GIS Report from Europe - An Interview with Jeff Thurston

"Each bureau will have a central support site that provides for the distribution of software and the first level of technical support. ESRI will work primarily through these central support sites," said John Steffenson, ESRI account manager for the U.S. Department of Interior.

Karen C. Siderelis, geographic information officer at USGS, said the BPA also includes Tribal governments and "means increased flexibility and reduced costs that will better enable Interior agencies to respond to changing needs and the increasing demand for geospatial information."

PlanGraphics, Inc. (OTCBB: PGRA), was recently awarded a contract to aid the City of Raleigh, North Carolina's Information Services Department, Geographic Information Services Division in the completion of a geographic information system (GIS) emergency response assessment and implementation plan that will be used during any natural, health, technological or man-made emergency that City personnel may need to respond to.

PlanGraphics will utilize their STEPs program to conduct a series of interviews with representatives of the emergency management community in Raleigh such as Police, Fire, Emergency Communications, Parks & Recreation, Transportation, Information Services/GIS, Inspections and the City Manager's Office of Operations. The object of the interviews will be to elicit information regarding general and specific departmental roles and responsibilities during an emergency, their current information technology infrastructure and their coordination with county, state and federal agencies.

The information is expected to be vital in defining the gap between the current system and the city's future IT vision. PlanGraphics also plans to use the information combined with their experiences with responses to the World Trade Center site and other client sites to help formulate a list of key applications for the City which will assist in all phases of emergency management, including planning, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.


Intergraph Corporation (Nasdaq: INGR) reported operating results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2002.

For Q4 2002, Intergraph reported operating income of $0.5 million and net income of $90.1 million on revenue of $122 million. Combining both the Z/I Imaging business and the Utilities & Communications business with the Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions (IMGS) division resulted in an operating income that included a $2.1 million restructuring charge. Net income was $1.85 per share (diluted) and included $148.2 million of pre-tax gains from patent litigation. Revenues and operating income met the Company's expectations for the quarter.

MapInfo Corporation (NASDAQ: MAPS) announced support for the OpenGIS(R) Web Map Service (WMS) Implementation Specification, an industry consensus specification that enables government groups worldwide to share and visualize data more effectively. With MapXtreme Java Edition and WMS, municipalities and government agencies can more easily share geo-spatial data across different departments, levels of government and jurisdictions.

"As the need for seamless distributed data sharing between cooperating organizations and communities increases, particularly for issues like emergency response and critical infrastructure protection, the inclusion of OpenGIS Specifications in product offerings is extremely important," said Mark E. Reichardt, executive director, Outreach and Community Adoption Program at OGC. "MapInfo's active involvement in the Open GIS Consortium's process, and their commitment to implement OpenGIS Specifications such as WMS 1.1.1 in their product offerings, indicates their dedication to improve the user's ability to rapidly access, integrate and visualize information from distributed sources."

Gartner Research recently surveyed federal, state and local government GIS managers and found that 78 percent of individuals interviewed felt that OpenGIS Specifications were important to their jurisdiction for the next five years. The Open GIS Consortium developed the WMS Specification, which specifies operations to retrieve a map as an image, answer queries about the content of the map and also work with other programs and applications in a standard format for collaborative research and analysis.

The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) announced its application for full Union membership in the International Council for Science (ICSU) was approved at the 27th ICSU General Assembly, thereby granting ISPRS status as a full Scientific Union Member.

Professor John Trinder, President of ISPRS, said "ICSU addresses major international, interdisciplinary issues typically beyond the scope of individual organizations. In deciding to become a full Union Member of ICSU, we saw opportunities to help our members participate in cross-disciplinary activities and research programs. In particular, we believe that many aspects of scientific research will be enhanced by inputs from remote sensing. And similarly, our remote sensing research will contribute more to sustainable development when it is enhanced by, for example, the expertise of biologists who understand the possible causes and impacts of the vegetation stress we detect and map via remote sensing."

ICSU, founded in 1931, represents a global membership including 27 international scientific unions and 101 national scientific academies.

The Aleutian Group, LLC (“TAG”) announced the acquisition and combination of several internationally recognized businesses, including Altex Technologies, a Swiss company, GeoDigital Technologies, LLC, a United States company, and Opten, a Russian company. TAG plans to present customized solutions to its clients as a result of these acquisitions, recognizing that a global approach is needed to problems faced by industries with great asset concentration and monitoring requirements.

Under TAG, the acquired companies will transfer and share their technologies and share their marketing efforts worldwide. They will jointly develop new data services and software services. The Aleutian Group specializes in data acquisition and data solutions for the Electric Utility, Railway, Pipeline, Forestry, and Fiber Optic Industries as well as addresses data and utility security concerns of government agencies.

New Products

From CORDA Technologies, Inc., developer of the PopChart(TM) family of dynamic, interactive, Web-based charting and graphing solutions, comes a new product called OptiMap(TM)5.0. OptiMap is a charting solution for quickly and easily creating dynamic Web-based maps. These maps can integrate and display data from multiple databases. This means that they can provide maps of almost anything: a map of cancer occurrences, airline or stadium seating charts with up-to-the second accuracy, sales results based on geography.

Space Imaging released its top 10 images from the IKONOS satellite taken during 2002. The images, featured on Space Imaging's Web site ( ), include the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Vancouver Airport in British Columbia, Canada; the highlands of Kelan, China; the Aswan Dam, Egypt; during-and-after images of river flooding near Dessau, Germany; Baghdad, Iraq; Yokohama, Japan waterfront; the Arecibo Radio Telescope, Puerto Rico; a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida; and the Hayman Forest Fire that burned near Denver, Colo. last June.

Around the Web

R U Ready 4 SMS? by D.C. Dennison, Boston Globe, February 3, 2003 - “W hen 13-year-old Helen Goodman of Lexington is "out and about," she often uses her cellphone's text-messaging capability, SMS (for short messaging service), to dash off a quick note instead of making a phone call. Occasionally, she sends a brief shopping list to her father before he stops at the grocery store. And sometimes she exchanges text messages with her friends just for fun.”

Going on this Week

SmartCard Alliance Mid-Winter Meeting & Educational Institute
Date: February 12 - 13, 2003
Place: Hilton Center Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT USA
Preceding the meeting on Feb. 11th, the Alliance will offer its Smart Cards 101 and 201 courses.

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