March 17, 2003
More on Homeland Security
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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!

ESRI announced its sponsorship of the Vespucci Initiative Summer School on geographic information system (GIS) technology, which will focus on location-based services (LBS) and spatial data infrastructures. The summer school will be held at Villa Demidoff in Pratolino (Florence), Italy, from July 28 to August 8, 2003. Leaders from academia and the private sector will meet to discuss important issues in location-based services including privacy, tracking, GIS Web services, and interoperability.

Ordnance Survey has made changes in the way it manages a key part of its data collection strategy in order to bring significant benefits to Britain's most detailed digital mapping. A new series of long-term supply agreements which comprise a mixture of in-house and external suppliers has helped efficiency and data quality and cost control. The result is that data has been revised that is critical to forthcoming layers of the OS Mastermap digital map data, including positional accuracy improvements to rural areas and selected rural towns.

Beijing Waterworks Group, the largest water utility in China, purchased Haestad Methods' WaterCAD(R) software to help the City of Beijing guarantee the reliability of its water distribution system for the 2008 Summer Olympics. WaterCAD, Haestad Methods' water distribution modeling software, was selected by Athens Water and Sewer (Greece) to upgrade its water system for the large influx of visitors that will be generated by the 2004 Olympics.

A just-released high-resolution map from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) shows the existence of the impact crater, Chicxulub, all but hidden in the flat limestone plateau of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, in the mission's first released continental data set.

In the 1990s, this crater gained attention through satellite data and ground studies as many scientists thought it responsible the demise of the dinosaurs and more than 70 percent of Earth's living species 65 million years ago. The SRTM has provided the most telling visible evidence to date of a 180-kilometer (112-mile) wide, 900-meter (3,000-foot) deep impact crater, the result of a collision with a giant comet or asteroid on one of Earth's all-time worst days.

The North America and Yucatan Peninsula images created from the map are available on the JPL Planetary Photo journal at:

"Earth as Art," a joint USGS and NASA collection of satellite imagery displays 41 images of Earth taken by the Landsat 7 satellite from over 400 miles high. These portraits of Earth show illuminating aspects of nature. Fine art prints of these and other selected U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) satellite and aerial images are now available as part of a recently signed cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between the USGS and LookClickPrint, Inc., (LCP) of Los Lunas, New Mexico. Under the CRADA, the USGS and LCP will together make premium-quality reproductions of the "Earth as Art" collection available to public.

Haestad Methods, a leading provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based hydraulic modeling solutions, launched its latest on-line discussion group, GISTalk. Accessible at, this free on-line forum is a place for GIS professionals to ask questions and raise issues regarding geographic and geospatial information systems and receive feedback from colleagues and Haestad Methods' GIS experts.

WebTech Wireless Inc., a telematics services provider serving fleets, announced that Land Air Express, a North American full service expedited carriers service serving 15 states and Canada, has selected WebTech's Quadrant System to achieve real-time monitoring of its fleet. Operating costs for Land Air have been cut and customer service has improved as a result of the switch to WebTech's "always-on" GPRS based system from a satellite-based system.

Intergraph Hong Kong Limited, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Intergraph Corporation, announced the successful rollout of its Geospatial Information and Outage Management System (GIS-OMS) powered by Intergraph's G/Electric solution, for Companhia de Electricidade de Macau - CEM, S. A. (CEM). Companhia de Electricidade de Macau is the sole electricity provider in Macau, serving more than 187,000 customers across 22 square kilometers. The GIS-OMS was deployed in approximately thirteen months, meeting company expectations for rapid implementation. The solution replaces CEM's existing mapping system and provides an outage management capability for its electric distribution network.

Mapbyte, a UK based company and owner of the Mapminder website ( has officially launched its map-based community website. The Mapminder website is based on unique mapping technology developed and designed by Telmap, a software provider of mobile mapping applications. With the addition of Telmap's advanced internet mapping technology the Mapminder website will be able to provide users with very fast download time on detailed maps together with a map-based restaurant and venue service for the whole UK. is a comprehensive online location guide for the UK market, offering the ability to search and map up to 26 million UK sites by address, postal code,
crossroad and map coordinates.

The service is currently offering free membership for 30 days, after which charges for subscribing to are as follows:

Monthly charge £2.95

Quarterly charge £7.95

Annual charge £24.95

Established in 1991, the Outstanding Service Award is given to American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) members in recognition of outstanding and unusual efforts in helping ASPRS develop and carry out its programs over a sustained period. Recipients have performed outstanding service at the chapter, regional, or national level. Awardees' services include any activities, including professional, that have helped the Society achieve its goals and objectives.

Those selected for the 2003 ASPRS Outstanding Service Award are:

ASPRS Sustaining Member Companies

- SAIC, Inc. for their sponsorship of the Estes Memorial Teaching Award

- AERO-METRIC, Inc. for their initial sponsorship of the Paul R. Wolf Scholarship

- ASPRS Members

- Allen Watkins for his efforts to make the SAIC Estes Memorial Teaching Award a financial reality

- Bernard (Barney) Schur for his vision and effort in making the Paul R. Wolf Scholarship a reality

- Mary Clawson for her leadership of many ASPRS sponsored or co-sponsored conferences, and, specifically, for the outstanding 2002 XXII FIG International Congress and combined ACSM-ASPRS Conference and Technology Exhibit

- Sky Chamard for his many years of dedicated service to the ASPRS Certification Program

New Products

Announced at GITA:

AM/FM/GIS has not been embraced by utility professionals as it has been in other industries, perhaps because there has not been much interest in mapping from the utility community. For many years, mapping has been considered “discretionary spending,” largely because of the sheer cost of computing. Today, you can run applications from within browsers, not requiring the space on your hard drive.

GITA Exhibit Hall
I spoke with Marie Smith and Frank Castlebury of Byers Engineering SpatialAge Solutions. Their new web-based Fiber Management Tool (FMT) provides analysis, management and restoration tools for complex telecommunications fiber optic network facilities. FMT provides a seamless view of the fiber network to OSP and ISP engineers, planners and construction personnel, augmenting existing systems.

FMT is built on Byers' SpatialAge platform, which was developed using JAVA on Oracle 9i Spatial, and thereby offers seamless intranet enabled environment that allows for the sharing of geospatial facility data collaboratively. FMT brings users closer to a spatial data warehouse with tools for analyzing and viewing inside and outside fiber optic plant facilities for fiber optic networks.

Marie and Frank also told me about Byers' “Silo Busters” which breaks down the walls between the legacy systems at the data layer by utilizing the power of geodata. The system provides tools to publish into future environments such as JAVA, Html, etc. from legacy environments. The system addresses the challenge of legacy systems that have been developed on numerous platforms spanning several technology generations, which stand in the way of effective workflows.

Presidents Reception Hall (GITA)
Hitachi Software Engineering Co. Ltd. announced Any*GIS Version 3, its open spatial data integration solution which allows organizations to adopt open standards technologies while preserving legacy spatial data and workflows. Any*GIS is based on Open GIS standards such as SFS, SRS, GML and open industry standards such as Java 2 Enterprise Edition, CORBA, XML and SQL. Many operations can be streamlined with this system, so that large enterprise organizations can integrate disparate facility data sources, manage GIS data with CAD and maintain legacy GIS applications and data. The solutions will
be generally available in April.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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