December 07, 2009
Looking for Geospatial at Autodesk University 2009
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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 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!

Producer John Landau of Lightstorm Entertainment gave a presentation on the visual effects used in the movie, Avatar, which is going to debut in theatres soon. Landau partnered with producer/writer James Cameron on this film as well as the Titanic, where he said they “broke new ground in using visualization effects as a storytelling device.”

Avatar is shot fully in what is called “stereoscopic 3D,” using Autodesk technology. Lightstorm has a virtual camera technology that is used to look around in a scene. The actors see the world their character is standing in. The camera man can work with all captured performances and track the position of each character as though the viewpoint is a camera view into that virtual world. “It acts how you expect a camera to act in real life, as close to real life action as you can get in a CG world,” said Landau.

Top News of the Week

The initial project phase of the ongoing update of the
Federal Digital Landscape Model of Germany (DLM-DE) has been completed successfully: the working group ARGE-DLM-DE, coordinated by Infoterra GmbH, delivered a test map covering 2,700 sqkm across the Munich metropolitan area to the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG). This product was thoroughly reviewed and accepted. Thus, work on the main mapping project was started as planned in early October. The complete update is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010. The complete contract has been awarded in June 2009.

ESRI MapIt version 1.1 is now available. The latest release includes new capabilities, enhancements, and functionality that allow users to better visualize the connection between tabular data and its geographic properties. It also includes Microsoft Windows Azure and SQL Azure support for developing applications in the cloud. 

MapIt is software plus online services that enable users to easily create and share dynamic maps from Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Excel, and SharePoint lists.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

3-GIS, an Alabama based software development and services company, has announced that GISTEC has signed on to be the sole and exclusive value-added reseller of the 3-GIS suite of products for its users within the Safety and Security, local government, utility, and telecommunications markets in the United Arab Emirates.

GeoInformation Group announces that two of the UK’s longest and most established geographic information suppliers are backing UKMap by committing to become its first resellers.

Map Mechanics, London, specialists in the supply of transportation and geodemographic data, and
Stanfords, London, the world-renowned map reseller, have signed agreements to enable them to resell UKMap to their customer base.


Urban Mapping, Inc. (UMI), provider of location-rich content for interactive applications, today announced updates to the company's market leading URBANWARE Neighborhoods database, which now includes over 100,600 neighborhoods in over 3,400 cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Coverage in the United States now includes San Juan, Puerto Rico in addition to all 50 states.

Snoop Dogg, in association with, announces the launch of Snoop’s GPS voice. As one of the best known and most recognizable voices in pop culture, Snoop Dogg’s VoiceSkin is now available for download by users of TomTom GPS navigation systems.


eSpatial, a Web GIS and Geographic Business Intelligence (GeoBI) company announced the appointment of a new Sales Manager, Mr. Matthew Tuohy.

Longtime geographic information system (GIS) educator Toni Fisher has joined ESRI's Industry Solutions Group as the higher education manager, where she will encourage the use of GIS in building effective learning environments.

New Products

Spatial Information Solutions, Inc. (SIS), announced Version 2.0 of Accuracy Analyst is in testing and will be released by the end of November 2009.

Version 2.0 adds three major enhancements: Survey Location Planner, PhotoBook, and ReViewer. In addition, more report customization is available.

LizardTech, a division of Celartem Inc. and a provider of software solutions for managing and distributing geospatial content, announced the release of the GeoExpress Best Practices Guide at the Autodesk University Conference 2009 in Las Vegas,.

Trimble introduced yield monitoring and mapping capabilities, allowing combines equipped with a Trimble GPS FmX integrated display to accurately monitor and map harvested crop yield and moisture. The same display that steers the combine using an AgGPS Autopilot(TM) automated steering system or an AgGPS EZ-Steer(R) assisted steering system can now map yield data.

Dell continues to push the boundaries of mobile performance by announcing the world’s most powerful mobile workstation — the Dell Precision M6500.

Shown publicly for the first time at Autodesk University, the Dell Precision M6500 is designed to liberate creative professionals, designers, animators, engineers and research scientists from their desk without sacrificing performance. The M6500 also supports the missions of defense customers who require uncompromised performance and security, including authentication and data encryption, when in the field. Available for order now, the Dell Precision M6500 mobile workstation has a starting price of $2,749.

IDV Solutions announced the release of an example Single View Platform application built on Visual Fusion and Microsoft technologies. Collision Watch visualizes all US traffic collisions that resulted in a fatality. Visual Fusion is visual mashup software for the enterprise, and combines with Microsoft’s SharePoint, Bing Maps, Silverlight, and SQL Server to create a platform for building business-focused, interactive, visual mashups of enterprise and cloud-based data.

Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher cartographic software for Adobe Illustrator and Geographic Imager spatial tools for Adobe Photoshop is pleased to announce that the latest release of MAPublisher, version 8.2, supports the direct import of GIS data to Adobe Illustrator from ESRI geodatabases.

Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher cartographic software for Adobe Illustrator and Geographic Imager spatial tools for Adobe Photoshop is pleased to announce that the latest release of MAPublisher, version 8.2, provides MAPublisher and Adobe Illustrator users with geospatial PDF export capability, allowing users to create spatially accurate PDF documents, complete with the full map attribute schema which may be queried and searched, and upon which true distances can be measured within Adobe Acrobat.

Around the Web

Web Map as Time Machine An ancient story of conquest is heard again

By Monica Pratt, ArcUser Editor, ArcUser

ArcUser Online


Date: December 7 - 11, 2009
Place: Seattle, WA USA

The entire five day program, the only leadership training program of its type, is tailored to industry leaders and practitioners faced with unique challenges of GIS leadership and management and who want to make an impact leveraging the power of GIS.
Date: January 6 - 8, 2010
Place: ESRI

Redlands, CA USA

Join us at the world’s first GeoDesign Summit January 6–8, 2010, at ESRI in Redlands, California. The summit will be a gathering of pioneering professionals and academics involved in transforming technology, engineering, and planning in a rapidly changing world.

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You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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