2007 June 28

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Professional Surveyor Magazine

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I catch up on Intergraph, through a conversation with Reid French. I also bring you a detailed analysis by Al Butler of the ruling in the MAPPS lawsuit, a correction, and 18 press releases.

Matteo Luccio

Update on Intergraph

Late last year, Intergraph went private. This week I had a long conversation with Reid French, the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, on various aspects of the company's geospatial business. "We continue to believe that GIS is fundamental to what we are doing," he told me.

Intergraph, French says, is growing steadily. More than 2,500 people attended its latest user conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, in May — more than twice as many as at the one I attended in San Francisco, in the spring of 2005. International attendance at the conference is about 35 percent, because Intergraph operates in more than 60 countries. "Part of that goes back to our days as a hardware company," he says.

Over the past several quarters, the company has been busy managing and completing the privatization process. "A lot of people, naturally, were nervous" about the privatization, says French, and wondered what it would mean for customers, the company's corporate direction, and staffing levels. "The reality is that the management team is virtually the same, with the exception of Peter Batty's departure. Halsey Wise, the President and CEO, myself, Anthony Colaluca, Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer, all those folks are the same that were here before the privatization process. In terms of strategic plan, we remain committed to the markets in which we are operating." As for staff, "our head count is up six percent in the seven months since we went private."

Read more…

Letter to the Editor on the MAPPS Lawsuit

The judge's ruling in the MAPPS lawsuit has certainly not ended debate on the issues it raised. "This is a complex case," Al Butler writes. "Although the final decision centered on the issue of standing, the ruling offers significant content regarding a number of issues of vital interest to the geospatial community." He submitted this detailed analysis. I encourage you to read the ruling.

Dear Matteo,

It is interesting to observe the various interpretations given to what was or was not contained in the judge's ruling in the case of MAPPS, et. al v. U.S.A. The lawsuit essentially sought a sequence of decisions by the court. First, to define all spatial data as the product of surveying and mapping. Second, to say that all surveying and mapping is part of the profession of architecture and engineering and is, thus, subject to federal procurement through the so-called qualifications-based selection (QBS) process. (I characterize QBS in this manner in order to reflect the fact that all federal spatial data procurements include the consideration of contractor qualifications. It's just that some also include consideration of price in the selection process. QBS brings price into the mix after a selection is made based on technical qualifications.) Similar legislative efforts have been successful at the state level, but that was not the case with federal procurement rules. Accordingly, the ultimate goal is to have the court declare that the current interpretation of the Brooks Act and its subsequent amendments are so at odds with the way they were codified in federal regulations that the court must mandate new rulemaking to correct the problem.

The court dismissed the suit earlier this month because the plaintiffs did not have standing, which means the plaintiffs have not suffered an injury in fact; no harm, no foul. The lead plaintiff has characterized this ruling as being analogous to a balk called in the top of the first inning of a baseball game. It may be more appropriate to use an analogy of the court deciding one team was not qualified to play the game and granting a default victory to the other team. Game over — although there may be a rematch later.

More than just a procedural victory for the U.S. government and the spatial data community, the judge's decision offers a number of significant conclusions:

Read more…

Department of Corrections

In last week's recap of the ESRI user conference I misidentified one of the presenters at Monday's plenary session: it was not Nick Conte but Nick Frunzi, ESRI's Director of Educational Services and Support.

News Briefs

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


    1. DMTI Spatial Establishes Reseller Partnership with Statistics Canada to offer 2006 Census Boundary Files

    2. Microsoft and Dassault Systemes Expand Alliance into Virtual Earth

    3. Cadcorp Signs German/Austrian Business Partner Agreement With gisME

    4. Universal Mind Teams With ESRI and Adobe To Bring Rich User Experience To The Geoweb

    5. GITA Awarded Grant from Iowa Geographic Information Council

    6. Papa Murphy's Deploying geoVue's Dynamic Location Optimization Solution to Maximize New Store Performance

    7. SiRF Technology to Acquire Centrality Communications to Strengthen its Multifunction Location Strategy

    8. Valtus Partners to Provide DigitalGlobe/GlobeXplorer Services to Oil and Gas Industry

    9. WindSpring Announces OEM Agreement With Increment-P Corporation

    10. BAE Systems Completes World's Premiere Facility For Ionospheric Physics Research


    1. Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging Announces TerraSAR-X Capability for ERDAS IMAGINE

    2. Infoterra's Database of Offshore Oil Seeps Now Covers Arctic Frontier

    3. Azteca Systems Announces the Release of Cityworks Server


    1. Infotech Promotes Within Marketing Department

    2. Company President Celebrates 30 Years

  4. OTHER

    1. How Do Whales and Oilmen Get Along In Sakhalin — A Better View To Be Seen From Space

    2. Talisman Energy Receives Award for Their Server-Based Mapping Applications

    3. Awards Recognize Innovative Design Solutions and Public Works Systems

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
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