March 31, 2003
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Message from the Editor
Welcome to GISWeekly! This week's GISWeekly will feature some cartographic contributions and other GIS products being used in the war with Iraq. We wish those who are involved in the war and their families safe journeys and send them our heartfelt prayers.
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
Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Comic relief and laughter help provide balance amid the constant media reports of war. Of the news that emanated from GeoTec 2003 in Vancouver last week, IDELIX Software had the most amusing announcement with their 'Alien life form' Funny Faces demo hosted at the IDELIX Software booth. Many attendees had their photo taken with a digital camera, then the image was manipulated using IDELIX's PDT lens. The effects created from the information in the magnified focal region and the condensed shoulder region of the lens created some very funny faces. IDELIX created an online photo gallery of the participants - check out "Funny Faces of GeoTec" at
While we try to put a bright face on things, the war is ever present in our thoughts these days, and affects our industry as well. From around the web, GISWeekly has assembled some of the GIS images and products that have emerged as a result of the war with Iraq.
DigitalGlobe has a special gallery of Iraq images as featured in the media.
NOAA site, a
NOAA polar-orbiting satellite displays the massive dust storm in Iraq moving southward. Little cloud cover is evident over most of Iraq. 'Hot spots' in southern Iraq, Kuwait, Iran and the Persian Gulf are depicted in another image taken by the NOAA satellite. Some of the 'hot spots' in southern Iraq are believed to be burning oil fields. Smaller 'hot spot' areas visible southwest of Baghdad are believed to be fires in the region. The other 'hot spot' areas in Kuwait, Iran and the Persian Gulf are the result of operations of waste gas flaring from oil wells.
Caption: Above are two images of Iraq taken from ORBIMAGE's OrbView-2 "SeaWiFS" satellite at 1km resolution from Thursday, March 27th and Friday, March 28th, the first clear images over Baghdad since the sandstorm passed through . Both images clearly show thick black smoke coming from Baghdad after coalition forces launched their heaviest days of air strikes on Iraq's capital.
- "Courtesy of ORBIMAGE"
Radar based mapping technology will be displayed by Environmental Mapping Canada Ltd. (EMC) at its corporate hangar facilities located at TRADEX, Abbotsford Airport, on Friday, March 28. The company will showcase its replica Scud B Missile, which, with the assistance of Canadian Military Engineers, will be placed underground within the company's Evaluation Proving Ground (EPG) at Abbotsford Airport. Other military weapons placed within the EPG include a simulated minefield composed of inert replica landmines placed by Canadian Forces 6 Field Engineer Squadron (6FES), in November 2002.
Space Imaging's product to help Iraq's renewal as mentioned in last week's GISWeekly.
LeadDog Consulting of Anchorage, Alaska announced the release of Baghdad vector street mapping, which is designed for cartographic display and educational reference. Baghdad vector map is available in every major GIS format. The product provides various vector layers and attributes such as:
- Streets & Roads
- Points of Interest (government building, palaces, etc.)
- Landmark polygons
All vector layers are attributed with feature names.
Announced by AirIQ (TSX: IQ), a mobile resource management firm, is its acquisition of the balance of the patent title and interest in certain U.S. patents and Canadian patent applications, to bring them to 100% ownership of the patents. The strategic patents relate to the "Method of Retrieving Vehicular Collateral" and become financially important when the financial services industry uses a telematics solution to locate and recover mobile assets (i.e., cars, trucks, construction equipment and transport trailers) for which financing is in default.
Fastrax Ltd., a Finnish developer of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), announced a new Sales Representation and Distribution Agreement with a leading electronic component distributor ACTE, a part of a Swedish Lagercrantz Group.
ACTE will start representing Fastrax's family of GPS modules in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. ACTE is specialized in the distribution and representation of electronic components and system products, which require high technical skills and customized control of logistics.
Within hours of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (see
GISWeekly, Feb 10-14), teams of investigators and researchers were sent to help locate the shuttle debris over a broad area of several states. One of the NASA engineers brought from the Johnson Space Center to help in those efforts had used DeLorme's Topo USA 4.0 in NASA's X-38 Crew Return Vehicle flight test program. Because of that experience, he contacted DeLorme and the company has since provided the XMap 4.0 mapping software which integrates satellite imagery with topographic data and imported user databases. In addition
DeLorme has supplied NASA with copies of pre-release XMap 4.0, Earthmate GPS receivers, and a variety of geographic datasets developed for use within the XMap Professional Mapping Software suite - including a custom-cut aerial and satellite composite imagery dataset covering the debris path across Texas and into Louisiana.
The software was loaded onto a laptop, connected to a GPS receiver, then recovery team members took the laptops with them on their search missions across central Texas. The software has a GPS bread-crumb trail feature, which is superimposed onto a zoomed-in satellite image, to provide real-time visual data to the helicopter pilot indicating their exact location within a given search field.
After the flight the GPS log was played back against a map imagery backdrop to document the exact search pattern. The program's Draw Tab was used to color in completed search areas and document recovered debris locations by attaching text and pic files to the map.
All the search data was coordinated digitally at one central location with XMap 4.0.
Sponsored by Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) the 2003 Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) is open for submission of proposals through May 30, 2003. The CAP program is designed to support the implementation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).
The 2003 CAP will provide seed funds to help organizations in building the NSDI through metadata implementation, training and outreach, and clearinghouse implementation of OpenGIS web services. Application information and instructions can be found on-line by visiting
Electric Energy Magazine, a Jaguar Publication, together launched a new series of research reports specifically targeted at progressive electric utilities. The Utility Horizons Report Series entitled, “Automation Strategies, Issues & Trends for Progressive Utilities (2003-2006)” is scheduled for publication in April 2003.
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.
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