May 05, 2003
Autodesk Envision 8
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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!

Maptech (Amesbury, MA) hosts the largest digital collection of Historic USGS topographic maps on the Internet. This ongoing project is headed by historian Christopher Marshall and compiled through the efforts of volunteer map enthusiasts nationwide. The Historic Maps Collection dates from 1885 to the 1950s and includes maps for thirteen states. In addition to the six New England states Historic Maps are available for New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio. The online collection compliments Maptech's Terrain Navigator and Terrain Navigator Pro titles, which offer the latest USGS topographic maps and aerial photos on CD-ROM.

Ordnance Survey's government minister, Tony McNulty MP has given the mapping agency six demanding targets to meet for the new financial year. These measures include efficiency gains in the way it collects, displays and supplies its data, and for the first time, a formal requirement to increase the amount of online transactions with customers and partners. This is in line with the wider e-government agenda.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce will host an upcoming conference focusing on Reconstruction of Afghanistan's infrastructure held June 8-10, 2003. The event will bring Afghan government officials together with U.S. suppliers of engineering, construction and technology services and equipment.

"Afghanistan - Rebuilding a Nation" will highlight more than 35 large-scale projects in the areas of electric power; water and sanitation; transportation, including roads and civil aviation; oil and gas development and pipelines; telecommunications; and construction. The combined value of the projects to be presented at the conference is expected to exceed $4 billion. Afghan officials taking part in the event will present details on the projects and make themselves available for one-on-one meetings with participating U.S. companies.

Due to the recent outbreak of SARS in the Toronto area, show management regrets that the GeoInformatics 2003 conference scheduled for June 25-27, 2003, has been cancelled.

Given that many attendees have submitted abstracts, the conference committee decided to publish an online synthesis of abstracts and will be made available through the conference website.

Go to to find Injury Maps created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Injury Center. Injury Maps is an interactive Web-based mapping application of injury-related mortality in the United States. The location-based technology gives users the ability to create customized, interactive online maps that can be used by a range of organizations and individuals such as other federal agencies, state and local health departments, policy makers, research institutions, and students.

The Injury Maps rely on MapInfo Corp.'s MapInfo MapXtreme to display state and national geographic patterns in injury deaths. Users can select specific parameters to create maps to suit their needs. For example, a health worker can use Injury Maps to create state or county maps that depict death rates from several broad categories of injuries as well as create maps of a specific injury cause and compare them to state and national death rates.

Solid Terrain Modeling (STM) has produced two models for the law firm of Wolk & Genter Attorneys at Law. The models were used as exhibits in a lawsuit arising from the fatal crash of a light, twin-engine airplane in the mountains west of Hawthorne, Nevada. Law firm principal Arthur Wolk, who represented the family of the pilot, asked STM to create models of the crash area that would help the jury understand the sequence of events that led to the accident.

"We used the models to demonstrate the sequence of events that led to the fatal crash," said Arthur Wolk. "We needed to discuss the plane's position before and after the engine failure, the weather, the terrain, the sequence of the pilot's actions and the direction given by air traffic control. With the models, we were able to coordinate and illustrate information from the air traffic controller and the local radar station, with the failure point and the actions taken by the pilot."

The elevation data to create the terrain for both models was gathered from the US Geological Survey (USGS) archive. The image of the terrain was from satellite photos and from USGS maps.

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has recognized Space Imaging for its work in support of NIMA during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The award recognizes Space Imaging's partnership with NIMA and specifically cites the company's timely, accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security. NIMA presented the award to Space Imaging at the 2003 Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) luncheon held on March 20, 2003 during the Federal Programs Conference in Washington, D.C. Erol Morey, Space Imaging's director of Defense Solutions, accepted the award on the company's behalf.

"Space Imaging is honored to receive this citation from NIMA. This award reflects the dedication and commitment of the entire company to support NIMA during Operation Enduring Freedom," said Morey.

The symposium, Innovations in Species Conservation: Integrative Approaches to Address Rarity and Risk, is a conference designed for experts in ecology, sociology, and legal affairs to come together with natural resource managers to discuss approaches to conservation of rare and poorly known plants and animals. The conference takes place in the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on April 28, 29, 30.

"There are hundreds of rare and little-known species that could face extirpation because of diminishing habitat. Unfortunately, we so poorly understand their ecologies and natural histories, that it is very difficult to design conservation management plans to protect them one species at a time,” says Randy Molina, an ecologist and forest mycology team leader with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station, who is helping plan the symposium.

The keynote speaker is Judge Craig Manson, Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Manson oversees the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The symposium is open to the public. Registration information can be found online at or call the Outreach Education Office, College of Forestry, Oregon State University at (541) 737-2329.

The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) invites responses to a Request for Technology (RFT) in support of an OGC Interoperability Initiative called the "OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 2." Responses are due by May 30, 2003. The RFT document is available for download at

The purpose of this Request For Technology (RFT) is to solicit industry input regarding technology areas being considered in the planning of one or more open, industry testbeds to study the effectiveness and limitations of architectures for interoperable Spatial Web Services. Responses to this RFT should consider the work performed in the OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 1 and the specifications developed during the course of that initiative. Proposals should point out where OGC's existing Accepted Technology or specifications under consideration address the needs mentioned in the RFT.


Ordnance Survey also awarded eMapSite the highest level of accreditation in their new partner programme. eMapSite's portfolio includes value added products from Ordnance Survey and other major data suppliers. EMapSite also launched OS MasterMap value added products in November 2002 and now the availability of full GB coverage for site-specific 1:10 000 scale and 1:25 000 scale colour raster data.

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has announced the 2003 Speaker Award winners from its recent Conference 26 in San Antonio. The award recognizes the top five percent of session speakers, each of whom were rated by session attendees in the areas of quality of presentation, visual aids, session content, and relevance of topic.

The recipients of the 2003 GITA Speaker Award include:

- Eric Ackerman, Edison Electric Institute, “Electricity Restructuring: New Opportunities and New Challenges for Geospatial Information”

- Pat Drinnan, Aquila Networks Canada, “Data … The New Life Line for the Field!”

- Nancy Lerner, EMA, Inc., “Using Business Case and ROI to Justify GIT Spending”

- William Meehan, ESRI, “Forget the Intangibles-GIS Improves the Bottom Line”

- Jennifer Nieland, Wisconsin Public Service Corp., “Using Change Management to Achieve Success in Second-Generation Mobile GIS Implementation”

- Ed Parsons, Ordnance Survey, “The Role of Web Services for Spatial Data Delivery”

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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