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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Nokia sells MetaCarta just three months after acquisition

July 14th, 2010 by Susan Smith

According to TMC News, Finnish telecom Nokia announced the sale of US software developer MetaCarta without disclosing a price on Monday.
Qbase Holdings just  purchased MetaCarta three months after MetaCarta was acquired by Nokia.

Cambridge-based Metacarta develops geographic intelligence software and  employs about 30.

Trails SIG meets at ESRI UC today

July 13th, 2010 by Susan Smith
If you're interested in the use of ESRI products with trails, check out the Trails SIG. If you are at ESRI's User Conference in San Diego today, the Trails Special Interest Group meets
at the San Diego Convention Center today, Tuesday, July 13th, at noon to 1pm in Room 30 B.  It doesn't appear in the printed schedule, but it
does in the online planner.

And if you aren't in San Diego, see the following resources.

The SIG has a presence online at
This is a meeting I like to attend.

2010 FIFA World Cup GIS mapping

July 12th, 2010 by Susan Smith

Nelson Mandela Bay was the host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup where Spain’s victory over The Netherlands resulted in a score of 1-0 in the last four minutes of play Sunday. The site features a GIS mapping application that visitors can launch themselves.


Nelson Mandela Bay – Port Elizabeth, FIFA World Cup 2010

What’s going on at ESRI UC this week?

July 12th, 2010 by Susan Smith

This time of year my internal clock is set for ESRI UC, as I have attended every year for the past eleven years. This year however, I am not there. I feel a little strange, as though something is missing, and it is. Usually, I look forward to ESRI because of the plenary session, keynotes, the speakers, the educational focus, the vast numbers of people I meet and network with, seafood, and the San Diego sea breeze that is so refreshing compared to New Mexico mid-summer dry heat.


Instead of being there, this year I invite readers to tell me how it’s going, write into my blog or to my email address to tell me what is worthwhile, hot, a new trend, or otherwise exciting news.


Rather than writing my usual recap of the conference each day I’m there, this may be a recap of what attendees think is important. I will, in the meantime, update readers with what I hear about products from the conference.

Worldwide mobile subscriptions forecast at over 5 billion by ABI Research

July 8th, 2010 by Susan Smith

In the Analyst Insider from ABI Research the company forecasts over five billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2010 worldwide, predicting approximately 4.8 billion connections having been reached by the end of the year’s first quarter. According to the report, much of this growth will be registered in developing markets in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Africa remains the fastest growing mobile market with a YoY growth of over 22%. Mobile penetration in Asia-Pacific will rise significantly to 65% by the end of 2010.

Intergraph to be acquired by Hexagon AB

July 7th, 2010 by Susan Smith

In a press release today, “Intergraph Corp. announced it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Hexagon AB, a leading global measurement technology company, in a transaction valued at approximately $2.125 billion.

Upon closing of the transaction, Intergraph will operate as a separate Hexagon division under the Intergraph name and branding.

Intergraph will become Hexagon’s core software platform and will continue to provide differentiated and vertically-focused software solutions to its core industries.  Intergraph software will also be integrated into Hexagon’s existing measurement and precision technology system markets to provide a visual presentation layer for the management, analysis and sharing of the vast amounts of critical data produced by these products.

In 2006, Intergraph was acquired by an investor group led by Hellman & Friedman LLC, TPG Capital and JMI Equity. “

NVision Oil Spill Response iPhone App

July 6th, 2010 by Susan Smith

In response to the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, NVision Solutions has released the Oil Spill Response iPhone App. The free app allows users to report oil incidents found along the coastal regions including oiled shorelines and wildlife as well as generic reports on oil related damage and oil related incidents.

Users can upload images along with their reports. Reports are available for viewing in an online map as well as on the iPhone. The app can be downloaded at the iTunes Store

Google Labs launches Fusion Tables

June 9th, 2010 by Susan Smith

page21Google Fusion Tables, a service from Google Labs, is an exciting new development that offers the potential to unlock facts and scientific data that has previously been in databases and spreadsheets which have not been shared easily. Fusion Tables also allows the management of large quantities of  data, and lets users generate design elements and collaborate online.

Fusion Tables was developed by Google engineers who were using sample research data from the Pacific Institute and Circle of Blue, an organization that does front-line reporting on water issues, on the global freshwater crisis. The idea is to build an ecosystem on the Web, according to Alon Halevy, senior Google engineer who led the development team for Fusion Tables.

Users can merge and share data in real time with other contributors whereever they work. They can upload and manage huge databases of information, filter and aggregate relevant data sets without having to be concerned about file formats.

What’s more, data that is stored in Google Docs’ spreadsheets can be thematically mapped and geocoded using Fusion Tables. Developers can use the Fusion Tables API to insert, update, delete and query data programmatically. You can export your data as CSV or KML too.

Fusion Tables tutorial from Circle of Blue

Update from Houma Incident Command Post (ICP), Louisiana

June 8th, 2010 by Susan Smith

I got an interesting report from Drew Stephens, Director of the GIS Institute, on his organization’s contribution to GIS at the Houma Incident Command Post (ICP) in Louisiana:

“Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and sinking, the ICP was established in Houma. As you can imagine, GIS was quickly a major component of the response. Beginning April 30, a team of  “GIS Smoke Jumpers” from across the USA deployed to Houma, LA to build and operate an enterprise-class GIS for the ICP. Waypoint Mapping’s Devon Humphrey served as the initial GIS Team Leader and was transferred to serve as Geographic Intelligence Officer for ICP Houma. Drew Stephens of The GIS Institute was named GIS Unit Lead. Mr. Humphrey served as liaison to Incident Command and NIMS-compliant system architect advisor, while Mr. Stephens recruited and managed a team of GIS professionals to operate the GIS Unit, most having 10-20 years GIS experience.

At first, GIS staff & products were primarily serving US Coast Guard task forces on the water, and overflight / plume mapping. The team quickly migrated away from the fragmented skills, flash drives and personal laptops, to a networked drive with a file geodatabase, then to an Enterprise SDE and ArcGIS Server. ArcGIS Mobile figured prominently into the overall design, and by last Friday, The Louisiana National Guard was posting data directly to a server from the field. There are now over 150 layers of base map and operational data served to users of ArcGIS desktop, a browser-based Flex viewer and a Google Earth app. The system, which would have normally taken a year or more to plan and implement, was fully operational in less than two weeks. Map requests were dominating the GIS staff time, so standardized map products were created on a schedule, each following a data deliverable to the team – for example, the twice-daily airborne SLAR imagery would be followed by a map product available from the document management team.
The range and depth of talent was truly remarkable. As the demand for GIS products and services grew, so did the GIS team, and its ability to deliver. Federal and Intelligence assets were put into play against the spill, as were staff. The GIS lab was a common stop by visiting Admirals, Captains, Colonels, and many others. The team had the honor of meeting various members of the Unified Command, including the outgoing Commandant of the Coast Guard (Admiral Thad Allen), Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp, Area Command FOSC Admiral Landry, Admiral Watson, Tom Strickland (Chief of Staff for Interior Secretary Salazar), David Hayes (Deputy Secretary of Department of Interior), Jane Lute (Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security), representatives from the State of Louisiana Governor’s Office, Army National Guard, Air Force, US Fish & Wildlife and many others.

There are now many more senior-level administrators who understand the power of GIS! I just returned from 21 days of service, resting and standing-by to go back…
Also, it’s tough to watch the news these days without being swept-up in the anger and blame – please know, that regardless of your take on all of this, there are many hard-working and passionate oil spill responders working really long hours with no time off in support of this ecological disaster.  Thanks for your support!

PS: if you see this by 5:20PM EDT Friday June 4, Drew will be on 880 AM in Asheville, NC and – it will be saved as podcast at the site under Local Edge Radio.”

Drew with US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp  Drew with US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp

Drew with US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp Drew with US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp

Lt. Gen James Clapper nominated for director of national intelligence position

June 8th, 2010 by Susan Smith

After the September 11 attacks, the position of director of national intelligence was formed. On Saturday, President Obama nominated Lt. Gen. James Clapper, former head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and retired from the Air Force since 1995 after a 32-year career, to the position.

Obama called him one of America’s “most experienced and most respected intelligence professionals.”

Clapper would replace Dennis Blair, who resigned at the end of last month. Obama said he’ll be looking for Clapper “to ensure that we have the most capable and efficient intelligence community possible.”

Below are some news stories written about Clapper:

What Clapper Means For Intel by Colin Clark, DoD Buzz, June 8, 2010

Monday’s intriguing people CNN News, June 7, 2010

Teledyne Optech
University of Denver GIS Masters Degree Online
Teledyne: - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

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