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January 16, 2006
Emerging Technologies for 2006 - Part 1
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com 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 GISCafe.com. 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! GISWeekly asked several industry spokespeople to comment on what were the most significant announcements for the year 2005, and what do they anticipate the emerging technologies of 2006 to be in their areas of expertise. This week we have replies from ESRI's president, Jack Dangermond, Autodesk's vice president of Infrastructure Solutions Division (ISD), Chris Bradshaw and GeoEye's president and CEO Matthew O'Connell.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Emerging Technologies for 2006 - Part 1

By Susan Smith

GISWeekly asked several industry spokespeople to comment on what were the most significant announcements for the year 2005, and what do they anticipate the emerging technologies of 2006 to be in their areas of expertise. This week we have replies from ESRI's president, Jack Dangermond, Autodesk's vice president of Infrastructure Solutions Davison (ISD), Chris Bradshaw and GeoEye's president and CEO Matthew O'Connell.

From ESRI, the future holds the GeoWeb, ArcGIS 9.2 and the Image Server. Autodesk launched the MapServer Foundation in November, the company's entry into the open source community. And GeoEye, formerly ORBIMAGE, completed its acquisition of Space Imaging this week and is looking forward to higher resolution imagery to pave the way to new products and services.

Jack Dangermond, President of ESRI

1) What were the most significant announcements in GIS and/or your area of expertise for the year 2005?

For ESRI users, it was ArcGIS Server. This is a complete GIS implemented in a server environment. It supports many levels of GIS implementation including departmental servers, enterprise systems, and even multi-organizational systems.

2. What do you see as the emerging technologies for 2006?

We are seeing the beginnings of the GeoWeb-a distributed network of GIS services that describe many aspects of geography and workflows. We envision that server-based GIS will be a key building block to support this vision. While the focus of GIS servers is on generating and serving the information products that are necessary for various missions, a new vision of creating a “system of systems” that can be used for a range of purposes- supporting regional, national, and even global application-also benefits from this architecture. The GIS server framework already supports map and data publishing, metadata cataloging, and the discovery of geospatial services. Over time, it will
expand to support the dynamic collection of a whole host of distributed GIS services, including data management, modeling, GIS analysis, Extract, Transform, Load (ETL), and advanced visualization. It will also provide a platform for GIS users to look at bigger problems that depend on cross-organization and cross-discipline collaboration. In 2006 we will release a free viewing technology called ArcGIS Explorer; a whole new way for GIS services to be processed and visualized.

3) Which of these do you feel will be realized and to what degree in 2006?

It's difficult to predict how fast the GeoWeb will be realized, but ESRI's ArcGIS 9.2 software-a major introduction of new functionality and server-based architecture-will contribute to its development. Included will be better cartography, data management, modeling, temporal GIS, and new tools for accessing GIS functionality across the Web.

4) What are the cutting edge developments to look for from your organization?

In addition to ArcGIS 9.2, ESRI will introduce the Image Server, which provides on-the-fly image processing by simultaneously processing and distributing images in a Web services environment. Also, ArcGIS Explorer is a new free Web client that promises to support a new way for GIS users to share and access GIS services of all types. GIS services-oriented technologies will contribute to the advancement of the GIS market; both improving and extending GIS at the enterprise and societal levels, and also GIS as a platform for spatially enabling other IT systems.

Chris Bradshaw, Vice President of the Infrastructure Solutions Division (ISD)

Autodesk, Inc.

1) What were the most significant announcements in GIS and/or your area of expertise for the year 2005?

In late November, Autodesk was involved in one of the biggest stories to hit the geospatial industry in years. Together with a fantastic community of smart and devoted community stakeholders including the MapServer Technical Steering Committee, the University of Minnesota MapServer Project and the DM Solutions Group, we launched the
Mapserver Foundation in late November. As a sign of our commitment to the foundation and its mission of promoting web mapping technology, we also announced the company is contributing the code for our next generation web mapping software to the foundation. Since the announcement, we have seen an explosion of press coverage and discussion group activity. As we expected, the response to Autodesk's entry into the open source community has been impassioned and generally positive.

Of course, part of the reason the announcement garnered so much attention was the fact that for the past 24 years Autodesk has been a traditional software vendor. While the company has supported open standards since its inception, we are now taking the step of investing in open source solutions. There were a number of factors that went into this decision. Primarily, the decision was a reflection of our customers' desire for faster innovation, more frequent product releases, and lower total cost of ownership. The open source approach to software development offers a number of advantages for software users and commercial vendors alike. Just as there was an explosion of discussion group
activity related to this announcement, we expect to see a large amount of development activity now that a snapshot of the source code is available for download at
MapServer Foundation.

As 2006 begins, we are excited about playing a part in changing the way web mapping software is developed and delivered. Although our MapGuide customers have enjoyed the ability to work with multiple data formats and open systems for years, we recognize there is also a large community of web mapping developers locked into a proprietary system which limits their choices. By offering an open system and making it so accessible to everyone, Autodesk is betting we will grow our business through offering formal support, subscription, and services rather than traditional software. It is a new way of business which requires new thinking and a willingness to try new things. Given how new this
all is, there are bound to be a few challenges along the way. However, we remain confident that the end result will be happier customers, better software, and stronger business.

Matthew O'Connell, president and CEO of GeoEye (formerly ORBIMAGE)

1) What were the most significant announcements in GIS and/or your area of expertise for the year 2005?

In 2005 the U.S. Government played a significant role in extending and broadening access to the products and services currently served by commercial imagery providers. The DOD's National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) increased reliance on commercial imagery is seen in their continuing need for imagery purchased through the multi-year ClearView contract. There were ClearView awards in 2005. The latest award was on January 6, 2006. The DOD awarded $60 million to the remote sensing companies for another year of imagery purchases. GeoEye received $36 million. Commercial satellite imagery was also used by the U.S. Government during the tragic hurricanes that hit the southern and Gulf
coasts last fall. GeoEye's IKONOS satellite collected some 35,000 square kilometers of imagery that was sent to first responders and Federal relief organizations to support rescue and reconstruction efforts.

2) What do you see as the emerging technologies for 2006?

It's an exciting time in our history as the commercial satellite imagery industry evolves, creating a bigger and better landscape for the future. The industry will provide imagery content and new and innovative technologies that will serve commercial and government customers. Later this year customers will have access to even higher resolution imagery and that will lead to new products and services. GeoEye's next-generation satellite is slated for launch in early 2007. That satellite will have a ground resolution of .41-meters. In addition, desktop mapping and geospatial programs will continue to gain popularity, further increase general public awareness and appetite for satellite imagery
as a whole and diversify future market offerings. For example, consumers favorably received Google's offering of Google Earth, free software that marries satellite and aerial images with mapping software. So as consumers become savvier and recognize the usefulness of this navigation tool, our industry will see more players in this arena. GeoEye has a new relationship with Microsoft and both companies are exploring the opportunities of marrying software and imagery content.

3) Which of these do you feel will be realized and to what degree in 2006?

Business to business and business to consumer applications will grow in 2006 to the point that the public will be very accustomed to looking at earth from above. The number of mash-ups utilizing the Google offering will continue to grow at an almost exponential rate. In 2006 government and commercial customers can be assured of the stability of the industry since there are now two strong US commercial remote sensing companies. Consolidation is healthy for such a new industry. GeoEye will be a driving force in moving the industry forward because of our advanced technology, innovation, integrity and service to customers.

4) What are the cutting edge developments to look for from your organization?

GeoEye operates a world class processing facility in St. Louis and now will be able to utilize map-accurate imagery from the IKONOS, OrbView-3 and OrbView-2 satellites to enhance value-added products. A keen focus for GeoEye will be to fully integrate the merger so that execution will be flawless while continuing to provide quality products and service to our customers. We will also focus on extracting value from the 255 million square kilometers of imagery in the IKONOS and OrbView-3 archive, set up systems so that we can collaboratively task our satellites; and continue to improve customer service operations. While working on some specific R&D developments, we are not ready to identify
any specifics.


Overwatch Systems announced that it has acquired Paragon Imaging of Woburn, Mass. The purchase became effective on Nov. 30, 2005. Paragon Imaging is now known as the Boston Operations of Overwatch.

NAVTEQ, global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, announced plans to acquire the gedas MapIT business unit in Mexico; gedas MapIT is the leading digital map provider in Mexico. The acquisition broadens NAVTEQ digital map coverage while creating an efficient local foundation for further expansion.


The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) invites public comment on a candidate specification for a geospatial Web Processing Service (WPS)

The candidate Web Processing Service interface specification provides a standardized interface that facilitates the access and publishing of geospatial processes as well as the discovery and binding to those processes by client applications. "Processes" in this context include any sort of calculation or model which operates on spatially referenced data. Examples of geospatial processing are polygon overlay, buffer analysis, and line of sight analysis. The data required by the WPS can be delivered across a network or they can be available at the server. WPS builds on currently adopted OpenGIS(R) Specifications that define standard interfaces for finding and accessing geospatial data and

DigitalGlobe has been awarded a $24 million satellite imagery capacity contract modification by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). This ClearView contract enables the NGA to acquire additional commercial imagery from DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite - the world's highest resolution commercial imaging satellite.

DigitalGlobe's map-accurate imagery is used for a number of mapping and planning activities within defense and intelligence and commercial applications around the world.

In 1981, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women's History Month, and the U.S. president has issued a proclamation.

149.1 million: The number of females in the United States as of July 1, 2004. That exceeds the number of males (144.5 million). Males outnumbered females in every five-year-age group through the 35- to 39-age group. Starting with the 40- to 44-age group, women outnumbered men. At 85 and over, there were more than twice as many women as men.
U.S. Census Bureau

A new live training seminar from ESRI Virtual Campus details the newest spatial statistics tools available with ArcGIS 9. Understanding Spatial Statistics in ArcGIS 9 will be presented January 26, 2006, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. Pacific time.

A broadband Internet connection and an ESRI Virtual Campus membership are required to view the seminar. Becoming a Virtual Campus member is free and only takes a few minutes. Following the live presentation, the seminar will be archived and available for viewing at any time on the Virtual Campus Web site. More information about this seminar, including instructions for attending and a schedule of upcoming seminars, is available at
ESRI Virtual Campus.

Name Change

ORBIMAGE Holdings Inc. has finalized the acquisition of substantially all of Denver-based Space Imaging's assets. The combined company will now do business under the brand name GeoEye. GeoEye is the world's largest commercial satellite imagery company with a pro forma combined revenue for 2005 of approximately $160 million. The purchase price was approximately $58.5 million less amounts which were paid by Space Imaging on its existing debt as well as certain other adjustments.


A new live training seminar from
ESRI Virtual Campus details the newest spatial statistics tools available with
ArcGIS 9.
Understanding Spatial Statistics in ArcGIS 9 will be presented January 26, 2006, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. Pacific time.


Intergraph Corporation announced Hawaiian Telcom, Hawaii's leading telecommunications provider, has selected Intergraph's G/Technology as the enabling engine for its geospatial resource management (GRM) environment. G/Technology's communication-specific solutionware will streamline Hawaiian Telcom's business processes by integrating critical workflows among applications that manage, monitor and maintain its service-delivery network. Intergraph's GRM system will provide Hawaiian Telecom with open database access, scalability and high performance that will simplify projects and processes.


Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has been named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Ranked 81st among the top 100 and 24th among small-sized companies, Autodesk prides itself on creating an innovative environment where new ideas thrive and a place where company values are more than just words; respect, teamwork, flexibility and risk-taking are representative of its culture.

New Products

mPower Technologies, the developer of mPower Integrator, is officially announcing their launch into the geographic information systems (GIS) market. The company has over 30 years of combined experience in geospatial technologies. mPower Integrator, their flagship product, offers a new way to develop customized Web applications.

Hop-on, Inc. announced that it would launch a GPS assisted Location-Based Services (LBS) tracking phone for kids at CES 2006. The new Chitter Chatter kids' phone was designed to empower kids and parents with both phone and LBS tracking capabilities, with a suggested retail price of under $50 (
www.hop-on.com/kidsphone.html ).

geoVue, an enterprise location intelligence software provider, announces the release of marketVue Portal v.1.2, the latest version of its powerful Web Services-based platform for site selection, market planning, and sales forecasting applications. Customers can access geoVue's location intelligence software applications iSITE (site selection and trade area analysis) and iPREDICT (sales forecasting), through the marketVue Portal. The marketVue Portal can also be seamlessly integrated with third-party data and customers' proprietary applications.

Visual Learning Systems (VLS) announced the release of Feature Analyst 4.0 for ERDAS IMAGINE, providing a sophisticated solution for extracting features of interest from imagery and scanned maps.

Feature Analyst 4.0 offers significant new benefits including enhanced image and vector handling, direct read/write capability with the Geodatabase, and a developer API for creating plug-in tools.

The LEA-4A, a mere 17 x 22 mm in size, is u-blox' new low-cost GPS module, featuring the recently released 16-channel ANTARIS 4 receiver technology developed jointly by Atmel and u-blox. The LEA-4A module provides high performance using 40% less power than its predecessor (the LEA-LA) and includes a USB port for flexible connectivity, high data rates and combined power and data transmission over one link.

RSI, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITT Industries, announced the release of the ENVI RX Anomaly Detection Tool, a free plug-in for ENVI 4.1 and 4.2, that gives ENVI users the ability to quickly and easily identify anomalies in geospatial images. This new ENVI tool automatically locates areas in an image that are different from the overall image background allowing analysts to focus on those areas that are most likely to contain valuable information.

People viewing maps online can now call up, interrogate, explore and analyze the information they contain interactively in real time, thanks to a new capability built into the latest version of GeoConcept Internet Server, the powerful geographic information system from MapMechanics.

This new capability has been made possible by the introduction of an On Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) capability in GeoConcept. This “G-OLAP” technology allows people using Web browsers to drill down into the data behind online mapping on a live basis, viewing and analyzing the information in whatever way suits them - both textually and in the form of annotated maps.

The National Football League (NFL) and The Map Network (TMN) unveiled the preferred online and print maps of Super Bowl XL at
SuperBowl.com and at
VisitDetroit.com, the official site of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Media and fans can learn how to feature the interactive Super Bowl XL map on their sites at
MapNetwork/SuperBowl or link directly to
Map at MapNetwork.

Getmapping.com, British supplier of aerial photography, announces the launch of SIMurban - a state-of-the-art 3D World Simulator that promises to revolutionize the future of sustainable planning and development.

Multimap, a leading online mapping provider, announced the deployment of its mapping solution for Optus, an Australian leader in telecommunications. This is the first time that an international mobile telecommunications company has benefited from Multimap's expertise in location-enabled solutions development and Microsoft's MapPoint Web Service Platform Technology for 3G phones. The new mapping and location-based services offered to Optus's 3G customers is called the FindA services.

The GeoInformation Group, publishers of
Cities Revealed aerial photography, confirm plans to capture Greater London at 5cm, the highest resolution ever made available to the market, rendering 10cm resolution imagery of London second best.

By capturing London at 5cm, Cities Revealed will be ensuring that every agency responsible for the continued development of London has access to the most detailed and clearest aerial imagery available.

Around the Web

New AUGI AutoCAD Wish List Link Blog

Autodesk To See Q4 Upside On Surprise Rebate Maya Roney, Forbes, January 6, 2006- Autodesk introduced an upgrade promotion for customers running 2002-based products. Starting on December 12, all obit/retirement upgrades from 2002-based products became eligible for a rebate. The rebate is $125 across all 2002-based upgrades and the promotion runs through January 27.

Upcoming Events

GIS Ostrava 2006

Date: January 23 - 25, 2006

Place: VSB-Technical University Ostrava Czech Republic

Let us invite you to participate in International Symposium GIS - Ostrava 2006. This meeting has been organized every year since 1994 and it has been developed to one of the most important GI/GIT conferences in the Czech Republic. Every year about two hundred participants mainly from the Czech Republic and Slovakia attend the conference. Reputable foreign speakers have been invited to present main topics to Czech and Slovak GI community. The aim of this series of conferences is bringing together researchers, developers, users, and practitioners from the field of GI/GIT. We have decided to open GIS Ostrava 2006 meeting to keynote speakers from informatics area. We hope that they can bring
new ideas to GI-community how to effectively use IT for GI.

DGI Europe 2006

Date: January 23 - 26, 2006

Place: QE II Conference Centre Westminster, London, United Kingdom

DGI (Defence Geospatial Intelligence) is the annual European event for the Military Geospatial Intelligence community, bringing together government, industry, and military leaders together with leading suppliers and industry experts.

Mapping California Communities: An Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis Workshop - One Day Workshop

Date: January 25 - 27, 2006

Place: City of Orange, USA

This fast paced, hands-on workshop teaches the fundamentals of how to use a Geographic Information System (GIS) in a way that is particularly relevant to social service providers, planners and researchers. Participants learn to make thematic maps of their community, geocode addresses and perform spatial queries and analysis. Participants also learn to extract and map Census variables such as race, poverty, language, education, health and many other demographic variables. Exercises are designed for beginners. Intermediate Excel skills required. Each students is assigned a computer on which to work for the day.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.