May 19, 2003
White House Issues Directive on U.S.
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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 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!

Message from the Editor

Welcome to GISWeekly! This week our industry news takes a look at the White House Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy. Also, some highlights to look forward to at the upcoming GeoSpatial World Conference held in New Orleans, May 19-21. Next week I will be at GeoSpatial World and hope to see many of you there.

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, Alliances/Acquisitions, Announcements, Awards, Appointments, New Products, Featured Downloads, Around the Web, and 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

White House Issues Directive on U.S. Commercial Remote Sensing

Space Imaging's Public Relations Manager Gary Napier spoke with GISWeekly about the President's newly released White House policy titled
U.S. Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy. The Bush Administration's new directive, under interagency review for a year, was announced by the White House on May 13, 2003. The directive strengthens the government's long-term objective to commit to and establish domestic high-resolution satellite imagery companies as world industry leaders and states that it is in the national security interest to have a strong and competitive commercial remote sensing industry anchored on U.S. shores.

“It's a commitment from the highest level of government to back our industry,” said Napier. “Not many industries get this sort of commitment from the U.S. Government at this level.”

In a keynote address at a U.S. Government-sponsored conference on commercial remote sensing in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Commerce Don Evans said, "The remote sensing industry is poised for great market penetration. At our department, we recognize the promise of the remote sensing industry." During Operation Iraqi Freedom the industry "provided timely and accurate information," said Secretary Evans.

According to the new policy, the commercial or the civil side of federal government must, within 120 days of this policy's inception, come up with “implementation of this directive will be within the overall policy and resource guidance of the President subject to the availability of appropriations, of course. Agencies have been directed to complete a series of specific actions in 120 days from the date of this directive.” The targeted agencies are: military, intelligence, foreign policy, homeland security and civil. The Department of State (foreign policy), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Commerce, Department of Interior and Department of Defense will be
involved. They will
all come up with an implementation proposal demonstrating how they're going to increase their use of remote sensing imagery and data.

"This is a forward-looking policy that confirms the government's long-term commitment to the high-resolution commercial satellite industry," said Robert Dalal, CEO of Space Imaging. This new directive replaces Presidential Decision Directive 23 signed by President Clinton in March 1994 and supports the U.S. in maintaining a competitive commercial high-resolution satellite business in the worldwide market. Within the same year of that signing, Lockheed Martin spun out Space Imaging as a company and got other investors such as Raytheon and Mitsubishi to come on board.

The policy states: “The fundamental goal of this policy is to advance and protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by maintaining the nation's leadership in remote sensing activities and by sustaining and enhancing the U.S. remote sensing industry."

By investing in the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry the government will make sure the U.S. maintains its position as the world's technology leader. Ultimately the U.S. government will lead by having its own U.S. based industry and continue to be a technology leader. “The U.S. has always been the leader in remote sensing - 40 years ago our parent company Lockheed Martin build satellites called the Coronas,” said Napier. “The U.S. flew the first spy satellites, and Lockheed built an entire legacy of these satellites.” Secondly the U.S. government sees the value in commercial imagery. “Instead of building more intelligence satellites in the military arena
and getting over capacity, the
government can depend on commercial companies for additional capacity and they can increase their geospatial products substantially by using commercial imagery,” said Napier.

Now Space Imaging is teaming up with key investors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as subcontractors so they can bid on Next View, NIMA's contract to invest in and assure the availability of high resolution from next generation U.S. commercial imaging satellites.

DigitalGlobe(TM) also responded to the news with excitement and applauded President Bush for announcing the directive. Herbert Satterlee, CEO and chairman of DigitalGlobe said, "By issuing this directive, the Bush Administration pushes the technology envelope by encouraging all agencies to look to private remote sensing companies for their imaging requirements. DigitalGlobe is very excited about the directive and we believe this will further solidify the commercial satellite imaging industry."

The policy is a positive step for commercial remote sensing providers, and if funding is made available, the industry could become very profitable in years to come.

May 13, 2003

New York Times, "
U.S. to Rely More on Private Companies' Satellite Images," Eric Lichtblau; President Bush is ordering federal agencies to rely much more heavily on private satellite companies to provide images from space (article)

May 13, 2003

USA Today, "
Limits on Commercial Spy Satellites to Ease," Dan Vergano; story on new White House Commercial Remote Sensing Policy (article)

May 12, 2003

United Press International, "
New Policy Will Help Space Photo Companies," Frank Sietzen, UPI Science News; a new space policy that makes commercial high-resolution space photography the primary source for government users, supplanting space photos taken by government satellites (article)

GeoSpatial World Preview

GeoSpatial World 2003, Intergraph's International Training and Management Conference for the GeoSpatial Users Community, will be held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, May 19-21, in the heart of downtown and close to the French Quarter. All keynote addresses, general and technical sessions will be held in the Hyatt.

Notable about Intergraph is that the company has in the past year made some significant changes to expand the organization to fill out the industry sector, “Intergraph Mapping and GeoSpatial Solutions.” Under this umbrella are geospatial resource management, land information management, geospatial intelligence, geospatial data management and cartography, commercial remote sensing and photogrammetry solutions. The acquisition of Z/I Imaging and new Utilities and Communications solutions round out the suite of solutions.

Keynotes will be presented by Preetha Pulusani, President of Intergraph Mapping and GeoSpatial Solutions, Terence Keating, Executive Vice President Intergraph Mapping and GeoSpatial Solutions, and Arthur L. Spencer, Jr. Executive Vice President Intergraph Utilities and Communications, and a representative from NIMA.

Technical sessions will be offered in the following categories: education, foundations, applications development, local/regional government solutions, military and intelligence solutions, national government solutions, transportation industry solutions, utilities and communications solutions. Developers' courses will also be offered on GeoMedia Customization.

Other highlights:

* A Friendly Man Machine to Aid the Visualization of GPS-Guided Trajectories of a Semi-autonomous Tractor-detailing a project for making it safe to spray citrus and olive fields by using semi-autonomous navigation tractors.

*Making Your Way Through Live Events (Wired and Wireless Event Information Portal) -a presentation describing the concept of a prototyping initiative between Intergraph Germany and the Austrian Research Studio iSpace to set up an information portal for major events.

*Jefferson Parish Site Tour - The GIS department at Jefferson Parish uses GeoMedia Professional and GeoMedia WebMap for their internal and external communications. You will see GeoMedia Professional integrating data from disparate departments on this tour.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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