Welcome to GISWeekly! Andrew Mackles, Autodesk GIS product manager, spoke this week on the launch of the commercial version of MapGuide Enterprise 2007 and MapGuide Studio 2007. The Open Source version of these two was launched in November 2005. MapGuide Enterprise and MapGuide Studio commercial versions will be available July 3.
Also, GISCafe's new Discussion Boards include topics such as Intergraph, ESRI, and Autodesk MapGuide. Post your questions or concerns on these boards and help to get some discussions going.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Commercial Version of Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise 2007
by Susan Smith
Mackles explained that in July, the release version of Studio will replace the current preview product. Basically the commercial version of Enterprise is the commercial version of the Open Source product, and they are identical. “The code base is the same, features and functionality are the same, but there are some differences,” Mackles said. “The enterprise commercial version adds a couple of software components, specifically the Oracle and SQL Server FDO providers. FDO allows developers to access all the different GIS data formats using a single API. With the open source - MySQL, SDE, and SDF and shapefiles, raster are available. The Oracle and SQLServer ones are available in the MapGuide Enterprise box, but are not shipped with the open source version.” FDO technology is also open source, as is DWF.
The commercial version ships with the Mentor coordinate system. It's also the same coordinate system that Autodesk uses throughout the product line. “You get a little better integration because you're basing your maps on the same coordinate system,” said Mackles. The commercial version also adds additional language support, so Open Source and Enterprise are available in English and Japanese, and the Enterprise version is available also in German, French and Italian.
View Maps in Any Browser
The AJAX Viewer delivers raster based maps to almost any browser, including Safari. This viewing option ensures that any user on any platform can access designs and maps without requiring a specific browser.
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Another advantage of the commercial version of MapGuide Enterprise and Studio is that there is easier licensing of MapGuide based applications, according to Mackles. “You can do that on the open source version but you're going to have to get into separate licensing agreements for some of the third party components that we ship as part of MapGuide. For example, we use the Berkeley database that's an open source database managed by SleepyCat. If you want to distribute the open source version you've got to get a separate agreement with SleepyCat to do your distribution. If you use MapGuide Enterprise, we cover all that. You only need to do one agreement with us and we cover you for all the third party components. You also get the benefit of Autodesk Subscription program. That means support from our team and the engineering team. You automatically get updates and upgrades and access to the subscription portal which has things like e-learning resources, additional code, additional technical support and information relevant to the product.”
The ownership of code is an interesting factor surrounding open source software. Autodesk gave up its intellectual property rights, i.e. the soul of MapGuide, to the OSGeo Foundation. The OSGeo Foundation uses the LGPL license which basically allows the application developer to own the code and any modifications he makes to it, plus he can get distribution rights in perpetuity. “No one can take away that code, so the developer couldn't reverse engineer the code and start building a new product based on MapGuide without first licensing the MapGuide code,” Mackles explained.
The current version of MapGuide 6.5 is a good product targeted at a very narrow set of applications, according to Mackles. MapGuide Enterprise offers a much broader support for operating systems, web servers and programming languages and browsers. This broad support of MapGuide Enterprise allows customers to integrate MapGuide with their other line of business applications, such as CRM or ERP, asset management.
Thematic Mapping, Analysis and Reporting
Autodesk MapGuide® Studio can be used to produce attractive thematic maps and provide spatial analysis and reporting functions – here, creating buffer zones around selected parcels.
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For MapGuide and Map, in addition to support for more providers such as ArcSDE and Shape, the big news is native data access. “Not only can we read data like we did with the last version, but we can write back data in this format,” said Mackles. “If you're an ESRI shop and you standardize on shapefiles, you can put Map or MapGuide in without having to change from those shapefiles. This is really powerful for these companies that want MapGuide as a web publishing tool but work in these various formats.”
MapGuide Enterprise and MapGuide Open Source offer support for OGC standards WMS and WFS.
“Today with MapGuide you have to be physically connected to the server to make changes. With MapGuide Enterprise, you can access that server from any web based environment. As we see MapGuide being integrated into these enterprise applications, you can't get to the server, and they don't want you to get to it,” noted Mackles. “With the web based administration and server logic, now you can actually implement your GIS.”
MapGuide Studio is for both MapGuide Enterprise and Open Source and is wizard driven.
It is divided into three steps:
step 1 - choose your data sources, and drag and drop them in.
step 2 - stylize your maps with color, stylized layers, display attributes and labels.
step 3 - say where you want to publish the maps, all intuitive and easy.
The way it works is that you may have one set of GIS data but different users need different views of that information, i.e., the public vs. a field worker vs. a supervisor. Today we have to create separate applications for each of those user bases. People are all accessing the same information.
Autodesk sees web mapping becoming open source and believes that there are a number of customer benefits around this, particularly around their access to innovation and the ability to take advantage of what the community develops as opposed to just waiting for what Autodesk can develop. The company definitely sees the open source base as helping to sell the commercial version. Developers enjoy a lower cost of ownership as they don't pay for the platform, but will have to pay for applications, training and maintenance, and development.
Since MapGuide Enterprise and Open Source are built on Linux, there will be a large number of development projects doing integration with web mapping technologies such as Google Maps and MapGuide. There are also integrations going on between MapGuide and MapServer, MapGuide and GRASS, MapGuide and others, all hosted under OSGeo. “A lot of that code is now posted to the community site,” said Mackles.
Since its inception in March 2006, the OSGeo Foundation has been the focal point of all activity going on around MapGuide. Eight projects are now hosted under the OSGeo Foundation. “We conceive it as broader than web mapping,” concluded Mackles. “The number of registered users has grown so that 20 percent of the people who are visiting the site are downloading software.”
Top News of the Week
TriTech Software Systems, provider of integrated multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional public safety software solutions, announces the deployment of a new, innovative Geographical Information System (GIS) utility that enables TriTech clients to easily synchronize street address information and other spatial data directly between TriTech applications and their source geodatabase.
The new solution, VisiNet GISLink facilitates synchronizing spatial data with VisiCAD Command, TriTech's computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software solution including addressing, routing and spatial layers. This is accomplished by sing a simple interface with minimal steps that enables the user to link their 9-1-1 applications directly to the GIS enterprise system. VisiNet GISLink allows the user to specify the location of source, destination, and differences data; links streets fields to CAD streets fields (many or all automatically link); determine and fill differences and then synchronizes these differences with the TriTech GIS databases. VisiNet GIS Link greatly simplifies the process of data validation with no degradation in CAD or VisiNet Mobil performance, and without having to reboot the application.
Information Builders, enterprise business intelligence (BI) provider, announced continued progress in delivering powerful location intelligence solutions to meet the growing needs of operational BI users. As organizations continue to empower individuals across the enterprise with real-time BI capabilities, intuitive reporting solutions that display data as geospatial information add a critical dimension to a company's decision-making capabilities.
Tensing USA named Integrated Mapping Services Inc. (InMaps) of Holderness, N.H., as the newest Tensing Business Partner. As a Business Partner, InMaps is able to resell Tensing mobility products and integrate them with its own GIS and CAD applications to create custom mobile GIS solutions for gas and electric utility clients.
The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC(R)) has expanded its Web presence, adding new resource and collaboration features for both members and the general public.
The new OGC Network(TM) vastly expands an easy to use set of information and collaboration resources that showcase the OGC architectural vision in practice. The new version provides a unique entry point for developers and technology-oriented managers -- members or not -- who seek to build interoperable geospatial systems and services. Registered users can collaborate and add and edit content so the website is fresher and more accessible for developers with less background in standards. OGC Network provides a persistent demonstration capability and highlights components, services, information models and compliance testing resources. It also provides samples of standard Geography Markup Language (GML) and XML encodings and a collaboration environment for profile development.
Five educators from the United States and Canada will have the opportunity to join more than 600 others at the 2006 ESRI Education User Conference (EdUC) through a joint scholarship program offered by Tele Atlas and ESRI. Tele Atlas will provide recipients with $400 toward travel costs, and ESRI will provide complimentary admission to the conference in San Diego, California, August 5-8, 2006.
Autodesk, Inc. announced the addition of content from CustomWeather and Wcities to the Location Services Developer Program. Autodesk developers can now utilize this premium content in the development of their own cutting-edge location-smart services. With CustomWeather and Wcities, Autodesk is furthering its commitment to the developer community by offering the best tools available in the rapidly expanding location-based services market.
Trimble announced that it will hold its International User Conference November 6-8, 2006 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
The theme of Trimble Dimensions 2006-Building Your Connected Site-emphasizes how process integration and intelligent positioning technologies enable surveying, engineering and construction professionals to reduce rework, utilize assets more efficiently, accelerate design updates as well as improve the bidding, planning and billing cycles. With more than 125 sessions and 10 specialty tracks planned, the conference will focus on increasing productivity in the field and in the office.
In addition, Trimble worldwide users are invited to propose topics to present at the conference. Proposed titles and a short description of the presentation should be submitted to Trimble no later than June 30, 2006. For more information, please go to: Trimble Call for Speakers.
To register for the Trimble Dimensions 2006 User Conference and find out more about this year's speakers, view sessions and see other details about the conference agenda, visit the website.
Intergraph announced the Czech Land Survey Office has launched its new GEOPORTAL ZU Web portal, based on Intergraph's GeoMedia(R) technology.
EarthData International (EarthData) announced the award of a $16 million contract by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia to produce the first-ever high-resolution image and terrain maps of Papua New Guinea. The Australian Government is funding the project under a memorandum of understanding with the government of Papua New Guinea.
EarthData will deploy its GeoSAR radar mapping system to complete airborne data acquisitions over the 318,000-square-kilometer area. Mounted on a jet aircraft and using two radar bands simultaneously, the GeoSAR system will fly over the area and collect extremely accurate images and three-dimensional models of the forest canopy surface, as well as the terrain beneath the canopy. The resulting data will be used with standard geographic information system (GIS) software to support decision-making in a variety of land management and engineering applications.
CACI International Inc announced that it has been awarded the first task order of its new Strategic Services Sourcing (S3) contract with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command (C-E LCMC), headquartered at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. On March 15, CACI announced it was one of just seven prime contractors on the S3 program, which has a total estimated ceiling value of $19.25 billion. The new task order is a two-year award, with a ceiling value of $33 million, to support geographic information systems (GIS) for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) through the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). The contract continues the ongoing expansion of CACI's business in intelligence solutions.
GeoLytics released the GeocodeCD Version 3.1 with improved address matching based on the latest 2005 TIGER/Line Files. Version 3.1 improves geocoding efficiency by upgrading from the 2004 TIGER/Line Files to the 2005 TIGER/Line Files as its geographic source data.
VUEWorks' strong Asset Management and Computerized Maintenance Management features are now complemented by enhancements to the VUEWorks Core module. With the latest enhancements VUEWorks transforms ESRI's ArcIMS into a powerful data management tool within a geodatabase work flow. All VUEWorks' features are available to users through an intuitive browser based interface, allowing any team member the ability to quickly interact with their GIS data. With the ability to access and edit GIS data the extended team becomes a valuable tool to help keep data accurate and up-to-date.
The GeoInformation® Group, publishers of Cities Revealed aerial photography ( www.citiesrevealed.com), announce its newest offering - City Pack. This latest product, from the recognized leaders in high-resolution aerial imagery, provides a comprehensive and detailed geographic information solution, for UK cities, ideally suited to a wide array of applications focusing on the urban environment.
MapInfo Corporation, global provider of location intelligence solutions, introduced MapInfo Professional(r) version 8.5, the first version of the company's user-friendly location intelligence application with Web services connectivity. MapInfo Professional users can now access dynamic data available on the internet and perform detailed analysis of information in a single environment to make better informed decisions about the location of assets, customers, constituents and competition.
LeadDog Consulting, LLC and GPS World Supply announce the release of GPS maps for Iran. Coverage includes detailed street level maps of Tehran and Major Roads nationwide.
Tempe, Arizona-based aerial imagery and GIS mapping applications provider Aerials Express announces the availability of over 130,000 square miles of seamless 2006 aerial imagery of the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coasts spanning from Boston, MA to Brownsville, TX. Aerials Express' 2006 Hurricane Season Imagery was flown from December 2005 through May 2006, with the majority of imagery acquired in March and April. Each metropolitan area is available as a single ortho-rectified seamless color image taken at a resolution of 1.5 feet per pixel. Additionally Aerials Express has current imagery of metropolitan areas that will serve as evacuation centers for coastal communities.
Label-EZ 4.8 represents a major revision and incorporates numerous enhancements and powerful new capabilities. Label-EZ became easier to use and interfaces to several new or upgraded GIS systems were added, including GeoMedia and GeoMedia Professional 6.0, Adobe Illustrator CS2, and AutoDesk Map 3D 2006. The release will be available by June 2, 2006.
Safe Software announced that MRF Geosystems Corporation of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has made their MRF Clean technology available to Safe Software's global network of FME® (Feature Manipulation Engine) users through a new extra cost FME plug-in called the MRFCleaner.
MRF Geosystems Corporation has previously made their technology available from directly within a number of leading GIS platforms, including Bentley® MicroStation®, Autodesk® AutoCAD®, Intergraph® GeoMedia®, and ESRI® MapObjects. Safe Software is pleased that this sophisticated data cleaning capability is now also available in FME's format translation and map data transformation technology.
Around the Web
eWeek weblog - Starting May 24, Microsoft's Live Local online mapping feature will let users share maps and other location information directly from Live Messenger, the new version of Microsoft's popular MSN Messenger.
Live Local is also available directly from Microsoft's Outlook Calendar, an office computer desktop staple. Users must first download and install some freely available software.
Date: May 30 - June 1, 2006
Place: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Join us for Western Canada's #1 independent GIS and Geomatics show! This year, GeoAlberta will be held at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta from May 30 to June 1st, 2006. It features world class keynotes including Joseph Berry from the University of Denver and Peter Batty, CTO of Intergraph. The three-day conference is also packed with hands-on workshops, insightful sessions, engaging speakers, and plenty of fun, entertainment, and networking opportunities. This event is vital to professionals who create and promote the effective application of GIS and Geomatics. Early bird registration deadline is April 30, 2006.
AGI "How To" Webinar: Make Movies in STK Using Advanced Techniques
Date: June 8, 2006
Place: Webinar USA
Intergraph 2006 International Users Conference
Date: June 12 - 15, 2006
Place: Disney's Coronado Spring Resort, Orlando, FL USA
In its inaugural year, Intergraph 2006 will bring together all of our customers and partners from around the globe. We will invite our shareholders and community and government leaders, as well as each of you - senior executives, business managers, decision-makers, and other users. You will have the opportunity to explore industry-specific challenges and imperatives for success in today's dynamic marketplace. In addition to hands-on training and networking, you will have the opportunity to discuss and evaluate industry insights and best practices that will help you gain the greatest value from Intergraph's full range of spatial information management technologies.
GeoTec Event 2006
Date: June 18 - 21, 2006
Place: Ottawa Congress Centre Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The GeoTec Event provides a unique gathering place for geospatial technology professionals from all disciplines to interact and learn from each other's experience and knowledge. The program is designed to help you discover cutting-edge geospatial technology solutions from diverse application areas.
Summer Institute on Geographic Information Science
Date: June 26 - July 7, 2006
Place: Fattoria Montebeni Florence, Italy
Celebrating the fifth centenary of Vespucci's discoveries, the Vespucci Initiative recaptures his spirit of multi-disciplinary intellectual enquiry to explore new frontiers of knowledge. To that end it organizes and conducts a range of research and teaching activities, bringing together senior scientists and promising young researchers from around the world. This unique interdisciplinary mix creates what has been called the Medici Effect. (Perhaps it is no coincidence that the summer institutes are held in Florence!) What these particular researchers have in common is a special interest in the locational aspects of societal challenges.
Date: June 27 - 29, 2006
Place: Hong Kong, Japan
Geospatial Research and Application Frontiers in Environmental and Public Health Systems The 1st International Conference in GIS and Health hosted by HKU and LREIS of Beijing