From GPS to Spatial Analysis
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From GPS to Spatial Analysis

Message from the Editor

Welcome to GISWeekly! This week's Industry News features an interview with Rick Peters, CEO of Spatial Data.

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, Awards, Appointments, New Products, Featured Downloads, Around the Web, and Calendar.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at Email Contact

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

From GPS to Spatial Analysis
By Susan Smith

GISWeekly interviewed Spatial Data CEO Rick Peters this week to learn what that midsized company is doing. After an early retirement from AT&T, Peters did 911 consulting for the state of Texas, and got into GIS because he was a pilot and had at that time a “new thing” called GPS. He believed GPS could solve a lot of problems for the public safety sector around issues of rule addressing, and consequently started the company, Public Safety Associates, in 1988, which today is called Spatial Data. Spatial Data is a c-corporation, privately held with stockholders.

RP: I wrote a piece of software that basically took the datastream from the GPS device and put it into a mapping format and then allowed people to do rule addressing a whole lot cheaper than doing it with aerial photos, digitizing and all that stuff. So that's where we got started.

Do you still sell that software?

We still sell some of that original piece of software although now everyone is in that business. I like to keep the company out on the edge of technology. We're always developing new applications for things like risk mitigation for insurance companies, streetlamp management with PDA interfaces, network management with different alarm devices. We like to consider ourselves in the spatial data base management business as opposed to being in the mapping business. To the general businessman when we say 'maps,' his mind goes completely away from what we plan to do. When we talk about spatial analysis then we have a much more enthusiastic audience from that perspective. We talk up the spatial analysis side. Knowing where things are can be so much more productive than just knowing what they are. We've got a great many customers in the Fortune 100 and 200. We've done a lot of working the telematics industry with all kinds of telematics customers over the years, we also are the creators and publishers of the public safety answering point database, which was the first emergency response database that was used for telematic services. In fact, before ATX Research had their own they used our database, and that's true for everybody that was in the business.

What is the market for your products?

We have currently four market sectors. Telecommunications, which was our bread and butter before telco went bust. We did a lot of cellular analysis as it related to marketing. The RF engineers would lay out a plan for a given city but it wouldn't have anything to do with profitability so we would help the engineers develop their covering plans. Then we would also get the marketing people involved for the rollout so we could compare demographics to the coverage plan, so they could start to turn a profit more quickly by rolling out the system in a way that made sense based on their customer profiles. So that was a very popular product during the build out of the telco sector because it made it feasible for a lot of smaller cities to come online earlier. You could target the demographics and target your most probable sales first. We also do a network operations center piece of software which is used to monitor companies' networks and their outages and decide who is out of service and when they might be back in service – the big map on the wall deal. We also worked with marketing people on demographics.

The second sector is the public sector, our roots, which is 911 analysis. We published the PSAPPro database and we keep track of all the PSAPs in the country -- when they change boundaries, etc. That information can be leveraged into the telematics industry. We also have a piece of software called Street Light Management System or SLMS 5.0 which is a system that allows municipalities to manage the entire streetlamp environment from inventory to warranties to scheduling crews, to making replacements to doing active analysis of the lifetime of the components on the lamps so you can replace them before they wear out, which saves you a lot of personnel time and dispatching time. It also manages the work orders so it's a complete system for management of street lamps.

Sector 3 is the telematics sector and we've done work with CoachNet, SAI and all the others in the telematics sector. We also do a lot of alarms.

Sector 4 is the insurance sector – with the RiskMitPro which was originally designed for W.R. Berkeley Cos., parent company for USIG and the fifth largest integrated carrier in the world. The most famous use of our software was during the 9/11 attacks – this company was able to evaluate their entire customer base in New York City and determine their entire loss within just a few minutes, even though the information changed numerous times. Many other companies in the area took much longer. With our capability of drawing on the map and evaluating the losses it was very straightforward. They tell us it saved them millions of dollars, but more than that the spatial concept brought to underwriting was entirely new from their perspective. An example would be, an underwriter might be able to evaluate all the risks at 100 Main Street. You take that to an underwriter and they might be able to evaluate Main Street and some other streets they might know but they didn't necessarily know that Main Street intersected with Persimmon Street. They had a huge risk at Persimmon Street, which was right around the corner. When you have this type of broader perception while underwriting the risks, you can be much more accurate.

How did GIS enter into this work?

We laid a grid over it, and thematically shaded the grid based on the total amount of allowed risk per grid. With one look they could see how their risks were distributed and then, of course, we later developed storm tracks and other things to go over the top of it. So they can understand damage and what if scenarios.

Who are some of your top customers?

We do Oracle's western regional sales territory analysis for them every year. They base that on products and potential customers. For Cisco who is our single largest customer, we've created a market analysis program based on fiber optic cable in lit buildings which is like nothing else that's out there in the market.

In terms of large scale applications, we do the most work for Oracle. From a dollar revenue point of view, we sell a lot more MapInfo than anything else. One reason is because we find MapInfo to be a really partner friendly organization. We are also a value added reseller for ESRI and other vendors.

We also train on every major GIS platform, especially Microsoft MapPoint .NET and have a reseller agreement with Microsoft too.

NIMA Geospatial Intelligence Database Integration

The Geospatial Intelligence Database Integration (GIDI) system allows users to share information from existing databases in a Geospatial Intelligence Feature Database (GIFD). The next release meets requirements for Homeland Security (HLS) and the Air Defense Database (ADD). It provides dissemination via two military networks.

See GISWeekly June 2, 2003 “Embracing Geospatial Intelligence -
"GIS Emphasizes How the World Works" for the full story.


HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Opsware Inc. (Nasdaq:OPSW) announced a strategic relationship that combines the HP Utility Data Center (UDC), the market-leading data center virtualization solution, with Opsware's industry-leading data center automation software. The combination provides enterprise customers with an enhanced utility computing solution that delivers virtualization of computing resources, application metering, and software automation. In addition to distributing Opsware software with HP UDC, HP Services will be an "Opsware Authorized Partner," providing Opsware consulting and implementation services in conjunction with the HP UDC.

Icinergy Software Company announced that SiRF Technology, Inc., will integrate Icinergy's SoC Prototype(TM) front-end physical design exploration technology into their ASIC design flow. Since its founding in 1995, SiRF has launched Global Positioning System (GPS) architectures and semiconductor innovations directed specifically at incorporating GPS-based location awareness into mainstream consumer products.

Spatial Insights, Inc. announced a strategic alliance with Sammamish Data Systems. Based in Bellevue, Washington, Sammamish provides online mapping services and develops postal geography data products designed for use in mapping and GIS systems.

MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq: MAPS) announced joint marketing and development agreements with Wi-Fi leaders Ekahau and Bridgewater Systems, to deliver a complete, end-to-end Wi-Fi location management solution. MapInfo offers the ability to accurately map and visualize Wireless LAN (WLAN) networks that are near a given customer, near existing serving facilities or for planned build-out of WLANs tied to existing enterprise networks.

Announcements For the first time, ESRI will present a surveying industry summit concurrent with the Annual ESRI International User Conference. “Bridging the Gap 2003” will be held July 6-8, 2003, in San Diego, California. The inaugural summit will feature presentations by industry leaders from around the world on integrating survey and geographic information system (GIS) technology. Presentations will include survey, mapping, and GIS applications at the national and local government levels, in utilities, and in private industry.

In a recent meeting with Thailand's Prime Minister Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin Shinawatra, ESRI President Jack Dangermond discussed the role of geographic information system (GIS) technology in aiding the Thai government in accomplishing its long-term goals.

In his meeting with the Prime Minister, as well as subsequent meetings with various officials and organizations involved in the establishment of a Thai National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), Dangermond expressed his views on the need for data sharing and interoperability between government agencies as well as the development of updating strategies. He indicated that the use of GIS would benefit all of the government's key projects as the integrated solution for an e-government strategy.

ESRI Business Information Solutions (ESRI BIS), a division of ESRI, launched the first phase of the private labeling and hosting functionalities of its Web site- -at the annual Spring Convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced the successful rollout of its G/Electric-based geofacilities management system at Niagara Falls Hydro. Located in Ontario, Canada, the utility distributes electricity to approximately 33,000 customers throughout 80 square miles.

MAPPS President Mike Ritchie will testify before a Congressional Subcommittee on Tuesday, June 10 at 10:00 AM in room 2154 Rayburn House Office Building, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC.  The hearing is open to the public. Mr. Ritchie will testify before the House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census, chaired by Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL), at its hearing on "Geospatial Information: A Progress Report on Improving Our Nation's Map-Related Data Infrastructure".  He will provide MAPPS' views on Geospatial One-Stop, the structure and organization of Federal mapping and geospatial activities, the recently released White House Policy on Commercial Remote Sensing, and ways the government can improve its utilization of the private sector to avoid duplication and enhance economy and efficiency in government.

Call for Presentations

To propose a seminar you would like to present at A|E|C SYSTEMS at County Convention Center, Orlando, FL, February 17-19, 2004 please see below. The deadline is June 20, 2003 for submissions for the 2004 Conference, but you may continue to submit proposals after this date in the event of a cancellation or change to the schedule.
Submitting your Education Course Idea is Easy, on a single sheet, follow these steps on the attached form. All proposals must include the following:
1. Your name, title, company, address, phone, fax, e-mail, and web site.
2. Title of your presentation.
3. A short 75-word description of the seminar.
4. Three (3) learning objectives.
5. Seminar length: 1.5 to 2 hours.
6. Your primary intended audience.
7. Level of Presentation.
8. Your qualifications to teach this course.
Click here for the Call for Presentations Form.

Offshore Systems International Ltd. (OSI) (OTCBB:OFSYF) (TSX:OSI) announced that its nautical charting and land-mapping division, OSI Geomatics, has been awarded a contract by a major US photogrammetric firm valued at over CDN$1,000,000. Under the contract, OSI Geomatics will provide data production services in support of a large mapping project in the Eastern US.

CSI Wireless Inc., announced it has signed an agreement with Fleetboss Global Positioning System Solutions Inc., based near Orlando, Florida, to supply a customized version of CSI Wireless' Asset-Link 200 product as the core hardware for FleetBoss' popular systems for monitoring fleet vehicles. Fleetboss has agreed to buy approximately $2 million of Asset-Link 200 units from CSI Wireless during the next 24 months. The privately held corporation has been marketing its line of "The Boss(R)" fleet-tracking systems to commercial and municipal fleets across North America for several years, and has several thousand customers.

A consortium made up of Infoterra Ltd and SERCO has been chosen by Ordnance Survey to provide a hosted and managed application for the provision of the OS MasterMapTM imagery layer. After a thorough tender evaluation process, the Infoterra–SERCO consortium was chosen because of the good value offered and their considerable experience of managing, hosting and delivering large amounts of data.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA) announced that NASA has exercised a one-year option with the company's U.S. Information Systems subsidiary, Dynacs, to provide safety, reliability, and quality assurance engineering services. The increase is valued at $2.7 million U.S., or $4 million (CDN), and covers engineering services through May 2004. This release is the third option to be exercised on the original contract.

The practical application and business use of Geographic Information (GI) for commercial property, retail, risk management and general business will be highlighted at this years' AGI Conference, held in association with the GeoSolutions 2003 event in London. The exhibition and conference will run be held at Earls Court, London UK from the 16 - 18th September 2003.

A virtually unknown geological treasure, the underwater Murray Canyons of Australia, will be revealed for the first time in a detailed 3-dimensional animated fly-through at a joint launch by Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Warren Entsch.

Stretching over more than 150 kilometers to the south of Kangaroo Island off the South Australia coast, the canyons are which are deeper than America's Grand Canyon and more than twice the height of Australia's highest mountain, Mt Kosciusko. The fly-through provides the first complete picture of the spectacular underwater topography of the massive Murray Canyons.

"Produced by Geoscience Australia, the digital fly-through shows detailed images of the immense underwater canyon system that extends into the sea from the Murray River," Dr Kemp said.

In Munich, European Space Imaging announced that the company has signed a framework contract with the European Community titled “Supply of Satellite Remote Sensing Data to European Institutes Services.” Under this framework contract European Space Imaging will provide high-resolution global IKONOS imagery for operational and research activities of the European Commission, especially within the institutes of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy. The contract will have a duration of 2 years with the possibility of a successive extension of another year.

Corbley Communications Inc., a public relations and advertising firm serving the international geotechnologies industry, officially opened its new headquarters office in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. The ribbon cutting coincides with the company's tenth anniversary.

“With the Colorado Front Range firmly established as the focal point for the geotechnologies community, Fort Collins is a prime location for our corporate headquarters,” said Kevin Corbley, the company's owner.

Phone: 970-266-9292
Fax: 970-204-0152
Email: Email Contact

Webraska announced the launch of the SmartZone Navigation Suite. Based on Webraska's patented IbDN(R) technology (Internet-based Distributed Navigation(R)), the SmartZone Navigation Suite comprises on-the-shelf applications and software development kits (SDKs) for the development and deployment of wireless, turn-by-turn navigation applications.

Navigation Technologies offers digital map coverage in Singapore and neighboring Johor Bahru, Malaysia. This offering represents one of the first comprehensive navigable digital maps of Singapore and its surrounding suburbs.

The completion of Singapore and Johor Bahru marks the second in a series of initiatives to expand navigable coverage in the Asia-Pacific. In November 2002, Navigation Technologies announced coverage of Taiwan. The company plans to continue mapping the Singapore -- Malaysia region with Kuala Lumpur as the next city targeted for coverage.

At the recent Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Ontario Chapter Annual General Meeting, the City of Hamilton, Ontario was honored with two awards recognizing excellence in the use of geospatial technology. The City's MAP.Hamilton Web site, ( was awarded the Silver Medal Award for the Best Municipal GIS Web Site, and its entry in the Map Gallery Contest received the Gold Medal award. Additionally, the City's GIS projects were recognized last month at Intergraph's GeoSpatial World Conference with Awards of Cartographic Excellence.

Municipal Software Corporation, a developer of local government business process automation software and a wholly owned subsidiary of Municipal Solutions Group, Inc. (TSX-V: MSM), announced that they are listed at # 83, a move up from last year's #94 position, on Profit magazine's List of Top 100 fastest-growing companies in Canada. With revenues of $4.4 million last year, the company has had a healthy five-year revenue growth rate of 692 percent.  


UAI (Utility Automation Integrators, Incorporated) announced that Steve Hauser has joined the company to spearhead development of its CityCenter(tm) solution for municipal First Responders and other agencies.

MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq: MAPS) announced the appointment of Wayne McDougall to Chief Financial Officer. McDougall has been with MapInfo for six years, most recently serving as interim Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller, where he was responsible for all accounting and reporting functions worldwide. McDougall will be responsible for managing the global day-to-day financial operations of the company.


Roald Haestad Incorporated (RHI), a prominent multidisciplinary consulting civil engineering firm, is pleased to announce that its founder, president, and chairman Roald Haestad is the recipient of the Benjamin Wright Award.

New Products

Safe Software Inc. announced the immediate availability of FME Suite 2003 X2. FME Suite 2003 X2 is a Spatial ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tool allowing customers to translate, transform, share and enhance their data between over 100 GIS, CAD, and database formats.

Key new enhancements in FME 2003 X2 include additions to the Workbench graphical transformation editor for handling large data models and data volumes, expanded format support, and batch deploy capabilities. Format support has been expanded to include MicroStation Design File Version 8 reading, GeoMedia SQL Server Warehouse reading/writing, PostGIS/PostgreSQL reading/writing, ArcGIS Binary Grid reading, ESRI ASCII Grid reading/writing, and CDED DEM writing.

TomTom(R) announced its presence in the United States with the launch of TomTom Navigator, the industry's most comprehensive door-to-door personal navigation system. Realizing the growing market opportunity for location based services in the U.S., TomTom established its new U.S. operations based in Concord, Massachusetts, and named former Psion executive Jocelyn Vigreux as president of TomTom USA.

Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping, LLC announced a series of significant performance increases to its Leica ALS50 Airborne Laser Scanner. The changes represent a 10 percent improvement in point density over currently available competing systems and reduce the minimum flying height to levels typical of helicopter operation in corridor mapping applications.

Visual Nature Studio 2 (VNS 2) for GIS-based terrain visualization professionals offers fast and efficient access to huge gigabyte and terabyte high-resolution spatial imagery datasets. VNS 2 now supports Earth Resource Mapping's open standard Enhanced Compression Wavelet (ECW) technology.  The use of ECW streamlines the terrain rendering process., exclusive North American Distributor for Consistent Software, launched WiseImage for AutoCAD/AutoCAD LT. WiseImage 5.5, developed by Consistent Software, is a true ObjectARX application that transforms AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT into powerful raster editors. WiseImage 5.5 is raster editing and R2V conversion software compatible with AutoCAD/AutoCAD LT 2004. It is targeted to the A/E/C, CAD, GIS and Reprographics markets.

More than one million point gravity measurements are included in the latest Australian National Gravity Database which will be released on 30 May 2003. New additions to the database improve the Australia-wide coverage of gravity data. The 2003 edition incorporates both onshore and off-shore data and includes over 390 000 more gravity stations than last year's edition. A cooperative effort between Geoscience Australia, state and territory Geological Surveys, private companies, universities and other organizations, the database is being upgraded continually as new gravity data are added and the updated version is released annually. in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala announced the release of India cities and location search Internet mapping and GIS application. ( This mapping application will allow public to access interactive maps and spatial information utilizing a common Internet browser. The site provides a wealth of  geographic information, it also includes world maps, elevation maps, city maps, and roads & location search. The system can be utilized by anybody interested in Indian maps.

Earthstar Geographics announced the release of TerraColor World version 2.0 with special introductory pricing. In addition to beautiful color shaded terrain and bathymetry images of the earth, version 2.0 also includes a version of NASA/GSFC's Blue Marble world satellite mosaic image created from MODIS data. Both images are provided with full georeferencing at 1Km (1,000 meter) resolution in both Geographic (Lat Long) and Robinson projections. The images are suitable for creating colorful world or regional maps at 1:3,500,000 scale and larger.

PCI Geomatics(r) announced that new rigorous model support for EROS 1.8m satellite panchromatic data is included within the company's new Geomatica 9 software solution. Developed by Dr. Thierry Toutin at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS, Natural Resources Canada), implementation of the EROS rigorous sensor support offers customers the flexibility of orthorectifying EROS high-resolution imagery to a much greater accuracy than currently available through other methods.

The GeoInformation™Group, publishers of Cities Revealed®, announced the forthcoming release of the UK's highest resolution off-the-shelf aerial photography. This extraordinary new digital database will offer users even more ground detail of an urban area than ever before.

Featured Downloads

GISCafe has many popular Downloads in various categories. Visitors are encouraged to go to the site and add new downloads or update their old ones.

GIS Software

Leading Incident Mapping Solution ARCBridge Consulting has developed an application that allows many non-GIS users simple and powerful mapping capabilities without the need for constant training.

Wireless Solutions for Handheld Devices

PowerCAD CE Classic 5.22 from GiveMePower is a free trial mobile/wireless 2/3D CAD system that supports the latest AutoCAD R2002 file formats independent of your desktop.

QuoVadis for Palm OS from MarcoSoft, Inc. is a compact map viewer with GPS support for Palm OS handhelds. Complete Tiger and Tele Atlas databases for USA and Europe available.

Around the Web

PeopleSoft to Buy J. D. Edwards by Laurie Flynn, NY Times June 3, 2003

The acquisition will make PeopleSoft, based in Pleasanton, Calif., the second-largest maker worldwide of software that companies use to run their business. SAP of Germany, which holds more than a third of the $20 billion market, is the largest.

Directions Magazine is holding a Web Mapping Contest with an Xbox as prize.

City Using Software to Envision New Spaces By Rad Sallee, Houston Chronicle, June 2, 2003

Going on in June

TUGIS 2003: Reflections on the Past & Solutions for the Present
Date: June 2 - 3, 2003
Place: Towson University USA
Register by May 2nd in order to receive the "Early Bird" discount. Save $25 on the Full Conference Registration, $10 on the One Day or Full Student Conference registrations, $5 each on the Grill & Chill Social and One Day Student registrations. Early registration for our pre- or post-conference workshops offers an even bigger bargain. For example, if you register by May 2 for the conference and Getting Started with VBA, you'll save $275 over the regular workshop price. As an added bonus for TUGIS 2003, we are offering Migrating Coverages to the Geodatabase, an ESRI Authorized course taught by an ESRI Authorized Instructor, for only $185! Register by May 2 - Don't miss out on the savings or the opportunities to enhance your GIS skills!

  Emerging Technology Summit II: Spatial Web Services
Date: June 5 - 6, 2003
Place: Sheraton Premiere at Tyson's Corner Vienna, VA USA
Attend this interactive 1.5-day summit and see how leading-edge organizations in government and industry are breaking down barriers to data sharing and application in today's geoprocessing systems through the use of interoperable Web services.

  SmartTalk Events
Date: June 5, 2003
Place: USA
Privacy and Secure ID Systems teleconference

  FME Training
Date: June 12 - 13, 2003
Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Whether your a beginner or experienced FME user, GIS professional, or developer, our hands on course and professional training materials will show you how to get the most out of FME. Register early, space is limited!  

FME Training Session
Date: June 12 - 13, 2003
Place: USA
Learn from the source how to use the core components of FME through hands-on training.

  TerraScan User Event
Date: June 16 - 20, 2003
Place: Los Angeles, CA USA
An all-tutorial training session Airborne 1 Corporation and Terrasolid will be hosting a TerraScan User Event from June 16-20, 2003 in Los Angeles, CA. The event will consist of five seminars given by Arttu Soininen, Terrasolid's main software developer. The seminars will take place at a computer laboratory at the Department of Geography of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

e-mail us at Email Contact

**Register before Friday, May 23rd, 2003 and get 10% off total registration costs.**

  Pennsylvania GIS Conference 2003 Date: June 24 - 25, 2003
Place: Harrisburg Hilton Harrisburg, PA USA
With keynote speaker U.S. Representative Curt Weldon: Representative Weldon is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Military Procurement Subcommittee, and a member of the House Science Committee.

The 2003 Pennsylvania GIS Conference will be held on June 24-25 at the Harrisburg Hilton and Whitaker Center in downtown Harrisburg. The combined Hilton and Whitaker Center venue will provide a refreshing change of pace for this year's event.

In addition to all of the conference activities, the Harrisburg Senators will be at home on City Island to play the Erie Seawolves, Restaurant Row will be in full swing, Pride of the Susquehanna will be plying the river, and the Whitaker Center IMAX will have a full schedule of spectacular features. Check back often for updated details!

  11th Annual Pennsylvania GIS Conference
Date: June 24 - 25, 2003
Place: Harrisburg, PA USA
"Spatial Preparedness--are we ready?"

  2003 GenaWare Annual Symposium
Date: June 25 - 26, 2003
Place: Durham, NC USA
Official launch and showcase of Ware2, workshops and seminars. Register today at for this great networking & learning opportunity!

  Leveraging the GSA IT-70 Schedule to Capture State and Local Business
Date: June 26, 2003
Place: Herndon , VA USA
Holding a GSA IT Schedule Contract has never offered so many opportunities for business with the public sector and this Technology Seminar is the only forum dedicated solely to the explanation of this new rule from all perspectives.