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August 09, 2010
Introducing ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud
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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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Industry News

Introducing ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud

By Susan Smith

ERDAS recently announced ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud, a fully-loaded package that includes everything needed to run the APOLLO solution on the cloud, including all necessary software licensing, servers, data storage and bandwidth.

ERDAS, owned by Hexagon AB (the company that recently announced acquisition of Intergraph) offers APOLLO on the Cloud, which gives customers the option to deploy the same data management and content delivery features of ERDAS APOLLO Professional in the form of a monthly subscription service.

CEO of ERDAS, Joel Campbell, said that “the ERDAS Cloud model mirrors Salesforce.com in that there is a fully functioning system that is configurable to meet your unique business needs.”

“What we try to do is take our APOLLO product, a really robust geospatial server, data cataloging, data management, data serving product and put it onto a hardware platform with the other software required - web servers, databases, etc. and make it configurable so customers just need to configure and bring their data to it. Subscription is available on a monthly basis,” said Campbell.

Included in the basic package for ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud is a monthly subscription to fully utilize ERDAS APOLLO software pre-configured and hosted on Skygone Cloud. This includes:

Deployment of ERDAS APOLLO Professional
  • On a 4-core Windows 2003 R2, 64-bit Data Center edition operation system
  • 16 GB RAM
  • PostgreSQL 8.3 database
  • 1 TB of storage
  • 2 TB of bandwidth
  • Assisted data upload service, free up to 4 times per year with Skygone Data Import/Export Service
  • Technical support
  • No additional maintenance fees

  • The monthly subscription is pay-as-you-go, and is currently limited to U.S. customers. Upgrades include scaling, computing power, data storage and bandwidth.

    When asked if people are interested in using the Cloud as an adjunct to APOLLO Professional as a way to extend the desktop, Campbell replied:

    “I think it's more of an 'instead of,' rather than 'in addition to.' What we've noticed in market space for geospatial serving technology, is there's a level of expertise that's required - IT expertise, there's a commitment to hardware and software that's required that's not typical in your GIS implementation and there's a level of information technology - database software, middleware for web serving etc. We've noticed in a lot of organizations that our customers have a genuine interest in having that kind of serving technology but they don't have access to that level of resource. They don't have these IT departments and racks of servers laying around.”

    Most people upgrade their hardware and software on a three year cycle, said Campbell. ERDAS makes an equivalent offering with the Cloud - you would spend the same or less money in three years and have access to the Cloud instead of owning hardware and software that become outdated.

    Besides eliminating the need for in-house hardware and IT staff, the APOLLO Cloud product provides shared infrastructure costs and low management overhead, and with a pre-configured, monthly package, there are no surprise costs to ownership. Users can cancel at any time. Also ERDAS APOLLO operations can be scaled easily when users need to without capital expenditures. APOLLO on the Cloud supports a wide variety of data formats.

    For those unfamiliar with Skygone Cloud, the company offers a robust and flexible IT environment purpose-built by GIS professionals. Skygone offers a one-stop shop for deployment, configuration and services, and offer custom application and data services. Deployment is simple and fast.

    “Skygone Cloud technologies have a completely secure data center, secure in both the physical sense and the computerized sense: their hardware is secure from hackers, and has protective firewalls, etc. Each user has their own secure and independent access to their data and their implementation of APOLLO; they can choose to publish things as publicly available web services or they could choose to credential and require people to have login user name and password,” said Campbell.

    “If you think of a small local government who just wanted to put their parcels on the internet so people would stop coming to their office to look up parcel IDs, they could publish something like that through the cloud and make it publicly available for anyone to access,” Campbell added.

    Other use cases include mapping contractors or engineering companies who do 3 to 9 month projects for customers. They might need data up and available for the duration of their project but after that they don't need it anymore - “so this gives them an ability to pay for it by the month, and put it up. When their project ends, the service also ends with no additional cost,” Campbell pointed out.

    Imagery datasets and collection can be securely catalogued and organized in the hierarchal structure. Users can also catalog and serve custom objects (documents, pictures, movies, URLs, any file) and any third-party OGC compliant services with ERDAS APOLLO.

    One of the strengths of the traditional APOLLO product is the catalog with crawlers that can find all the relevant geospatial data in your internal network and present that in a catalog form so you know what you have and where it was. “In the cloud implementation, obviously that catalog will be limited to what data you have uploaded into the cloud, it won't catalog everything on your internal network, for example, but if you push a terabyte's worth of your geospatial data into the cloud then as part of that catalog service it can catalog everything you have and present it to you. From that catalog you can choose to make map views or map contexts and symbolize them.”

    For those who want to transfer their data into the Cloud, they can transfer files over FTP, RDP or other supported protocol directly to their APOLLO on the Cloud. To speed up transfer of data larger than 50-100 GB, there is the option of using the Skygone Data Import/Export Service to arrange the physical transfer of data to APOLLO on the Cloud instance from hard drives that are shipped to Skygone. This data transfer is free up to four times a year, and from there on a fee is charged.

    In performance tests on the cloud using the basic package, the maximum number of concurrent users that achieved an acceptable mapping experience for the system was 250.

    For those who already have an ERDAS APOLLO license, they should contact their ERDAS sales representative to make arrangements to transfer their ERDAS APOLLO license to Skygone Cloud.

    Top News of the Week

    GIS Solutions, Inc. was selected by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to complete a contract for GIS technical services and NAVTEQ map data for the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (RITA/BTS).

    NAVTEQ announced a private beta program to preview NAVTEQ JourneyView, in preparation for general availability of the product in early 2011. In the private beta, customers will have the opportunity to preview the data and provide feedback that will ultimately influence final product specifications.

    The private beta program provides customers access to the NAVTEQ JourneyView product, including sample source imagery, image overlays, 3D depth maps and POI interface, as well as technical support to assist them in maximizing the product's full potential.

    Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

    Hitachi Software Engineering Co. Ltd (HitachiSoft), and TerraGo Technologies have formed a strategic alliance and signed a Master Distributor Agreement under which HitachiSoft resells TerraGo software throughout Asia. Under the terms of the agreement, HitachiSoft now markets via its direct and indirect sales organizations TerraGo Publisher, TerraGo Composer, TerraGo Toolbar, and TerraGo Mobile applications that create and interact with GeoPDF maps and imagery. Under an additional agreement, HitachiSoft has made a strategic investment in TerraGo, and the two companies are jointly developing localized versions of TerraGo software for Asian customers,
    beginning with a Japanese language version.

    Critigen, a global technology consultancy, announced it has aligned with the leaders in the geospatial industry, becoming a Platinum Tier Partner with Esri and creating an expanded business partner agreement with Trimble, including support of Trimble Utility Field Solutions and initiatives in the utility industry.

    The Schneider Corporation announced it is partnering with Pictometry International Corp. to provide aerial oblique imagery for its Beacon Geographic Information Systems (GIS) solution.


    The Survey Summit is a new conference co-hosted by Esri and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). It is designed for surveyors who are interested in geospatial technologies to explore the newest technology trends, workflows, equipment, and business opportunities in surveying and related fields. The Summit will also provide unparalleled training and networking opportunities.

    The inaugural Survey Summit will take place next summer, July 9-12, 2011, concurrently with the
    Esri International User Conference (Esri UC). It will serve as the ideal forum for anyone interested in geographic information system (GIS) technology, as well as emerging technologies such as lidar, and 3D scanning, to better equip their organizations to serve emerging markets. The education-rich agenda will also include ways for participants to interact and collaborate at the summit.

    RapidEye announced that TÃoV NORD of Germany, an official accreditation body for ISO 9001 standards, has not only extended RapidEye's ISO-certification after an extensive audit for its Quality Management Systems (QMS) but upgraded the certification to the ISO 9001:2008 level. This certificate covers marketing, sale, development, and provision of geo-spatial product and service projects.


    Optech Incorporated announced the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors. The appointments of David Nale, Philip Lapp, Dan Cornacchia, and Tony LaVista to Optech's Board of Directors add the deep experience in high-tech business that will be needed for the company's future growth.

    New Products

    PCI Geomatics announced the availability of an upgrade to Geomatica, its remote sensing and image processing software. Version 10.3.2 is the latest release available, and it includes additional satellite sensor support in addition to enhanced functionality.

    GeoSage announced the release of Earth Land Surface (ELS) 2000 Version 2, consisting of (1) natural-color, near-global satellite imagery tiles at 15/30/60/90m resolutions, and (2) a unique, seamless, global satellite imagery mosaic at 30m-resolution with the file size of 2.29 Terabytes or 2,290 Gigabytes (image size: 1,296,000 by 648,000 pixel).

    Modeling Our World: The ESRI Guide to Geodatabase Concepts from Esri Press is a comprehensive work that explains the fundamental geographic information concepts underlying the geodatabase model and its use. The fully revised second edition reflects the new features and functionality available in ArcGIS 10.

    SuperGeo Technologies developed the 'Taipei Bus Information and Transit System' by using SuperWebGIS. The system integrates bus information and scenic spots to provide diverse and real-time information. Users and tourists are able to query bus routes and plan the best tourist routes in a convenient way.

    Tiburon, Inc. announced the general release of its industry-leading CommandCAD 2.6 solution that delivers enhanced situational awareness and response capabilities for fire and rescue agencies. CommandCAD 2.6, Tiburon's computer aided dispatch (CAD) solution, brings seamless integration, enhanced flexibility and bi-directional information sharing between Tiburon's CommandCAD, FireRECORDS and MobileCOM solutions.

    Pitney Bowes Business Insight announced MapInfo Crime Profiler, a flexible solution for real-time identification and analysis of crime patterns and trends. Armed with this intelligence, law enforcement agencies can more effectively deploy resources and assist detectives in identifying and apprehending suspects.

    Intergraph has introduced the newest version of their incident management solution, Incident Management version 9.1 which will provide police, fire, EMS and security agencies the ability to optimize agency resource allocation and improve response coordination to better save lives and protect property in the communities they serve.

    Rolta UK announced the release of Version 2 of a free Loader for OS VectorMap Local. Version 2 of this software which is released simply and quickly translates and loads OS VectorMap Local GML (Geography Markup Language) formatted data into both ESRI SHP and MapInfo TAB formats. In addition to data translation, Version 2 also provides for presentation of the data in common styles. This software and style guides are available to download from the
    Rolta Europe website

    Dotted Eyes announced the release of Contractor Portal v2.0, which embraces new imperatives for local government organisations to share internally generated asset data, along with OS and OSNI and wider third party datasets, across a broadening number of partners to deliver on changing local government and related NHS reforms.

    Around the Web

    GISCafe Today Blog

    The Geospatial Revolution Project Google Earth Blog

    New mapAsheville information marks City of Asheville- and NCDOT-owned roads Citizen-Times.com

    Paperless Trail Launches Location Intelligence Tool PR-Insider.com

    Government Works On Policy And Framework To Improve Geospatial Data Management Bernama.com

    For E-Data, Tug Grows Over Privacy vs. Security Miguel Helft, August 2, 2010, The New York Times (registration required)

    McCain Holding Up on Intel Nominee New York Times blog

    Importance Of Geospatial Data For National Development Emphasised BruDirect.com

    Oceanic Research & Recovery Upgrades to the Latest Version of Site Recorder MarketWatch


    Date: August 13, 2010
    Place: Adelaide Convention Centre

    Adelaide, Australia

    Spatial Information Day 2010 (SID 2010) and the South Australian Spatial Excellence Awards 2010 (SASEA 2010) will be held on Friday 13 August 2010 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The full day SID 2010 program will be followed by the SASEA 2010 dinner.
    Date: August 15 - 18, 2010
    Place: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

    Boston, MA USA

    APWA's Congress will feature more than 125 technical and professional development sessions (over 200 when you count the sessions at WASTECON) presented by your colleagues and industry vendors. There's no better way to learn than from those who are "in the know." You can earn CEUs and PDHs that will add value to the information you learn onsite. The exposition—keeping in line with the impressive size of our host site—will be the BEST ever!
    Date: August 16 - 18, 2010
    Place: Charlotte, NC USA

    The only conference where GIS professionals, addressing coordinators, 9-1-1 and emergency response specialists come together for education and networking. The conference is developed through abstracts submitted through a Call for Presentations. The Conference Committee, comprised of URISA and NENA members, reviews all of the abstracts received by the deadline date, and organizes the educational sessions according to those abstracts.
    Date: August 23 - 25, 2010
    Place: Indiana Government Center South

    302 West Washington Street , Indianapolis , IN 46204-2211 USA

    The HAZUS Conference provides a unique opportunity for users of all levels in a wide variety of professions (e.g., first responders, local government decision makers, planners, GIS specialists) to share expertise and experience in the development and use of HAZUS-MH. Visit the HAZUS Website at
    www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/hazus for other available HAZUS resources.
    Date: August 26, 2010
    Place: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

    3rd Floor - Allison Hall, 1201 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX TX 77380 USA

    The GeoGathering conference provides a venue for oil and gas gathering system operators to share their experiences in applying GIS technology towards data management and integrity management initiative.
    Date: August 30 - September 2, 2010
    Place: Las Vegas

    NV USA

    Join Intergraph technical experts and industry peers for four exciting days of exclusive technology previews, a showcase of best practices, inspiring keynotes, and unlimited networking. Enter a world of opportunities with Intergraph solutions. Reserve your spot today!
    Date: September 1 - 3, 2010
    Place: University College

    Cork, Ireland

    In 2010 the first joint UK Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society and Irish Earth Observation Symposium conference will be held in Cork, Ireland. It will be hosted by University College Cork and the National Maritime College of Ireland from 31st August to 3rd  September 2010.
    Date: September 6 - 9, 2010
    Place: Palau de Congressos de Barcelona (Fira de Barcelona) – M1

    Avda. Reina Maria Cristina s/n , Barcelona, Spain

    FOSS4G is heralded as the international "gathering of tribes" of open source geospatial communities, where developers and users show off their latest software and projects.

    The spatial industry is undergoing rapid innovations and the open source spatial community is one of the forces driving the change. The FOSS4G conference is more than a melting pot of great ideas it is a catalyst and opportunity to unite behind the many successful geospatial products, standards and protocols.

    You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.