March 10, 2003
Wide Open Spatial - GITA 26 Coverage
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
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!

Xora, Inc. launched Xora GPS TimeTrack, an inexpensive service that allows companies to track the time and location of their mobile employees through any GPS-enabled cell phone. Companies who signed up for Xora GPS TimeTrack can monitor and enforce overtime policies, automate data transfer to payroll systems, enforce driver speed and stop time regulations and optimize routing of deliveries.

DeLorme, an advocate of OGIS, introduced XMap® 4.0, a suite of professional GIS software and data products. XMap 4.0 is an extension of DeLorme's robust and expanding XMap data fusion engine and offers an easy-to-use, affordable import/export tools with a wide variety of data and imagery sets for professionals.

Letters from Readers
In Response to "Homeland Security and Duct Tape..." (GISWeekly, week of February 24, 2003)

I agree that the GIS technologies can be used to aid in emergency preparedness. However, your letter seems to expect the federal government to provide all of the funding for agencies to decide what GIS software to buy. As a taxpayer, I would expect the government to develop a framework that all agencies would have to plug into before getting the dollars. I would expect this would take time. I also would not expect the federal government to cover all of the needs of local agencies financially. The locals should be able to provide for their own needs for preparedness. Different parts of the country have different
needs. Local control and taxing authority should provide the most responsive emergency services.

Finally, having your household prepared for an emergency is common sense. There are things that can be done that significantly reduce exposure to chemical and biological attacks. Having alternative water supplies and emergency packs can help in other kinds of disasters. In my area tornados are a problem. In other areas it can be earthquakes and floods. The federal government encouraging people to be prepared during a time of heightened threat is a proper role of the government. If you expect the feds to be able to protect your household from every danger present in the world you will be disappointed.

Scott Scherrer


Thank you for your response to GISWeekly.

I did not mean to suggest that the federal government fund all GIS for Homeland Security at agencies. I agree with you that the government should create a framework for agencies to plug into. I'm just concerned that it is taking so much time, in light of the urgency that we hear about each day, and the agencies themselves, many of whom have expressed concern that they feel unprepared for some types of emergency operations.

With regard to preparing one's household, I'm in complete agreement that it is a necessity even in the best of times. The first announcements of what to buy to prepare for emergencies sounded humorous to me, and even Mr. Ridge himself amended his original statement, and also set aside funds for a website and toll free number, realizing that some people needed more guidance than to be simply told to go out and buy duct tape and plastic sheeting.



Around the Web

Red Herring, a very popular magazine for technology readers, was discontinued after its March issue, which was delivered to subscribers two weeks ago.The magazine's publisher, RHC Media, reached the decision after unsuccessfully trying to sell Red Herring, the chief executive of RHC Media, Chris Dobbrow, said. The magazine had a circulation of about 275,000.

"The White House is having difficulty filling three top jobs in the Office of Homeland Security. The positions are in the Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP), which his charged with intelligence-gathering and cyber security. Those who have been approached for the jobs and those who closely follow the organization of the new department say that the reasons candidates are backing away from the jobs are that IAIP's mission is unclear, and that it will not have the resources or influence to get the job done." (Source:

Going on this Month

Date: March 2 - 5, 2003

Place: San Antonio, TX USA

Premier educational event of the year of geospatial professionals.

Date: March 4 - 8, 2003

Place: New Orleans, LA USA

The Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers attracts more than 4,000 geographers and related professionals from the United States, Canada, and abroad. Is is a stimulating forum for discussing research, education, accomplishments, and developments in geography. Your participation is most welcome.

Date: March 6 - 7, 2003

Place: San Antonio, TX USA

MAPublisher training using MAPublisher 5.0 on Adobe Illustrator 10 on Windows. Given by Avenza technical and training staff.

Date: March 6 - 7, 2003

Place: Houston, TX USA

Whether your a beginner or experienced FME user, GIS professional, or developer, our hands on course and professional training materials will show you how to get the most out of FME. Register early, space is limited!

Date: March 16 - 19, 2003

Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

"A Spirit of Collaboration" -- the conference is designed to provide a broad vendor-neutral overview of geospatial technology applications.

Date: March 20 - 21, 2003

Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Whether your a beginner or experienced FME user, GIS professional, or developer, our hands on course and professional training materials will show you how to get the most out of FME. Register early, space is limited!

Date: March 20, 2003

Place: USA

free web forum with experts to talk to online. 10 GMT

Date: March 27, 2003

Place: Pendleton Convention CenterPendleton, OR USA

Theme: Tools, Tips, Tricks and Training

The conference is a great place to learn more about how professionals throughout the region are using GIS to accomplish important objectives in the public and private sectors. People from throughout the area will be attending the conference representing federal, state, and local governments, academia and private industry. This is a great opportunity for you meet people active in the GIS field, exchange information and network with fellow GIS users. Exhibitors will be displaying the latest in GIS hardware, software and services.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


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