Integrating Spatial Information Infrastructures and Other Herculean Tasks


Laser-Scan Conference Highlights

Duncan Guthrie, Managing Director for Laser-Scan, opened the conference with a discussion of how Laser-Scan has grown and interest has increased in the company since it was bought by its management team two years ago. Over the past year, he said, “we have signed agreements with a number of resellers and partners, taking forward our objective to deliver our new solutions to the market via a worldwide channel strategy.”

Peter Cappell, chairman of the Association of Geographic Information (AGI) spoke on the topic, “How communal is the spatial data community? Reflections from a Public Sector user perspective.” Prior to becoming chairman of the AGI, he had a long career in the Government Statistical service, working in a variety of Departments, producing, publishing and analyzing information on a wide range of economic and social subjects. Most recently he was Head of Profession for Statistics in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and, as Head of Planning and Land Use Statistics, was responsible for leading the ODPM work on Geographic Information.

From this perspective Cappell addressed the fact that public sector policies demand accurate, accessible information at a national, regional and local level. How has the public sector use of information evolved and how well is it making use of geographic information and the technological support which is now available? The UK should be proud of its young innovative companies but are they providing solutions looking for a problem? The GI vision needs the sectors to benefit from each other. How can this happen and how can the AGI help?

“Plug 'n' play geographic information: pipedream or realistic prospect?” The keynoters addressing this topic were as follows:

Keith Murray, Head of Geographic Information Strategy at the Ordnance Survey based in Southampton, most recently has developed the concept of DNF, the geographic information strategy for the Ordnance Survey and is involved in developing the European Spatial Data Infrastructure.

Trevor Steenson, Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland

Colin Bray has been working for Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Irish National Mapping Agency, since 1998, initial as Data Collection Manager and now as Senior Operations Manager, Data Strategy & Development. Colin is a Council Member of the Geomatics Division of the Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS) and has been President of Commission 4 (Core Geospatial Databases) of EuroSDR (European Spatial Data Research) since the beginning of 2004.

These three speakers stressed that pressure is upon countries to provide interoperable geographic information, driven by European legislation and global economy, plus the need for application information to be integrated with many different types of geographic and other data.

The three Ordnance Surveys, Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland have collaborated over the past years to work toward a common approach to data developments (2001, Murray, Bray and Steenson). In the beginning, they set up a user website and worked towards a scenario where users could access data from any of the three organizations without much reformatting. Currently more data and database development projects are underway.

The development possibility of a European Spatial Data Infrastructure [ESDI] and in particular the acceleration in the use of geographic information across government, operate along the same lines as what the three Ordnance Surveys have accomplished. The goal is to integrate the spatial information infrastructures that exist today in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland so that they might become "plug n'play geographic information" served up through a new range of “geography enabled” services that will be able to be seamlessly linked in to or adapted to the future ESDI. Through all of this, we are reminded that the work must be user and needs generated.



Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements

NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has acquired PMI, a prominent South Korean digital map company, for $28.5 million. With the purchase, NAVTEQ now has a local presence in South Korea and a digital map product available to service the dynamic Korean market.

OneGIS is pleased to announce that it has expanded its GIS product and service offerings by inking an agreement with HNIT-Baltic GeoInfoServisas (HB-GIS). The agreement names OneGIS as a representative for its Cellular Expert line of telecommunications network planning and management software for the wireless industry in the United States, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Cellular Expert is designed for mobile network operators, companies or government agencies with their own radio networks or radio transmission links, armed forces and consultants providing services in these areas.



Announcements

Jon Stigant, Geodetic Operations Coordinator for Devon Energy Corporation, will present the Thursday luncheon address at the 18th Annual GIS in the Rockies Conference in September. Karen Brandt, Chair of the Planning Committee, said "We are very pleased that Mr. Stigant will address this year's conference. His approach is very down-to-earth. The lessons he learned the hard way will give our attendees practical information they can use immediately."

The luncheon address is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday September 22nd at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

Before joining Deven Energy in early 2004, Mr. Stigant consulted for Ocean Energy. He previously worked for Chevron Geosciences as a field positioning specialist supporting geophysical surveys and rig positioning worldwide, for Wimpol Inc. as Chief Surveyor, and for Racal Decca Survey, Inc in Houston. After obtaining a BS in Engineering Science (Durham, UK) Jon spent 11 years in the Royal Navy as a hydrographic surveyor.

The Conference will be 21-23 September 2005 in Denver, Colorado, at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

Geographic Technologies Group, Inc. (GTG), a provider of professional GIS services and software for local government, has announced the formal opening of its Bethlehem, Pennsylvania regional office.

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is now accepting applications for Geospatial Intelligence Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the tradecraft by an individual or team from each of four sectors: government, industry, military and academia. The deadline for award application is August 15, 2005. To apply for the USGIF awards, please click on the link below. Awards: http://www.usgif.org/events/awards.htm

West Parry Sound municipalities are slowly joining forces to officially form the West Parry Sound Geography Network in an effort to keep down expenses related to the geographic information system (GIS).

GIS can be used by all aspects of municipal government including the fire department, and can help to determine property boundaries.

ORBIMAGE Inc. announced the second anniversary of the launch of its OrbView-3 satellite, which remains the newest high-resolution imaging satellite among those commercially operated. Launched on June 26, 2003 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, OrbView-3 orbits 470 km above the Earth in a sun- synchronous polar orbit while collecting imagery of every continent of the Earth's surface at one-meter resolution in the Panchromatic (black and white) mode, or at four-meter resolution in the Multispectral (color) mode. OrbView-3 has made many important contributions in supporting the mapping and monitoring needs of the US Government and our commercial and international customers.



Appointments

Avineon, Inc., a technology services company with more than 13 years experience in providing information technology, geospatial, and engineering solutions to the federal government, is pleased to announce that Ms. Debra Wittmer has joined the company as Vice President - Defense Systems.

Multimap announced the promotion of Steve Frost, senior account manager, to Head of Sales for Europe. Heading up Multimap's multinational team of account managers, Steve is responsible for further strengthening the company's position as number one online mapping company of choice for businesses across Europe.

Definiens AG announced an agreement with Sinclair Knight Merz, an Australia-based professional services firm, to serve as a reseller of eCognition products for Australia and New Zealand.



Awards

John Copple, CEO of Sanborn, a geographic information system (GIS) and photogrammetric services industry leader, announced that the company has been selected, for the second year, by the United States Department of Agriculture to provide aerial photography and imagery acquisition services in accordance with USDA-NAIP-03-05.

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