2007 October 18

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I report on which desktop GIS programs currently do and do not support Microsoft's Vista operating system, I profile a new virtual mapping system, and I bring two New York Times articles to your attention. Plus, 29 press releases.

Matteo Luccio

Delay in Support for Windows Vista

About nine months after Microsoft launched its Windows Vista operating system, ESRI's ArcGIS does not yet support it. According to a company spokesperson:

"ArcGIS 9.3, which is expected to be out in the first half of 2008, will fully support Windows Vista. ArcGIS 9.2 SP3 (ArcGIS Explorer, ArcReader, ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo Desktop, ArcInfo Workstation, ArcGIS Desktop Extensions, and ArcGIS Engine) has some known issues with Windows Vista. Some of these are issues in ArcGIS and others are the result of known issues in Windows Vista (requiring fixes from Microsoft). We are currently evaluating the severity of these issues. We expect to issue a statement regarding the support of Vista with ArcGIS 9.2 in the coming weeks. (Note: ArcGIS Server 9.2 (including ArcSDE 9.2), Image Server 9.2, and ArcIMS 9.2 are not supported on Windows Vista.)"

This statement differs from a FAQ on ESRI's online technical support center ("Does ArcGIS 9 support Microsoft Windows Vista?"], most recently updated on August 14), that states "ArcGIS 9.2 Desktop and ArcGIS 9.2 Engine are currently undergoing certification on the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. We are hoping to support these product releases under Vista later this year. Note that this certification will not include any of the ArcGIS 9.2 Server products."

I asked a few other vendors whether their desktop GIS products support Vista. Here's what they told me.

Read more…

Earthmine Develops New Virtual Mapping System

The idea of a Web interface allowing users to navigate the streets of a city and see the view at street level is not new:

  • In February 2005, A9.com, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., launched A9.com Maps, a service that showed users an interactive map and corresponding street-level images in a single interface. It promised to combine driving directions and other mapping tools with images of millions of places and their surroundings. The service is no longer available.
  • In March 2006, Microsoft added a feature to its Windows Live Local service, which allows users to take a virtual tour of a city as if they were in a car. Microsoft said that it would use this technology for an upcoming consumer local search and mapping site. The initial release supported only the downtown cores of Seattle and San Francisco. The street-side view supplemented the aerial, road, and bird's eye views that were already available. However, Microsoft put this experiment on hold.
  • At the end of May 2007, at the Where 2.0 conference, Google announced that in certain locations on Google Maps it had added a feature called "Street View."Itdisplays an interactive panorama photo and enables the user to view 360° panoramas of street-level imagery on Google Maps. Camera icons indicate the cities in which this feature is available and, when you zoom in, the streets covered are indicated in blue.

Now a new company, Earthmine, has developed an original system that goes beyond street-level panoramic views, by georeferencing every pixel in the images — thereby allowing users to add georeferenced tags, measure buildings, build 3D models, and export this data into GIS and mapping systems.

This week, I discussed Earthmine with John Ristevsky and Anthony Fassero, who founded the company about a year ago.

Read more…

Briefly Noted

An article in yesterday's New York Times, "Surface Navigation Help for Subway Riders," by James Barron, describes the "embarrassing, frustrating, infuriating" experience for New Yorkers of emerging from subway stations mid-block and finding themselves disoriented and describes an experimental solution: compass-shaped decals on sidewalks, 24 inches in diameter, that indicate compass directions and the names of the nearest streets. I feel vindicated, twenty-five years after I used to emerge from subway stops in New York City and pull out of my pocket… a compass!

An article in today's New York Times, "Navigating With Feedback From Fellow Drivers," by Roy Furchgott, describes the Dash Express GPS-based car navigation system, which broadcasts data about a vehicle's travels back to the Dash network, thereby allowing it to monitor traffic in real-time and advise drivers as to how best to avoid it.

News Briefs

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


    1. Pierce County, Washington Selects Freeance Mobile for BlackBerry GIS and Database Solutions

    2. The City of Lima Benefits from Single Solution for Asset Maintenance Management

    3. Chaos Systems AB Acquires Order from China

    4. Doncaster MBC Improves Local View with ESRI (UK)

    5. Ordnance Survey of Great Britain Selects Intergraph for the Nation's Geospatial Data Management System

    6. DHL Express Selects DMTI Spatial to Streamline Delivery Routes with Location Intelligence

    7. Pet Supermarket Licenses geoVue's Dynamic Location Optimization Solution to Prioritize, Expand Into New Trade Areas

    8. Fugro Survey Wins Contract for Royal Australian Navy

    9. VELOCITIE Assists the City of Ann Arbor with Enterprise Web Access Using Orion's OnPoint Web GIS Software


    1. TerraPixel Corporation Launches New Web-based System to Order Ortho Imagery

    2. MicroImages Integrates Geospatial Analysis with Google Earth and Maps

    3. Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging Releases New Version of Leica ADE with Oracle 11g Compatibility

    4. WhiteStar Introduces Unlimited Well Access (UWA) Product

    5. GETAC To Showcase Fully Rugged Tablet PCs With iWater GIS-Based Software System At WEFTEC

    6. LeadDog Releases Comprehensive City Street Maps for Ten Peruvian Cities

    7. Verizon Wireless Announces Availability of AAA Mobile Downloadable GPS Application

    8. ArcGIS Business Analyst Products Help Marketers Reach More Customers

    9. Autodesk Unveils U-Vis 360: Revolutionary Visual Integration Platform Transforms Decision-Making Potential for Federal, State and Local Governments

    10. IRRIS Showcased During U.S. Congressional Luncheon


    1. URISA Announces Conference Schedule

    2. Where 2.0 2008 Brings New Depth to Location-Based Technology

    3. Dates Announced for 1Spatial 2008 Conference


    1. Infotech Hires New Project Manager

    2. TruePosition Appoints Robert Morrison as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Program Management

  5. OTHER

    1. ITT Navigation Payload Enhances Latest Generation of Global Positioning System Satellites

    2. MAPPS Praises Administration's Space Commerce Bill

    3. DigitalGlobe Unveils First Worldview-1 Images

    4. USGIF Announces Geospatial Intelligence Award Recipients

    5. New GITA Chapter Chartered in Oklahoma

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

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