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March 14, 2005
GITA 28 Conference ReportGITA Conference News
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
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! This year I wrote for the GITA Conference News, a daily paper distributed at the door of the conference each morning. That material is made available separately. Some parts of it, such as the Opening Session, Awards and Keynote, are summarized here, but other than that, today's newsletter contains new copy not seen before by the naked eye. Some highlights of this week's coverage include: Opening Session; "Power Panel -GIS: Is it a Profession, Niche or Tool?"; and GITA Vendor Roundup.

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/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Appointments, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at
Managing Editor

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

GITA 28 Conference Report

By Susan Smith

This year I wrote for the GITA Conference News, a daily paper distributed at the door of the conference each morning. That material is made available separately. Some parts of it, such as the Opening Session, is summarized here, but other than that, today's newsletter contains new copy not seen before by the naked eye.

Key topics of concern for attendees at this year's conference included ROI, integration, Homeland Security and mobile solutions, much as they have for the past couple of years.

Opening Session

GITA 28, the annual conference of the Geospatial Information & Technology Association, was held this year in Denver. The Opening Session kicked off with a message from Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who was an exploration geologist before becoming mayor, and admits to being obsessed with maps. He noted that geospatial technology companies have converged on Colorado's Front Range and play a significant role in the region's economy.

GIS seems to be one of the mayor's pet projects: Denver is trying to hold all city agencies accountable with data collection, mapping technology, collated data sets and other geospatial tasks. "We 're excited about harnessing every aspect of geospatial technology-- it is a homegrown industry in many ways, we wouldn't mind if you decided to move your company here. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified the geospatial industry as one of the fastest growing sectors for hiring in the U.S."

Might I remind readers that since taking office, Hickenlooper has passed an initiative to modernize Denver's personnel system, overcome a $70 million deficit to balance the City budget while averting major cuts in services and massive layoffs, and implemented a huge set of police modernizations, among other achievements.

Bob Samborski, Executive Director of GITA, gave an update on recent projects: the ROI research project is near completion, the CIP project has spawned many strong relationships with many federal agencies, the GECCo program has received funding for a pilot in the state of Hawaii.

Samborski dedicated the conference to Hank Emery, who passed away at end of January, who made a tremendous contribution to the GITA organization and the industry.

GITA Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for this year is Sakura Shinoaki, of Otsuma Women's University, Tokyo, Japan. Shinoaki founded ROADIC in Japan and was responsible for the first successful implementation of GIS in Japan.

Pete Gomez, president of GITA, from Excel Energy, spoke about GITA's three year strategic plan to become the leading geospatial resource. In its second year of that plan, it is well on its way to meeting that goal.

With volunteerism at the heart of GITA, recognizing a candidate for the Distinguished Service Award must not be easy. This year it was awarded to Keith McDaniel, whose GITA accomplishments include serving on the association's Board of Directors, chair of the Executive Symposium, chair of the Education Committee, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and member of the Honorary Past Presidents' Advisory Council.

The Excellence Award recognizes companies that are known as leaders in the field of geospatial technology. This year that award goes to Enmax Power Corporation of Calgary, Alberta. The company has created an enterprise GIS that has enhanced operational efficiency providing safe, reliable power to customers. Brad Lawrence, Supervisor, Records, Survey and Land Management, accepted the award.

GITA Innovator Awards were bestowed upon JOEMC Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation, Jacksonville, North Carolina, for the development of their own GIS over the last 10 years. The system is a seamless consumer information system, financial management, mapping facilities system. The award was received by Tommy Pritchard, Chief Utility Engineering Officer and Frankie Johnson. A word of warning from this small utility: Don't let your maps be older than 24 hours--especially in utility.

The second Innovator Award went to Mass GIS, Boston, Mass. one of earliest adopters of interoperability, who developed the MassGIS OpenGIS-based Web Mapping Services, which provides always on access to all the data contained in the MassGIS data repository via WFS, Gazeteer, and Geocoder interfaces. Credit goes to Christian Jacqz for implementing open standards.

Keynote Address

GITA tends to go for motivational speakers, and this year's keynote speaker was no exception.
Chip Eichelberger has spent 21 years in sales, 6 years of that training with best selling author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins, and before that, had an illustrious job selling earthquake bracing underneath mobile homes.

His focus is on getting people "switched on." "Successful people believe that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly - it's very necessary to do something poorly until you can do it well," Eichelberger pointed out. "There is trial and error. Frustration is good.
Out of great frustration come breakthroughs." It is also a good idea to go through life being fascinated, he said, but some people go through life disassociated.

A lifetime of little errors in judgment, financial, health, fitness, relationships, can have a snowballing effect in those areas, according to Eichelberger. "If you don't change the direction you're going you're going to wind up where you're headed," charged Eichelberger, who seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of funny adages and one-liners.

He talked about "raising the bar" for himself and for each one in the room. Expectations define everything, he noted, saying, "My goal is for you to make one decision today. You came here for a reason."

Power Panel - GIS: Is it a Profession, Niche or Tool?

This year GITA offered "Power Panels," bringing together industry experts to address some of the ongoing debates in the GIS industry.

Moderated by Vince Rosales of Idea Integration, this panel, GIS: Is it a Profession, Niche or Tool? generated an animated discussion that spanned a range of opinions and ideas, moving from the topics of GIS as a profession, niche or tool to certification to education. The panelists were: Peter Batty, Ten Sails; Ian Fitzgerald, Truckee-Donner PUD; Perry Harts, City of Frisco; Glenn Letham, GISuser.com; Brent Shelton, Paducah Power System.

One question asked by the audience was, How do you define a profession? The U.S. Department of Labor is now dubbing GIS as a profession, one participant said.

Peter: "It depends on the person you're talking to- is finance a profession? There are finance professionals, but it doesn't mean your bank teller is a professional. You need a banking professional to understand whole business aspect of it."

Glenn: "A GIS professional has an awareness of the tools that are available to him as they apply to a specific discipline."

Perry: "I see professional as someone who will put in extra time and energy to do a job, no matter what, as opposed to someone who just does a 9-5 job."

Peter: Ian said he was a fiber optic engineer by background. It's easier to add GIS skills to someone like him than to someone who you would just tell they have to do GIS for the rest of their life [without any previous technical background].

An attendee remarked on how she was GISP-certified and held a master's degree in GIS.
No matter how technologies are designed so that anyone can use them, there is still someone who is building the data that goes into analysis that allows those products to function, she said.

Peter: "What I'm saying is that the people who can do valuable GIS are not always people with a GIS degree. I've done many things with science and other areas and I don't have a GIS degree."

The topic of GIS certification came up, to which Peter said: "Trying to introduce certification for GIS for everyone is not valuable to the industry."

Ian: "If a guy built a plane and he's not a professional, does it mean that he's not a professional?"

Peter : "You don't stop people from using a spreadsheet because they don't have a degree."

An attendee said: "I have a high school diploma, have done some programming and am on the operations side in a utility. I consider myself a professional. I've studied GIS and IT. Some people get degrees and become grocery clerks."

Peter: "The certification program has a grandfathering clause. The worry I have is if in future [the certification program] insists you must have training to be a GIS professional, but excludes all people who have other types of training. This would be wrong."

Attendee: "Never took a class but have been certified. GIS certification is lacking. Professional organizations should help out with that."

Attendee: Being a GIS professional is like being a jack of all trades but master of none. Professionals have a broad range of knowledge

Glenn: "Geospatial like concept as applied to GIS. The term reinforces that there are a number of tools that come into play in GIS."

Attendee: "I work for a small utility 12,000 customers, large percentage of small utilities who can't afford bringing in an IT manager, someone to do database modeling, GIS implementation, and application development. This is what they need but couldn't afford all those people. As a professional, you should be able to come up any one of those avenues such as project management, GIS, etc. and learn the rest of it."

Attendee: "Do you see certification as a way to limit and identify skilled people and limit who can do GIS?"

Perry: "I'm concerned about excluding qualified people. I'm seeing states saying people must be certified in GIS. To have meaningful certification it needs to be a more defined certification, maybe for data modeling, spatial analysis, but it shouldn't exclude those who have been doing it for 25 years."

Attendee: "I have a new company and am trying to hire new people. What is the best way to find talented people quickly?"

Perry: "Well, you're technical already so you know the questions to ask. The certification would only be good for those who aren't technical and have to depend on certification."

Glenn: "Coop programs throughout universities are a great place to find hires."

Ian: "One of the problems I have with the certification program is that you need to outline experience they need. A GIS coordinator at a utility for example; unless you get very specific certification, it's not going to help many people.

Early engineers weren't trained as engineers, or registered, they were just engineers. As the field matures and public safety gets involved, then that's the point at which some point of registration or certification will be needed when someone certified will have to sign off on the final product. GIS has an impact on public safety."

Ian-"If I was with a gas/utility, if I don't mark gas line accurately, and I dig up a gas line, I could kill people. It is huge, the GIS person commands a lot of respect in that instance."

Glenn -"If you're looking for someone to sign off on a project, I would look for a PM to sign off on the project."

Perry-"If it's the job of the DOD it may need a top secret clearance."

Attendee: "Have you made the conclusion that GIS is a profession? In our company, we don't really have a professional. We look at those engineers or others who might have GIS skill sets. If someone locates something like utility lines, one of the key issues is if you are a professional GIS person you could be sued. It's a liability. If you consider it as a tool that an engineer uses then you're okay."

Perry: "I'm not a proponent of certification but my point is that GIS education is similar to engineering, but I don't think it will reach the requirement by the state of being registered like engineering does."

Glenn: "Depending upon how you view technology, GIS is all the components we've seen. I'm still sticking to my guns that I view it more as a tool."

Attendee: "The differences on the panel aren't that great. If you say is there a GIS profession I have to say GIS is way too broad to regard it as a profession. There are specific examples in public safety where certification makes sense."

Attendee: "For which jobs should professional GIS certification be required?"

Peter: "None."

Ian: In the supply and creation of the data, you can get a surveyor to do it for hundreds of thousands of dollars, or can you get a GIS person to create data and do it for much less. Those who do creation and utilization of data should have the standards or certifications.

Attendee: The rule of the specific disciplines would decide.

Attendee: "Do you mean the GISP program or certification that is more specialized?"

Ian: "GISP misses that because it's too broad."

Peter: "I think it's so broad it doesn't make sense to define it, it's such a diverse field."

Glenn: "I don't see how you can define the role of a GIS specialist. It has to come out of a discipline where the person is applying their skill set."

Attendee: "Why could not certification be a combination of experience, a specific test, etc?"

Peter: "The concern I have is - there is a grandfathering clause for those who are older and have 15 years experience - you have booth good and bad doing it for 15 years. I don't think people should be excluded."

Ian: "The educational aspect is showing up for conferences. You don't really take a real course or training. Any certification that wants to go forward has to be more specific. Peter's afraid of making it exclusive. Engineers don't allow doctors in their profession, for example. I think that it needs to be somewhat exclusive."

Glenn: "I think the educational component would be more valuable if it was accredited. The fact that I've attended 30 conferences over the last 10 years, doesn't make me a GIS professional."

Attendee: "There's a whole legacy of professions out there like geologists, engineers, etc. those professions are changing as well. Would it make sense to establish a way for GIS as a tool to be incorporated into their programs? It would make more sense than GIS professionals trying to meet the needs of all these domains."

Attendee: "Clearly for a geologist GIS should be part of his education."

Perry: "GIS work isn't going to be done by the geologist who has one course in GIS."

Ian: "It all comes down to ROI. All engineers know Autodesk, not GIS. They have to go take courses. I have taught a specific class on designing maps, like spatial analysis of a property. A new person will take days to learn that, and that's a loss of ROI."

Peter: "In the majority of jobs out there where people use GIS, GIS is adopted in their work processes. If you make it easy to embed GIS in other applications, there are far more jobs where using GIS in addition to other skills makes sense."

Attendee: "I'm hearing profession niche and tool, I'm hearing you all say it's the way it's defined, there are three major technologies of this century - nanotechnology , biotechnology and geotechnology. Are we going to do all that without being a profession here?"

Peter: "We don't have conferences on numerical information systems. I'm a mathematician and I can do weird things with numbers. Numbers are so broad across software and spatial data is becoming so broad across systems, the spatial component is very specific but basic."

Ian: "I'd like to see anyone here do spatial analysis and flip over and do network analysis, then do data collection - a lot of people who can do GIS can do parts of these things, but a GIS professional really can do this better."

Glenn: "I think the professing of GIS will come out of more tightly focused disciplines."

Attendee: And if GIS was a niche, then this conference would be the hugest niche association meeting I've ever been to!

GITA Vendor Roundup

Overall, a lot of activity surrounded applications developed for Oracle 10g. Not surprisingly an Oracle conference was scheduled for Thursday, the day after the GITA Conference at the Convention Center, which may have been an additional draw for attendees. This year Ten Sails Consulting and Smallworld hosted a Smallworld Symposium on Thursday following GITA at the Denver Convention Center. Already on Tuesday, there were 90 pre-registered for the symposium, according to Dan Bowditch of Ten Sails Consulting.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions (IMGS)

Intergraph demonstrated their Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and disaster management at GITA. The Mapping and Geospatial Solutions division of Intergraph has enjoyed a successful year with stock prices rising to 29-30 for this year's GITA conference, up from 20 at last year's conference. Geospatial Resource Management technology customers grew from 85 to 115. Also 2004 revenues for the division overall were at $206.5 million and 2004 income was at $7.0 million.

At the booth, CIP applications implemented in the Hawaii Electric Company (HECo) were highlighted. Part of the CIP applications is Intergraph's Geospatial Resource Management Solution, an integrated suite of workflow products that automate management, work order design, mobile workforce management, and service restoration. HECo's Geospatial Analysis and Enterprise Web environment is based on GeoMedia WebMap and has been enhanced to respond to scenarios such as oil spills, weather and geologic disasters, PCB removal and vegetation management.

Also profiled was MidAmerican Energy Corporation, the largest utility in Iowa. Their requirements include:
- Automate design processes

- Integrate network design of geospatial data

- Improve safety

- Improve productivity

- Enhance customer service
The utility used LogicaCMG to design a job then sent it to their G/Technology system. In G/Technology users can locate, search for various information such as locations of intersections, new customers, etc. and use the data for other applications in the workflow process.

Customers are adopting the new CIP technology at a slower rate in the U.S., but Asia Pacific and Europe are very fast adopters. Lots of customers are moving from FRAMME to G/Technology, according to Art Spencer, Executive VP of Geospatial Solutions.


The most exciting thing that has happened to LizardTech in many years is the recent announcement that LizardTech is working to extend Oracle Spatial 10g GeoRaster architecture to integrate native MrSID technology inside Oracle. MrSID wavelet based software, GeoExpress, has been used by many for distributing, managing and accessing enormous geospatial imagery.

The company will be working with early adopters. “Raster has always been a problem,” said Karen Morley, vice president, Global Marketing. “The OGC has 2 to 6 terabytes of imagery on the DMC camera they bought, and the USDA is talking in exabytes and pedabytes. Other options involve tiling and pyramiding but in doing so, you increase the space taken up. MrSID's wavelet compression technology reduces space. “

Working with Oracle through its Partner membership in the Oracle PartnerNetwork, the move is geared to bring LizardTech closer toward providing JPEG2000 support for Oracle Spatial 10g in the future. LizardTech went with the decision to use MrSID rather than JPEG 2000 to start with because MrSID is proprietary and there is more flexibility with that product for now. JPEG2000 will be used in phase 2 of the implementation.

"Ultimately, JPEG2000 will get us out of the proprietary format," said Morley. "It's a standard and everyone supports it. But the market is not quite ready in the public sector. The NGA and other federal agencies are working with JPEG2000 now because it is a standard."

The solution came about as LizardTech's customers demanded the technology, according to Morley. Homeland Security is definitely driving the requirements for large imagery sets to be able to be moved around, accessed and manipulated efficiently.

Key advantages to integrating LizardTech's native MrSID wavelet technology in Oracle Spatial 10g include:
- Reduced storage costs, reducing database size by 20-30 times depending upon compression rates used, thus reducing storage costs.

- Improved performance - as existing MrSID data loads quickly into Oracle Spatial 10g, users on the receiving end can receive data in MrSID format and very fast as a result of the wavelet technology.

- Enterprise-wide integration- with one single geospatial data repository managing all data - raster, relational and vector, decision support is greater.
For Oracle Spatial 10g customers, the GeoRaster API will support direct access to MrSID imagery so they won't have to modify any existing applications.

The new Oracle Spatial 10g GeoRaster API will provide a plug-in architecture to support partner compression technologies. LizardTech will supply the module that will enable that API for loading and retrieving MrSID data natively to and from Oracle Spatial 10g.

Bentley Systems

Bentley had a couple of announcements to make at the conference: one being their ProjectWise Oracle 10g Spatial Connector that is not formally announced yet - but will allow enterprise workflow, specifically direct interaction between Bentley engineering and geospatial applications of any kind. It allow users to decide what to populate datastores with. Bentley has never had a geodatabase, but they can leverage 10g's spatial capability by moving management of geospatial information into the enterprise IT workflow. Also, in 10g users can do direct editing of the model for topology. There will be more on this announcement in future issues of GISWeekly.

Also, Bentley announced a series of seminars that will detail 3D-Government. Governments wanted help with certain requirements including, cadastral mapping, operational efficiency and e-government web based access that was interdepartmental. The resultant solution is 3D-Government, an initiative with related software that gives governments the ability to operate more efficiently. The initiative will enable governments to
Engineer with solutions tailored to the needs of each department

Enable streamlined information sharing across departments

Empower government and the public with quick, easy access to information through a Web browser
Next, was the announcement that Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), a $28 billion energy and energy services organization with 225,000 documents, used Bentley's ProjectWise to digitally manage an environment that had been previously populated by a hard copy, manual entry method of managing documents. Bentley said that ProjectWise has exceeded their expectations as so many people are using ProjectWise now for managing and sharing documents from diverse sources - integrating, sharing and accessing CAD and geospatial data.

Hitachi Software Global Technology (HSGT)

For some time the term "application service provider" has not been a popular concept in technology, but Hitachi is crossing that boundary with its announcement of a new iNetSpatial ASP solution for their smaller rural clients. According to Rob Carroll, vice-president of sales and marketing for HSGT, this solution would provide a full function GIS available on the ASP model based on Any*GIS, with HSGT hosting the GIS for customers. Customers would receive an entire deployment, including initial setup and configuration, and then all other maintenance would be derived from annual subscription. iNetSpatial also can be configured so that users can leverage third party data , and HSGT is working
on forming partnerships with third party imagery providers.


Telvent GIT, Miner & Miner (M&M), and ESRI are moving forward to build an integrated product suite that will enable energy utilities and other enterprises to make better strategic use of realtime and spatial information. Using the framework of the ArcFM™ Solution based on the core technology of ESRI's ArcGIS® and Telvent's OASyS DNA product suite, plans for a complete integrated product line are well underway.

Keiretsu Forum, the nation's largest angel investor network, announced its investment in Digital Map Products (DMP), developer of high-performance Internet-hosted software that provides intelligent, map-based, decision support for government and private sector organizations. DMP's products for the non-technical audience are delivered via application subscription service (ASP). DMP has closed its C Round with $1.4 million in equity funding, with Keiretsu Forum members as lead investors. John Dilts, President of Keiretsu Forum's Los Angeles and Westlake Village Chapters, stated that Keiretsu members invested the initial $450,000 in the round.

Celartem Technology Inc., officially announced a merger of its three US companies, Extensis, Inc., LizardTech, Inc. and Celartem, Inc. Both Extensis and LizardTech will retain their employees, offices and corporate brand but will operate under the Celartem, Inc. holding company. The combined entity has projected revenues exceeding $30M and more than 160 employees.

The US General Services Administration (GSA) has renewed ENSR International's contract for worldwide environmental services. The 5 year contract, with an estimated $10 million annual value is available to all Federal agencies with environmental planning, permitting, hazardous waste management and related projects. For their previous GSA contract, ENSR completed environmental projects in over 30 states and as well as in Europe.


Azteca Systems, Inc. announced that Cityworks successfully met the criteria for becoming the first NAGCS (National Association of GIS-Centric Software) certified application. NAGCS certification distinguishes Cityworks as an authorized GIS-Centric solution for Asset Maintenance Management.

The majority of the world's population will soon live in urban rather than rural areas. Adding a spatial dimension to population estimates, a new study finds that as much as three percent of the Earth's land area has already been urbanized, which is double previous estimates. Led by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University's Earth Institute, this study has resulted in the construction of a suite of products constituting the first detailed and systematic data sets on urban population distribution and the extents of human settlements across the globe. Although population census and satellite data have been available for some time,
until now minimal effort had been made to combine these two kinds of information to capture the geographic boundaries of human settlements.

VUEWorks, Inc. announced that it will operate as an independent software company providing map based, strategic asset management solutions for the municipal market and adjacent markets. David Paine, former Director of Product Development at Autodesk, Inc., is heading up the new company.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced it has certified the company's Z/I
Imaging DMC(R) (Digital Mapping Camera) against the DO-160D aircraft standard. An important benchmark for the DMC system, it is now certified by Intergraph for altitudes up to 8000m or 26000 ft in non-pressurized aircraft.

Conference Updates

2005 ESRI Business GeoInfo Summit will be held April 18-19, 2005, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. The two-day event includes breakout sessions, user discussions, technical demonstrations, and more designed for people who want to learn more about using
geographic information system (GIS) technology in

The Planning Committee for the 18th Annual
GIS in the Rockies Conference issues its call for papers with an invitation to come share, explore and learn about geographic information
systems (GIS). The program theme is "The Geospatial Revolution: A Whole New View." underway in GIS. We look forward to many provocative discussions.

Abstracts are to be submitted online at
http://GISintheRockies.org/abstracts. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 April 2005. The Conference will be September 21-23, 2005 at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Contact Karen Brandt, Chair, at
Email Contact.

AAG's 2005 Annual Meeting agenda includes distinguished speakers, such as the scholars participating in two Presidential Plenary sessions on the "Geographies of Fear and Hope," which have been organized by AAG President Victoria Lawson. The sessions will address the power of both fearfulness and hopefulness, and will identify geographies of fear and hope. The plenary sessions will consider how both disciplinary and societal questions, priorities, and resource allocations might shift if we started from positions of hope rather than positions of dread and anxiety.

If you have not already done so, register to attend the AAG Annual Meeting by March 16 to receive the early registration rates. To register for the meeting, or to learn more about the 3,000 paper and poster presentations at the AAG Denver meeting, visit. The meeting will be held from April 5-9, 2005.


Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced the selection of its Z/I Imaging(R) RMK TOP - Aerial Survey Camera System by Aerocon Photogrammetric Services Inc.,(Willoughby, Ohio), a national, full-service photogrammetric firm. The new camera system supplements the RMK TOP purchased by Aerocon two years ago, which is used to capture imagery for digital mapping in engineering applications, environmental studies, digital orthophotography for GIS applications and stockpile inventory.

The Redesign Blog on AccuWeather.com is drawing attention from popular pundits of the "blogosphere". Set up to preview the new design of the site to be launched in April, the Redesign Blog solicits and responds to visitor feedback about design test pages via a blogger euphemistically known as the "Unknown Redesigner". The blog features behind-the-scenes tidbits on the why and how of web designing, plus links to the pages in question.

El Paso Electric Company (EPE) has selected Miner & Miner's ArcFM Solution together with ESRI's ArcGIS® core technology to provide a streamlined system for facility management and design for their Transmission & Distribution unit. EPE, a Texas corporation, generates and distributes electricity to 330,000 customers in western Texas and southern New Mexico.

ACD Systems International Inc. (TSX: ASA), makers of ACDSee(TM) photo management software and Canvas(TM) technical illustration software, announced the appointment of two new members of its executive team.

Effective immediately, Mr. Nasir Sheikh will assume the role of vice president, sales and business development. Mr. James Latham will assume the role of vice president, marketing effective immediately.

ObjectFX, provider of dynamic location-enabled enterprise information solutions with SpatialFX(R), announced Mark R. Myers as its Vice President of Marketing.

Carlos Domingo, formerly with Celartem Technology and currently the CEO of LizardTech, has been appointed President and CEO of Celartem, Inc. and will have responsibility for both Extensis and LizardTech operations.

New Products

Earthcomber LLC announced new features of its freeware personal navigator that allow users to mark and share places on the map. The much-anticipated Earthcomber Version 1.2 lets users mark their favorite places on maps, either on their Palm-powered devices or directly on the Web, and then share those places through private and public groups in the Earthcomber community.

Info-Cop, Verizon Wireless and Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:
SBL), have teamed to provide an integrated public safety offering bringing cutting-edge wireless communications to the Jersey City Police Department. This is the first installation under a formal joint marketing agreement between Info-Cop and Verizon Wireless to more effectively deliver mobility products and services for the law enforcement sector.

Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping, LLC announced the availability of significant updates to ERDAS IMAGINE and Leica Photogrammetry Suite (LPS) V8.7. The releases were designed in response to customer feedback, and empower both ERDAS IMAGINE and LPS to meet the most stringent user requirements for geospatial imaging.

QUALCOMM Incorporated announced the commercial availability of new hosting solutions for its T2 Untethered TrailerTRACS asset management solution. Customers can now either directly integrate with the T2 Untethered TrailerTRACS solution using AS/400 dispatch systems, or can operate the system through a QUALCOMM-hosted, Web-based version.

Laser Atlanta, a laser optics technology developer and provider of measuring systems for professionals, launched new products and packages for its Advantage(R) product line that includes a new smaller and lighter Advantage rangefinder, new Profiler II product package (for mining, blasting and profiling), new Volume II (volumetric package for stockpile volume measuring), new Walkabout GPS system (for GPS offset mapping) and Bluetooth wireless technology (for wireless connectivity).

The WhiteStar Corporation announced the availability of Texas CartoBase®, an aggregation of more than forty GIS layers for the map making professional. Texas CartoBase® is a DVD based product that allows the user to define an area of interest on a map of Texas, select the relevant data layers, and then export the desired subset to one of several common formats.

Mio Technology Ltd., a worldwide vendor of GPS Pocket PC's, introduced to the North American market their latest addition to their GPS pocket PC's - the Mio168RS. The new handheld device is a fully functional pocket PC featuring their newest mapping system that is fully interoperable with the built-in GPS antenna.

Name Change

Tadpole-Cartesia will now be marketed as the Geospatial Solutions Division of the Tadpole Technology Group. The division's business focus will remain unaltered.

Around the Web

Google - A $50 Billion One-Trick Pony?, by Ben Elgin, March 3, 2005, Business Week Online Its focus on Web-searching -- an increasingly limited arena -- may be blinding it to big opportunities elsewhere

Upcoming Events

GIS Seminar for Sales and Marketing

Date: March 15, 2005

Place: London, United Kingdom

On 15th March in London, SIA and The Clockworks will be hosting a seminar on their new map-based customer analysis tool called SonarMap. Marketing professionals and GIS users are increasingly turning to new ways of visualizing, managing and analyzing their customer and prospect information. SonarMap can be used in a variety of different ways including; optimum location of a retail store, understanding and interpreting the correct profile of existing customers, predicting new customer segments and markets, and territory optimization. The seminar will run from 9.30-2.00 and include refreshments and a light lunch. For more information or to book a place, please contact Michelle at
Email Contact or 020 9732 2484

TUGIS 2005: 18th Annual Geographic Information Systems Conference

Date: March 21 - 22, 2005

Place: Towson University Campus Towson, MD USA

Mapping the Human Landscape: GIS for Public Health, Safety, and Social Services Applications Sponsor: The Center for Geographic Information Sciences at Towson University The conference emphasizes information sharing, or technology transfer, by anyone currently using GIS and anyone considering using GIS. In a relaxed yet professional setting, representatives from government agencies, businesses, and academic institutions meet, interact, and discuss the current and future states of GIS. More than 600 professionals are expected to attend TUGIS 2005.

15th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference

Date: March 21 - 25, 2005

Place: San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk 711 East Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX USA

This 15th annual South Central Arc User Group Conference (SCAUG), attracting GIS professionals from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, and the Cayman Islands, will include training sessions, user presentations, workshops, map gallery, application contests, ESRI Doctors Office, ESRI technical sessions, banquet and the Knibbe Ranch social.

TNGIC Annual Conference 2005

Date: March 22 - 23, 2005

Place: Franklin - Cool Springs Marriott 700 Cool Springs Blvd, Franklin, TN 37067 USA

The annual TNGIC Conference is the premier GIS event in Tennessee. If you are new to GIS, an advanced GIS user and/or a Manager that is considering the use of GIS within your organization... then the TNGIC 2005 Conference will provide you with an invaluable opportunity to meet with and learn from your GIS peers throughout Tennessee.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.