Small Company Tackles Big GIS Problems
[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
Small Company Tackles Big GIS Problems

Message from the Editor -

Welcome to GISWeekly! Last October, Ottawa-based AmberCore Software spun off from AFORE Solutions as a separate GIS company, bringing with it employees with 15-20 years experience in the GIS business, specifically with resource industries such as mining and exploration, petroleum, and environmental. Just this week, AmberCore Software was in the news with the announcement of support for Google Earth with Amber iQ(TM) release 2.5.1. Read about this small company in this week's Industry News.

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, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Appointments, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me by clicking here.

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Small Company Tackles Big GIS Problems
By Susan Smith

It would seem this little company came out of nowhere to offer GIS, spatial modeling and information software to help companies solve complex location based problems. Just this week, AmberCore Software was in the news with the announcement of support for Google Earth with Amber iQ(TM) release 2.5.1. Amber iQ is a modestly priced full GIS with powerful visualization capabilities that can now be shared in a Google Earth environment.

Exploration Mapping
Last October, Ottawa-based AmberCore Software spun off from AFORE Solutions as a separate GIS company, bringing with it employees with 15-20 years experience in the GIS business, specifically with resource industries such as mining and exploration, petroleum, and environmental.

Impressed with AmberCore's track record of providing spatial modeling, customers in these resource industries requested customized systems because they could find nothing “off-the-shelf.” Now AmberCore's business is mostly concentrated in North America, although many of their customers are international as well.

Geological Modeling
According to Director, GIS Projects, Ted Reeler, AmberCore's scientific team has a lot of experience solving difficult problems in exploration, petroleum and mining, which they accomplish by modeling and simulating the real world.

Secondly, the company has their own internally developed core of next generation GIS technology. “We built a very advanced platform on a .NET-based architecture - with capabilities to handle extremely large datasets, such as LiDAR data, as well as next generation spatial analysis and 3D visualization tools,” Reeler explained. “It has wizard interfaces with embedded intelligence to guide you through the more complex problem solving algorithms. So we have this core of next generation technology on which the scientific team then builds their simulation algorithms to provide customized solutions to mining and petroleum companies.”

Environmental Waste Analysis
AmberCore has two lines of business: 1) it is the customized smart solution for the resource industry built on top of the AmberCore technology core, and 2) it is a simplified generic analysis version of their GIS technology in the form of an off-the-shelf desktop product called Amber iQ 2.5. Amber iQ is downloadable off the website and can be purchased at a very competitive price.

The newest version, Amber iQ 2.5.1, now offers a front end interface with Google Earth “so map images created in the Amber iQ environment can automatically be exported and displayed in the Google Earth environment,” Reeler said. Amber iQ now uses Keyhole Markup Language (KML) to export analytically generated results into the interactive Google Earth application. This creates a unique visualization environment for users who wish to show and share their analytical results in a collaborative setting.

Although most of AmberCore customers are currently desktop users, the company also wants to accommodate enterprise solutions. To do this, AmberCore is partnering with another company which specializes in back end support for large databases. “Combining our technologies will enable us to interface with large databases like Oracle and provide the large scale solutions as well as desktop,” Reeler said.

“The mining and exploration and petroleum companies that use AmberCore are large organizations with large problems requiring a customized spatial solution,” said Reeler. In contrast, “Our generic GIS, Amber iQ is designed for a wider audience who might use it for business intelligence or other types of spatial analysis. The product can be applied to any field in GIS that uses spatial information. As long as the data can be georeferenced, they can use the system.”

The basic price for Amber iQ 2.5.1 is US $2500 for full GIS capability; multiple seat prices are negotiable.


3n (National Notification Network) announced that it has joined the ESRI Business Partner Program. 3n is a provider of mass notification solutions. ESRI is the developer of GIS (geographic information system) software with more than 300,000 clients worldwide. The ESRI Business Partner Program is a network of more than 1,700 domestic and international developers, consultants, data providers, and value-added resellers who, utilizing ESRI technology, provide solutions to meet the GIS needs of every industry.

Eurekster announced that Maporama International, the European leader in geocentric services for businesses and individuals, has joined the rapidly growing list of web publishers who have selected Eurekster's community-powered SearchPublisher(TM) as the search solution for its visitors. Eurekster's SearchPublisher harnesses the power of the communities that form around every website by providing publishers with behavior-driven search systems that improve their visitors' experience, increase site loyalty and maximize revenue.

Intrado Inc., a global provider of integrated data and telecommunications solutions, and PDAger (XieJin) Technology Development Co., Ltd., a provider of mobility services and wireless emergency call solutions, announced that Intrado (XieAn) Technology (China) Co. Ltd, a joint venture between the two companies, has been granted a business license allowing it to operate in China. Headquartered in Beijing, the company will develop enhanced emergency communications solutions for public safety and disaster management agencies in China.

Autodesk, Inc. announced it will provide integrated geospatial solutions with Oracle to enable customers to maximize operational efficiencies, based on a wealth of location and structural data. Autodesk will work with Oracle to market solutions in strategic markets such as government, utilities, telecommunications and transportation. The combined solutions, which include Autodesk geospatial software and Oracle database and spatial technology, offer customers the ability to create, manage, and share geographic information system (GIS) and computer automated design (CAD) data throughout the organization in a single, open, standards-based environment without costly additional investment or expertise in proprietary software and systems.

Laser-Scan and STAR INFORMATIC (incorporating STAR-APIC) signed an agreement in March 2004 that meant that any and all companies from the STAR INFORMATIC Group could resell Radius Topology™. This relationship has been very successful with sales into multiple vertical markets in Belgium, France and the Middle East. With STAR-APIC now offering solutions based around Oracle spatial technologies, Laser-Scan's data quality solutions complement the STAR-APIC offerings.


Hurricane Katrina Related Announcements

The Association of American Geographers reported that now that the initial emergency phases of Hurricane Katrina have passed, AAG will be moving the AAG Hurricane Community to access AAG Hurricane Katrina Clearinghouse site. To anyone who hasn't visited the site, it is a valuable resource for people to find one another, and to ask for assistance. Many geography departments in universities across the country have offered to take in students who are displaced by the hurricane.

NASA Update to Katrina Aftermath The latest information about NASA facilities affected by hurricane Katrina. NASA's toll free telephone number for family members seeking information about people who may sheltering at either Stennis or Michoud, or if you are trying to locate employees who work at either facility, please call 877/470-5240.

NASA has established a public website to convey important contact information to NASA employees and contractors impacted by Katrina and for general public information.

ORBIMAGE Inc. collected new imagery yesterday of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast with its high resolution satellite OrbView-3. Some of the first satellite images seen over Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula, Mississippi are available on the website for the media and public distribution as part of their contribution to the rescue efforts.

In light of the tragic devastation of Hurricane Katrina, MapInfo Corporation is volunteering its services to assist with the recovery efforts. In this time of recovery, we can assist organizations with:
- Creating and posting Internet and/or physical maps of affected locations, utilities, telecommunication infrastructure, etc.
- Tracking assets, such as equipment, emergency services
- Developing maps of relief locations including hospitals, kitchens and shelters.
See Space Imaging Katrina images in this gallery.

Other Announcements

Dimensioni broadened its service offerings in the field of CAD/GIS and has already secured a position of leadership in website Designing & Developing. The company is progressive to further expansion. The company will also establish representative offices in Austria, Belgium and UK apart from other business centers in the United States & India shortly.

MetaCarta, Inc., a provider in geographic-based business intelligence, announced that industry luminaries George McNamee and Don Zereski have joined MetaCarta's board of directors. In addition, MetaCarta has also received $10 million in a Series C round of funding. The latest round of financing was led by new investors FA Technology Ventures and Hunt Ventures and also included long-time company backers Sevin Rosen, Solstice Capital, Chisholm, In-Q-Tel and ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures. The funding will be used to expand operations, sales and marketing.


Callisto Infosolutions Pvt Ltd, a city-based IT education service provider, on Tuesday launched the first training centre on the geographic information system (GIS) in Kolkata to cater to sectors using the satellite-based information system. The centre, claimed to be the first in the eastern region, would offer a six-month course for IT professionals and others to give training on the applications of GIS.


New Century Software, Inc., a leader in Pipeline GIS Services and Software, is pleased to announce that Greg Smith has joined the company as Vice-President of Operations. In this leadership role, Mr. Smith focuses on the operational excellence of 4 key areas: customer and employee satisfaction, financial health, and internal infrastructure.

PlanGraphics, Inc. announced that Matthew Bafford, Kelly Charak and Roger Keith Cottrell, Jr. have joined the company's technical staff.

URISA's Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Committee had quite a review process to manage this year. Thirteen applications were submitted in the Single Process category and a record forty-two were submitted in the Enterprise Systems category. The awards recognize exceptional achievements in the application of information technology that have improved the delivery and quality of government services. Winners and honorable mentions in each category will be recognized during the opening session of URISA's 43rd Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, October 9-12, 2005.

For more information, contact Scott Grams, Email Contact

Intergraph Corporation presented the Carl Pulfrich Award at the 50th Photogrammetry Week in Germany to Li Zhang, Ph.D., from China. The award honors the memory of Dr. Carl Pulfrich, a member of the scientific staff at Carl Zeiss from 1890 to 1927, during which time he directed the design of the first stereo photogrammetric and surveying instruments from Zeiss. Z/I Imaging(R) LTD, an Intergraph company, sponsors the award to promote outstanding scientific, application-oriented design and/or manufacturing activities in the field of photogrammetry and remote sensing, including earth imaging applications. As a recognized leader in the photogrammetry industry, Intergraph technology enables customers to establish a completely digital workflow to meet the challenges that photogrammetrists face in today's daily business challenges.

New Products

SRC LLC, a systems integrator for enterprise-level business intelligence solutions, announced it will immediately release to the development community a highly integrated set of tools designed to add enhanced business intelligence functionality with GoogleMaps. As Google finds growing success with its' open source application programming interface (API) mapping platform, developers from around the world have built an incredible number of consumer facing applications. SRC, through the availability of its' Allocate(TM) API, intends to give business application developers what they have been missing when considering developing a mashup -- namely enabling geo-content for their business intelligence applications.

Accela, Inc., provider of government enterprise management software solutions, announced the commercial availability of a Web-based asset management solution. Accela Asset Management(TM) is now integrated with the Accela Automation(R) product suite, enabling agencies to take advantage of a Web-based enterprise solution that automates and tracks the activities of every department within an agency. Accela Asset Management tracks and manages an agency's entire assets and resources, providing an automated solution for costing, inventory, maintenance, and inspections. The solution is flexible enough to manage an agency's entire assets including fleet, street, water, wastewater, parks and recreation, plant and facilities, sewer, railway, and roadway. Departments that benefit from this solution include public works, water utilities, sanitary districts, facilities, transportation, parks and recreation, and any other department that manages or tracks agency assets.

ESRI announced the release of its 2005 edition of the Community Sourcebook-America CD-ROM with ArcReader. The Community Sourcebook-America CD-ROM with ArcReader contains information from the 2005 printed editions of Community Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics and Community Sourcebook of County Demographics along with query, sort, and report software and ESRI's ArcReader map display software.

This new release contains updates and projections for data such as population, age distribution, and income. Data for two newly created Micropolitan Statistical Areas, Bonham, Texas (Fannin County) and Culpeper, Virginia (Culpeper County) is also included. The dominant Community Tapestry consumer type is listed for each U.S. residential ZIP Code, as well as demographic spending potential indexes for 20 categories such as financial services, home improvement, entertainment, home furnishings, apparel, automotive aftermarket, health insurance, pets, and pet supplies. For more information about Community Sourcebook-America with ArcReader, call 800-292-2224 or visit website.

Upcoming Events

2005 ESRI Homeland Security Summit
Date: September 12 - 14, 2005
Place: Adam's Mark Hotel Denver, CO USA
The ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit is a forum for executives and management teams to evaluate their levels of readiness for information management, business continuity, and technology solutions for homeland security. Those with responsibilities in public safety, law enforcement, health, utilities, telecommunications, transportation systems, IT integration, business, or anyone using or interested in GIS solutions for managing and sharing geospatial information should attend.

GEA 2005
Date: September 15 - 17, 2005
Place: Poznan International Fair Poland
The International Geodesy and Geoinformatics Fairs (GEA) taking place in Poznan cover a wide range of diverse branches such as geodesy, forestry, building trade and architecture as well as companies dealing with energy, water and heat supply, telecommunication, road, rail, air, and water transport or professionals from such fields as ecology, geography, and spatial engineering. Geoinformatics, a rapidly developing branch of science, functions as the entity joining all those areas of interest.

Northeast Arc Users Group (NEARC)
Date: September 18 - 21, 2005
Place: Holiday Inn by the Bay Portland, ME USA
The Northeast Arc Users Group (NEARC) is one of several independent regional organizations that represent users of Geographic Information System (GIS) software developed by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) of Redlands, California. ESRI software includes, among other things, such well-known GIS products as Arc/Info and ArcView. NEARC was formed in 1986; the geographic area encompassed by the group includes New England, New York and New Jersey, with some participation from users in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The twentieth annual NEARC is Sept. 18-21 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine. Speakers include Joe Kelley of the University of Maine and Jeff Jackson and Andy McDonald of ESRI. For the convenience of NEARC attendees, ESRI is offering two, two-day training courses immediately following the conference. Introduction to ArcIMS and Creating and Editing Parcels with ArcGIS will be taught on September 22 and 23 from 9am-5pm at the Portland Regency Hotel in Portland, ME. The Portland Regency Hotel is located within walking distance of the Holiday Inn By the Bay. Special pricing for these courses has been arranged.

The 14th Annual GIS for Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition
Date: September 19 - 21, 2005
Place: JW Marriott Hotel Houston, TX USA
The 14th Annual GIS for Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition is the world's largest gathering of oil and gas GIS professionals. We had record-breaking attendance last year. Don't miss this year's event-it will be bigger and better than ever!

International conference GIS Visions 2025
Date: September 19 - 20, 2005
Place: VSB-TU Ostrava, 17 listopadu 15, Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic
Dear GI-friends and sci-fi fans, We are organizing non-traditional conference concerned on geographic information science and technology. The goal of our conference is bring together people that are bored of traditional conferences in that area, that show usually solved problems from different points of view and applied in different areas. Our conference would like to present only ideas and views how geographic science and technology could look in the year 2025.

GIS in the Rockies - annual event - 18th Year
Date: September 21 - 23, 2005
Place: Invesco Field @ Mile High Denver, CO USA
The conference is organized by volunteers from the local chapters of the following professional societies: Geospatial Information Technology Association (GITA, formerly AM/FM International), American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado (PLSC). GIS Colorado A comprehensive program encompassing all of the society areas of expertise with workshops, technical talks, and an exhibitor/vendor hall. A third day consists of off-site events and tours to various GIS related venues.

CARIS 2005 Mapping a Seamless Society
Date: September 26 - 29, 2005
Place: World Trade and Convention Centre Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hosted by CARIS, this year's 10th International User Group Conference and Educational Sessions will be the international training and management conference for CARIS customers and parties interested in exploring the benefits and application of spatial information management technology.