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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Geomedia and G/Technology to Get New Platforms
By Susan Smith
Technology companies are constantly faced with updating their current solutions to keep up with the times and to offer something more robust, while at the same time ushering their customer base along with the new advancements.
Intergraph is a company that has two primary geospatial products, namely, Geomedia and G/Technology which address different segments of the marketplace. What their customer base is telling them is that they would like to see some of the strengths of those two products combined.
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Geomedia’s strengths in spatial analysis and rich symbolization for cartographic mapping or onscreen displays make it a very flexible way to access different data sources. On the other hand, G/Technology is enterprise-focused and is largely described by metadata in terms of role based user data access, behaviors, how the system behaves in any given situation, etc. G/Technology is extremely scalable in performance because of its caching and publishing of data driven out from an Oracle Spatial database including some additional caching and display technology. “This enables it to take a map of an entire service area of Bell Canada and interactively browse through it,” explained Doherty.
“What we really are doing is taking the best of those platforms and putting them together into a couple of new key platforms that Geomedia and G/Technology will sit on in the future.”
What this entails is the creation of an enhanced data model for both Geomedia and G/Technology which will offer a role based enterprise model that allows you to define different roles and classes of users in an enterprise, i.e., map data access, rights system behaviors to those roles and have the software, whether it be a Geomedia based solution or G/Technology based solution driven by that metadata system.
“G/Technology does a lot of that today,” Doherty pointed out. “What we’re doing is taking some of those concepts and technology and really extending them over into a common platform that will be used by both Geomedia and G/Technology. When we do that we want to take into account some of the things we do with Geomedia with access to external data sources, whether it’s shape files or OGC data sources. We want to give two fundamental things: the enterprise class data model and data management but also to be able to easily incorporate data from external sources. Also what that does is allows us to have Geomedia and G/Technology working closely together to be well integrated because they’re able to operate on top of same data model. Geomedia integrates quite well with G/Technology today, but this common data model really takes that integration to another level.” This is an area that customers have been pushing for: the two products to work together seamlessly with little or no integration necessary.
Although it would seem that a blending of Geomedia and G/Technology may be in the stars, Doherty said that isn’t a direction they’re exploring at present. “We still think there are enough differences at the product level. We want to keep those product distinctions for now, but certainly having more common platforms underneath them is the key thing we’re focused on right now.”
The other piece of product development is to create some enhanced spatial data visualization components and platforms, by combining the display richness of Geomedia with the scalable platform of G/Technology for interactive display and browsing. “Really what we’re doing is bolting both of those capabilities together into a single display platform that will support both the Geomedia and G/Technology products and give us the best of both worlds underneath those products,” Doherty explained.
Challenges are certainly on the horizon for achieving this goal. Originally, Geomedia and G/Technology were created separately to address the needs of different types of clients. Today, the two products share some technology, but Intergraph must also make sure to support the capabilities of those products as they are today, while also taking the best of each to combine on the new scalable “common data model” platforms.
The way Intergraph plans to bring this platform enhancement work to market is via new releases of both the Geomedia and G/Technology product families. From 2009 into 2010 the company will be rolling out new versions of each of those products that contain the new platforms. The first of these in 2009 will be display enhancements based on the enhanced visualization platform for G/Technology, and later in 2009-2010, both Geomedia and G/Technology will incorporate the common data model.
Geospatial capabilities will also be refreshed in Intergraph’s homeland security and public safety platform. Another key new solution mentioned was the new video image workflow, whereby you take video from a remote video sensor or remote aerial vehicle, pass it through a workflow through a video input source to a georeferenced imagery library that can then be exploited through tools such as Intergraph’s ImageScout or those provided by partners such as Skyline or TerraExplorer Pro.
Legacy Intergraph customers are well versed in migration paths, as many of them have moved from MGE to Geomedia and from FRAMME to G/Technology. Some customers remain on the old legacy platforms, since their data repositories can still be accessed from Geomedia and G/Technology or used inside the Geomedia suite of products. Of course, Intergraph works with customers who wish to migrate to one of their new solutions.
So far, it would seem that adding new platforms to both Geomedia and G/Technology will be well received by customers. “We’re proud of the fact that we have migrated customers through PDP and VAX and from UNIX to Windows and brought their data along with them,” said Doherty.
Top News of the Week
Columbus Geographic Systems (GIS) Ltd. announced it has reached an important understanding with DigitalGlobe, a leader in high-resolution commercial imagery. DigitalGlobe also supplies the popular Google Earth website with its images. According to the understanding, Columbus will have access to DigitalGlobe's digital image bank for use in the Ranger navigation system.
DigitalGlobe operates three imaging satellites: Worldview I, Worldview II, and QuickBird. These satellites collect the highest resolution commercial imagery of the Earth, and offer the largest image size, and greatest on-board storage capacity and resolution compared to any other commercial satellite imagery available today.
Autodesk announced that it has selected CADD Microsystems, Inc. as Reseller of the Quarter for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009. The designation recognizes the reseller not only for its sales performance and dedication to customer service, but also for the growth of its operations and its investments in the business of selling Autodesk software. Autodesk selected CADD Microsystems from among more than 100 resellers throughout the Americas.
Astrium, Europe's leading space company, has announced the purchase of further shares in Spot Image from the French Space Agency (CNES). This is a significant deal resulting in Astrium holding 81% of Spot Image and therefore becoming the majority shareholder.
As part of Astrium, Infoterra & Spot Image will work together within the Earth Observation Division of Astrium Services. This purchase reaffirms Astrium's commitment to strengthening its presence in the entire Earth observation value chain - satellites, spaceborne & airborne data, ground segment, application solutions and information management & distribution.