July 12, 2004
The Debut of GeoVideo
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Message from the Editor -


Welcome to GISWeekly! In response to the growing interest among GIS users in the use of DVD video to add to mapped environments, Fort Collins-based Red Hen Systems, Inc. announced the release of an extension to ArcGIS 8.x and 9.0, GeoVideo, which makes it possible for users to integrate DVD video within GIS environments. Read about this product in this week's Industry News.


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, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, New Products, Going on Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.


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

The Debut of GeoVideo

By Susan Smith


In response to the growing interest among GIS users in the use of DVD video to add to mapped environments, Fort Collins-based Red Hen Systems, Inc. announced the release of an extension to ArcGIS 8.x and 9.0, GeoVideo, which makes it possible for users to integrate DVD video within GIS environments. Prior to this release this capability was available with Red Hen's MediaMapper, but that product is proprietary to the company's GIS system, which is optimized for video and digital still mapping.


Because many MediaMapper users were also big ArcGIS users, Red Hen saw the need to produce something that combined DVD video with spatially referenced ArcGIS data. “We have many customers like utility companies that are sending pilots over their utility corridors with video cameras or high resolution still cameras and capturing the state of their assets,” explained Norton Ewart, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Red Hen. “They want to create a mapped environment where they can review that information so that when they're watching the video they have a reference to where on the map it came from. And they also want 'spatial random access' added to the video, allowing
them to click on the map and view the video from that location.”


Users can use any off-the-shelf DVD video cameras and GPS receivers to collect video via foot, aircraft, vehicle or boat. Red Hen offers GPS video collection hardware as well, optimized for specific uses such as on aircraft, in vehicle or for pedestrian use. These hardware offerings will be bundled with GeoVideo.




“We have so many customers using this already in our own environment that we knew what people need in the way of features and functions and what would be useful in the ESRI environment,” said Ewart. Customers who find this functionality useful include intelligence/defense, utility/transportation and natural resource managers. Currently a customer is using the product to do coral reef mapping off the coast of Hawaii. “She is using a video camera underwater and collecting imagery from the bottom, then using that to produce a map in the ESRI environment that will represent the health and territory of the coral reef,” explained Ewart.


To encode video with geo-referenced information, GeoVideo has a patented technique that processes the video and at the same time, creates a map of the route with reference points-for example, if you were inspecting for potholes along a road, you could click on those locations and points would be created at each of those potholes so that you could later see only the potholes on the map without having to view the entire route. A moving cursor shows the position and camera direction as the video plays. Still images can also be captured from the video, you can create a map feature and associate the still image with it. The spatial DVD information can be shared with other GeoVideo users.
“You can
also use the database of the GIS engine to ask the system to find all potholes or whatever, and they would be organized on the map for you, and you would have an image to go along with them.”


Ewart said that getting up and running with GeoVideo is quite simple. “In order to take advantage of the ArcGIS power of the product you would want to take a certain amount of training to understand this if you were starting from a non-GIS background. However,” he added, “I'm not a GIS professional and I use it all the time.”


“Adding spatial random access to DVD video in a mapped environment has proven to be an effective decision support solution, saving time, money, and in some cases even lives, in defense/intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, transportation, utilities, natural resources, and other industries,” said Ewart.


GeoVideo software is $1395 including a copy of PixPoint, an extension to ArcGIS. The hardware is in the range of $1500-$2000, depending upon the configuration used.




Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements


GeoDecisions has just been awarded a $3 million dollar open-end contract with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC). GeoDecisions will provide SDDC with geographic information system (GIS) services and IT services for a three year period.


UAI (UAI, Inc.), provider of geospatial information technology solutions to the utility industry and public sector, announced that it has entered into a business partnership with engineering analysis powerhouse CYME International (Quebec, Canada) to enhance the functionality available in its UtilityCenter™ 2.0 solution.


Fastrax Ltd., a developer of OEM GPS receivers for optimal utilization of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), today announced a new distribution agreement with Eurodis Electron PLC, third-largest electronic components distributor in Europe.


Microsoft Corp. and European mobile operators O2 and TeliaSonera announced plans to deliver real-time location services designed to enable businesses to significantly improve the way they locate, track and manage their mobile assets and mobile work force. The real-time location services are built around Microsoft® MapPoint® Location Server (MLS) and enable developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators to create and deploy location-aware business applications for their customers by combining the real-time location data from the O2 and TeliaSonera networks with the rich mapping and location capabilities from the Microsoft MapPoint Web
Service.


Wireless network providers striving to meet federally mandated implementation timelines for deploying Enhanced 911 (E911) services will receive additional support from an agreement announced today by The Wilkins Group, Inc. (WGI) and TruePosition, Inc. The agreement between WGI, a nationwide telecommunications and Internet services company and TruePosition, Inc., a leading provider of location-based technologies, will increase the deployment of TruePosition's Finder(TM) technology, thus enabling carriers to provide wireless telephone subscribers in the United States with Enhanced 911 service.


CPS (Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd) and Xion announce plans to collaborate on the development of a new wristwatch-based child safety communicator and locator - the first of its kind to deliver high accuracy location in all environments including indoors.


Laser-Scan announce that it has taken over the Utilities delivery business of Ewan Optimal Solutions (EOS). On June 3rd Ewan Group and Laser-Scan agreed a deal whereby Laser-Scan assumed the responsibility for delivering Ewan Optimal Solutions Utility contracts in the United Kingdom. EOS had earlier made a strategic decision to embed Radius Topology in a new web browser based GIS application being developed for Northern Ireland Water Service. EOS and Laser-Scan have worked together to build this solution since 2003. The application combines both above and below ground asset information and is delivered on top of an Oracle9i database and uses MapInfo technologies.


A revolutionary new service giving up-to-the-minute travel information for journey planning across Britain using numerous forms of transport is one step closer today - thanks to an agreement between Ordnance Survey and the Department for Transport (DfT) .


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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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