MSN Virtual Earth Offers Up Microsoft's New Local Search Strategy


There is a plan to enable this in a mobile environment; the MapPoint team is part of the Mobile and Embedded Device Division; however, Law said the challenges will be both technical and partner based.

“We are changing the way we develop products here for MSN Virtual Earth and Microsoft,” Law stated. “Our normal approach is to release a product and release another product twelve months later. We are going to be re-releasing another product every 90 days, so every quarter MSN Virtual Earth will have a complete update.”

MSN Virtual Earth will be free online to the consumer. You might be asking yourself right about now, where is Microsoft going with this product? With all the press about Google and Google Maps these days, it is natural to want to compare the two. According to Law, Microsoft's investment is long term and really will be very different from that of Google.

Law claimed that MSN Virtual Earth wasn't created in response to Google, as Microsoft clearly has their own roadmap for MSN Virtual Earth. MSN Virtual Earth has been in development since last fall and Google Maps came out in February. The contract with Pictometry is for the next five years, which signifies a long term commitment for Microsoft. Microsoft's two-pronged strategy will eventually replace their Maps and Directions mapping portal, and evolve their local search strategy to become part of their overall search strategy at MSN.

There are also plans to enable developers to build onto and into MSN Virtual Earth. “In all of our products at MapPoint that we've created in the enterprise space, we always have a dedicated fully supported developer strategy, and we're currently working out what that strategy will be with MSN Virtual Earth,” said Law.

Other partner involvement includes a map database that comes from NAVTEQ, business listings from Amicai, and all the layers through partnerships.



Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements

Digital Dispatch Systems Inc. announced that it has signed new agreements with Sammenslutningen Københavns Taxa of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Taxis G7 of Paris, France, to provide them with additional mobile data terminals. TAXA 4X35 will also purchase SmartPrint mobile printers and communication products in addition to iPilot 8000 mobile computers.

Terra Image USA, LLC (TI-USA) has been named by SPOT Image Corporation as a master distributor for SPOT satellite imaging products and services. Under its new role, TI-USA will share responsibility for market development and sales to the U.S. Department of Defense and commercial markets. The company will continue its role as SPOT's exclusive Channel Partner for the U.S. civilian government markets which began in July 2004.

RADARSAT International announced that it has signed $1.54 million USD in network station licensing and renewal agreements. New network stations include the Nato Undersea Research Centre (NURC) of Italy, and the Astana station of the Space Research Institute (SRI) of Kazakhstan One-year renewal agreements are with South Korea and an unnamed station in Asia.

The addition of NURC and SRI increases the global network of RADARSAT-1 ground receiving stations to 26. One of the hallmarks of the RADARSAT-1 program is the near-real time delivery of data to operational users requiring time-sensitive information. Data is processed and delivered within 1 - 4 hours after downlink to the nearest network station.

EarthMap Solutions, LLC, has formalized reseller agreements with Borel Consulting and YVI, Inc., expanding its sales channel in the national corporate agribusiness and California growers markets.

Mike Borel, principal of Borel Consulting, focuses his efforts on corporate agribusiness clients and draws upon more than 25 years of agricultural business experience including positions with DuPont and Valent USA Corporation, a $200M agricultural/horticulture chemicals and biologicals subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Company, where Borel served as president and COO.

NavCom Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), announced that Espatial Resources (ESR) have been signed as a dealer, providing NavCom Technology's GIS and Remote Sensing Solutions for Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Espatial Resources provides system integration and customization using NavCom Technology's products. Applications include remote sensing, mapping, GIS and earth sciences.



Announcements

MWH Soft, a leading global provider of environmental and water resources applications software, finalized the technical program for its 2005 International Geoengineering Conference. Water/Wastewater and GIS/IT professionals from all five continents are expected to convene at this important event, widely considered to be the most comprehensive and significant infrastructure modeling and management technology conference of its kind. The premier event, slated for August 8-9, 2005 at the Renaissance Suites Hotel in Broomfield, Colorado, is targeted to industry executives and decision makers involved in all aspects of the operation, production and protection of water distribution and sewer collection systems.

To register and reserve your seat, visit the Conference Website at www.mwhsoft.com

Digital mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) software developer Cadcorp has announced that its Cadcorp SIS - Spatial Information System - software suite is now able to connect directly to ESRI ArcIMS Image Services. This new capability builds on the multi-format support that Cadcorp SIS users already enjoy out-of-the-box for working with ESRI data, including shape files, Personal Geodatabases, ArcSDE, ARC/INFO Export (ASCII), ARC/INFO DTM, BIL, BIP, BSQ, ARC/INFO Binary Grid and ARC/INFO ASCII GRID. It also adds to the 120-plus different data sources that Cadcorp SIS already reads in their native form.

Local Authorities in England, Wales and Scotland will soon be using a completely new type of computerized map that shows the world in 3D. It follows a strategic national mapping deal brokered by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), with the firm Intermap Technologies, Inc. Intermap has used their aerial radar mapping technology to create the 3D map.

Called NEXTMap Britain, Intermap's computerized maps show the rise and fall of the land to sub-meter accuracy across the length and breadth of Britain. Local Authorities can combine this data with traditional maps and aerial photography to create realistic 3D visualizations at any location. Staff can view any scene on their computer screens as if they were actually on site and undertake detailed analysis for activities extending from planning to highways, environmental services and tourism.

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) welcomed six additional new members, bringing the total number of sustaining members to more than 65. New sustaining members include 3001, Inc.; ADAM Systems Group of Advanced Software Resources, Inc.; Compusult Limited; Pixia Corp., Stellar Solutions, Inc.; and The Titan Corporation.

Intergraph Corporation announced Empresas Publicas de Medellin E.S.P. (EEPPM), Colombia's multi-utility company, is upgrading its successful FRAMME-based geofacilities management system to Intergraph's G/Technology(TM), the next-generation enabling core of a Geospatial Resource Management (GRM) system. EEPPM manages and maintains five distribution networks - electric, gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications for 2.5 million customers throughout Colombia. The open architecture of G/Technology will enable EEPPM employees to easily leverage and share data, further streamlining day-to-day activities and processes for provisioning and maintaining its service delivery networks. Using G/Technology, EEPPM can more efficiently and cost effectively manage their assets and resources.



Awards

GIS Solutions and ESRI were selected by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) to develop geographic information system (GIS) tools that will improve the effectiveness of a coordinated response to a Foreign Animal Disease outbreak. IDOA is pursuing GIS technologies to provide support for critical emergency response functions and gain critical information about threatened areas, animals and producers. The goals of the project are to improve IDOA's ability to respond to an emergency outbreak of a Foreign Animal Disease as well as supporting IDOA functions of monitoring and promoting animal health and productivity.



Appointments

Space Imaging announced the appointment of Dennis Jones as vice president of U.S. Government and North America Sales. Jones' appointment is effective immediately.

Jones has more than 15 years of national security affairs and commercial industry experience. Earlier in his career, Jones held various policy management and advisory positions within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the Executive Office of the President, and was senior policy advisor to the director of Policy in the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Later Jones held management positions with Space Imaging's international and federal departments to expand the company's U.S. government and global business presence in the marketplace. Jones rejoins Space Imaging having most recently served as DigitalGlobe's Director, National Information Solution Center.


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