January 23, 2006
Emerging Technologies for 2006 – Part 2
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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 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! The second part of our look at Emerging Technologies for 2006 focuses on location technology. Carriers such as Verizon, Sprint/Nextel and others are generating new revenue, attracting new subscribers, and increasing customer loyalty by adding the value of location to their wireless services. Hear what Peter Batty, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Intergraph and Sunit Lohtia, CTO of Location Services at Autodesk have to say about upcoming technologies in the new year.

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, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Awards, Financials, Appointments, Wins, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.

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

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Emerging Technologies for 2006 - Part 2

by Susan Smith

The second part of our look at Emerging Technologies for 2006 focuses on location technology. Peter Batty, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Intergraph, remarked that Google has made a significant impact on the market for 2005, brightening the horizon for the vertical application market. Looking forward, indoor location tracking as well as cell phone location tracking will play larger roles this year. Sunit Lohtia, CTO of Location Services at Autodesk, described location-based services (LBS) as the underlying technology driving some of the most cutting edge and emerging wireless services. Carriers such as Verizon, Sprint/Nextel and others are generating new revenue, attracting
new subscribers, and increasing customer loyalty by adding the value of location to their wireless services.

At all levels - professional to consumer - LBS technology will change the way people interact and solve problems in the coming year.

Peter Batty, CTO Intergraph

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

Well of course Intergraph appointed a new CTO, but I'd better let others judge the significance of that! In broad terms of the industry, the impact of Google was clearly the big news of the year - even those who down play its importance can't deny this has generated an incredible amount of discussion and interest. It certainly poses significant questions for existing vendors. I think new systems from Google, Microsoft and others are disruptive technologies that threaten existing vendors who are just horizontal GIS providers. Vendors with a vertical application focus, such as Intergraph, have the opportunity to leverage these developments by incorporating them into their vertical solutions,
in cases where they can add value.

When we look back in a few years, I think we may view Intergraph's selection, as part of the Lockheed Martin team, to provide the electronic security system for the New York MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) as a pivotal event. This has given us huge momentum in the emerging transportation security market. I believe we can leverage the technology we develop and expertise we gain through this and other similar projects to be the leader in the growing market for real-time operational geospatial applications.

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

I think real-time operational applications of geospatial technology will be a major growth area in 2006. These will make significant use of wireless networking, location tracking devices and integration with video, RFID and other types of sensors. Mobile applications will play a large role as well. Interoperability of systems will continue to be a big focus, especially in areas such as emergency management. Commercial in-car navigation systems, which use real-time traffic information, are beginning to appear, and I expect to see growth in that area. I think 2006 will be a big year for indoor location tracking, especially using ultra wideband (UWB). I also expect growth in applications
leveraging cell phone tracking.

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

Everything I mentioned will be implemented in 2006, but will become much more widespread in subsequent years. From talking to my former colleagues at Ubisense, I think it could be something of a break-out year for UWB location tracking. Cell phone tracking is another technology with potential to see significantly more growth this year.

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

A major focus for Intergraph is the continued development of our transportation security products, which are being deployed in several projects including New York MTA. These incorporate a number of the technologies I mentioned including sensor and video integration. We will be applying these developments in a number of different markets.

Web Services and a Service Oriented Architecture continue to be a major focus area for us, and we have a number of product enhancements planned in these areas. Last year Intergraph merged several divisions into our new Security, Government and Infrastructure division, and we see many ways in which we can combine products that were formerly in different divisions in innovative ways. We are looking at several other interesting ideas in our newly formed research group, which I'm not quite ready to talk about yet!

Sunit Lohtia, CTO of Autodesk Location Services

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

There were several significant announcements from Autodesk Location Services in 2005. To start off the year, Autodesk announced the integration of its LocationLogic solution platform with Telecom Italia Mobile's (TIM) chat application. TIM, a global leader in mobile telephony, is the first carrier in Italy to offer a consumer service enhanced with location technology. TIM's service is a simple SMS-based matchmaking application for use via mobile phones, which any TIM customer can access.

The company also had an industry-impacting announcement when it launched the latest version of its comprehensive solution platform for location-enhanced services, Autodesk LocationLogic 6. Built from the ground up to meet the needs of wireless network operators, LocationLogic 6 is an example of how Autodesk's superior technology continues to evolve to anticipate and meet the real-world demands of carriers, enterprises, and consumers in the developing location market. A main advantage of the platform is that carriers don't have to build out the infrastructure themselves and as a result can work with developers to bring location based applications to market faster and for less money. In
addition, in September of 2005, Autodesk LocationLogic was named the 2005 Location Based Services (LBS) Platform of the Year by Frost & Sullivan.

To show its continued commitment for the developer market, Autodesk announced the launch of the Autodesk Location Services Developer Program. A strong benefit to the developer community in getting applications to market faster is that Autodesk is currently working with 3 of the 5 top tier carriers.

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

The deployment of AGPS technology will continue as Tier 1 and Tier 2 carriers offer commercial location services. Wireless carriers will deploy enabling platform/middleware for ensuring that the consumer privacy and authorization requirements are met. Wireless operators will plan to rollout new location based services to further leverage their location technology infrastructure. Apart from AGPS, other location determining technologies such as location using WiFi (802.11), RFID will continue to evolve to provide alternate means of determining location. As the wireless network moves towards IMS based all IP architecture, the presence/availability of information will be integrated with the
location information to further enhance the end user experience.

Location-based services are the underlying technology driving some of the most cutting edge and emerging wireless services for 2006, such as: social networking, gaming, traffic, weather, points-of-interest, child locator, find-a-friend and roadside assistance.

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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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