USGS NGPO Update
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USGS NGPO Update

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Industry News
USGS NGPO Update
by Mark Newell, APR, Public Affairs Manager, USGS

The USGS National Geospatial Program Office (NGPO) was formed in January of 2005 as a result of the USGS Geography discipline reorganization. The office was established to provide leadership and coordination for Federal mapping and geospatial activities.

The NGPO encompasses the USGS project areas of The National Map, the Geospatial One-Stop, the Federal Geographic Data Committee, the USGS Geospatial Liaison network, The National Atlas, and emergency operations support. The Chief of the NGPO, Bill Carswell, has instructed NGP staff and employees to stress the “Relevance of Geospatial Readiness” within their projects and is working to re-energize the planning and development of geospatial science, support and application. Recent geospatial program highlights include:

The National Map:
- In the process of rebuilding viewers
- Viewers will be incorporated in GOS portal and will provide access to The National Map and National Atlas
- Re-engineering The National Map system
- Land cover will be included as a layer of The National Map

Geospatial One-Stop:
- Overall collection grew from 81,000 to 123,000 records in 2006
- In excess of 4,800 map services published by our partners
- GOS Marketplace grew from 500 plans to more than 2,000
- Greater than 1,000 contacts made to date in FY’07

FGDC Executive Secretariat:
- Geospatial Line of Business support and Program Management Office (PMO)
- Establishing National Geospatial Advisory Committee under FACA
- 2007 CAP Grant recipients have been selected for four of five categories

USGS Geospatial Liaisons
- More than $10.3 million in agreements for high-resolution imagery for NGA and DHS leveraging more than $40 million in state and local investments
- More than $1.1 million in partner funding agreements to support high-priority NSDI development needs such as strategic and business planning, clearinghouse infrastructure and data portals, framework data stewardship, integration of local data
- Coordinated NHD Maintenance, Geospatial One-Stop and Metadata workshops in multiple states
- Coordinated technical expertise support from NGTOC to enable partner successes

Emergency Operations
- USGS work with state, local and regional organizations
- Participating in Project Homeland
- Providing data for first responders
- Collaborating on building systems to rapidly ingest and disseminated data
- Collaborating in DHS and NGS collections of HSIP data

Graphic Products
- Work in progress using best available data from The National Map
- Strives to replicate the look of original USGS topographic maps, where feasible
- Will develop local workshops and customer feedback forums to refine standards, improve data quality and provide input
- Image maps will be a companion to geo-referenced PDF topographic maps

NGPO web site

Top News of the Week

Tele Atlas, a global provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location-based solutions, announced it will make available nearly 50 detailed 3D (three dimensional) city maps for use in navigation devices and location-based applications. The first Tele Atlas 3D city maps will be released in July 2007, including maps for major European cities such as Berlin, London and Rome; additional European, U.S. and Asian cities are scheduled to be released during the next year.

Pitney Bowes MapInfo, global provider of location intelligence solutions, announced the release of MapInfo Professional(R) 9.0, the latest version of the company's flagship application for business mapping and analysis. The enhanced MapInfo Professional offers several new advantages including support for the Microsoft Windows Vista(R) platform, enhanced database support, direct access to more data formats, and the power to combine time and location-based analysis.

QCoherent Software, provider of LP360 and Limitless LIDAR™ software tools, announced that LP360 Classify is to be released at the ASPRS 2007 Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida. LP360 Classify runs on top of LP360 and ArcGIS enabling users to classify/edit LIDAR point clouds. With LP360 Classify, LIDAR points can be interactively driven to LAS predefined or reserved classifications. Classification tools are available in the ArcGIS data window and in LP360 cross-section, providing the unique and powerful ability to leverage ArcGIS layers in point cloud classification operations. LP360 Classify expands LPObjects for the customized programming of complex filters and extraction algorithms.

Alliances/Acquisitions/Agreements

Pitney Bowes MapInfo announced an alliance with WSI Corporation, leading provider of weather-driven business solutions, to integrate real-time and forecasted weather information within the Pitney Bowes MapInfo(R) desktop and Web-based location intelligence applications. This integration enables insurers, reinsurers and brokers to analyze geographic risk exposure with greater detail, resulting in more accurate business decisions.

Pictometry International Corp. announced that it has signed a business agreement with one of MDA's (TSX:MDA) companies, MDA Geospatial Services Inc., whereby MDA is Pictometry's exclusive provider of Pictometry image libraries and software for all of Canada. Imaging of Canadian population centers is now underway.

Announcements

1Spatial has become the second member of the new Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) Partner Programme.

The agreement was finalized and announced at the 1Spatial Conference last week (2nd May 2007). OSNI’s Licensed Partner Programme aims to build relationships with solution providers to add value to Geographic Information. Licensed Partners will enable users of OSNI data to utilize and implement GI services.

New Products

ArcIMS Route Server 9.2, the latest version of ESRI's routing extension to ArcIMS, is now shipping. New routing options and parameters in ArcIMS Route Server take into account even more real-life factors than before, producing more accurate and valuable routing results. In addition, developers have the option to use the Web Application Developer Framework (ADF) to build their own customized routing applications.

With the unveiling of FME 2007, Safe Software announced that the company’s translation and transformation platform for vector data now includes Spatial ETL capability for raster data.
"FME 2007 provides raster and vector integration capability that has long been missing from the GIS professional's toolkit," said Don Murray, Safe Software’s co-founder. "With FME 2007, GIS professionals can now work with both raster and vector data within one complete spatial ETL solution.”

LizardTech, a division of Celartem, Inc., and a provider of software solutions for managing and distributing digital content, announced the release of the free ExpressView Browser Plug-in 4.0, designed to offer a more refined user interface to customers who need a quick and easy way to view their MrSID and JPEG 2000 imagery.

The ExpressView Browser Plug-in enables users to use measurement tools and view coordinate system information much more intuitively than in earlier versions. In addition, full support for Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox, and Windows Vista is available, making it easy for customers to use many of the popular operating systems and Web browsers.

PCI Geomatics®, a developer of image-centric software and solutions for the geospatial industry, is pleased to announce the release of Geomatica 10.1. This release features significant new additions along with enhancements in reliability, performance, usability and functionality of existing technology.

OrthoEngine enhancements for Geomatica version 10.1 include a customizable GCP collection viewer, along with improved efficiency in GCP and tie point collection efficiency. Also included is new support for the ALOS sensors PRISM, AVNIR and PALSAR. Significant advancements have also been included to automatic mosaicking, resulting in higher quality and better tone balanced mosaics.

Pixxures, Inc., a provider of aerial mapping, direct digital image processing, GIS services and imagery web services, has successfully completed a parcel rectification project for MarinMap.

MarinMap is a consortium of public agencies that maintains a shared data center, housing geographic information about Marin County, CA for the benefit of the membership and the public. The Assessor parcel layer had been digitized over a period of years with reference to low-resolution printed images of orthophotos. The County’s recent high-resolution imagery showed that the parcel geometry had poor coordinate correspondence with the ortho boundaries. As a result, the composite map contained inaccuracies that made it difficult to rectify the parcel data to the county’s new digital orthophotography.

BAE Systems has released its Next-Generation Automatic Terrain Extraction (NGATE) software for creating 3D models from satellite or aerial imagery.

The 3D terrain and surface models generated by NGATE can be used for geospatial simulations, mission rehearsals, situational awareness, and disaster relief and recovery.

GeoLytics has released their latest 2007 Estimates at the Census Block Level. There are over 8.2 million census blocks in the U.S. and GeoLytics offers a large compilation of current year estimates at this very small level of geography. Use these granular data to do statistical analysis of population and housing distributions and target small geographical areas.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated released its comprehensive engineering design solution to advance GIS for electric utilities.

The solution includes Bentley Electric XM and Bentley Expert Designer XM - two new fully interoperable products built on Bentley's next-generation geospatial technology. In addition, Bentley Electric XM is delivered with a robust industry best practices data model for electric utilities, along with an intuitive visual modeling editor that can be used to modify and extend the model.

Around the Web

Student Interns Partner with City to Launch Groundbreaking GIS Project  ArcNews Online, Winter 2006/2007

Upcoming Events

The Middle East Oil Spill Conference MEOSC – 2007
Date: May 12 - 14, 2007
Place:  AlMurjan Hall, Crown Plaza Hotel
Kuwait
A key feature of the MEOSC – 2007 is the focus that it provides for the exchange of knowledge and expertise. This unique 3-day event will bring together practitioners, scientists and vendors to discuss the current uses and future aspirations of the oil industry, environment and related activities community in the Region.
   
GeoTec Event 2007
Date: May 14 - 17, 2007
Place: Calgary Telus Convention Centre
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
This year’s GeoTec Event marks the 21st anniversary of the event, and also marks an expansion of the audience with a co-location with GeoAlberta. GeoAlberta is comprised of the Alberta Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), the Alberta Chapter of the Geospatial Information Technology Association (GITA), the Alberta Geomatics Group (AGG) and GeoEdmonton.
   
Ecobuild America / AEC - Science & Technology
Date: May 14 - 17, 2007 
Place: ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER
ANAHEIM,, CA USA
Ecobuild America and AEC-ST is THE annual gathering place for the building industry professionals and AEC professionals who design, construct, manage facilities, and specify building products, materials and services. This event is strategically located in Southern California, where you'll gain direct networking access to the most powerful and important people who are focused on building sustainable facilities.
   
GSA International Products and Services Expo 2007
Date: May 15 - 17, 2007
Place: Expo 2007 Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL USA
The GSA International Products and Services Expo is GSA's largest customer outreach event. The primary purpose of the expo is to offer CLP certified training for federal customers. GSA Expo offers over 200 different classes, all with federal experts as instructors: feds training feds.
   
Allen Instruments Support Forum : AZ Training
Date: May 15 - 29, 2007
Place: Allen Instruments, 7114 E Earll, Dr, Scottsdale
AZ 85215 USA
Allen Instruments is pleased to offer a series of in-house training seminars. The training seminars are designed to provide geospatial professionals focused training on GIS and GPS topics. Whether you are new to the technology or just want to refresh your skills, our short seminars will introduce you to what’s new and shed new light on familiar topics.
   
NGA Technology Day 2007
Date: May 16, 2007
Place: Sheraton Premier Hotel at Tysons Corner
Vienna, VA USA
Come see how NGA’s products and services are uniting the intelligence, defense, and homeland security communities through an integrated GIS architecture for web-based dissemination, analysis, and visualization
   
Fifteenth Annual Pennsylvania GIS Conference
Date: May 16 - 17, 2007
Place:  Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Conference Center
Camp Hill, PA USA
The 2007 Pennsylvania GIS Conference will bring the Pennsylvania geospatial community together for the fifteenth year to present, discuss, and debate critical topics affecting the development and use of geospatial information technology in the Commonwealth. The conference will be held on May 16 and 17 at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill and will focus on the broad diversity of Pennsylvania geospatial data, applications, and people.
   
2nd Annual GIS in Healthcare Day
Date: May 17, 2007 
Place: 1520 Queen Street East
Sault Ste, Marie, Ontario, P6A 2G4 Canada
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, in partnership with ESRI Canada, INVITES YOU to attend the 2nd Annual GIS in Healthcare Day to learn about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and new applications that are being applied to healthcare and medicine. Participants will experience how GIS is supporting and improving work in health and human services.
 
GIS in Public Health Conference
Date: May 20 - 23, 2007
Place: Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
New Orleans, USA
The abstract submission deadline has passed. More than 100 abstract submissions were received and the conference committee will review and organize the program, from the submissions, by the end of this year. Expect the conference program and registration information to be available by January 2007. Exhibit information will also soon be available.
   
Intergraph 2007 International Users Conference
Date: May 21 - 24, 2007
Place:  Nashville
TN USA
   
5th International Symposium on Mobile Mapping Technologies
Date: May 28 - 31, 2007
Place: Mobile Mapping Summer School
PADUA, Italy
We are glad to announce that the 5th International Symposium on Mobile Mapping Technology will be held in Padua, Italy. The core objective of the conference will be to discuss most recent technologies, exchange experiences and promote future research, development and production in fields related to mobile mapping. We look forward to see you in Padua!
   
ITS America's 2007 Annual Meeting
Date: June 4 - 6, 2007
Place:  Palm Springs
CA USA
With an expanded educational program and a grand-scale exhibition, ITS America’s 2007 Annual Meeting & Exposition promises to be one of our best events ever. Next year’s meeting will also feature dozens of innovative mobility solutions first seen at the 12th World Congress on ITS.
   
2nd Workshop on Geologic Hazards in Mountainous Areas
Date: June 4 - 7, 2007
Place:  Four Point Sheraton,Bolzano
Bozen, Italy
Second workshop geological hazards in mountanous areas with excursion to the Dolomites, 8-9 June, Bozen, Italy (back to back with the 27th EARSeL sympoisum)
   
The 5th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE5)
Date: June 5 - 9, 2007
Place: San Francisco Bay Area
CA USA
Digital Earth is a visionary concept for "spaceship Earth" sparked by R. Buckminster Fuller, grokked by the Apollo astronauts returning from their moon missions, and popularized by Vice President Al Gore.
   
GPS World Conference & Expo
Date: June 11 - 13, 2007
Place: Convention Center
Rosemont, IL USA


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