GeoEye Acquires M. J. Harden
GISWeekly: What is GeoEye 1 going to be bring to the table?
Mark Brender - We plan to launch our next generation imaging system, GeoEye 1, later this year. It will have a ground resolution of 41 centimeters or about 16 inches in the panchromatic mode, and 1.65 meter resolution in the multi-spectral mode. The imagery will be able to be pan sharpened so we’ll be able to generate 41 centimeter color imagery. I might add, however, under our current licensing restrictions, we are able to provide commercial customers with imagery at half meter resolution. The most important thing about GeoEye-1 is its collection capability. It will be able to collect in the panchromatic mode 700,00 square kilometers a day, roughly the size of Texas. In the multispectral mode it will be able to collect 350,000 square kilometers every day. Just as important as collection capability, GeoEye-1 will have a map accuracy of less than 3 meters, so we’ll be able to locate an object on the surface of the earth within a few meters of its true location. GeoEye-1 will be a mapping machine in orbit that one government official told us would be revolutionary’.
GISWeekly: Recently satellite imagery and other technology companies have offered imagery for searches for missing persons. Is this going to be something that GeoEye continues to do on a regular basis?
Mark Brender: In the case of search of missing persons that is not part of our business plan but sometimes it is just the right thing to do. We have gotten so many requests for imagery to support humanitarian causes, that on March 28th we announced the establishment of the GeoEye Foundation. This foundation will provide IKONOS and eventually GeoEye-1 satellite imagery to select universities at no cost, to help foster the growth of a next generation of geospatial technology professionals. A university would submit a request for a grant of imagery, we will have an internal group of employees, the Foundation Employee Advisory Committee, that will evaluate such requests and make an award. We would then provide the imagery over precise areas of the earth at no cost to the requesting faculty, students or university.
GISWeekly: What about in disaster situations where you must act very quickly?
Mark Brender: We will make a determination on a case by case basis whether we will task the satellite for a manmade or a natural disaster (as in the cases of Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami) and then make that imagery available to non-governmental organizations and relief agencies. We will announce soon that we plan to work with the United Nations International Charter for disaster relief. It’s important that our imagery be used to help in this regard. I know that our CEO, Matt O’Connell, is a big supporter of this sort of effort.
Doug Leibbrandt: M.J. Harden also mobilized for Katrina. Basically 24 hours after it hit land, we had aircraft and people down there capturing imagery and providing that to the federal government.
Top News of the Week
Colorado is deploying a Web service that allows emergency management workers to view weather data overlaid on geographic information.
The state is implementing WeatherBug’s GIS Data Services in its Emergency Operations Center and will also work to integrate the capability into a Web-based common operational picture viewer. The latter is intended for use by emergency response workers statewide.
Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has received Oracle's Spatial Excellence "Partnership Award" at the 2007 Oracle Spatial User Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The Oracle Spatial Excellence Awards are given to those leading organizations that have contributed to the advancement of mainstream enterprise solutions using geospatial technology.
ESRI announced the availability of the Job Tracking for ArcGIS Server extension, which helps organizations allocate staffing resources and track the status and progress of jobs from beginning to end.
With Job Tracking for ArcGIS (JTX), geographic information system (GIS) users are able to monitor projects without slowing the production process. Job Tracking for ArcGIS (JTX) automatically records all activities associated with a job, allowing managers to quickly and easily check a job's progress and see how it was completed. This extension is now available for ArcGIS Server.
MapInfo Corporation announced an extension of its long-standing partnership with Statistics Canada (STC) to provide customers with one of the industry's first location-enhanced demographic solutions. The Census of the Canadian Population was conducted in May 2006 and the data will be provided by Statistics Canada and MapInfo in a series of eight topic based releases which started in March 2007 and extend until June 2008. Armed with this information, companies can better understand their customers' lifestyle preferences and buying patterns as well as the competitive landscape, enabling them to make insightful marketing decisions.
Trimble and Rosum Corporation announced that they have signed a technology licensing and distribution agreement to combine Rosum's proprietary TV-positioning technology with Trimble's in-market expertise to develop a customer and application ecosystem for location-aware mobile devices in South Korea. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
NAVTEQ announced the final results of the elections made by Traffic.com stockholders and option holders to be received in connection with NAVTEQ's acquisition of Traffic.com. Election results were as follows:
-- 46.5% and 82.9% of the Traffic.com shares and exchanged options, respectively, elected to receive cash;
-- 48.7% and 5.2% of the Traffic.com shares and exchanged options, respectively, elected to receive NAVTEQ common stock; and
-- 4.7% and 11.8% of the Traffic.com shares and exchanged options, respectively, did not make a valid election. NAVTEQ announced it has chosen Autodesk, Inc. to bring an additional array of tools and technical support to the developer community through the NAVTEQ Network for Developers(TM) site. In providing a web presence that assembles the resources necessary for developers to build innovative applications, NAVTEQ aims to help accelerate the successful creation of superior location-based content for wireless and internet channels.
NAVTEQ announced location-based services (LBS) leader deCarta will provide developers on the NAVTEQ Network for Developers(TM) site with access to a comprehensive environment for rapid application development, tools, people and support they need to build the next generation of location-based applications.
TerraGo Technologies, provider of GeoPDF®, the format for distributing geospatial intelligence in PDF files, has partnered with sales and services organizations in the United States, Europe and southeast Asia to help satisfy customer demand for its software products and services. The company has also hired geospatial industry veteran Jaymes Pardue to expand U.S. company presence west of the Rockies and in the Asia Pacific region.
New domestic channel sales partners include GIS Services, Inc., Tucson, AZ; Western Air Maps, Inc., Overland Park, KS; and Universal Mapping Concepts, Camarillo, CA. International partners are Irish Mapping and GIS Solutions Limited (IMGS) in Dublin, Ireland and Geospatial Enabling Technologies, Ltd. in Greece; Credent Technology Asia with offices in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia; and International Development Advisory Services (IDAS) providing sales and services for the Caribbean Basin. These companies offer a broad range of expertise in geospatial technologies and services across state and local governments, utilities and other industries.
Scientists and engineers from the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA are moving forward in planning a successor to the Landsat 7 satellite mission. With the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite expected to launch in 2011, the two agencies have announced their roles and responsibilities in mission development, subsystems procurement, and on-orbit operations.
NASA and USGS share responsibility for the LDCM. NASA will procure and/or develop the space segment, consisting of the satellite, instrument, and launch services and will also perform on-orbit satellite checkout. The USGS will develop and implement the ground segment, consisting of the ground receiving station network, a satellite operations facility, and archive and image processing facilities. After launch and check-out, NASA will transfer the satellite to the USGS to perform flight operations, image-data capture and archiving, and product dissemination.