July 02, 2007
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by GISCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Welcome to 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, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, People, Awards, New Products, and Events Calendar.
GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at giscafe-editor@IBSystems.com

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News


by Susan Smith

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The Map Gallery in the Sail Room at ESRI, always a special treat, features vast projects like the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Palanterra Project as well as mapping projects of development in certain geographic areas, tracking invasive species, oil and gas interests, watershed analysis, resource management, population distribution, sustainable development and many other topics.

This year was no exception. The line to buy an autographed copy of Dr. Wangari Maathai’s memoir or a Green Belt Movement t-shirt (emblazoned with the message: “I Plant Trees”) extended out the doors of the Sail Room.

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Founder and director of Service at Sea, Drew Stephens
Founder and director of
Service at Sea, Drew Stephens, has spent three years nurturing a vision of a non-profit, ship-based GIS program that educates people about global conservation. His dream was realized when the Service at Sea vessel left San Diego on Friday, June 22, to head up to the Vancouver area, taking into consideration hurricane season before embarking on a worldwide itinerary of stops, equipped with a crew of GIS experts, teachers and scientists, as well as a documentary filmmaker. Special care has been taken in developing a curriculum for K-12 teachers that will be downloadable, as well as
supplementary live webcasts, all within accordance with National Science Standards.

A year ago, Stephens had embarked on a six-week pilot project funded by Chevron and ESRI, to bring GIS technology and training to conservationist groups throughout Africa. This was met with great popularity, and the news of his training spread quickly via the Society for Conservation GIS website. This pilot serves as a jumping off place for Service at Sea.

GITA’s Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference

Bob Samborski, executive director of GITA, said the organization has been analyzing responses from membership and conference attendees to find out just what people think GITA’s identity is. Some feel that they focus mostly on utilities, which is, of course, a large part of membership. “We realized we’re not doing a good job of describing what our identity is. When you look at the composition of the membership, the second largest membership is local government. At the conference, one of the largest attendance constituencies is local government. We can’t shake this utility image.”

Next, the board members looked at the commonality of our some of their utility members, and wanted to find out who the local government people were and what did they do. “They’re mostly infrastructure oriented, network types, from local , state and federal government,” said Samborski.

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He added that GITA has always been in the infrastructure space, but has not adequately communicated what that space is in sufficient detail to address some of these issues. “We decided we would reposition and rebrand the conference as well as the association to further address that.” So, instead of “Annual Conference 31, Seattle,” the next conference will be the Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference.

GITA conferences are about infrastructure, and those who attend want to know about different vertical markets, and find out what others, not necessarily those in their immediate field, are doing, regardless of platform or software. The conference
already is an industry conference, supporting neutral solutions rather than vendor-specific solutions.

From the press release: “The geospatial industry has officially migrated from being exclusively a “technology” to being a full-fledged industry sector that is instrumental in the management of the critical infrastructure that supports every aspect of civil life—from telecommunications to emergency response to banking and finance.”

How to accomplish this change:

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Going Green

o GITA’s next Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference in Seattle, WA, will have content focused on green GIS, and the organization will add on to this element of the conference in years to come—even in its own conference operations.

Emergency Response

o A widely recognized area of infrastructure is emergency response and planning. Programming is already in place for a “conference within a conference,” happening at the next Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference in March 2008.

Broad horizontal solutions

o With projects such as the now completed return on investment workbook, Building a Business Case for Geospatial Information Technology: A Practitioner’s Guide to Financial Strategic Analysis, GITA will continue to ensure that broad geospatial solutions are the focus of the organization and the conference.


Using technology licensed from
Anoto, Adapx has created a new software product called Mapx, which is a fully integrated solution that allows you to use its digital pen-and-paper-based data collection with ESRI ArcGIS mapping software. The technology for ArcGIS involves a geo-registered map printed from a Mapx-enabled version of ArcGIS Desktop of Engine application, which you can mark up or annotate using one of the digital pens called Penx. The paper has a pattern of dots printed in the printed document that
enables it to be used with the pen. The pen collects all this written data, when it is placed in the docking station for upload, the data is available on the computer.


Intermap and Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft’s enhanced Virtual Earth (VE) 3D viewing platform based on Intermap’s elevation data for all of Great Britain. Readers may recall that Intermap gained attention from their creation of an accurate, up-to-date elevation data model for Great Britain, called NEXTMap Britain, and is also creating maps for the rest of Western Europe, to be completed this year.

Intermap’s relationship with Microsoft means that Microsoft has licensed Intermap’s elevation data so that VE now has their elevation data as its foundation in Great Britain, providing a more realistic view of the earth. “The relationship hopes to continue to expand into the rest of our European markets,” noted E. Ted Garlock, senior manager, Global Marketing Communications for Intermap. “We want to work together to build applications that will provide services to consumers and businesses.” Intermap is known for providing elevation data for generating risk assessment and management models, and this data will now be available as part of VE to anyone
using it.”

Intermap is also looking at creating personal navigation products, which will have 3D images and target the off road vehicle market, including forest roads and trails. “We are creating a product for off road that will go on any device, that will have a 3D off road network,” said Garlock. “Because of our elevation model, we’ll be able to put line of sight information, and safety features for being lost, or injured, to be able to tell if you have cell phone signals or not, and where to go to get them.”

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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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