Pilot Grant Program for State and Local Agencies Offered by MetaCarta

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Welcome to GISWeekly! MetaCarta has launched a special pilot grant program offered to state and local customers only who fit certain criteria based upon need. The grant will be helpful to those state and local agencies who have been charged with providing emergency response or other services. Read about this program in this week's Industry News.

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Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Pilot Grant Program for State and Local Agencies Offered by MetaCarta
By Susan Smith

In May, 2004, in a seminar at GITA entitled "Critical Infrastructure Protection," Richard Kuykendall, President of Kuykendall & Associates, highlighted the fact that 9/11 "changed the world, on a local and a national level."

What that led to was that "the federal government realized that 85% of the information they need is out of their hands; it is in the hands of local and state governments, and private utilities," explained Kuykendall, adding, "the sharing of that information is invaluable."

To further address that issue and the requests of potential customers, MetaCarta has launched a special pilot grant program offered to state and local customers only who fit certain criteria based upon need. The grant will be helpful to those state and local agencies who have been charged with providing emergency response or other services.

"The purpose is to introduce our technology at that level in a very affordable way to a class of potential customers and users at both city and state levels," explained Randy Ridley, vice president and General Manager of Public Sector Systems. The program will offer the use of GTS Analyst, MetaCarta's geographic text search appliance, to a limited number of state and local agencies in a free pilot program which includes from assistance from MetaCarta. "We've had a lot of enquiries over the years and have brought on John Troiano as partner manager, state and local, who brings over 16 years of experience in that marketplace." Troiano has expertise in developing sales, partner relationships and business operations in the government space.

Until recently, MetaCarta technology has been used almost exclusively by federal government entities and the intelligence community. Potential applicants include the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement and fire departments, emergency management centers, public works, natural resources planning and land use, and environmental protection.

There are some limitations to the grant, however. Larger states and cities that already have robust budgets or smaller cities and counties that may not have the budget for enterprise tools are probably not good candidates, according to Ridley. MetaCarta is targeting the middle of the market, i.e., those organizations that could be users of MetaCarta technology in the future, but currently may not have the budget for it. The organizations must have the resources to implement the solution, i.e. leading edge organizations that have enterprise tools in place already.

GTS Analyst offers geographic text search with an enterprise-strength engine that fuses text search with geospatial information. This capability can provide vital information to agency officials during critical situations. GTS Analyst's patent-pending natural language processing (NLP) automatically reads and identifies explicit and implied geographic references within structured and unstructured documents. The display of geographic location within documents in a traditional GIS environment allows for relationships and patterns to be visualized. According to Ridley, nearly 80 percent of all digital writing contains at least one or more geospatial references. As has been proven by federal government customers, this technology will enable state and local agencies to make more effective use of their information and respond faster to events.

Ridley said the state and local market has targeted MetaCarta. "We have had a lot of calls over last couple of years, and we finally got resources approved to serve this market. We have the Department of Homeland Security as a customer, and so it's a good fit some of the problems the state and local market has that are similar to those of the federal government. "Our product can help out with these problems, by bringing data together from different locations onto one platform so you can see the big picture as you fuse that stuff together. In government they refer to it sometimes as 'situational awareness,' or 'common operational picture' in law enforcement."

MetaCarta is taking grant applications until October 31, 2006, but agencies should act quickly. They are accepting good candidates before that date, and the number of grants is limited. Apply at MetaCarta state and local web page.

Top News of the Week

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The NAC Enhanced Google Local Search allows users to use a Natural Area Code (NAC) in addition to using a street address to specify an area or location anywhere in the world. A NAC can represent any area or location in the world. A two-character NAC represents an area about 1000km X 700km (like a province), a four-character NAC represents an area about 33km X 23km (like a city), a six-character NAC roughly represents every square kilometer area, an eight-character NAC represents an area about 35m X 25m (like a building), and a ten-character NAC approximately represents every square meter on the earth surface. Since an eight-character or a ten-character NAC has reached the resolution of a traditional address, it is also called a Universal Address, for example, NAC: 8KDC PGFC (the Universal Address of Washington Monument).

Intergraph Corporation announced that Brigadier General (Retired) Jack Pellicci will serve as senior vice president of Intergraph's Security, Government & Infrastructure (SG&I) division and general manager of the company's Federal Solutions and Military & Intelligence business units.

Pellicci brings a wealth of geospatial knowledge and industry acumen to Intergraph. After a successful career in the United States Army, where he ascended to the rank of Brigadier General and served as the director of training and commanding general of the Army Personnel Information Systems Command, he joined Oracle Corporation. At Oracle, Pellicci served as group vice president for the Global Public Sector and Business Development and Program Management for the North America Public Sector. He was a strong proponent of Spatial Information Management during his time at Oracle.


3001, Inc. , the geospatial company, is pleased to announce that the courtship is finally over! After working together for many years, including an eighteen month period where LandAir Mapping, Inc. (LandAir) acted as the fourth business unit of 3001 providing all flight operations and related services, 3001 has finalized the agreement to wholly acquire LandAir.

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