May 15, 2006
Microsoft Buys Vexcel Corporation
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Curlander assured listeners that they will not discontinue any of the Vexcel product lines. They will continue to do work at satellite ground stations and work closely with satellite operators. They will continue working in the radar technology field, as the radar mapping technology they work with does have a good application for generating digital elevation models and other types of applications from radar.

The plan is that the data production will be outsourced by providing the Virtual Earth technologies to third parties or working with them with their technologies.

Coming: a 2D and 3D World

Although Microsoft was not making any announcements or promises about 3D with regard to this acquisition, Lawler did say that when they envision Virtual Earth, they envision both a 2D and a 3D world.

The revenue model for Virtual Earth is a B-to-B web service which is in the MapPoint web service. It is licensed as a level of transactional volume and users such as enterprises sign up and pay accordingly on a waterfall schedule, with discounts on higher volume. On the consumer side, highly relevant contextual advertising is expected to monetize Virtual Earth.

The Vexcel team intends to keep the current Boulder Headquarters, and the Austria, UK, Canada and Netherlands offices and operate as the Virtual Earth Business Unit.

Top News of the Week

TerraGo Technologies announced that the latest version of its software includes features that allow Adobe Reader users to export data from GeoPDF files to geospatial information systems (GIS) via the ESRI Shapefile format (.shp). Utilizing the new GeoPDF Toolbar, Adobe Reader users can add comments, redlines, and markups to geospatially enabled GeoPDF files and then export the information back into the original GIS system.

Intermap Technologies Corp. announced that it has been awarded a $1.57 million contract to provide elevation and geospatial data from the company's NEXTMap USA and NEXTMap International data collection. Under the agreement, the company will perform work and deliver radar imagery and elevation products over the next twelve months.

ESRI's 2006/2011 demographic data updates and projections were presented by Lynn Wombold, ESRI's chief demographer, at ESRI's third annual Business GeoInfo Summit, held in Boston, Massachusetts, April 30-May 2, 2006. During this special session, Wombold outlined new demographic trends that were revealed during the update process; discussed the posthurricane population findings; and explained the new, innovative methodology that was used to create ESRI's 2006/2011 demographic data updates.

Geographic Technologies Group (GTG) has been selected to develop a comprehensive ArcSDE Geodatabase for the Flathead Lake Biological Station Typology Project through the University of Montana. The goal of the Typology Project is to produce a decision support system that will assist salmon conservation across the North Pacific Rim (NPR). The ArcSDE Geodatabase will produce a viable spatially enabled tool for the collection, management, and maintenance of all Typology Project data.


The Real Estate Services Division of Cendant Corporation announced an online mapping technology agreement with Microsoft Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will provide its Virtual Earth commercial online mapping solutions for Cendant's real estate brand Web sites --,,, and -- and for the local operating company Web sites of NRT Incorporated. NRT is a Cendant subsidiary that is the largest owner and operator of residential real estate brokerages in the United States. The Real Estate Services Division will operate as Realogy Corporation upon completion of its anticipated
spin-off from Cendant, which is expected to occur in June.

MetaCarta, Inc., the provider of geographic intelligence solutions, announced a technology partnership with Agent Logic, the leading supplier of event detection and response software. MetaCarta's newly released GTS Analyst product can be linked to Agent Logic's Enterprise Agent Server (EAS) to correlate unstructured geospatial data with structured data such as sensors and message streams, and initiate event notifications augmented with new contextually appropriate results such as location- or time-based data.

CubeWerx, a provider of spatial warehousing and OGC compliant web services software products, announced it is expanding its presence in India through a distributor partnership with Geospatial Integrated Solutions Pvt. Limited, Hyderabad - 'Geospace Integra', in short. Under this agreement, Geospace Integra will sell, market and distribute CubeWerx products in India. Building from an exclusive distributorship agreement, Geospace Integra will support the CubeWerx product line in India and develop a network of Resellers for all CubeWerx products. Distribution agreements include as well marketing and selling CubeWerx' solutions to third party service providers in India.


Research and Markets has announced the addition of Business Intelligence: A Technology for Government Back Office Reform - Technology Focus to their offering

State and local governments are using the four technology components of BI data integration, analysis, reporting and performance management - as part of broader back office reform strategies. In the future, agencies are expected to use BI collaboratively with GIS and eGovernment.

MWH Soft, a global provider of environmental and water resources applications software, announced that preparations are underway for the 2006 International User Conference (IUC), the most comprehensive and significant network modeling and analysis symposium in the water/wastewater industry. The event, slated for October 2-3, 2006 at the Marriott Fallsview & Spa in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, targets industry executives and decision makers involved in all aspects of the water distribution, wastewater and urban drainage field.

To download the Call for Abstracts form or to pre-register for the conference, please visit the

New Products

NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has reached another milestone in Eastern Europe by providing a full coverage map of Poland. Included in the data set is over 600,000 km of roads.

The new service, created in partnership with Land Registry Ireland (LRI) by an international team led by Laser-Scan, comprised of Proteus Solutions of Cork, IME of Stirling and Version[1] Software of Dublin has gone live. is the new generation of web services from the Land Registry, which extends and replaces the award-winning Electronic Access Service (EAS). It offers a wide range of online services related to searching for and locating property, as well as obtaining details regarding pending and completed applications.

A powerful series of enhancements to Ordnance Survey's most detailed digital address data is launched , offering significant benefits to customers across Great Britain's commercial and government sectors.

The flexibility and national consistency of OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 will support analysis, decision making and service delivery by utility companies, insurers, retailers, local and central government and emergency services.

MapText, Inc. has announced that the upcoming release of Label-EZ, the Company's high-quality multi-GIS text placement solution, will be compatible with Autodesk Map 3D 2006.

MapText responded to a strong market demand by providing a proven text placement solution for Autodesk Map users. The number of engineers and geospatial professionals who need a flexible way to integrate CAD and GIS information is steadily increasing, especially in the utilities (electric, gas, water), communications, environmental engineering, oil and gas, agriculture, and natural resources industries.

Telcontar, supplier of software and services for the Location-Based Services (LBS) industry, announced the availability of a comprehensive application programming interface (API), which will allow developers to more easily develop and implement innovative mapping solutions.

The API provides a new, open architecture for browser-based mapping and local search applications in AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) environments.

MetaCarta, Inc., a provider of geographic intelligence solutions, announced the general availability of GTS Analyst, MetaCarta's newest geographic intelligence solution for the public sector. MetaCarta's Geographic Text Search (GTS) v3.5 will be released concurrently. GTS Analyst combines MetaCarta's revolutionary geographic search technology with an enterprise-strength engine to provide necessary tools to watch standers, investigators and analysts to increase responsiveness and decrease reaction times. GTS Analyst and GTS v3.5 will be introduced and showcased during DODIIS 2006 Annual Convention in Dallas, TX.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


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