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CGG Embraces “GIS-Lite” Capabilities for Oil and Gas Arena

Monday, August 24th, 2015

From data on new drilling opportunities to monitoring exploration and collaborating with field workers, sharing timely and accurate location information is critical for the oil and gas industry.

Though, for many years, this critical business data intelligence ended up being used in a paper map or a static image in a PowerPoint slide.  While GIS is a powerful platform for scientists, mapping professionals and cartographers, the reality is that not everyone who needs geospatial data is trained in GIS software.

However, TerraGo is seeing a shift where many progressive firms have found a way to increase the return on their GIS investments by using GeoPDFs to share free, interactive, lightweight GIS applications with people not trained in GIS, including decision-makers, analysts, scientists, engineers and field personnel.

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TerraGo releases GeoPDF suite version 6.7.3

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

I’m pleased to announce the release of TerraGo Toolbar, TerraGo Composer, and TerraGo Publisher for ArcGIS version 6.7.3. It should be of interest for all users of TerraGo GeoPDF products.

Adobe recently released a significant upgrade of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader called “DC”. DC stands for Document Cloud and the new products are deeply integrated into Adobe Cloud services, and represents fantastic new capabilities for Adobe customers. One thing I’ve noticed about Reader DC is that it opens and displays maps noticeably quicker than Reader 11, so you might want to check that out. TerraGo Composer and Toolbar are compatible with Acrobat DC and Reader DC as of version 6.7.3. The DC user interface has been radically altered and the TerraGo tools can be harder to find, but they’re there! The drop down menu is still in there as always, and you can get to iconified toolbars under Tools.

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GIS for the Masses

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

According to an article in Forbes, people make 150 million maps a day with Esri® software. 150 million.

It’s amazing when you consider the unmatched value of GIS for helping us better shape our understanding of the world we live in. The only thing that makes it more powerful is making it easier to share that understanding.

GIS systems create so much more than flat maps. But out of those 150 million maps made today, how many of those end up shared as paper or even a static image on a Powerpoint slide? What is the cost to train people to be GIS experts, cartographers, geographers, scientists, analysts, engineers, designers, planners and more? How can we leverage all that talent and all that knowledge if we lose so much information on the way out of the GIS system while sharing it with the non-GIS masses. What if you could unlock those maps and let end users truly interact with the data behind the map to better answer their questions? For free.

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TerraGo is in the collaboration business

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

A while back I was on a plane next to a man with a small backpack branded with the logo of a company with whom we do business. Small talk revealed that he was on his way to Afghanistan to help with the stabilization effort. He asked me what I did, and I segued with “I work at a small software company called TerraGo”. He stopped me there with “Oh TerraGo! I know you! The PDF guys! You’re all over Afghanistan!”

I don’t remember much of the rest of the conversation, but I do remember, I’ll admit, a glimmer of pleasure at TerraGo’s recognition, but too a state of cognitive dissonance in which being characterized as “the PDF guys” had left me.

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Earth Imaging Journal Article: Gaining True ROI on Geospatial Technology Investments

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Geographic Information System professionals built an industry on understanding the importance of data in geographic context as an organizational principle and facilitating decision-making by gathering and analysing these data.

They are growing the industry by communicating results in ways that take some of the mystery out of the process, allowing managers to understand information and insights, to offer feedback and to use it creatively and with confidence to predict, react to and even foment change. And those GIS professionals have come to realize that there’s a new responsibility associated with their role: measuring its value.

Where once the work of the GIS professional was used as an adjunct to decision-making, it’s now judged on its contribution to the bottom line, justifying itself through the same means as any other expenditure: return-on-investment.

Managers demand a way to justify increasingly capable – and costly – GIS operations. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to show significant return on investment.

To read the full Earth Imaging Journal “Industry Insights” article in the March/April issue, click here

Making Your GIS Work More Accessible….and Relevant

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

GIS professionals create amazingly detailed, accurate, cartographic quality information that can be visualized and analyzed in any number of ways to model complex problems, perform “what if” scenarios, identify hidden patterns and answer questions in ways not possible without GIS.

Yet many organizations are still sharing all that rich GIS information as paper maps or flat images in a PowerPoint, so a lot of that intelligence gets lost on the way to the GIS department’s most important stakeholders.

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TerraGo OpenGeoPDF Products: Version 6.7

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

TerraGo has just released the version 6.7 of most of our core products which focus on bringing GIS-Lite functionality to document workflows under the aegis of our OpenGeoPDF initiative. That’s a mouthful, so I guess it wouldn’t be too bad to shorten it to version 6.7 of our OpenGeoPDF products. In this release, we’ve added two functions which significantly enhance the GIS-Lite capabilities provided by the recently-added Identify tool in Toolbar: search and update of GeoPackage feature attributes.

Search

Search has become an essential paradigm. My once punctilious management of email, each incoming message being tagged and routed to its own place based on an arcane library of rules accumulated over more years than I care to admit in Emacs Gnus has been replaced by a couple of rules for alerting me to things of current urgency, but otherwise I just search to find in an sea of unsorted emails Outlook, at least at work. With Toolbar 6.7, you can search attached GeoPackage for features matching what you type in the search field, get a list of matches, and then you can click the match to see where it is on the map. Double click the match and you’ll zoom to that feature. We had to add additional metadata to the GeoPDF documents to make this all go, and that’s some of what went into Publisher 6.7, including persisting the field names that ArcMap thinks is the most useful to identify a particular feature. Again, using OpenGeoPDF to tie Publisher to its client application Toolbar helps illustrate the connection. I hope Esri clones the feature in their Identify tool — it’s pretty damn useful and cool.

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GIS-Lite and OpenGeoPDF: What, How and Why

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

We’ve been using a couple of new words of late at TerraGo when describing part of what it is we do for folks: OpenGeoPDF and GIS-Lite. It’s had the desired effect of stimulating some very interesting conversations, but has also caused a little confusion. Let me see if I can clear things up.

GIS-Lite: What

TerraGo makes software that lets people turn their static maps into interactive GIS-lite applications by letting ArcMap users target a client application (TerraGo Toolbar) with TerraGo Publisher. GIS-Lite is what we provide.

OpenGeoPDF: How

TerraGo mashes up industry standards, common IT practices and infrastructure, and best practices under the aegis of its OpenGeoPDF technology initiative to enable its customers to deliver GIS-Lite apps to their audience. OpenGeoPDF is how we provide GIS-Lite.

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What is GIS-Lite?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

If you saw GIS-Lite in isolation, you might imagine it to be pretty much anything not quite GIS. We’re starting to use the word at TerraGo to help explain part of what we do for people — let them transform what would otherwise be a static document into a lightweight location-enabled interactive application. But that’s a mouthful, so we call it GIS-Lite.

One of the reasons we are thinking in terms of GIS-Lite is to illustrate how at once a GeoPDF document with TerraGo Toolbar is not GIS, but is an intimate connection to the GIS and the person who created the document in the first place. When talking with folks about GeoPDF and Toolbar, people make comparisons to pseudo-alternatives like web applications or lightweight GIS software, which shows we failed to make our point: it’s not an either-or proposition. Web apps and GIS programs are distinct and don’t really compete directly at all, although there might be a superficial feature comparison here or there. Paper and PowerPoint are the competition. The real question is would the documents you create with ArcMap be more valuable if people could use Toolbar to take advantage of the geospatial context and data used to create that document? More often than not, the answer is a resounding yes.

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Nobody should have GIS without GIS-Lite

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Our GIS users create lightweight applications using GeoPDF, and share them with non-GIS experts. We call this GIS-Lite.

Of *course* GIS-lite is not GIS! How could it be? GIS can never be supplanted or replaced. But, its concepts are so amazingly valuable, it would be criminally negligent to not use them in proper proportion in all applicable workflows.

Any time a map is used, doesn’t it make sense to make them interactive….to be able to measure, extract coordinate information, dig into the feature attributes and the like to allow people to get that great GIS experience without having to learn GIS? To enable them to answer their own questions? GIS-lite is not a threat to GIS (that’s laughable! How could it possibly be?) – it’s a natural companion and extension.

No organization should have GIS without GIS-lite! You’re not getting the ROI you should without it!

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