July 31, 2006
Thales Navigation Acquired by Investment Group
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Message from the Editor -

Welcome to GISWeekly! Shah Capital Partners (SCP) led an investment group to acquire Thales Navigation, a division of Thales, and leader in the consumer, survey, GIS and OEM GPS navigation and positioning markets, in an agreement announced this week. Thales Navigation, sold to Shah for 170 mln usd, has experienced dramatic acceleration in business, specifically a 200 percent consumer revenue growth over the past three years, according to Francois Erceau, general manager of Survey and GIS Business. Read about it in this week's Industry News.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the 26th Annual ESRI Conference in San Diego, August 7-11.

GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Announcements, Contract Awards, Awards, People, New Products, Letters to the Editor and Upcoming Events.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Thales Navigation Acquired by Investment Group

by Susan Smith

Shah Capital Partners (SCP) led an investment group to acquire Thales Navigation, a division of Thales, and leader in the consumer, survey, GIS and OEM GPS navigation and positioning markets, in an agreement announced this week. Co-investors who participated with SCP in the transaction included Tudor Group, Galleon Group, Consolidated Press Holdings, AIG SunAmerica, and Eli Broad.

Thales Navigation has experienced dramatic acceleration in business, specifically a 200 percent consumer revenue growth over the past three years, according to Francois Erceau, general manager of Survey and GIS Business. GPS technology has grown significantly in this time period among both consumer and commercial users and applications alike. Thales Navigation felt it was necessary to identify an appropriate parent company to allow the company to move forward and grow with further development, said Erceau.

Thales wanted to keep the company in its current shape and form, and be able to have more flexibility and react to the environment more effectively. Shah stepped up to the plate and the deal between Shah and Thales Navigation is expected to close in the third quarter of 2006.

Shaw Capital Partners is a private equity firm that focuses primarily on technology buyouts. Their portfolio of companies include hardware, design services, electronics, design manufacturing. They are looking to grow companies and grow their value to make them as successful as possible. Shaw already is familiar with Thales Navigation as one of their companies manufactures the server products for Thales Navigation.

As far as changes in Thales Navigation, “The sites will be kept, the people will be kept, and the operation of the company will be looked at in order to make it more efficient,” explained Erceau, which means some changes will be made but nothing too dramatic for now. The one change will be the company name will be changed to Magellan Navigation, as the Magellan brand is recognized worldwide. That company will remain located in San Dimas, California. Products from the former Thales Navigation include: Magellan® RoadMate™ series portable car navigation systems, the Magellan eXplorist™ outdoor handheld navigation devices, the Hertz NeverLost® car navigation
system and ProMark™, the best-selling single frequency GPS survey product line on the market.

Without the Thales Navigation division, the Thales Group will continue to focus on airborne and military driven core activities as it has always done. The company is an international electronics and systems group, serving defense, aerospace and security markets worldwide, supported by a comprehensive services offering. Thales employs 60,000 people in 50 countries and generated revenues of £ 10.3 billion in 2005, with a record order book of over £ 20 billion.

Top News of the Week

The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation spacecraft known as CALIPSO is returning never-before-seen images of clouds and aerosols, tiny particles suspended in the air.

These new images are revealing the secrets of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve and interact with the atmosphere. CALIPSO's first images were taken in early June. They highlight the results of a major lava dome collapse at the Soufriere Hills Volcano on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. The dome collapse on May 20 involved an explosion that sent ash clouds 55,000 feet into the sky.

CH2M HILL's Enterprise Spatial Solutions (ESS) business announced a relationship with ESRI to develop several spatial information management (SIM) solutions aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of city, county and state government operations.


OSI Geospatial Inc. announced it has signed a teaming agreement with the Marine Systems division of L-3 Communications Corporation (L-3 Marine Systems) to pursue opportunities in the worldwide naval market. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will jointly market and sell products including integrated bridge systems, navigation systems, homeland security systems, geospatial applications, command and control systems, and related training and human engineering applications.

NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has been selected by Microsoft to enhance Microsoft's "Flight Simulator X," a Windows PC-based simulator used by gaming and aviation enthusiasts, with NAVTEQ(R) map data. Microsoft "Flight Simulator X" is the 10th edition of the highly successful "Flight Simulator" franchise, and offers players an innovative aviation gaming experience immersed in a beautifully rich and realistic simulated world. NAVTEQ will enhance the visual realism of the game by providing its highly accurate map data as a real-world foundation of street level detail.

Geographic Technologies Group, Inc. (GTG), with full support from Tele-Works, Inc., has created a strategic alliance and business partnership to offer complete communication solutions that include the very best Geographic Information Systems (GIS) functionality. This alliance will form an advanced GIS implementation team that will benefit government agencies of all sizes and complexities. Experience in all aspects of government will afford clients the very best professional services for successfully implementing enterprise-wide GIS solutions. Tele-Works clients will now be able to talk to a local government GIS expert about planning, designing, building optimum GIS solutions, and
purchasing off-the-shelf GIS software solutions.

@Road, Inc., a global provider of next-generation solutions for Mobile Resource Management (MRM), announced that Performance Transportation Services, Inc. ("PTS"), the second largest transporter of new automobiles, sport-utility vehicles and light trucks in North America, has selected @Road as its MRM solutions provider. Under the terms of the agreement, PTS intends to deploy the flagship @Road® GeoManager(SM) MRM solution designed to give PTS greater location intelligence, manageability and real-time visibility into the work of up to 1,544 commercial carrier drivers and trucks.


At the upcoming 26th ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California, ESRI will be showcasing its commitment to building an open and interoperable geographic information system (GIS) platform.

Several new interoperability improvements in ArcGIS 9.2 and in the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension will be shown and discussed at the upcoming User Conference (August 7-11, 2006). These include ArcGIS 9.2 support for OGC WMS, WFS, and GML Simple Features on both the client and server. ArcGIS 9.2 also embraces the ISO 19139 metadata standard. In addition, there is greatly enhanced support for reading, exporting, and working with CAD drawings from AutoCAD and MicroStation.

The Chinese search engine Baidu and PC manufacturer HP announced that, for one year beginning in October 2006, all HP Pavilion and HP Presario series computers sold within mainland China will come with Baidu search service already enabled, so that users can "Baidu their trouble."

The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) has approved and released the OGC Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) White Paper as an official public OGC White Paper (

A sensor network is a computer accessible network of many spatially distributed devices using sensors to monitor conditions at different locations, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants. A Sensor Web refers to Web accessible sensor networks and archived sensor data that can be discovered and accessed using standard protocols and interfaces.

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