gently manipulating a controller cap. Within 3D mode in Live Search Maps, an online local search and mapping Web site powered by the Virtual Earth platform, customers can use a 3Dconnexion device to navigate through immersive 3D environments within a browser interface.

      "The ease with which people can now navigate in Live Search Maps using a 3Dconnexion device is truly exceptional, and on top of that, it makes for an engaging 3D exploration experience," said Aric Weiker, director of product management for the Virtual Earth platform at Microsoft Corp. "3Dconnexion's devices dramatically change how our customers interact with both Virtual Earth and Live Search Maps."

      "The Live Search Maps high-quality graphics, coupled with impressive mapping functionality, provide an immersive visual experience," said Rory Dooley, president of 3Dconnexion. "Our navigation devices further enhance the experience by connecting people to the content more powerfully, enhancing understanding and encouraging exploration."

      The SpaceNavigator device is a companion to the mouse and is held in the alternate hand. Users apply very slight movements to the device's controller cap to simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate 3D objects. The entire 3Dconnexion product line is supported by more than 100 of today's most popular 3D applications, including Adobe® Acrobat 3D, Adobe Photoshop® CS3 Extended and all of the top-tier 3D CAD applications.

      Availability: Live Search Maps supports 3Dconnexion devices natively (without additional installation of a plug-in) on Windows® XP and Vista™ and is currently available free of charge at http://maps.live.com. 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator Personal Edition (MSRP $59), and SpaceNavigator Standard Edition (MSRP $99) are available from major online resellers including Amazon, CDW and PC Mall as well as directly at www.3Dconnexion.com.

      The SpaceNavigator Personal Edition license supports non-commercial use of the device and offers online technical support only. The SpaceNavigator Standard Edition license supports both commercial and non-commercial use and offers online, e-mail and phone technical support. Upgrades from SpaceNavigator Personal Edition to SpaceNavigator Standard Edition licenses are $40 and are available online at www.3Dconnexion.com.

      About 3Dconnexion, a Logitech Company: 3Dconnexion, a wholly owned subsidiary of Logitech (SWX: LOGN) (Nasdaq: LOGI), is the leading provider of 3D navigation devices for 3D design and visualization. 3Dconnexion devices support today's most popular and powerful 3D applications by offering users a more intuitive and natural way to interact with computer-generated 3D content. 3Dconnexion's award-winning devices serve a wide variety of industries and are used by 3D designers, animators and artists worldwide. 3Dconnexion is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with European headquarters in Seefeld, Germany and offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.3Dconnexion.com.

    4. Indonesian Government Partners With DigitalGlobe to Visually Identify Taxable Property

      Longmont, Colo., May 2, 2007 - DigitalGlobe®, the leading content provider of the world's highest-resolution commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products, today announced a partnership with the Indonesian Directorate of Property Tax (PBB) and Ministry of Finance. DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite imagery will facilitate visual identification of taxable land, to help the Indonesian government properly classify and categorize property. The partnership highlights DigitalGlobe's role as a versatile business solution in both the public and private sector.

      The Indonesian government will acquire imagery from DigitalGlobe that will serve as a base map for the PBB's property tax surveys. "DigitalGlobe's QuickBird imagery provides a practical solution for the challenges we face in our property tax appraisals," said Agung Budibowo, head of subdirectorate of the Indonesian Tax Directorate General. "Access to the imagery will vastly improve tax collection by allowing us to correctly assess the appropriate tax rate on properties that are difficult to survey using traditional land-based methods."

      In addition to its work in Indonesia, DigitalGlobe assists governments and businesses around the world in leveraging the benefits of satellite and aerial imagery in their projects and decision-making process.

      "The Indonesian government has a responsibility to fairly evaluate land value, something that can be tremendously difficult to accomplish in isolated, rural areas using traditional surveying methods," said Marc Tremblay, vice president and general manager of DigitalGlobe's commercial business unit. "By using remote sensing data from DigitalGlobe's satellite, the Indonesian government is able to get an accurate measurement of property boundaries and land characteristics, leading to a fair and equitable tax assessment."

      DigitalGlobe's award-winning products help governments, business executives and mobile workers make better decisions by offering technologies that easily incorporate real life visual context into Web services, location-based services, hand-held devices and daily business workflow. DigitalGlobe provides a variety of best-in-class satellite, aerial and Web-based imagery products to power applications ranging from oil and gas exploration, asset management and civilian government projects, to free services such as Google Earth and Zillow.com that help consumers better navigate and interact with the Web. DigitalGlobe is the only imagery provider to offer an end-to-end system for accessing, understanding, integrating and leveraging all types of high-quality digital imagery to bring clarity to the decision-making process for individuals and some of the world's leading organizations, including National Geographic, Ask.com, Marathon Oil and The US Environmental Protection Agency.

      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.


    1. Core Production Database Version 2.5 Now Available

      CARIS is pleased to announce the release of Core Production Database (CPD) version 2.5.

      Using Oracle data processing, CPD is a seamless, geospatial database that enables stakeholders to consolidate their data into a single source, thus removing redundancy and establishing more efficient use of available data.

      Version 2.5 delivers new support for Unicode character sets, support for all regional language settings, a new graphical user interface program for loading files to the database, and enhancements to the project management functionality providing more direct linkages of projects to data production.

      "We are delighted by the market response we are getting for CPD for data spatial data infrastructure and enterprise GIS projects," explains Rick Nyarady, CARIS CPD Product Manager. "Through CPD, users are reducing duplication of effort among departments and improving quality and reducing costs related to geographic information."

      CDP is designed to be a truly open enterprise solution. The data model is customizable for scalability within an enterprise environment. Furthermore, source data in CPD can be published using web-mapping applications while linking this published data to supporting databases provides additional attribution to spatial data.

      For more information about CPD visit www.caris.com/cpd.

      About CARIS: Established in 1979, CARIS develops and supports rigorous, technologically advanced geomatics software solutions. Its systems give value to spatial data and empower its customers with information that is meaningful.

      CARIS database, web mapping and desktop mapping technologies integrate to provide a complete Enterprise Solution for governments offering cross-departmental interaction within a geospatial infrastructure. Such a software environment ensures currency, accuracy, and reliability of information while allowing for continued system evolution.

      In addition to its New Brunswick headquarters, CARIS also operates subsidiary offices in The Netherlands, United States and Australia. There are also more than 30 resellers bringing sales and support of CARIS brand software to more than 70 countries. Further information about CARIS can be obtained from www.caris.com.

    2. GeoSage Releases Spectral Transformer B742B321 - Easily Making Natural-color, 14.25m-resolution Imagery from False-Color Landsat Bands 7/4/2 in GeoCover Series

      Sydney, Australia - 2 May 2007: GeoSage is pleased to release Spectral Transformer B742B321, a powerful utility tool for producing high-quality, natural-color imagery (equivalent to Landsat bands 3/2/1) from pan-sharpened, false-color Landsat bands 7/4/2 at 14.25m resolution in NASA GeoCover series.

      Medium-resolution, natural-color Landsat imagery is an excellent and indispensable mapping layer for observing land covers in major virtual globes such as Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth. The input for such global Landsat imagery is the enduring GeoCover Landsat series, which is now publicly available in many forms.

      Spectral Transformer B742B321 uses pan-sharpened, false-color Landsat bands 7/4/2 as inputs. Both individual scenes and mosaic tiles are acceptable. For un-stretched individual scenes with full dynamic ranges, Spectral Transformer B742B321 includes an intelligent and highly-efficient image stretching option; for mosaic tiles with color balancing already applied, B742B321is equipped with a number of color templates during false-to-true colour simulations. Processed natural color, full-scene images at 14.25m resolution for the following ten worldwide cities are available at GeoSage website, for evaluation and non-commercial uses:

      • Vancouver: Image size 17738 x 15966 pixels, zipped JPEG file size 24.8Mb
      • San Francisco: 17254 x 15490 pixels, 32.6Mb
      • New Orleans: 16956 x 15136 pixels, 26.2Mb
      • New York: 17480 x 15488 pixels, 14.5Mb
      • Washington, D.C.: 18058 x 15986 pixels, 35.8Mb
      • Paris: 18114 x 16232 pixels, 32.7Mb
      • Jerusalem: 17154 x 15146 pixels, 29.6Mb
      • Kuala Lumpur: 17276 x 15096 pixels, 25.1Mb
      • Seoul: 18086 x 15978 pixels, 29.4Mb
      • Tokyo: 17982 x 15980 pixels, 30.2Mb

      This tool is of great potential use since 14.25m-resolution, false-color Landsat bands 7/4/2 imagery is now widely available in the public domain. It can be licensed separately or as an add-on of HighView software. Detailed features and a three-step tutorial are available at GeoSage website http://www.geosage.com

      About GeoSage: GeoSage is an enthusiastic leading developer in image fusion and spectral transformation analysis. Its advanced and easy-to-use image pan-sharpening software HighView has been licensed by companies, agencies and universities in more than 20 countries. Through the continued research and development of its advanced and proprietary image processing techniques, GeoSage is committed to promoting higher-quality satellite imagery and its wider usage among the geospatial community as well as the public.


    1. Web Seminar Demonstrates the Advantages of Using ArcGIS Image Server 9.2 ESRI's Server-Based Software Manages, Processes, and Distributes File-Based Imagery Quickly

      Redlands, California—Join us for a free online seminar this month that shows how ArcGIS Image Server 9.2 revolutionizes the way georeferenced imagery in a geographic information system (GIS) is used on the Web or across local area networks (LAN).

      Introduction to ArcGIS Image Server 9.2 will air on ESRI's Training and Education Web site (www.esri.com/training) on May 24, 2007, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. Pacific daylight time.

      Georeferenced imagery is an invaluable component of GIS applications, used with increasing frequency since the 1970s, when satellite imagery became reliably available. Imagery can be difficult to work with because it involves huge files and requires tremendous amounts of processing to get it into a usable form.

      ArcGIS Image Server 9.2 solves these problems by giving imagery providers the tools they need to publish and host their extensive imagery holdings while giving GIS users direct access to those holdings over the Web or LAN. No more huge files on the local system. No more processing required for geometric correction or color balancing. Just request the area of the image you want and Image Server provides only that area, without all the overhead of the entire image. Image Server does all the work on the host server machines, so the GIS client can be as simple as a Web browser or as complex as an enterprise GIS.

      The live training seminar will also demonstrate why Image Server provides superior-quality imagery. Instead of using the current method of providing a new copy of an image to satisfy each customer's needs and making new versions for each variation of an image, image providers can maintain a single copy of that image. This is possible because Image Server can perform any sequence of image processing steps while the image request is being fulfilled, based on the particular request. Since Image Server can provide many variations from a single source image, maintaining multiple versions is no longer necessary.

      This seminar is designed for individuals who work with georeferenced imagery in GIS. Viewers should be versed in GIS concepts in general and ArcGIS Desktop in particular.

      A broadband Internet connection and an ESRI Global Account are needed to watch the seminar. Creating a global account is easy and free. It only takes a few minutes to set up by visiting www.esri.com/lts, clicking Login, and registering your name and address.

      A few weeks after the live presentation, the seminar will be archived on the ESRI Training and Education Web site at www.esri.com/ts.

      For more information about this free live training seminar and upcomingofferings, visit www.esri.com/training.

      About ESRI Educational Services: With more than 150 courses to choose from, ESRI Educational Services is a recognized leader in GIS training. Courses cover a variety of topics related to ESRI software, the theory underlying GIS technology, and applying GIS tools to find solutions in particular fields while combining hands-on experience, interactivity, and instructional support to create an effective learning environment. Visit www.esri.com/training for more information.

      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.

    2. 'Mapping Illinois Communities' Workshop Provides Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis

      PORTLAND, ORE., 30 April 2007 - Mapping Illinois Communities will be the focus of beginner-level workshops offered in Springfield and Chicago and designed to teach the fundamentals of using GIS and Census data for community analysis. Presented by New Urban Research Inc. of Portland, Ore., the workshop is designed for social service providers, academic researchers, urban planners and anyone who performs community demographic analysis for governmental or private organizations.

      "Mapping Illinois Communities: Introduction to GIS & Community Analysis" will be offered in Springfield on May 15 and in Chicago on May 17 and 18. Each workshop lasts one day and costs $399 per person. No previous GIS experience is necessary. Information and registration are available at www.urban-research.info.

      "Any organization that seeks federal funding to perform public health, economic or educational development is required to provide demographic analysis on populations within specific geographic areas," said Gina Clemmer, President of New Urban Research. "We teach students how to access Census data files online and then use the GIS to extract specific demographic information and map the results down to the neighborhood level.

      New Urban Research, a professional social research organization, customizes the GIS exercises and demonstrations in each class with geographic and mapping data relating to the state where the workshop is being held. During the class, participants will be shown how to download Census data relating to poverty, race, language, education and other variables for their communities and integrate these files with their own data sets for analysis in the GIS.

      Using ESRI ArcGIS 9.2 software, participants will leave the class with a thorough understanding of three core GIS applications:

      • Thematic Mapping - Attendees will create color-coded maps of their data that displays information trends.
      • Geocoding - Attendees will map the addresses of their projects, clients or incident areas.
      • Spatial Analysis - Attendees will extract and map subsets of variables from Census data.

      Workshop participants will also receive a free 30-day subscription to the Shapefile Warehouse, an archive of Census Bureau data in GIS-ready data files. For every county in the United States, New Urban Research has obtained the 20 most common geographies (Street Networks, Political Boundaries, Census Blocks/Tracts, Traffic, etc.) from 2005 Census TIGER files and converted them to ESRI shapefile formats ready to import into a GIS. Participants may also purchase ESRI ArcGIS 9.2 site licenses at reduced rates from New Urban Research following the workshop.

      Introducing more than 6,000 participants to GIS technology in the last year alone, New Urban Research receives high praise for its hands-on workshops. According to a Representative of the Women's Prison Association in New York City, "[The workshop provided a] very clear and comprehensive presentation on how to create analytically useful and aesthetical maps. I like the structure of the workshop, the relevance of the exercises and the additional materials and online resources."

      About New Urban Research Inc.: New Urban Research is a professional social research organization with an emphasis on geographic information systems (GIS). It specializes in offering one-day workshops for service providers, planners and researchers who want to analyze their communities with Census Data and GIS in the areas of health, poverty, housing, discrimination, and other advocacy work. Along with public workshops, New Urban Research offers customized workshops for agencies looking to train a large group of employees to map and analyze their own data. For more information, visit www.urban-research.info.


    1. Networks In Motion Names David Shimoni Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales

      Company Creates New Position to Serve Growing International Markets for Location-Based Services for Wireless Carriers

      ALISO VIEJO, Calif., April 27, 2007 - Networks In Motion, the award-winning wireless navigation and location-based services (LBS) company, today announced that David Shimoni has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president of worldwide sales to serve growing international markets for location-based services for wireless carriers.

      Shimoni has 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, and delivering large-scale value-added solutions to wireless carriers around the globe. His experience includes serving in increasingly responsible executive sales roles at Comverse for 11 years managing major wireless carrier accounts worldwide.

      "We created the position of senior vice president of worldwide sales to help us meet the growing demand for location-based services domestically and internationally," said Doug Antone, president and CEO of Networks In Motion. "David brings a proven track record of penetrating and creating ongoing relationships with carriers for wireless services on a global basis, and he will be instrumental in executing our worldwide growth strategies."

      "Networks In Motion has become the leading provider of LBS platforms to wireless carriers in the U.S. and Canada, and their excellent navigation, local search and family location services will be well-received in Europe and other international markets as well," said Shimoni. "I am looking forward to the opportunity of expanding Networks In Motion's services to mobile phone users around the globe."

      Most recently, Shimoni served as president of Mobixell Networks, a provider of wireless multimedia adaptation technology. Previously, he served as vice president, wireless sales for Comverse, a supplier of network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services for wireless carriers, managing accounts for many of the major wireless carriers, including Verizon, Cingular and AT&T Wireless in addition to Ericsson Radio Systems, the world's largest wireless infrastructure vendor.

      Shimoni holds a master's degree in business administration from Columbia Business School in New York City and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, N.Y.

      About Networks In Motion: Networks In Motion™ (NIM) is an award-winning wireless navigation and LBS Company, with products that are built on a foundation of strategic patents, scalable and extensible server network, advanced mapping technology and integration with emerging wireless and positioning technologies. Founded in 2000, the company is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif. More information is available at http://www.networksinmotion.com.

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