2007 September 27

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I report on a new service by MetaCarta for the on-line publishing industry. Plus, 25 press releases.

Matteo Luccio

MetaCarta Launches Local Alerts

MetaCarta specializes in searching for geographic content in unstructured text documents and displaying the results on a map. So far it has focused on large government and commercial clients, such as intelligence agencies and oil companies. Now, it is moving closer to consumer applications, by assisting customers that are serving the mass market. This week, the company launched Local Alerts, a service for the digital publishing industry that notifies users when free-form text content mentions specific places they deem important. Users register for the service, provide their e-mail address, and specify an extent of interest, using a map that they can zoom and pan; they are then notified by e-mail daily of any items in the covered content that mention places within that extent.

MetaCarta uses its core technology to geoparse and geotag the stories in real time and puts them in a database, which also stores the information on all of the registrants and the max-min lat-long of their area of interest. The company then maps out all the stories and alerts users to any stories that contain geographic references that fall within the range they have specified.

The first publication to sign up for the alert service is MySanAntonio.com, which is the on-line edition of the San Antonio Express-News newspaper, a Hearst Publication. To test the service, go to the site, then scroll down until you see an orange "CONNECT" logo.

For digital publishers, the main advantage of the service is that it draws readers back to their sites, "substantially increasing user frequency and page views metrics," MetaCarta says, and "enabling publishers to better capture local advertising dollars and maximize advertising rates." For users interested in news, listings, promotions, etc. pertaining to a particular neighborhood, city, or area, this service obviates the need to search for it in a publication covering a much larger area. I presume that the value of this service to users will increase as the number of participating publishers increases: then you will be able to sign up to receive alerts when your area of interest makes the news in regional, national, or international publications.

Clearly, this service is not of much relevance to some kinds of digital publications. Take GIS Monitor, for example. Even though this newsletter is all about geography, I rarely mention place names in my articles (as opposed to the "News Briefs") and, when I do, it is mostly to indicate where a company is based or a conference is taking place. Therefore, the location is just one more (alternative/additional) piece of information you can use in our site's search engine to find an article.

I discussed MetaCarta's announcement with its VP of Content Services, Rick Hutton. "We made our name selling to a wide variety of government agencies," he told me, "and the last couple of years we've established a rather large footprint in the oil and gas business. For the past year, we've been working on bringing products and technologies to the digital media market, to see how on-line publishers could use it. We realized that what they needed was applications and solutions. The MetaCarta Local Alert Service is an on-demand service, or software as a service model. It is enabling the Web site MySanAntonio.com to allow their users to register to receive local alerts about neighborhood-level news. Depending on the schedule of the customer (in this case, MySanAntonio.com), the alert service can run once or twice a day."

  1. How do local alerts help on-line publishers?

    It allows them to target users and, hopefully, pull them back to the site — it is what is commonly referred to as a stickyness factor in an advertising-supported Web site — and then serve advertisements to them based on the geography that they are interested in. Since we also produce the metadata for the geography, it is very simple for publishers to pass that geographic metadata to their ad server and begin to sell localized ads.

    Newspapers, in particular, have an interesting challenge: they are extraordinarily profitable in most cases but their revenue numbers are sinking and are eventually going to cross below the profitability line. Their business is inarguably and irreversibly moving on-line. They need to figure out how to provide things on-line that they were able to do in the offline world, such as local editions. In the on-line world you don't have to do it on a global basis for all the people that live in a ZIP code or a town. You can do it on a one-to-one basis and our technology allows them to do that.

  2. Does you system search the content on your customers' sites or do they feed their content to your site?

    We don't crawl their sites, because that is inefficient — you pick up too much noise. Typically, any site we would deal with has some type of content management system. When they publish stories to the site they simply also publish them out to a Web service to us. We pick them up, process them, and stick them in a database. Then, on a schedule that they determine, we run the process of matching up the stories with the registered users.

  3. Why not just geo-tag each story using its dateline?

    It just doesn't work in the news business. First of all, it is a single geographic reference and, second of all, it is often-times inaccurate: for example, a reporter in Boston talks about an IBM executive from New York that was kidnapped in Mexico. Also, many stories are rich in geographic references, including ones that are rather implicit, and our technology picks them up better than any other technology on the market today.

  4. As editors become more aware of this technology, will they start to geographically tag articles?

    We have talked to many, many on-line news publishers and many of them are asking the people in the field — the ones who are actually writing the stories — to provide them geographic metadata, but it just doesn't happen. There are not many journalists out there who are writing stories for big, on-line entities that did not come up through the standard ranks of off-line journalism. Over time — and this will probably take a decade or so — you will start to get journalists that came up through the ranks of the digital media and are much more attuned to working in an electronic environment and in putting in metadata.

  5. Why did you start with MySanAntonio.com?

    MySanAntonio.com was simply the first customer that we were able to sign up for a pilot. When we were bringing out technology to the digital media realm, we were evangelizing it to a large degree. On-line publishers said "Who's using it?" and we said "Only people in the enterprise and Shell, Chevron, Hess, etc." We finally figured out that the newspapers were the ones that had the most need for something that could solve personalization and geographic targeting, which is something for which there is a big thirst in the advertising realm on line. MySanAntonio.com was just the one that had the vision to go first.

  6. Can a user set multiple extents?

    Unfortunately, not at this time, but that is going to be a version 2-type of feature that we are going to introduce.

  7. What is your rate of false positives?

    I don't have the number of false positives and the reason is that we have a rather high f-measure — a combination of precision and recall — as to how we are actually able to recognize place names and then the precision with which we are able to match them up with exact places. So, if a document says Fenway Park, our ability to recognize Fenway Park, geo-parse that out, and match it up to the Fenway Park that is at a specific latitude and longitude in Boston, Massachusetts, is very, very good. Our f-measure is above the 90th percentile. When we create geographic metadata, we generate something called the geo-confidence score: that is the degree of confidence with which the system believes it hit the target 100 percent. The publisher can use that as a sliding scale. If he is getting too many false positives, he can set the confidence score a little bit higher. He'll have less recall and miss a couple of things now and then, but he'll get fewer negatives.

  8. That's similar to the way spam filters work. Also like spam filters, you can go into a folder that contains rejected references and find false positives…

    Yes, that is a very good analogy.

  9. What about using live, GPS-based tracking?

    While we can't today figure out where the user is and do it that dynamically, that application could be created in the future by leveraging our technology.

  10. There are plenty of systems that do the tracking part. Then you'd just have to feed that data stream into your system. It would be like updating the extent of interest every few minutes.


  11. How does this new service fit into your general strategy?

    Local alerts is the first of a couple of applications that we are building on top of our core technology and providing as a hosted service. Our return on investment argument is extraordinarily strong, because there is low upfront cost and people can pay us on a transaction basis or even on a revenue share basis.

  12. Are you starting to move into the consumer arena?

    We are moving in to service customers that are serving the mass market. We are still a b-to-b play, but now we are moving into a much larger horizontal opportunity marketplace, where we are serving places like MySanAntonio.com that have something like one and a half million users per month. It is a different business model, but we are still serving the business and they are serving their customers.

News Briefs

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


    1. Southwest Florida Water Management District Awards Three-year Contract To Merrick & Company

      Aurora, Colorado — USA Merrick & Company, a world leader in LiDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping was awarded a three-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) GeoSpatial Data Collection and Analysis Services contract with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). Merrick will deliver on an as needed basis photogrammetric mapping, LiDAR data, geographic information systems programming and data analysis, aerial photography, digital orthophotography, and image interpretation.

      Steve Dicks, Mapping and GIS Manager, Mapping and GIS Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District explains, "Every three years since 2001 we have released a request for proposal for geospatial data services. This is a qualification based selection process." The SWFWMD is one of five regional districts charged by Chapter 373 of the Florida Statutes to preserve and protect the resources for the people through water resource development, regulatory and other programs.

      Central to the mission is maintaining the balance between the water needs of current and future residents, while protecting and aintaining the natural systems which provide the District with its existing and future water supply. The District's services include, but are not limited to, flood control; regulatory programs such as surface water and water use permitting; natural systems management; preservation and restoration of threatened lakes, rivers, streams and estuaries; land management and acquisition; and public education awareness. Dicks concludes, "Up-to-date geospatial data is fundamental for all of the work that we do."

      Visit SWFWMD on the Web at www.swfwmd.state.fl.us.

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

    2. GeoAnalytics Completes SDE GIS Data Migration System For Oneida County, Wisconsin

      2007 September 24, Madison, Wisconsin — GeoAnalytics Inc., an IT consulting firm that specializes in the planning, design, and implementation of enterprise class, spatially enabled information systems, has completed an SDE GIS Data Migration System for Oneida County, Wisconsin.

      The project included the deployment of Microsoft SQL Server, ESRI ArcSDE, and data migration to an Enterprise Geodatabase to aid in the support of MicroData 911 CAD system. All geodatabase sources were migrated into the SDE environment. Data maintenance was configured using ArcSDE named versions for the editors. The endeavor also included the development of a Publication ArcSDE. This system will be used to support the ArcIMS application, the MicroData application, and users within the County. Future migration plans are to pull data from the SDE database into PV.Web, the county's Web portal.

      "This project represents a significant advancement in that we are now able to easily manage data editing among multiple editors and it provides for greater flexibility in publishing data for various applications," said Oneida County's Michael Romportl. The County has been a GeoAnalytics client for over 10 years.

      About GeoAnalytics, Inc.: GeoAnalytics (www.geoanalytics.com) is an IT consulting firm that specializes in the planning, design, and implementation of enterprise class, spatially enabled information systems that create true spatial intelligence. More than data and information, spatial intelligence combines system and data integration with business and predictive intelligence as well as spatial analytics to provide knowledge and understanding from all corners of the enterprise. The firm is headquartered in Madison, WI and has team members located in Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Philadelphia, PA; and Orlando, St. Augustine, and Tampa, FL.

    3. Stadtwerke Mainz Selects Bentley for Multi-Utility GIS and Infrastructure Engineering Solutions

      Anticipates New Levels of Enterprise Productivity to Better Serve Electricity, Gas, and Water Utility Needs of Mainz's 300,000 Citizens

      2007 September 19, Exton, Pennsylvania — Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced that Stadtwerke Mainz AG, a multi-utility serving more than 300,000 citizens in the capital of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, is implementing an enterprise geographic information system (GIS) based on Bentley sisNET, ProjectWise, and other Bentley products.

      With these Bentley solutions that advance GIS for infrastructure, all data needed to support the lifecycle of the city of Mainz's electric power generation and supply, gas, and water infrastructure will be available to all users in real time. As a result, Stadtwerke Mainz anticipates new levels of enterprise productivity, along with an extremely fast return on its investment in this innovative technology.

      Volker Waeschenbach, GIS project leader, Planning and Facilities Management, Stadtwerke Mainz, said, "Through the deployment of our new GIS, we expect our engineering processes to become more streamlined because multi-utility data will be readily accessible and more transparent — prerequisites for the steady improvement of data.

      "In addition, the new GIS will help us ensure full compliance with the extensive reporting requirements of the Bundesnetzagentur, our national utilities regulator."

      Waeschenbach added, "Although we have made a substantial investment in this project, we expect to benefit from the many workflow efficiencies generated by the new Bentley solutions." These workflow efficiencies will include:

      • Easier and more efficient network documentation and facilities management
      • Support for "call-before-you-dig" services, with all data residing in one location and readily available to third parties who need to excavate trenches
      • Electronic importation of all surveying data, saving time and money
      • Improved collaboration among Stadtwerke Mainz project teams and outside contractors facilitated by the ProjectWise collaboration system, which enables users to manage, find, and share CAD and geospatial content, project data, and Office documents electronically, rather than through the transfer of paper plots
      • Data consistency between the GIS and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, with ProjectWise serving as a repository for all geospatial and ERP system documents
      • Increased quality of data provided to field engineers, making their work easier and more accurate and lowering project costs

      How the New System Works. Currently, Stadtwerke Mainz has different ways of managing its network data. Some of the data is in MicroStation DGN files, organized in folders, and some of the network object attribute data is held in a separate database. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to ensure that the object and network connectivity data matches the attribute data. As a result, the company spends a lot of time cross-referencing network documentation data with attribute data to ensure consistency.

      With the implementation of Bentley sisNET and the other Bentley solutions, all network data will reside within the enterprise GIS. The data will be available in real time to power users in the engineering community as well as read-only users, such as customer service representatives.

      In addition, the GIS data will be linked to the ERP data through a Bentley sisNET Connector. This will make it easy for the network documentation team to see up-to-date attribute information from the ERP system.

      About Stadtwerke Mainz: Stadtwerke Mainz is a multi-utility company whose roots date back to 1899, when the first electric power station of Mainz — the capital of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany — was connected to the city's network.

      In 1933, the city's electric power station and supply, gas works, water works, and tram system were centralized and their management and operation became the responsibility of Stadtwerke Mainz. Today, the company delivers electricity, gas, and water services to more than 300,000 customers. For more information (in German) visit www.stadtwerke-mainz.de or (in English) visit www.stadtwerke-mainz.de/downloads/company_profile.pdf.

      About Bentley: Bentley Systems, Incorporated provides software for the lifecycle of the world's infrastructure. The company's comprehensive portfolio for the building, plant, civil, and geospatial verticals spans architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. With revenues now surpassing $400 million annually, and more than 2400 colleagues globally, Bentley is the leading provider of AEC software to the Engineering News-Record Top Design Firms and major owner-operators, and was named the world's No. 2 provider of GIS/geospatial software solutions in a recent Daratech research study.

      To receive Bentley press releases as they are issued, visit www.bentley.com/bentleywire. For more information, visit www.bentley.com. To view a copy of Bentley's April 2007 Annual Report online, go to www.bentley.com/April2007annualreport.

    4. City of Magdeburg, Germany, Joins Bentley's Municipal License Subscription Program

      To Further Enhance and Expand Services to its 230,000 Citizens

      2007 September 19, Exton, Pennsylvania — Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced that the city of Magdeburg, Germany, has joined Bentley's Municipal License Subscription (MLS) program. The city will use its new MLS to further expand services to its almost 230,000 citizens — highlighted by enhanced city planning data and a wider variety of thematic maps on Magdeburg's public Web portal. All of this is made possible through the city's deployment of Bentley solutions for local governments.

      Bentley's MLS offers municipalities all the software they need to design and manage all their infrastructure for a fixed annual fee based on population. The breakthrough program enables them to improve productivity and reduce administrative costs by outfitting their entire mapping and engineering organizations with fully integrated software for GIS and engineering workflows. This leads to improved services and more efficient government.

      Said Udo Seipold, project manager, Internet/GIS Team of KID Magdeburg, the city's outsourced IT department, "Magdeburg has long relied on a number of Bentley's products and solutions for its infrastructure design and management needs. MicroStation, ProjectWise InterPlot, Bentley Geo Web Publisher, Bentley Descartes, Bentley I/RAS B, and InRoads are all critically important to the city's departments for everything from preparing data for Web services to land-use planning, plotting maps, road cadastre, city park maintenance, and the list goes on.

      "As you can imagine, the administrative work involved in managing all that software for all those tasks was quite demanding. Someone had to constantly check to see which staff members were using what licenses and then juggle priorities if requests for new deployments exceeded available licenses. And anyone looking to purchase new software could wait a year or more for budgetary approval."

      Continued Seipold, "With our new MLS, all of these problems have disappeared. Licenses are immediately available to meet staff members' needs — no matter how many licenses are already in use. And beyond the initial budget approval for the program, no signatures are needed to acquire additional software applications."

      Bentley's MLS program provides municipalities with unlimited access to a comprehensive portfolio of integrated GIS and engineering software for all of their infrastructure, including:

      • Public works — roads, bridges, potable water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure
      • Land development
      • E-government
      • Light rail design
      • Community broadband
      • Electric and gas network design
      • Water and wastewater treatment plant design
      • Urban planning
      • Cadastre management
      • Public safety
      • Municipal building design
      • Mapping and 3D modeling

      Because program fees are fixed, Bentley's MLS guarantees predictable software costs and budgeting. In addition, it removes the administrative burden of complex software licenses, shortens procurement cycles, speeds project starts, and ultimately leads to more efficient government.

      Added Seipold, "Our ability to acquire additional software applications without paying more money makes it very easy for us to try out new solutions. It means that we have everything to gain and virtually nothing to lose from a pilot application. As a result, Magdeburg already has a number of new deployments queued up, including two new InRoads seats, speedikon products for some of our architectural needs, 10 additional Bentley Geo Web Publisher seats, some Bentley PowerMap Field licenses for data processing in the field, as well as MicroStation TriForma and InRoads Suite."

      For more information about Bentley's MLS program initiative and software or to contact a Bentley representative, visit www.bentley.com/MLS.

      About the City of Magdeburg: With 1200 years of rich and colorful history, Magdeburg is one of the oldest cities in the new Laender of the former East Germany. There are only a few cities in Central Europe that compare to Magdeburg in terms of its eventful historical past. Magdeburg was once an imperial palatinate, a member of the Hanseatic League, and a Prussian fortress marked by unimaginable war and destruction.

      However, Magdeburg allowed the currents of time to take it into a new future full of possibilities. The city was reconstructed and a particular importance was attached to the maintenance, care, and preservation of its cultural legacy. Today, Magedeburg is a cosmopolitan city of almost 230,000 citizens that provides a wide selection of cultural venues, including many fine museums, theaters, and galleries—from the Cultural History Museum to the Museum of Technology, the Millennium Tower in the Elbauenpark, the Puppet Theatre, and a host of others. For more information, go to www.magdeburg.de.

      About Bentley: Bentley Systems, Incorporated provides software for the lifecycle of the world's infrastructure. The company's comprehensive portfolio for the building, plant, civil, and geospatial verticals spans architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. With revenues now surpassing $400 million annually, and more than 2400 colleagues globally, Bentley is the leading provider of AEC software to the Engineering News-Record Top Design Firms and major owner-operators, and was named the world's No. 2 provider of GIS/geospatial software solutions in a recent Daratech research study.

      To receive Bentley press releases as they are issued, visit www.bentley.com/bentleywire. For more information, visit www.bentley.com. To view a copy of Bentley's April 2007 Annual Report online, go to www.bentley.com/April2007annualreport.

    5. Games Workshop Licenses and Deploys geoVue Software

      2007 September 24, Woburn, Massachusetts — geoVue, a leading provider of dynamic location optimization software, and Games Workshop today announced that GamesWorkshop has licensed and is deploying geoVue's software solutions to optimize its real-estate decisions around the globe.

      Games Workshop is the largest and the most successful tabletop fantasy and futuristic battle-games company in the world with 348 stores in 20 countries. The publicly held company sells directly in the UK, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia and Japan.

      "When we started this project, we were looking for a global, location-based business intelligence system," said Dave Holmes, head of Property, Games Workshop. "We determined that geoVue was the best solution to help us achieve our global expansion efforts over the next five years. We expect to use geoVue to better evaluate and manage lease events, (new locations, renewals, relocations and closures), gain an accurate assessment of the sales potential for new shopping locations and make our site selection analysis process more efficient."

      geoVue is the only dynamic location optimization solution suppliers with true international deployment capabilities using a combination of web-based and desktop software tools built around data source neutrality. geoVue goes beyond simple site selection. It optimizes locations. Using its innovative solutions and domain expertise, geoVue develops predictive store trade areas that allow clients to decide which markets to enter, expand or exit; how they should optimize store networks within each market; and how to localize marketing and merchandising.

      "We are excited at this opportunity to work with a global retailer such as Games Workshop," said Rudy Nadilo, CEO of geoVue. "Customers can expect to obtain the same high-quality results regardless of the global location, because our location optimization model and market software is able to adapt to each country through flexible model parameters and data substitution. We consider each country a unique store-concept model that can be run seamlessly from country to country."

      About Games Workshop (www.games-workshop.com): Games Workshop Group PLC, a London Stock Exchange quoted company which was listed in 1994, has been in business for over 30 years. At its core is a niche business - Games Workshop. This business designs, manufactures and markets a hobby based upon collecting, modelling, painting and tabletop gaming with model soldiers. With more than 70 percent of sales coming from outside of the UK the Group is truly international. GW is a vertically integrated company, retaining controlling every aspect of the design, manufacture, distribution and retail of the models and rulebooks. Products are sold through their own chain of 340+ Hobby centres and by more than 3,700 independent toy and hobby shops around the world. These outlets are complemented by our growing mail order and online sales businesses.

      About geoVue (www.geovue.com): geoVue is the leading provider of dynamic location optimization software for retailers, restaurants and other real-estate based consumer channels seeking a higher return on capital investment. geoVue's state-of-the-art modeling and optimization solutions help its clients holistically plan store networks and prioritize capital investments based on predictive, multi-factor trade areas. Clients prioritize markets to enter, expand or exit; optimize store networks; and localize marketing and merchandising. geoVue's unique approach to data and model maintenance provides each client with a localized, real-time geospatial decision-making framework configured for its particular customer-centric strategy. geoVue clients "don't leave square footage on the table."

      Founded in 1994 and based in Woburn, Mass., the company has more than 150 clients, including Big Lots, Dunkin' Brands, Meineke, Papa Murphy's, Pet Supermarket, REI and The Limited.

    6. 3D Mouse Extends Geographic Approach in ArcGIS Desktop

      2007 September 24, San Jose, California — 3Dconnexion, a Logitech company, today announced its SpaceNavigator 3D mouse is now supported by the ESRI ArcGIS Desktop products. Using the SpaceNavigator device, geographic information system (GIS) professionals can now simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate camera views to better visualize geographic information when navigating 3D maps and models. The freedom of navigation provided by the SpaceNavigator 3D mouse enhances map and spatial analysis, collapsing the time between viewing and understanding.

      The integration of 3D data in GIS applications has grown, changing how GIS users interact with geographic information. Advanced 3D navigation allows ESRI users to explore data-rich environments in a way that cannot be achieved with a mouse and keyboard alone. With the SpaceNavigator 3D mouse, users apply very slight movements to the device's controller cap to seamlessly fly through 3D terrain.

      "The highly interactive SpaceNavigator 3D mouse provides an excellent way to navigate the vast quantities of geographic information our GIS users use daily," said Neil Tomlinson, manager of ESRI hardware solutions group. "It allows our users the precise navigation they need for their GIS analysis."

      "Because SpaceNavigator is supported in ESRI's ArcGIS Desktop products, GIS professionals now have access to a more natural and intuitive method of navigating and understanding geographic data, whether viewing and analyzing 3D GIS data, conducting map analysis, editing, or creating 3D displays from real-world data," said Ziva Nissan, 3Dconnexion's director of product marketing. "Our relationship with ESRI furthers our continued commitment to the GIS community, including making our products compatible with both consumer and professional applications to enable advanced navigation control for map enthusiasts and GIS professionals alike."

      The SpaceNavigator 3D mouse is a companion to the traditional mouse and is controlled with the alternate hand. The 3Dconnexion product line is supported by more than 100 of today's most popular 3D applications.

      Availability. ArcGIS Desktop supports SpaceNavigator on Windows XP. SpaceNavigator Personal Edition (MSRP $59), and SpaceNavigator Standard Edition (MSRP $99) are available from major online resellers including Amazon, CDW, Dell, 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.

      Beta versions of ArcGIS Desktop that include support for 3Dconnexion's SpaceNavigator are available immediately. Go to http://support.esri.com/ and search for "3Dconnexion" to find instructions on how to set up a 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator 3D mouse.

      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.

    7. Powerco Selects Telvent Miner & Miner's ArcFM Solution

      NZ's second largest electric and gas utility company to expand and upgrade GIS

      Fort Collins, Colorado — Powerco, New Zealands's second largest electricity and gas utility company, has selected Telvent Miner & Miner to replace its existing GIS solution. The solution consists of ArcFM, ArcFM Viewer and Network Adapter from Telvent Miner & Miner, ArcGIS software from ESRI, and professional services consisting of data conversion, data modeling and system configuration delivered by TM&M's business partner, Eagle Technology. This contract makes Telvent Miner & Miner is now the de facto standard for GIS software in the NZ utility sector and reinforce Eagle's position as the country's number one GIS solution provider.

      "We selected this team's GIS solution to replace our existing system as the overall proposal best suited our particular requirements," says Blane Evans-Parker, Information Services Manager at Powerco. "The track record of successful implementations and post-project support, ArcFM and ArcGIS's ability to integrate cleanly with our existing JD Edwards financial package and Oracle back-end database, and the quality of their software solutions all contributed to the decision." The solution is expected to go live in December 2007.

      "Powerco was very specific in that they wanted a commercial off-the-shelf solution (COTS) which would require minimal custom development or modification to meet their business requirements," says Peng Aik Lim, National GIS Account Director at Eagle. "Telvent Miner & Miner's ArcFM extensions provide industry-standard data models and functionality and are, as a result, exactly what Powerco specified. By acquiring a COTS solution, Powerco will be able to quickly implement the solution and begin to realize a rapid return on investment. TM&M's ArcFM solution offers an unparalleled level of functionality for the management of electric, gas, water/wastewater and telecommunications networks in a single software package."

      The project is significant because Powerco's current GIS solution was becoming unsupportable. "We had already developed a number of GIS-based business processes which we wanted to retain with the new system," says Evans-Parker. "We wanted to ensure that the proposed system could enhance our current processes and cleanly integrate with our existing solutions."

      "At Powerco we are constantly improving our systems and procedures to deliver quality outcomes for our stakeholders," concludes Evans-Parker. "To do this we have elected to adopt top-end technology, ArcFM and ArcGIS, which will enable us to improve data quality and consistency by consolidating all of our data into a single, normalized Geodatabase. These solutions will also help us streamline our business processes by eliminating unnecessary steps and standardizing business processes. We pride ourselves on bringing onboard innovative technology to help us deliver outstanding service to our customer base, and we are confident that our choice in solutions and partners will continue this tradition of excellence."

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

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

      About Telvent: Telvent, the IT company for a sustainable and secure world, specializes in high value-added products, services and integrated solutions for the Energy, Transportation, Environment and Public Administration industry segments, as well as Global IT Services. Its innovative technology and client-proven expertise enable the efficient and secure real-time management of operational and business processes for industry-leading companies worldwide. www.telvent.com/.

    8. EarthData Awarded US Corps of Engineers Surveying and Mapping Contract

      2007 September 26, Frederick, Maryland — EarthData International, Inc. (EarthData), part of the Fugro Group since 10 April 2007, has been awarded a mapping and surveying contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District. The indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a maximum value of $8 million over 5 years and marks EarthData's seventh consecutive contract with the District, a relationship that has spanned more than 20 years.

      "This is an example of a public-private partnership at its best," said EarthData President Anne Hale Miglarese. "Over the past two decades, we have worked with the St. Louis District on hundreds of task orders, serving a wide range of civil and military government agencies. The District's support of innovation has enabled us to implement emerging technologies to the benefit of our shared customers. We are eager to continue these efforts, delivering the highest possible data accuracies with increasing efficiencies and expanded end-user applications." Task orders negotiated under the contract will involve work for the US Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies, as well as state and local government agencies. Specific services available through the contract include: photogrammetric mapping, aerial photography, remote sensing, aerotriangulation, large- and small-scale topographic maps, and land-use/land-cover mapping.

      About EarthData International: As part of Fugro's Geospatial Services business line, EarthData (www.earthdata.com) provides a full range of mapping and GIS services to support customers' needs in a wide variety of natural resources management, urban planning, economic development, national defense, and engineering activities.

    9. NGA Awards Intermap Technologies Additional $1.3 Million Contract for NEXTMap USA Geospatial Data

      Highly Accurate Digital Elevation Models Delivered for U.S. Gulf Coast Region

      2007 September 25, Denver, Colorado — Intermap Technologies Corp. today announced that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has awarded the Company's Intermap Federal Services Inc. subsidiary a $1.3 million contract to provide imagery and elevation data from Intermap's comprehensive NEXTMap USA geospatial dataset. The licensed data includes the gulf coast areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

      All contract deliverables are in the Company's NEXTMap data library and will be delivered this month. Included in the high-resolution datasets are digital surface models depicting the earth's surface (including cultural features such as vegetation, buildings, and roads), digital terrain models displaying the bare earth (with all cultural features digitally removed), and orthorectified radar images (grayscale images that accentuate topographic features). The 1-meter vertically accurate and 5-meter posted digital elevation models (DEMs) will enable a variety of solutions within the agency, including, but not limited to, geographic planning and disaster preparedness during hurricane season.

      "NGA was one of three U.S. Government Agencies to make a commitment to purchase the entire NEXTMap USA database," commented Brian Bullock, president and CEO of Intermap Technologies. "This contract is the fourth purchase under an agreement that features substantial volume price discounts in return for the advance purchase commitment. Thus, the U.S. Government enjoys the benefit of a commercial initiative to re-map the entire U.S. at unprecedented accuracy and uniformity. To date, we have delivered $6.1 million worth of multi-client data licenses through our agreement with NGA."

      As part of the Company's nationwide effort, 47% of the geography across the U.S. has already been collected under the NEXTMap USA program. Collection will be completed in 2008 with final data processing for the entire country completed in 2009. The 7.9 million square kilometer NEXTMap USA dataset will include 320 billion elevation postings, over 5 trillion image pixels, and will become the largest nation mapped at this level of detail and accuracy.

      About Intermap Technologies: Intermap (TSX: IMP.TO, AIM: IMAP.L) is creating uniform 3D digital models of the earth's surface and building a library of affordably priced elevation data and geometric images of unprecedented accuracy. The Company is proactively remapping entire countries and building uniform national databases, called NEXTMap. Demand for NEXTMap data is growing as new commercial applications emerge within the GIS, engineering, automotive, personal navigation device, insurance risk assessment, oil and gas, hydrology, environmental planning, wireless communications, transportation, aviation, and 3D visualization markets.

      Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Intermap employs more than 500 people worldwide, with additional offices in Calgary, Detroit, Jakarta, London, Munich, Ottawa, and Prague. For more information, visit www.Intermap.com.


    1. 1Spatial Demonstrates First Results from AdV ATKIS Generalization Project at INTERGEO

      2007 September 21, Cambridge, UK — 1Spatial will be demonstrating the first results from the AdV ATKIS Generalization (ATKIS-GEN) project, at the 2007 INTERGEO conference and trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. The conference is being held in Leipzig, Germany, from 25th to 27th September.

      The ATKIS-GEN project aims to develop a software system that automates production of data, from BasisDLM (1:25,000) to DLM50 (1:50,000), and consequently the digital topographic maps DTK50 (1:50,000).

      1Spatial are leading the way in the automatic generalization of the German AAA model and are excited to be presenting the result from the project at INTERGEO. 1Spatial will present an automated BasisDLM to DLM50Model and Cartographic generalisation workflow, based on Radius Clarity, incorporating GML3 (NAS) import/export. The resulting data will then be exported via a GML3 transfer format (NAS) to the STAR-APIC's Mercator package for final cartographic manipulation and publishing.

      1Spatial can be found at the event in Hall 1 at stand B1-207. 1Spatial are delighted to be sharing the stand with two members of the 1Spatial Community, CISS TDI and STAR-APIC.

      Joachim Figura, CEO, CISS TDI, commented: "INTERGEO, the international meeting point for the geo industry, is of utmost importance for presenting new tools and developments concerning the standardised availability of geodata as an economic good. We are pleased to join with 1Spatial and STAR-APIC, as leading companies in this market segment to show our latest developments and future trends. CISS TDI's geodata translation tool CITRA, as the leading product in Germany, demonstrates the cooperation between CISS TDI, 1Spatial and STAR-APIC as one component to address the international market."

      Alan Phillips, CEO of STAR-APIC, added: "STAR-APIC is proud to join CISS TDI and 1Spatial for this international rendez-vous at INTERGEO, where we will introduce to the German market the concept of Geospatial Hub, a data warehouse system aimed at managing GIS data interoperability, and the latest developments of our Mercator platform, the cartographic publishing leading solution, MercatorDB, taking benefit from the 1Spatial's Radius Clarity."

      Graham Stickler, Product and Marketing Director at 1Spatial commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with CISS TDI and STAR-APIC and showing the latest results of our generalisation solution for the German market at INTERGEO. We continue to lead the way in supplying state-of-the-art generalisation tools, working with 8 of the 16 German Lander. This is a major implementation utilising the new AAA data model, providing automation and standardisation within the cartographic map production process."

      About 1Spatial: 1Spatial has 35 years of experience in providing operational solutions to organisations with large spatial databases. With leading expertise in transforming data from CAD and GIS, quantitative data quality control, and spatial database technologies we also enable reuse and repurposing of such data and access through both internal and external portals. The modern era demands the unconstrained sharing of spatial data between systems, business areas, organisations, and the public. We are the specialists in enabling such cooperative infrastructures. www.1spatial.com

      About CISS TDI: Since 1982 CISS TDI is an established software company specialising in geoinformation. The key activities of CISS TDI include for example geodata exchange, geodata modelling, geodata migration, sales of geodata as well as development of geodata server / (geo)data warehouses / shop solutions (e.g. on the basis of Oracle), which enable a company-wide deployment and use of geodata. For most of this purposes the program software CITRA is used, an in-house development of CISS TDI. www.ciss.de

      About STAR-APIC: With more than twenty years experience, the STAR-APIC Group is a leading developer of mapping software and geographic information systems (GIS) technology. With European offices and partners around the world, we provide business applications to create maps and manage location for utilities, local and national government. STAR-APIC Group supplies Integrated Enterprise Solutions that fit perfectly with modern system architectures and meet the fundamental needs organisations to integrate and share geographic information around a powerful interoperable data warehouse (back-office), and distribute and value data on different platforms (enterprise, mobile devices, DVD) according to users needs (front-office). www.star-apic.com

    2. GE Energy Releases Software for Oil And Gas Transmission Pipeline Industry

      2007 September 25, Houston, Texas — GE Energy has released Smallworld Global Transmission Office 4.1—the latest version of a suite of natural gas and liquid applications with a comprehensive global data model for the management of the assets in a pipeline transmission network.

      This spatially-enabled network management solution brings together the essential applications needed to help pipeline transmission customers manage their networks and meet regulatory requirements in the industry.

      The suite of integrated applications allows transmission companies to leverage the GIS data to make better-informed decisions about their assets. It is the only solution provided by a vendor that also provides the base GIS technology, giving customers a one-stop solution for their needs.

      Key benefits for the customer include:

      • The global pipeline-specific data model can reduce time to "go live" by shortening the database design phase by as much as 80 percent
      • The standard application code and standard data model reduce total cost of ownership through minimized administration and by providing a standardized and smooth upgrade path
      • Product provides applications and standard methods for pipeline integrity management and compliance reporting to satisfy regulators

      "The Smallworld Global Transmission Office provides our pipeline customers with a standard 'off the shelf' product geared toward helping them operate and maintain their assets more efficiently, reduce costs and comply with regulatory requirements," said Bob Gilligan, general manager of GE Energy's transmission and distribution business. "We are excited about providing a GIS pipeline product that will upgrade from one revision to the next, enabling our customers to reduce their total ownership costs."

      Typical applications for the new suite include global data model to capture pipeline asset information, high-consequence area analysis, cathodic protection manager, alignment sheet generator, auto stationing and linear referencing, dynamic segmentation viewer, pipeline anomaly viewer, profile generator, close interval survey viewer, integration to integrity management and network and hydraulic analysis tools, inventory reporter, pipe book exporter, critical angle identifier and survey point manager.

      About GE Energy: GE Energy (www.ge.com/energy) is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2006 revenue of $19 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels. Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE's corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.

    3. LeadDog Releases North Korea Database

      2007 September 26, Anchorage, Alaska — LeadDog Consulting, a leading international provider of high quality street and road maps announced the release of a major roads and highways geographic database for North Korea.

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

      • Major roads and freeways at 1:250,000 scale
      • Secondary roads
      • Political division and borders
      • Rail-Road system
      • Rivers and Lakes
      • Airports
      • Thousands of towns, cities and "points of interest"

      A Pyongyang City Streets product is expected to be released in October, 2007. All LeadDog products are available in all major GIS formats.

      LeadDog has vector mapping for over 75 countries making them one of the leading mapping companies worldwide; with an extensive library that is critically focused in the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, the rest of Latin America, and Asia.

    4. Broadcom Introduces Advanced Single-Chip GPS Solution for Mobile Applications

      All CMOS GPS Receiver Sets New Standards for Performance and Power Consumption

      2007 September 25, Fort Worth, Texas, ION GNSS 2007, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced its first single-chip Global Positioning System (GPS) solution, highlighting the company's successful integration of its Global Locate acquisition and its commitment to delivering the industry's best GPS technology. The GPS receiver sets new standards in performance and power consumption with state-of-the-art sensitivity and navigation performance, and less than half the power consumption of competitive solutions. The new Broadcom(R) chip and associated software will be demonstrated at this week's Institute of Navigation (ION) conference in Ft. Worth, Texas beginning tomorrow.

      GPS technologies have become increasingly important with growing consumer interest in personal navigation devices (PNDs) and the strong desire by cellular service operators to add location-based services to their offerings. According to research from In-Stat, approximately 47 million PNDs and more than 436 million mobile phones with GPS technology will ship in 2010. As GPS chip solutions become more integrated and costs decline, the technology will expand into a whole new range of applications.

      "As consumer use of location-based services grows, we are seeing an incredible amount of interest from our customers in the cellular and PND markets for GPS and assisted GPS technologies," said Scott Pomerantz, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's GPS line of business. "Broadcom has now established itself as a technology leader in the GPS chip market with a solution that provides the industry's best tracking sensitivity, lowest average power and most complete portfolio of software, complemented by the company's unique ability to integrate its GPS technology into other leading mobile chips and processors."

      The Broadcom BCM4750 is produced in a low cost 90 nanometer CMOS process and features superior receiver technology and tracking sensitivity. The receiver makes full use of the Global Locate architecture, and can measure the faintest GPS signals deep indoors and in "urban canyon" environments at signal levels as low as -162 dBm. It also consumes less than 15 mW while navigating with one second map updates, less than half the power of competitive solutions according to published datasheets.

      The BCM4750 is ideally suited for PNDs where rapid time-to-first-fix (TTFF) and superior navigation performance are required. In addition, products that include network connectivity, such as wireless PNDs and cellular phones, are able to exploit the full feature set of the BCM4750 software solution. These features include Assisted GPS (AGPS) and long-term orbit (LTO) extended ephemeris assistance, reducing TTFF to less than one second in many conditions. In all cases, Broadcom provides both the chip and the software including AGPS stacks and client software.

      Broadcom also maintains a worldwide reference network with land-based GPS receivers located around the earth's equator, and carrier hardened servers to collect and provide AGPS and LTO data directly to GPS equipped cellular phones and wireless PNDs. Working hand-in-hand with the BCM4750 and Broadcom's client software, customer products are able to take full advantage of the benefits of AGPS and LTO. By providing this service along with the chip, Broadcom is able to offer OEMs s a one-stop-shop for all of their positioning technology needs.

      BCM4750 Product Details. The BCM4750 is a single-die CMOS GPS receiver used for tracking and navigation, primarily in mobile devices. Its massive parallel hardware correlators provide faster signal searches, accurate real-time navigation, improved tracking sensitivity and very low average power consumption. With tracking sensitivity of -162 dBm, the BCM4750 sets a new benchmark for the industry.

      Enhanced tracking sensitivity allows GPS-enabled mobile devices to detect very weak signals including those partially blocked or reflected by buildings or other structures. In these environments, GPS units sometimes fail to achieve a location "fix" or take a long time to do so. With the high sensitivity of the new BCM4750 GPS receiver chip, these initial location fixes occur much faster and in many cases, the BCM4750 can get a fix where competitors' products do not get a fix at all. The BCM4750 also integrates a number of external components, resulting in a very small footprint to design GPS into mobile devices. A complete GPS solution featuring the BCM4750 will use less than 35 mm2 of board space, including all of the necessary components for a typical cellular phone implementation.

      BCM4750 Software. The BCM4750 includes software that is optimized for cellular integration and the demands of international standards bodies -- such as 3GPP and SUPL -- that promote high speed data in cellular systems. The software includes message handling protocols for user and control plane-assisted GPS standards, as well as native support for LTO extended ephemeris service. In addition, the software has been optimized for personal navigation performance and includes sophisticated algorithms to mitigate multipath errors.

      About Broadcom Wireless Solutions: Broadcom is the only major chip supplier in the world with top-tier customers in Bluetooth(R), Wi-Fi(R), FM radio and GPS, four of the key wireless technologies featured in next generation mobile phones. As more consumers rely on wireless devices to stay connected, Broadcom is delivering the technologies that make those connections fast and reliable. With the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of wireless technologies, Broadcom provides a "future proof" path to wireless chips that combine GPS with other portfolio technologies, producing products that are lower cost and in smaller form factors.

      About Broadcom: Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art, system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything.

      Broadcom is one of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2006 revenue of $3.67 billion, and holds over 2,200 U.S. and 900 foreign patents, more than 6,600 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video and data. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at www.broadcom.com.

    5. Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging Enhances Leica TITAN

      Leica TITAN is Leica Geosystems' premier data sharing solution for discovering, viewing and retrieving geospatial and location-based content in a single, secure environment.

      Leica TITAN, the innovative and dynamic solution for sharing your world, announces the following exciting enhancements:

      • Custom Drawing Toolbar/KML Creation: Create points, lines and polygons and adjust viewing properties in the Leica TITAN Client. Save to KML and subsequently load KML into Leica TITAN Client or Google Earth.
      • More Data Details: The Geospatial Instant Messenger now supports extended information for shared datasets, including dimensions for raster datasets and feature count for vector datasets.
      • Navigational Compass: An on-screen compass now indicates the direction of North as you navigate around the globe.
      • Terrain: The Leica TITAN Client now supports topography, creating a true 3D effect by exposing the vertical dimension.

      Available immediately. Additionally, auto-updates will be made to Leica TITAN on a regular basis. 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: Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging offers a range of workflow solutions for photogrammetry, mapping, remote sensing, catalog management and exploitation of geospatial imagery, including 3D visualization.

    6. MapMart Introduces MapMart On-Demand Geospatial Imagery Service Solution

      2007 September 20, Denver, Colorado — The MapMart division of IntraSearch, Inc. today introduced MapMart On-Demand, an enterprise solution to facilitate the storage, retrieval, and automatic ordering of geospatial raster data. As an ESRI Business Partner, MapMart has been selected to be the provider of bundled solutions using ESRI's ArcGIS Image Server. MapMart On-Demand provides a single online interface where users across the enterprise have instant access to their organization's own geospatial raster data as well as the entire library of worldwide MapMart data.

      "We created MapMart On-Demand to allow organizations to get the most value from their new and existing geospatial raster data," said MapMart President, Mike Platt. "MapMart On-Demand will become the cornerstone of enterprise GIS strategies for many organizations."

      Powered by the new ArcGIS Image Server from ESRI, Inc., MapMart On-Demand is ideal for organizations that don't want to dedicate expensive internal IT resources to manage geospatial imagery. MapMart On-Demand hosts, organizes, and maintains the organization's data on an internet-accessible, fully protected server. ArcGIS Image Server provides standards-based search and retrieval functions so that end users can find and download the data they need from within their GIS and CAD applications via the Web.

      "This eliminates the creation of information silos within large organizations and reduces the likelihood of redundant data purchases," said Platt.

      MapMart On-Demand also makes acquisition of new datasets fast and easy. The On-Demand solution is built on top of the popular MapMart online map portal. IntraSearch developed the MapMart online store in 1997 to provide customers with a single, easy-to-use map-based interface where they can buy imagery, maps, DEMs, and vector data from a variety of sources worldwide, including the IntraSearch archive of aerial photography dating back to the 1930's.

      Flexible leasing and purchasing terms give MapMart On-Demand customers the option of using as much or as little geospatial data in the MapMart libraries as they want for an annual fee. Leasing fees depend on the number and type of geospatial datasets the customer chooses to access. MapMart On-Demand customers also have the option of purchasing individual datasets covering their areas of interest.

      Terabytes of digital mapping data from these MapMart libraries are available through MapMart On-Demand, including:

      • NAIP color U.S. imagery
      • U.S. DOQQs and world topographical maps
      • Landsat 7 satellite imagery
      • Digital elevation models
      • QuickBird satellite imagery

      MapMart On-Demand Ordering System offers users a robust online system designed to boost the efficiency of purchases and reduce redundant acquisitions. From the map interface, the user can search for available datasets covering the area of interest and have the imagery loaded into their Image Server. If the desired area of interest is not covered by current aerial photography, MapMart On-Demand allows the user to place a custom order for new imagery right online. The system enables anyone in the organization to track the collection and fulfillment process online.

      "The value of MapMart On-Demand is that users can search their own internal archives for just the right dataset. If they don't find it there, they can see if the map data is offered by a commercial source through MapMart. And if they still can't find it, they can place an order for a custom acquisition — all from a single online interface on their desktop," said Platt.

      MapMart understands that for security reasons some organizations may want, or be required, to maintain their geospatial imagery archives behind their own firewall. For these customers, MapMart has developed MapMart On-Site, a plug-and-play solution that runs on the customer's server. MapMart On-Site offers the same ESRI Image Server data search and retrieval functions and MapMart library access options as the MapMart On-Demand solution.

      About MapMart: Headquartered in Greenwood Village (Denver), Colo., MapMart is a division of IntraSearch, Inc., a full-service mapping and imagery solutions provider. The MapMart mapping store provides customers with access to terabytes of data including satellite and aerial photography, topographic and street maps, digital elevation models, and census plus demographic databases. These comprehensive spatial databases are updated continuously to insure our clients the latest available information.

      In areas where data is non-existent, out-of-date, or not to client specifications, MapMart's experienced in-house professional services division can create photogrammetric quality ortho-imagery and mapping products. MapMart offers GIS software solutions, as well as custom website development for online internet mapping. MapMart is an ESRI Authorized Provider of ArcGIS Image Server Bundled Solutions. Visit www.mapmart.com.

      About IntraSearch, Inc.: Established in 1951, IntraSearch is a professional services firm providing custom aerial photography, photogrammetric services, orthorectification, digital conversions, scanning, plotting, computer assisted design (CAD), and geographic information systems (GIS) solutions for both public and private sector clients and online mapping products and services via this MapMart website. IntraSearch has provided professional mapping services for over fifty years and continues to be on the cutting-edge with new mapping and related technologies. IntraSearch clients come from many industries including oil & gas, mining, urban planning, surveying & mapping, real estate, and sports mapping.

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

    7. WhiteStar Introduces SpotOn at GITA Oil & Gas Show

      2007 September 20, Lakewood, Colorado — WhiteStar Corp. today introduced SpotOn, a web delivered service which enables users to reach out over the internet to convert a well's public land survey legal description into a precise geographic coordinate. Users can go to https://www.spoton.ws and enter a few well legal descriptions to try the service.

      "SpotOn determines well locations in real time, adding flexibility and saving an enormous amount of time compared to manual methods or the expense and time delays of using a data vendor," said Robert White, WhiteStar President and CEO. "The service reduces errors and provides an easy way for oil and gas companies to keep their well locations up-to-date. Often companies change a well's legal location just before the well is actually drilled and SpotOn provides the means for keeping the company's mapping systems up-to-date as well as to improve or check the accuracy of existing well location data."

      To obtain an accurate well location, the user enters the well's "footage call," "quarter call" or a combination of both. Subscribers will be able to upload and download comma separated files for batch processing. Using the national Public Land Survey database hosted on the WhiteStar server, SpotOn then reads the description and returns the longitude/latitude coordinate representing the well's location in terms of either the NAD27 or NAD83 datum.

      "We built SpotOn using technology developed over the course of calculating millions of well locations for our oil and gas clients during the past 19 years," said White. "Well locations can be quite complex, but WhiteStar has developed an extensive rule base to generate latitude/longitude coordinates for any well having a public land survey system legal description."

      Developers will have access to a programming-language independent software API that can easily add SpotOn functionality to new or existing software applications.

      The SpotOn product references the WhiteStar Unlimited Grid Access (UGA) product, a seamless digital mosaic of the public land survey grid covering all public land survey states including Alaska, and also incorporating survey data for Texas and the Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters. An UGA subscription is not required to utilize SpotOn as the service automatically references the public land survey on the WhiteStar server via the web.

      WhiteStar UGA is the de facto industry land grid product for precision well, pipeline, and lease mapping in the United States. The oil and gas industry's leading data suppliers calculate their well and pipeline locations relative to the WhiteStar data before distribution to the industry. WhiteStar licensing policies allow for data interchange among business partners, and licenses are even available for posting the data on internet or intranet web sites.

      About WhiteStar Corp.: Headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, WhiteStar Corp. has supplied digital cartographic data products, services and consulting since 1990 to the oil and gas, pipeline, natural resource, and engineering industries. As a purveyor of geospatial data products, WhiteStar takes a customized approach to every implementation project. The WhiteStar client base now includes more than 1600 companies ranging in size from local consulting firms to integrated multi-national corporations. Learn more at www.whitestar.com.

    8. Tri-Global Technologies to Demo UtiliMapper 2.0 Underground Mapping Suite at GITA Oil & Gas Conference

      2007 September 19, Athens, Georgia — Tri-Global Technologies LLC will demonstrate the new capabilities of the Tri-Global UtiliMapper 2.0 underground asset mapping suite at the GITA GIS for Oil & Gas Conference being held Sept. 24-26, 2007, in Houston. The latest enhancements to the UtiliMapper solution dramatically improve the efficiency of mapping buried pipelines, cables and other assets.

      "Tri-Global Technologies continually strives to upgrade our UtiliMapper product suite based on the concept that location accuracy, ease-of-use and safety are the most important requirements of pipeline infrastructure mapping solutions," said Dennis Heath, Managing Partner of Tri-Global Technologies.

      The Tri-Global UtiliMapper 2.0 suite is being featured as one element in the 2007 Utility Locating Grant Program. Applications for the grants will be available in the Tri-Global booth and will be accepted until October 1, 2007. Up to three grants will be awarded, and each will include complete training and free use of underground mapping hardware and software for one year.

      The high-accuracy UtiliMapper software suite establishes direct communication between Trimble GPS-based mobile GIS field data collectors and Radiodetection underground locator devices for rapid mapping of asset location and pipeline integrity. UtiliMapper enables users to easily collect data relating to buried pipeline centerline location, depth-of-cover measurements, external coating direct assessments (ECDA), and ROW condition inspections.

      With real-time differential correction capabilities, UtiliMapper is the most accurate underground mapping solution in the market. Enhancements in Version 2.0 include advanced HCA (high consequence area) capture tools that enable users to integrate laser range finders for remote mapping of HCA structures. New HCA pull-down menus in the UtiliMapper software prompt the user to collect necessary attributes for each structure.

      UtiliMapper 2.0 also supports the new PCM+ (Pipeline Current Mapper) from Radiodetection Ltd. Providing simultaneous measurement of PCM current and voltage gradient, the PCM+ underground locator device now offers faster current mapping capabilities by cutting processing time to just three seconds. Other advancements in the new UtiliMapper include a more streamlined user interface and enhanced ROW condition, pipeline exposure and waterway inspection forms.

      Located in Booth 600 in the GITA Exhibit Hall, Tri-Global Technologies will conduct live demonstrations of UtiliMapper 2.0 capabilities, including examples of integration with devices from Trimble Navigation, Radiodetection, ESRI, LaserCraft, and Laser Technologies. Tri-Global will also hold a Solutions Spotlight on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 10:30 am in the Briarpark Room of the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston.

      Tri-Global Technologies invites interested parties to pick up an application for the 2007 Utility Locating Grant Program at the booth or by downloading directly from the website at www.triglobal.net/2007UtilityLocatingGrantProgram.pdf. Jointly sponsored with Radiodetection Ltd., this program will provide successful applicants with integrated hardware/software bundles that can be used to locate, identify and map underground cables, pipes and other buried assets.

      "Tri-Global and Radiodetection developed the Utility Locating Grants to introduce our underground mapping solution to utilities, pipeline operators, telecommunication firms, contract locators and one-call boards," said Heath.

      Each grant recipient will receive a one-year lease on the following:

      • Tri-Global UtiliMapper 2.0 extension for ESRI ArcPad
      • Trimble GeoXH handheld field computer with GPS
      • Radiodetection RD4000 Line Locator
      • ESRI ArcPad Field Kit
      • Trimble GPScorrect ArcPad Extension and GPS Pathfinder Office software
      • Radiodetection T10 Transmitter

      In a typical underground mapping solution, a field technician uses a Radiodetection locator device to pinpoint where a pipeline or cable is buried with an accuracy of less than a foot. This information is transmitted to the Trimble GeoXH mobile GIS unit running ArcPad and UtiliMapper software. The UtiliMapper software converts the X, Y values of the pipeline or cable centerline into digital GIS files within ArcPad. If the operator inputs the diameter of the buried line, the software calculates negative Z values for the centerline depth as well, so the pipeline can be mapped in three dimensions in the GIS.

      About Tri-Global Technologies (www.triglobal.net): Headquartered in Athens, Georgia, with offices in Houston and San Antonio, Texas, Tri-Global Technologies LLC provides innovative GPS/GIS field solutions, software engineering and development, customized training, and data collection services to the oil & gas, utility, pipeline, transportation, agriculture, forestry and public works industries. As a Trimble Business Partner, Developer and Factory Service/Repair Center, Tri-Global offers sales and rental of Trimble Mapping and GIS equipment. The firm is also an Authorized ESRI Business Partner.

    9. Orbit GIS 4.2 Released for Mac OSX

      2007 September 20th, 2007 — ORBIT Geospatial Technologies announces the release of Orbit GIS 4.2 for Mac

      • Orbit Geospatial Technologies presents Orbit GIS 4.2 for Mac OSX systems, on G4, G5 and Intel Dual Core machines. The Orbit GIS Desktop solution now comes with over 100 new and improved functionalities.
      • Download you copy now from www.orbitgis.com.

      Orbit GIS 4.2 offers improvements on many issues, ranging from new editing functions, on-the-fly projection support, resource optimization, to dramatically improved graphics and symbols tools. A range of improvements have been made to the user interface, with focus on user friendliness to open up GIS technology to non-experienced users.

      The Mac version of Orbit GIS, Orbit Explorer Plus and the free Orbit Explorer are available from the www.orbitgis.com website as from today.

      The Orbit GIS desktop products have equal capabilities as their Windows and Linux peers. Orbit GIS for Mac is nicely integrated in the so popular desktop and look and feel of the Mac OSX system.

      "Once again, we continue to realize our goals in providing every platform equal and quality GIS processing and viewing tools", says Peter Bonne, Product & Sales Mgr of Orbit GT. "The Mac platform is a muchvalued platform for our solutions and we're proud to have full functionality available across platforms. We're very pleased the Orbit GIS can be offered with an integrated Mac OSX look-and-feel. Orbit GIS 4.x users can upgrade at no cost."

      Use Orbit GIS 4.2 to edit online resources mapped on the web using Orbit FlashMap. Use the unique 'Publish to the Web' feature to configure Orbit FlashMap in a few minutes only.

      Orbit GIS natively supports a wide range of vector and raster data, up to terabytes of imagery with Orbit's platform independent OMI format for optimal performance, that can replace the Windows-based formats SID and ECW. Multiple resources can be bundled using the transparant OCR format. A free conversion utility comes with Orbit GIS.

      Orbit GIS is aimed for novice and experienced GIS users, and can offer quality low cost solutions for both small offices and large enterprises. Combined with the Enterprise Orbit Server or the web mapping solution Orbit FlashMap, Orbit GIS is a perfectly integrated tool designed in portable technology Java.

      Orbit Geospatial Technologies is bound to deliver highly integrated spatial software, from low to high end applications. The Orbit technology comes with a wide range of API's to access the central toolkit and build extensions on any level of the system: user interface, desktop, internet, server, database.

      View live examples and get your evaluation copy from www.orbitgis.com.

      About Orbit Geospatial Technologies and Eurotronics: Orbit Geospatial Technologies is the GIS development department of Eurotronics. Eurotronics is founded in 1972 as R&D unit supporting the business of map making and photogrammetry. Since then, this family business has continuously developed and marketed specialized and tailor made GIS solutions for utilities, local governments and the photogrammetry business. The Orbit technology is Eurotronics 4th generation GIS technology empowering numerous custom made solutions. Today, the Orbit GIS product family contains generic, comprehensive yet powerful GIS tools to meet the requirements of many organizations. Orbit tools are used by government organizations and utility companies.

    10. Minecode Corp. Announces Release of LiDAR-M

      2007 September 25, Seattle — Minecode Corporation, a provider of software and product development solutions for enterprise business, announces the release of LiDAR-M version 3.2, a stand-alone LiDAR data processing software developed on Microsoft .NET technology. The GIS software is designed to customize and generate maps for such sectors as energy, engineering, utility, surveying and municipal governments.

      LiDAR, which stands for "Light Detection and Ranging," is an optical remote sensing technology that measures properties of scattered light to find range and other information of distant targets. LiDAR sends pulses of laser light to the ground; in the time it takes for the signal to reflect back, the signal is measured. Then, relative heights of objects and changes in terrain are detected.

      After the LiDAR data is gathered, LiDAR-M analyzes the data and then converts the information into maps. LiDAR-M users have the capability to convert the information into maps independently, or users can utilize software such as TerraScan or Terramodel.

      "Unlike other similar LiDAR processing products, LiDAR-M does not require third-party software to run," said PKSamal, President of Minecode. "LiDAR-M has no limit on the number of data points it is able to process."

      LiDAR-M has the capability to observe cloud points accurately in different cross-sectional views. Also, LiDAR-M gives users the ability to classify data points. These points can be organized both automatically and manually into various categories. LiDAR-M delivers data files in multiple input/output formats as well.

      The mapping supportive functionalities of CAD software are built into the interface. LiDAR-M also features extensive data viewing capabilities, such as "zoom" and "pan".

      In addition, Minecode provides technical services to assist project managers. "Our industry-standard software coupled with Minecode's vast technical expertise supplies engineers with quality mapping tools," Samal said. "Our world-wide resources and project teams cut costs and increase speed for users."

      Minecode is a privately held company that provides software and product development solutions for medium to large enterprises and government agencies globally. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Minecode has offices in India and the United States. Clients include small- and medium-sized businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies.

    11. Hemisphere GPS Announces Centimeter Accuracy with New Eclipse Dual-Frequency GPS Receiver Technology

      2007 September 26, Fort Worth, Texas — Today, from the 2007 ION GNSS Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, Hemisphere GPS, a designer and manufacturer of advanced GPS products announced the latest addition to its innovative product line, Eclipse dual-frequency GPS receiver technology.

      Based on Hemisphere GPS' successful Crescent L1 GPS technology that incorporates exclusive techniques for reducing code measurement noise and mitigating multipath signals, Eclipse delivers reliable centimeter-level accuracy. The superior performance and versatility of Hemisphere GPS' Eclipse board allows OEM customers to integrate it into a wide variety of precise applications including navigation and GPS machine control. Depending upon the application, Eclipse users can record and post-process GPS data or choose from several differential solutions including Real-Time Kinematic (RTK), OmniSTAR (HP/XP) and SBAS (WAAS, EGNOS, etc.).

      As an affordable dual-frequency solution, Eclipse receiver technology offers several other advantages to the OEM integrator including integrated L-Band tracking that powers down when not in use, multiple serial and USB ports, and upgradeable firmware.

      "The versatility of Eclipse delivers exceptional value in a dual-frequency GPS module and makes it the perfect complement to our Crescent platform." said Steven Koles, Hemisphere GPS President and CEO. "It allows us to continue to advance our existing product line as well as take advantage of great opportunities in new vertical markets."

      Eclipse receiver technology is currently available as an OEM module and evaluation kit. Hemisphere GPS will also integrate Eclipse into some of its existing GPS receiver products and plans to introduce a variety of new Eclipse-based products in 2008.

      The latest Hemisphere GPS products will be on display at the ION GNSS in Fort Worth, Texas September 26th through September 28th in Booths 312 and 314.

      About Hemisphere GPS: Hemisphere GPS (formerly CSI Wireless Inc.), designs and manufactures innovative, cost-effective GPS products for positioning, guidance, and machine control applications in agriculture, marine and other markets. The Company holds numerous patents and other intellectual property and owns leading brand names, including Outback Guidance, one of the leading brands in precision GPS for ground agriculture. The Company is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, with major product development, sales, and marketing facilities in Arizona, Kansas, and Texas. For more information about Hemisphere GPS go to www.hemispheregps.com.


    1. URISA and NENA Announce New Name for Joint Conference and the Availability of a Call for Presentations

      2007 September 25, Park Ridge, Illinois — The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) have announced a new name for its joint conference. The 2008 conference will be the first one presented under this name: The URISA/NENA Addressing Conference. The conference will take place April 7-10, 2008 in Portland, Oregon.

      Conference History. This conference has evolved from URISA's Street Smart and Address Savvy Conference (held from 1999 to 2005):

      • 1999: San Antonio, TX
      • 2000: Baltimore, MD
      • 2001: Milwaukee, WI
      • 2002: Portland, OR
      • 2003: Providence, RI
      • 2004: St Louis, MO
      • 2005: Austin, TX

      In 2006 and 2007, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) joined URISA as a full partner in this educational program and the conference was re-named to the Geospatial Integration for Public Safety Conference (GIPSC). GIPSC brought together GIS professionals, addressing coordinators, 9-1-1 and emergency response specialists to one place for opportunities in networking and learning.

      • 2006: Nashville, TN
      • 2007: New Orleans, LA

      Following the 2007 conference, there was much discussion about bringing more of the addressing focus back to the conference while continuing to bring the qualities of the GIPSC event to the program. So, beginning with the 2008 event, the event will be known as the URISA/NENA Addressing Conference.

      Don Cooke, 2007 URISA GIS Hall of Fame inductee, will provide the keynote address at the conference.

      Call for Presentations. Individuals are encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration by the Conference Program Committee. The Committee, consisting of NENA and URISA members, will organize an educational program based upon the abstracts submitted through this Call for Presentations. All abstract submissions, received by November 5, 2007, will be reviewed and considered for this comprehensive educational program.

      The Committee has specified three general program tracks for this year's conference and has provided topic ideas for each (please note that all abstracts will be considered for the program — whether or not they fit directly into one of these tracks):

      • Addressing Basics, Coordination, and Standards.Sessions within this track will provide insight on topics including identifying standards, developing documentation and policy, establishing workflow, collecting inventory and issuing citations.
      • Emergency Response and 9-1-1.Sessions in this track will focus on projects at the local, state, and Federal levels of effective emergency response using GIS. Presentations in this track demonstrate what is possible when two powerful technologies collaborate for informed emergency response.
      • Case Studies of GIS Integration with Public Safety.This track will focus on presentations from real-life experiences in integration of GIS and public safety technologies; what works and what doesn't.
      • Other/Hot Topics.Please submit in this category if your presentation idea does not fit neatly into one of the specified categories.

      Submissions Due: 2007 November 5

      Online Submission Form and Conference Details: http://www.urisa.org/conferences/Addressing/Info

      About NENA: The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) is The Voice of 9-1-1 °. Now celebrating its 25th Year, NENA was established to promote implementation and awareness of 9-1-1 as North America's universal emergency number. NENA has grown to become the leading professional non-profit organization dedicated solely to 9-1-1 emergency communications issues. For more information, visit www.nena.org

      About URISA: Founded in 1963, the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is a nonprofit association for professionals involved in improving urban and regional environments through the use of information technology. For more information, visit www.urisa.org

  4. OTHER

    1. Autodesk Furthers Leadership Role in Geospatial Open Source Community by Contributing New Coordinate System Software

      Software Ensures Accurate Global Geospatial Coordinate Conversion

      2007 September 25, San Rafael, California — Autodesk, Inc. today announced it plans to donate coordinate system and map projection technology to the geospatial open source community. The software, acquired from Mentor Software and its founder Norm Olsen, will help users to more easily support geographic coordinate conversions and allow accurate and precise geospatial analysis. The announcement was made today at the annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where geospatial open source developers and users join to learn, present and network.

      "With its ground-breaking open source donations of web mapping (MapGuide Open Source) and geospatial data access technology (FDO) software, Autodesk has proven itself to be a leader in contributing sophisticated and powerful geospatial technology to the open source community," said Frank Warmerdam, president of Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). "The latest planned contribution supports the projections and transformations necessary to support over 3,000 coordinate systems worldwide and has capabilities not previously available to the open source community. I am also very excited to have Norm Olsen joining the community and I look forward to increased community collaboration and innovation—hallmarks of the open source community."

      "Our intent to contribute again to the open source community is a reflection of our customers' desire for faster innovation, more frequent product releases, and lower total cost of ownership," said Lisa Campbell, vice president, Autodesk Geospatial. "Autodesk continues to partner and work closely with the open source community to help these technologies gain adoption—and evolve and improve over time."

      The planned contribution follows a recent acquisition by Autodesk of Mentor Software's technology. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Mentor Software's founder and principal, Norm Olsen, who created and supported the technology Autodesk intends to donate, will join Autodesk as a senior software engineer.

      "I am pleased to see the software I created and nurtured move to the open source community," said Olsen. "I built a loyal following of major software vendors who licensed and embedded my technology in their GIS products. Before this donation, any enhancements to the software were my sole responsibility. Now, this technology can be supported by me and many more developers who can now make their own contribution. Finally, I am pleased to join a geospatial and design vendor like Autodesk that understands the role and the value of both commercial and open source technology."

      Availability. The technology is presently embedded in Autodesk's own software products, including AutoCAD Map 3D and Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise, and is used by hundreds of thousands of organizations worldwide. Currently, Autodesk software engineers are preparing the source code for donation by ensuring that it is properly documented and organized as an open source project. The company expects to donate the software as an open source project to OSGeo by the end of 2007.

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

    2. ESRI (UK) Tracks Edinburgh to Paris Charity Cycle Ride

      2007 September 25 — A group of 20 cyclists will set off from the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh today on 220 mile charity bike ride to Paris. ESRI (UK), leading provider of geographic information systems (GIS) software, will track the cyclist's progress via an online map at http://demo2.esriuk.com/tracking2/Default.aspx.

      The cyclists, employees of Lothian & Borders Police plus their friends and family, are raising money for Aid for Ekwendi Hospital, Malawi and the Nyumbani Orphanage, Kenya. One of the cyclists will be carrying a GPS enabled device which will provide real time information about their position. ESRI (UK)'s mapping solution will the plot this position on the online map, allowing supporters and sponsors to monitor the team's progress, providing both an overview of the route as well as the latest position.

      About Nyumbani Orphanage (www.nyumbani.org): Founded in 1992, Nyumbani Children's Home is an active response to the rising number of HIV infected children born in Africa every day. At Nyumbani, 'home' in Swahili, children are cared for until a definite assessment of their HIV status can be made. Children who are eventually found not to have the virus are adopted or find other homes. Children who are found to be HIV+ are given the best nutritional, medical, in particular, anti-retroviral therapy, psychological, academic, spiritual care available and live at Nyumbani until they become self-reliant. Nyumbani is home to approximately 100 children ranging in age from newborn to twenty-three years old.

      About Ekwendeni Hospital (www.ekwendeni.com): Ekwendeni Hospital is situated in the Northern Region of Malawi. It is in the Mzimba district 20km from "the capital of the North" - Mzuzu. It has a catchment population of 150000, most of whom are subsistence farmers and there are high levels of poverty and unemployment. Some people also grow tobacco, which is Malawi's main export accounting for >70 percent of the country's export earnings.

      The principal diseases encountered at Ekwendeni hospital as in the rest of Malawi are Malaria, Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (including TB) and Genitourinary disease. HIV/AIDS has had a significant impact on the country's population with male life expectancy just 37 years. Of 1391 people tested for HIV at Ekwendeni Hospital in 2002, 31 percent were found to be HIV positive.

      The hospital itself has 188 beds but has space for up to 230 patients. The main wards are Male, Female, Paediatrics and Maternity. There are also two separate isolation wards for male and female tuberculosis patients.

      Donations for the cycle ride can be made by emailing [email protected] or sending a cheque made payable to Prentice Events to PrenticeEvents, PO Box 29151, Dunfermline, KY12 7ZW

    3. New Web Site Maps Nationwide High School Graduation Data

      Redlands, California — A new online mapping engine puts graduation data in front of educators, administrators, policy makers, and parents across the country. Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center has issued a groundbreaking report called Diplomas Count and worked with ESRI, the world's largest geographic information system (GIS) software company, to produce the EdWeek Maps Web site. The site allows users to see graduation data at the district level and compare school districts and states across the nation at no cost.

      "This is a nationwide analysis of high school graduation, an 'apples-to-apples' comparison," says Christopher B. Swanson, director of the EPE Research Center. "Education has a strong relationship to future earnings. Graduating from high school is the first step to jobs with a future." The full Diplomas Count report, issued in June, emphasizes the relationship between education and jobs.

      EPE publishes Education Week, Teacher Magazine, Digital Directions, edweek.org, and the Agent K-12 employment service as well as periodic special reports on issues ranging from technology to textbooks and books of special interest to educators. Every year EPE generates a large volume of important data about K-12 education at the state level, which is housed in its online Education Counts database. EPE first released district-level data about graduation for the entire nation in 2006, working with ESRI.

      The new Web site uses ESRI's ArcWeb Services to provide EPE's graduation data online. ArcWeb Services provides a framework for viewing complex data through a flexible interface, in this case optimized for simplicity. Users can easily navigate to a location of interest, zoom down to the district, explore local data, and click a button to generate a printable custom report about the area's graduation statistics. The report includes detailed information about the school district and how it compares to the rest of the state and the nation as a whole.

      "EPE's data is always fascinating," says Charlie Fitzpatrick, co-manager of K-12 education for ESRI. "So many variables influence the picture visible in an overall map. We're already thinking about ways to expand the data and let users customize analyses to better see the patterns and relationships. School success relies on a host of factors, and it's easiest to understand the total picture through a spatial analysis."

      To view the online mapping application, visit maps.edweek.org. For more information on ESRI's ArcWeb Services, go to www.esri.com/arcwebservices.

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

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