Welcome to GISWeekly! From Sunday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 20, I will be attending the ESRI User Conference in San Diego. I hope to see many of you there.
GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Around the Web, New Products, and Events Calendar.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
GeoEye Enters Predictive Analysis and GeoIntelligence Market
by Susan Smith
GeoEye enters the growth market of predictive analysis and geointelligence solutions with the announcement of its investment in SPADAC, the provider of innovative geointelligence and predictive analysis solutions for government and industry. As part of the agreement, each company may use the other's capabilities, as well as collaborate in research and development efforts.
According to Mark Brender, vice president of marketing at GeoEye, everyone has mastered imagery in GIS, the next level is using these tools in order to make predictions. Knowing where all the IEDs have exploded in Baghdad is great looking through your rear view mirror, but what is important to know next is the most likely locations of the next IED. “If you are a police chief in Washington DC and know where all the homicides have taken place, using sophisticated software, one may be able to help predict where the next ones will take place. So this technology gives a rocket boost to geospatial technologies. For GeoEye this gives us an opportunity to learn more about predictive analytics so we can offer our customers more robust tools.”
The combination of predictive analysis tools with satellite imagery has interesting possibilities, according to Brender. The imagery married with thousands of data points can help one draw geospatial conclusions about the possibility of an event occurring at a particular location. “If our customers are working with oil companies, we could offer the services of SPADAC to help them look at where the probability of finding oil or gas is more likely at one location or another. SPADAC is an important arrow in the quiver of tools that we can offer our resellers and customers to help them provide better services.”
As mentioned in the press release, SPADAC delivers geointelligence and predictive analysis solutions, including applied research and development, to customers primarily in defense, intelligence and homeland security agencies. SPADAC has a proven track record of performing research contracts for the U.S. Government and deploying multi-disciplinary geointelligence teams to support critical operational assignments. Mark Dumas, chairman and chief executive officer of SPADAC, said that what this deal means for their company a) they’ll be able to market and resell SPADAC’s geointelligence solutions to their customers base, which is quite broad, and includes domestic and international clients, foreign governments and foreign military. In turn, SPADAC provides value added capabilities for them.
b) The second place SPADAC will be able to focus energy is in collaborative research and development. “Our company is smaller and newer on the scene, so we’re constantly thinking outside the box,” Dumas pointed out. “This strategic investment provides a means by which we’ll be able to go after collaborative research and development. By bringing SPADAC in – we can be ears on the ground as to what’s emerging in the marketplace. Traditionally, we’re the ones providing information to the customers. GeoEye is at the other end of the spectrum, they provide the data and GeoEye doesn’t always know what they’re doing with it. SPADAC can be positioned to know what they’re doing with it and value add it as they deliver, not just their information but our stuff on top of it. We thought it was a great fit.”
All SPADAC’s revenue is built around a services business, and they have been in business since 2002. They employ over 100 people. The company also received venture capital funding this year.
“Part of that funding, as well as the goal of the GeoEye relationship, is to expand our solutions into the commercial market,” said Dumas. “Our core customer base has been military and so we can actually continue to provide added value to our customers.”
SPADAC subject matter experts leverage unique methodologies and technologies, such as the SPADAC geospatial fusion engine, to solve discrete customer problems such as force protection, resource optimization, site selection, critical infrastructure protection, risk mitigation and competitive analysis.
While this partnership adds to GeoEye’s suite of offerings for commercial and government customers, partnering with GeoEye gives SPADAC the opportunity to collaboratively work with some of the biggest names in geospatial solutions, and offer Fortune 500 and international clients end-to-end value propositions.
Earlier this year, GeoEye acquired M.J. Harden, adding their aerial imagery expertise to the company’s suite of value-added offerings.
Top News of the Week
By now, most faithful attendees to the annual ESRI User Conference know where to find the various pre-conference offerings on the ESRI website. Here is just a sampling of what those are:
Answers to the Preconference Survey is great preparation for the conference, giving you an idea of what to expect in terms of topics and answers questions you might not hear answers to in the plenary session on Monday. Discussion this year will revolve around the ArcGIS 9.3 release, as well as ArcGIS 9.3 Desktop.
There are various interviews posted on the website, featuring ESRI speakers who will speak at the conference on topics such as “What is Enterprise GIS?” “High Anxiety: The Evolution and Future Role of GIS in Digital Mapping,” “Getting the Most of the 2007 ESRI User Conference,” and “Thinking about GIS: Geographic Information System Planning for Managers.”
Clint Brown includes in his 10 most cool things about ESRI UC Jack Dangermond’s keynote address. It is always a visionary message, taking the listener beyond the daily work environment to a place in the future where possibility reigns. Brown suggested that attendees write down some of Jack’s ideas and visions, store them in an envelope, and pull out the envelope five years later.
Learning from users is another of Brown’s top 10, and with over 12,000 users in the convention center all week, there is ample opportunity to learn, as well as to catch up with old friends and acquaintances.
Other top tens are Monday afternoon keynotes, Monday evening Map Gallery, vendor exhibits, a chance to talk with ESRI technical staff, San Diego and Friday’s closing session, which includes a Q&A session with Dangermond, Brown and others.
Hart InterCivic Inc., a leading national provider of technology-based products and solutions to state and local governments, announced its acquisition of Farragut Systems, a GIS software and services company for local governments.
Intermap Technologies, Corp. and Map Your World announced a partnership where Map Your World, a regional distributor of online geospatial products and services for the southwest and southeast United States, has agreed to distribute Intermap's precise 3D digital elevation models and images.
Map Your World provides services ranging from single custom paper maps to digital maps and data, combined with training and support for using a GIS database. Map Your World's core client base includes landowners and GIS professionals in the oil and gas, pipeline, real estate, transportation, and public use markets.
DCSE announced the spin off of a new company called Spatial Wave(TM) to focus on development and marketing of spatially enabled software products. DCSE's initial entry into the software product business dates back to introduction of its MapLibrary(TM) product in 2003. The company grew the products division by introducing Mapplet(TM) in 2003 and Field Mapplet(TM) in 2005. Spatial Wave(TM) was formed to further focus efforts on enhancing the products, including services and solutions that have been built around them.
To provide recognition and support for the many geographic information system (GIS) awareness programs currently being conducted throughout the world, ESRI announces the availability of the new 2007 GIS Day Video Kiosk CD as well as a patch and pins honoring achievement.