GIS Report from Europe - An Interview with Jeff Thurston
[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
GIS Report from Europe - An Interview with Jeff Thurston

Message from the Editor

Welcome to GISWeekly! This week we were rocked by the sad news of the loss of the Columbia Space Shuttle. A tribute, plus links to various articles on the topic are listed in this newsletter. We also have a special interview with Jeff Thurston, MSc., of VectorOne, in Berlin, Germany about the state of GIS in Europe. Jeff Thurston wrote many articles for GISVision Magazine and is a scheduled keynote speaker for our VirtualGISCafe conference coming up in April.

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 “GIS Report from Europe - An Interview with Jeff Thurston,” Industry News, Alliances/Acquisitions, Awards, Announcements, New Products, Around the Web, and Calendar.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Ultimately, we would like to include a Letters department at some point in the future. Send your comments to me at Email Contact.

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Goodbye, Columbia

special/Space Imaging
This satellite photo of Nacogdoches, Texas, was taken by Thornton-based Space Imaging three hours after Columbia broke up

"They were on a normal approach. We had no indication of any problems. We simply lost data." Eileen Hawley, a NASA spokeswoman.

I'm sure every one of us has some personal connection with the space shuttle - whether you knew the astronauts or those involved personally, or simply have watched on your television the evolution of the space program. My father was intimately involved with the space program during my youth. He was a research engineer for Lockheed, and was part of a team testing rocket and missile engines in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. Once a year, Lockheed invited the employees' families to an event at which they would show us the test areas-a look-but-don't-touch experience. As a child I recall being woken up at some ungodly hour to watch a missile takeoff -- this was what we were a part of. Being able to see it in our own living rooms made all of us Americans part of the exploration into space; it has become part of our national consciousness. And the loss of these brave explorers has been a tearing of that consciousness.

We grieve deeply for those lost, for their families, for the mission which came to such an abrupt and tragic end. We have faithfully watched launches and touchdowns with breathless anticipation; it is often the one piece of “good news” in an otherwise disaster-fraught day. The space program offers up great wonder and hope to our world. The space program is an exploration into an unknown geography. Every space mission brings us that much closer to that vast studded swirl of stars, planets and galaxies still just beyond our reach.

To those who lost loved ones on the Columbia Space shuttle, to anyone whose life has been touched by this tragedy -- our hearts and prayers are with you.

Denver Post "Satellite Firm Captures Debris Path" by Jim Kirksey NASA Human Space Flight

NASA Space Shuttle Virtual Tour has interactive maps, audio slide shows on the tragedy. “From the final bits of data from the sky to the tiniest fragments on the ground, every virtual and real scrap from the space shuttle Columbia is being scrutinized to figure out why seven astronauts died 16 minutes from home.”

USA Today has expanded coverage, audio slide shows and maps.

Shuttle Columbia Lost During Re-Entry

Time interactive graphic - "What Went Wrong in Space?"

New York Times, Wednesday, February 5, 2003 Now the Space Station: Grieving, Imperiled

GIS Report from Europe - An Interview with Jeff Thurston

A Canadian, Jeff Thurston lives in Berlin, Germany and is Director of his company Vector One Consulting. He holds a MSc. in GIS and has written internationally for several publications. His work has appeared in GeoWorld, GeoEurope, Geoinformatics, GIS India and online previously at for GISVision Magazine. Currently he is completing a book for Wiley Publishing entitled Integrated Geo-Technology - to be published in 2003.

Jeff specializes in the area of integrated geo-technology - how spatial technologies all come together. He comments upon the GI marketplace, assessing growth and application opportunities in numerous fields and has been invited speaker for numerous conferences, roundtables, and expositions internationally in both the government and private sectors of the GI industry.

Jeff is also a good source of information on the state of GIS in Europe, from a North American transplant's point of view. In the following interview, he touches on a broad tapestry of issues that are important to the European GIS user.

In the U.S. “Homeland Security” is the predominant buzz phrase in GIS and other technology industries. What do people in Europe think of this?

While there is much talk of 'Homeland Security' in the US and probably Canada, there is very little here. Europeans have been involved in a history of conflict and strife and are sensitive to the issues. It is apparent that Homeland Security appears to be a key a driver in the U.S. geo-spatial industry. That is not the case in Europe.

The focus at this time is 'European' data. There are several movements towards Pan-European Data including the EU Commission and National Mapping Agencies. The INSPIRE project of the European Commission seems to be leading the advance, but this has triggered more recently some open debate about 'charging or not' for data. This is issue one it seems. It is interesting to watch as the American system of 'free use' and the debate surrounding it is continually mentioned.

What are some of the arguments for and against?

I find the discussions about charging for data interesting internationally. The arguments for 'pay or free' data in Europe parallel what North Americans have been debating for some time. Though it is a rather complex issue, particularly in Europe. In the case of the U.S. some would say that while much data is free, there is no seamless database for the whole country and there are issues regarding the quality of that data - much is outdated. Apparently the states and counties fend for themselves, often creating their own spatial information since there is no national funding for that mapping. Yet, the U.S. National Map, which is getting rolling, is designed to integrate many sources of information, however, it too does not have a budget as far as I am aware. So there is data in the U.S. but it mostly exists at 1:24000k and much is outdated. Recently I tried to acquire DEM data for Canada, I found that only data from the Yukon Territory was available freely. I have also been working on a project in Australia and found that there is a growing trend toward lower cost, more freely available spatial information through GeoScience Australia.

In Europe, each country has their national mapping agency. In the U.K. the Ordnance Survey has discussed 'charging' at length and that information is available on their website. They do charge for data and operate as a Trading Fund - essentially, a government agency that must return a positive balance. In Sweden data is charged for as is the same in Finland. It is when we start to talk about issues of pan-European data sets that things become more interesting. While those in North America - 'space and distance' are large, they are smaller in Europe. Yet, to really effectively talk about continental climate, hydrology, environment and social issues in a European context one needs pan-European information. Subsequently, the EU Commission has funded a project called INSPIRE that is designed to bring all the agencies together to achieve this goal.

The arguments internationally are similar. One group suggests that paying high prices for data from the government basically means people are paying for what they have already paid for in taxes. At the same time, people of this persuasion also believe that 'access and availability' leads to further use and increase in the numbers of people working thus paying taxes. Thus the benefits are not direct. Now the other side of course, is of the opinion that users of these products will necessarily cause them to improve - 'business/customer' approach. Further, this allows these agencies to update and improve and follow a logical business plan.

.......As I see it, one issue is scale. North Americans have not updated largely because of scale - the sheer size of the countries.
.......Secondly, we as 'spatial' people have only just begun to acquaint people with what is possible with this information. The market is immature yet, thus prices may be higher for products. As more users enter the marketplace, prices drop. This will be the trend. I really think you will see someone in the not too distant future offering all sorts of mapping for about 1/10th the current price. International competition will drive that.

What technologies are important to Europeans?

Europeans like cell phones and most of their mobile services are beginning to tie to telecommunications carriers. 3G licenses as you know have hit an impasse here, though I understand Sweden and Finland are going to forge ahead. I think the Asian market will drive this then the North American market will develop. Short Message Service (SMS) is very prominent in Europe. Multimedia Message Service (MMS) proposes to offer advantages of interaction. The East European countries are slowly developing applications that involve mobile services. It appears, that the Russian market is set to explode in terms of data products and services. In fact, I think we will see many American companies offering data services for Russia soon. I know I can already buy Russian DEM's from a company in Wisconsin.

There is a continuing emphasis on web mapping here, but it is interesting to watch because Europeans are not nearly as 'wired' to DSL as North Americans. Many people do not have it because of the telecommunications history, charging and the mobile/wireless emphasis. I find that kind of interesting because it basically under cuts the whole web mapping concept. They certainly cannot get sizeable web-maps on mobile phones. But the real issue is, I believe, that web mapping is different between Europeans and North Americans - how and why they use it.

DSL is only available here in highly populated areas. In my part of the country, we don't have DSL yet, we're still waiting. Of course, Los Alamos has it because they are a national laboratory, and Albuquerque, but the rest of New Mexico does not. It may be a case of things being talked about well before they are an actuality for most people.

I am glad you mentioned this. Many people in Europe might see that North Americans all do have DSL. You are correct and that applies to Canada also. Because telephone services are charged by the minute here one becomes very selective about using the Internet. DSL is increasing. I see the web mapping directions in Europe increasing slowly but steadily. Web mapping that is related to mobile phones is much more promising than hard wired web mapping. Many countries have policies in place to provide almost 97% coverage by 2008 or so. The U.K. is notable in this respect. More and more companies are developing web mapping products, however, what I see is that more people are interested in selling raw data. Those who develop multi-language applications for Europe will do well.

This is an interesting question because we are witnessing the fundamental changes in how spatial information is being used. I have yet to see an IT solution that can perform principle component analysis like a GIS can, yet there seems to be a thrust to say GIS is IT. GIS is not IT, though it may be related. I can see your audience cringing as I say this! GIS is about capture, management, analysis and rendering of spatial information. IT is about the technologies and systems that connect the organization processes. I think people really mean to say that GIS data is valuable to the business when they advocate IT.

GIS came along before IT. Both GIS and IT are approaching the enterprise from differing corners. But this also relates to your question. If I am going to do some large spatial analysis I will want DSL transfer speed. If I merely want to ship a small map result or transfer a few data points, then I accept mobile technology is the way to go. The temptation is to call all spatial data the same thing, when in fact the users vary and their needs vary. Another factor that is often overlooked is that GIS is a 'science'. It seeks to not only locate but ask the big questions - 'why is this happening here? It might very well be that neither of these matter as GIS/IT interactive television will soon be upon us.

Do you see computer usage and sales increasing in Europe?

Computer sales are increasing and expectancy is that the IT market here will grow about 3% this year. The sale of mobile products has soared; this is largely attributable to higher levels of interactivity. People are voting on television and participating in game shows using telephones and short message service. Thus interactivity has become the interest. For those of us in the GI industry, we must begin to think about interactivity in solutions.

Recently there was a piece in The New York Times about personal data pirated from Russian phone lines. Apparently someone got hold of a database which resided on CDs and now many people have lost an incredible amount of privacy as a result. Do you know what Russia and other countries might be doing to safeguard this type of private data, since phones are so important to the Europeans?

I read that article also. I do not know what happened there exactly, but data security remains a big issue as does privacy. The government of Australia is keenly interested in these issues as is the EU Commission through the INSPIRE Project. If, and as the cellular telephone market increases, connection to the web for mobile communication devices, I think you will see more of these issues. It almost appears at times that we have not discussed the 'social' issues related to data as we have developed solutions. Consider this - I walk in front of your house with a GPS, geo-code your address, your car make, shrubbery and paint condition on the house. Then I make some maps and compile some data and sell it to people who want such info - 'have I invaded your privacy?' I probably have, yet anyone can do that. Few people offer guarantees in their data. Say I make some maps and suggest your house is in an area thousands of dollars below value. Indirectly I have affected the market value of your house, simply by making a map. What it boils down to is 'informing' the public about what is and can be going on. An informed public can choose however they wish. The industry needs to start working on the guarantee issue. Would you buy a new car, clothing or a television without a guarantee? Likely not. There are some very top-flight products out there that are incorrectly being challenged - not for technology but as a result of poor data use by users - or lack of data guarantee.

I have really come around to thinking that geo-spatial information is going global increasingly. The maps you get for your town may be designed by a person in the UK, data managed from a place in Taiwan and the servers located in Georgia or someplace - and the call center in Ireland. I am aware of the sensitivities of the IT industry surrounding this issue in North America. There has been recent debate that it basically amounts to outsourcing to other countries and job loss internally. My answer to that is - be creative, data is data but good creative solutions and ideas are very difficult to obtain. Focus on innovation. Robust solutions will always be in need.

It's interesting you say this because the information might be going global, but there is still only so much you can put on a mobile phone so the information is only going to be accessible to a small number of people, or in small quantities.

Actually, using SMS I can connect directly with text message to North America readily. But you are correct, the size of file that these devices handles is limited to about 150k or so. It really does raise the question about the differences between North Americans and Europeans and how they 'loop in' to the spatial infrastructure. I know I don't want to do any serious mapping work standing on a street corner in the cold pushing buttons, instead I will do it hard wired at work. Perhaps what we are seeing is the segmentation of consumerism and spatial services - some things you use one device for, for other things you use another.

What other kinds of data services and products do you think will be coming soon?

In Russia, I think what we will see is basic cadastral mapping and topographic mapping growing. The newer technologies will enable this creating lots of opportunities. Because Russia is large, I suspect you will see all those charging issues discussed and rise up once again! Once SRTM information becomes widely available, that will revolutionize how we look at landscapes and locations. In my mind SRTM is the basic building block that will enable all sorts of higher resolution efforts across many disciplines and products - topography is such a basic ingredient. You will see companies begin to guarantee their data while metadata will begin to include issues about privacy and security. Printers will be linked to home / business visualization systems and the individual will become GI knowledgeable and demand personalized geo-services for which new forms of geo-spatial data micro-billing will have to evolve.

Finally, interoperability will be conquered through the efforts of OpenGIS Consortium and there will be a return to focus on the creative solution. All in all, spatial information and manufacturing has a very promising outlook. It is also the most exciting industry to be working in.

Industry News

A Trail Less Traveled….The expedition of Lewis and Clark continues to fascinate people, and has garnered particular interest with the anticipated Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration (2003-2006). Thomas Jefferson had set for the team some very unrealistic goals, such as to find an all-water route and Northwest Passage to the west coast. No such passage existed. Lewis and Clark were limited by the knowledge of the geography at that time: maps showed the Rocky Mountains as a low-lying set of hills, and connecting streams between the Columbia and Missouri rivers that would be easy to portage. In spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Lewis and Clark completed this journey with very little loss of life and gathered invaluable data that is still being studied today. The explorers made a significant contribution not only to geography, disproving theories of the day, but also to other scientific inquiries such as botany, ethnology, meteorology, astronomy and many other fields of study.

GCS Research LLC and ESRI announced a research and development initiative this week to design, develop and deliver a web-based mapping application as a central component of the recently signed Space Act Agreement between GCS Research and NASA to deliver satellite imagery of the Lewis and Clark Trail. GCS Research is an existing ESRI business partner.

Back in November 2002, GCS Research and NASA announced an agreement to build a publicly accessible geospatial portal to deliver satellite imagery of the entire Lewis and Clark Trail as part of NASA's contribution to the upcoming Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration. GCS Research and the John C. Stennis Space Center's Earth Science Applications Directorate will team up to deliver a vast array of remotely sensed data of interest to educators, researchers, and the general public. The Web site's goal will be to chart specific geographical changes that have occurred along the trail route between St. Louis, Missouri, and Fort Clatsop, Oregon. The project is expected to span three years. GCS Research plans to demonstrate primary elements of the geospatial portal system at the upcoming ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California, July 2003.

GCS Research will use ESRI software solutions ranging from spatial database management to customized Internet applications for this project. At the core of ESRI's support for this project, GCS Research will deploy ESRI's ArcSDE 8.2 in conjunction with Microsoft's SQL Server. Serving as the fundamental gateway to the SQL Server relational database (DBMS), ESRI and GCS Research will explore the enterprise delivery of massive raster data sets in conjunction with supportive vector data derived from contributing data partners. ArcSDE will be used as the application server to deliver raster data to thousands of users and for development using ESRI's ArcObjects, Java, and C application program interfaces (API). Using the development features of ArcSDE, GCS Research will be able to develop additional client-side functionality delivered through a standard Web browser.

ESRI's ArcIMS 4 software will be used by GCS Research as the primary tool to deliver both satellite imagery and related geospatial data across the Internet. The Lewis and Clark ArcIMS application will deliver NASA's data resources across a wide array of geographic information system (GIS) desktop and Web-based applications. The combination of ArcSDE software's ability to store raster data and ArcIMS software's ability to serve it to the Web, will make it possible to design an interactive experience of the Lewis and Clark Trail for the viewer and allows for an exploration of NASA's unique scientific understanding of landscape change.

"We are very honored to receive ESRI's support for this NASA project. This is a major endeavor for GCS Research, and ESRI's expertise, software, and vision will be needed to achieve our objectives. We want to push the envelope with their technologies, go to the next level, and deliver an unprecedented experience to the American public on behalf of NASA. Our relationship with ESRI makes this possible," said Alex Philp, president of GCS Research.

DMTI Spatial™ announced the launch of a map-based tourism Web site for The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC). Snowmobilers will be able to use a dynamic mapping Internet application that integrates intuitive search and navigation functionality with accurate and comprehensive map and trail data.

DMTI Spatial comes well prepared for the snowmobile audience, with over 46,000 kilometres of OFSC snowmobile trails digitized in Ontario. DMTI plans to host this Web map service for OFSC and will integrate its trail data with CanMap® Streetfiles, Enhanced Points of Interest, water and topographic base map data. Collaborating with DMTI Spatial on this project are ESRI Canada and Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. The service leverages the power of the Sun ES420R model server and ESRI's ArcIMS 4.0 and ArcSDE 8.2 software.

“Snowmobile tourism is a very important industry for the Province of Ontario. With over 168 million kilometers driven by our snowmobilers each year, we wanted to make it easier for our members to access information about trails and travel destinations. The Web, with its ease of access and functionality, was the ideal technology for this type of service. The map application built and hosted by DMTI Spatial will be an excellent resource for our members,” said Ian Pizey, Vice President, OFSC.

To try out this mapping service experience, go to OFSC's web site at


Sanborn, a data acquisition, digital mapping and GIS services firm, and ITspatial, LLC, provider of visual information management and decision support solutions, announced that they have formed a strategic alliance that will allow them to offer clients integrated 3D GIS mapping as part of their solutions. As part of this agreement, Sanborn will re-sell ITspatial's InterSCOPE™ Visual Information Management system as well as real-time 3D GIS maps generated using Sanborn source data. The agreement will also give ITspatial access to Sanborn source data to provide its clients with ongoing 3D GIS decision support solutions.


After a year-long process, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) signed a General Services Administration (GSA) blanket purchase agreement (BPA) on Dec. 20, 2002 with ESRI. The three-year agreement provides for department-wide enterprise site licenses for ArcGIS and its extensions and for deployment of ESRI server technologies including ArcSDE and ArcIMS.

The DOI is looking to standardize and expand the use of GIS throughout the department including all eight of its bureaus. Each bureau will be given flexibility to install software when and where it is needed.

"Each bureau will have a central support site that provides for the distribution of software and the first level of technical support. ESRI will work primarily through these central support sites," said John Steffenson, ESRI account manager for the U.S. Department of Interior.

Karen C. Siderelis, geographic information officer at USGS, said the BPA also includes Tribal governments and "means increased flexibility and reduced costs that will better enable Interior agencies to respond to changing needs and the increasing demand for geospatial information."

PlanGraphics, Inc. (OTCBB: PGRA), was recently awarded a contract to aid the City of Raleigh, North Carolina's Information Services Department, Geographic Information Services Division in the completion of a geographic information system (GIS) emergency response assessment and implementation plan that will be used during any natural, health, technological or man-made emergency that City personnel may need to respond to.

PlanGraphics will utilize their STEPs program to conduct a series of interviews with representatives of the emergency management community in Raleigh such as Police, Fire, Emergency Communications, Parks & Recreation, Transportation, Information Services/GIS, Inspections and the City Manager's Office of Operations. The object of the interviews will be to elicit information regarding general and specific departmental roles and responsibilities during an emergency, their current information technology infrastructure and their coordination with county, state and federal agencies.

The information is expected to be vital in defining the gap between the current system and the city's future IT vision. PlanGraphics also plans to use the information combined with their experiences with responses to the World Trade Center site and other client sites to help formulate a list of key applications for the City which will assist in all phases of emergency management, including planning, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.


Intergraph Corporation (Nasdaq: INGR) reported operating results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2002.

For Q4 2002, Intergraph reported operating income of $0.5 million and net income of $90.1 million on revenue of $122 million. Combining both the Z/I Imaging business and the Utilities & Communications business with the Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions (IMGS) division resulted in an operating income that included a $2.1 million restructuring charge. Net income was $1.85 per share (diluted) and included $148.2 million of pre-tax gains from patent litigation. Revenues and operating income met the Company's expectations for the quarter.

MapInfo Corporation (NASDAQ: MAPS) announced support for the OpenGIS(R) Web Map Service (WMS) Implementation Specification, an industry consensus specification that enables government groups worldwide to share and visualize data more effectively. With MapXtreme Java Edition and WMS, municipalities and government agencies can more easily share geo-spatial data across different departments, levels of government and jurisdictions.

"As the need for seamless distributed data sharing between cooperating organizations and communities increases, particularly for issues like emergency response and critical infrastructure protection, the inclusion of OpenGIS Specifications in product offerings is extremely important," said Mark E. Reichardt, executive director, Outreach and Community Adoption Program at OGC. "MapInfo's active involvement in the Open GIS Consortium's process, and their commitment to implement OpenGIS Specifications such as WMS 1.1.1 in their product offerings, indicates their dedication to improve the user's ability to rapidly access, integrate and visualize information from distributed sources."

Gartner Research recently surveyed federal, state and local government GIS managers and found that 78 percent of individuals interviewed felt that OpenGIS Specifications were important to their jurisdiction for the next five years. The Open GIS Consortium developed the WMS Specification, which specifies operations to retrieve a map as an image, answer queries about the content of the map and also work with other programs and applications in a standard format for collaborative research and analysis.

The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) announced its application for full Union membership in the International Council for Science (ICSU) was approved at the 27th ICSU General Assembly, thereby granting ISPRS status as a full Scientific Union Member.

Professor John Trinder, President of ISPRS, said "ICSU addresses major international, interdisciplinary issues typically beyond the scope of individual organizations. In deciding to become a full Union Member of ICSU, we saw opportunities to help our members participate in cross-disciplinary activities and research programs. In particular, we believe that many aspects of scientific research will be enhanced by inputs from remote sensing. And similarly, our remote sensing research will contribute more to sustainable development when it is enhanced by, for example, the expertise of biologists who understand the possible causes and impacts of the vegetation stress we detect and map via remote sensing."

ICSU, founded in 1931, represents a global membership including 27 international scientific unions and 101 national scientific academies.

The Aleutian Group, LLC (“TAG”) announced the acquisition and combination of several internationally recognized businesses, including Altex Technologies, a Swiss company, GeoDigital Technologies, LLC, a United States company, and Opten, a Russian company. TAG plans to present customized solutions to its clients as a result of these acquisitions, recognizing that a global approach is needed to problems faced by industries with great asset concentration and monitoring requirements.

Under TAG, the acquired companies will transfer and share their technologies and share their marketing efforts worldwide. They will jointly develop new data services and software services. The Aleutian Group specializes in data acquisition and data solutions for the Electric Utility, Railway, Pipeline, Forestry, and Fiber Optic Industries as well as addresses data and utility security concerns of government agencies.

New Products

From CORDA Technologies, Inc., developer of the PopChart(TM) family of dynamic, interactive, Web-based charting and graphing solutions, comes a new product called OptiMap(TM)5.0. OptiMap is a charting solution for quickly and easily creating dynamic Web-based maps. These maps can integrate and display data from multiple databases. This means that they can provide maps of almost anything: a map of cancer occurrences, airline or stadium seating charts with up-to-the second accuracy, sales results based on geography.

Space Imaging released its top 10 images from the IKONOS satellite taken during 2002. The images, featured on Space Imaging's Web site ( ), include the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Vancouver Airport in British Columbia, Canada; the highlands of Kelan, China; the Aswan Dam, Egypt; during-and-after images of river flooding near Dessau, Germany; Baghdad, Iraq; Yokohama, Japan waterfront; the Arecibo Radio Telescope, Puerto Rico; a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida; and the Hayman Forest Fire that burned near Denver, Colo. last June.

Around the Web

R U Ready 4 SMS? by D.C. Dennison, Boston Globe, February 3, 2003 - “W hen 13-year-old Helen Goodman of Lexington is "out and about," she often uses her cellphone's text-messaging capability, SMS (for short messaging service), to dash off a quick note instead of making a phone call. Occasionally, she sends a brief shopping list to her father before he stops at the grocery store. And sometimes she exchanges text messages with her friends just for fun.”

Going on this Week

SmartCard Alliance Mid-Winter Meeting & Educational Institute
Date: February 12 - 13, 2003
Place: Hilton Center Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT USA
Preceding the meeting on Feb. 11th, the Alliance will offer its Smart Cards 101 and 201 courses.