A Map For Everyone
[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
A Map For Everyone

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, Awards, 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 Email Contact

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News
A Map For Everyone
By Susan Smith

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
Recently Boulder, Colorado-based RedZone announced their new site licensing option (eLicensing) for their desktop and mobile software suites. RedZone's eLicensing allows customers an unrestricted number of installs within their agency or organization for one low price, regardless of the physical location where the software is used.

While site licensing options by themselves are not exactly earth shattering news, RedZone’s RZ3 “all hazard mapping software” is an interesting product that provides innovative GIS capabilities for emergency responders, who use it to collect data about damaged structures for flood or fire response.

The product was developed by GIS professionals and software developers. CEO Clark Woodward was a volunteer firefighter and is now a member of an incident management team, with firsthand knowledge of what was needed in terms of software that is easy to use. The RedZone handheld software is easy for a fire department to adopt as it doesn’t require GIS training. Their desktop software is useful for those who want to make their own maps during an incident. An ESRI Business Partner developed application, RedZone is used in over 100 departments across the U.S.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
“We try to focus on the very non technical user,” said Woodward. “I’ve got a lot of folks who are not computer folks but they’re able to get their maps out. During the early stages of an incident it’s key for a fire department to give out maps to the other responders so that people know where the incident is, what their assignment is.” People who don’t know computers can be up and running on the software within two hours, according to Woodward.

Woodward noted that with this latest pricing change, RedZone decreased their desktop licensing software significantly by about 2/3 and increased the survey software. Woodward said that for those customers doing surveys, paying from $2500 to $5000 for RedZone, with the desktop software license at a lower price they can distribute it within their department much more aggressively to everybody so that more people have access to the information. The site license allows customers to get software for a very small team of 10 or 20 all the way up to the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
With new site licensing option, Woodward said users can either buy the software as a site license up front, such as three counties in Idaho which have 10 fire departments, 8 police departments and a search and rescue team. “They can buy that site license for the entire county and then distribute the software anywhere within that county to any of those agencies,” explained Woodward. Public safety agencies will likely benefit from the new eLicensing and pricing structure as it allows them to deploy software when and where they need it during emergency operations.

The software is installed desktop software, as customers want to store maps locally for users who will carry their laptops into the field.

Some users keep RedZone in engines or command vehicles, where it is never hooked up to the Internet. They get a notice of software updates and can fully install them at the time.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
Woodward said that RedZone supports a GPS microphone which allows you to send information from the field over the radio to a command vehicle. In the event of a wildland fire, for example, with a scenario of a command vehicle, 20 engines, and a crew of people who are working on the fire, a user can wear a GPS microphone then whenever anyone says something over the radio the microphone actually appends their location to the end of their voice transmission and sends that over the radio. Because firefighters and other emergency responders are often in areas that don’t have a wireless connection, the radio with the GPS microphone can send real time positional updates over the radio. Users can send their own location plus waypoints they’ve collected over the radio back to a vehicle or a center.

Within RedZone are synchronization capabilities which have not yet been released as a public product. This capability has been a custom feature for some bigger agencies and insurance companies who would want to synchronize information on private client groups with wildfire perimeter information and weather information. In these cases they can use the Internet for information transfer.

RedZone uses an ESRI MapObjects map engine for their desktop software. “Everything you create in RedZone, you can bring right into ArcGIS,” said Woodward. “For example, we’re very careful to make sure that when an incident commander in the field draws an area on the map, he can just right click on that and email that to the other folks that are using GIS software. Then they get a shapefile, so immediately we can update them and it can be passed from the field up the line to the regional coordination center or all the way up to something like GeoMac, which is the central source for wildfire information where the information gets posted.”

Now Woodward primarily works with the incident management team to do structure production and field data collection. “I think we identify with first responders well because we really participate in national incidents,” Woodward pointed out. “We’ve always seen there’s a missing link. There’s GIS software that’s very applicable to somebody who is a technician who can spend the time to learn how to do things. The folks who are missing the software are the guys out in the field. They need something professional enough to be focused on their incident types, but easy enough that they can use it when stuff is coming at them fast.”

(from the press release): RedZone's eLicensing includes:
RedZone’s RZ3 Full-featured GIS software for emergency response
GPS Add-on - Live position tracking of the user and other remote personnel
PDA Survey Add-on - Handheld software integration for fast data collection in the field

Top News of the Week

GISCafe Today is a new blog written by GISCafe and GISWeekly Editor, Susan Smith, which will offer thoughts and insights on some of the more important announcements from the GIS/geospatial industry, plus an opportunity for readers to comment. Offering blogs is a way for us to extend our coverage of the numerous developments in the geospatial industry, so take a look and let us know what you think.

Geographic Information Services, Inc. (GISi) announced the release of Data Download. Data Download, built on ESRI’s ArcGIS Server 9.3 Flex (API) technology, streamlines the entire GIS data request workflow by empowering users to download data based on layer, viewable extent, or selection. Data Download allows users to specify the file format (CAD & GIS formats) for downloaded data. Data Download also provides a framework to facilitate your organization’s digital submission requirements.

Currently, Data Download is available as an extension to Data Viewer. A stand-alone version of Data Download will be available soon. To learn more about both products and their capabilities, please visit Data Download.

Microsoft Corp. today unveiled Bing, a new Decision Engine and consumer brand, providing customers with a first step in moving beyond search to help make faster, more informed decisions. Bing is specifically designed to build on the benefits of today's search engines but begins to move beyond this experience with a new approach to user experience and intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business. The result of this new approach is an important beginning for a new and more powerful kind of search service, which Microsoft is calling a Decision Engine, designed to empower people to gain insight and knowledge from the Web, moving more quickly to important decisions. The new service will be fully deployed worldwide on Wednesday, June 3.

ESRI and Tele Atlas announced the addition of Europe data to the ArcPad 8 StreetMap extension. ArcPad now includes both North American and pan-European data that can be accessed by users at no additional cost.

The ArcPad StreetMap extension includes ESRI StreetMap Premium data derived from the latest high-quality digital maps from Tele Atlas for use in ArcPad on a variety of mobile devices. Users can leverage ArcPad and the StreetMap extension to enable display, address geocoding, reverse geocoding, and routing. This extension supports Smart Data Compression (SDC) format.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

InfoGeographics Inc. announced that it has joined Latitude Geographics’ Business Partner Program. InfoGeographics will serve as an Authorized Implementer and deliver services for Latitude’s suite of ArcGIS Server generation products: Geocortex Essentials and Geocortex Optimizer.

Aerial photography specialist Bluesky has acquired access to the UK’s largest collection of commercial aerial survey photographs and will be making it available online. Following an agreement between Bluesky and Blom Aerofilms, photographs dating from the 1950s, held on about 7,000 original films, will be available to purchase from Old Aerial Photos.


On Tuesday, June 9, 2009, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) will conduct a free webinar demonstrating results from the OGC Web Services, Phase 6 (OWS-6) testbed activity. The 2.5 hour webinar will start at: 8:30am in Mumbai, 11am in Perth, noon in Tokyo, 1pm in Sydney, 3pm in New Zealand. To register for this webinar, click here.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has issued a call for sponsors of the OGC Web Services, Phase 7 (OWS-7) Testbed. OGC also seeks to establish alliances with standards bodies having technology relevant to this initiative.

OWS-7 will develop interoperability specifications in the areas of Sensor Web Enablement, geoprocessing workflows, 3-dimensional information management, events and security architecture, aeronautical information systems, enterprise web services, mass-market geoservices and compliance testing of OGC standards.

Alliances with other Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) are a key element of developing OGC specifications for geospatial applications. Maintaining strategic SDO alliances assures cooperation and sharing among the SDOs and convergence of standards employed by OGC members. Therefore, the OGC is also seeking partnerships with other SDOs to develop sponsorship of the OWS-7 Testbed.

If your organization is interested in this initiative, contact George Percivall at Email Contact or David Arctur at Email Contact .

ESRI Canada announced the availability of the Small Utility Enterprise License Agreement (SU-ELA) program that offers unlimited access to ESRI's core ArcGIS platform for Canadian utilities with 100,000 meters or less. Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., winner of ESRI Canada's Innovation in Technology Award, recently signed the ELA that will enable them to expand the use of GIS throughout the utility.

The GeoInformation Group announces a ground breaking and innovative new mapping programme. UKMap is the UK’s first commercially funded, large-scale topographic mapping and address database created completely independently of the Ordnance Survey.

Farragut Systems announced its rebirth as an independent firm. Since its founding in 1994, Farragut has provided its local government customers with cutting edge integration services and industry-leading products.

These products include ParcelSync (an integrated Parcel Maintenance Application that integrates GIS and CAMA data maintenance), AddressOne (an Enterprise Addressing system for local government), and DocAtlas (an integrated Sharepoint/GIS applications that allows documents to be managed and accessed through a map-based interface).

Airbiquity announced that the company is newly positioned as a complete telematics service provider, offering the most comprehensive, cost-effective, end-to-end connectivity solutions for automotive OEMs, fleet managers and PND manufacturers.

ERDAS announced that ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH (ESG) has released a new version of their specialized defense solution for mobile geospatial data provisioning, based on ERDAS APOLLO.

For over 40 years, ESG has been a defense system integrator throughout Europe. ESG is a business partner of ERDAS and GEOSYSTEMS (ERDAS' official distributor in Germany).

The new mobile geospatial data provisioning system provides an efficient and centralized supply of information for missions and exercises. The ESG solution organizes and delivers geospatial data via a geoportal. By integrating ERDAS APOLLO into the defense solution, ESG is now able to offer OGC services and quickly deliver massive amounts of raster, vector and terrain data. The new solution will be used by customers in defense, security and emergency response situations.

Facet Technology Corp. and Dutch navigation device maker TomTom, N.V. have reached a settlement after a sixteen-month legal battle. The case has been settled through a patent agreement under which TomTom acquired a limited license to Facet’s patents. Specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Facet Technology Corp.’s patent portfolio addresses technology and capabilities in the areas of image processing, image analysis, database creation, and vehicle navigation.


DigitalGlobe announced the resignation of Judith McHale from its board of directors, effective as of May 26, 2009. Ms. McHale joined DigitalGlobe’s board of directors in July 2008 and is resigning to accept the position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Ms. McHale’s resignation was expected by the Company.

President Obama nominated Ms. McHale to the post of Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs on April 14, 2009, and the Senate recently confirmed her nomination. Ms. McHale was sworn in on May 26, 2009 and will assume her duties supporting Secretary Clinton and the State Department immediately.

John Werle, President and CEO of PCI Geomatics Inc. (USA), has been elected by the OGC Interoperability Institute (OGCii Board of Directors) to Chair the OGCii Board.

OGCii is an independent, not-for-profit research organization chartered to promote and extend the use of interoperable geoprocessing in the research community, and dedicated to continued improvements in worldwide application of interoperable geoprocessing and spatial data. The complex research requirements that OGCii was founded to address include such urgent societal challenges as climate change, sustainable development, disaster mitigation and ecological modeling.

GeoEye, Inc. announced the appointment of Joseph F. Greeves to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Greeves will be primarily responsible for the overall management and direction of GeoEye's financial planning, corporate finance, accounting, fiscal reporting, and public company disclosure requirements.


Pitney Bowes Inc. announced that a team of four employees was honored with the Company’s 2008 Invention of the Year Award. Arthur Berrill, Edward Dewald, John Dove and retired employee George Christopher Moon were recognized for their work in developing an integrated platform for providing geographic location based services to a mobile communication device, such as a phone.

Pitney Bowes’ annual Invention of the Year Award recognizes the achievements of its technology community and the importance of innovation to the Company’s success. Each year, a panel of judges reviews those nominations from the patents issued to Pitney Bowes inventors during the previous year and selects the winner from these patents. This year’s winning invention was selected from 88 patents and it is the first time an invention originating with an acquired company has won this award.

New Products

Pitney Bowes Business Insight, the leading global provider of location and communication intelligence solutions, unveiled MapInfo Professional v10.0, the latest version of the company’s flagship application for business mapping and analysis. With more than 80 percent of corporate data including a location component, MapInfo Professional provides organizations with the ability to visualize and analyze information to secure valuable insights and tremendous advantages over their competitors, which is critical in today’s economic environment.

ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Desktop users can now complement their GIS projects with geocoding, place-finding, and routing capabilities. Composed of World Geocoding and World Routing, these new professional ArcGIS Online location services use the most current and detailed Tele Atlas reference data and are hosted and maintained by ESRI.

NAVTEQ announced at Telematics Detroit 2009 speed and red light camera locations are now available for the NAVTEQ(R) map of North America. NAVTEQ Camera Alert(TM) includes up-to-date information about the exact location of speed limit cameras, red light cameras, as well as combined speed and red light cameras in 5,000 locations throughout North America.

A new major release of INPHO’s photogrammetric system was announced:

ApplicationsMaster 5.2
DPMaster 5.2
MATCH-AT Pushbroom 5.2
inBlock 5.2
DTMaster 5.2
OrthoMaster 5.2
OrthoVista 4.4

The main focus of these releases was set on further enhancing the productivity of the complete system by increasing both the processing speed and the number of images handled in one project. This productivity boost is reached by efficient utilization of multi-core and multi-processor technology available with up-to-date computer systems.

SimActive Inc., a developer of software solutions for the generation of geospatial data, is pleased to announce the release of a new mosaicking module. Integrated in its Correlator3D software, the module allows the fully automated creation of mosaics from individual orthophotos.

ESRI's 2009/2014 demographic data updates identify areas of high unemployment, activity in the housing market, rising vacancy rates, reduced consumer spending, changes in income, and increased population diversity. Updated data variables, such as population, housing, age, income, and home value, ensure that analysts can conduct their research with the most accurate information available, particularly for fast-changing areas.

ESRI data is created to provide the most accurate small-area analysis at any geographic level. The accuracy of the data helped ESRI identify the beginning of the bursting housing bubble and subprime mortgage crisis a full two years before the market collapsed. The data is currently available in more than 50 reports and maps from Business Analyst Online,

ZOS Communications announced availability of its location aware applications on RIM, iPhone, Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms, bringing a more consistent and accurate location service to consumers and businesses. ZOS Communications' technology, combined with hybrid location positioning from Skyhook Wireless, enables the transmission of location information paired with data, making location based services useful to consumers and businesses in real time. The first application is called Zhiing, a location messaging service for consumers.

The Manual of Geographic Information Systems is the latest addition to the rich collection of manuals published by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). Until now, however, there has never been a manual devoted to geographic information systems (GIS). Edited by Marguerite Madden, PhD, with the Foreword by Jack Dangermond, President, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), this volume is designed to be a comprehensive resource on GIS for students, researchers and practitioners who are interested in asking spatial questions, assessing landscapes, building geodatabases and envisioning a world of integrated geospatial technologies.

Around the Web

Google's Washington presence keeps growing, by Gautham Nagesh, June 2, 2009, NextGov -- Internet search giant Google has been steadily increasing its presence in Washington as the company seeks to capture a larger share of the federal market for information technology products and services. Google officials discussed the company's increasing involvement in the government space on at an event on Tuesday.

Applying Geographically Weighted Regression, ArcUser Online, Spring 2009, by Robert Legg and Tia Bowe, Northern Michigan University

USGS Celebrates 125 Years of Topographic Mapping ArcUser Online, Spring 2009

Capitol Gains: Defining your business. by John M. Palatiello, June 1, 2009, POB Online



GeoGathering 2009
Date: June 8 - 9, 2009
Place: Estes Park Conference Center
Estes Park, CO USA

GeoGathering Located in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, GeoGathering 2009 is a conference dedicated to providing pipeline operators in the production and gathering sectors with a venue to share their experiences and best practices with geospatial information while learning about current industry regulations and GIS solutions. www.geogathering.com

Defense Installation Geospatial Information & Services (IGI&S) Conference & Exposition 2009
Date: June 8 - 12, 2009
Place: Sheraton Dallas Hotel
400 North Olive St., Dallas, TX 75201 USA

The theme of this conference is "Back to Basics: Establishing Consistent, Repeatable IGI&S Processes." The focus will be the "nuts and bolts" of GIS and how it supports installation management, including implementation, common problems and their solutions, and successes.

MapInfo Professional for Mineral Exploration
Date: June 9 - 10, 2009
Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada

The goal of the 2-day MapInfo Professional course is to familiarize new users in the geoscience field with the various functions of MapInfo, and the background geomatics/GIS concepts that all GIS users should have. Students will complete a regional-scale GIS compilation project with real mineral exploration data. Project planning issues and common pitfalls are discussed throughout the course.

Autodesk Road and Highway Design Seminars
Date: June 10, 2009
Place: Miller Free Enterprise Building
9750 South 300 West, Sandy, UT 84070 USA

Change is the only thing that is constant in Local Road design.   Even the most minor design change can have a significant impact on the time you have to spend finishing a project. Valuable time that could be spent on better design is spent on costly re-work. Explore how you can save significant time and deliver higher quality designs with Autodesk Road Design solutions.

2009 FME International User Conference
Date: June 11 - 12, 2009
Place: Westin Resort & Spa
Whistler, BC, Canada

Join fellow FME users for this annual opportunity to build your spatial ETL expertise. Gain new insights on how to solve complex spatial data challenges by attending workshops, breakout sessions and more. Early bird rates end April 3rd – registration closes June 3rd. Visit www.fmeuc.com for more and to register today!

ENCOM Discover for Mineral Exploration Level 1
Date: June 11, 2009
Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Our ENCOM Discover for Mineral Exploration Module 1 one-day course gives attendees an extensive introduction to working with Drillhole data in Encom Discover, a mineral exploration add-on program for MapInfo Professional. Attendees will complete a Drillhole data project, starting with the basics of database design, and finishing with scaled surface maps and cross-sections. By the end of this project, students will have gained the technical and project planning skills required for their own drillhole GIS projects. Many features of the software applicable to other types of projects will be introduced in the context of a drillhole project.

WALIS International Forum 2009
Date: June 11 - 13, 2009
Place: Perth Convention Exhbition Centre
Perth, Australia

WALIS Forum is one of the premier GIS events in Australia, attracting delegates from a diverse range of professions. Held every 18 months, the Forum provides an opportunity to address issues related to the all aspects of location-based information. The Forum is open to everyone, however, is targeted to people working with geographic information or those who would like to find out how they can harness geographic information to improve their business. It aims to provide opportunities for people to learn, network, identify potential solutions and to share and debate strategies for the future and how the community can benefit from the latest geographic information tools.

Autodesk Road and Highway Design Seminars
Date: June 11, 2009
Place: 5151 San Francisco Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109 USA

Change is the only thing that is constant in Local Road design.   Even the most minor design change can have a significant impact on the time you have to spend finishing a project. Valuable time that could be spent on better design is spent on costly re-work. Explore how you can save significant time and deliver higher quality designs with Autodesk Road Design solutions.

ENCOM Discover for Mineral Exploration Level 2
Date: June 12, 2009
Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Our ENCOM Discover for Mineral Exploration Module 2 one-day course is designed to give attendees an extensive introduction to surface-data compilation skills in Encom Discover, a mineral exploration add-on program for MapInfo Professional. Attendees will complete a property-scale GIS compilation project. By the end of this project, attendees will have gained the technical and project planning skills required for their own geological GIS projects. Many features of the software applicable to other types of projects will be introduced. This course builds on Module 1 lessons.

2009 Indigenous Mapping Network Conference
Date: June 13 - 16, 2009
Place: Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
2040 Airport Drive, Green Bay, WI 54313 USA

Native American / Indigenous / tribal attendees and supporters of mapping efforts on aboriginal territories, let's learn, share, and grow together - find new ways of using mapping tools to solve sovereignty, environmental, and cultural issues. Previous ideas resulting from this conference include supporting and training indigenous people who may have little experience with modern mapping technologies.

Intergraph 2009
Date: June 15 - 18, 2009
Place: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
Washington, DC USA

The Gaylord National serves as the anchor tenant for Washington D.C.’s newest premier destination –  National Harbor – a one-of-a-kind waterfront development on the banks of the Potomac River. This destination will provide you with a prime location to network with Intergraph customers from around the world while enjoying D.C. and all its attractions.

GSDI 11 World Conference
Date: June 15 - 19, 2009
Place: Rotterdam, Netherlands

The theme for this conference is Spatial Data Infrastructure Convergence: Building SDI Bridges to Address Global Challenges. Geographic information technologies and spatial data infrastructure play critical roles in allowing governments, local communities, non-government organizations, the commercial sector, the academic community and common people to make progress in addressing many of the worlds most pressing problems.

ENCOM Discover 3D for Mineral Exploration
Date: June 15 - 16, 2009
Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Discover 3D course makes use of the skills you gained in the MapInfo Professional and encom Discover courses to help you visualize your geological data in 3D.  This course is of most benefit to those geologists working on a drillhole program.

First Open Source GIS UK Conference
Date: June 22, 2009
Place: University of Nottingham
Nottingham, United Kingdom

The Centre for Geospatial Science of the University of Nottingham, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (UK Chapter), ICA Working Group on Open Source Geospatial Technologies, SOSoRNET and Open Knowledge Foundation are organizing the First Open Source GIS UK Conference on Monday 22nd June, 2009 at the University of Nottingham.

MAPPS Summer Conference
Date: June 25 - 29, 2009
Place: Ocean Edge Resort & Club on Cape Cod
Brewster, MA USA

This will be the second time the association has held a summer conference on the Cape, the last time being 1992 in Hyannis, MA. The Summer Conference will focus on emerging technologies, education and networking. The MAPPS summer conference is open to private geospatial firm. The conference allows for unique networking opportunities for principals, owners and senior executives of private geospatial firms.

Fourth International Workshop on "Geographical Analysis, Urban Modeling, Spatial Statistics"
Date: June 29 - July 2, 2009
Place: Kyung Hee University-Global Campus
Yongin , Korea (South)

The growth of Spatial Data Infrastructures, Geo-portals and private sector initiatives (e.g. Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, etc.) produced an increase of geographical data availability at any scale and worldwide. This growth has not been fully coupled by an increase of knowledge to support spatial decisions. Spatial analytical techniques and geographical analysis and modelling methods are therefore required in order to analyse data and to facilitate the decision process at all levels.

ENERegion Summer School 2009
Date: June 29 - July 10, 2009
Place: Salzburg, Austria

The ENERegion Summer School 2009 is dedicated to the theme of "Regional Potentials for Renewable Energy Generation" and is hosted by Salzburg University's Centre for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS).

GISLERS - Summer School 2009
Date: July 3 - 14, 2009
Place: Salzburg, Austria

The Z_GIS Summer School 2009 is dedicated to the theme of Bridging Geographic Information Science (GIS), Landscape Ecology (LE), and Remote Sensing (RS) for landscape analysis and landscape planning and is hosted by Salzburg University's Centre for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS).

The Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg 2009
Date: July 7 - 10, 2009
Place: Salzburg, Austria

The Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg 2009 focuses on an international GIScience audience, communicating in English and sharing an interest in translating new methods and techniques into a broad range of application domains in geoinformatics.