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July 21, 2008
Geomedia and G/Technology to Get New Platforms
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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!


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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, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Training, New Products, Around the Web and Events Calendar.


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Susan Smith, Managing Editor


Industry News

Geomedia and G/Technology to Get New Platforms

By Susan Smith


Technology companies are constantly faced with updating their current solutions to keep up with the times and to offer something more robust, while at the same time ushering their customer base along with the new advancements.


Intergraph is a company that has two primary geospatial products, namely, Geomedia and G/Technology which address different segments of the marketplace. What their customer base is telling them is that they would like to see some of the strengths of those two products combined.


click to enlarge [
According to Mark Doherty, executive director, technology architecture, Intergraph Canada, the Security, Government and Infrastructure division (SG&I) is organized into vertical divisions addressing industry focused solutions for utilities, public safety and telecommunications, for example. Geomedia and G/Technology support those industry solutions, and in turn those solutions enforce some requirements on the technology.


Geomedia’s strengths in spatial analysis and rich symbolization for cartographic mapping or onscreen displays make it a very flexible way to access different data sources. On the other hand, G/Technology is enterprise-focused and is largely described by metadata in terms of role based user data access, behaviors, how the system behaves in any given situation, etc. G/Technology is extremely scalable in performance because of its caching and publishing of data driven out from an Oracle Spatial database including some additional caching and display technology. “This enables it to take a map of an entire service area of Bell Canada and interactively browse through it,”
explained Doherty.


“What we really are doing is taking the best of those platforms and putting them together into a couple of new key platforms that Geomedia and G/Technology will sit on in the future.”


What this entails is the creation of an enhanced data model for both Geomedia and G/Technology which will offer a role based enterprise model that allows you to define different roles and classes of users in an enterprise, i.e., map data access, rights system behaviors to those roles and have the software, whether it be a Geomedia based solution or G/Technology based solution driven by that metadata system.


“G/Technology does a lot of that today,” Doherty pointed out. “What we’re doing is taking some of those concepts and technology and really extending them over into a common platform that will be used by both Geomedia and G/Technology. When we do that we want to take into account some of the things we do with Geomedia with access to external data sources, whether it’s shape files or OGC data sources. We want to give two fundamental things: the enterprise class data model and data management but also to be able to easily incorporate data from external sources. Also what that does is allows us to have Geomedia and G/Technology working closely together to be
well integrated because they’re able to operate on top of same data model. Geomedia integrates quite well with G/Technology today, but this common data model really takes that integration to another level.” This is an area that customers have been pushing for: the two products to work together seamlessly with little or no integration necessary.


Although it would seem that a blending of Geomedia and G/Technology may be in the stars, Doherty said that isn’t a direction they’re exploring at present. “We still think there are enough differences at the product level. We want to keep those product distinctions for now, but certainly having more common platforms underneath them is the key thing we’re focused on right now.”


The other piece of product development is to create some enhanced spatial data visualization components and platforms, by combining the display richness of Geomedia with the scalable platform of G/Technology for interactive display and browsing. “Really what we’re doing is bolting both of those capabilities together into a single display platform that will support both the Geomedia and G/Technology products and give us the best of both worlds underneath those products,” Doherty explained.


Challenges are certainly on the horizon for achieving this goal. Originally, Geomedia and G/Technology were created separately to address the needs of different types of clients. Today, the two products share some technology, but Intergraph must also make sure to support the capabilities of those products as they are today, while also taking the best of each to combine on the new scalable “common data model” platforms.


The way Intergraph plans to bring this platform enhancement work to market is via new releases of both the Geomedia and G/Technology product families. From 2009 into 2010 the company will be rolling out new versions of each of those products that contain the new platforms. The first of these in 2009 will be display enhancements based on the enhanced visualization platform for G/Technology, and later in 2009-2010, both Geomedia and G/Technology will incorporate the common data model.


Geospatial capabilities will also be refreshed in Intergraph’s homeland security and public safety platform. Another key new solution mentioned was the new video image workflow, whereby you take video from a remote video sensor or remote aerial vehicle, pass it through a workflow through a video input source to a georeferenced imagery library that can then be exploited through tools such as Intergraph’s ImageScout or those provided by partners such as Skyline or TerraExplorer Pro.


Legacy Intergraph customers are well versed in migration paths, as many of them have moved from MGE to Geomedia and from FRAMME to G/Technology. Some customers remain on the old legacy platforms, since their data repositories can still be accessed from Geomedia and G/Technology or used inside the Geomedia suite of products. Of course, Intergraph works with customers who wish to migrate to one of their new solutions.


So far, it would seem that adding new platforms to both Geomedia and G/Technology will be well received by customers. “We’re proud of the fact that we have migrated customers through PDP and VAX and from UNIX to Windows and brought their data along with them,” said Doherty.


Top News of the Week


Columbus Geographic Systems (GIS) Ltd. announced it has reached an important understanding with DigitalGlobe, a leader in high-resolution commercial imagery. DigitalGlobe also supplies the popular Google Earth website with its images. According to the understanding, Columbus will have access to DigitalGlobe's digital image bank for use in the Ranger navigation system.


DigitalGlobe operates three imaging satellites: Worldview I, Worldview II, and QuickBird. These satellites collect the highest resolution commercial imagery of the Earth, and offer the largest image size, and greatest on-board storage capacity and resolution compared to any other commercial satellite imagery available today.


Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances


Autodesk announced that it has selected CADD Microsystems, Inc. as Reseller of the Quarter for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009. The designation recognizes the reseller not only for its sales performance and dedication to customer service, but also for the growth of its operations and its investments in the business of selling Autodesk software. Autodesk selected CADD Microsystems from among more than 100 resellers throughout the Americas.


Astrium, Europe's leading space company, has announced the purchase of further shares in Spot Image from the French Space Agency (CNES). This is a significant deal resulting in Astrium holding 81% of Spot Image and therefore becoming the majority shareholder.


As part of Astrium, Infoterra & Spot Image will work together within the Earth Observation Division of Astrium Services. This purchase reaffirms Astrium's commitment to strengthening its presence in the entire Earth observation value chain - satellites, spaceborne & airborne data, ground segment, application solutions and information management & distribution.


China Information Security Technology, Inc., a leading provider of Information Security and 3S (Geographic Information System - GIS, Global Positioning System - GPS and Remote Sensing - RS) services in China, announced that Mr. Jiang Huai Lin, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company consummated the purchase the 24% minority interest in iASPEC Software Co. Ltd. CIST's variable interest entity, from Mr. Jin Zhu Cai, for a total consideration of RMB60 million (approximately $8.72 million).


MapText, Inc., a leader in high-quality cartographic text placement software, and graphIT, Hungary’s leading provider of GIS and CAD solutions signed a partnership agreement to resell MapText products in the region.


graphIT builds custom GIS software solutions primarily based on Intergraph technologies. When their customers needed high-quality label placement, graphIT approached MapText for solutions. graphIT is well positioned in the Hungarian GIS market and as a result the two companies teamed up to provide Hungarian Intergraph users with sophisticated label placement software.


TerraGo Technologies announced that it has been named to the Prime Vendor Contract for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service, Office of Global Analysis (OGA).


Under the contract, managed by ASRC Management Services, TerraGo will be providing the USDA’s crop analysts with its advanced tools and technology to convert complex geospatial information into interactive, user-friendly geo-enabled PDFs. TerraGo’s geospatial solutions will enable analysts in the field to build and deliver GeoApps in collaboration with other professionals to ensure that all personnel have the most up-to-date, accurate geospatial information available to them.


ImageTree Corporation, the precision forestry company, has signed a 12-year agreement with Blom Group, the European leader in collection of geographic information, for North American licensing rights to Blom’s LiDAR technology.


LiDAR, a remote-sensing system used to aerially collect topographic data, is a critical component of ImageTree’s ForestSense technology platform, which provides precise, timely and cost-effective forest inventory analysis, and enables assessment of carbon sequestration.


ESRI Canada and EmerGeo Solutions, a leading provider of fully integrated situation awareness technology solutions  announced the availability of EmerGeo Navigator. EmerGeo Navigator is an ESRI GIS-based emergency management solution that provides emergency managers with timely access to critical information and decision-support tools.


Announcements


ESRI and ESRI Canada Limited will discuss and demonstrate how new technological advances make it easier to access geospatial information over the Internet during the GeoWeb 2008 conference being held in Vancouver, B.C., July 21–25, 2008. ESRI is a platinum sponsor of the conference.


The theme for GeoWeb 2008 is Infrastructure: Local to Global. Geographic information is now widely distributed on the Web and routinely integrated into thousands of applications and services including infrastructure support. Technology has evolved to a point where anyone can be a contributor to the GeoWeb and everyone can be a participant, from data access to infrastructure protection.


Trimble announced that it has launched Trimble VRS Now service in the state of Florida. The commercial subscription service will provide surveyors, civil engineers and geospatial measurement professionals with instant access to real-time kinematic (RTK) positioning and high-accuracy Differential GPS (DGPS) corrections without the need for a field base station.


The service will deliver centimeter-level RTK and Differential GNSS (DGNSS) positioning customized for each Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) rover receiver's exact location anywhere in the network.


PCI Geomatics, a developer of software and solutions for geospatial imaging applications, is pleased to announce plans to launch a new international office in Beijing, China. The new company, PCI Geomatics Beijing, will offer PCI Geomatics technology, services and solutions (under special license), for both the private and government sectors and will be led by Mr. Yubin Xin as Country Manager.


Training


Blue Marble Geographics will be offering a brand new version of their popular applied geodesy training on August 7th and 8th, 2008, in conjunction with the ESRI User Conference in San Diego, CA. This course, given for the first time ever at the UC, will focus on the fundamentals of applied geodesy for the ArcGIS user. Blue Marble has a long track record of training GIS users on the intricacies of geodetics including coordinate systems, projections, datums, and other essential concepts through applied hands-on software training. This course will utilize Blue Marble tools to show Arc users how to extend the geodetic capabilities of the Arc GIS desktop. This offering is
the basis for other applied geodesy courses using ESRI software that Blue Marble is currently developing For further details, please call Blue Marble at (800) 616-2725, or send an email to
Email Contact and reserve your spot today.


New Products


Analysts and researchers are using ESRI's reliable data products to create a solid foundation for viable, definitive research projects. Experts and students across all industry sectors can now have access to the most accurate demographic data with the 2008 Sourcebook products. ESRI has published the softcover editions of Community Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics and Community Sourcebook of County Demographics, as well as the Sourcebook‚óŹAmerica with ArcReader CD-ROM, all of which include ESRI's 2008/2013 demographic updates and projections for data variables such as population, age distribution, and income.


TC Technology announces the release of GO! Sync Mobile GIS Version 9.2.68, which is now available and shipping.


GO! Sync bridges the gap between paper maps and traditional GIS systems providing an easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy map viewing application complete with sketching and inspection capabilities and now streamlined integration with work tickets.


Magellan, one of the fastest growing GPS brands, and Intermap Technologies, a leading provider of digital maps,  announced the first commercial availability of AccuTerra maps for Magellan Triton and eXplorist handheld GPS, providing outdoor enthusiasts with advanced topographic maps and off-road points of interest.


Getmapping announces the availability of Cities Revealed LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data to add to its significant portfolio of height data of England, Wales and Scotland. The new LiDAR data covers the main centers of population, including Greater London, Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh and is available online from Getmapping.com.


Caliper Corporation is now shipping the latest version of Maptitude for Great Britain, the most capable and affordable mapping software for the UK. This next generation of Maptitude continues to provide easy-to-use yet powerful mapping tools. Maptitude for Great Britain 5 remains the most competitively priced, full-featured GIS/mapping product available for the UK.


In an effort to allocate resources as effectively and efficiently as possible Wilson Fire & Rescue in North Carolina recently launched Omega Dashboard. The solution, which resides on an ESRI mapping platform, allows anyone to access end resultant maps and reports through a Web browser. No knowledge of GIS is required in order to decipher current information about calls-for-service in the Wilson area through the use of Omega Dashboard.


Safe Software announced that its FME platform, the recognized standard in spatial ETL, provides full support for GeoJSON 1.0, recently named an official geospatial data interchange format. Users looking to quickly and efficiently exchange spatial information can now convert GeoJSON data into the format and data model they need, as well as integrate it with their existing datasets.


Pitney Bowes MapInfo, a leading global provider of location intelligence, introduced GroundView data, a joint demographic data offering with The Gadberry Group, a provider of location-based services and information data products. GroundView delivers the most recent household and population counts available for the U.S., providing organizations in a range of industries including retail, restaurant, financial services, insurance and media with current, consistent data to support critical business decision making.


Around the Web


GfK GeoMarketing Map of the Month: European Fuel Prices, July 2008


New Features in ArcGIS Engine 9.3 Coming Soon (ArcNews Online)


Upcoming Events
Date: July 21 - 24, 2008
Place: Rydges Lakeside Canberra

Canberra, ACT 2601 Australia

SEGS ’08 will focus on Maximising the Value of Geospatial Data in Government to Enhance Service Delivery and Evidence Based Policy

Learn Strategies to Overcome the Challenges of:

1 Expanding interoperability between government departments

2 Ensuring the amount of spatial data collected and owned by each department is maximised

3 Making sure this data is fully used to enhance service delivery and evidence based policy decisions


 
Date: July 21 - 25, 2008
Place: Vancouver

Canada
The theme for the GeoWeb 2008 conference is Infrastructure: Local to Global. This implies the GeoWeb has a local or community dimension as well as a global one – that the integration of local infrastructures will give rise to a global infrastructure – that global aggregators will drive the creation of local infrastructures.

 
Sanborn LIDAR seminar series
Date: July 22, 2008
Place: Hilton Garden Inn--Tyson's Corner

8301 Boone Blvd., Vienna, VA 22182 USA
Please be our guest! Sanborn would like to invite you to our first annual LiDAR Seminar Series–featuring a brief introduction into the basics of LiDAR, it's latest technological developments, and a comprehensive overview on application trends. We will also be hosting a live software demo for customizable 3D and cross section viewing.



We are very excited and are confident your attendance will bring you nothing less than a valuable, informative experience. There is no charge to attend this event and a continental breakfast will be included. I would like to announce the location and time for the last two seminar events.


The seminar in Albany NY will take place on August the 14th from 8-11 AM

 
Date: August 2 - 5, 2008
Place: Marriott Hotel & Marina

San Diego, CA USA
Meet with members of the worldwide GIS education community during this one-of-a-kind forum. Hear from your peers about ways GIS technology enhances learning and provides solutions across disciplines and around campus. Explore how to use GIS software in your field, maximizing teaching, understanding, and managing with innovative applications.

 
Date: August 2 - 5, 2008
Place: San Diego Convention Center

San Diego , CA USA

Join more than 400 surveyors and engineers in exploring the possibilities of GIS technology. See how GIS software integrates with surveying and engineering tools to provide more complete business solutions and field processes. User presentations, access to ESRI experts, and a wide range of session topics are geared to meet the needs of all attendees, regardless of GIS experience.

 
Date: August 4 - 8, 2008
Place: San Diego Convention Center

San Diego, CA USA
Join us at the 2008 ESRI UC, where GIS users from industries worldwide come to discover solutions, share information, and learn best practices, tips, and tricks. Whatever your industry, position, or GIS experience, you will come away with ideas, insight, and inspiration to launch or grow your GIS projects. The ESRI UC brings together more than 14,000 professionals who work with or are interested in GIS solutions for their organizations or communities. Come see how ESRI technologies can help you meet your goals. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

 
Date: August 12 - 15, 2008
Place: Asilomar Conference Grounds

Monterey, CA USA
Be part of a community focused on conserving natural resources and cultural heritage with GIS. Join ESRI at the Society for Conservation GIS Annual Conference, where GIS users will gather to explore how geospatial technology is addressing contemporary issues facing conservation efforts at all levels. Discover solutions and share your ideas during this active, enriching forum that focuses on our changing world.

 
Sanborn LIDAR seminar series
Date: August 14, 2008
Place: Albany Marriot Airport

189 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12205 USA
Please be our guest! Sanborn would like to invite you to our first annual LiDAR Seminar Series–featuring a brief introduction into the basics of LiDAR, it's latest technological developments, and a comprehensive overview on application trends. We will also be hosting a live software demo for customizable 3D and cross section viewing.



We are very excited and are confident your attendance will bring you nothing less than a valuable, informative experience. There is no charge to attend this event and a continental breakfast will be included. I would like to announce the location and time for the last two seminar events.


The seminar in Albany NY will take place on August the 14th from 8-11 AM

 
Date: August 19 - 22, 2008
Place: Las Vegas, NV USA
Start making plans now to join us next August at the exciting Venetian Hotel Resort Casino in Las Vegas. Join hundreds of Accela users and staff, government leaders, and special guests for an educational and fun-filled opportunity to connect with the people, products, and trends at the forefront of the government technology industry.

 
Date: August 19 - 21, 2008
Place: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)

Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia
The Asia and Pacific region is the largest developing region in the world in landmass, population and aggregate income. Its 48 countries have nearly three fifth of the worlds total population. Each country in the region abounds in rich natural capital and has comprehended the true potential of Geospatial information in leveraging this capital to its utmost economic viability.

 


You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


To read more news, click here.



-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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