What’s on the Horizon for Online Mapping Portals and Mobile Navigation

Top News of the Week

Intermap Technologies announced it has completed the data collection of its NEXTMap USA 3D mapping program. History’s first company-funded initiative to map 3.1 million square miles (more than 8 million km2) of the entire contiguous U.S. and Hawaii was completed March 16, 2009.

NEXTMap USA will ultimately generate an elevation for the nation dataset at unprecedented accuracy and detail that includes 3D digital terrain models, digital surface models, contours, 3D road centerline geometries, and other high-resolution geospatial products as part of the Company’s proactive mapping program.

GeoEye, Inc. announced it has started delivering high-resolution, color satellite imagery from its newest satellite to Google. The GeoEye-1 satellite images that are being highlighted by Google were all taken within the last 60 days and include images of the Pyramids of Giza, Mount Fuji, Sydney Australia, and many other recognizable locations. Examples of imagery can be seen at the Google website.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

NVision Solutions is partnering with Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) to offer a unique, rugged solution to obtain precise data in the aftermath of earthquakes, forest fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The mobile software for NVision’s web-based HazNet system will be used on Topcon's industry-leading GNSS GIS hand-held products with an integrated digital camera and dual-constellation tracking.

ESRI Canada partnered with ESRI China Beijing, Trimble China, International Land Systems Inc. (ILS) of Silver Spring, MD, USA and Landstar Digital Technology of Beijing, China to help demonstrate the feasibility of applying state-of-the-art GIS and surveying technologies to solve one of the most pressing land policy challenges facing China today. Results of the recently completed pilot project may ultimately serve as the foundation for a nationwide GIS-based rural land registration and certification program. Should the Chinese government give the go-ahead for the project implementation, it could quite potentially enhance China’s ability to feed its people through the safeguarding of land rights for over 800 million farmers.


A bill to develop a current, accurate Federal cadastre to inventory all Federal real property has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, earning praise from MAPPS, the national association of private geospatial firms.
The Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform ("FLAIR") Act, H.R. 1520, was introduced March 16 by U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rob Bishop (R-UT).
An accurate inventory of land owned by the Federal government has been recommended by the Government Accountability Office and the National Academy of Sciences. The FLAIR Act implements these recommendations, as well as calls for an inventory of current inventories to eliminate duplication and save tax dollars. In testimony before Congress, then-Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton said the Interior Department alone operates more than 100 different property management systems.

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. OGC announce that an Interoperability Day event will be held in conjunction with HellasGI on Friday the 3rd of April, 2009 at the Ledra Marriot Hotel in Athens, Greece.

OGC standards are becoming widely used in the geospatial world and they hold the key to building geospatial data infrastructures based on interoperable components. The EU supports wider adoption of these and other standards through the INSPIRE directive.
The language of this free, day-long event will be mainly Greek, though some of the presentations will be in English. The detailed program and registration instructions are available at: OGC website.

A survey by independent market analyst Datamonitor reveals nearly three-quarters of government agencies in Europe and North America have, or plan to implement geographic information systems (GIS), with over half of agencies surveyed having implemented GIS in the last 12 months. According to the report ‘Where in the City? Using GIS to Manage Government Information‘, from mapping crime rates, urban planning, monitoring traffic patterns, to national defense, governments are looking for ways to leverage GIS in order to make more informed management decisions and provide enhanced service to constituents. As nearly all of the information collected by governments contains a geographic element, public authorities are increasingly implementing GIS solutions to manage all that data.

This week, the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) was lofted into a near-sunsynchronous, low Earth orbit by a Rockot launcher lifting off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia.

The California GIS community will meet in Sacramento for the 15th Annual CalGIS Conference April 6-9 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The conference with the theme, California's Geospatial Future: Opening Doors to New Opportunities includes preconference training, SIXTY presentations, exhibit hall demonstrations and discussions, and networking events, all at a great value.


The Open Geospatial Consortium OGC announced that Athina Trakas has been appointed as Director European Services for the OGC. In her new position, Ms. Trakas will plan and manage OGC outreach and recruitment in Europe, working out of the OGC’s Bonn office.

ESRI Canada joined in celebrating one of the country’s greatest historical figures – Captain Bob Bartlett. ESRI Canada is a proud sponsor of Celebrating Bartlett 2009, a year-long program that will present activities and symbolic events in honor of this North American icon. Hosted by the Historic Sites Association, the entertainment, exhibitions and virtual tours will resurrect the memory of one of the world’s most accomplished mariners, and commemorate the remarkable marine heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.

James W. Sewall Company announced that T. Wayne Hampel has joined the firm as Vice President of Marketing & Sales. Mr. Hampel is an award-winning strategic marketing and tactical sales professional with 25 years’ experience in GIS, advanced mapping, and related technology industries. He brings specialized market knowledge of federal, state and local government and of public and privately held utilities, including water, gas and electric, and telecommunications.

New Products

A homogeneous map of high resolution core land cover data for built-up areas, including degree of soil sealing, for 38 countries in Europe has now been completed and delivered to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

In line with the project schedule, a European service provider network led by Infoterra GmbH, Germany, submitted the last of the datasets in late 2008. The products have passed the intensive checks by EEA and the respective user organizations with very good results:

DeLorme announced the release of the latest version of its three-tiered XMap 6 GIS suite. XMap 6.2 offers functional improvements and performance upgrades for every level of XMap.

A significant component of this upgrade is the expansion of ESRI shapefile support to users of XMap Professional. This base edition of XMap now delivers entry-level GIS functionality, by offering access to readily available shapefile data as well as common aerial imagery formats.

Ekahau Inc. released Ekahau HeatMapper, a coverage mapping tool for 802.11 Wi-Fi networks. Available as the industry's first freely downloadable and easy-to-use coverage mapping tool for Windows-based laptops, Ekahau HeatMapper illustrates wireless signal strength on color-coded heat maps. This solution is designed for consumers and small office users, who have relatively small wireless networks and have not yet upgraded to enterprise-grade Wi-Fi tools.

Autodesk began shipping its new 2010 line of 2D and 3D design and engineering software. More than 50 new products offer new features and functionality as well as improved tools for Digital Prototyping, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Infrastructure Modeling, sustainable design and analysis, which will help architects, engineers and designers meet increasing commercial and public sector demand for more energy-efficient buildings, products and infrastructure.

Leica Geosystems announced it will release the Leica iNEX, a full-function mapping and guidance display with a large, color touch-screen, this spring. The Leica iNEX is a truly versatile solution that can be fully integrated with the Leica mojoRTK auto-steer system to offer advanced functionality, or purchased as a stand-alone guidance system for use with most GPS receivers.

SRC, LLC , the provider of Geographic Business Intelligence technology, and Environics Analytics, a marketing and analytical services company in Canada, have announced the launch of Envision, a Web-based micromarketing tool that provides customer and market business intelligence. The announcement was made at SRC's Extend 09 Conference at the Omni Interlocken Resort, in Broomfield, Colo., where some of the nation's leading business strategists are meeting to share best practice examples deployed with SRC's technology.


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