Interview with Mike Sanderson, CEO, 1Spatial
[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
Interview with Mike Sanderson, CEO, 1Spatial

Welcome to GISWeekly!

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 Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, People, New Products, Around the Web and Events Calendar.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News
Interview with Mike Sanderson, CEO, 1Spatial
by Susan Smith

Early in July, 1Spatial announced the acquisition of Proteus Solutions Limited and IME UK Limited to form the company 1Spatial Ireland and 1Spatial Scotland. 1Spatial has been working successfully with these companies for many years.

Mike Sanderson CEO of 1Spatial, spoke with GISWeekly about the acquisition.

GW: What was behind the decision to acquire Proteus and IME?

MS: We’ve been working with both IME and Proteus on projects, particularly the Irish Land Registry, now known as the Property Records Agency for two or three years. We’ve been doing data management inside Oracle, merging and sticking together the land registry records with the topographic mapping. Proteus in Ireland and IME have been writing the front end user applications, using Autodesk Map and MapGuide. We have been project managing that entire project. The three companies work together well and the project has won several awards, currently well recognized in the Irish IT world as being a big success. The Land Registry of Ireland reports into the Ministry of Finance and the ministers have been doing very well with the exercise. We’ve got AGI awards and other awards for that activity.

Increasingly across the world there is a need to start to create spatial data infrastructures merging lots of data sets together for new purposes. There is lots of decision making going on using data sets that weren’t collected for that purpose in the first place. That’s in essence what we’re doing at Land Registry so that skills that we brought into the company complimented that activity. We’ll be doing lots more of that in the near future. The company numbers have gone from 80 to 100 so we’re quite excited by the fact we’ve been able to strengthen and broaden the depth of the organization and we’ve now been able to create country operations specifically in Ireland and Scotland, so we’re really excited about the skills base that in effect we now have.

GW: How does this really change since you’re worked together for so many years, how does the acquisition change what you’re able to do?

MS: Basically it allows us to really focus on creating spatial data infrastructures, whereas previously we were doing slightly different things. IME and Proteus were writing applications and doing a lot of consultancy work, particularly for local government and utilities. We just wanted to bring that domain knowledge into helping us create spatial data infrastructures.

GW: Are you creating spatial data infrastructures that are for national purposes, for UK, Ireland, Scotland?

MS: That’s exactly the object.

GW: Who have your customers been primarily to date?

MS: Irish Land Registry which brought the teams together. The other customers we’re starting to do these things with are Transport for London. With the Olympic 2012 coming to London there’s lots of activity to bring together datasets for the London area, which currently consists of 33 separate municipalities. We’re also engaged in similar work with the highways authority which covers the entire country, and using Radius Studio to do that work. The business function expertise or domain expertise that we started to acquire with IME and Proteus is key in those activities. Traditionally, 1Spatial has had lots of domain expertise in national mapping agencies but only recently started to acquire that expertise in markets outside of detailed topographic mapping agencies.

We’re not building applications so if these guys have applications built in MapInfo, Geomedia, Autodesk, ESRI, it’s not an issue they can continue using them.

For the Ordnance Survey GB, we have national loads of the dataset. If it’s over 400 GB and we serve up the data, we manage their change only update processors. In effect, we can’t take a new national load of the detailed topographic data and make it available in a reasonable space of time. It takes several working weeks to load the entire database into a form where it can be served up. We’ve moved to just taking the changes and updating the database with the changes. Just concentrating on the change makes the problem manageable. The databases coming out of national mapping agencies now have lots of intelligence, they are not just point and line databases. They’re coming out as polygonized databases like TIGER. The situation is slightly different in Europe, than in North America.

What we’re really good at is the data management and the business processes related to certain key functional areas such as land management and cadastre. More importantly, we’re heavily into the highways activities in terms of bringing together what’s happened over recent time. There are lots different views of the network even within an organization. The road network will have been put together with a business process view for maintenance of the service, such as being put together on the basis of the street furniture such as street lighting, on the same network. We use our tools by increasing domain knowledge to bring those together as one view. These datasets are big and require a lot of automation. If you allow human beings to physically touch this stuff, it takes too long. Also you and I would look at the same dataset and even with the same business rules, might interpret them differently and come up with a different view of the same information. If we put together a business rule that we both agree on, we can let the computer loose on it and it will produce a consistent result.

GW: Are there new markets you see yourselves moving into as a result of this acquisition?

The new markets we’re interested in are really the federal level decision making. Europe will become a federal entity, it might not happen in my lifetime, but it’s certainly going that way. Which means the municipalities data and national mapping agencies data need to all be drawn together into a new regional administration view of the world and that’s where the spatial data infrastructure’s are being created in Europe. There’s an EEC directive called INSPIRE which is about two months old that has committed each member state in the EU to spend on the order of �10 million over the next decade on creating these datasets. That’s the marketplace that were interested in going after, that’s the toolset that we believe we’ve got in place to play a big role in that.

GW: Are you creating datasets and pulling in data from Intermap, TeleAtlas or other sources?

MS: We are creating datasets, in the sense that I might have six or seven sources of data pulled from TeleAtlas and national mapping agencies and we’ll pull those together and create new datasets out of them because we want to do different things than the originators of the data. We might also be commenting on business workflow processes back to the originators of the data about the currency of their data, but not changing it. Certainly within the new dataset we’ve created it may well be different form the original. We’re able to take point and line data and polygonize it automatically so that gives us a chance to make the data model significantly richer.

GW: Do your customers ask you to create datasets?

MS: We’ll maintain certain datasets for sure, but we’re helping customers with the tools. For example, for Transport for London we’re taking the road networks from the 33 London boroughs which have been put together over a long period of time. They’ve got things related to map paradigms built into their data, so we’re having to take out the sheet edges, take out duplicates, basically match up the large linear truck roads that are going through several London boroughs. I can perceive a time where Transport for London and other regional agencies will start to say to the suppliers of their data, please supply data according to these rules. Rather than them correcting the data and changing it for their own purpose, they’ll push the supply chain back out to the originators of the data. In terms of the marketplace, that’s how I see us growing.

GW: As a result of these acquisitions, are the staff remaining the same from Proteus and IME and in the same locations?

MS: Yes, offices are staying in the same locations and staff are remaining same. These are acquisitions to increase the capability and the skills in the company and deploy them. Although we sell to countries outside Great Britain, and we do it from Great Britain, this gives us the opportunity in Ireland and Scotland. As part of the acquisition, Seamus Gilroy, managing director of Proteus will be come managing director of 1Spatial Ireland and Alan Douglas, managing director of IME will become managing director for 1Spatial Scotland.

The marketplace in Europe is pretty fragmented. There are lots of small national companies, some of them like us, writing core technology like the big GIS groups in the US, but most of them are deploying those technologies and writing applications. There are not very many large players at all. As the federalization of Europe accelerates, there will need to be larger entities to undertake that work. That’s happening in the GIS marketplace all over.

GW: What is the value of each of these companies?

MS: We’re talking roughly ₤800,000 to a ₤1 million so between them we’ve added ₤1 ¾ million for both.

GW: I realize some of your customers have been in common with Proteus and IME, but how many new customers do you think you’ve pulled in as a result of these acquisitions?

MS: In total we’ve probably acquired a dozen new customers. Apart from the Land Registry in Ireland, there is no other overlap of customers, so they’re not excluded in the equation.

With the arrival of more satellites, GPS data, more RFID data, this problem that we’re addressing with our approach is not going away, it’s getting bigger. We see a lot of similarities between the work we do with the spatial data quality sense with the work that goes on in business systems on data quality, in terms of companies like Informatica addressing data quality issues in financial and business applications in the enterprise. We see what we’re doing as the same sort of thing but we’re looking at spatial data. Part of the redefinition of the company has been following on from the focus and the change in the name in December.

GW: Will the Proteus and IME products remain the same?

MS: Yes. Proteus and IME products will remain the same. Most of their applications have been built around the Autodesk product set. We’ll carry on using those across the group as we see opportunities arise. It will strengthen the relationship with Autodesk and we’re really excited about the OSGeo and Feature Data Objects capabilities that are in Open Source.

GW: Will you acquire other companies that focus on other software like ESRI or MapInfo?

MS: Where we come together with other likeminded individuals, irrespective of their technologies, then that will be part of creating a larger entity to address the SDI opportunity.

Top News of the Week

Dresden is now accessible as a complete, interactive 3D city model in the Internet. The 3D city model, with more than 150,000 buildings, is the largest of its kind to date in comparison to other similar 3D city models available using the Google Earth platform. Dresden’s vice mayor and city councilman for urban development, Herbert Fessenmayr, together with the head of the city surveying department, Helmet Krüger, gave official public access to the virtual model of the Saxon capital city via Google Earth’s Virtual Globe on the 9th of July. The interactive, real-time environment allows the user to move about in virtual space and observe the city from various perspectives. Internet users can start the model by clicking this link and then view it via Google Earth.

ESRI, Azteca Systems, Topcon Positioning Systems, and Public Works magazine are presenting a series of no-cost public works seminars in 19 U.S. cities during September and October of this year. Seminar attendees will learn how geographic information system (GIS) technology uses a geographic approach to support important business activities such as asset and work order management, mobile data collection, capital improvement planning, 311/call center integration, and work force management and automation.

The seminar locations are Anaheim, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Raleigh, North Carolina; Sacramento, California; and Seattle, Washington. For more information on this event, visit the website.


Pitney Bowes MapInfo, global provider of location intelligence, announced an alliance with Exclusive Analysis, a leading strategic intelligence company that forecasts violent and political risk worldwide. Together the companies provide insurers with TerrorRisk(TM), a unique and powerful terrorism risk assessment model and data set. TerrorRisk utilizes fact-based, location-specific metrics developed by Exclusive Analysis to score the propensity and likely severity of violent and political risks on more than 3,700 global points of interest. Armed with this insight and the location intelligent capabilities delivered by Pitney Bowes MapInfo(R) technology, insurers and risk managers are able to make more insightful underwriting, rating, coverage and risk selection decisions.

Digi-Key Corporation and DeLorme announced a worldwide distribution agreement for GPS receiver modules and evaluation kits.

DeLorme is the longtime leader in innovative mapping and GPS solutions for both consumer and professional markets and recently entered the OEM market with the release of the GPS2056-10 GPS receiver module.


On July 1, 2007, the Surveying and Cadastre Authority of the German Federal State of Lower Saxony (LGN) announced the general technical acceptance of the Data Acquisition and Qualification component of the new standard for cadastre and topographic information systems in Germany , named AFIS-ALKIS-ATKIS. The core of this solution is LM on ArcGIS Editor from AED-SICAD’s new land management product line, based on ESRI’s ArcGIS® technology.

This is the first acceptance in Germany of such a component, which includes the Official Real Estate Cadastre Information System (ALKIS) as well as the Official Geodetic Control Station Information System (AFIS) and the Official Topographic Cartographic Information System (ATKIS). With this technical acceptance, Lower Saxony built the basis for productive use, which is scheduled for 2008.

TENET Technology Ltd, a leader in spatial information systems and services to Central and Local Government, Utilities, Defence and Security, announce the launch of its new web site

The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (“Federation”) elected a new slate of officers during its annual meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. The new officers will serve one-year terms, ending at the end of the summer 2008 conference.

The Federation’s President is Dr. Charles Hutchinson of the University of Arizona’s Office of Arid Lands Studies. Dr. Hutchinson is serving his second year as President and will preside over the continued growth and diversification of the Federation.

deCarta, supplier of software and services for the Location-Based Services (LBS) industry, announced the close of a $15-million Series C-1 expansion round of funding led by existing investor Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). Other existing investors, Mobius Venture Capital and Cardinal Venture Capital, were also participants in the round. The financing will be used to accelerate the growth of the organization in new markets and to expand its international reach to further capitalize on deCarta's industry-leading LBS software platforms.


DMTI Spatial (DMTI), a provider of Enterprise Location Intelligence, has announced the appointment of John Sorrell as Director of Marketing. As a member of DMTI’s senior management team, John is responsible for leading the company’s marketing efforts to enhance formal customer communications processes such as satisfaction input, increase the profitability of existing product lines, identify new product opportunities for emerging market needs and quantify lead generation ROI for the company.

geoVue, a provider of dynamic location optimization software, named Dan Kelly its CFO.

Kelly brings more than 20 years of financial management experience in software and services to geoVue. Previously, he was CFO of Ecora Software. Before that, he was CFO at Scribe Software. Prior to that, he was Corporate Controller at Clearway Technologies. Kelly also has Big Four experience. Kelly earned a bachelor's degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame.

Definiens is preparing for further growth and has formally appointed Greg Calaman as Vice President of its operations in North America. Mr. Calaman has been a member of Definiens’ management team since April 2006. His promotion to the role of Vice President of the North American Operations reflects Definiens success in this market, as the company continues to grow its revenue and customer base.

Moody K. "M.K." Miles, III, PE, LS, was presented with the first ever MAPPS Public Service Award on Monday, June, 16, 2007 during the MAPPS Awards Banquet in Bretton Woods, NH.

The award was created by the MAPPS board of directors to recognize and honor employees in public service positions who have made extraordinary contributions to the public and the geospatial profession in their government service roles.

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) established the GIS Hall of Fame in 2005 to recognize and honor the most esteemed leaders of the geospatial community. URISA Hall of Fame Laureates are individuals or organizations whose pioneering work has moved the geospatial industry in a better, stronger direction. The first class of inductees included Edgar Horwood, Ian McHarg, Roger Tomlinson, Jack Dangermond, Nancy Tosta, and the Harvard Lab. Last year, Gary Hunter was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Michael Goodchild and Don Cooke will join this esteemed group during the Opening Ceremony at URISA’s 45th Annual Conference in Washington, DC this August.

TerraGo Technologies announced that Michael Dowling has joined the company as vice president of finance and administration. Dowling will be responsible for managing the company’s finance, human resources and administrative functions.

Dowling joins TerraGo Technologies after tenures at XcelleNet and most recently, Cambia Security, Inc. where he played a key role in the company’s successful acquisition by nCircle Network Security.

A.J. Romanelli, Senior GIS Developer, has joined the staff of GIS Solutions, Inc. GIS Solutions is full service GIS company with the corporate headquarters is located in Springfield, Illinois and a regional office located in Chicago. GIS Solutions is an Authorized Business Partner and Consultant with ESRI.

New Products

Offering the complete digital photogrammetric production workflow to its customers, Stereocarto recently recognized their need for a high-performance, consistently accurate scanner. Stereocarto provides comprehensive geospatial services, including air fleet, photogrammetric camera, aerial sensor and photogrammetric scanner data gathering; image orientation, measurement and registration for cartographic products; digital terrain modeling and orthography; and editing and analysis tools for GIS, map servers and distribution.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is pleased to announce the release of the TerraLook data product. A TerraLook product is a user-specified collection of JPEG images created from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) images from the NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center, and Tri-Decadal Global Landsat Orthorectified images from the USGS archive.

mPower Technologies announces release 7.0 of its popular mPower Integrator GIS solution.
mPower Integrator is a geographic information portal product for intranet and Internet data distribution. A completely wizard-based GIS portal with user based distribution and rights creations. "The Integrator product allows our clients to build customized applications based on individual needs without increasing the demands on their IT staff or hiring outside resources. End users can interact with the data they are familiar with and easily create their own queries, reports, buffers, and zoom-to’s, with their data," stated David Falk of mPower.

LeadDog Consulting, a provider of GIS street maps announces the introduction of their online map server. With dozens of countries online, clients can preview LeadDog’s worldwide maps. The map server is accessible from the LeadDog website to the Online Maps link.

Around the Web

Google bets on mobile market, July 31, 2007, CNET - Mobile is the next frontier for Google, but how will it straddle the line between partnering and competing with major cell phone operators?

Upcoming Events

Accela User Conference
Date: August 6 - 9, 2007
Place: Hyatt Regency Orange County
11999 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92840 USA
It all comes together August 6 - 9 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, where the Accela community unites to move beyond the boundaries of what we believe is possible. The largest event for users all year, the User Conference is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect with the people, products, and trends at the forefront of the government technology industry. Let’s work together to build new opportunities!

Fungis Boot Camp
Date: August 13 - 14, 2007
Place: Genazzano Lake Tinaroo Conference Centre
Queensland, Australia
Fungis is holding a GIS and GPS Bootcamp at the Genazzano Lake Tinaroo Conference Centre on the 13th and 14th of August. On the foreshore of Lake Tinaroo, this secluded venue is the perfect site for a GIS and GPS training programme. In keeping with the Bootcamp theme, it will be live in training, with night training on the 13th.

Map Asia 2007
Date: August 14 - 16, 2007
Place: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Asia and Pacific region is the largest developing region in the world in landmass, population and aggregate income. Its 48 countries have nearly three fifth of the worlds total population. Each country in the region abounds in rich natural capital and has comprehended the true potential of Geospatial information in leveraging this capital to its utmost economic viability.The Asian region is forging a path of development and economic growth as a function of establishment of infrastructural capital. The region demands and offers scope for application of the various Geographic Information technologies like GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing and Imaging

IPY GeoNorth 2007
Date: August 20 - 24, 2007
Place: YellowKnife, NWT, Canada
The "First International Circumpolar Conference on Geospatial Sciences and Applications" in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. A unique opportunity to better understand the nature and behaviour of the circumpolar regions and their role in the functioning of our planet. Hosted by the Government of Canada -- Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada -- Geo North has the support of the International Polar Year (IPY) Committee and other international organizations such as ISPRS (International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) and the OGC (Open GIS Consortium).

45th Annual Conference of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Associations (URISA)
Date: August 20 - 23, 2007
Place: Urban and Regional Information Systems Associations (URISA)
Washington Hilton , Washington , DC USA
"By attending the URISA conference in Kansas City I was able to meet the people that I had only been able to read about in newsletters and articles. It is easy to become frustrated in a small municipality where no one seems to be able or willing to grasp the potential that geospatial technology offers. I met many conference attendees who were able to sympathize and offer help on workarounds

2007 Conference Indigenous Mapping Network Gathering
Date: August 20 - 22, 2007
Place: Coeur d' Alene Casino
Worley, ID USA
You are invited to learn, share, and grow together - to find ways of using mapping tools to solve sovereignty, environmental, and cultural issues. We hope to train indigenous people who may have little experience with modern mapping technologies. We also can inform governments, academics, and the technological world about traditional "mapping" technologies.

AGI User Exchange
Date: August 28 - 29, 2007
Place: Washington, DC USA
You’re invited to attend the 2007 AGI User Exchange, being held August 28-29 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. This is the only time this year when AGI will offer such a free event. Share and gain knowledge of AGI software technologies

2nd Indonesian Geospatial Technology Exhibition
Date: August 29 - September 1, 2007
Place: Assembly Hall
Jakarta Convention Center, Pusat DKI , Jakarta , Indonesia
Geospatial data and technology are also required for constructing a sound spatial planning, to ensure that the development activities of a certain area will take into account all necessary aspects, especially the environmental aspect. This in turn will minimize the negative effects that may arise because of the development process.