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Archive for 2009

360 view imagery comes to MapQuest

Monday, December 14th, 2009

MapQuest announced its new 360 View feature today, which provides easy-to-use, panoramic, street-level imagery to its customers. The images for this technology were created by Immersive Media, also responsible for creating the images for Google a couple of years ago.

Top 10 U.S. metros predicted to experience retail success

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

In a press release issued by Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI) today the company announced their research findings the predict what top 10 metro areas in the U.S. are most likely to be successful in their quarterly retail sales growth for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010.


From the press release….”Pitney Bowes Business Insight compiled the data using MarketPulse™, a market analysis tool that uses current macroeconomic variables to understand and predict store performance.


To predict which U.S. cities are most likely to experience the best relative retail health, Pitney Bowes Business Insight identified the highest-ranked markets for anticipated average quarterly comparative sales growth over the next six quarters in the drug store, high-end, mid-tier and value retail sectors. The following metros have the greatest potential for retail sales recovery and/or growth in 2010:


1. Austin, TX: Regarded as a cultural and economic center, Austin shows consistent healthy growth in gross metropolitan product, personal disposable income and consumer expenditures, ranking the city in the top five for all four retail sectors.


2. Baltimore, MD: This city’s higher than average projected growth in the mid-tier and high-end retail sectors are driven by the projected rebound in gross metro product and employment in 2010.


3. Houston, TX: The largest city in Texas, Houston shows strong comparative sales growth in the mid-tier and high-end retail sectors.


4. Dallas, TX: Buoyed by the growth of disposable income in 2010, increased housing construction and an increase in gross metro product by the second half of 2010, this economic center ranks in the top ten for comparable sales growth for the drug store and value retail categories.


5. San Antonio, TX: Sustained by higher than average growth in gross metro product heading into 2010, San Antonio is expected to be a top market in the drug store and value retail sectors.


6. Washington, DC: Like its neighbor Baltimore, this market is projected to experience an increase in employment in 2010 and continued modest gross metro product growth, leading the way in the value and drug store retail sectors.


7. Seattle, WA: With one of the highest projected increases in gross metro product in the nation, this market shows evidence of renewed growth in the value retail sector.


8. Kansas City, MO-KS: Predicted GDP growth and continued strength in disposable income puts this metro area in the top 10 for the drug, value and mid-tier retail sectors.


9. Providence, RI: This northeastern market is projected to have above average GDP growth for 2009 and favorable growth into 2010, ranking it in the top 10 for mid-tier and high-end retail.


10. Columbus, OH: Fueled by expected growth in the housing market and moderate gross metro product growth, this market is expected to experience growth in the mid-tier retail sector.





Meeting with Sivan Design

Friday, December 4th, 2009

At Autodesk University, I met with Shay Cheruty, VP sales and marketing of Sivan Design. Based in Israel, Sivan Design is a provider of civil engineering products, simulation and GIS software products. In the U.S., the company focuses on civil design although worldwide it offers more GIS products such as GeoERP, which integrates GIS and ERP for management of land, properties, roads and infrastructure.

Their UIGIS product is an Underground Infrastructure Geographic Information System that allows users to manage data of underground infrastructure such as water, gas, oil, electricity and cables.

The CivilCAD offering from Sivan is primarily a CAD product that incorporates mapping and land development, water engineering, surveying, road design. It works with AutoCAD and Bricscad.

Civil Simulate is a product that allows users to create 3D simulations quickly for large scale, complex civil engineering projects.

I’m dreaming of a Twitter Christmas

Monday, November 30th, 2009

According to the New York Times, “America’s first Twitter Christmas got under way in earnest on Friday. Across the land, retailers and their customers used the social networking site to talk to one another about bargains, problems, purchases and shopping strategies.”

The article gave an example of a woman who had bought a navigation system that didn’t work. She sent a tweet to Best Buy’s Twitter account and within minutes, they had customer support helping her with the problem. Customers also reported useful information on what parking lots in what malls were full, with advice on where it was best to park to get to certain store locations.

I went to Twitter to check this out. Most of Twitter regarding retail was devoted to trivial comments such as, “I got this great sweater at…”

Retailers’ messages are viewed by Twitter users who “follow” the retailer, basically this means the retailer’s posts show up on their Twitter home page when they log in.

This may be useful for Cyber Monday shoppers.

Black Friday shoppers will use nav devices for holiday shopping

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

“Networks In Motion (NIM)…announced research findings that show Black Friday holiday shoppers show an astounding reliance on GPS Navigation as they travel from store to store to take advantage of various blowout savings. Shoppers use their navigation devices to search for stores, look at traffic information on the road, and make sure they get to their destination quickly enough to take advantage of the once-a-season deals.” – press release

“View from horseback” isometric maps

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

santa-fe-mapMapmaker Jamshid Kooros has published seven bird’s-eye-view, vue cavaliere (literally, “the view from horseback”) or isometric maps of Washington, D.C., Arlington National Cemetery, Williamsburg, Va., Paris, Versailles, Claude Monet’s home and garden at Giverny, France, and London. His latest tourist map is of Santa Fe, sketched in colored pencil.

The Iranian-born, English-raised, American-educated architect who lives in Alexandria, Va. doesn’t like computers but he does use a digital camera and Google Earth maps to see how a location all fits.

A full-color poster of Kooros’ map is expected to retail for under $15, with a smaller, four-fold map for $7 to $8. Both should be available via or by March.

GIS Day Celebration in McAllen, TX

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The city of McAllen, TX is hosting their own GIS Day celebration today, to demonstrate to citizens its new GIS approach to managing city government departments.

The city has gone from a paper-based system where permitting fees were not collected correctly to a full GIS with Accela GIS and Accela Wireless with ESRI ArcGIS Server Mobile ADF. The implementation is not limited to just one department however, as health, code enforcement, public works, building, utilities and water all use the GIS. Currently eight departments utilize the GIS, and lead programmer analyst Jose Pena said that many more are interested in coming on board.

At the event, speakers include UPS, Accela, the National Weather Service, Border Patrol, ESRI and the U.S. Census Bureau.

ZIP Code changes reflect changing USPS landscape

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

“In the past few months the number of changes that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has pushed through in terms of the coverage area for ZIP codes is more than we’ve ever seen,” stated Darrin Clement, CEO of Maponics. “For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, in just three months, 26% of the ZIP Codes changed.”

According to Clement, most of the change is from consolidations, as they’re closing post offices rather than adding new ones, driven by lower and lower mail volumes.

Bing Maps sports new features

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Microsoft BIng Maps sports new features such as  ‘Draggable Routes’, the ‘Zoom Bar’ and ‘Embed a Map’ as well us updates to the user interface. The Bing Maps team blog has more on these specific updates.

New joint venture company Tucuxi

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

ESi®, the developers of WebEOC®, the world’s first web-enabled crisis information management software, and 3-GIS™, a major provider of geospatial consulting and systems integration services, have announced the formation of a new joint venture company, Tucuxi™ (“Too-Koo-Shi,”

The new company will develop advanced geospatial software products that provide a common operating picture to crisis response teams and decision makers at emergency operations centers at government and corporate installations around the world.

“Our first release is WebEOC Mapper Professional 2 that brings the power of visualization technology into the emergency operations center,” said Adam Geitgey, Tucuxi’s chief technology officer.  “Without any specialized GIS or mapping expertise, emergency managers can use Mapper 2 to create a dynamic, geographically-based common operating picture utilizing WebEOC situation boards.” press release -November 5, 2009

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