2007 May 31

This issue sponsored by

Professional Surveyor Magazine

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Editor's Introduction

This week I report on the continuing expansion of Skyhook Wireless, which leverages WiFi broadcasts for positioning. Plus, a dozen press releases.

Matteo Luccio

WiFi Positioning Continues To Expand

Skyhook Wireless, whose software-only WiFi positioning system (WPS) derives location from wireless Internet access points, is continuing its expansion—in geographic coverage, supported platforms, and agreements with hardware manufacturers and wireless carriers—and has revamped Loki, its free, location-based Internet toolbar.

According to Jed Rice, its VP for Market Development, the company has now driven 1.1 million miles of U.S. streets, mapping WiFi access points in 2,500 U.S. cities and towns, home to 70 percent of the country's population, and has reached the point of diminishing returns. To correct and refresh its data, Skyhook compares the field data in each query with that in its database—constantly deleting routers that are no longer in operation and adding new ones that have begun broadcasting. It also is experimenting with the use of data from commercial fleets.

Skyhook is expanding beyond the United States. According to Rice, its penetration has reached 65 percent of the population in Canada and Australia and it now wants to achieve the same level of penetration in Europe.

In February, Skyhook announced that SiRF had licensed its WPS and that the two companies had jointly developed XPS—a hybrid GPS-WiFi positioning system. The deal was premised on how the complementary the two companies' offerings are: GPS works best in open spaces, where it does not suffer from the "urban canyon" problem and there is little or no multi-path effect, whereas WPS works only in dense urban areas, where there are many wireless routers. Fusing the two increased location availability and accuracy, reduced location acquisition time, and expanded LBS application support, according to Skyhook.

In March, the company announced that its system was powering a new, free location-based plug-in for users of AOL's AIM service, the largest instant messaging community in the United States. Also in March, Skyhook announced an agreement with NAVTEQ, a leading provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, allowing NAVTEQ to resell Skyhook's WPS in conjunction with its map products. The two companies also recently collaborated on the development of ReignCom's iriver W10, a media player that combines WPS technology with NAVTEQ Discover Cities pedestrian guide. The device, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, provides mobile consumers in urban environments with detailed information about their location and the sights and amenities around them, such as Fodor's travel data on hotels, restaurants and shopping.

Skyhook is expanding its reach into various areas. In collaboration with G2Microsystems, which developed the hardware, it is prototyping a device for tracking package deliveries. It includes sensors to measure temperature, light exposure, and sudden movements and has a battery that lasts a month. The device updates its position in a Skyhook tracking server every time it associates with a known point. With Eye-Fi it created a WiFi card for digital cameras, which geotags photos by embedding location in their XF headers. In the next several weeks, according to Rice, Skyhook will announce a deal with a U.S. cell phone carrier to embed WiFi positioning on the carrier's CDMA network.

At this year's Where 2.0 Conference, underway this week in San Jose, California, Skyhook is launching its new version of Loki. It is based, Rice says, on three "pillars":

  • user control: users can configure it to be as unobtrusive or pervasive as they want
  • multiple platforms: including Loki Mobile, which runs on Windows mobile devices, and Loki for Mac
  • Loki Javascript API: it makes it easy for Websites to add location awareness that provides alternative content for Loki users, on an opt-in basis. Alternatively, users can choose to quickly download and install a "light" version of Loki.

According to Ryan Sarver, Senior Product Manager at Skyhook, any Java or HTML developer can now easily deploy Loki. The Loki Javascript API is only seven lines of code. "We want to keep the barrier to entry low," he says.

According to Rice, Loki users need not worry about their location privacy because Skyhook acts "as a broker" in each transaction, matching content to users' locations without revealing them to the Websites they are visiting.

Which of the current technology trends are helping Skyhook, and are any threatening its strategy? The speed and extent of hardware manufacturers' adoption of WiFi, which they are now routinely embedding in PDAs, cell phones, and laptops, exceeded his company's expectations, says Rice, and led Skyhook to expand the list of platforms it supports. One reason network operators embraced WiFi is that it relieves their networks. On the other hand, Wi-Max, he claims, does not yet pose a challenge. (If widely adopted as a replacement to short-range WiFi routers, however, it will eventually wipe out Skyhook.) The major trend that Rice sees that is helping Skyhook is in consumer behavior: location-based services (LBS) is taking off on mobile phones because of rich mapping content on the Web.

News Briefs

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


    1. Timmons Group Awarded Fairfax County, Virginia GIS Contract

      Richmond, Virginia — May 22, 2007 — Timmons Group, a leader in geospatial and engineering consulting services, was recently awarded a highly-competed task order contract by Fairfax County, VA for "IT Services and Expert Assistance" related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

      Timmons Group was one of five firms to be awarded a contract in the GIS Skills area, based on proven capabilities and experience. The contract is active through December 2012, with the option to renew for up to three successive one-year periods. During the life of this contract, any Fairfax County department with a GIS-related need will work with the County IT Department to develop a task scope of work and obtain price proposals from the pre-qualified GIS vendors who offer relevant services.

      Tasks will be awarded by the County to a vendor on the basis of best value, rather than lowest price. Furthermore, the contract includes a cooperative purchasing clause that entitles other public bodies to directly procure GIS professional services from Timmons Group by referencing this contract, if they choose to do so, without open competition. The firm's Technology sector plans to see a significant amount of GIS services work come from Fairfax County and other local governments during the long life of this contract—potentially nine years.

      Fairfax County is contracting specifically for technical support for the development of GIS applications using the ESRI suite of application and development tools and the county standard programming tools (e.g. VB.NET, ASP.NET) for the support of spatial analysis being conducted by the many County agencies. This may include the development of desktop and web-based GIS applications. Timmons Group's broad range of subject-matter experts across all areas of the engineering, planning, information technology and geospatial disciplines, may be called upon by the County to support a wide range of GIS application needs.

      About Timmons Group: Timmons Group is a leading provider of geospatial, information architecture and engineering services focusing on ArcGIS Server, Mobile ArcGIS Server (ADF) and Enterprise solutions. Timmons Group is a privately held ENR 500 company and maintains a strong business partner relationship with ESRI. Timmons Group has been a recipient of both the ESRI Business Partner of the Year award and the ESRI Foundation Partner of the Year award.

      For more information about Timmons Group's technology services, contact Lowell Ballard at [email protected] or visit http://www.timmons.com/markets-and-services/technology.asp.

    2. InMaps Develops Critical Database Link to Keep UGI Automation on Track

      Holderness, New Hampshire, 30 May 2007 — InMaps provided UGI Utilities, Inc. of Reading, PA with the technical support services needed to establish two-way data transfer between a centralized Oracle database and a GE Smallworld Geographic Information System (GIS). The result is that information from both systems can now be shared with crews in the field. The InMaps team completed the assignment in less than four weeks.

      Development of the data transfer interface was a critical milestone in an $8 million automation project referred to as the Field Level Asset Management Environment (FLAME). UGI, which serves natural gas to more than 300,000 customers in 14 southeastern Pennsylvania counties, initiated the FLAME project two years ago with the primary objective of making information from its GIS, work management system, and other applications available to crews in the field using wireless mobile devices.

      "We have a Smallworld GIS and an Oracle database along with a work management system," said Stefan Latshaw, Project Leader for Information Services at UGI. "We asked InMaps to create the triggers to get data flowing from all of our applications, through the Oracle database, and out to the field devices."

      InMaps assigned a four-person team to the job including a specialist in Oracle database development. The team wrote code in an Oracle programming language and the Smallworld Magik language to create a back-end interface between the GIS and the database. As a result of the successful implementation, UGI can generate job orders in its work management system and push the assignments through the Oracle database, where the latest GIS-based facilities map—or other infrastructure information—can be linked to the order. The work order is then transmitted wirelessly to a mobile device in a field service vehicle.

      "This sharing of data gives our field crews all the schematic, customer, and mapping information they need to make the repair or complete the installation quickly and efficiently," said Latshaw.

      Once the crew closes out the job, they mark redline changes to the data file and transmit the updated information back to the centralized Oracle database. This provides all UGI applications instant access to the most up-to-date information relating to the gas distribution network.

      "InMaps has completed several applications development and database integration projects similar to this one," said Richard St.Pierre, President and CEO of InMaps. "We were pleased UGI had the confidence in us to complete their project on such a tight schedule."

      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.

    3. Gaz Métro Successfully Goes Live with Location Based Services

      ClickSoftware's ClickLocate solution being used to locate engineers in real-time

      Burlington, Massachusetts — May 29th, 2007 — ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (NasdaqCM: CKSW), a leading provider of workforce and service optimization solutions, today announced that Gaz Métro, one of Canada's largest natural gas distributors, has successfully gone live with their ClickLocate solution. Gaz Métro chose ClickLocate predominantly for its capacity to optimize emergency response times.

      Gaz Métro covers the entire Quebec province; they oversee a very large territory that includes 9 different regional offices. With approximately 300 field technicians who work in different areas, (including new installations, preventive maintenance and meter management), Gaz Métro also has an important part of its work in emergency coverage, which includes approximately 12,000 emergency calls a year. As a regulated business, Gaz Métro has to respond to every single emergency call in less than 35 minutes. As such, the Company chose ClickSoftware's location-based services solution to improve productivity and reduce operational costs.

      The rollout of ClickLocate commenced on November 30, 2006 and was completed in late December 2006. To date, all 9 regional offices as well as the corporate office have gone live with the solution. Gaz Métro dispatchers are now using ClickLocate to locate engineers in real-time close to emergencies (within the 35 minute regulated response time frame). The response from dispatchers has been very positive throughout the roll-out phase, and they have been particularly appreciative of the excellent response time and the reliability of the data displayed in the ClickLocate Wizard.

      "We are delighted that Gaz Métro has successfully deployed our location based services solution," said Hannan Carmeli, Chief Operating Officer, ClickSoftware. "Adding ClickLocate to our ServiceOptimization Suite provides one more step in our development of the real-time service enterprise. Our uniqueness relative to the competition is in enabling proactive, automatic, and optimized decisions. It is not just about visualizing locations on a map, it is about acting on it in real time and this is exactly what ClickLocate enables."

      About ClickSoftware: ClickSoftware is the leading provider of mobile workforce management and service optimization solutions that create business value for service operations through higher levels of productivity, customer satisfaction and cost effectiveness.

      Combining educational, implementation and support services with best practices and its industry-leading solutions, ClickSoftware drives service decision making across all levels of the organization. From proactive customer demand forecasting and capacity planning to real-time decision making, incorporating scheduling, mobility and location-based services, ClickSoftware helps service organizations get the most out of their resources.

      With over 100 customers across a variety of industries and geographies, and strong partnerships with leading platform and system integration partners, ClickSoftware is uniquely positioned to deliver superb business performance to any organization. The company is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Israel, with offices in Europe, and Asia Pacific.

      For more information about ClickSoftware, please call (781) 272-5903 or (888) 438-3308, or visit www.clicksoftware.com.

      Gaz Métro Overview: With more than $2.9 billion of assets and more than 1,500 employees in Quebec, Gaz Métro is a leading Quebec energy company and one of Canada's largest natural gas distributors. Gaz Métro serves about 167,000 customers in Quebec through an underground pipeline network of almost 10,000 km.

      Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, NNEEC, Gaz Métro has been active in New England's energy industry since 1986 and has nearly 300 employees there. NNEEC includes Vermont Gas Systems, the sole gas distributor in Vermont, and Green Mountain Power Corporation, the second largest electricity distributor in that State.

      Through subsidiaries, affiliates, companies subject to significant influence and partnerships, Gaz Métro is active in natural gas transportation and storage as well as energy services and water and waste water systems and fibre optic networks. Gaz Métro also participates in various development projects in the energy sector.

    4. Lee Valley Regional Park Authority selects Cadcorp SIS as its new corporate GIS

      New GIS will help Authority promote its strategic role, provide information to stakeholders, partners and Regional Park users and improve day-to-day operations.

      Stevenage, Herts — 29 May, 2007 — Digital mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) software developer Cadcorp has announced that Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) has selected Cadcorp SIS, Spatial Information System as its new corporate GIS. The contract includes multiple licences of Cadcorp SIS Map Modeller and Cadcorp SIS Map Editor desktop GIS software, Cadcorp GeognoSIS software for the provision of a web mapping facility, and licences of Cadcorp's mobile GIS software, Cadcorp mSIS, mobile Spatial Information System.

      The contract represents the LVRPA's first deployment of a corporate GIS, and sees Cadcorp SIS replacing existing, legacy, departmental systems.

      David Anstey, director of regeneration and GIS project champion, LVRPA, said, "The main driver behind LVRPA deciding to invest in a fully corporate GIS was the need to collate and control maps and other geographic information to improve operations. The ability to access this vital information will enable LVRPA to work closer with strategic partners and ensure that the future development of the Lee Valley Regional Park integrates with the regeneration of the Lower Lee Valley and Olympic Park".

      Multiple applications. In the first instance, the main users of the new GIS will be planners, estates and building surveyors, grounds maintenance contract managers, biodiversity specialists and park rangers. Once the system's intranet capability has been implemented, users will expand to all levels of the organisation.

      Usage of the system is expected to include the monitoring of planning applications, land and property Terrier, thematic mapping of census and areas of deprivation data, grounds maintenance contract monitoring, the internal and external asset register, and biodiversity data, including mapping and monitoring protected species of flora and fauna within the Lee Valley Regional Park. Cadcorp mSIS will be used as a tool by LVRPA staff, including rangers and biodiversity staff who spend a large percentage of the time out on site.

      "LVRPA selected Cadcorp SIS following a comprehensive evaluation of available GIS software because it provides the best value-for-money in terms of performance versus price. It was also felt that it is easy to use. Also, with its ability to read and write a wide range of data formats, it will also enable quick and easy data exchange with other GIS software used by partner organisations", said Anstey.

      "We are proud that Lee Valley Regional Park Authority has selected Cadcorp SIS as its new corporate GIS," said Mike O'Neil, managing director, Cadcorp. "We look forward to working with LVRPA to help it realise its ambitions."

      About Lee Valley Regional Park Authority: The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) is a statutory body responsible for managing and developing the 10,000 acre linear Lee Valley Regional Park - the only Regional Park serving London, Hertfordshire and Essex. The 26 mile long Lee Valley Regional Park serves as a strategic link providing green spaces and regional centres for sport and a range of leisure facilities.

      LVRPA is also responsible for regenerating derelict and neglected land into high quality public open spaces and wildlife habitats of ecological importance.

      LVRPA is creating a zone of sporting excellence throughout the Lee Valley. It has delivered the £16 million Lee Valley Athletics Centre and is working with partners to deliver a sustainable Olympic legacy for the region. LVRPA has also committed to fund the legacy Velodrome to create a regionally important VeloPark comprising all elements of cycling and the White Water Canoe Slalom Course as a regional centre for canoeing.

      This year, LVRPA celebrates an important milestone, its 40th anniversary. To mark this special anniversary the Authority will be holding a year long celebration. It is holding a full calendar of events, large and small to celebrate the diversity of the Lee Valley Regional Park. Details of the event programme can be found on www.leevalleypark.org.uk.

      About Cadcorp: Established in 1991, Cadcorp is a leading UK developer of digital mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) software. With offices in the UK and the USA, Cadcorp's distribution and value-added reseller (VAR) network stretches worldwide. The company also plays a pivotal technical role in the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC). The Cadcorp SIS - Spatial Information System product family is fully integrated digital mapping and GIS software that uses OGC certified compliant interfaces. Cadcorp technical director Martin Daly is an OGC Gardels Medal holder for his contribution to the OGC, and a member of the OGC Architecture Board.

      Cadcorp is an ISO9001:2000 certified company, an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner and holds a UK government Catalist S-CAT agreement for category 15, GIS Software. Cadcorp SIS applications exist in local government, central government, emergency services, insurance, oil & natural gas, mapping and surveying, commerce, utilities and many other markets. (For more information please visit: www.cadcorp.com).

    5. Leading Canadian Communication Companies Enhance Mission-Critical Activities through Location Intelligence

      Markham, Ontario — May 30, 2007. One of Canada's leading diversified communications and media companies headquartered in Toronto has selected DMTI Spatial (DMTI), a leading provider of Location Intelligence, as a corporate standard for geographic data products. Increasing deployments of geographic data and enterprise-wide licensing is confirming lead indicators that location intelligence, and related technologies, are becoming further incorporated in the mission-critical workflows in the communication sector.

      An emerging term in the corporate environment, Location Intelligence is the capacity to organize and understand complex phenomena through the use of geographic relationships inherent in all information. In a business context, location intelligence can be applied to customer records, operational assets and physical features of the environment that impact a company's ability to service a market. Companies are winning market share using location intelligence to better service their customers.

      "DMTI Spatial's CanMap offering provides a rich geographic dataset and gives our clients a high level of accuracy that improves any application that uses the concept of location. DMTI Spatial's data products provide key components to drive vital activities like understanding multiple product serviceability opportunities and provisioning to operational programs like Call Before You Dig" said Alex MacKay, CEO of DMTI Spatial. "The expected outcomes from this kind of adoption are improvements to the handling of information used to drive many customer-facing services."

      DMTI Spatial's flagship products are becoming widely used as a corporate standard to assist in many different lines of business throughout companies, including: planning, marketing, network engineering, and customer serviceability. Benefits of enterprise implementation to an organization include lower per seat pricing, ensuring currency of supporting data assets, and streamlined procurement processes.

      For more information about DMTI Spatial's Communication Industry offerings: http://www.dmtispatial.com/communications/

      About DMTI Spatial: DMTI Spatial has been providing industry leading location intelligence solutions for more than a decade to Global 2000 companies and government agencies. DMTI's world-class Location Hub platform uniquely identifies and cross-references a universe of location-based data. DMTI is the creator of the CanMap suite of geospatial data products, including CanMap Streets and RouteLogistics, the gold standard for location data in Canada. DMTI also provides professional services and software tools bringing full solutions to the marketplace. For more information see: www.dmtispatial.com

    6. WindSpring Announces OEM Agreement With Alpine Electronics, Inc.

      Software innovator chosen for major automaker's in-dash implementation

      San Jose, California, May 29, 2007 — WindSpring, Inc., an advanced compression technology and software provider, today announced an OEM relationship with Alpine Electronics, Inc., the industry-leading manufacturer of mobile media solutions. WindSpring's patented data miniaturization technology (DMT) will be integrated by Alpine

      for its next generation in-dash solutions for a major car manufacturer.

      As part of the three-year agreement, Alpine has integrated WindSpring's technology with map data, reducing the overall size of the digital mapping data, improving data performance, and reducing storage costs while retaining complete map and application functionality.

      "Navigation solutions must provide consistent and positive user experiences to create daily relevance," says Thilo Koslowski, Vice President and Automotive Practice Leader at Gartner, Inc. "A key foundation for this value proposition is to ensure timely, reliable and accurate data updates so that users can depend on those solutions."

      User demand for interactive mapping and navigation applications continues to grow. From automatic routing, voice-guided navigation, and route re-calculating to user-defined points of interest ("POI"), end users want up-to-date, richer content. The ability to edit and update in place is fundamental to maintaining relevant and reliable content. WindSpring's technology is leading the industry with a completely different technological approach for managing and supporting incremental updates for mapping and POI data.

      "WindSpring's powerful technology was quickly and easily integrated with our in-dash products," said Hidenori Hidaka, President, Alpine Electronics Research of America, Inc. "Technology such as this is both critical and strategic to Alpine's ability to respond to consumer demand for unique mobile media products that are dependent on data-intensive applications."

      WindSpring's technology miniaturizes application data into a patented Micro Data Format (MDF) This unique, new data standard fully enables high-speed data manipulation including edit, seek, search and display while in the compressed state. No decompression of the data is ever required.

      "Alpine has consistently led the industry with innovative in-dash media and navigation products that reflect the growing consumer demand for lifestyle-based mobile solutions," said Tom Hunt, WindSpring president and CEO. "This agreement blends powerful technology and innovation to deliver a unique value proposition for Alpine customers and consumers."

      In addition, WindSpring's patented edit-in-place capability is enabling a new breed of navigation-based products and services that combine the convenience and portability of dedicated devices with real-time information delivered by over-the-network services through digital mapping and navigation applications.

      About Alpine Electronics, Inc.: Alpine Electronics is an automotive electronics system supplier and an ISO certified global corporation. Alpine specializes in engineering and manufacturing products for mobile media systems that include audio, video, satellite-linked navigation and connectivity solutions. With research and development facilities in Asia, Europe and the U.S., Alpine is the automotive specialist for premium sound systems and vehicle navigation for both aftermarket and OEM factory installations. Visit www.alpine.com to learn more about Alpine products or to find an authorized retailer.

      About WindSpring, Inc.: WindSpring is a provider of advanced compression software for the digital mapping and navigation markets. The company's patented data miniaturization technology (DMT) eliminates the need for file decompression, drastically reduces the data footprint of large files, and allows total data manipulation while in the reduced state. The company is focused on in-dash navigation, personal navigation devices, trucking/logistics, Internet/consumer wireless and enterprise/public sector GIS.

      More information about the privately-held, San Jose, California-based company is available at www.windspring.com.


    1. Intergraph Integrates with Leading Interactive Mapping Services

      Delivers custom data for rich geospatial mashups

      Huntsville, Alabama — May 23, 2007 — Intergraph Corp. today introduced a major enhancement to GeoMedia WebMap, its Web-based map visualization, enterprise application and analysis tool, which will facilitate easy creation of a "mashup," a Web site that takes data or functionality from multiple sources to create a new view and application.

      GeoMedia WebMap 6.1 will allow administrators to use WebMap Publisher to easily create a web site that, in real time, combines their data and queries with either the Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth map data. End users can then easily view and interact with any of their data or spatial queries geographically overlaid on the Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth background using the Google and Microsoft controls and interface. The Web site can be created without any programming, eliminating the need to learn the geospatial browser's Application Programming Interface.

      "GeoMedia WebMap maximizes the value of our customers' geographic information by publishing it on the Web - providing employees, customers, and the public fast and easy access to their geospatial data and functionality," said Lee Mashburn, vice president of product and solutions marketing, Intergraph Security, Government & Infrastructure division. "By also facilitating delivery of geospatial information via the most-used online mapping applications, Intergraph is helping organizations to fully leverage their data for better, more informed decision making.

      GeoMedia is a full suite of powerful analysis tools, including attribute and spatial query, buffer zones, spatial overlays, and thematics. GeoMedia WebMap provides real-time web access to those same capabilities. Intergraph's GeoMedia WebMap 6.1 with this and many other enhancements will be demonstrated at Intergraph 2007 and delivered later this year.

      About Intergraph: Intergraph Corporation is the leading global provider of spatial information management (SIM) software. Security organizations, businesses and governments in more than 60 countries rely on the company's spatial technology and services to make better and faster operational decisions. Intergraph's customers organize vast amounts of complex data into understandable visual representations, creating intelligent maps, managing assets, building and operating better plants and ships and protecting critical infrastructure and millions of people around the world. For more information, visit www.intergraph.com.

    2. Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging Announces Leica TITAN Beta Release and Launch of Leica TITAN Network

      Norcross, Georgia, USA — Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging announces the Beta release of Leica TITAN and launch of the Leica TITAN Network. Empowered by a 3D virtual globe, this dynamic online solution allows users and communities to share geospatial and location-based content in a single, secure environment.

      "Users and organizations need a central, safe environment to discover, share, visualize, and retrieve geospatial data, web services, and location-based information," said Mladen Stojic, Director of Enterprise and Visualization Products, Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging. "With a high performance 3D virtual globe, Leica TITAN provides this vibrant solution, with enhanced features, allowing interactive communication, collaboration, and sharing of information."

      Sharing your world is simple and resourceful using the Leica TITAN Network. With intuitive 3D navigation tools, users can share imagery, terrain, 3D models, and feature data sets while retaining digital ownership rights. Using the free web-enabled Leica TITAN client a global network of users interact, download, and share data. Users create a MyWorld, a geographically-enabled personal space to upload their data, set permissions, and share content with other users in the network. The Geospatial Instant Messenger provides a powerful communication tool for users to chat within the network. Additionally, with the Leica TITAN P2P Hub, organizations and data providers create their own secure community within the network.

      "The Leica TITAN Network meets the growing need of interactive social networking within rapidly expanding geospatial markets," said Bob Morris, President and CEO, Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging. "This dynamic tool combines technology with culture, promoting sharing while protecting data security and content ownership."

      Leica Geosystems is proud to be showcasing the Leica TITAN Beta release at the Where 2.0 Conference in booth #8. As a silver sponsor, Leica Geosystems will also be featuring Leica Virtual Explorer, its premier 3D enterprise and visualization solution. The Conference is May 29-30, 2007 at the Fairmont in San Jose, California.

      For more information about the Leica TITAN Beta release, the Leica TITAN Network, or to download the free Leica TITAN client, please visit: www.lggi.com/titan.

      About Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging: When building image-based maps, you need reliable measurements and solutions for your entire workflow. So when it has to be right, more geospatial professionals trust Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging, to help them collect, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is powering geospatial imaging by putting precise imaging to work. Its broad array of photogrammetry and remote sensing software solutions capture data efficiently, reference imagery accurately, measure and analyze easily and present spatial information, even in 3D.

      Those who use Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging products every day trust them for their precision, their seamless integration, and their superior customer support. Delivering geospatial imaging solutions with precision, integration, and service from Leica Geosystems. When it has to be right.

      Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about Leica or its products and services, call +1 770 776 3400, toll free ++1 866 534 2286, or visit www.gi.leica-geosystems.com.

    3. Topcon adds Coast Guard beacon receiver to GMS-2

      BR-1 opens up additional reception possibilities

      Livermore, California — Topcon Positioning Systems' GMS-2 now has an option that increases real-time correction capabilities of the GMS-2 hand-held receiver, the addition of a BR-1 Coast Guard beacon receiver.

      The GMS-2 GIS mobile GPS receiver can utilize the new BR-1 to receive sub-meter differential correction signals from the Coast Guard beacon in real time for data collection and navigation.

      Now, with this additional receiver option, real-time correction reception becomes possible in areas where it might not have been previously. Mike Weir, Topcon director of sales - GIS, said, "The Coast Guard beacon is a free, land-based radio signal that is not easily interrupted by obstructions, trees, buildings and natural terrain obstacles."

      "The BR-1 has the unique feature of four channels and provides users with up to four consistently available correction signals to achieve sub-meter, real-time accuracies in the field." The new receiver will "automatically select the best correction of the four signals available to send to the Topcon GMS-2, a function making the BR-1 a smart correction option for the GMS-2."

      The BR-1 also has the following features:

      • Bluetooth ° wireless communications
      • Lightweight, compact and easy to use
      • 1 meter drop specification, and
      • Can be worn in a convenient hip pack.

      The rugged, compact GMS-2 is the industry's first GIS-GPS product with:

      • Dual-constellation tracking
      • An integrated digital camera linking photos to feature locations
      • An electronic compass for bearing and direction information, and
      • The functionality to be used as a GIS mapping system, an L1 static survey grade receiver or a field controller.

      Weir said, "The GMS-2 opens up diverse opportunities for GIS professionals. The capability of having dual-constellation access guarantees increased productivity on the job site. Using the unit's integrated digital imaging technology eliminates the need for external cameras in the field."

      He said, "The integrated digital camera feature of the GMS-2 eliminates the headache of configuring devices to work together and/or linking photos to GPS locations manually back at the office. It all boils down to saving time, and increasing productivity and efficiency."

      About Topcon Positioning Systems: Topcon Positioning Systems, a developer and manufacturer of positioning equipment, offers the world's leading selection of innovating precision GPS, GIS, laser, agriculture, optical surveying, and machine control products, software, and applications. Topcon Corporation is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (7732).

    4. ESRI Press Releases New Edition of Classic Book, Cartographic Relief Presentation

      Redlands, California — A new edition of renowned Swiss cartographer Eduard Imhof's classic Cartographic Relief Presentation will be released by ESRI Press in June, showcasing the skillful draftsmanship, artistry, and science that went into his relief maps.

      Last published 25 years ago and difficult to find since going out of print, this book will continue to instruct and inspire cartographers, geographers, geographic information system (GIS) mapmakers and cartographic scholars and students in the 21st century.

      Imhof was a professor of cartography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his teachings influenced many students of cartography worldwide. Cartographic Relief Presentation remains relevant, offering guidelines for properly rendering terrain in maps of all types and scales, whether drawn by traditional means or with the aid of a computer.

      The comprehensive volume first provides a historical overview of cartographic relief depiction. Imhof writes about early symbols of terrain representation such as using domed molehills to represent mountains and the more intricate bird's-eye drawing of relief features by Leonardo da Vinci in his maps of Tuscany. The book also teaches readers techniques in symbology, color, hillshading, rock drawing, and contours.

      The 1982 edition of Cartographic Relief Presentation was expensive and had a limited press run that made it a rare find in recent years, leaving cartographers and other map aficionados scouring bookstores and checking Internet sites to try to locate copies of a book they consider a masterpiece.

      The new volume is affordable, and faithful to the original editions. ESRI Press retained Imhof's valuable insights and teachings, only editing the text for clarity and consistency and making minor wording and punctuation changes. The color and black and white graphics were reproduced as they appeared in the 1982 English language edition, which was translated from Imhof's 1965 German language version, Kartographische Geländedarstellung.

      Imhof, who died in 1986, wrote that good terrain representation becomes crucial in mapmaking, serving as the foundation for the rest of the map. Yet he believed that aspect of cartography was often neglected and hoped his book would serve as a textbook to fill the knowledge gaps and improve map quality in the future. "Its objective," he wrote in the book, "was to make maps more reliable, easier to read, and easier to understand."

      Cartographic Relief Presentation (ISBN 978-1-58948-026-1, 420 pages, $59.95) is available at online retailers worldwide. The book can also be purchased 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, and science. The complete selection of GIS titles from ESRI Press can be found on the Web at www.esri.com/esripress.

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

    5. Delorme Continues To Expand GPS Market, With New $69.95 Price On Earthmate GPS For Laptops

      Includes Just-Released Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD Software

      Yarmouth, Maine — DeLorme, the company that pioneered GPS for laptops and PDAs, announced today it has launched updated Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD software with the Earthmate GPS LT-20 at the new low price of only $69.95.

      The Earthmate GPS LT-20 features cutting-edge GPS technologies from STMicroelectronics and DeLorme, with fast satellite acquisition times and superior performance when dealing with reflected GPS signals — a frequent occurrence in urban settings.

      The updated Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD software includes extensive revisions to its street-level detail for the United States and Canada and, for the first time, highways and major roads for Mexico.

      Breakthrough New Low Price Expands the Market. The combination of the DeLorme Earthmate GPS LT-20 and the included Street Atlas USA 2008 software means anyone with a laptop PC can enjoy the benefits of GPS wherever they travel in the U.S., Canada, and now Mexico, too.

      "By continuously driving down costs and expanding sales through mass distribution we have been able to lower our price points for laptop GPS without compromising quality," said Caleb Mason, DeLorme Director of Marketing. "Laptop GPS offers many advantages over other types, with the large screen providing easy-to-see, wide geographic context. With laptops continuing to replace desktops, we can offer more and more consumers an affordable yet powerful GPS solution to help plan trips and GPS navigate without getting lost."

      Ships with Updated DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD Software. The new lower-priced Earthmate GPS LT-20 ships with updated Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD software, just in time for the busy summer travel season.

      Using the DeLorme system is simple. After installing Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD on their laptop PC, users can create driving routes automatically, locate ideal overnight stops, find lodgings, food, and attractions; and devise itineraries, all in advance.

      In-vehicle, the Earthmate can be secured next to the windshield. Its five-foot cable is more than ample even in motor coaches and big rig trucks.

      With the software running, the Earthmate automatically begins tracking on pre-planned routes. Large, easy-to-read Next-Turn and Turn-After arrows and directions appear below the large map. Voice prompts announce upcoming turns, speaking the precise name of the road or exit. No extra subscription charges apply, nor is Internet access required. Everything needed is included in the Earthmate package.

      "At the new low price of only $69.95, we hope people will buy an Earthmate to bring on their next trip. The product can be found at all major computer stores, making it easy to buy as a travel impulse item. By planning better and not wasting time getting lost, it seems likely the Earthmate will pay itself back on one long trip in gas savings alone," said Mason.

      Market-Leading GPS Capabilities. The software's GPS capabilities are unsurpassed. In fact, DeLorme led the way with features such as voice-guided navigation that calls out street names and exit numbers, provides spoken responses to questions or commands; automatic back-on-track routing (in case of detours or unplanned side trips), and GPS Radar, to locate upcoming places of interest (fuel, lodging, restaurants, businesses) from a driver's real time position.

      Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD also includes four million updated places of interest including many chains researched by DeLorme's in-house team of cartographers. DeLorme is one of a handful of mapmakers who still produce their own maps for GPS products, which means many customer revisions have been made as well as significant updates to streets and highways across the U.S., Canada, and now Mexico. The inclusion of major roads for Mexico means routes created in the U.S. and/or Canada can also automatically connect to the adjoining infrastructure within Mexico.

      Available Aerial Imagery. Users can also download available aerial imagery of the U.S. to their laptops, PDAs, or supported phones running either Palm OS or Pocket PC. The imagery can be used for real-time GPS tracking, and is ideal for identifying landmarks, determining land use (e.g., residential, agricultural, or open space), and much more.

      Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD comes with a free application for installing the software, with full routing and GPS navigation capabilities, plus aerial imagery,, on supported Palm OS and Pocket PC PDAs and touch screen phones.

      The Earthmate GPS LT-20 is available wherever electronics and software are sold. It also can be ordered from DeLorme at www.delorme.com, or by phone at 800-561-5105. The suggested retail price is $69.95, with updated Street Atlas USA 2008 DVD software included. The software is also available by itself at most of the same locations, with a suggested retail of $39.95.

      A higher-end version of the software, Street Atlas USA 2008 Plus DVD, retails at $59.95. It offers additional features including data importing and geo-locating, large-format printing, and additional editing tools.

      About DeLorme: DeLorme is the longtime leader in innovative mapping and GPS solutions for both consumer and professional markets. The company's trailblazing Street Atlas USA and Topo USA consumer software and Earthmate receivers have set the standards for GPS, routing, and travel planning capabilities. DeLorme XMap software is expanding the GIS market through its advanced capabilities, affordable pricing, and ease of use.

      Today, the innovation continues with the Earthmate GPS PN-20 handheld receiver, the Earthmate GPS BT-20 Bluetooth receiver, and the DeLorme receiver module for OEM electronic systems. Located in Yarmouth, Maine, DeLorme is home to Eartha, the world's largest rotating and revolving globe.


    1. AAG Plans Geographic Conference in Boston; Meeting Dates Set for April 15-19, 2008

      The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is pleased to announce its 2008 Annual Meeting will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, April 15-19, 2008. The week-long meeting is expected to host more than 6,500 geographers from around the world and feature over 4,000 scientific presentations, workshops, and field trips.

      Special events planned for the meeting include a reception for international attendees, an exhibition hall showcasing the latest books, publications, and geographic technology, and an opening night celebration, complete with live Boston entertainment.

      Attendees also will have several opportunities to explore the rich cultural and physical geography of Boston and the surrounding New England area through informative field trips and excursions.

      AAG is the professional association representing leading practitioners, researchers, and educators in geography. Founded in 1904 as an educational and scientific society, its 10,000 members share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography and geographic education.

      Who: Association of American Geographers

      What: 2008 Annual Meeting

      Where: Marriot Copley Place and Westin Copley Place Hotel, Boston

      When: April 15-19, 2008

  4. OTHER

    1. Court Confirms Public Records Law

      Although the California Public Records Act (CPRA) requires state and local government records to be provided to anyone requesting them for no more than the cost of duplication, until recently, 21 of California's 58 counties sold their GIS digital parcel basemap data for significantly higher prices. In October 2005, the California Attorney General issued an official opinion stating that digital parcel data is subject to public inspection and copying under provisions of the CPRA (http://ag.ca.gov/opinions/yearly_index.php?year=2005 , Look for 04-1105).

      Subsequently, eight counties changed their data distribution policy, and now offer their GIS basemap data for free or nominal cost.

      However, 13 counties still maintain a high-cost data distribution policy, contending that GIS basemap data is exempt from the CPRA. They assert that the A.G.'s opinion does not have the force of law - only a Judicial judgment can confirm or deny their policy. Now, as of May 18, 2007, such a judgment has been rendered.

      The California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) took Santa Clara County to court after the county denied CFAC's request for the county's GIS basemap data at the cost of duplication and with no other restrictions on how it might be used or redistributed. Judge James P. Kleinberg of the California Superior Court for Santa Clara County reviewed the many arguments and rebuttals of the case over three months, and issued the Court's decision in favor of CFAC. Judge Kleinberg directed Santa Clara County to:

      1. Provide CFAC with an electronic copy of the GIS basemap, and

      2. Charge CFAC the direct cost for the copy provided.

      The decision affirms the legislative intent stated in the CPRA (Government Code §250) that "access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state."

      "Affordable access to the GIS basemap means that the media and ordinary citizens will have a powerful tool for judging government performance in such areas as tax assessments, zoning variances, and equitable deployment of public services," said Rachel Matteo-Boehm, of the San Francisco office of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP (www.HRO.com), CFAC's lead counsel in the case. The decision ("CFAC vs Santa Clara County, No 1-06-CV-072630") recounts how analysis of the GIS basemap data, used in conjunction with other data, "could allow a property owner to question why, all else being equal, one particular parcel is assessed more than another."

      The Court's decision rejected various claims made by the County that its basemap data should be exempted from the CPRA, for such reasons as the GIS basemap is software, the basemap is copyrighted, the basemap is a trade secret, the basemap is critical infrastructure information, and the public interest would be served by not making the basemap public. Citing the state constitution (Article I, Section 3, subdivisions (b)(1)-(2), "a statue shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people's right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access"), the Court concluded that the County failed to show a "clear overbalance" on the side of non-disclosure.

      "This landmark decision vindicates our view that government agencies may not claim exclusive control over records that are created with tax dollars," said Peter Scheer, CFAC's Executive Director. CFAC is a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to advancing free speech and open-government rights (www.CFAC.org). CFAC's members are newspapers and other news organizations.

      "This is a validation for the citizens of Santa Clara county who are legally entitled to access their county's data, including the GIS basemap," said Bruce Joffe, organizer of the Open Data Consortium (www.OpenDataConsortium.org) and technical advisor to CFAC's legal team. "It is also a validation for the citizens of 12 other California counties that currently change more than the cost of duplication for their GIS basemap data." The Court has confirmed that CPRA applies to GIS data, enabling citizens to access their government's data and thereby hold their governments accountable. "This is a validation for all of California's citizens," Joffe added.

      The full text of the Court's decision (27 pages) can be downloaded from http://www.cfac.org/content/cfac_v_santaclara.PDF

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