Welcome to GISWeekly! The Carbon Project announced on January 31, is providing a free development toolkit, CarbonTools 2, a free software toolkit designed and distributed with the goal of allowing individual users the opportunity to develop and distribute open geospatial applications with no royalties or fees. The CarbonTools toolkit provides an extensive API that supports the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) specifications including Web Map Services (WMS), Web Feature Services (WFS) and Geography Markup Language (GML). Read about it 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.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
The Carbon Project: Introducing Open Geospatial Services for All
By Susan Smith
On January 31, The Carbon Project announced it is providing a free development toolkit, CarbonTools 2, a free software toolkit designed and distributed with the goal of allowing individual users the opportunity to develop and distribute open geospatial applications with no royalties or fees. CarbonTools aims to make open geospatial services accessible to Windows developers by providing “an open and extendable framework on which Windows and .NET developers can build software solutions.” The CarbonTools toolkit provides an extensive API that supports the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) specifications including Web Map Services (WMS), Web Feature Services (WFS) and Geography Markup Language (GML).
So who are the players? geoLeaders is a marketing and distribution function for technology firms. Also, it's a network of companies with the joint goal of advancing interoperable geospatial solutions. It doesn't advocate any one software solution - it advocates an approach which embodies and adheres to ISO and OGC specifications. Anyone can join the network if they adopt that approach.
The Carbon Project has been working on the CarbonTools software development kit for OGC for over a year. They joined the geoLeaders network, and geoLeaders consequently became their global distributor for CarbonTools. That happened last May, and since that time geoLeaders has coordinated with CarbonTools by running open geospatial design competitions, and engineering the toolkit to bring out this release.
This week geoLeaders Executive Director, Jeff Harrison talked about the new announcement. Caught in the excitement of response to the new SDK, Harrison explained the product's position:
JH: CarbonTools is a free development kit for anyone to use and to connect up to all these OGC services out there. We're overwhelmed at the response at this point. We've had several hundred downloads in the last 36 hours, and we were kind of expecting that in the first couple of weeks, not in the first day and a half.
GISWeekly: What companies are downloading it?
JH: We are developing a list right now. However, even without the full list of companies we can tell it's happening mostly in North America, Europe and Australia.
GISWeekly: What issues about the OGC Web Services are responsible for the birth of CarbonTools?
JH: OGC has created these standards for servers. What CarbonTools does is it takes the Microsoft .NET approach that says since there are millions of .NET developers out there, why don't we create a toolkit to allow them to plug into any OGC implementing web service? CarbonTools is a set of components that works within a software developers' environment. The tools can connect up any of these OGC online services and make all sorts of applications with the tools simplifying the use of OGC standards. OGC technology can be complicated for new developers, so CarbonTools bundles it all in a toolkit so you can drag things around the development screen and connect up to these online services.
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Gaia 2 screenshot
JH: Right now the technology partners include eSpatial, The Carbon Project, CubeWerx and Social Change Online. We're in the discussions with others right now and anyone can join the network. I think that will happen soon.
GISWeekly: Other OGC interoperability plans offer solutions that are dependent upon Oracle. In this case it looks as though the solution is dependent upon Microsoft.
Absolutely, anyone can be on any platform they want. With CarbonTools we can address the Microsoft user base as well. This is not an OGC activity.
GISWeekly: During last year's GML Relay, they found GML didn't work well with certain softwares, so people began to develop solutions to make it work well. CarbonTools sounds like a response to some of those issues.
Right. We cite the challenges they had back in July of 04 at one of the GML Relays and it had to do with using GML and Web Feature Server. What Carbon Tools does is makes a lot of those problems go away, and makes it easier to use GML and WFS.
IONIC, Intergraph and others have highlighted challenges. One of the challenges they're having is parsing GML. Carbon Tools deals with that by embedding and providing two different kinds of parsers. CarbonTools also helps with reading OGC capabilities. These are descriptions from different vendors that can sometimes be hard for the machines to deal with. CarbonTools embeds ways to deal with those differences and makes that happen at the computer level. Reading and using Web Feature Servers within a Windows desktop environment can be challenging as well. CarbonTools uses .NET to bring the XML data into the Windows environment. Say you have a major desktop GIS from any of the major vendors and it's built on Windows. What CarbonTools does is make it very simple for that standalone desktop GIS application to be extended through the Windows and the .NET platform to reach out and talk to any web map and web feature server or GML data source. We've demo'ed that a few times; it opens up a world of data sources that these major desktop GIS applications can get at and adds a whole new level to the data equation.
System requirements for CarbonTools include:
- Windows 2000/XP
- .NET Framework version 1.1
- Visual Studio .NET or similar .NET development environment (for the full SDK only)
Indian Ocean Tsunami Update
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that the tsunami has generated a great need for early warning systems, and consequently a new market. U.S. aerospace and defense contractors see an opportunity to re-market and modify programs that are sold to the Pentagon and intelligence agencies as early warning systems.
Government contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon belong to a group called the Alliance for Earth Observations, which backs an effort by the U.S., European Union and other nations to create a global Earth observation system. Since the tsunami hit south Asia, six additional countries have joined the effort, which now totals 58 nations. This month, ministers from the involved countries plan to meet in Brussels to finalize and approve a 10-year plan to finance and develop the system. A focus will be on linking existing systems to keep costs down.
Information from existing national systems could be assembled in the global system, as well as global warming data and data on soil conditions and changing climate patterns that affect farming.
However, combining data from existing satellites and earth based reporting systems will require, once again, large scale integration of software, skills that government contractors already provide to the Pentagon and CIA. In addition, sensors, data collection systems and networks for data processing and dissemination will be necessary for closing the gaps between countries that report very little or no seismic and weather data.
Obviously satellites would play a big role in the system and according to retired Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, head of NOAA, the four weather satellites that the U.S. maintains to monitor the globe cost $1.3 billion, plus $650 million per year to maintain and operate.
ESRI support efforts now include locating, organizing, and building spatial data sets and spatial data libraries, creating static maps for download; development of GIS emergency management applications to include damage assessment, infrastructure loss, displaced people, and other applications; providing emergency software and temporary licensing; deployment of ArcWeb Services for basemaps, mapping infrastructure before and after the event, imagery, and more.
Software developer GAEA Technologies is offering a software grant program to provide free licenses of its environmental and civil engineering POLLUTEv7 and MIGRATEv9, WinLoG and WinFence programs to engineers and researchers in countries affected by the tsunami and earthquake in south Asia. The company has a long history of providing solutions internationally for more than 15 years in landfill design, contaminant transport modeling, and remediation.
This grant program will provide a total of $100,000 in free software licenses with a limit of $5,000 per application.
To apply for a grant under the program, please write to Email Contact or visit www.gaea.ca
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the NIBS (National Institute of Building Sciences) IAI-NA (North American Chapter of the International Alliance for Interoperability) Council jointly announced their formal agreement to work together.
David A. Harris, FAIA, NIBS President explained, "As digital technologies become increasingly important in design and construction, city planning, disaster response, security, transportation and environmental management, so does the need for interoperability among systems used in these activities. Design technologies, such as CADD, and geospatial technologies need to efficiently transition between their separate environments. The technical barriers that have kept them apart are seriously hampering productivity and efficiency. We look forward to advancing the standards framework necessary to bring these disciplines closer together."
Clark Labs and the USDA have recently entered into a Cooperative Agreement to construct maps of potential gypsy moth establishment and damage in uninfested areas of the United States. The current gypsy moth management program strongly relies on survey data acquired from their 350,000 pheromone-based traps that are deployed annually. The main risk factor considered in the trap distribution formula is the proximity of humans and suitable gypsy moth hosts. Although this survey program has been successful in detecting introduction of the gypsy moth in uninfested areas, there remains an opportunity to locate traps more effectively by incorporating other identified risk factors, such as climatic conditions, host plant quality and the degree of human activity.
SANZ Inc., provider of spatial data provisioning solutions, announced at the ESRI Federal User's Conference, the company's partnering agreement with LizardTech, Inc.. The agreement will enable SANZ EarthWhere(tm) users to read, and more importantly, to write in the MrSID® generation 3 format as soon as this spring.
The Faculty of Environmental Studies of the University of Waterloo, an institution for the study of Geomatics in Canada, has entered an agreement with KHEOPS Technologies for its software JMap for distributed geospatial teaching and research in the Faculty. In particular, JMap is to be used as part of a new project on Internet mapping as a basis for collaborative decision making in the urban planning process. This project is funded by GEOIDE through its pan-Canadian network of centers of excellence in Geomatics.
ESRI announced its participation in the recent Standards in Action meeting sponsored by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The highlight of the meeting was the 3rd GML Relay, which challenges GIS vendors to exchange data using the GML standard. The standard was developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.(tm) (OGC(tm)), and is designed to transport and store geographic information. GML is an encoding of Extensible Markup Language (XML). For the relay, 1:10,000 scale topographic data for the Netherlands (Top10NL) was used in the GML format (Top10GML).
NavCom Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deere & Company announced today that Filanda has been named as dealer, coupling NavCom Technology's VueStar aerial navigation solution with their SoftNav product line. Filanda's product SoftNav is used for aeronautical applications with software developed specifically for lidar, seismic data acquisition, photogrammetry, 3D photo aerial inventory and agricultural spraying.
MITRE's Technology Transfer Office has licensed the Geocast technology to SquareLoop, Inc., a northern Virginia based company specializing in emerging Location-Based Service (LBS) markets. The license grants SquareLoop worldwide exclusivity to the Geocast patents. The technology provides for a unique broadcast/receiver model for delivery of geographic specific information to cell phones and mobile communication devices without infringing on the privacy of the individual.
Pictometry International Corp., provider of a patented information system that captures georeferenced, digital aerial oblique and orthogonal images as well as related software, and Mobile Video Services, Inc. (Mobile Video), a provider of field data verification services, address matching, and street-view imaging, announced the firms have entered into a business alliance. Under terms of the agreement, the two companies will promote their combined product offerings where Pictometry imaging solutions and software will be incorporated as part of Mobile Video's field operations to provide aerial views of the entire property while the street-view, ground-level shot is captured, the property is appraised, and the address data is verified.
ESRI announced that it was selected by the Department of the Interior to develop the full implementation of the Geospatial One-Stop Operational Portal (GOS 2). This next generation technology represents a dramatic advance not only for geographic information system (GIS) on the Internet but also for the entire geospatial field. It will provide new ways of sharing geospatial information that will help improve the business of government and decision making processes.
The National Center for Transit Research's (NCTR) at the University of South Florida will be hosting the 3rd National Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Transit Conference will be November 1-3, 2005 in Tampa, Florida. The conference will feature state-of-the-art exhibits where vendors of transit GIS related technologies will display the latest in GIS hardware, software, analytical techniques, and services. The conference will host several general sessions that will highlight new and innovative topics associated with GIS in transit as well as many presentation and round table discussion lead by national GIS experts. A call for papers and/or presentations and vendors is open until March 18, 2005. Submit your paper and /or presentation online by going to http://www.cutr.usf.edu/research/fmtp/AmberFrame.htm For more information, please contact Amber Reep at Email Contact
Dell announced three powerful, secure and reliable additions to its business notebook portfolio. The Latitude(TM) D410, D610 and D810 represent the next generation of D-Family notebooks incorporating the latest Intel(R) mobile architecture with enhancements based on Dell's direct customer feedback.
The exhibition is sold out for Integrating GIS & CAMA Conference. The ninth annual event is taking place February 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Georgia. Preconference workshops, a keynote address on "Mapping Mars" from Dr. John L. Callas of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, twenty-five breakout sessions, and six vendor educational workshops will round out the conference program.
Oracle Corporation is delivering a one-day seminar on the use of “Spatial Data for IT Management in Asset Intensive Industries” on March 3rd 2005 Oracle, Blyth Valley Park, Birmingham. For more information and to register your interest please email Email Contact or call +44 (0)7831 223711.
NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for navigation systems and location-based solutions, is expanding its Eastern European database with the addition of two more countries. For the first time, NAVTEQ customers will now have digital map data for Poland and Slovenia at their disposal. The company is also planning to release digital map data for large towns and major roads in Croatia and the three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, over the coming months.
NAVTEQ will also host a conference call on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 at 5:00 PM ET to discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2004 financial results. A news release containing these results will be distributed before the call.
To participate in the call, please dial:
U.S. and Canada: 800-884-5695
An international team of scientists, the Polar Aura Validation Experiment (PAVE), embarked this week on a journey to improve modeling of global-scale air quality and climate change predictions by conducting high quality measurements of the Arctic region's atmosphere.
They will gather information to validate data from NASA's Aura satellite, launched in July 2004. PAVE is the third in a series of planned Aura validation and science missions. These missions will help understand the transport and transformation of gases and aerosols in the lower atmosphere (troposphere), and their exchange with those in the lower stratosphere, the layer just above the troposphere. PAVE takes place from Jan. 24 to Feb. 9.
The GNOSIS consortium has chosen IONIC Software to build a geoportal, aimed at citizens and scientists worldwide, to discover and access information available at the Belgian federal scientific institutes. This geoportal forms part of the GNOSIS (Generalized Natural Sciences Online and Spatial Information System) initiative that is funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office and brings together scientific partners from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) and Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI).
Just for fun - and just in time for Valentine's Day: The digital images of Sweethearts® candy will be brought to wireless handsets by FunMail, a wireless entertainment company. In a deal brokered by Brand Central, The New England Confectionery Company (NECCO®) has licensed FunMail the rights to provide wireless wallpaper images of its world-famous Sweethearts® Conversation Hearts candy collection via mobile phones.
Lawrence R. Pettinger has been named the ASPRS 2005 Fellow Award winner. The ASPRS designation of Fellow is conferred on active Society members who have performed exceptional service in advancing the science and use of the mapping sciences (photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying, geographic information systems, and related disciplines). This award will be given in March at the ASPRS 2005 Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions and the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community (IGUC) announced it is accepting entries for the Intergraph 2005 Geospatial Achievement and Cartographic Excellence Awards Programs. The competitions, which are designed to acknowledge and promote exemplary performance using geospatial technology, highlight innovative and technologically advanced implementations worldwide. For complete program guidelines and instructions on submitting an entry for the Intergraph 2005 Geospatial Achievement or Cartographic Excellence Awards Programs, visit http://imgs.intergraph.com/community/awards/default.asp .
Leica Geosystems announced a major strategic initiative to expand and integrate technical support, service and training for customers in North America. The effort is being spearheaded by Paul Stack, newly appointed vice president, support and service for the Americas.
Ordnance Survey announced the appointment of geographic information specialist Simon Doyle as Development Manager within the Information Systems group. He will head up the mapping agency's software and systems application development within its Technology directorate and brings with him experience in the private and public sectors - as well as in academia.
Nokia announced the launch of Python for the Series 60 Platform, allowing the worldwide open-source developer community that utilizes the powerful Python programming language to execute Python commands and run Python scripts and applications on Series 60-based devices.
Handango, provider of mobile downloads, announced the availability of Handango InHand for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs devices. Handango InHand is an intelligent, device-resident download client for smartphones and wireless handhelds.
Matrox Graphics Inc. announced the Millennium P650 PCIe 128 graphics card, the first Millennium P-Series product for PCI Express(TM). This product has full native x16 PCI Express support, 128 MB of graphics memory, and Matrox DualHead(R) for using two digital or analog monitors at a time. Matrox also announced the Matrox QID LP PCIe, a x16 PCI Express(TM) graphics card for up to four displays at a time. Providing extra reliability and performance, this card has a single Matrox-designed graphics chip to control displays and to support x16 PCI Express natively.
ESRI announced that PLTS for ArcGIS 9-Foundation is now shipping. Foundation provides the PLTS components found within each of the PLTS solutions (Aeronautical, Defense, Mapping Agency, and Nautical). Foundation allows users to define their own geodatabase model, map series, and symbology definitions while providing editing tools universally required. Business rules are implemented in valid value tables and condition tables that provide rule-based attribute capture and validation, quality assurance, and map symbology. Database driven cartography allows symbolization from feature attributes and provides sophisticated and repeatable map templates.
LeadDog Consulting, LLC announced the release of Dubai City Streets to support asset-tracking, government and commercial GIS applications. Designed to help companies track their assets and provide accurate base level mapping, LeadDog's product provides numerous vector layers and attributes such as:
- Streets at 1:10,000 scale
- Street names
- Street classifications
- Points of Interest (government building, mosques, hotels, etc.)
- Landmark polygons
- Extended major road coverage beyond the metro area
Dubai City Streets are available in all major GIS formats. A UAE Major Roads product at a 1:250,000 to 1:50,000 scale will be available later this month, integrated with Dubai map.
RealBird announce the release of interactive hot spots with its RealBird Standard and Professional Viewer. This capability allows the addition of multimedia elements such as photos, slideshows or virtual tours to property listings onto branded online aerial, street or topo maps. Hotspots can be also linked to any URLs, like third party hosted virtual tours, or to any external website or web page.
AccuWeather.com and Verizon Wireless announced the availability of video clips of AccuWeather.com's extensive weather information on the new Verizon Wireless V CAST wireless broadband multimedia service. V CAST from Verizon Wireless is the first true 3G wireless broadband consumer multimedia service in the country, allowing customers to view crystal clear video on demand and graphics for 3D games because it runs on Verizon Wireless' Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) network - the only widely available wide-area wireless broadband network in the United States.
Thales announced development of its new low-cost security improvement module for the protection of legacy Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks. SCADA networks perform key functions that deliver essential services and commodities such as electricity, natural gas, and water to the public at large. Originally designed with little or no security, SCADA networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks that can result in public safety concerns and serious disruptions to the Nation's economy. As a component of the critical infrastructure, the protection of SCADA networks has gained increased attention as part of the overall homeland security initiatives put in place after September 11, 2001.
Blue Marble Geographics announced the release of cross platform versions of GeoCalc 6.0. This fully object-oriented version of Blue Marble's coordinate conversion libraries was created to meet the needs of cutting-edge Windows programmers. Blue Marble's coordinate conversion technology is used worldwide by thousands of GIS analysts at software companies, universities, oil and gas companies, civil engineering, surveying, technology, enterprise GIS groups, and military organizations.
The new ESRI Press book, Designing Geodatabases-Case Studies in GIS Data Modeling, presents a compendium of best practices in geodatabase design.
Blue Marble Geographics announced the 2005 Geographic Calculator and Geographic Transformer training schedule. These daylong sessions are in-depth user training courses on the applications. They also feature education on the basics of geodesy and mapping. In fact, many people take these courses just for the geodesy training. The first session takes place in Denver March 7-8.
Call toll free 800-616-2725 or email Jessica Whitworth at Email Contact for more information and to book your session.
PCI Geomatics announced the current Eduserv Chest agreement for Geomatica(r) software - which applies to educational institutes in the U.K. and Ireland -has been renewed for three more years.
Around the Web
I've often gotten some strange trip routing from routing providers, but I think this one takes the prize.
Pack your passport: This MapPoint map advises travelers between two Norwegian cities to take a multicountry tour rather than the shortest route. Credit: MapPoint
Hewlett Reports Advance in Molecular Scale Device, by John Markoff, February 1, 2005, NY Times (registration required) -In an article in The Journal of Applied Physics, three researchers at the quantum science research group of Hewlett-Packard Labs, based in Palo Alto, Calif., describe how they have designed a "crossbar latch," making it possible to perform a type of logic operation that is essential to the functions of a modern computer.
13-year old to address Linux conference, by Renai Lemay, ZDNet Australia, February 2, 2005--A pint-sized linux guru who installed her first Debian server before her tenth birthday is to speak at this year's linux.conf.au Elizabeth Garbee, who has had a computer since she turned two, has been running Debian since the time she was nine. According to her bio on the conference speaker's list, her installation of Debian GNU/Linux on a server before she had reached 10 years of age "proves that installing Debian really isn't very hard", although it should be noted that "Dad is around to answer questions" if trouble hits.
Taking the Pulse of Technology at Davos, John Markoff, January 31, 2005, NY Times (registration required) - Nicholas Negroponte, the technology guru from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, prowled the halls of the World Economic Forum holding the holy grail for crossing the digital divide: a mock-up of a $100 laptop computer.
The machine is intriguing because Mr. Negroponte has struck upon a remarkably simple solution for lowering the price of the most costly part of a laptop - the display - to $25 or less.
AT&T buy shows how far voice calling has fallen, by Marguerite Reardon, February 2, 2005, CNET News.com--The prospects of the crumbling circuit-switched phone business have fallen so low that AT&T, which once controlled all phone calls across the country, sold itself for a mere $16 billion to SBS Communications.
Map India 2005
Date: February 7 - 9, 2005
Place: Hotel Taj Palace New Delhi, India
Map India 2005 is the 8th Annual International Conference and Exhibition in the field of geographic information technologies like GIS, GPS, Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing. Responding to the needs of the industry, the research community and every individual's right to Geospatial information, this year again, Map India aims to provide a platform for the convergence, sharing and use of technologies and experiences in the Geospatial domain. Map India 2005 remains dedicated to the mission of fostering the use and spread of Geospatial content among communities.
16th Annual Worldwide ESRI Business Partner Conference
Date: February 12 - 15, 2005
Place: Wyndham Hotel and Palm Springs Convention Center , Palm Springs, CA USA Premier event for ESRI business partners.
2005 GeoTec Event
Date: February 13 - 16, 2005
Place: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
The conference theme, “Providing Perspective, Gaining Insight,” speaks to the effectiveness of integrated geotechnology regardless of application area. The conference program has evolved from a predominantly natural-resources focus to an event that incorporates leading-edge technological advancements, advanced modeling and analysis, as well as a forum for geospatial data initiatives and public policy.
9th Annual Integrating GIS and CAMA Conference
Date: February 15 - 18, 2005
Place: Savannah, GA USA
Specialty conference jointly sponsored with URISA and the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO).
BE Meeting Prague 2005
Date: February 28 - March 2, 2005
Place: Prague, Czech Republic
BE Meeting Prague 2005, is your regional connection to Bentley's highly recommended BE Conference 2004. BE Meetings are professional events that offer technical workshops, technology updates, keynote presentations by Bentley executives, user presentations, and a wide range of networking opportunities.
A 3-Day Summit on Internet Protocol version 6. The Summit will be in coordination with the Department of Defense's Day of IPv6. Leaders in industry, military, government, academia and research are coming together to discuss the deployment of IPv6 and the future of the "New Internet." There will also be an exhibit hall filled with cutting edge IPv6 technology.