October 11, 2004
Integrating Geographic and Non-Geographic Data
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by GISCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

The geospatial resources targeted by the NCSU Libraries' project include digitized maps, geographic information systems (GIS) data sets, and remote sensing data resources such as digital aerial photography. A wide range of state and local agencies create these forms of data for use in tax assessment, transportation planning, hazard analysis, health planning, political redistricting, homeland security and utilities management.


Hurricane Watch

Torrential rain and winds exceeding 75mph from Hurricane Jeanne resulted in power outages and disruptions in the Caribbean service areas.GridSense Systems Inc. reports GridSense's LineTrackers™ were initially deployed at utilities in the region in June 2004, in advance of this year's hurricane season, primarily for planning functions like load studies and fault analyses. Feedback from engineers at America's second largest public utility, serving Puerto Rico, indicated that the LineTracker™ system performed beyond their expectations, even under severe storm conditions. The LineTrackers™ captured the peak current and the exact time and location of power outages on the
network during the most severe part of the storm, enabling the utility to more effectively restore service.

Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), a community-owned utility serving 58,000 customers in central Florida, experienced the advantages of Responder, a GIS-hosted Outage Management System, in quickly restoring power to victims of three devastating hurricanes that have passed over the state of Florida in the last two months.

Ken Beville, GIS manager at KUA, reported, “Responder performed extremely well under these circumstances. We were able to easily visualize the concentration of outages geographically to support better crew dispatch without the guesswork involved in using trouble tickets. Maps enabled us to pinpoint exactly where each customer was located and respond quickly and appropriately.”

Government agencies and private organizations that need assistance in responding to Hurricane Ivan or other recent severe weather events can contact ESRI for temporary keycodes, on-site support, and other assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This assistance is available to any organization with geographic information system (GIS) needs, regardless of its GIS platform. These efforts are being coordinated through an e-mail alias. Send requests for assistance to

Volcano Watch

In an article entitled
Volcano Research Goes High Tech, by Ed Frauenheim, CNET News.com, (October 1, 2004), it is stated that the most significant technology for monitoring a volcano's vital signs is global positioning technology. However, according to researchers, the volcano isn't necessarily going to erupt where you have the most instruments, so locations other than the one that is erupting are monitored. In addition to the new GPS units and digital seismometers, Mt. St. Helens scientists have older analog seismometers placed on the mountain.

To access NASA volcano images as they become available go to

On October 1 in Ottawa, the Honourable Mauril Bélanger, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, will announce Government of Canada geomatics funding. He will make the announcement on behalf of the Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

This Government of Canada funding comes from a national partnership initiative called GeoConnections. This initiative helps make Canada's geospatial databases, applications and services readily available on-line.

For more information:

Tom Ormsby

Office of the Minister

Natural Resources Canada


(613) 996-2007

Ghyslain Charron

Media Relations

Natural Resources Canada


(613) 992-4447

Industry and government leaders gathered recently in Missoula, Montana to praise the value of Feature Analyst for powering GIS mapping efforts in Homeland Security, Defense and Intelligence, Forestry, and other vital application areas. Declaring in her keynote address that Visual Learning Systems (VLS) technology helps to “protect Montana's border”, Montana Governor Judy Martz explained, “the State of Montana, like many other state and local governments, has made large investments in GIS software, computer hardware, and most importantly geographic data. Tools, such as the VLS software Feature Analyst, can help government agencies address this cost by lowering the
labor hours required to produce and maintain features such as road, buildings, and streams.”

Union County, New Jersey, announced the launch of a Map Viewer tool on its public website as well as access to Web GIS for County staff. These new web-based services, powered by Orion Technology's OnPoint product, represent a new level of GIS sophistication for Union County. For the first time, visitors to Union County's public website can find addresses, intersections, and facilities in the area by manipulating interactive graphical maps. From a clearly labeled initial view, visitors can click different regions of the maps, zooming in to specific areas of interest or performing "quick searches" to take them directly to the information they need.

Contract Awards

ORBIMAGE Inc. announced that the company has been awarded a major contract by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA, formerly the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, NIMA), valued at approximately $500 million. NGA announced on September 30, 2004 that it has selected ORBIMAGE as its NextView second vendor after a competitive selection process conducted over the last six months. The contract, awarded September 30, 2004, runs through September 30, 2008 and will provide ORBIMAGE with both long-term revenue commitments as well as capital for the development of OrbView-5, ORBIMAGE's next-generation high-resolution imaging satellite. The contract, known as NextView ORBIMAGE,
also assures NGA of greater access and priority to high-resolution commercial satellite imagery.

Excellence Awards

Dr. David R. Anderson, a recently-retired USGS senior scientist, has received the highest honor bestowed by The Wildlife Society--the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award and Medal. Anderson earned the 2004 award for his lifelong achievements in estimating wildlife population abundance. He also developed the basis for the management strategies adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for continent-wide waterfowl harvests. His latest work resulted in a book, with long-term USGS colleague Kenneth P. Burnham, on methods for making formal statistical inference from more than a single model. The award was presented at The Wildlife Society's 11th annual conference in Calgary, Alberta, on Sept. 19.

New Products

MapInfo Corporation announced the European launch of Exponare, a powerful web-based location intelligence solution that will enable an organization to deploy location-based information across the entire enterprise to all users, regardless of skill levels. Exponare has been specifically designed to be user friendly and intuitive, with pre-built customizable modules catering to a wide range of users from technical specialists to the general public.

Thales announced the North American availability of its Magellan eXplorist 300. The easy-to-use, bright-blue Magellan eXplorist 300 is the first GPS handheld to deliver the convenience of a built-in nationwide background map, an electronic compass, altimeter, barometer and three-meter accuracy -- all for just $199.

Responding to the wastewater industry's ever-increasing need for powerful GIS-centric solutions, MWH Soft, Inc., a global provider of water resources applications software, announced the worldwide availability of InfoSewer for ArcGIS™ 9 (ESRI, Redlands, CA).

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, announced the release of Bentley Geo Web Publisher 2004 Edition, a high-performance Internet server that enables local or regional governments, utilities, communications providers, and other organizations to cost-effectively develop and deploy customized Internet sites offering public access to spatially indexed content.

QUALCOMM Incorporated, provider of wireless data solutions, announced the commercial release of its T2(TM) Untethered TrailerTRACS(R) Asset Management Solution for private fleets and for-hire carriers. The T2 Untethered TrailerTRACS solution is a stand-alone satellite/cellular system that offers rapid-status visibility into trailer locations and operational events and provides vehicle position reporting for improved fleet utilization and security. Features include sophisticated on-board hardware, advanced power management, complete network services, cargo and door sensors and data integration capabilities using state-of-the-art, multimode communications.

EMS Technologies, Inc. introduced a new tracking and management software system, eNcompass TMS, at the 2004 American Trucking Association's Management Conference and Exhibition.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.

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