DOD Awards Multi-Million Dollar Contracts For Commercial Satellite Imagery
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DOD Awards Multi-Million Dollar Contracts For Commercial Satellite Imagery

Message from the Editor

Welcome to GISWeekly! This week's industry news included the announcement of a multi-year satellite imagery capacity contract awarded to Space Imaging by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). This is a ground-breaking contract with a minimum expenditure of $120 million in 3 years, with a 5-year ceiling of $500 million to provide commercially produced satellite images to the national government. The contract is a significant commitment of money from the government to integrate commercial satellite imagery for purposes of defense and government missions.

Talk of war and “Homeland Security” has encouraged four big industry leaders to make significant commitments of resources to the OGC's Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI) toward their goal of testing the interoperability of critical infrastructure protection technologies.

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 the DOD Contract Award story, more Industry News, Alliances/Acquisitions, Awards, New Products, Announcements, 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


Industry News

Back in June 2002, the Director of the CIA, George Tenet, directed the intelligence community to use commercial satellite imagery to the “greatest extent possible.” In a memo to Lt. Gen. (ret) James Clapper, director of NIMA, Tenet directed that U.S. commercial satellite imagery be the primary source of data used for government mapping, regardless of whether the production work is performed by NIMA or is outsourced. Tenet wanted to make sure the nation's limited supply of spy satellites were used exclusively to procure images for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance by civilian and military policy makers and not for map making.

On Friday January 17, the Department of Defense announced that Space Imaging, Inc. of Thornton, Colorado was awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar satellite imagery capacity contract by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). Under terms of the contract, NIMA would acquire imagery worldwide from Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite. IKONOS satellite imagery provides access to any location on the earth's surface every one to two days and collects up to 200,000 square kilometers of imagery per day. As of January there are more than 40 million square kilometers of imagery in the IKONOS digital archive.

For the first three years, the contract has a minimum value of $120 million with a five-year ceiling of $500 million. The contract performance period is five years.

Mark E. Brender, Executive Director, Government Affairs & Corporate Communications for Space Imaging, said that the contract reflects a solid change in Space Imaging's customer relationship with NIMA and the Pentagon. Now commercial satellite imagery from IKONOS has become an operational element of the nation's military intelligence and mapping infrastructure.

Before the contract, he said the Pentagon would buy one image at a time or small contracts. Brender believes the convergence of the three independent technologies of GIS, GPS, and imagery promises new and bolder applications. “Any one by itself is not going to be a killer app, but together it's like three legs of a stool,” said Brender. “We begin to have a new way we look at the world . What we see here is the first time the government has really committed a multi-million dollar contract with the commercial providers--with maximum value of a billion dollars.”

"This Clearview contract is a new approach to the procurement of commercial satellite imagery", said Lt. Gen. (ret) James Clapper, director of NIMA. "The contract enables NIMA to utilize commercial satellite imagery across a broad spectrum of geospatial applications."

Brender said that people up and down the chain of command who see the real value of map accurate, high resolution commercial imagery were also instrumental in spearheading the new contract.

DigitalGlobe, Inc. of Colorado was also awarded a contract requiring them to deliver “high resolution” satellite imagery to NIMA over a five-year period, consisting of a three year base period and two option years. Their award was a firm-fixed-price contract with a minimum guarantee of $72 million and a ceiling of $500,000,000.

Said Brender: “For the GIS community this is welcome news at the beginning of a new year, and its really shows our industry has reached new heights in providing valuable services to the government.”


Four industry leaders, Autodesk, BAE SYSTEMS, Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions and Northrop Grumman Information Technology (IT) have committed significant resources to the Open GIS Consortium's (OGC) Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI). The goal of CIPI is to test the application of interoperable technology to meet critical infrastructure protection needs for coordination of geospatial data and services between national, state, provincial and local governments and commercial and non-government organizations. The four companies have allocated resources and leadership to OGC's processes throughout the multipart CIPI program.

An OGC member since 1994, Autodesk will dedicate project management resources to the development of interoperability programs and industry standard specifications.

BAE SYSTEMS has already provided their expertise in enterprise architecture. BAE SYSTEMS' Lou Rose is Chief Architect over CIPI and is Chief Architect for CIPI-1.

Intergraph has taken an active role in the CIPI program from its inception, sharing a common goal with OGC. The company's contribution is a dedicated staff resource to work with OGC as the Director of the Communities Working Group. By using easy-to-use tools such as the Web to share information, it is hoped that they can build a geospatial data infrastructure basis for communities that need to share critical data in the event of a crisis.

Northrop Grumman IT provides raw technology foundation which thereby establish building blocks for interoperable geoprocessing solutions. These solutions will become the basis for enterprise solutions in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Open GIS Consortium (OGC) also joined invited guests, sponsors and others at Lockheed Martin recently to view the results of the OGC Web Services 1.2 Testbed initiative. The demonstration focused on three emergency response situations in a mock Department of Homeland Security Emergency Operations Center, showing how recent advances in OGC's interoperability architecture enable integration of geospatial information and geoprocessing software via the World Wide Web.


Alliances/Acquisitions

Moviso LLC, provider of mobile media products and services in North America, and Landmat, a developer of applications and services for the mobile Internet, inked a deal that will allow online consumer brands to include location-based services in North America.

This means that the applications will allow leading consumer brands to deploy location-based services with North American carriers and device manufacturers. The consumers will be able to access location-based information such as online dating, real estate listings, travel services and dining guides via their mobile devices. Services will begin rolling out in the U.S. in February 2003.

GeoConcept SA announced its partnership with B&B Market, provider of decision-making tools for the sales sector and data relating to consumer markets. The data made available to GeoConcept users will be able to use the data to carry out precise and detailed geomarketing studies, even on a local level using socio-geographic zones. Medium- and large-scale distribution companies will find it of particular interest, as it deals primarily with the lifestyle and consumption levels of households in relation to their socio-demographic characteristics. GeoConcept also announced significant upgrades to its “Essentials” cartographic solution that provides detailed socio-geographic cartography for Europe. In France, the solution “Essentials IRIS2000+” takes information used in creating maps from IGN (French National Institute of Geography) and INSEE and links the data to precise routing or road infrastructure data provided by software provider Navtech.


New Products

ESRI announced the release of ArcPad 6.0.1 and ArcPad Application Builder 6.0.1, mobile mapping and GIS technology products. Some of the key new features for the ArcPad 6.0.1 release are map rotation which allows users to set the map to display course up rather than north up. Support for several languages is available, and ArcPad 6.0.1 also includes improved symbology, point symbol rotation, and support for 8-bit, 24-bit and transparent PNG images.

Those users and developers who want to customize ArcPad will be pleased with ArcPad Application Builder 6.0.1, which allows them to enhance ArcPad by using the ArcPad object model and the extension's API. Users can edit extension layers and can create and edit all geometric objects in the object model.

Following the initial release of ArcPad 6.0.1, ESRI will release ArcPad StreetMap, a new extension that provides high-quality street mapping, geocoding, and routing capabilities to mobile workers in the United States.

ENERmap Inc., provider of maps and other geographic products to the energy industry, announced the release of its 2003 US Coal Industry Map. This presentation-quality, full color wall-map displays the infrastructure of this critical component of the energy industry in detail. Map measures 42" x 80" and sells for $345.

Geographic Data Technology, Inc., a map database developer, and ESRI announced the release of GDT Matchmaker(R) for StreetMap(TM) 2000, designed to provided a geocoding program for users of ESRI's ArcGIS(TM) software.

Matchmaker for StreetMap 2000 is a combination of GDT's Matchmaker SDK Professional geocoding engine and its Dynamap/2000(R) nationwide street and address data to provide address matching and street display for the United States. The geocoder provides both batch and interactive geocoding capabilities, allowing users to match traditional addresses, intersections or alphanumeric addresses. The product is designed specifically for ArcGIS users and provides current StreetMap 2000 users with an upgrade to the most current data available.

Tetrad Computer Applications Inc. shipped PCensus with 2001 Canadian Census data covering age, sex, marital status, families, dwellings, households, language, mobility and migration. 2001 census data purchasers will automatically receive the remaining four releases (ending in June 2003) as soon as it is available from Statistics Canada.

Maporama's new product, Maporama Search Deluxe, allows the user to pinpoint a selection of addresses on a single map. Now Maporama customers can use a simple tool to highlight addresses already predefined from the Maporama Partner Base. Those companies who need a real-time interface between their information system and Maporama's location-centric search engine will find this product useful. Retail and services industries will find the tool helpful in their internal processes and on the Web for showing a map of vendor outlets for a particular product, and also product availability at those outlets.

“All about getting there” -- Mapopolis.Com, Inc. announced Mapopolis Navigator Dell Axim Edition, a new bundle that turns a Dell Axim into a navigation system comparable to far more expensive car-mounted systems. The new bundle includes Mapopolis Navigator and a Compact Flash GPS card. Mapopolis Navigator provides spoken and visual prompts before each turn along your route. If you make a wrong turn, the Navigator will automatically reroute you.

Touting yet another use for GPS, iSECUREtrac(TM) Corp. (BULLETIN BOARD: ISRE) , a provider of global positioning systems (GPS) for tracking and monitoring, has put its tracNET24 system to work monitoring convicted sex offenders and others in the criminal justice system. Designed to be worn by known rapists, child molesters, and other criminals while they move about the community, tracNET24 uses GPS to track their movements, then makes that information available to authorities from a central, secure web site with its automated monitoring and reporting system. The system is already being used and has been showed to be effective in Kansas, Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana and Florida, and other states are currently testing it.


Announcements

Idevio, a digital map compression and streaming company, has compressed the VMap1 dataset from NIMA --one of the largest publicly available map datasets. Using the compression software RaveGeo, the dataset has been compressed from the original distribution of 56 CDs to 2 CDs The large dataset can be read with continuous zoom and scroll in real-time on Internet, in spite of the high compression rate.

MapInfo Corporation (NASDAQ: MAPS) announced results for the first fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2002.

Revenues for the first fiscal quarter of 2003 were $20.9 million compared to $22.8 million for the same period last year. Net loss for the quarter was $1.9 million, or $0.12 per share, compared to $1.6 million, or $0.11 per share, in the prior year period. The Company ended the quarter with $38.0 million in cash and cash equivalents, having used $2.1 million of cash for operations and adding $4.6 million in mortgage financing in the quarter related to the completion of its office facility in Troy, NY.

"We had a disappointing start to fiscal 2003. Demand from some of our telecommunications customers in the Americas was much softer than expected and location-based services (LBS) revenue was less than planned," said Mark Cattini, MapInfo's president and chief executive officer.

Transitioning the company's customer base to accommodate the drop in revenues in telecommunications and LBS, Cattini expects their acquisition of Thompson Associates in early January 2003 to help balance their revenue mix. Thompson is a provider of location intelligence for the retail, restaurant and real estate sectors. In addition, the acquisition boosts critical mass for MapInfo in the analytical customer relationship management (aCRM) business.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. reported results for its fiscal second quarter which ended December 29, 2002. From the press release:

“Revenues for the second quarter were $2.915 billion, a decline of six percent as compared with $3.108 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2002. Total gross margin as a percent of revenues was 43.3%, an increase of 6.7 percentage points as compared with the second quarter of fiscal 2002. Net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2003 was $2.283 billion or $.72 net loss per share. Net loss for the second quarter includes a $2.125 billion expense related to the impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets. In addition, Sun recognized in the second quarter $357 million in expense related to previously announced restructuring actions. Excluding these items, as well as an in-process research and development expense of $4 million, losses on equity investments of $11 million and the related tax benefit of $204 million for all of these items, net income for the quarter was $10 million, slightly better than break-even on a per share basis. This compares with a net loss excluding special items of $99 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2002.”


Around the Web

Satellite-Guided Munitions: GPS and the Next War-- Highly accurate yet affordable strike weapons, proved in Afghanistan, are the latest upgrades to America's arsenal -- By Michael Puttré

Transportation Infrastructure and “String Theory” by Jerry Laiserin

For introduction and excerpts to Joel Orr's upcoming book, The Dandelion Principle, please go to http://www.dandelionprinciple.com


Going on This Week

GIS Ostrava 2003

Date: January 26 - 29, 2003
Place: VSB-Technical University Ostrava, Czech Republic
10th International Conference GIS Ostrava 2003. This conference has been organised every year since 1994 and grown into one of the most important GI/GIT conferences in the Czech Republic. There were about two hundred participants last year, mainly from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Reputable foreign speakers have been invited every year to present main topics to Czech and Slovak GI community. The aim of this series of conferences is bringing together researchers, developers, users, and practitioners from the field of GI/GIT. The goal is to facilitate discussions between researches and practitioners to support knowledge and technology transfer.
GIS Ostrava 2003 is now open to an international audience. The theme of this conference is “GI/GIT Theory and Practice Bring them Together.” The conference will provide a forum for research contributions and practical system design, implementation and applications of GIT. Email: dagmar.adamkova@vsb.cz

THE INTERNATIONAL LIDAR MAPPING FORUM 2003

Date: January 27 - 28, 2003
Place: New Orleans, LA USA
The International LIDAR Forum (ILMF) is an industry group that is committed to helping further LIDAR mapping technology and applications. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a technology that uses laser light for topographic or bathymetric mapping.

The ILMF hosts annual meetings to bring together LIDAR professionals to discuss the latest technology and issues affecting the LIDAR mapping industry. Over 120 people attended last year's Forum, representing almost every major LIDAR operator in North America, as well as LIDAR system and component manufacturers, hardware and software companies, universities and end-users.

The Third Annual Meeting of the International LIDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) will be held at the beautiful Chateau Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans on January 27 and 28, 2003.

The ILMF is expanding its format to a two-day meeting that will include exhibits, workshops and presentations. Much of the benefit of the Forum is derived from the networking opportunities, and the popular Icebreaker reception, held on the first evening in the exhibit area, allowing attendees to socialize and network.

Map India 2003

Date: January 28-31, 2003
Place: Hotel Grand Inter-Continental, New Delhi, India

Map India 2003 is the 6th Annual International Conference and Exhibition in the field of geographic information technologies like GIS, GPS, Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing. Although it primarily serves the Indian geographic community it also attracts considerable international participation and provides a platform for collaboration between India and rest of the world.

GITA Webcast Seminar Series

Date: January 28, 2003
“Airtight Business Case” Moderator: Kris Magnuson, Advantica Stoner