May 12, 2003
More on Ruggedized Computers Message from the Editor
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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! Handheld computers that were inadvertently left out of the series on Ruggedized Computers make up 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, 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

More on Ruggedized Computers

After I ran the series on Ruggedized Computers
GISWeekly April 14, 2003 I got letters from both Trimble and Tripod Data Systems (a wholly owned subsidiary of Trimble) telling me about their ruggedized models. The models I focused on for the April series were ones that met military standards, and although the GeoExplorer CE does not, it is an interesting addition to the family of ruggedized computers because it has an integrated GPS receiver and antenna on board.

I have seen the GeoExplorer CE Series CE handheld device at conferences. The advantage of Windows CE is that ArcPad, Trimble's Terrasync or any other CE based field applications can be used on the handheld. The device has enough storage for all GIS data, and has a large memory and fast processor so that big files can load easily.

These are my questions about the GeoExplorer CE Series:

Are any of the models MIL-STD 810 compliant? No.

Are they able to be submerged in water? Yes, they can be briefly submerged. In addition, they are wind-driven rain-resistant.

Recon handheld Trimble computer and TDS Ranger

Are they tested for dust, humidity, extreme temperatures, shock, vibration?

Yes, they are rain-, dust-, shock- and vibration-resistant and have a slip-resistant grip. We do extensive shock and vibration testing. They are wind-driven rain-resistant and dust-resistant per IP 54 standard. Operating temperature specs: -10 degrees C to +50 degrees C and 99% non-condensing; Storage temperature specs: -20 degrees C to +70 degrees C.

Also Tripod Data Systems (TDS) wrote to me regarding their newly released Recon handheld Trimble computer and TDS Ranger. The following is TDS' response:

Both the TDS Recon and TDS Ranger are Mil-STD 810 compliant. And, they're both IP 67 - that means they're both totally protected against dust (6 is the highest rating of protection against solids) and protected against effects of immersion from 15 cm - 1 m (the rating scale for liquids is 1-8). They're both tested for dust, humidity, shock and vibration.

The Recon was just released in February as the ultra-rugged handheld from Trimble. It has the following features: rugged and waterproof, all day battery, two CompactFlash slots, Microsoft Windows CE Net operating system, small and lightweight. It exceeds military specifications for vibration, drop, immersion and operating temperatures. The unit also displays large GIS image and data files quickly and its screen can be read easily in sunlight. Additional details include:

- able to operate in -22 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit

- meets Mil-STD-810F for humidity

- is IP 67/MIL-STD-810F tested and sealed against accidental immersion in liquid at 1 meter for 30 minutes

- meets MIL-STD-810F tests for drop - 26 drops from four feet onto plywood over concrete, PLUS TDS tested it with 6 additional drops at -4 degrees F AND 6 additional drops at 140 degrees F

- IP 67/MIL-STD-810F for sand and dust

- MIL-STD-810F for Vibration

- MIL-STD-810F for Altitude

The Tripod Data Systems™ Ranger™ is a rugged handheld also with a Microsoft® Windows® CE operating system and built-in utilities. The Ranger comes in both color and
monochrome models and has a color touchscreen that uses reflective LCD technology that is easily readable in direct sunlight. Bright frontlight lets you also see the screen clearly in low-light conditions. Separate navigation and alphanumeric keypads make it possible to use the device while you're wearing gloves.

Like the Recon, the Ranger is MIL-STD compliant and exceeds military and IP standards for drop, vibration, dust, corrosion, extreme temperatures and water immersion. The Ranger's battery offers 30 hours of continuous operation, and it completely recharges in just three hours.

TDS Ranger information can also be found online at:


Utility Sciences Corporation (USC) announced a business partner agreement with Trimble to resell and distribute selected Mapping and Geographic Information System (GIS) products, including the GPS Pathfinder systems and new GeoExplorer CE series of GPS handheld devices. As part of the agreement, Utility Science Corporation will also integrate Trimble hardware and software as part of a complete enterprise data management solution for utility clients.

Wireless industry innovators Integrated Services Group Inc. (OTC-PK:ISVG) and SkyberCorp Inc., announced an agreement with IntraGlobis Communications' Brasilian Services Group, IntraGlobis Internacional. Under the terms of the licensing agreement, ISVG through SkyberCorp and IntraGlobis will supply the first combined navigational and anti-theft tracking application in Brasil, utilizing a variety of technologies.

Mobile Commerce Ltd, ("Mobile Commerce") UK provider of location information entered into a one year contract with FollowusTM Ltd ("Followus") with an option to renew, for the supply of location data that will enable FollowusTM to offer tracking services using mobile cell masts.


Aether Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: AETH), reported financial results for the first quarter
ended March 31, 2003. Revenues for the first quarter were $29.2 million. The results include subscriber revenue of $19.0 million, engineering services revenue of $79,000, software product revenue of $5.8 million, and device sales of $4.3 million.

Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq:
ADSK) announced the company has been recognized as a co-author of the proposed OpenGIS(R) Location Services (OpenLS(TM)) Implementation Specification by the Open GIS Consortium (OGC). Once adopted by OGC members, the specification will define an XML-based standard for location service interfaces and help to standardize the development of such services as mapping, routing and point-of-interest directories. The Open GIS Consortium recently issued a request for comment on the specification with input due by May 19, 2003. The documentation is available at

More Open GIS news: ESRI continues to maintain a leadership role in the OpenLS™ initiative as members of the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) voted to release the specification to the public on April 11, 2003, in Orleans, France. The OGC OpenLS specification defines interface protocols for a set of core services, the building blocks for location-based service (LBS) applications. ESRI is a principle sponsor of the OpenLS initiative under which these specifications were developed and is among the first geoserver vendors to implement an OpenLS platform.

LocatioNet, the developer of a location-based service system for the wireless market, announced the release of LocatioNet MyMap -- an integrated suite of graphical location-based service (LBS) application modules.

MyMap allows users to view their own location, find and navigate to points of interest, and interact with friends in their immediate vicinity. The application focuses on rich user interface and graphic display, showing users location and retrieved information over detailed color maps and aerial photos.

ESRI China (Hong Kong) professionals aim to increase global awareness of the current situation of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) by building SARS mapping web site which disseminates the latest geographic distribution information on the infected areas and people in Hong Kong and worldwide.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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