Spatially and Geodetically Extending
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Spatially and Geodetically Extending

Message from the Editor -

Welcome to GISWeekly!IBM has been in the news lately with its revised version of DB2 Spatial Extender technology in the DB2 Universal Database version 8.2, previously codenamed “Stinger,” that was developed jointly by IBM and ESRI. The Spatial Extender is now included in all versions of IBM DB2 Universal Database and enables spatial access and analysis.. More ESRI components are embedded directly into the DB2 Spatial Extender database. Read about this technology 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 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, New Products, Going on 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 at Managing Editor

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Spatially and Geodetically Extending
By Susan Smith

IBM has been in the news lately with its revised version of DB2 Spatial Extender technology in the DB2 Universal Database version 8.2, previously codenamed “Stinger,” that was developed jointly by IBM and ESRI. The Spatial Extender is now included in all versions of IBM DB2 Universal Database and enables spatial access and analysis.. More ESRI components are embedded directly into the DB2 Spatial Extender database.

For many years, GIS professionals (or perhaps mostly vendors?) have claimed that roughly 80 percent of all data has spatial characteristics. Even postal code information is inherently spatial, and the advent of Spatial databases have enabled users to exploit spatial data to do analysis of distance, driving times or proximity, capabilities heavily used in business and retail analysis.

Clearly there is more to be gained with maximizing the use of spatial data, hence the proliferation of spatial databases and development of spatial “extenders” such as IBM's. The growth of relatively inexpensive wireless WiFi or LAN networks, wireless laptops and PDAs has also challenged database managers to come up with application development and databases to be able support the bottom layer environment so that data can pass seamlessly between online and offline settings. The opportunity to access applications on the back-end that were never intended to go mobile and get them from the back office to where users can actually use them out in the field is also a big impetus for database developers today.

Included here are key features and capabilities of Spatial Extender, directly from IBM.

Key features of DB2 Spatial Extender include:
-Adds data types so spatial data can be represented as geometric shapes, such as points, lines and polygons as compliant OGC Simple Features for SQL, native types.

-Enables SQL access to spatial data for loading, retrieving, indexing and other functions

-Supports SQL queries of spatial data, separately or joined with conventional business data stored in any DB2 database, including DB2/zOS and DB2/Series platforms

-Works with visualization tools such as ESRI ArcExplorer to provide visual map renderings of spatial data
According to David Beddoe and Robert Uleman of IBM's DB2 Information Management, Software Group, the Stinger version of DB2 supports Version 2.6 of the Linux kernel, which will help database clusters perform faster and take advantage of the speed of 64 bit databases and servers that rely on multiple processors. Stinger is a direct competitor of Oracle 10g, which we profiled in last week's GISWeekly.

An example of a customer might be a retail business owner who wants to expand the business and explore what the best location for a new store might be to attract upscale customers. Using existing data such as addresses and income data for each customer and census demographic data, the business owner wants to find out which customers live farther than 10 miles from the existing stores and have an income greater than $50,000 per year. Using DB2 Spatial Extender's geocoder function, the owner can translate the stores' and customers' address from this database into spatial data.

ArcExplorer, a pure Java spatial visualization application, works with Spatial Extender to visually identify where the stores and customers are.

DB2 Extender's software requirements include a licensed copy of DB2 Universal Database Enterprise Server Edition, Workgroup Server Edition, Personal Edition, Express Edition, Personal Developer's Edition or Universal Developer's Edition.

Capabilities offered in DB2 Spatial Extender include:

For spatial data modeling:
  • 13 spatial data types to model the placement or form of real world entities

  • Ability to subtype the spatial data types to provide additional extensibility

  • Conformance with the OGC and ISO spatial data type standards (Simple Features Specification for SQL)

  • Support for popular industry data formats
  • For Spatial data access:
  • A set of OGC specified spatial functions such as ST_Distance, ST_Contains and ST_Intersection

  • An integrated spatial index type that supports fast search of 2D (x,y) data

  • Manipulation of spatial data directly inside the database

  • Optimization of SQL queries involving spatial functions as well as non-spatial functions for optimal performance.

  • Tackling a Problem Spherically

    Concurrently with this release comes IBM DB2 Geodetic Extender, a spatially enabled database management system using IBM DB2 software. Geodetic Extender takes IBM Spatial Extender one step further - to the virtual globe, doing away with the edges and distortions tolerated with projected maps. Most new data today is collected in GPS and represented in latitude-longitude coordinates. The shortest distance between two points on the globe is an arc, not a straight line, which is called a geodesic, based on the earth's curvature. What the Geodetic Extender brings to the table is that it uses technology originally designed for working with geodesics and calculating the lengths, and uses its special indexing method called the geodetic Voronoi index. The index has the ability to adapt to the nature of the data and unique properties that can help increase speed for calculating distances combined with the simplicity of a grid. The Geodetic Extender also uses a latitude-longitude coordinate system on an ellipsoidal earth model to precisely manage objects defined on the earth's surface.

    In short, some highlights of this system include:
  • Manages geospatial information referenced by latitude-longitude coordinates

  • Offers storage and retrieval capabilities for geographic data

  • Supports global geographic queries without the limitations inherent in map projections

  • Helps to ensure precision and accuracy-engineered (from inception) to treat the earth as a continuous globe rather than a flat plane bounded by edges

  • Uses the Voronol spatial index for maximum performance.
  • For traditional map based technology, professionals can use DB2 Spatial Extender, but for a more global approach DB2 Geodetic Extender will depict the world as round rather than flat. Military command and control and asset management, meteorology and oceanography (scientific, government and commercial), and satellite imagery and digital map providers are among those who use a round earth.

    Update on CAD/GIS Interoperability

    This week I spoke with Viktor Bullain, Architectural Consultant for Graphisoft ArchiCAD, who told me that Graphisoft and ESRI have created an interface for exchanging information between the GIS and the Virtual Building environment.

    Graphisoft to ESRI--ArchiCAD can export the shell of a building to Arc GIS 9.

    ESRI to Graphisoft--ESRI GIS data can be imported as ArchiCAD Objects, 3D mesh and 2D Polyline.

    The interface is planned to be available before the end of the year.


    DigitalGlobe announced that Merrick Advanced Photogrammetry of the Americas S. de R.L. de C.V. (MAPATM) is now an authorized reseller of QuickBird high-resolution satellite imagery in Mexico. MAPA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Colorado-based Merrick & Company.

    Applied Geographics, Inc. (AppGeo) and Joan N. Gardner announce that after 13 years of service with the firm, Ms. Gardner, the founding president and majority shareholder, has sold her ownership interest to a group of current officers. Under the terms of the transaction, Ms. Gardner has retired from her current posts as Treasurer and Chairman of the Board and she has sold her entire interest in the company. The current President, Richard Grady, leads the management buyout team that also includes Michael Terner, Executive Vice President and a founding partner; David Weaver, Vice President and a founding partner; Peter Girard, Vice President; and Steven Anderson, Vice President. The new ownership team looks forward to continuing and extending the successes achieved by the company during the past 13 years.


    “Georeferencing Rasters in ArcGIS,” a new free, live training seminar from ESRI Virtual Campus, will instruct ArcGIS 9 users who work with raster data on registering rasters to a known projection. This seminar will take place on October 14, 2004, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. Pacific time. More information about Georeferencing Rasters in ArcGIS, including instructions for attending and a schedule of upcoming seminars, is available at

    “Working with ArcGIS Schematics,” another new course from ESRI Instructor-Led Training, gives instruction to ArcGIS users about how to produce detailed schematics from linear network features. A complete list of prerequisites and a class schedule, as well as registration information, detailed instructor-led course outlines, and other information, is available at

    Research Systems, Inc. (RSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ITT Industries, and a part of its Space Systems Division, announced that it has been awarded two contracts from BAE SYSTEMS for the development of software to support DigitalGlobe's next-generation satellite imaging system, WorldView. The contracts are for the development of a workflow-based Image QC software platform and new image quality tools for the NextView Program. RSI's software will be delivered in iterations during 2004 and integrated into the new satellite imaging system that will be operational in 2005. ITT Industries was previously awarded a contract to build the imaging system for the WorldView satellite.

    Autodesk, Intergraph, Laser-Scan, MapInfo, and Oracle introduced a real-world interoperable spatial data management platform in September 2003 to leverage and advance the spatial capabilities of an open spatial enterprise that enables customers to use critical location information in an IT environment and with multiple applications.. At the SPATIAL-TECH 2004 Symposium, Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions (booth # 711) is highlighting the interoperability advancements of its geospatial intelligence solutions through demonstrations of real-world security scenarios. Geospatial capabilities are increasingly being used by first responders, emergency management officials and government leaders for critical infrastructure protection and public safety. Intergraph geospatial intelligence solutions enable these officials to combine data from diverse sources, such as local, state, national and private sector organizations, into a single environment for better decision making and response.

    Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced nearly $4.9 million in grants to train workers for careers in the geospatial industry. The Secretary of Labor's video announcement was made to over 1,500 geospatial, defense and homeland security experts at the Spatial Tech 2004 Conference in Orlando.

    UCLID Software released a schedule of parcel mapping webinars to demonstrate the latest release of IcoMap which is optimized for ArcGIS 9.0. The live 20-minute sessions are informative, free of charge and easy to attend. Online registration is available at

    Since 2002, when the Larsen B ice shelf broke away from the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, scientists have witnessed profound increases in the flow of nearby glaciers into the Weddell Sea. These observations were made possible through NASA, Canadian and European satellite data.

    Two NASA-funded reports, appearing in the Geophysical Research Letters journal, used different techniques to arrive at similar results. Researchers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md., and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Boulder, Colo., said the findings prove ice shelves act as "brakes" on the glaciers that flow into them. The results also suggest climate warming can rapidly lead to rises in sea level.

    Sport utility vehicle (SUV) registrations in Maryland increased 59 percent between 1997 and 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. SUV registrations jumped from 290,800 in 1997 to 463,300 in 2002.

    The Department of Homeland Security awarded $9 million in information technology demonstration projects in the Information Technology and Evaluation Program (ITEP). ITEP is a competitive program intended to foster and evaluate uses of existing, “state-of-the-market” information technology that will demonstrate how to remove barriers and improve information sharing and integration.

    “One of the important lessons our nation learned in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was that we had to do a better job of sharing information at all levels of government, as well as with the private sector," said C. Suzanne Mencer, Executive Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness. "The technology demonstrated through ITEP will improve our ability to analyze and share information critical to the nation's ability to prevent, respond to and recover from terrorism and other major events.”

    Seismicity continues at Mt. St. Helens. The following is the September 29, 2004 report:

    “Increased seismicity overnight prompted raising the alert level to Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2) at 10:40 A.M., PDT, this morning. Throughout the day the seismic energy level has remained at an elevated with a rate of 3-4 events per minute including an increase in the number of events between Magnitude 2 and 3. All earthquake locations are still shallow and in or below the lava dome. In addition, initial data from the GPS instrument on the lava dome that was repaired Monday morning suggest that the site moved a few inches northward Monday and Tuesday, but has since been stable. Such movement is not surprising in light of the high seismicity levels. A USGS field crew continued their deployment of GPS equipment today in order to monitor any ground movement on the lava dome, crater floor, or lower slopes of the volcano. Another gas flight this morning produced a result of no significant volcanic gas detected, as was the case on Monday. Two press conferences were held at CVO to update the media. Tomorrow's field work includes continued GPS deployments.”

    More can be found at and

    Geoscape International has announced the first annual Multicultural Market Intelligence Summit. The first annual Summit brings together the state-of-the art in geo-demographics, analytics, visualization and best practices across industries. This milestone event will facilitate the interchange of ideas among those who want to make sure they are at the forefront of America's cultural transformation.

    The Detailed Agenda for the Summit can be found on the internet at:

    More Information:

    ITT Industries, Inc. (NYSE: ITT) Space Systems Division has applied its more than 50 years of remote sensing expertise to the natural gas industry to enhance pipeline safety. The company will field test new airborne natural gas leak detection technology this fall and exhibit improved pipeline and safety capabilities to the energy industry at the International Pipeline Exposition in Calgary, Oct. 6-8, 2004. A new service called Airborne Natural Gas Emission Lidar (ANGEL) based on these capabilities will be commercially available through select channel partners during the first quarter of 2005.


    The Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) is proud to announce that member company NVision Solutions has been selected by Louisiana Governor, Kathleen Blanco, as the 2004 “Innovator of the Year.” The selection is part of the 2nd Annual Governor's Technology Awards which recognizes the best of Louisiana's high-tech businesses, universities and individual leaders. NVision Solutions is a geospatial technology company with offices in Bay St. Louis, MS, and Slidell, LA.


    IDELIX® Software Inc. announced that James H. Frey, former President of Northrop Grumman TASC has joined the visualization software company's Board of Advisors. Mr. Frey will advise IDELIX on its business development efforts in the homeland security, aerospace, intelligence and defense markets.

    New Products

    Paessler announced the immediate availability of PRTG Traffic Grapher version 4.0. PRTG Traffic Grapher monitors network and bandwidth usage and other network parameters such as memory and CPU utilization, providing system administrators with live readings and periodical usage trends to optimize the efficiency, layout and setup of leased lines, routers, firewalls, servers and other Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) enabled network components. Using PRTG Traffic Grapher, network administrators can predict when resources will be overloaded or are under-utilized and can make the decision to upgrade or downsize various elements of the system.

    Around the Web...

    Dodgeball-- “Hook up with friends. Discover what's around you.” How many people are now using to find out where their friends are?

    Big WiFi Project for Philadephia by Bob Tedeschi, NY Times (registration required), September 24, 2004 -Instead of being known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia now wants to be known as the city of laptops. The city recently announced a two-year effort to string a free wireless network across its 135 square miles, potentially giving Philadelphia an entirely new identity as the most wired - or unwired - municipality on the planet.

    What's in the Box? Radio Tags know that and More, By Barnaby Feder, NY Times (registration required), September 27, 2004-- I.B.M. plans to announce that it will invest $250 million over the next five years and employ 1,000 people in a new business unit to support products and services related to sensor networks. The new unit will also focus on helping businesses exploit sensor networks by, for example, setting up computer systems that use sensor data to quickly identify supply shortages and automatically adjust delivery schedules.

    I.B.M.'s goal, analysts said, is to persuade businesses to view radio tagging - one of the hottest growth areas for mobile sensor technology - as just one element of a new wave of information technology outside of data centers that must be integrated to be exploited.

    Start Up OQO to Launch Hand-size PC by Michael Kanellos, CNET, September 29, 2004-- OQO will launch its tiny computer Oct. 14 in San Francisco, according to an invitation from the company. The upstart has created a full-fledged Windows XP computer, called OQO model 01, that is about the same size and shape as a Palm organizer or Pocket PC. The unit can also be inserted into a docking station.

    California Quake Finds Epicenters Aplenty on the Web, by Dawn Kawamoto, CNET, September 28, 2004 - As a 6.0-magnitude earthquake rolled through Central California on Tuesday, those within rumbling distance could get quick information online on its location and severity. Most Web surfers likely flocked to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site, which offers real-time information on earthquakes in the United States and overseas. The site allows people to pinpoint the location of an earthquake on a map and learn about its magnitude and intensity.

    Upcoming Events

    17th Annual GIS in the Rockies Conference
    Date: October 6 - 8, 2004
    Place: Denver, CO USA
    This year's conference addresses the theme "Worlds of Opportunity."

    The South Florida GIS Expo
    Date: October 7 - 8, 2004
    Place: The Palm Beach County Convention Center 605 Okeechobee Blvd., W Palm Beach, FL 33401 USA
    The South Florida GIS Expo serves as a way to foster collaboration, GIS coordination, networking, education and training for the rapidly expanding professional GIS community in the high-tech south Florida region. The 2004 SF GIS Expo represents our eleventh year of organizing and facilitating this regional GIS conference.

    Date: October 12 - 14, 2004
    Place: Chelsea Village London, United Kingdom
    agi2004 marks the 16th running of the Annual Conference; AGI will also lead the management and organization of the exhibition in the same location. This creates a unique opportunity for cross-over and interaction between exhibitors, delegates, conference speakers and session chairs. With 42 exhibitors showcasing the latest technology and 80 world leading speakers at the conference can you afford not to attend?

    GeoInt 2004 Symposium
    Date: October 12 - 14, 2004
    Place: Sheraton New Orleans New Orleans, LA USA
    GEOINT 2004 is the premier event for the Geospatial intelligence community-bringing government, industry, and military leaders together with leading suppliers and industry experts.

    6th Annual GeoBusiness Conference 2004
    Date: October 14, 2004
    Place: RICS Westminster Centre London, United Kingdom
    GeoBusiness 2004, sponsored by Ordnance Survey, promises to be a landmark event for anyone with an interest in Store Location Planning, Marketing, Customer Insight, Market Analysis or geographical Information Systems (GIS). Hear leading Industry experts cover the breaking news and emerging technologies that are shaping the future of these disciplines.

    Wireless Industry Congress 2004
    Date: October 17 - 19, 2004
    Place: Ottawa, Canada
    David Wood, Sr. VP Marketing for Telcontar will be delivering the following presentation: Trends in Navigation and Implementing Wireless Navigation Services Find out how different companies have created applications targeted at specific wireless carriers, vehicle OEMs or corporate enterprise market segments. See from demonstrations how each has arrived at very different feature sets, architectures, user interfaces and business models. Learn how integration of disparate voice, mapping, real time data feeds, wireless networks and client software and hardware products can be achieved and what key factors to consider as you examine your company's positioning and opportunity in the location-based services market. Examine how the strengths and weaknesses of each approach will impact the evolution of the navigation market, and explore the business opportunities that could develop as a result.

    The 12th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference
    Date: October 18 - 22, 2004
    Place: Fremantle Western Australia, Australia
    The 12th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference (ARSPC) will be held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia from Monday 18 October to Friday 22 October 2004. ARSPC is Australia's biennial event for practitioners and allied industries.

    GIScience 2004
    Date: October 20 - 23, 2004
    Place: The Inn and Conference Center University of Maryland , MD USA
    GIScience 2004 is the follow-up meeting to the highly successful GIScience 2000 and 2002 conferences with over 300 researchers attending each time. GIScience 2004 will again bring together scientists from academia, industry, and government to analyze progress and to explore new research directions.

    SWUG Conference 2004 "Taking GIS to Higher Peaks"
    Date: October 20 - 22, 2004
    Place: Telluride Conf. Center Telluride, CO USA
    The Southwest Users Group (SWUG)conference brings together GIS users from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming to exchange knowledge, discuss new ideas, explore resources, and support the development of diverse GIS interests and education.

    GO! Sync (Replicate) Webinar
    Date: October 21, 2004
    Place: USA
    GO! Sync (Replicate), a turnkey solution to replicate ArcSDE, is designed to by ArcGIS developers for ArcGIS departments. By fully adopting the ArcGIS environment, including versioning, it enables organizations to seamlessly replicate data to other departments, regions or third parties. Using the configuration tool in ArcCatalog, replication criteria can be assigned using both spatial and feature restrictions.

    AGIC 2004 GIS Education and Training Symposium
    Date: October 27 - 29, 2004
    Place: Prescott, AZ USA
    Experience GIS at its best this fall in the mile-high city of Prescott, Arizona. Three days of workshops, technical demonstrations, and activities presented by national and local professionals will keep you and your staff current on the latest GIS technologies. Explore vendor exhibits and network with GIS professionals from across the State. Learn about current developments and challenges in a quickly changing industry and share your own insights into the world of GIS. Whether you enter the poster contest to show off your latest project, attend the workshops to fine tune your GIS skills, or are looking to keep up to date with old friends, Prescott is the place to be in October.