An Integrated Look at Geospatial Technology
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An Integrated Look at Geospatial Technology

Message from the Editor -

Welcome to GISWeekly! “Technology does not only replace one tool with another. It alters philosophies, policies, the way we live.” Integrated Geospatial Technologies provides an integrated look at geospatial technology, at how GPS data is used, where to use remotely sensed data, acquiring data and using data on the internet. Clear descriptions of what to expect from geotechnology and definitions of commonly used words and phrases make this book really quite enjoyable reading. 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, Alliances/Acquisitions, Announcements, Appointments/Resignations, 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

An Integrated Look at Geospatial Technology
Book Review
By Susan Smith

Integrated Geospatial Technologies - a Guide to GPS, GIS and Data Logging by Jeff Thurston, Thomas K. Poiker and J. Patrick Moore
John Wiley & Sons
Published September, 2003

ISBN: 0471244090

“Geotechnologies provide a means to collect, manage, and analyze spatial information that is later visualized in two, three, or four dimensions.”

This book does what it sets out to do: provide an integrated look at geospatial technology, at how GPS data is used, where to use remotely sensed data, acquiring data and using data on the internet. It covers definitions of terms such as 'enterprise technologies' which span many different departments within one organization, and are expected to interact with many other types of administrative technologies. It has answers to questions such as, how can data be acquired on the Internet? What data can be used for visualization purposes and how do you acquire it? How do spatial technologies integrate?

Clear descriptions of what to expect from geotechnology and definitions of commonly used words and phrases make this book really quite enjoyable reading. “Study of the Earth's physical shape is called geodesy. The shape of the Earth affects how geospatial information is collected and represented.”

“The determination of lines, along with their distance and direction with respect to boundary areas, is called cadastral or boundary surveying.”

Challenging problems that arise with geotechnology applications are addressed. A common example cited is that people have collected GPS points in the field, then downloaded them, only to find they don't align properly with an existing map. The reason for this may be that the map may have been generated using measurements based on a datum other than the one used for the GPS collection of points. Geospatial data users also need to know the coordinate system and projection that data are in so they can make accurate measurements or overlay other data.

A discussion of GPS, differential correction, data logging and geocoding shows practical use for these technologies and also how GPS data can become “nonuseful” in GIS.

“Technology does not only replace one tool with another. It alters philosophies, policies, the way we live.” The book offers many examples of ways in which this statement is proved true. One of particular interest is the fact that the modern map has depth and various layers with which users can interact and fly through. 3D visualization environments with GIS functionality are a goal of the technology, complete with interactive database access. 4D visualization includes x,y,z coordinates as well as the element of time, which could mean real time or data depicting change over time.

What makes GIS different from other database systems? It includes spatial functionality. A summary of what goes into a GIS is clearly laid out on charts and illustrations. The popularity of spatial data servers has increased as users found they don't want to store that information on local machines. Other methods such as sensors and instrumentation, laser offsets used to collect GPS waypoints, data loggers and telemetry are used to capture spatial information for analysis.

For people working in geotechnology who are very focused on their own area of expertise, this is a good book for them to acquaint themselves with the larger world of geotechnology, how it can be integrated and what the future might hold. It would also be most helpful to those newly introduced to the topic. Each chapter closes with a series of exercises reviewing the contents of the chapter and asking pertinent questions about the content. For students, this approach provides a clear overview to a broad, fascinating and quickly growing subject.

Map India 2004 Coverage ( with photos)

One of our GISCafe representatives attended Map India 2004 January 28-30 at the Hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi, India. Map India 2004 is the 7th Annual International Conference and Exhibition in the field of geographic information technologies like GIS, GPS, Aerial graphy and Remote Sensing. This year's theme was Geospatial Democracy. From the press release came this description:

”'Government of the people, for the people and by the people' constitutes the basic ingredient of 'democracy' and encompasses in itself greater guidelines for code of conduct within the various fields of democracy. We understand that every human being has some 'geospatial reference' by birth. Every citizen identifies oneself with a 'geographic boundary' and eventually everyone develops a level of 'geospatial possessiveness'. Every nation needs 'geospatial information' in some manner to perform efficiently.

In comprehension of this emerging truth that 'democracy' in contemporary times need to recognize the concept of Information Democracy, Map India 2004 proposes deliberations on 'Geospatial Democracy : Geospatial Information for the people, of the people and by the people'.”

Keynotes stuck to this theme and encompassed discussions of Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing and all related technologies. Keynote addresses were delivered by John Allen, director, BAE Systems; Brad Skelton, VP of Software Engineering Leica Geosystems GIS and Mapping LLC; and Dhirendra Khurana, Hewlett-Packard India.

Two topics made up the Plenary sessions. One was geospatial democracy-how important it is for citizens of a nation to understand their country's geography and resources. Information Democracy is directly tied into geography--in order for a country to become developed, it needs to have geographic data that is accessible and available to a vast majority of the population. Amitabha Pande, Joint Secretary, Dept.of Science & Technology for the Government of India, Xavier Lopez, Director, Spatial Technologies for Oracle, Inc., and Preetha Pulusani, President, Intergraph Mapping & Geospatial Solutions spoke on this topic.

The second plenary topic centered on the changing role of national mapping organizations, and how most GIS producing organizations in India and surrounding regions have focused on data generation, storage and maintenance, without much emphasis on distributing data. Presenters challenged the audience to consider re-thinking the issues of data dissemination and security issues, mandates and mechanisms for functioning for national mapping organizations. This included taking a look at revamping their public image. Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey, UK; Dr. Prithvish Nag, Surveyor General of India; K. K. Singh, Chairman cum Managing Director, Rolta India Ltd. and Bob O'Neil, Acting Director General, Canada Center for Remote Sensing, Natural Resources Canada all spoke on this topic.

Supporters of Map India 2004 included the following:

Indian Institute of Remote Sensing

Forest Survey of India

Census of India

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing

Geospatial Information Technology Association, USA


Asian Institute of Technology


Cadcorp signed a distribution agreement with Turkish Management Information System (MIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) specialist company Sampas A.S.

DigitalGlobe(R) announced it has entered into an agreement with Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Native Communities Development Corporation (NCDC) to provide high-resolution satellite imagery for integration with NCDC's remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping technologies in order to provide a suite of wildfire risk assessment services.

Maptuit(TM) Corporation, provider of transportation optimization solutions for the trucking industry, announced it has formed an alliance with Navigation Technologies. Maptuit and Navigation Technologies are working together to develop an enhanced trucking attribute product for the North American road network to meet the specialized needs of the heavy truck market.


PlanetLink Communications Inc., (OTC Bulletin Board: PLKC), a provider of satellite-based products and services announced the launch of the field-testing phase for its PlanetTRAKS GPS product.

Asian Surveying & Mapping ezine has a new format. The longer stories are now on their web site so that the email newsletter is not as long. They've also added an automated subscription system.

PCI Geomatics announced that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Pathfinder Electronic Light Table (ELT) competition results listed Geomatica 9 among the top entries in this category. Although not a traditional ELT, Geomatica 9 scored well based on its orthorectification and mosaicking performance, multi-level display abilities, format support, and overall geomatics capabilities in remote sensing, GIS, photogrammetry, and map production.

Space Imaging announced it has signed an agreement with Antrix Corp., a division of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), to extend its sales and marketing agreement through 2010. The agreement gives Space Imaging exclusive rights to market and sell data from ISRO's RESOURCESAT-1 (IRS-P6) satellite worldwide outside of India. The agreement also includes the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) 1-C and IRS 1-D, and CARTOSAT (P-5) satellites. K.R. Sridhara Murthi, executive director, Antrix, and Robert Dalal, CEO of Space Imaging, signed the agreement today in Bangalore, India, in the presence of G. Madhavan Nair, chairman, Space Commission and secretary, Department of Space, government of India and chairman, Antrix.

Intergraph Corporation (Nasdaq: INGR) reported operating results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2003.

For the quarter, Intergraph reported revenue of $145.8 million, operating income of $2.0 million (after restructuring charges of $4.0 million) and net income of $1.4 million. Net income was $.03 per share (basic and diluted).

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced its participation at the 7th annual Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference (GSDI-7) being held through February 6 in Bangalore, India. The global conference brings together professionals who represent national and local government organizations; mapping and cartography agencies; academic and research organizations; and suppliers of spatial data, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and photogrammetry and remote sensing solutions. Participants will focus on policies, technologies and applications for enabling an open spatial data environment throughout the world. The conference also addresses the national, regional and global spatial data infrastructure (SDI) initiatives and requirements while attempting to bring technical convergence on these issues, especially in developing countries.

Trimble announced results for its fourth fiscal quarter and year ended January 2, 2004. The Company reported fourth quarter revenues of approximately $135.9 million, versus approximately $124.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2002.

GAAP net income and EPS for the fourth quarter of 2003 were approximately $15.1 million and $0.43, respectively versus $4.0 million and $0.14 in the fourth quarter of 2002. Adjusted net income and EPS for the fourth quarter of 2003 were $10.2 million and $0.29, respectively versus $8.1 million and $0.27 in the fourth quarter of 2002. GAAP and adjusted EPS for the fourth quarter of 2003 were calculated on a diluted basis using approximately 35.4 million shares.

MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq: MAPS) announced its MapWorld 2004 worldwide tour for customers. Starting this year, MapWorld will be held as one-day events in major cities throughout the world, bringing MapInfo executives and industry experts directly to its customers in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Each event will feature mission-critical informational sessions that will help customers maximize their investment in MapInfo technology and take it to the next level. In each city, MapInfo's renowned demographers will help customers and prospects understand their customers by showcasing a "Slice of Life"-- a comprehensive overview of that city's demographic and consumer trends. Additionally, developers will learn valuable tips and tricks from MapInfo's leading developers and product managers.

MapInfo MapXtreme Java Edition v4.7 supports Open GIS Consortium (OGC) Web Mapping Service and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards, thereby enabling local authority users to share data more effectively and achieve e-government goals.

MapInfo has also reinforced its commitment to interoperability and standards with the release of MapInfo MapXtreme Java Edition v4.7, the company's 100% Java mapping server solution that provides application developers with a highly visual, intuitive component for integrating mapping functionality into any web-based application.

Five of the twenty five teams competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge for autonomous robotic ground vehicles, are relying on NavCom's StarFire™ Network to help them beat the odds and come away with the $1 million prize. DARPA is offering this prize to the team whose unmanned robotic car is the first to complete the 250mile off-road course from Barstow, CA across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas, Nevada on March 13, 2004. Once the race starts, no human interaction with the vehicle is allowed. The vehicle must be fully autonomous, interpreting the world through sensors and making its own decisions about navigation, route planning, and obstacle avoidance.

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) has begun accepting presentation proposals for the 2004 Annual Conference, to be held November 7 - 10, 2004, in Reno, Nevada. Submissions must be made electronically at by April 5, 2004.

At URISA 2004, participants will represent a wide variety of interests within state/provincial and local government, including e-Government; Enterprise Operations; Beyond Maps (including land use, crime, and environmental analysis; planning; community participation); Transportation Systems; Public Works and Asset Management; Public Health and Safety; Data Integration: Data Standards, Policy Issues, and Software Considerations; and much more.

For more information, or to submit online, visit or contact URISA at (847) 824-6300, Email Contact

Rand A Technology Corporation [TSX: RND], operating as RAND Worldwide® ("the Company"), announced that it has concluded a master distribution agreement with a division of The Boeing Company to sell and support a broad variety of software applications developed by various divisions of Boeing, the world's leading aerospace company.


Tadpole-Cartesia, Inc. announces the appointment of industry executive Anthony D. Palizzi as business development manager for its geographic data delivery and management business within North America.

Analytical Surveys, Inc. ("ASI," the "Company,") , the leading provider of utility- industry data collection, creation and management services for the geographic information systems (GIS) markets, today announced that Norman Rokosh has resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective February 29, 2004, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Company, effective immediately, for personal and family reasons. Mr. Rokosh will continue to work with the Company in a consulting role after February to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership for the Company. He joined ASI in July 2000 and was charged with heading a major corporate restructuring effort.

The Forestry and Natural Resources consulting group at James W. Sewall Company is pleased to announce that Dave Stevens has joined the company as Forest Economist/Senior Consultant. With an MS in forest economics and BS in forestry from the University of Maine, Mr. Stevens brings to Sewall 24 years' forestry and mill management experience. Trained in total quality management (TQM), he has supervised plant facilities of over 200 employees, managed large wood manufacturing projects, and led organizational development teams to improve business results at two Fortune 100 companies. As plant manager, he has supervised all aspects of on-site operations, including safety and environmental conditions, production, human resources, accounting, and quality control. As TQM manager, he has directed company consultants in designing and implementing change strategies for up to 24 mill locations nationwide.

New Products

Autodesk, Inc. introduced the availability of Autodesk(R) DWF(TM) Writer, a free, downloadable application that gives designers the capability to create Design Web Format(TM) (DWF(TM)) files from any CAD or Microsoft(R) Windows(R) application. Autodesk DWF Writer enables professionals in the building, manufacturing and infrastructure markets to more easily collaborate by securely and efficiently sharing their designs and drawing sets in the DWF file format, regardless of the application in which they were created.

Autodesk, Inc. announced the availability of the new iMove Spherical Video(TM) technology as part of the Autodesk Emergency Response Solution program. iMove is a world leader in the development of Spherical Imaging Systems(TM) that allow users to see and sense activity in every direction simultaneously.

ESRI announced the availability of the OGC Interoperability Add-On for ArcGIS. The OGC Interoperability Add-On delivers support for OpenGIS Consortium, Inc. Web Map Services (WMS), Web Feature Services (WFS), and Geography Markup Language (GML) to the ArcGIS Desktop products (ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo). ArcGIS is a scalable system of software for geographic data for every organization-from an individual to a globally distributed network of people.

UCLID Software announced that IcoMap for ArcGIS is available to ESRI Business Partners at a hefty discount as part of UCLID's new Business Partner program. The program was developed after conversations between UCLID and other Business Partners showed a clear need for the program. “We realized that not only would they benefit from using our software on their parcel-mapping projects, but also their customers need IcoMap for maintenance purposes,” said Joe Hanousek UCLID V.P. Sales. Hanousek has nearly ten years experience developing successful business partner programs.

Going on Around the Web...

Farm Technology Changing Agriculture - Satellite-guided tractors steer themselves around a demonstration track at Kansas Precision Agriculture Field Day in Salina Aug. 13. "Precision technology is one of the hottest things in agriculture," said Randy Taylor, Kansas State University Research and Extension agricultural engineer. "It is helping us to drive more efficiently and be more productive. Systems range from those that indicate a desired path to ones that automatically steer the vehicle."

Greetings, Earthlings, Newsweek, January 26, 2004, by Brad Stone-- Satellite radio has finally evolved from an expensive fantasy into another booming category of entertainment for the digital decade, alongside DVD and MP3 players.

Upcoming Events...

University Consortium for GIS Winter Meeting
Date: February 5 - 6, 2004
Place: Washington, D.C., USA
This year's congressional program will be dedicated to the theme of homeland security. The Policy and Legislation Committee has selected seven presentations from a large number of outstanding proposals, for this event to showcase the role of GI Science in addressing various homeland security issues. These presentations will report homeland security research activities at a number of member institutions that are supported by federal funding. The Congressional program will be followed by briefings to UCGIS delegates by federal agencies involved in GI Science. Discussion will center on grant opportunities in federal governments to support GI Science research.

International Lidar Mapping Forum (ILMF2004)
Date: February 9 - 10, 2004
Place: USA
Contact Person: Andy Bogle Email Contact 713-785-6820

FME Training Course
Date: February 12 - 13, 2004
Place: Honolulu, HI USA
Join our two-day (1/3 lecture, 2/3 exercise and problem solving) course and learn to unlock the powerful features of FME to more effectively manage your data translation and data transformation challenges. FME Training can help open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. Questions are encouraged throughout the class and attendees are encouraged to bring their own sample data files.

A|E|C Systems...Technology for Design & Construction
Date: February 17 - 19, 2004
Place: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL USA
The former A/E/C SYSTEMS International and Computers for Construction have been combined to form a reinvented, revitalized and refocused single event, A|E|C Systems...Technology for Design & Construction.

IT/GIS in Public Works URISA Conference
Date: February 25 - 27, 2004
Place: Charlotte, NC USA
The conference focuses on the effective application of information technology in public works departments. The two-day educational program will feature full day of pre-conference workshops.