Autodesk Envision 8
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Autodesk Envision 8

Message from the Editor

Welcome to GISWeekly! Autodesk Envision 8 was just released last week as part of the Autodesk Map Series 2004. This week in Industry News we highlight that product's features.

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

Last week GISWeekly made mention of the shipment of Autodesk Envision 8 software, formerly known as Autodesk Onsite Desktop. This week, Ron Bisio, senior product manager, Autodesk Infrastructure Solutions Division, filled us in on some of the high points of this product.

The product, an easy-to-use GIS and design tool for mapping, engineering and land use professionals, gives users the ability to publish, analyze, edit and visualize 2D and 3D spatial data in complex scenarios. A compelling part of this package is the additional support provided for the Tablet PC, and AutoCAD 2004's Design Web Format (DWF) files and DWG format, plus Microsoft .NET support.

With Microsoft .NET, many different types of users will be able to use the information generated by Envision. Pen and ink support for the Tablet PC makes the product appealing to mobile professionals who need to be able to work with dynamic data.

The software is completely integrated with and is part of the Autodesk Map Series 2004. The other products in the series are Autodesk Map(TM) 2004 and Autodesk(R) Raster Design 2004, which were shipped this week.

1) Why did Autodesk change the name of the product?

Autodesk took considerable time listening to customers and partners around the globe for technical and messaging feedback on Autodesk OnSite Desktop (now Autodesk Envision). Customers, partners and the media confused our new product with our mobile product offering: Autodesk OnSite View and Autodesk OnSite Enterprise. These products are for those that need to work with digital design data while on the move, including a stand-alone mobile design review tool and a customizable business solution that delivers live data from enterprise servers to handheld devices in the field. Because we intended to add Microsoft Tablet PC and mobile functionality to Autodesk OnSite Desktop, we believed that the combination of the words "OnSite" and "Desktop" described the product well. However, the name "OnSite" had much more branding as a mobile tool in the market than was anticipated and this created confusion.

2) "Autodesk Envision 8 gives professionals the power to visualize, analyze, edit and publish 2D and 3D spatial data in complex scenarios." Can you expand on what kinds of complex scenarios the products is capable of manipulating?

A typical scenario is when a site design needs to be taken before a review board. Envision can be used to drape 2D spatial data and imagery over 3D LandXML or DEM data to visualize the proposed design in 3D in the context of the surrounding area. Envision can then be used during the review board meeting to determine the view from a given point in a given direction, animate driving through the design and to model potential floods.

Another scenario is integrating spatial data related to wetlands with a proposed design and examining multiple environmental impact scenarios using Envision's buffer and visualization capabilities. Potential flooding from the wetland can then be assessed.

3) How would you describe "special tools and interface options to support Microsoft Tablet PC applications"?

Mostly these options are focused around interfacing with Envision on the Tablet PC platform. The options includes things such as

- larger buttons for use with the stylus in the field

- support for left and right handedness

- support for the use of gestures for operations such as pan and zoom

- support for menu access via voice commands

Autodesk Envision 8 Software Delivers a Seamless Exchange of Mapping and Design Data

Customers Use New Releases of Mapping Software to Create, Integrate, Maintain, Analyze and Present Information Faster, Easier and More Accurately


LAND INFO International, LLC launched its new Interactive GeoStore with technology partner MapSpring, an online mapping service provider based in Denver, Colorado. The new GeoStore will allow customers to search Land Info's digital map archive of 350,000 map products, including the USGS product line, Russian Military Maps, and many rare maps, via MapSpring's online interface that allows client's to securely purchase maps and map data at the click of a button.


Positive revenue reports from three companies were part of this week's industry news.

Garmin Ltd. announced record revenue and earnings for its first fiscal quarter ended March 29, 2003. Revenue for the quarter increased 23 percent to $123.8 million from $100.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income increased to $41.5 million, or $0.38 diluted earnings per share, compared to $26.8 million or $0.25 diluted earnings per share in the year-ago quarter. First quarter net income included a $0.8 million foreign currency loss as a result of a weaker U.S. dollar compared to the Taiwan dollar. The diluted EPS of $0.38 recorded for the first quarter of 2003 exceeded company guidance of $0.29 to $0.32. Excluding the effects of foreign currency, diluted EPS for the quarter was $0.39 compared to $0.25 in the year-ago quarter.

Intergraph Corporation (Nasdaq: INGR) reported operating results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2003. Intergraph reported operating income of $4.2 million and net income of $8.1 million on revenue of $120.6 million for the quarter. Net income was $.17 per share (diluted).

In comparison to Q4 2002, revenue decreased slightly and income from operations after restructuring charges increased by approximately $1 million. The increase in operating income was primarily due to lower operating expenses, offset by slightly lower gross margins.

In comparison to Q1 2002, revenue decreased 2%, and income from operations decreased approximately $0.9 million. The decrease in operating income was due to higher sales and marketing expenses, offset by slightly higher gross margins.

Gross margins were 47% for the quarter and are expected to remain in the 45% - 49% range for Q2 2003.

Trimble announced results for its first fiscal quarter ended April 4, 2003. The Company reported first quarter revenues of $127.3 million, versus $104.0 million in the first quarter of 2002. Earnings per share (EPS) for the first quarter on a Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis were $0.18, which included an expense for approximately $1.8 million in amortization of intangibles under FAS 142 and an approximate $390,000 restructuring charge related to Trimble's continued cost reduction activities. This compares to a loss per share of ($0.03), which included an expense for approximately $2.0 million in amortization of intangibles and a $304,000 restructuring charge in the first quarter of 2002. First quarter 2003 GAAP EPS were calculated on a diluted basis using approximately 30.1 million shares.

AirIQ Inc. (TSX: IQ) telematics company reports revenue growth of 121% for the twelve months that ended December 31, 2002, over the comparative unaudited twelve-month period. Operating expenses reduced by over 46% year over year for the three months ended December 31, 2002. Quarterly gross profit as a percentage of revenue grew from 19.4% in the fourth quarter of 2001 to 44.2% in the fourth quarter of 2002.

The Company's cash position as at December 31, 2002, was $8,963,130, and working capital totalled $9,322,600.

Haestad Methods announced a successful WaterGEMS for ArcGIS road show in Florida. This tour was conducted in response to numerous requests for localized training, workshops, and on-site visits from leading water utilities and consulting firms throughout the Sunshine State.

Maptech (Amesbury, MA) hosts the largest digital collection of Historic USGS topographic maps on the Internet. This ongoing project is headed by historian Christopher Marshall and compiled through the efforts of volunteer map enthusiasts nationwide. The Historic Maps Collection dates from 1885 to the 1950s and includes maps for thirteen states. In addition to the six New England states Historic Maps are available for New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio. The online collection compliments Maptech's Terrain Navigator and Terrain Navigator Pro titles, which offer the latest USGS topographic maps and aerial photos on CD-ROM.

Ordnance Survey's government minister, Tony McNulty MP has given the mapping agency six demanding targets to meet for the new financial year. These measures include efficiency gains in the way it collects, displays and supplies its data, and for the first time, a formal requirement to increase the amount of online transactions with customers and partners. This is in line with the wider e-government agenda.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce will host an upcoming conference focusing on Reconstruction of Afghanistan's infrastructure held June 8-10, 2003. The event will bring Afghan government officials together with U.S. suppliers of engineering, construction and technology services and equipment.

"Afghanistan - Rebuilding a Nation" will highlight more than 35 large-scale projects in the areas of electric power; water and sanitation; transportation, including roads and civil aviation; oil and gas development and pipelines; telecommunications; and construction. The combined value of the projects to be presented at the conference is expected to exceed $4 billion. Afghan officials taking part in the event will present details on the projects and make themselves available for one-on-one meetings with participating U.S. companies.

Due to the recent outbreak of SARS in the Toronto area, show management regrets that the GeoInformatics 2003 conference scheduled for June 25-27, 2003, has been cancelled.

Given that many attendees have submitted abstracts, the conference committee decided to publish an online synthesis of abstracts and will be made available through the conference website.

Go to to find Injury Maps created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Injury Center. Injury Maps is an interactive Web-based mapping application of injury-related mortality in the United States. The location-based technology gives users the ability to create customized, interactive online maps that can be used by a range of organizations and individuals such as other federal agencies, state and local health departments, policy makers, research institutions, and students.

The Injury Maps rely on MapInfo Corp.'s MapInfo MapXtreme to display state and national geographic patterns in injury deaths. Users can select specific parameters to create maps to suit their needs. For example, a health worker can use Injury Maps to create state or county maps that depict death rates from several broad categories of injuries as well as create maps of a specific injury cause and compare them to state and national death rates.

Solid Terrain Modeling (STM) has produced two models for the law firm of Wolk & Genter Attorneys at Law. The models were used as exhibits in a lawsuit arising from the fatal crash of a light, twin-engine airplane in the mountains west of Hawthorne, Nevada. Law firm principal Arthur Wolk, who represented the family of the pilot, asked STM to create models of the crash area that would help the jury understand the sequence of events that led to the accident.

"We used the models to demonstrate the sequence of events that led to the fatal crash," said Arthur Wolk. "We needed to discuss the plane's position before and after the engine failure, the weather, the terrain, the sequence of the pilot's actions and the direction given by air traffic control. With the models, we were able to coordinate and illustrate information from the air traffic controller and the local radar station, with the failure point and the actions taken by the pilot."

The elevation data to create the terrain for both models was gathered from the US Geological Survey (USGS) archive. The image of the terrain was from satellite photos and from USGS maps.

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has recognized Space Imaging for its work in support of NIMA during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The award recognizes Space Imaging's partnership with NIMA and specifically cites the company's timely, accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security. NIMA presented the award to Space Imaging at the 2003 Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) luncheon held on March 20, 2003 during the Federal Programs Conference in Washington, D.C. Erol Morey, Space Imaging's director of Defense Solutions, accepted the award on the company's behalf.

"Space Imaging is honored to receive this citation from NIMA. This award reflects the dedication and commitment of the entire company to support NIMA during Operation Enduring Freedom," said Morey.

The symposium, Innovations in Species Conservation: Integrative Approaches to Address Rarity and Risk, is a conference designed for experts in ecology, sociology, and legal affairs to come together with natural resource managers to discuss approaches to conservation of rare and poorly known plants and animals. The conference takes place in the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on April 28, 29, 30.

"There are hundreds of rare and little-known species that could face extirpation because of diminishing habitat. Unfortunately, we so poorly understand their ecologies and natural histories, that it is very difficult to design conservation management plans to protect them one species at a time,” says Randy Molina, an ecologist and forest mycology team leader with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station, who is helping plan the symposium.

The keynote speaker is Judge Craig Manson, Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Manson oversees the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The symposium is open to the public. Registration information can be found online at or call the Outreach Education Office, College of Forestry, Oregon State University at (541) 737-2329.

The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) invites responses to a Request for Technology (RFT) in support of an OGC Interoperability Initiative called the "OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 2." Responses are due by May 30, 2003. The RFT document is available for download at

The purpose of this Request For Technology (RFT) is to solicit industry input regarding technology areas being considered in the planning of one or more open, industry testbeds to study the effectiveness and limitations of architectures for interoperable Spatial Web Services. Responses to this RFT should consider the work performed in the OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 1 and the specifications developed during the course of that initiative. Proposals should point out where OGC's existing Accepted Technology or specifications under consideration address the needs mentioned in the RFT.


Ordnance Survey also awarded eMapSite the highest level of accreditation in their new partner programme. eMapSite's portfolio includes value added products from Ordnance Survey and other major data suppliers. EMapSite also launched OS MasterMap value added products in November 2002 and now the availability of full GB coverage for site-specific 1:10 000 scale and 1:25 000 scale colour raster data.

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has announced the 2003 Speaker Award winners from its recent Conference 26 in San Antonio. The award recognizes the top five percent of session speakers, each of whom were rated by session attendees in the areas of quality of presentation, visual aids, session content, and relevance of topic.

The recipients of the 2003 GITA Speaker Award include:

- Eric Ackerman, Edison Electric Institute, “Electricity Restructuring: New Opportunities and New Challenges for Geospatial Information”

- Pat Drinnan, Aquila Networks Canada, “Data … The New Life Line for the Field!”

- Nancy Lerner, EMA, Inc., “Using Business Case and ROI to Justify GIT Spending”

- William Meehan, ESRI, “Forget the Intangibles-GIS Improves the Bottom Line”

- Jennifer Nieland, Wisconsin Public Service Corp., “Using Change Management to Achieve Success in Second-Generation Mobile GIS Implementation”

- Ed Parsons, Ordnance Survey, “The Role of Web Services for Spatial Data Delivery”

- Christopher Tucker, IONIC Enterprise, “Designing Open GIS Conformant System Architecture for the Enterprise"

Merrick & Company announced a new $1.4 million contract for Cook County, Illinois. Merrick acquired new 1"=660' black and white aerial photography to be used to produce 1"=100' digital orthophotography with a pixel resolution of .5'. In dense urban areas photography will be flown with a 12" focal length and additional spot photography will be acquired on 50 buildings to minimize the building lean in the imagery. A total of 4489 digital orthophotography tiles (2500' X 2500') will be delivered on DVDs beginning this summer. New LIDAR data is currently being collected and will be used to generate a digital terrain model (DTM) of the entire county that will support 2' contour creation, as needed.

New Products

Hummingbird Ltd. (NASDAQ: HUMC, TSX: HUM) announced that it will further extend the value of geographic information system (GIS) implementations by linking documents to map features. Hummingbird Enterprise(TM) for ESRI, a new Hummingbird solution, offers a web- based mapping interface for document and records management and queries by linking ESRI's ArcIMS(TM) software and Hummingbird DM(TM), an integral component of Hummingbird Enterprise(TM).

UCLID Software announced that a Parcel Mapping Productivity Calculator is available online at The calculator was designed to make it easy for mappers to see how much time they can save when using IcoMap. Sample documents and a spreadsheet are available to help in the comparison. IcoMap's unique technology for converting scanned documents, paired with an excellent 10-key COGO package has been proven to increase parcel mapping productivity.

Autodesk, Inc., (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced the availability of Autodesk® Land Desktop 2004, Autodesk® Civil Design 2004, and Autodesk® Survey 2004 software programs. Together, these products offer an integrated set of powerful tools for creating, managing and sharing data across the entire project lifecycle. Individually, each product has been enhanced to include the performance benefits of AutoCAD® 2004 software, in addition to user-driven functionality that increases the value of this software as a tool for land development and engineering projects.

The Trident-3D Analyst software is a component of the Trident-3D mobile mapping system developed by Geo-3D for data collection to perform the inventory of roadside infrastructure assets. Geo-referenced data export to a database such as a geographic information system (GIS), for instance, is also possible.

Laser-Scan has launched Radius Topology 2.0 to deliver even more power to spatial data management. With its new features Radius Topology 2.0 offers enhanced performance, enabling users to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce storage requirements. Radius Topology 2.0 now introduces new indexing methods for the topological primitives. This new indexing method means the building of topological information is considerably faster than in Radius Topology 1.0.

ESRI announced the availability of ArcGIS Military Analyst, an extension to ArcGIS that incorporates a suite of tools tailored to meet the special needs of the defense user. The new extension significantly enhances the effectiveness of core ArcGIS as a tool set foundation for the military planner and intelligence analyst.

DeLorme announced the release of its latest Earthmate GPS receiver, a compact, ultra low-power USB device featuring high performance and flexibility in a GPS receiver. The product includes portable Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with Bluetooth wireless networking capabilities at affordable prices.

The DeLorme Earthmate GPS receiver, smaller than a business card, gives customers an affordable alternative to pricey in-car navigation systems that average around $2,000. The technology used for the Earthmate GPS receiver is the SiRFstarIIe/LP global positioning chipset that includes SirF's Adaptive TricklePower feature, designed to perform at minimum power consumption and deliver a higher degree of navigational accuracy.

Portable Design is a publication dedicated to keeping everyone in the portable community current and informed in the race to develop products for these fast-paced and changing markets. The publication focuses every issue on the merger of computers, communications, and portability.

LeadDog Consulting of Anchorage, Alaska announced the release of Iraq City Streets for the vehicle tracking and routing industry. Designed to help post-war companies track their assets, LeadDog's product provides various vector layers and attributes such as streets and roads, points of interest, landmark polygons, bridges, water, railroads, and much more.

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

Christine-GIS is a new free GIS software allows basic mapping and spatial querying, creating and editing tabular data, creating light user's applications by integrated script language, etc.

MapsGo from Jan Simkovic is a simple free raster GIS for the DesktopPC and PocketPC. You can do also the export to MapMap GIS for PalmPC. With MapsGo you can *move map, search and show the point database *edit and delete the point database (also on the PocketPC) *measure the distance and use the navigation window.

Around the Web

SARS Global Update Map

Cyber-Geography Web Bulletin

Back From Iraq, High-Tech Fighter Pilots Recount Exploits NY Times, April 23, 2003, By Eric Schmitt

Going on in May

2003 Online Water Management Symposium
Date: May 5 - 6, 2003
Place: USA
Attendees can interact with some of the foremost experts in water systems management via the internet.

GeoAlberta 2003
Date: May 7 - 9, 2003
Place: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
GeoAlberta is the premier geomatics conference in Alberta, this year taking place at the TELUS Convention Centre in Calgary. You will have an opportunity to join over 500 professionals in three days of workshops, educational sessions, exhibits from state-of-the-art product and service providers, and engage in networking opportunities.

Date: May 12 - 16, 2003
Place: Frei Caneca Shopping & Convention Center S©o Paulo City, Sâ oPaulo State, Brazil
GIS BRASIL is Latin America's largest event geared to the geotechnology market. Every year, since 1994, the companies of this industry and potential users get together to participate in the many activities that take place simultaneously: Conference, courses, the Geotechnology Fair, and the Scientific Talent Show. Specific activities for different audiences such as agriculture, electric power, telecommunications, geomarketing, the environment, city management, and others, are programmed, activities that demonstrate, in practice, how geotechnology accounts for an important competitive advantage in each one of these industries. The activities developed for the Conference are geared mainly to meet users' needs, with a special focus on cases, with the purpose of fostering information exchange. Email Contact

Using Voice-Enabled Wireless and Multimodal Applications to Drive Business Revenues
Date: May 12 - 14, 2003
Place: Chicago, IL USA
Focus on voice-enabled applications that increase employee productivity, operational efficiency and customer service quality for organizations.

Avenza Systems Training Date: May 15 - 16, 2003
Place: Denver, CO USA
MAPublisher training using MAPublisher 5.0 on Adobe Illustrator 10 on Windows. Given by Avenza technical and training staff.

2003 Bentley International User Conference
Date: May 18 - 22, 2003
Place: Baltimore, MD USA
Bentley's premier annual technology event. Pre-register before Dec. 31, 2002 to be eligible to win a Panasonic portable DVD player. Winner announced January 6, 2003.

GeoSpatial World 2003
Date: May 19 - 21, 2003
Place: New Orleans, LA USA
Sponsored by Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, GeoSpatial World is the annual international training and management conference of the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community. GeoSpatial World 2003 will be held May 19-21, 2003, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Preconference training seminars and the Opening Reception will be held on Sunday, May 18. The conference concludes at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21.

3rd International Conference on GIS - for Earth Science Applications
Date: May 26 - 29, 2003
Place: Ljubljana, Slovenia
The purpose of the conference is to discuss the use of modern computer based methods in geology and related sciences. The conference is focused mostly on the preparation of digital geological and other maps, decision support and prediction systems for spatial planning, (e.g. searching for municipal, chemical and radioactive waste disposal sites, acquisition and analysis of data from satellite imagery).