2007 November 1

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Editor's Introduction

This week, I report on some of the ways of advertising on online maps, profile a company that is beginning to sell ad space on map tiles, and host a guest article about data quality. Plus, 14 press releases.

Matteo Luccio

Advertising on Online Maps

Online mapping sites and virtual globes are the latest growth area for advertising. The options include:

  • using Google's AdWords to place ads on Google Maps
  • using third-party software to overlay ads onto maps (three companies that specialize in aggregating ads and placing them on user mapping sites are Safarri, Mappam, launched in late June, and Lat49, launched about a month ago)
  • using Google Earth's animation capabilities to "fly" website visitors to stores, dealerships, etc. near them (for various examples, click here)
  • painting logos on the roofs of buildings (this technique initially targeted airplane passengers)
  • creating 3D models of headquarters buildings
  • placing virtual billboards (see Bright GIS).

A few questions come to mind:

  • Will new companies like Lat49, Safarri, and Mappam be able to build a sufficiently large advertiser network to achieve critical mass?
  • Will Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and other providers of online maps allow these third parties to monetize their mapping platforms?
  • Will online maps and virtual globes become cluttered with advertising?
  • Will the placement of virtual billboards and other such artifacts make it hard to distinguish between what exists in the physical world and what exists only in a virtual one?

Google Earth has had ads since the beginning of 2006. You only see them if you search for a product or a service in a city for which Google has business address information. The ads appear under some of the listings that appear on the map, when you select them, and they don't interfere with the user experience of browsing Google Earth. On maps of U.S. cities, these ads are very unobtrusive, for now, and if you have the Plus version you can turn them off. However, the map of Tokyo on Google Maps displays many logos — for 7Eleven, McDonald's, ampm, etc. Is that what the future holds for the United States as well?

By contrast, for now, MapQuest and Yahoo! Local only place contextual ads around their maps, but not on them. When you search for businesses on Microsoft's Live Search Maps, the listings appear to the side of the map, linked to a numbered marker on the map. However, Microsoft has also rolled out ads inside Virtual Earth 3D for major sponsors, such as Nissan and Fox. (Google hopes that its purchase of DoubleClick Inc., which helps place graphical ads for customers, and YouTube, the video site it acquired last year, will help it make gains on Microsoft and Yahoo! Inc. in display advertising.)

At least two recent U.S. patent applications have been filed with regard to displaying ads on maps. Google filed one last December, which was published in June, titled "Determining advertisements using user interest information and map-based location information." Another one was filed at the beginning of this month.

Lat49 Begins to Sell Ad Space on Map Tiles

Lat49 is a project of Idelix Software, a company founded in 2001 with a focus on user-interface technology. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Idelix has a staff of about 20. I discussed Lat49's technology and business model with Chloe Morrow, Vice President of Operations, who manages the company's development team.

  1. Is Lat49 essentially a mash-up?

    It is not any more a mash-up than traditional online advertising models are. Ads that are geotagged in our database can be served up on top of the map or besides the map if that is more appropriate for the particular publisher site. We are taking advantage of the fact that on a site that has a map component we know where the user is looking geographically and therefore can serve ads that are targeted and relevant to that particular geographic area.

  2. How do advertisers purchase space on a map?

    They purchase the advertising rights for their creative material for map tiles — regions at particular zoom levels — by pointing and clicking on a map view to select the tiles.


  3. How do you deliver the ads?

    On our website, we have a Javascript DPI that publishers incorporate into their sites. They send us just the lat-long and scale of where the user is currently looking and we return the appropriate ad for that lat-long and scale. Typically, publishers might hook up a change command on some event handler; so, for example, on a map pan they need to trigger a new call to serve the appropriate ad for the new lat-long and scale that the user is looking at.


  4. How do publishers make money from your ads?

    We share 50 percent of our advertising revenue with our publisher network. The amount that any one particular site makes depends on the amount of traffic that it generates across our network.

  5. How many have signed up thus far?

    Tiffany Chester, Director of Marketing & Business Development, answered this question: In the first two weeks of being up we had roughly 30 publishers sign up. It takes some time to get this up in their live environment, so about one third of them are actually live right now. Our numbers will increase rapidly over the next two months.


  6. Do the ads interfere with the maps? Can users move them?

    The ads usually appear in the lower right-hand corner of the maps. Users can't move them out of the way, but they are positioned in such a way that they are not obscuring the main view of the map.

  7. What's new about your system?

    What we are doing differently from traditional sites, besides the geo-targeting, is that we are updating the ads as the user interacts with the maps. Traditional banner advertising does not do that, so you are not getting as much potential for revenue when you are just displaying a static set of ads on the page for a long time. For example, if you look at bikely.com, it has a banner ad at the top and some Google ads down the right hand side. While these ads are bike-related, they are not geographically related to the area of the map that you are looking at. The other problem is that, as I interact with the map — pan, zoom, etc. — I am now looking at some other area. That's a great opportunity for local businesses or brands in that area to place ads that are targeted to that geographic region. In the bikely.com example, the ads on the right will not change the entire time that I am playing with this map. The way that Google ads work, this publisher will only get paid if I click on one of these ads. They are not changing, so the potential for this site to make money decreases the longer that you are playing with the site and you are not doing a full page refresh. [By contrast, with our system] as I move the map around, the ads will change dynamically. This provides a great opportunity for advertisers to advertise in a very targeted way.

  8. What's your company's background?

    Our founder invented a core technology that was focused on making sure that users could easily see and de-clutter rich data. A lot of that applicability happened in a map environment. So, we were doing a lot of work in different kinds of geospatial contexts. We worked on that technology in a variety of different platforms, such as Java and C. As the interest in maps in online environments grew, we also began to showcase some of our core technology in an online environment. We built a map site that used this technology and began to look at how we could monetize it. So, our Lat49 technology is a bit different from what the company had been doing traditionally, but we re-used a lot of our expertise and knowledge in geospatial area and in clean, easy-to-use interfaces both on the publisher site and on the sign-up side.

  9. How do you gather ads?

    We have a three-pronged approach to growing the advertising pie. We have a direct sales team that targets specific advertisers that we think would suit the kind of publisher sites that we have. We have a referral program: this is the viral element. We are also working with some larger ad brokers who have an existing inventory of ads, so that we can allow them to resell our ad space or re-direct ads to third parties. Lat49 is really two things: a technology as well as a network.

  10. How else do you plan to use your technology?

    We are looking at the possibility of white-labeling our technology for companies that want to field the display ads on their site, but want to be able to brand it as their own ad-serving technology. Obviously, down the road, the growth area for us is mobile and location-based advertising. With the proliferation of GPS-enabled devices, there is going to be huge value in being able to deliver ads targeted to where the user physically is.

  11. Did you need to negotiate any agreements with Google, Yahoo!, MapQuest, etc.?

    Our engine is map-agnostic: all we are taking is lat-long and scale, so it doesn't really matter what the underlying map is. In fact, there doesn't even have to be a map, it could be just an address. Also, if you look at the terms of service of all those sites, they all allow for advertising. That's the purpose of those consumer-based APIs. We are showing ads on top of the map, but there is also advertising being shown on the site, so it is quite common for these map sites to be making revenue related to the map component of their site.

  12. Could a publisher choose to place your ads off the map?

    Yes, but what we really wanted to do was to allow for the ads to be shown on the map. If someone already has ads on their site and they want to add ours, that's fine.

OGC Focuses on Data Quality

Guest article by Steven Ramage, Business Development Director at 1Spatial, who wrote it for Network, the newsletter of the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA)

Data quality is a massive concern for those involved in information technology and the software business globally. The Data Warehousing Institute estimated that data quality problems cost U.S. businesses more than $600 billion per year.1 Closer to home for those working with spatial data, PIRA (Commercial Exploitation of Europe's Public Sector Information, 20002) estimated that in 1999 it would cost the European Community countries 36 billion Euros to replace its geographical information assets. This amount was estimated to be growing at 4.5 billion Euros per annum. Similar costs for the United States were estimated at $375 billion with a $10 billion growth per annum! These figures will almost certainly have accelerated in the aftermath of 9/11, with the focus on homeland security and geospatial intelligence. The increased emphasis and activity around Spatial Data Infrastructures is also driving a number of regional and national activities using geographical information assets or geospatial data, and its interaction with non-spatial or 'regular' data.

Many organizations invest significant sums in collecting these geospatial data. The demand for the 00 decade is for joined-up decision-making. In a geospatial context, geometric data quality deserves as much attention as alphanumeric data quality. Typically, most organizations spend many years collecting spatial data and integrating or conflating (merging together) their own data with third party reference data. By third party data we mean states or regions in the United States using TIGER data with their own asset data, or Local Authorities in Great Britain using Land-Line or OS MasterMap in conjunction with gazetteer information. After such a large initial investment, ensuring high quality spatial data is essential in order to achieve value from the investment.

There are numerous reasons why spatial data may not meet user expectations. For example:

  • the use of GPS has introduced a more rigorous accuracy for reference data sets
  • GIS installations are only just beginning to understand the importance of metadata and configuration management
  • transformations alter information
  • lack of understanding or recognition that data may be inaccurate
  • data duplication — the same dataset is held by different departments but is rarely synchronized or even shared
  • conflation is only just becoming widespread in response to industry initiatives.

Taking these considerations into account, a draft Charter was submitted to the Open Geospatial Consortium with a view to establishing a Data Quality Working Group.3 The Mission of this group was set: "To establish a forum for describing an interoperable framework or model for OGC Quality Assurance Web Services to enable access and sharing of high quality geospatial information, improve data analysis, and ultimately influence policy decisions." The Working Group will define a framework and grammar for the certification and communication of spatial data quality.

In order to build the framework or model for OGC Quality Assurance Web Services, it is necessary to ascertain what organizations involved in the marketplace currently understand and mean when using the term spatial data quality. The method to describe and communicate spatial data quality measures will reference these categories below:

  • completeness
  • accuracy
  • positional (in respect of re-using spatial data collected before GPS)
  • thematic — integrity — definition (for semantic interoperability)
  • consistency
  • validity & classification
  • language
  • projection
  • scale
  • temporality.

Reference shall also be made to the standards defined in ISO 19113, 19114 and 19113(8) when published.4 ISO 19115 metadata standards may be relevant in the storage of such measures and quality descriptors. Hopefully these methods will become a quality assurance-type guide for users of spatial data.

To facilitate these objectives, the Data Quality Working Group has compiled a survey that is open to the entire geospatial community and wider IT industry using spatial data. We encourage you to participate in this unique opportunity to provide feedback on spatial data quality, in terms of your views on the issues you see in the marketplace today. The survey can be found here.

For the purposes of the survey, spatial data quality is defined as a measure of spatial data's relative fitness for the user's intended purpose. There are several reasons why it is important to determine spatial data quality requirements in terms of fitness for purpose or use. For example:

  • legislative and regulatory requirements
  • improved and more valid decision making
  • cost reduction through operational efficiency gains
  • maximizing return on your investment in spatial data
  • poor public image and customer perception
  • increased profits through better business intelligence
  • re-use of public sector information.

Value is attributable if the data allow decisions to be taken with a given confidence. Confidence can be measured through assessing fitness-for-purpose. The next steps are to develop a framework to allow confidence to be stated. Therefore, please take this unique opportunity in this industry-wide collaboration and help to shape the future of how spatial data is perceived, measured, and ultimately assists in improving business processes for all.

Steven Ramage is Business Development Director at 1Spatial, where he has responsibility for their international partner network, the 1Spatial Community. He was involved in drafting the Charter for the Open Geospatial Consortium Data Quality Working Group, and is a contributor to the current survey. The DQ WG is currently chaired by Graham Stickler from 1Spatial and co-chaired by Patrick Cunningham from Blue Marble Geographics.


1 "Data Quality and the Bottom Line," Wayne Eckerson, The Data Warehousing Institute, 2002.

2 Pira International Ltd., University of East Anglia, and KnowledgeView Ltd. 2000. Commercial exploitation of Europe's public sector information. Final report for the European Commission Directorate General for the Information Society.

3 Open Geospatial Consortium Data Quality Working Group

4 Data Quality Challenges in 2007, Dr Michael Sanderson, 1Spatial, January 18, 2007

News Briefs

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


    1. Census Tools for ArcGIS Helps Local Governments with LUCA and BAS Programs for the 2010 Census

      Free Download Promotes Accurate Data Updates and Proper Community Representation

      Redlands, California — Census Tools for ArcGIS, a free add-on that supports governments participating in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) and Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) programs for the 2010 Census, is now available from ESRI.

      State, local, and tribal governments involved in these programs will share their knowledge to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the 2010 Census. This sharing of local knowledge will, in turn, enhance census-related decisions such as apportioning seats in Congress and allocating federal monies to local communities.

      The LUCA program will benefit from the verification of geographic and tabular data sources identifying current residential addresses within these local jurisdictions such as tax assessment data, 911 databases, and water and sewer customer databases. Other data source verification benefiting the program may include geographic information system (GIS) road data as well as satellite and/or aerial photography.

      Whereas the LUCA program provides updates to addresses and associated spatial data, the BAS program focuses on legal boundaries such as counties, towns, and cities. It involves information documenting the creation, dissolution, and changes of incorporated places, county subdivisions, counties (parishes), and federally recognized American Indian areas.

      Jointly developed by ESRI and Citygate GIS LLC, Census Tools for ArcGIS provides functionality that facilitates U.S. Census Bureau business rules while allowing local knowledge to influence and enhance future census-data-driven decisions. "This free add-on provides a unique way to perform census-specific workflow tasks within the ArcGIS environment," said Richard Leadbeater, State Government Industry Solutions manager, ESRI. "GIS practitioners will become vital contributors to the LUCA and BAS programs by providing critical information about local address and boundary updates to improve the data captured through these census programs."

      With Census Tools for ArcGIS, users can

      • Review and update the Census Bureau Master Address File (MAF) in an ArcGIS environment.
      • Read spatial data from the Census Bureau in shapefile format.
      • Perform census-specific workflow tasks.
      • Output revised shapefiles and produce deliverable datasets compliant with Census Bureau standards.
      • Census Tools for ArcGIS requires ArcGIS Desktop 9.2.

      For more information or to download, visit www.esri.com/censustools.

      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.

    2. GeoAnalytics Retained By Lincoln County for GIS System Review

      Madison, Wisconsin — October 29, 2007 — GeoAnalytics Inc., an IT consulting firm that specializes in the planning, design, and implementation of spatial intelligence systems, has been retained by Lincoln County, Wisconsin to complete a review of the current Lincoln County Geographic Information System (GIS) and web mapping site.

      This project involves providing a thorough and independent review of the existing technology, GIS data organization, web-mapping site review, and organizational components. The project deliverable will be a report reviewing the current set-up that includes recommendations for improvement of functionality and security. The report will conclude with analysis on the effectiveness and efficiency on the County's current GIS system and next step recommendations. "Lincoln County has built a strong foundation in GIS. In order to provide value to the county, the investment the county has made in GIS must be leveraged for the effective use of the technology," said David Mockert, GeoAnalytics Director of State and Local Practice.

      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, and St. Augustine.

    3. Merrick & Company Awarded Contract in South Florida Herbert Hoover Dike and Lake Okeechobee

      Aurora, Colorado — Merrick & Company, a world leader in LiDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping was awarded a LiDAR and Imagery Acquisition and Processing project for a 2263 square mile area at Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee in south Florida. This is a collaborative effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the US Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville (USACE), the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM). Funded by FEMA, the data will be collected and developed using the Florida GIS Baseline Specifications for Orthophotography and LiDAR, a jointly developed geospatial specification by state and federal agencies in Florida.

      Richard Butgereit, GIS Administrator for the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the technical lead for the entire project states, "Merrick was chosen based on their experience in southern Florida's climate and weather conditions as well as their innovative technical approach to breakline generation using LiDAR and aerial imagery."

      Merrick will deliver LiDAR data, 1-foot color digital orthophotography, a DEM, 1-foot and 2-foot contours, and breaklines. Breaklines will be collected for all significant hydrographic features and will cut through culverts and bridges to allow accurate modeling of the hydrology of the project area. Data collection is underway and will be delivered in four phases during the winter and spring of 2008.

      Gary Outlaw explains, "Accurate elevation data is needed to update inundation maps and for modeling, planning, and mitigating potential failure to the dike system." Butgereit continues, "This new high resolution elevation dataset will be used for storm surge modeling and will be an important input into new regional evacuation studies."

      The Herbert Hoover Dike project area is very flat. The majority of the land cover is sugar cane and produce crops, switch grass, and includes areas of wetlands, pasture, and orchards. The area has been heavily ditched and has many canals. The dominant geographic feature is Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding 140 mile-long Herbert Hoover Dike, a major component of the Central and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes (C&SF). The dike provides flood control, water supply, recreational, and environmental benefits.

      Visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management on the Web at www.floridadisaster.org/gis and learn more about catastrophic planning at floridadisaster.org/catastrophicplanning.

      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.

    4. Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging Announces THEOS Capability

      Norcross, Georgia, USA — Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging announces orthorectification capabilities for Thailand Earth Observation System (THEOS) images accessed in both ERDAS IMAGINE and Leica Photogrammetry Suite (LPS).

      This new capability allows users to display and manipulate images captured by the THEOS satellite, launching in November 2007. Funded by the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology, THEOS was developed by EADS Astrium SAS in Toulouse, France. The satellite will produce imagery with two-meter Panchromatic and 15-meter multi-spectral resolution. EADS Defence and Security, who developed THEOS Image Ground Station, established a strategic partnership with Leica Geosystems to incorporate capabilities into the foremost remote sensing and photogrammetry suites. Within ERDAS IMAGINE and LPS, THEOS images may be accurately orthorectified, implementing existing tools within both solutions.

      "We are excited to bring this orthorectification capability to our remote sensing and photogrammetry customers, providing the most advanced techniques for working with the THEOS images," said Bob Morris, President and CEO, Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging. "This new capability further illustrates our commitment to industry partners like EADS, collaborating efforts to support emerging technologies."

      The THEOS satellite is based upon the new generation of EADS Astrium Optical Earth Observation high performance satellites, implementing the AstroSat-500 platform. Fueled for seven years, this satellite is expected to collect images for at least the next five years.

      "Leica Geosystems develops the industry's leading remote sensing and photogrammetry solutions, providing the most robust processing and analytics to satellite imagery," said Christian Blanchet, Project Manager, EADS Defence and Security. "Contracting Leica Geosystems to develop the orthorectification capability assured that THEOS' images would be easily accessed using the best tools."

      Leica Geosystems provides comprehensive support for a number of recently launched satellites, including TerraSAR-X.

      For more information about Leica Geosystems, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit www.gi.leica-geosystems.com. For existing customers, you may download the ERDAS IMAGINE and LPS latest service pack, incorporating this new capability by visiting http://www.gi.leica-geosystems.com/LGISub2x0x0.aspx.

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

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

    5. VELOCITIE and Azteca Systems Selected by Milwaukee County Department of Transportation and Public Works

      Green Bay, Wisconsin — October 30, 2007 — Milwaukee County Department of Transportation and Public Works has selected VELOCITIE Integration, Inc. to provide Cityworks implementation services. The County selected Azteca Systems' Cityworks product to track its maintenance and inspection of the sanitary sewer system. The project will be managed and supported by the Architecture, Engineering & Environmental Services, a division of DTPW which is responsible for providing architectural and environmental services, civil and airport engineering, construction management, and various support services including Geographic Information System and facilities assessment services.

      VELOCITIE is providing the following implementation services in support of the project:

      • Requirements gathering and data modeling for sanitary sewer assets
      • Configuration and deployment of Cityworks for maintenance and inspections
      • Creating a migration plan to support the migration of legacy asset data
      • Training and documentation for administrators and end users

      William Shaw, the County's GIS Manager, states, "The County looks forward to an affordable, easy-to-use system for our sanitary sewer asset management. Cityworks will enable the Public Works Department to improve its inspection process and facilitate preventive maintenance by creating a single source for work order management and inspection tracking of its sanitary sewer assets."

      Bart Koenig, President of VELOCITIE, states, "Milwaukee County DTPW recognizes the financial benefits and process efficiencies it will realize by implementing Cityworks. I'm pleased that VELOCITIE has the opportunity to work with the County to enhance its maintenance, inspection and reporting activities."

      About VELOCITIE: VELOCITIE Integration, Inc. provides enterprise and integrated GIS solutions for utilities, municipalities, and energy and telecommunication companies. The team at VELOCITIE brings over 250 years of combined experience in serving the GIS industry. VELOCITIE has the knowledge, insight, experience, and proven success to ensure that its clients have a clear path for implementing a wide array of industry leading products. Visit us at www.velocitie.com for a complete profile of VELOCITIE's GIS services.

      About Azteca: Azteca Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of Enterprise Asset and Maintenance Management software. Recognized for their customer driven approach and innovative solutions, Azteca established their reputation with Cityworks, a powerful, flexible and affordable solution that leverages the inherent power of GIS. Built exclusively on top of ESRI's leading Geographic Information System software, Cityworks provides Public Works and Utilities the ability to inventory assets; issue and track service requests and work orders; and manage customer needs. Proven technology from Azteca Systems, Cityworks is extensible and scalable across the enterprise, easy-to-use and based on open technology.


    1. Lowrance Unveils Larger Color Display in Popular Off-Road GPS Line With Globalmap Baja 840c

      Tulsa, Oklahoma — Lowrance, a world-leading brand in navigation and marine electronics, introduced today the GlobalMap Baja 840C GPS. Designed for ultimate off-road adventures, the Lowrance GlobalMap Baja 840C offers award-winning GPS performance with a larger, easy-to-read color screen.

      The Baja 840C combines an unprecedented 8.4" high-detail sunlight readable display with durability for even the most severe vibration shock. The SolarMAX, 16-bit color TFT LCD includes 600x800 pixel SVGA resolution and superior wide-angle viewing supported by an advanced cold-cathode fluorescent screen and keypad backlighting for crisp viewing at night. The 840C delivers 12-channel GPS+WAAS reception for accuracy and an external antenna for reliable tracking and steady satellite lock even in the densest cover.

      The Lowrance Baja 840C features built-in mapping of major roads and landmarks and searchable interstate exit services database. Two weather- and dust-proof SD card slots accept multiple high-detail topo mapping options, like Lowrance FreedomMaps USA EX with coverage of five geographic areas including Alaska for $99.95 each (U.S. list). Users can also make their own detailed topo mapcards on a PC with the optional Lowrance MapCreate Series 7 Accessories Pack. A complete custom mapmaking system with DVD mapping software, SD memory card reader-writer and high-capacity SD memory card, the MapCreate system offers added benefits for pre-trip planning such as designating routes and marking waypoints in advance. The MapCreate Series 7 mapmaking system is also priced at $99.95 (U.S. list).

      The Baja 840c stores up to 1,000 waypoints, 1,000 event markers, 100 routes (up to 100 waypoints per route), and up to 100 savable plot trails with up to 10,000 points in any trail.

      There are 37 map display ranges, from .05 to 4,000 miles, and 42 different graphic icons to mark spots. Convenient Menu and Pages keys afford easy access to a wealth of navigation features and modes, internal back-up memory keeps user settings and stored GPS data safe and accessible for years, and the completely sealed case is ensures reliable performance in the harshest of environments.

      Price & Availability: The Lowrance GlobalMap Baja 840c has a U.S. list price of $1,299. In its premier showing at SEMA 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the GlobalMap 840c can be seen and experienced in the Lowrance Booth #10218 located in the North Hall of the convention center. For more information, please visit www.lowrance.com, or call 1.800.324.1356 in the USA, or 1.800.661.3983 in Canada.

    2. New Pictometry Products to Debut Today at International

      User Conference — FutureView 2007

      Rochester, New York — October 29, 2007 — Pictometry International Corp., the worldwide leader in digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software systems, will showcase several new state-of-the-art products today to mark the start of FutureView 2007 — the company's growing international user conference taking place this week in Orlando, FL.

      Featured new products and services include:

      • Unique, integrated hosting capabilities;
      • New, easy to use infrared software (included with infrared imaging purchase);
      • New levels of 3D imaging, including interiors;
      • A new premium Pictometry oblique product called AccuPlus;
      • the Pictometry Military Planner, which is the most advanced in a range of Pictometry 3D modeling analysis tools specially designed for military use, and
      • Pictometry real-time oblique imaging, a new breakthrough product for disaster situations.

      "Users from over 400 counties, several states and many international customers who use Pictometry daily are here with us this week so we are particularly excited to see their reaction to this extraordinary line up of products," said Pictometry Chief Marketing Officer Dante Pennacchia.

      About FutureView 2007: FutureView 2007 is an international user conference hosted annually by Pictometry and it is the world's only conference and trade show exclusively dedicated to georeferenced, aerial oblique imaging solutions and related technologies. FutureView's unique program offerings are hands-on learning events presented by experienced users of Pictometry solutions, specifically those in the public safety, tax assessment and GIS fields.

      About Pictometry: Pictometry International is a rapidly growing software company that provides visual information systems. The company's patented imaging process captures georeferenced, high-resolution oblique (at an angle for a 3D-like view) and ortho (straight down) Intelligent Images of counties and states. Combined with the company's interactive software solution, users can see everywhere, measure anything, and plan everything. The company has a growing customer base exceeding 500 counties, the State of Connecticut, the State of Rhode Island, federal government organizations, as well as private business users. Applications include 9-1-1, appraisers, assessors, emergency management agencies, engineering, financial institutions, fire departments, GIS, homeland security, insurance, law enforcement, planning officials, real estate, transportation, and utilities. Pictometry is a second order visualization tool that does not produce authoritative or definitive information (surveying) from its digital, aerial images.

    3. TNT Products View Any Orthoimagery and Overlays in Stereo

      View, interpret, and edit any combination of orthoimagery and vector, CAD, and shape layers in color stereo with any TNT product. A single mouse click on the Stereo icon automatically converts the current view in seconds into the selected stereo mode (anaglyph by default, interlaced, side-by-side, …).

      View and interpret any of your georeferenced images or maps in stereo using global or USA digital elevation models (DEMs) read directly from a DVD provided with the TNT products. This DVD provides 90-meter global SRTM coverage without holes that has been extended to include all of Canada and a 30-meter DEM of the conterminous USA.

      A 10-meter DEM of the USA and a 23-meter DEM of Canada can be purchased separately. These large DEMs are shipped on a USB hard drive and can be used directly from it for fast and even more accurate stereo of meter and submeter imagery. Your local, high-resolution imagery can also be used by default for accurate stereo viewing and editing of your geospatial materials.

      See the Technical Guides linked to from http://www.microimages.com/press/stereo3D.htm for more detail on the use of stereo in your geospatial projects.

      About MicroImages, Inc.: Since 1986, MicroImages, Inc. has been providing the most advanced software in the industry for fully integrated GIS, desktop cartography, image processing, CAD, TIN, database, and geospatial analysis. With the TNT products, you edit, display, and present project materials in raster, vector, shape, CAD, relational database, and TIN formats. All TNT products are available in a growing number of international languages and can be operated under Windows, Mac OSX and Linux/Unix operating systems using the same interface and Project File structure. MicroImages also provides TNTlite, a free version of the professional TNT products along with a series of free tutorial booklets for students and professionals trying to learn geospatial analysis. For more information, see MicroImages' web site at www.microimages.com.

    4. 1Spatial Release Radius Vision and Radius Mobile 4.2 Featuring Oracle Database Support and Enhanced Functionality.

      26 October 2007, Cambridge, UK. 1Spatial are pleased to announce the 4.2 version release of both their Radius Vision and Radius Mobile products. This is a significant delivery, providing for native Oracle Support and also including a range of new modules for enhanced functionality.

      Radius Vision is a topological editor and powerful desktop product for the distribution, production and management of digital maps. Radius Mobile is the mobile version of Radius Vision that has been optimised for running on small-screen pen computers with no keyboard input required. Maps can be downloaded to mobile computers, taken out into the field for intelligent data capture and editing, allowing map maintenance to be combined with the surveying process.

      Version 4.2 of these products now allows full support for Oracle spatial databases and also incorporates several new backend modules for setting up production lines, data model manipulation, and spatial/property analysis and extraction. The functionality of the core Radius Vision product has also been enhanced in a number of areas including a several new review and script functions, which enables tailoring of functionality, especially in the area of data quality.

      Both products run on Microsoft Windows platforms and are based on component libraries. Since the products in the family are built from the same basic components, they have a similar "look and feel", share the same file and data formats (FME Objects is integrated) and provide a high degree of interoperability.

      "This is a very significant release for these products" commented Graham Stickler, Product and Marketing Director of 1Spatial. "We are committed to evolving all our products onto an open, standards-based environment. The 4.2 release emphasises our commitment to this, allowing the Radius Vision and Mobile products to seamlessly operate alongside the other Radius products, and other software components, in a service oriented architecture"

      For further information about Radius Vision and Radius Mobile, along with other products available from 1Spatial, please visit http://www.1spatial.com/products/index.php

      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

    5. Topcon's GR-3 Wins Second International Design Award

      Livermore, California —The praise and international recognition for Topcon Positioning Systems GR-3 GNSS receiver keep coming in.

      The design of the GR-3 was one of the "Best 15" winners of the Good Design Award contest in Japan. This recognition of the GR-3 follows the product being declared a winner of the prestigious European International Forum (IF) product design award earlier this year. Other Top 15 items in the Good Design Award contest included a Honda corporate jet and a Nintendo Wii game entertainment console.

      Also recognized were Topcon's FC-200 field controller and the GPT-9000 total station series, both winning Good Design awards.

      The awards presentation, which began in 1957, is organized by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry. There were 2,945 entries in the 2007 contest. A Topcon product has been named a contest winner in each of the last 24 years.

      Judge comments included:

      • "The GR-3 is a compact and easy-to-use receiver… the user interface is meticulously designed (making it) beautiful and attractive."
      • "The … FC-200 … in gripping and feeling, (as well as being) dust- and water-proof was well-appreciated. There is a consistency in its shape, color and use of material, (proving) the high degree of Topcon's design management."
      • "The GPT-9000A added a new twist in the interface (and it) became easier to use while (having) advanced specifications."

      Design work began on the GR-3 in 2003. A multi-phase project ensued that went from blue-sky concept development all the way to production. Whipsaw Inc., an industrial design and consulting firm in San Jose, California was contracted to assist with the final housing design and structure. Packed with design innovation, the GR-3's unique shape and component architecture offer many advantages, including:

      • Complete ergonomics and usability factors: it is easy to hold because the battery packs are positioned to also be a handle, and it has a "quick-snap" pole mount, reducing the likelihood of damage while affixing it to or removing it from the 2 meter pole. The top is square, so it cannot roll if leaned against a wall.
      • Ruggedness — the main housing is an I-beam shaped magnesium part, engineered to withstand a fall from the top of a 2-meter range pole.
      • Weatherproof - the antenna is housed under a plastic and rubber dome that overlaps the base and battery handle, thus providing a protective umbrella effect in the rain. All switches and connectors are also protected under this overhang.
      • Dual, external battery packs - are not only convenient and hot swappable, but they also cover the SIM and SD Media Card slots, shielding them from the elements.

      Website www.g-mark.org/english/archive/2007/award-best15.html to view the top winning designs.

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

    6. V7 Launches New Portable Navigation Devices

      Company Introduces Two Ultra-Slim, Full-Featured GPS Navigation Solutions

      Santa Ana, California, October 31, 2007 — V7, the exclusive house brand for Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM), and the maker of world class IT and CE global solutions, today launched two advanced functionality Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs), redefining value and utility for GPS customers.

      The NAV730 and NAV740 GPS PNDs are targeted at value-conscious GPS consumers and commercial fleets. Both are portable navigation devices featuring V7 Navigation Software with turn-by-turn, text-to-speech capabilities that allow users to see and hear where they are and how to get to their destination.

      "The ultra-slim NAV730 and NAV740 are perfect solutions for consumers as well as commercial fleets who demand a feature-rich product at a value price point," said Rainer Kozlik, vice president and general manager of Ingram Micro's Global V7 Private Label Group.

      "These products are part of V7's commitment to offer innovative, reliable products at an attractive price-performance ratio to resellers worldwide."

      The NAV730 and NAV740 come with many features typically available only in higher-end priced models, including a 3.5-inch 320x240 TFT-LCD high resolution display (NAV730) or 4.3-inch 480x272 TFT-LCD high resolution display (NAV740). Both models are touch-screen enabled with an easy-to-use, intuitive graphical user interface and turn-by-turn voice instruction including text-to-speech. Featuring an attractive, lightweight and slim (only 19.8mm thin) design, the NAV730 and NAV740 can easily slip into your pocket, making them truly portable navigation devices.

      The new V7 NAV730 and NAV740 feature 400MHz CPUs for faster map redraws and enhanced AV capabilities, SD card technology for expandable storage, preloaded maps, and a built-in high performance multimedia (audio and video) player that supports the most popular audio, video, and digital picture formats (MP3, WMA, OGG, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, GIF, JPG, TIFF). Easy-to-install mounting hardware and auto adapters are included as standard products. Both units carry a two-year warranty.

      "Loaded with the features at a price anyone can afford, the V7 NAV730 and NAV740 will not only make getting to your destination easier, but make your travels more enjoyable, too," Kozlik said.

      Suggested retail price is $199 for the NAV730 and $299 for the NAV740.

      Retailers and VARs can contact their Ingram Micro sales team at 1-800-456-8000 to get more information and order the NAV730 and Nav740 today.

      About V7: V7 is Ingram Micro's exclusive global house brand for high quality IT and CE products, including notebook computer cases, notebook batteries, LCD Monitors, GPS navigation systems and toner. Leveraging worldwide operational excellence, real-time market intelligence and global sourcing power, V7 delivers state of the art products at an unmatched value maximizing return on investment for resellers and higher customer satisfaction. Visit http://www.V7-world.com.

      About Ingram Micro Inc.: As a vital link in the technology value chain, Ingram Micro creates sales and profitability opportunities for vendors and resellers through unique marketing programs, outsourced logistics services, technical support, financial services, and product aggregation and distribution. The company serves more than 150 countries and is the only global broadline IT distributor with operations in Asia. Visit www.ingrammicro.com.


    1. Automotive Veterans Join Intermap Technologies

      Denver & Munich, Germany (October 30, 2007): Intermap Technologies Corp. today announced the strategic expansion of their automotive team through the hiring of three seasoned automotive industry experts in the U.S. and Germany. As advance driver assistance system (ADAS) initiatives gain traction worldwide, the Company is committed to supplying the most accurate and uniform geometric data to enable auto safety devices, fuel performance applications, and other advanced technologies.

      Steven Zaroukian joins the company as the director of automotive business development in Detroit supporting North America and Asia. His extensive background includes 25 years in the automotive industry with Panasonic Automotive Systems and Johnson Controls. Steven's experience encompasses strategic product planning with major original equipment manufacturers such as General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, and Mitsubishi.

      Stefan Engels brings more than 12 years experience as a general manager and international key account manager for PTV AG (formerly Map&Guide GmbH), Motorola, ReBASE International, Deutsche Telekom, DaimlerChrysler Services, and UPS Deutschland. Stefan will lead the automotive division as the director of business development for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

      Klaus Schoenke joins the Company as customer program manager in the Munich office. Klaus has more than 17 years experience in business development and product management with Infineon and various groups within Siemens, including Siemens VDO automotive.

      "The combined worldwide experience these individuals bring to Intermap will help deliver collaborative support to original equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the automotive and trucking industries," states Eric DesRoche, Intermap's senior vice president, automotive and consumer electronics. "In addition, being able to draw on their considerable knowledge and past successes will allow us to provide innovative products and services to next-generation vehicle safety and fuel efficiency initiatives worldwide."

      About Intermap Technologies: Intermap (TSX: IMP.TO, AIM: IMAP.L) is a preeminent digital mapping company creating uniform high-resolution 3D digital models of the earth's surface. The Company is proactively remapping entire countries and building uniform national databases, called NEXTMap, consisting of affordably priced elevation data and geometric images of unprecedented accuracy. 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 550 people worldwide, with additional offices in Calgary, Detroit, Jakarta, London, Munich, Ottawa, and Prague. For more information, visit www.Intermap.com.

    2. Project Manager Earns GISP Certification

      Tampa, Florida — October 26, 2007 — Lauren B. Shapiro, a Geographic Information System (GIS) Project Manager based in WilsonMiller's Tampa office, has earned the Certified GIS Professional (GISP) designation from the GIS Certification Institute. To obtain her certification, Shapiro demonstrated advanced education in GIS-related coursework and training, experience in GIS applications, contributions to industry associations, and high professional standards of ethics.

      Shapiro is the fifth WilsonMiller professional to receive GISP certification. She is among only 190 Certified GIS Professionals in Florida and only 1,769 worldwide through September of this year.

      GIS technology is used at WilsonMiller to design, model, develop, integrate, manage, analyze, and present spatial data and applications using specialized computer hardware and software to solve complex spatial problems and support better decision-making. GIS is used to help public and private sector clients provide facilities management, asset management, and emergency response for local communities.

      Shapiro's academic and professional credentials include an advanced degree in geography as well as nine years of GIS experience. She has created and organized several spatial databases over her career, as well as applied GIS to support projects such as environmental permitting, jurisdictional wetland delineation, environmental assessments, site selection and feasibility studies, development constraints analysis, and risk assessments.

      Experienced in spatial analysis, thematic mapping, GPS (Global Positioning System) to GIS conversion, address matching, database design and implementation, and project management, she is knowledgeable in a wide variety of GIS-related software applications.

      About WilsonMiller: WilsonMiller, Inc. is a multidisciplinary planning, design, engineering, and surveying firm with a history of more than 50 years in professional consulting. With strategically located offices throughout Florida, the firm offers a single source of high-level, diverse services for land management, infrastructure, transportation, and environmental projects to public and private clients in Florida and beyond. WilsonMiller ranks among the top 150 design firms in the United States, according to Engineering News-Record's 2007 list. The Tampa office is located at 2205 North 20th St.

      For more information, call (800) 649-4336, or visit WilsonMiller's Web site, www.wilsonmiller.com.

  4. OTHER

    1. Sanborn Makes California Wildfire Threat Maps Available

      Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 26, 2007—John Copple, CEO of Sanborn, an industry leader in geospatial solutions, is pleased to announce that the company has made California wildfire threat maps available online.

      In an effort to support the release of accurate up-to-date information about the California wildfires, Sanborn has published a series of maps online. Specifically designed to meet wildfire fire mitigation and prevention planning requirements, these map are generated from Sanborn's commercial Wildfire Risk Information Product (WRIP), which depicts maps of wildfire risk (areas most prone to wildfire occurrence), fire behavior potential, and susceptibility of severe damage.

      This data is currently presented online at www.sanborn.com, with update fire perimeters obtained from several different agencies to aid recovery and damage assessment efforts. These web maps are updated daily as new fire perimeters become available.

      "Sanborn has a broad range of capabilities including emergency response and we are pleased to be assisting in this effort," remarks John Copple. "When planning for mitigation projects and response resources, Sanborn's Wildfire Risk Information product allows communities and local fire agencies to identify those communities and area most at risk."

      About Sanborn: With a rich tradition of mapping dating back to 1866, Sanborn offers end-to-end geospatial solutions backed by the latest in technology and superior customer support. The company's combined product and service offerings include consulting and off-the-shelf products; analog, digital and LiDAR data acquisition; photogrammetric mapping, remote sensing solutions, and data conversion. Sanborn offers product solutions for government and commercial customers. A nationally recognized company, Sanborn has multiple offices in the United States. For more information, visit www.sanborn.com.

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