January 14, 2008
2007 -- A Year in Review; 2008 - Looking Forward
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
2007 -- A Year in Review; 2008 - Looking Forward
by Susan Smith
2007 brought some surprises in terms of consolidation in the marketplace with a spotlight on personal navigation devices and mapping data. Services continue to grow and the availability of development platforms such as Google Earth, Open Source, and Oracle Spatial as well as the proliferation of navigation devices and applications for them, are fueling that growth. Standards have also spurred development.
Geospatial is not just extending into other markets, and not just into developers’ laps, but also off the beaten path, into off-road, where there has been a severe lack of mapping data available.
The topics profiled here are the ones that received highest readership at GISWeekly and highlighted significant changes in the industry this year.
Acquisitions and subsequent market consolidation
Pitney Bowes Inc. announced in March it was entering into a merger agreement to
MapInfo Corporation for approximately $408 million in cash, net of expected cash on MapInfo’s balance sheet at the time of closing. MapInfo is a leading global provider of location intelligence solutions and was the largest acquisition Pitney Bowes has ever made. Steve Walden, VP and GM of Business Geographics for Pitney Bowes Group 1 Software and Michael Hickey, CEO of MapInfo, headquartered in Troy, New York talked about the agreement and their thoughts on what is coming up. The Group 1 software arm of Pitney Bowes is in Boulder, Colorado. Walden was one of the executives of Pitney Bowes who was instrumental in putting together the acquisition of MapInfo.
According to Walden, the geocoding and geospatial capabilities came along as part of Group 1 and were a piece of what led up to this acquisition of MapInfo. “We are trying to change people’s perspective from Pitney Bowes, the mailing machine company to Pitney Bowes, the global technology company,” said Walden.
This year, the race was on to be able to own maps provided with in-car and handheld navigation devices. Makers of navigation devices announced their intent to acquire mapping data suppliers as the number of personal navigation devices (PNDs) sold climbs, and is now forecasted to jump from 19.8 million in 2006 to 65.1 million in 2012.
The first such acquisition announcement was made in July, when
TomTom, Europe's leading maker of personal navigation devices, announced it would buy
Tele Atlas, the supplier of most of its mapping data, for $2.8 billion in cash and debt, or euro 21.25 a share.
Industry watchers warned that the acquisition would greatly impact the navigation device market, with NAVTEQ being most affected. Personal navigation device providers such as TomTom, Magellan and Garmin rely on either NAVTEQ or TeleAtlas for updated and accurate street maps.
The TomTom acquisition set off a domino effect – in October
NAVTEQ announced an agreement for Nokia to acquire NAVTEQ.
With the acquisition of NAVTEQ, Nokia planned to broaden from mobile navigation devices to pedestrian navigation and automotive navigation systems, internet-based mapping applications and government and business solutions.
Garmin Ltd. announced its intent to make a
cash offer for all the outstanding shares of
Tele Atlas N.V. on a fully diluted basis at an indicative offer price of euro 24.50 in cash per share, implying an equity value for the Company of euro 2.3 billion, which is 15 percent higher than the offer for TeleAtlas made by TomTom in July. Garmin planned to launch the bid before December 4, which was when TomTom’s offer expired.
In November, the following occurred: Garmin announced in a press release that its subsidiaries, Garmin International Inc and Garmin Corporation, signed a six-year extension to their agreement with
NAVTEQ. The agreement allows Garmin to continue using NAVTEQ data through 2015, with an option to renew for an additional four-year period. In addition, Garmin also announced that in light of these developments it does not intend to pursue its offer for Tele Atlas N.V.
Growth in Services
At the ESRI UC 2007 Plenary Session, President and CEO Jack Dangermond stated that
ESRI creates data products almost as a sideline but it has become a main business. Consequently there is more need for customization than out-of-the-box solutions.
Support services are growing by 30 percent. In ArcGIS 9.3, diagnostic reporting will be added as low level code in the release that will generate reports and get better software to users. Sounds like the stuff of dreams, but users will have complete access to the ESRI bug list on a daily basis, and there will be a more active online community in a sort of one stop shop/online support center.
The demand for services and the subsequent ability to be able to create complex systems quickly that are supported by standards is driving product development.
“We’ve created a set of products for ArcGIS that supports that SDI 1.0 baseline,” said The Carbon Project president and CEO, Jeff Harrison. For more complicated data producers, SDI 1.0 includes familiar OGC standards such Web Map Server, GML, WFS, and additional unfamiliar things like filters and catalogs, that allow users to put together complex systems much faster and at much lower cost than they have been able to do in the past.
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.
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