GITA 30 Kicks Up Its Heels in San Antonio
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GITA 30 Kicks Up Its Heels in San Antonio

GITA 2007 Pictures

Welcome to GISWeekly! Sporting all new seminars, with the exception of the ROI seminar (outlined below), the GITA 30 Conference got off to a good start. Read about it in this week’s Industry News.

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Industry News
GITA 30 Kicks Up Its Heels in San Antonio

by Susan Smith

The theme of this year’s GITA 30 was “Mission Possible,” keeping a tight focus on what was important to most of its attendees this year: mobile computing, field force automation, the mobile web, data modeling and spatial databases. Sporting all new seminars, with the exception of the ROI seminar (outlined below), the conference got off to a good start. There were a number of first time GITA attendees present. Ten-year veteran Samuel Newman, manager geospatial resources systems for Cobb EMC, Marietta, Ga. said it’s important to come and see what’s new. “Geospatial is taking more of a mainstream role in IT enterprise now,” he declared. “I want to see how GITA keeps evolving as a geospatial education provider.”

At the Opening Session, President of GITA, Brent Jones of ESRI recapped some of the highlights of GITA including the Geospatial Technology Report, the $700,000 grant awarded by created for the U.S. Department of Labor to conduct a study of workforce readiness for jobs in the geospatial industry, the Industry Trends and Analysis Group (ITAG). Also GITA participated in the creation of the Boys Scouts of America authorization of a GIS merit badge.

Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Michael F. Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. by David Maguire of ESRI. Goodchild noted that emerging technologies such as sensors, dynamic modeling, and virtual globes, were going to become necessary to everyone. “We’ve got to move from a world of geospatial education for the few to geospatial education for all.” Other GITA awards can be found online

Conference Chair Mary Ann Stewart, Mary Ann Stewart, LLC

Executive Director of GITA, Bob Samborski, spoke of GITA’s two primary accomplishments this year: 1) the U.S. Department of Labor project and 2) the Return on Investment (ROI) Research Project spearheaded by David DiSera, EMA, Inc., Susan Ancel of EPCOR Water Services, Conference Chair Mary Ann Stewart, Nancy Lerner of EMA, Inc., Anita Kannon, EPCOR, and others. ROI case studies are being offered within the conference program.

Conference Chair Mary Ann Stewart of Mary Ann Stewart LLC introduced keynote speaker, author and futurist Howard Rheingold, who gave examples of how teens today arrive at the same time to the same mall because they’ve been exchanging text messages. “The mobile phone is taking us places I had not envisioned,” declared Rheingold.

Keynote speaker, author, futurist Howard Rheingold

In the Philippines, President Joseph Estrada was accused of corruption, and during the proceedings, tens of thousands of people, all wearing black, teemed into the same central square. How they got there: they sent text messages to each other and managed to shut down the proceedings. “We are Generation Text,” with all the vowels removed, became a famous slogan in the Philippines.

Rheingold draws a parallel between this event and 9/11, which occurred after the Philippines demonstration. “These terrorist acts could not have been committed without mobile phones,” Rheingold charged. He wrote his book Smart Mobs to further explore this phenomena.

“Smart mobs” emerge when media amplify cooperation, according to Rheingold, and can have both beneficial and destructive impacts. What drove these revolutions is that people saw a capability that previous media didn’t afford them.

Distributed computation is a method of downloading a screensaver on an idle computer. During this time of idleness, it can be used for downloading information. A case in point is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) whose computational requirements are immense, however, two million volunteers are amassing teraflops looking for life in outer space using this method.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
GITA Award Winners

Rheingold reminds his audience that 500 years ago, reading was only for the elite. Now, millions of people can read and knowledge can be aggregated so you can build on what others have discovered. The printing press was developed by the first capitalists. “You can’t have a population able to govern itself unless it can talk about the information it needs to know,” explained Rheingold. “None of these forms of collective action were possible until the printing press emerged.”

Technologies of cooperation and sharing economies include:
  • easy to use- email, blogs, wikis
  • enable connections – webs of links, markets are conversations, blogrolls create blogospheres,
  • open – no license needed to publish
  • Rheingold pointed out that Google had an algorithm before they had a business, illustrating that what he considers a “commons” can spawn collective action.

    With Google Earth, and mashups, Flickr with its ½ billion images combined with experiences, pushpins and maps, Rheingold predicts, “geospatial literacy will lead to new markets never thought of before.”

    Estimating ROI for Your GIS Investment

    Nancy Lerner, of EMA, Inc. and Mary Ann Stewart of Mary Ann Stewart Engineering, LLC led this year’s seminar on estimating ROI. Making an investment is Geospatial Information Technology is complicated, with initial high costs and tangible benefits that can take years to materialize. Decision makers can only glimpse the possible benefits of GIT, and need bottom line cumulative costs and cumulative benefits for determining payback period, break-even point, and return on their investment.

    GIT project managers are charged with not only calculating the costs of a system, but outlining the potential benefits, which are harder to calculate.

    This year, the popular interactive seminar attracted numerous attendees, approximately three-quarters of whom were first time GITA attendees.

    Questions and comments from attendees ranged from:

    “How you would go about formulating a process savings – upgrading your GIS system or getting another one?”

    “If you’ve invested a lot in your existing system, to replace it you must get a lot of benefits from the replacement system.”

    “Our system is at least 15 years old. It’s difficult to get it to do what we want it to do, and expensive to keep adding things on.”

    Lerner stated that “Investment analysis is a fiduciary responsibility and public duty.
    We need to understand what we’re doing financially, select the best from many alternatives, understand the financial impact of projects, thereby protecting customers and investors.”

    Financial analysis quantifies investment value, she continued. “Will benefits outweigh costs, and by how much? We need to know how long it will be before we see ROI. How confident are we in the financial projections? Are there better alternatives for our money?”

    Using quantitative measures, you can subtract costs from benefits, and divide benefits by cost. Cumulative benefits equal cumulative costs, said Lerner. “Payback is the time from now until the benefits begin to exceed costs.”

    “Everything can be quantified, but you must defend the numbers,” Lerner pointed out. “However, when your confidence is gone in terms of quantification, then you stop.”

    At the point at which you can no longer quantify things, strategic analysis comes in and looks at such issues as goodwill, competitive advantage, safety, morale, regulatory compliance, clean environment, and growth. Companies need to ask themselves, can we stay in business without this investment?

    The investment analysis process requires that you:

  • define the investment
  • calculate costs
  • calculate tangible benefits
  • schedule cash flows
  • perform financial analysis
  • prepare strategic analysis
  • Defining the investment will require that you create a project identity. “Think about what matters to the decision maker – link your project to that,” advised Lerner. “You need to communicate in a manner that is aligned with the priorities of the decision maker. They will have more confidence in your financial estimates.”

    Lerner suggested putting together a comprehensive project plan. “You must have a feel for what you want to build and identify.”

    When you are doing financial analysis, said Lerner, make an appointment with the budget office to talk about which of your costs it makes sense to capitalize. You’ll want to include operating budget spending in your exercise.

    Lerner cautioned attendees that ROI is not the same as benefit-cost ratio. Benefit cost ratio divides cumulative benefits by cumulative costs, whereas ROI is the ratio of net present value (NPV) to costs. ROI is not a good comparative tool, as the representation of cash flows as a cost or benefit is a subjective decision.

    Inspired by the first half day ROI seminar held in 2003, GITA’s Return on Investment (ROI) Research Project was born, which has resulted in the publication of an ROI workbook entitled, Building a Case for Geospatial Information Technology: A Practitioner’s Guide for Strategic Financial Analysis. Mary Ann Stewart outlined the perks of the 212-page workbook, which contains spreadsheets that accompany real-world case studies, a CD, and customizable financial templates. The book is US $495.00 for GITA members and $695 for non-members.

    Exhibit Floor

    Intergraph announced InService version 8. Core features of this release include support for the Citrix environment, Outlook based calendar scheduling and viewing, a switching simulator, and improvements to schematics generation.

    Intergraph’s oneMobile environment is incorporated into InService mobile environment, and includes integration of query and redlining capabilities and stronger customization tools.

    Also from Intergraph is the new release of G/Technology, a solution that integrates geofacilities management with operational support and service delivery applications. G/
    Technology 9.4 provides .NET customization capabilities, and among the other features are automatic legend generation for plotting, scale independent symbolism, and the ability to save directly into DGN files.

    Spatial Business Systems, Inc. announced a new release of the Smallworld Integration Server for ESRI. Product features include reduced system administration, reduced custom application development, the ability to deploy solutions faster and reduced long term maintenance costs.

    GE Energy introduced a new Oracle based product portfolio for network design and maintenance application based on Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Spatial 10g and Oracle Fusion Middleware. Designed to meet the needs of small to mid-size North American electric distribution market, the portfolio will rely on Oracle to provide the geospatial database and application server mapping software and Smallworld provides the industry application layer.

    Surveylab introduced their ike, a unique rugged device that runs ArcPad, includes a GPS which is capable of data and photo capture (DCA), and includes a laser distance meter. All these features can be used together for seamless GIS integration.

    Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI) announced the release of the TruPulse 200, a pocket size laser with the ability to measure multiple distances, inclination and height. Other features include a serial port for data communication and optional Bluetooth connectivity.

    Bernie Szukalski of ESRI demonstrated ArcGIS Online, in beta, which provides an ever-ready series of 2D map services and 3D globe services with layers that can be used within your own map services. These ready-to-use services can be accessed with any ArcGIS application—for example, with ArcGIS Explorer, ArcMap, ArcGlobe, or ArcReader. There will be more on this later.

    Top News of the Week

    The Weather Channel Interactive, Inc. (TWCI), announced the launch of an interactive weather map utilizing Microsoft Virtual Earth, delivering the first ever multi-function online weather map that gives consumers full control of local weather data down to street level. The new tool, available with one click from all city pages on, allows the user to easily pan, zoom and animate to get unmatched detail of current radar and satellite imagery and offers the option of viewing road or photographic aerial maps.


    NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, completed its previously announced acquisition of, Inc., a provider of personalized traffic information for drivers coast-to-coast.
    In accordance with the terms of the acquisition, as announced on November 6, 2006, NAVTEQ acquired all the outstanding shares of common stock of The total consideration to be paid in the transaction is approximately $177 million, subject to pending elections by stockholders and certain option holders of

    Trinity Technologies, a leader in configuring, integrating, customizing and implementing content management systems, and MetaCarta®, Inc., provider of geographic intelligence solutions, announced a strategic partnership to create an integrated geographically enabled content management solution for utility companies. This unique technology combines traditional text or keyword search with powerful geographic search so information in a document management (EDM) system can be mapped, categorized, and searched using geographic parameters across EDM repositories. Trinity Technologies specializes in the application and integration of the EMC Software Group Documentum ™ system.

    Fugro Consultants, Inc. recently joined the CartêGraph Business Partner program. Through the partnership, CartêGraph and Fugro have joined together to offer comprehensive solutions to local government organizations. As a team, they will assist organizations in making better decisions and ultimately improving productivity, efficiency and quality within state and local government.

    Intermap Technologies Corp. announced it has acquired the shares and ongoing operations of MultiMedia Computer s.r.o. (MMC), a Czech Republic software development company.

    The acquired business includes a current customer base, a recurring revenue stream, and a unique software development platform that Intermap has previously used to develop customer applications.


    Pictometry International Corp., a leader in digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software announced that its expansive technology is providing unique solutions that encompass many aspects of potential change values that counties need to monitor for both properties and land usage. Pictometry has received new orders for its ChangeFindr software solution that will encompass over 1.2 million land parcels at customer installations across the country. Orders for the new ChangeFindr parcels will be fulfilled in the spring of 2007.

    NAVTEQ announced it has filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K with the Securities Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. The Form 10-K (including audited financial statements) and other documents filed by NAVTEQ can be found free of charge on the Investor Relations section of NAVTEQ's website. Alternatively, shareholders may receive a hard copy of the Annual Report on Form 10-K upon written request directed to NAVTEQ Investor Relations, 222 Merchandise Mart, Suite 900, Chicago, Illinois 60654.

    Contract Awards

    Intermap Technologies Corp.
    announced that it has been awarded a US$3.1 million contract to collect and deliver geographic three-dimensional elevation and imagery data in Southeast Asia. The Company will utilize one of its five aircraft equipped with their proprietary IFSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) mapping technology to complete the project. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will deliver Digital Surface Model (DSM) and Orthorectified Radar Imagery (ORI) data incrementally throughout 2007.


    MapInfo Corporation,
    global provider of location intelligence solutions, announces the appointment of Steven Feldman to UK Managing Director. The appointment marks a significant strategic move by MapInfo following the acquisition of Graphical Data Capture (GDC) Ltd., on February 20, 2007, where Feldman was managing director having joined GDC in 1998 as general manager.

    Pictometry International Corp. announced four key appointments to the company's staff and supporting industry consultants in GIS, real property appraisal, and public safety.

    The company is pleased to announce the following additions to its growing staff and list of consulting subject matter experts:

    Mr. Wayne Trout, the former International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) president, has joined Pictometry to assist in helping the company develop new and innovative products to better serve the assessment community as well as how to help real property tax professionals better understand how to maximize the effectiveness of oblique aerial technology in their real property evaluation metrics and procedures.

    Mr. Art Kalinski is the former Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) GIS Manager and has joined Pictometry as a consultant to the GIS industry. Mr. Kalinski brings a wealth of GIS expertise to Pictometry that will be used to support the company's expansion into military applications, educational programs at colleges, and emergency responder schools.

    Dr. Robert Cobb is currently the Development Director for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and also manages the NENA Next Generation (NG) Partner Program.

    Mr. Robert Locke has joined the company as Vice President of Government Sales in the U.S. and will be will be directing Pictometry's sales force of four regional sales vice presidents and nineteen district managers who work with local, state, and federal government end users.

    New Products

    Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging
    showcases Mobile Enterprise Asset Management capability with Acquis at GITA Norcross, GA -- Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging and Acquis Inc. have strengthened their partnership by delivering interactive mobile access to geospatial information within the Oracle Spatial Enterprise. The demand for accurate and accessible asset information is driving the need for interactive mobile asset management capabilities, which will be featured at GITA and OSUG.

    Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging announces the availability of IMAGINE Subpixel Classifier™ as an add-on module to ERDAS IMAGINE 9.1®. This leading image classification tool for advanced spectral analysis and interpretation enables users to extract information from multi-spectral imagery and improve the user’s ability to find and quantify materials of interest at the whole and subpixel level.

    Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging announced Leica Ortho Accelerator, offering a streamlined orthophoto production environment.

    Leica Ortho Accelerator (LOA) was developed to speed up the rate and accuracy with which digital orthophotos are produced. It is a CuePac add-on to GeoCue, which is a geospatial process management system. With orthorectification and mosaicking capabilities, Leica Ortho Accelerator takes advantage of the distributed and scheduled workflow processing capabilities provided by GeoCue. It also contains various modules providing capabilities such as multi-user access to the same project, distributed processing, production step cuing and several other benefits.

    ThinkGeo LLC is excited to announce the release of three new product editions—My Fleet, Reseller, and Enterprise— for Cygnus Track, its web-based GPS tracking software. The new Cygnus Track product editions offer customers three options from which to choose, depending on their individual needs and goals.

    Upcoming Events

    ESRI Petroleum User Group Conference
    Date: February 23 - March 2, 2007
    Place: Houston, TX USA
    2007 North Carolina GIS Convention
    Date: March 1 - 2, 2007
    Place: Benton Convention Center
    Winston-Salem, NC USA
    The North Carolina GIS Conference is celebrating 20 Years of Spatial Vision, 1987-2007. Sponsored by the North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NC CGIA) and the Carolina Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (Carolina URISA) the 10th Anniversary program promises to be our best.  
    InterGeo East 2007
    Date: March 1 - 2, 2007
    Place: Inter Expo Center Sofia
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    After three successful events in Belgrade (2004, 2006) and Zagreb (2005) we warmly invite you to INTERGEO EAST 2007. In 2007, we will open another (new) market place for you in South-Eastern Europe. Sofia, Bulgaria will host INTERGEO EAST for the first time. The most important forum for product and knowledge transfer in the land management, geoinformation, building industry and environmental sectors will open from 1 – 2 March 2007 at the Inter Expo Center Sofia. The Conference starts on 28 February. With its proximity to the borders with Greece and Turkey, Sofia is the ideal location for INTERGEO EAST 2007.  
    GITA’s Annual Conference 30
    Date: March 4 - 7, 2007
    Place: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
    San Antonio, TX USA
    GITA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition is the most highly regarded educational event for geospatial professionals. Annual Conference 30 will provide you with better ways to plan, design, manage, and maintain your geospatial systems and operations. 
    Integrating GIS & CAMA 2007 Conference
    Date: March 4 - 7, 2007
    Place: Flamingo Hotel
    3555 Las Vegas Blvd S , Las Vegas, NV 89109 USA
    The 11th Annual Integrating GIS & CAMA Conference will help assessment and appraisal professionals and GIS managers to visualize how they can work more effectively through the use of technology.

    Attend the 2007 Conference to explore the important role that integration of GIS and CAMA systems plays in providing access to data and analysis of information so that you can make better decisions in your jurisdiction.
    CARIS 2007
    Date: March 5 - 8, 2007
    Place: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    11th Annual CARIS User Group Conference and Educational Sessions  
    Oracle Spatial Users Conference
    Date: March 8, 2007
    Place: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
    San Antonio, TX USA
    GITA invites you to attend the Oracle Spatial Users Conference. If you are currently a user, solutions provider, or systems integrator who depends upon Oracle’s spatial technologies, or if you want to learn why thousands of organizations use Oracle’s spatial database and application server capabilities, this is one event you won’t want to miss.  
    ACSM Annual Conference 2007
    Date: March 9 - 12, 2007
    Place: Millennium Hotel St. Louis
    200 South 4th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102 USA
    The American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), together with the Illinois Professional Land Surveyor Association (IPLSA) and the Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) invite YOU to attend their 2007 Annual Conference and Technology Exhibition.  
    FAA IT/ISS 2007
    Date: March 12 - 14, 2007
    Place: Adams Mark Dallas
    Lone Star Ballroom Pre-Convene Area, Dallas,, TX USA
    The 2007 FAA Information Technology (IT)/ Information Systems Security (ISS)Partnership and Training Conference is in its 5th year and will feature many informative and exciting sessions, including a networking event in the exhibit area on Monday, March 12.  
    2007 Indiana GIS Conference
    Date: March 13 - 14, 2007
    Place: Crown Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
    301 S. Illinois Street, Indianapolis, IN USA
    ESRI Business Partner Conference
    Date: March 17 - 19, 2007
    Place: Palm Springs, CA USA
    ESRI's community of business partners is on the forefront of the GIS solutions and enterprise revolution. These innovative companies are helping drive the future of the GIS industry. Join ESRI and your colleagues in this exclusive opportunity to network and share ideas.  
    ESRI Developer Summit
    Date: March 19 - 22, 2007
    Place: Wyndham Hotel and Convention Center
    Palm Springs, CA USA
    Attend in-depth technical presentations led by ESRI staff who will give guidance on and insights into both intermediate and advanced topics  
    AIAA 5th Missile Defense 2007
    Date: March 19 - 22, 2007
    Place: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
    Washington, DC USA
    The 5th Annual U.S. Missile Defense Conference will continue to build and strengthen Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Team relationships that will in turn make development of a global missile defense system a successful reality.  
    OGC/GITA Emerging Technology Summit
    Date: March 21 - 23, 2007
    Place: Washington, DC USA
    The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) is pleased to announce that the association is partnering with the Open Geospatial Consortium, Wayland, MA, to organize the next in a series of Emerging Technology Summits (ETS IV) .  
    GIS-T 2007
    Date: March 26 - 28, 2007
    Place: Nashville Airport Marriott
    Nashville , TN USA
    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, along with URISA, USDOT, and HEEP, sponsor the annual GIS for Transportation Symposium. It is a chance for persons in government and private industry who are interested in the use of GIS for transportation purposes to get together and share experiences, see state-of-art software, and learn more about this field. It annually attracts about 400 registrants and additional exhibitors.  
    CTIA Wireless 2007
    Date: March 27 - 29, 2007
    Place: Orange County Convention Center
    Orlando, FL USA
    CTIA WIRELESS is the world’s largest telecommunications event dedicated exclusively to wireless, broadband convergence and mobile computing technologies, covering the entire industry from network infrastructure to microprocessors to applications to content to end-user hardware.  
    GIS Evolutions 2007
    Date: March 27 - 28, 2007
    Place: Swissotel Sydney
    68 Market Street, Sydney , Australia
    From environmental impact assessment and emergency response, to Australia’s biggest road construction project and the introduction of Google Earth, ‘GIS Evolutions’ 2007 reflects the gradual expansion of GIS use from fringe to enterprise-wide applications, and promises to be as fascinating and invaluable as ever.  
    9th Crime Mapping Research Conference
    Date: March 28 - 31, 2007
    Place: Omni William Penn Hotel
    Pittsburgh, PA USA
    The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial data analysis techniques have become prominent tools for analyzing criminal behavior and the impacts of the criminal justice system on society. Classical and spatial statistics have been merged to form more comprehensive approaches in understanding social problems from research and practical standpoints.