Welcome to GISWeekly! The act of hitching your wagon to a star has got to be a crapshoot in a lot of cases, unless that star happens to be Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is installed on over 700 million PCs and other devices around the world, which has earned it the de facto standard distinction for document exchange.
Those vendors who hitch themselves to the Adobe star may have a good chance of also becoming de facto standards. This is the objective of TerraGo, a vendor that has set about setting a standard for electronic geospatial document publishing and exchange worldwide. With their new GeoPDF Toolbar, they plan to institute a type of “publishing interoperability.” Read about TerraGo's new GeoPDF Toolbar in this week's Industry News.
This week I will be in Charlotte, NC at the Bentley BE Conference. Hope to see you there. GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me Here.
Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Announcing GeoPDF Toolbar
by Susan Smith
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Those vendors who hitch themselves to the Adobe star may have a good chance of also becoming de facto standards. This is the objective of TerraGo, a vendor that has set about setting a standard for electronic geospatial document publishing and exchange worldwide. With their new GeoPDF Toolbar, they plan to institute a type of “publishing interoperability.”
Like Adobe, TerraGo is focused on the non-GIS user. I spoke with Phil Lee and James Davis at GITA 29 this year about their then-upcoming release of the new GeoPDF Toolbar, which will allow Adobe Reader users to export data from GeoPDF files to GIS systems via the ESRI Shapefile format.
This allows Adobe Reader users in the field or at the desktop to add redlines, comments and markups to geospatially enabled GeoPDF files and then export them back into the original GIS system. “Our new GeoPDF Toolbar will allow any authorized user with Adobe Reader to make redlines and comments onto a GeoPDF that has been enabled for GeoMarks. These markups can be exported as Shapefiles and imported back into any GIS system or other GeoPDF files,” explained Davis. “GeoMarks requires the GeoPDF author to license TerraGo Technologies GeoEnable software and Adobe Acrobat Professional or Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extension Server.”
Readers may be familiar with TerraGo's flagship product, MAP2PDF, used to export data from geospatial information applications to a georegistered PDF with layers and object feature attributes. According to Lee and Davis, GeoPDF offers access to everybody else in the enterprise who need to access geospatial data for mainstream business applications. The core of traditional GIS is still aimed at high end GIS users, even if they provide a product for larger user bases. In contrast, TerraGo's history serves it well - it has worked with non-GIS professionals for many years so they know that market well. They can also help GIS professionals utilize and unlock the great “treasure trove” of geospatial data they've been building. “Most enterprises have been collecting GIS information over the last 10 or 20 years,” Davis remarked. “The challenge is to get all the professional data from the GIS pros out to their enterprise, and not just in 2D maps.”
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Now the GeoPDF Toolbar takes this one step further for ESRI users by allowing for GeoPDF files to be used and distributed in connected or disconnected format, and lets users view maps, turn layers off and an, display coordinates, query attributes, do GPS tracking and redlining, markups and Geonotes. GeoPDF has a reader enablement function to allow readers to view or make markups as the case may be. Files must be reader enabled before readers can markup and comment on the files. There are also comment and drawing tools such as note, polygon, cloud and stamp tools.
The export to Shapefile functionality allows GIS professionals to integrate redlines, markups and GeoNotes back into the enterprise's work flow and update geospatial data with the latest information available. The ability to be able to pull notes and updates back into the GIS really improves overall efficiency for both field and GIS personnel. Since users are not changing the underlying GIS data files, but adding markups to the GeoPDF map document, the integrity of the original data is maintained.
The GeoPDF Toolbar is quite remarkable in that it looks and feels exactly like an ESRI Shapefile so that adding markups and comments to the GeoPDF is an intuitive process for the user familiar with the ESRI Shapefile format.
TerraGo previously announced MAP2PDF for Geomedia and Digital Cartographic Studio for government use primarily, which has the same capabilities as GeoPDF Toolbar, except it is optimized for the Intergraph environment.
Several TerraGo customers have added geospatial tools with a system of linked GeoPDFs and real-time external database updates, in order to create extensive atlas products using GeoPDFs.
Top News of the Week
NMT Corporation has introduced MapAgile for ArcGIS which was designed to provide greater ease of use in navigating and displaying data presented in applications based on ArcGIS Engine and ArcMap.
Geospatial applications, like ESRI's ArcGIS Engine and ArcMap, have become increasingly important and widely used tools to help organizations integrate resources, track assets and assist in decision making processes. While these applications provide powerful tools for data management and the visualization of information, they can be daunting to learn and difficult to navigate for the casual user.
MapAgile is a set of configurable tools incorporated as a plug-in to applications based on ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Engine. The tools provide greater flexibility and ease-of-use for accessing and querying data displayed by either application. MapAgile is easy to install and economically priced.
ARCADIS, the international consulting and engineering company, has been selected as a 2006 ESRI Business Partner of the Year.
ARCADIS was selected from the more than 2,000 value-added resellers, developers, consultants, and data providers who partner with ESRI to deliver a variety of value-added services and solutions to the GIS (geographic information system) user community worldwide.
Azteca Systems, Inc. announced the release of Cityworks Anywhere in conjunction with Cityworks Desktop Version 4.3.1. As the only GIS-centric Asset Maintenance Management System (AMMS), Cityworks Anywhere and Cityworks Desktop represent the latest enhancements and newest functionality, making asset and work management easier than ever and further reinforcing Azteca's position as the clear leader in Asset Maintenance Management solutions for GIS.
PCI Geomatics, a world-leading developer of image-centric software and solutions for the geospatial industry, announced the signing of a strategic distributor partnership with TGIS Technologies Inc. The agreement will allow PCI Geomatics to market, distribute, and sell the TGIS real-time GeoConference Software.
Pictometry International Corp. and Bradshaw Consulting Services, Inc. (BCS), a provider of total Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions to business, industry, and government clients throughout the US, have announced a joint marketing alliance. Under terms of the partnership agreement, BCS will be working with Pictometry's technical support team to enhance BCS' customer's integration of Pictometry technology to BCS supplied GIS solutions.
Pictometry and LPA Systems, a developer of spectral imaging and geospatial intelligence applications, announced that the two firms have formed a business partnership. Under terms of the partnership agreement, Pictometry will market a joint solution that integrates LPA Eco-View(tm) infrared analysis software with the company's professional GIS software (Electronic Field Study(tm)). The end result is an easy-to-use analytical tool for improved environmental monitoring and planning.
CH2M HILL Enterprise Spatial Solutions (ESS) announced it has become the first Google Earth certified partner in the Google Enterprise Professional program. As the world's largest privately held geospatial consulting organization, CH2M HILL's ESS consulting team advises clients in all market sectors regarding the use, integration and application of Google Earth Enterprise products and technologies.
The CH2M HILL ESS team of 500 geographic information system (GIS) and IT specialists design, customize and fully integrate the visualization power of Google Earth Enterprise with all location-based corporate information systems including supply chain management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), logistics and asset management.
Smart Data Strategies, Inc. (SDS) and the Institute for Advanced Education in Geospatial Sciences (IAEGS) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the development, marketing and distribution of online GIS courses. This strategic partnership will result in an additional service offering to users of the SDS DREAMaps product line, a suite of software tools and online services that streamline the management and distribution of GIS and land records data. This new service will allow the user to take the SDS DREAMaps training at their location via the internet, at their own pace, and have access to their training study program for up to 3 months.
“Smart Data Strategies is committed to maintaining World Class Service that exceeds our clients' requirements and expectations. With over 200 clients nationwide, the need for an online offering is essential for maintaining our consistent customer satisfaction rating of 90+%” Dave Barnwell SDS President.
The IAEGS at the University of Mississippi has created the Knowledge Delivery Engine and all of the tools necessary to effectively facilitate the creation and delivery of geospatial courses online. IAEGS is pleased to offer their services in assisting Smart Data Strategies to Web-enable the DREAMaps software suite. For more information, visit the website.
Laser-Scan is pleased to deliver another successful project to budget. This most recent project has provided a map console and product generation system as part of Fujitsu's delivery of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland's new e-commerce web site and electronic service - www.osni.gov.uk
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) recently transformed their online presence with the inclusion of mapping services to both Government and Public Users. All users will now be able to source and buy OSNI maps and digital data online. The e-commerce website was launched this month and is accessible from anywhere in the world via a web browser: http://www.osni.gov.uk/
SeaZone Solutions Ltd, UK supplier of marine data, flew the flag for the GIS industry at this year's Oceanology International Exhibition (Oi06).
The bi-annual event is the world's largest industry exhibition and played host to more than 7,000 of the leading ocean specialists including surveyors, engineers and scientists. SeaZone played a central role at Oi06, presenting at the event's marine GIS conference and showcasing its groundbreaking geographic information base, SeaZone Hydrospatial.
The Geospatial Information & Technology Association, Aurora, Colo. and The Association of American Geographers (AAG), Washington, D.C., announced the completion of Phase I of the GITA/AAG Department of Labor grant, Defining and Communicating Geospatial Technology Industry Workforce Demand.
Phase I was focused on defining industry components, characteristics, and skills required to fill geospatial occupations. The major work efforts involved in this phase were two thought-leader roundtables held in Washington, D.C., in October 2005 and January 2006; development of on online feedback mechanism to gather responses to critical issues in defining the industry; and analysis of those responses.
A detailed report on the findings of Phase I of the grant can be found at the AAG website. Appendices documenting some of the more detailed analyses can also be accessed. All geospatial professionals are encouraged to read the findings and provide comments based on their unique perspective of the industry. A link is provided to submit responses to Mary Ann
The UCGIS will hold it's summer Summer Assembly, June 28 - July 1, 2006 at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, WA. The UCGIS is a non-profit organization of over 70 universities, scholarly societies, agencies, and companies dedicated to advancing our understanding of geographic processes and spatial relationships through improved theory, methods, technology, and data. Visit the website for more details.
Historically high gasoline prices are taking their toll on summer vacation plans, the new MapQuest Summer Survey of more than 1,000 people finds. According to the survey, as many as 72% of those planning to take a road trip this year said that gas prices were affecting their summer travel plans. Nearly one in 10 said they plan to cancel trips altogether to avoid the pain at the pump. But despite the prices, nearly half of Americans (49%) plan to take a road trip this summer nevertheless, according to the report.
Convergence was the key theme at the Autodesk 2006 Government Users Conference (AGUC) on Wednesday as users from defense, civilian agencies and other areas of the federal government meet to share new strategies for maximizing the capabilities of geospatial information systems (GIS) and digital design technologies.
Autodesk, Inc. announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2006. For the first quarter, Autodesk reported record net revenues of $436 million, a 23 percent increase over $355 million reported in the first quarter of the prior year. On a constant currency basis, revenues increased 28 percent. See press release
HP announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2006, with net revenue of $22.6 billion, representing growth of 5% year-over-year, or 8% when adjusted for the effects of currency. GAAP operating profit was $1.7 billion and GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.51 per share, up from $0.33 in the prior-year period. See press release
Analytical Surveys, Inc. (ASI), a provider of utility-industry data collection, creation and management services for the geographic information systems (GIS) markets, announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter and six months ended March 31, 2006. Second quarter revenue totaled $1.4 million versus $1.5 million in the comparable 2005 quarter. The Company reduced its net loss from operations to $2,000 versus a net loss from operations of $615,000 in the comparable quarter a year ago. Net loss available to common shareholders was $19,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, versus a net loss available to common shareholders of $679,000, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the fiscal 2005 quarter. See press release
Autodesk, Inc. announced that Disney Mobile will use Autodesk(R) software and professional services to bring their forthcoming Family Locator wireless location services to market. Disney Mobile is leveraging Autodesk's award-winning LocationLogic platform and software applications to enable parents to locate their children's handsets using GPS technology.
Offshore Systems International Ltd. (OSI) announced it has been awarded approximately C$1.9 million of new mapping business in the first five months of fiscal 2006. This new business is in addition to a previously announced five-year prime contract for approximately C$3.0 million, including all options, by the Regional Basemap Consortium serving the Washoe and Douglas County areas in Nevada.
MapInfo Corporation, global provider of location intelligence solutions, announced that The Krystal Company uses MapInfo's services and technology solutions to enhance the restaurant chain's site selection and brand awareness efforts. Using MapInfo location intelligence solutions, The Krystal Company better understands its customers, identifies new potential markets, projects the potential impact of competition on new sites and rolls out new locations with a more scientific and accurate approach.
Serving customers for more than 74 years, The Krystal Company has grown from a single restaurant into a multi-million dollar restaurant chain, occupying the Southeast with more than 418 restaurants in 12 states. In an effort to succeed in a recent multi-store roll out, The Krystal Company turned to MapInfo to help determine the best site selection strategy for its new restaurant locations. Among the solutions it delivered, MapInfo devised a Sales Forecasting System for Krystal in order to quantify the key demographic, competitive and site factors impacting restaurant performance to assess the potential revenue and profitability of future stores
Calgary-based Valtus Imagery Services, a division of North West Geomatics Ltd. announced that Mr. Kenyon Waugh and Mr. Gregory Adamietz have joined the Valtus team to launch the company's expansion into the United States. The opening of a US Office coincides with Valtus' recent announcement regarding the immediate and pending availability of digital high resolution imagery of eight entire States into its Internet delivery system. Mr. Waugh and Mr. Adamietz, both former business development and sales officials with a major US-based satellite provider, have joined Valtus and will open a Boulder, CO based office for Valtus.
MapInfo Corporation, the global provider of location intelligence solutions, introduced MapInfo Professional(R) version 8.5, the first version of the company's 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.
The Carbon Project has announced that its third generation of the open-geospatial .NET toolkit CarbonTools, CarbonTools PRO, will include support for an extensive range of new location content and services including Google Earth KML, ESRI Shapefiles, MapInfo and Autodesk formats as well as support to services such as Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) WCS and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation's (OSGeo) MapGuide.
Impress Software, a provider of packaged integration applications, announced the availability of Impress for GIS 2.0, featuring the new Maintenance and Operations Module. With this new release, organizations can more effectively streamline their field service operations through the integration of SAP with ESRI's ArcGIS or Miner & Miner's ArcFM.
The new Maintenance and Operations Module enables access to SAP asset and work management data and processes from a GIS front end. GIS users can now create work orders and notifications, update status information, and assign orders to features on the map. In addition, they can analyze SAP work order information with a 'point-and-click' search using multiple user-defined criteria. This information can be rendered on the map and color-coded for spatial analysis and at-a-glance viewing to improve decision-making.
Microsoft Research has released a new mapping research prototype technology called MapCruncher. MapCruncher enables a user to take existing road maps and aerial imagery and overlay particular, specialized maps to create unique mash-ups tailored to the user's specific interests. MapCruncher is available for free download at the Microsoft Research MapCruncher website
Tele Atlas, a global provider of geographic content, announced its phonetic data is now integrated in the newly-available Pioneer AVIC Z1 model in-car navigation and TomTom 910 portable navigation systems.
Tele Atlas also announced the Tele Atlas DeveloperLink(SM) program, designed to provide developers access to free map data and technical and business resources to support development of next-generation map-enabled applications. In addition, Tele Atlas' DeveloperLink forms a first-of-its-kind online networking community for application developers bringing new location based and navigation services to market.
Pennsylvania GIS Conference 2006
Date: May 16 - 17, 2006
Place: Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center Camp Hill, PA USA
Date: May 20 - 25, 2006
Place: Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, NC USA
The BE Conference is a once-a-year learning opportunity for Bentley users and their managers who want to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge. The BE Conference includes hundreds of information-rich sessions.
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.