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May 24, 2004
Special Geospatial World 2004 Report, Part 2
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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!

Message from the Editor -

Welcome to GISWeekly! A session on Geospatial Data Availability at Geospatial World spotlighted the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)'s Softcopy Search project, which is designed to demonstrate the capability of commercially available off-the-shelf Win/Intel based hardware and software to conduct broad area searches over large geographic areas. The session also provided an overview of the OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) Testbed. This and much more are covered in this week's Industry News.

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, New Products, Going on 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

Special Geospatial World 2004 Report, Part 2

By Susan Smith

Geospatial Data Availability Technical Session

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)'s Softcopy Search

This session spotlighted the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)'s Softcopy Search project, which is designed to demonstrate the capability of commercially available off-the-shelf Win/Intel based hardware and software to conduct broad area searches over large geographic areas. The session also provided an overview of the OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) Testbed.

Intergraph is part of a contract awarded by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, (NIMA), now known as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), for Phase II of its Softcopy Search project. The contract team, led by Eastman Kodak Company, also includes Hewlett Packard/Compaq, Paragon Imaging and Idelix Software.

At the heart of the softcopy search solution is Intergraph's GeoMedia Image Professional product. According to Andrew Mitchell of IMGS, this software allows analysts to fuse various forms of geospatial data without translation, providing a single view of the data and imagery of interest. Intergraph's TerraShare imagery management system can be used as a separate server application, from which the analyst can retrieve imagery, ADRG, CADRG, CIB®, and other raster products using GeoMedia's spatial and feature query capabilities. Some specific features include:
- Finding out the location of your imagery and using thumbnail capability (which is actually more than a thumbnail - you can zoom in to make a very large image).

- Querying attributes for imagery - you don't have to recall the names of your images

- User specific metadata can be added.
The softcopy search product provides orthorectified files. You could use a single raster backdrop for a whole country. The example cited was one where backdrop images were composed of four maps that the system retrieved - in this case DRGs. It put them together to create a backdrop without stitching files together. It also brought in vector data that happened to be in shapefiles. You can also bring in point features.

A broad search area on imagery is available with this search. The purpose of softcopy search is to allow you to load images into the system, and ask the system to create a virtual search path. It has a smooth roam feature.

OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) Testbed

OGC Web Services 2.0 Initiative was discussed by Carl Reed, Ph.D., executive director specifications program, and John Vincent of Intergraph. Reed informed the audience that the OGC is a non-profit organization with the vision of “a world in which everyone benefits from geospatial information.” It is the quest for a global geospatial and IT community.

The organization's mission is “to lead global development, promotion of open standards and architecture that enable integration of geospatial data and user services.”

What is an OGC Interoperability Initiative? Reed posed the question. International teams of OGC members work with a rapid collaborative engineering process to solve specific geospatial interoperability problems. The first specification of this kind took six months, and now new specifications are derived from this environment in less time.

Development initiatives are:



He asked the question of the audience: when was the first publicly accessible web mapping deployed? The answer: Xerox Parc Map in 1993 - before MapQuest.

Some companies have tried to patent the concept of web mapping, said Reed, and added that even the geospatial industry is not immune to patent issues.

What are web services? Asked Reed. The definition he gave of web services is as follows: a programmable application logic accessible using standard Internet protocols. It combines the best of aspects of component-based development and the Web. It incorporates the classic “find-bind-publish” web services model.

Web Services Network provides reliability, security, manageability, partner enablement.

Web Services Broker provides registry of available Web services.

Web Services Platform is the provider/requester of
WSDL Generation

UDDI Browsing

Web Services Providing

EIS Integration
One of the great benefits of Web Services is its ability to provide “just-in-time integration” for many organizations.

Open GIS Web Services (OWS) faces the task of defining a standards based reference.
One user can use:

Web Feature Server

Web Coverage Server

Web Map Server

Web Terrain Server
OGC is advancing OGC technical baseline to support multisource network-centric environments:
Overall OGC Service Framework

Common Source and product processes

Feature, Mapping and Intelligence

The talk about sensors was rife at this conference, and another question Reed posed to the audience was: how can you integrate sensor web into other services?

OWS-2 participants will work together closely to extend and ruggedize existing and draft OpenGIS standards with a robust interoperability framework for implementation in a multi-vendor enterprise.

Something else he brought up was Business Process Engineering Language (BPEL) which provides OWS enabled decision support to the client. Intergraph is working on a lead editor to BPEL for image handling and decision support report. They are developing a list of clients that work with SOAP, WSDL and UDDI.

OGC is using existing specifications of which the baseline are:

WMS 1.3

WFS 1.1

WCS 1.0

CS-W 1.0

Location Services 1.0

WMS can get multiple maps with one Get Map request.

WFS returns physical feature data.

It can get both a picture and physical data

WCS can do scope retrieval of gridded TIN and other coverage data in binary or OWS Common Architecture Catalogs. It can collect metadata and define the framework of guiding concepts and terminology and organize principles for implementation and deployment.

How do you deal with semantics at runtime? There are problems with road network data in that where roads meet at a state border, for example, the linear referencing is different in each state. Intergraph and OGC are working with virtual feature data to find commonality there. Reed also mentioned the testing and feasibility studies done with GML for generating conformance to standards.

Diverse applications need data from diverse sources. John Vincent spoke of the Intergraph Web Map Viewer built with WMS server with WMS implemented in the client. WMS can reach into the database to get data and load it into layers automatically. Geomedia has a live connection to WMS.

Geospatial Solutions Federal

Mike Tate, vice president business development for Geospatial Solutions Federal, and the Intelligence Solutions Center is responsible for developing business in federal accounts. “Both of my jobs focus on geospatial intelligence,” explained Tate.

Geospatial intelligence solutions comprises four separate areas:

*Spatial analysis and intensification

*Image exploitation

*GI data management

*Dissemination and communications

Geospatial intelligence data can take the form of

*pixel data (motion data)

*feature data (formerly vector)

*surface data (more than terrain, i.e. amount of noise at an airport)

*text data

There is a need for seamless integration between those four data types. In order to determine what type of solution an organization requires, Tate first asks the question, are they a pixel person, surface or text? “Then you can figure out what package of solutions they need,” he said.

He spoke of the new product Geomedia Fusion, which will enable you to do schema mapping between two sets of data. You can generate one set of terminology and it is rules driven.

Sensors, wireless and GPS are the drivers for future direction, said Tate. We will want data from sensors located by GPS and fed to us by wireless.

Worldwide Customer Support

Art Spencer
Art Spencer, executive vice president, Geospatial Solutions Center, Mapping & Geospatial Solutions, talked about worldwide customer support - Intergraph is in 63 countries around world and most business is through wholly owned subsidiaries in North America and Europe and parts of Asia Pacific. The rest of the world is covered by a few select distributors, southeast Asia and India, the Middle East, Korea and all of Latin America. “Most of these companies we're very close to - many of them were Intergraph subsidiaries that did management buyouts,” explained Spencer.

They provide the front line customer support around the world so the customers call them first if they have a problem. They work with that problem and then they bring it back to the support group in Huntsville who works with them very closely. “We've been going through a very rapid international training process for some of the new releases of software so if we release a new version of software such as G/Technology version 9.2, we mobilize teams and they go to the different regions of the world to train the distributors and the subsidiaries in the latest technology and software so they're prepared to support and help customers when they receive new software releases.”

“For InService, our outage and mobile workforce management solution, a lot of our large utility companies use it for outage management and we try to be proactive with them and get news updates. We watch the weather if there are large storms or hurricanes that are moving into a customer's area and make sure we're mobilized. We call the customer and make sure they have our beeper numbers, cellphone numbers, etc. because our outage system has to run through that storm and sometimes if it looks like it's going to be bad, we may even consider putting someone onsite or working with them through those areas.”

Intergraph has a major release once per year. Training courses in database administration, customization, and database set up and tuning, which would typically be four weeks of training, have been compressed to two weeks. This training was designed for new employees or those who needed software updates.

There is a difference in training these days, according to Spencer. “These are technical people, and if you look at geospatial technology now, all the data is stored in the database, so it's a database project. What you look for is people with database experience, database administrators - people who understand metadata and how that impacts geospatial data, how to configure that data, then how to tune the database to make it scalable. People are coming out of university now who know databases. You can get an Oracle DBA who already knows the database.”

An Oracle DBA needs only a minimal knowledge of GIS-they would need to understand workflows of GIS. Any additional customization can be done with Visual Basic tools.

Z/I Imaging

Dr. Terry Keating
Z/I Imaging, as mentioned in last week's Industry News, has sold eight of its Digital Mapping Cameras in the past year. Apparently there is a waiting list for the $4 million product. In speaking with Dr. Terry Keating, I learned that Z/I is adding its expertise of imaging, elevations and image management to the GIS product lines in IMGS. There is a synergistic exchange of information between Z/I and IMGS, whereby IMGS also helps Z/I with their products as well. Z/I's focus has remained the same since its purchase by Intergraph in 2002, yet has extended to include a greater awareness of some of the GIS trends in the industry.

Z/I Imaging has introduced a new product called the Z/I Mouse, which is a sophisticated 3D measuring device that allows you to look in stereo onscreen, roll the thumbwheel and get elevations to come on the screen and thereby improve data collection processes in a 3D environment.

Canvas 9 Advanced GIS Mapping Edition

ACD Systems introduced Canvas 9 Advanced GIS Mapping Edition, a technical illustration program that delivers professionally engineered GIS functions for mission-critical GIS projects. Some of its features include: visualization, annotation, editing, filtering, and output of GIS data. You can create a customized query with the Select by Property feature, based on specific properties, or other criteria. You can keep the query for future re-use in another document, if necessary. The product includes support for a range of GIS import filters and export engines specific to GeoTIFF and SHAPE file formats.

The Label by Property feature allows you to reflect specific industry attributes in a map objects category in order to create labels for map objects. Object Properties can be assigned to map objects and can be edited, viewed and reapplied. The Visualize Data command enables users to modify symbology or the appearance of map objects according to property value of classification. Objects can then be defined by custom or preset color and texture or gradient inks to create thematic maps with specific topics. Estimated retail price for the product is $949.95.


Telcontar, supplier of software and related services for Location-Based Services (LBS), announced that its Telcontar Mobile Location Server™ has been nominated as a Horizon Award finalist at the upcoming Telematics Detroit Conference May 25, 2004, presented by Telematics Update.

The company also announced that it has signed a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) agreement with Swedish navigation solution provider Appello Systems AB. Recently formed with a team that has many years of LBS experience, Appello provides comprehensive location-sensitive mobile services such as off-board navigation and fleet management for the telecommunication, automotive, logistics and asset tracking industries.

MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq: MAPS), a provider of location-intelligence solutions, announced the signing of an exclusive two year distributor agreement with Beijing Jade Bird Commerce Technology Co. Ltd., one of the largest independent software vendor (ISV) and systems integrators in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Also, MapInfo formally announced Beijing as its North Asian headquarters and will be hiring additional employees in marketing, product management, technical support and business development.

IMPRESS Software AG, a provider of pre-packaged integration applications (I.Apps(tm)) connecting the mySAP Product Lifecycle Management (mySAP PLM) solution to third-party applications, and ESRI, announced a strategic alliance to develop a pre-packaged integration solution that integrates ESRI's enterprise GIS software suite with mySAP PLM. This new development is a result of customer demands, as well as requests by both SAP and ESRI to leverage IMPRESS Software's proven capabilities to deliver out-of-the-box packaged integration solutions.

IDELIX® Software Inc. and Intelligence Data Systems announced a joint partnership agreement that will see the integration of Pliable Display Technology (PDT), into Intelligence Data Systems' customized technology solutions for the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, and related Federal Civilian Agencies.


On May 18, 2004 Colorado Governor Bill Owens awarded Space Imaging the Governor's Award for Export Excellence in the large-sized manufacturing company category. The Governor's Award for Excellence in Exporting has been awarded annually since 1970, and recognizes Colorado companies that demonstrate a commitment to international trade.

Frost & Sullivan has awarded DigitalGlobe®; its 2004 Aerospace & Defense Product of the Year distinction. Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in developing new products and technologies within its industry. It highlights innovation efforts visible through the launch of a broad line of emerging products and technologies.


The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) announced that its first Interoperability Experiment (IE) will test a GML 3.0 application schema for encoding LandXML 1.0 documents (LandGML) and will provide a tool to transform LandXML 1.0 documents into LandGML documents. In a second phase, a tool will be developed to transform LandGML documents to LandXML 1.0 documents.

The deegree project has added ECW (Enhanced Compression Wavelet) support to its Web Coverage Service. The deegree project is a java framework that allows the development of local and network based GIS applications, whose interface and architecture is built upon OGC and ISO standards.

The OpenGIS consortium has named the deegree project's realizations of WMS as a reference implementation for WMS 1.1.1 specification. The OpenGIS consortium has commissioned lat/lon (co-founder of the deegree project) to create reference implementations for WCS 1.0.0 and CS-W 2.0 in deegree.

NASA has granted two nonexclusive patent license agreements for imaging software technologies for application in commercial markets. The software programs Fuzzy Reasoning Edge Detection (FRED); Fuzzy Reasoning Adaptive Thresholding (FRAT); and Pose Invariant Pattern Recognition (PIPR) were developed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

FRED is used to detect edges in noisy images and track unfamiliar objects in video and film. FRED is also used to track foreign object debris in launch videos and was a key component of the analysis in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident.

The FRAT system transforms faded images into clearer, readable ones. It is faster and more reliable that most imaging software. NASA also uses FRAT to track debris during launch, information that was critical to the Columbia investigation.

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) formally announced its formation as a non-profit organization that brings together the key players involved in the geospatial intelligence sector to promote the tradecraft and to collaborate on the execution of a national geospatial intelligence agenda.

MapInfo announced the European leg of the MapWorld 2004 worldwide tour for customers. At these one- and two-day events, MapInfo executives will provide attendees with the latest information on MapInfo products and solutions as well as examples on how they can maximize their investment in MapInfo technology. In addition, the next generation of location technology will be discussed including solutions for Microsoft .NET and MapInfo's EnvinsaTM location platform, that will allow any organization to harness the power of location across the enterprise.

GML Days is now accepting registrations for this year's GML and Geo-Spatial Web Service conference to be held in Vancouver, BC between July 25th and July 29th, 2004. This year's conference should prove to be an exciting one with papers, presentations and workshops coming from many countries including France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Hong Kong, Korea, the United States and Canada. This global corps of presenters clearly demonstrates the worldwide spread of GML and Web Services and will be offering many insights and observations into the continuing development of GML. For more information on GML Days or to register, please go to
http://www.gmldays.com. Early registration ends on May 31st, 2004.

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed two new resources for emergency managers and first responders to enhance mutual aid systems across the country and help emergency response networks operate more effectively together.

New Products

Earth Satellite announced that it has begun delivery of a global mosaic of Landsat imagery to ESRI. The mosaic is natural colored and is derived from EarthSat's global Landsat mapping product Geocover-Ortho undertaken for NASA. GeoCover-Ortho is produced from 8,500 Landsat scenes with the target year of 2000. Each scene was carefully selected to be as cloud-free as possible and of the highest quality rating. ESRI will deliver this global Landsat 150 meter resolution mosaic with the ArcGIS 9.0 release. EarthSat is also creating a global 15-meter resolution mosaic called NaturalVue 2000.

@Road(R) (Nasdaq:ARDI), a provider of mobile resource management (MRM) services, introduced three new GPS-based services for the waste industry. The Bar Code Wand, CoverSheet and Roll-off Routing mobile resource management services from @Road let workers in the field automatically record, transmit and report on real-time, location-based information to streamline operations, reduce paperwork and dynamically route mobile workers and resources.

PromptServer is the client-server based image management, processing and distribution solution for fast access to huge and complex geo-image datasets. With PromptServer, near-instant access to any part of huge virtual image datasets are available to multiple users within most CAD/GIS, Intra/Internet applications.

Fakespace Systems Inc. announced completion of a reconfigurable immersive visualization
system that includes the use of both active and passive stereoscopic technology. Designed specifically to meet the requirements for Purdue University's new Envision Center for Data Perceptualization, the custom solution was developed utilizing Fakespace's reconfigurable FLEX™ platform. In addition to the custom FLEX display, the Envision Center also
includes a dual channel PowerWall™ from Fakespace.

Map Maker North America Ltd. releases Fetch Distance version 3. This new technology enables detailed spatial measurement of maximum fetch or exposure for all locations in a map. Fetch Distance has a new Windows graphical user interface that is simple to operate. For more information see:

ESRI announced that ArcIMS 9 is now shipping. In addition to expanded support for the ArcIMS core capabilities of serving maps, data, and metadata, ArcIMS 9 also introduces the new Data Delivery extension. The ArcIMS Data Delivery extension makes distribution and sharing of data easy and open. This extension enables users to select, export, and deliver data in multiple formats and projections from a centralized Internet map server. It gives users and administrators the ability to publish data in 20 industry-standard spatial formats.

In addition, ArcIMS 9 includes support for Open GIS Consortium, Inc., Web Map Services.

PCI Geomatics, supplier of geospatial image analysis solutions, announces that it will be providing GTZ with Geomatica software for geospatial processing of ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) data. Geomatica geospatial software is helping GTZ consultants develop a new geo-database for hydrologic and hydro-geologic resource assessment in Eritrea (Horn of Africa).

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is reducing the price of Landsat 7 scenes with gaps in data resulting from a satellite anomaly in May of 2003. Scenes that contain gaps in data will be reduced from $600 to $250. Scenes with the gaps filled in using data acquired prior to the anomaly will also be offered at a reduced price of $275 beginning May 10, 2004.

The new product being offered for $275 will have the gap areas filled in with Landsat 7 data acquired prior to the scan line corrector (SLC) failure at a similar time of the year. The two scenes are geometrically registered, and a histogram matching technique is applied to the fill pixels that provide the best-expected radiance values for the missing data.

CEVA, Inc., (NASDAQ: CEVA; LSE: CVA), licensor of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) cores and communications solutions to the semiconductor industry, introduced Xpert-GPS, the industry's first DSP-based global positioning system (GPS) solution, which delivers significant advances in the cost, power dissipation and location performance to GPS enabled devices such as wireless phones and telematic devices.

Upcoming Events...

ASPRS Annual Conference 2004

Date: May 23 - 28, 2004

Place: Adams Mark Hotel Denver, CO USA Mountains of Data...Peak Decisions is the theme for the ASPRS Annual Conference to be held at the Adams Mark Hotel, Denver, Colorado, May 23-28, 2004. The conference will include workshops, general and plenary sessions, technical programs, poster presentations, technical tours, a classified session and a super-sized exhibit hall. Check our web site asprs.org/denver2004 for complete details and registration information.

GIS and Business Intelligence for the Enterprise

Date: June 2, 2004

Place: DoubleTree Hotel Mission Valley San Diego, CA USA

ESRI and Information Builders Inc. (IBI) are co-hosting a nationwide seminar series on geographic analysis and business intelligence tools for visualizing demographic, customer, and other location-based business data. Free seminars are being offered in 40 cities across the U.S.

GIS and Business Intelligence for the Enterprise

Date: June 3, 2004

Place: Hilton Pasadena Pasadena, CA USA

ESRI and Information Builders Inc. (IBI) are co-hosting a nationwide seminar series on geographic analysis and business intelligence tools for visualizing demographic, customer, and other location-based business data. Free seminars are being offered in 40 cities across the U.S.

UbiGIS 2004 - First International Workshop on Ubiquitous GIS

Date: June 7 - 9, 2004

Place: Gavle, Sweden

Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) is seen as one of the big trends in computing. It deals with distributed and mobile computer systems, which make the computer disappear - through a range of new devices and interaction possibilities. On the other side, GIS is changing from a tool for specialists to an infrastructure & tool used in a wide range of domains and applications.

Open Source GIS Conference 2004 and Second Annual MapServer User Meeting

Date: June 9 - 11, 2004

Place: Carleton University Ottawa, Canada

In recent years, the GIS industry has witnessed dramatic growth in the development and adoption of open source technologies. The technical GIS community adopted open source technology relatively early, and now mainstream GIS and broader IT industries have come on board as open source products have matured. Organizations are realizing the value of incorporating open source software as a core part of their business. This conference will provide an exciting opportunity for users and managers to network, learn about products and services, and develop both technical and management skills for adopting open source technologies. The event is expected to draw over 300 people from across the globe
representing the existing open source GIS user and developer community and interested participants from government, non-government organizations, academia, and industry.

MapWorld 2004

Date: June 10, 2004

Place: Navy Pier Chicago, IL USA

Whether you are a power user, developer, manager or are new to using MapInfo, MapWorld 2004 is the place to be.

FME Training Course

Date: June 10 - 11, 2004

Place: Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Join our two-day (1/3 lecture, 2/3 exercise and problem solving) course and learn to unlock the powerful features of FME to more effectively manage your data translation and data transformation challenges. FME Training can help open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. Questions are encouraged throughout the class and attendees are encouraged to bring their own sample data files.

97th Annual Conference of the Canadian Institue of Geomatics

Date: June 21 - 23, 2004

Place: Westin Hotel Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

It is our great pleasure to invite you to the 97th Annual Conference of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG), Geomatics: Powering the Future. This Conference will explore the increasing role of geospatial technology in Canada and how it is moving from innovation to an everyday reality.

IDL User's Group Meeting

Date: June 21, 2004

Place: The Marriott Philadelphia conference rooms 304 & 305, Philadelphia, PA USA

Join us for a breakfast meeting at the Society of Nuclear Medicine Symposium 2004

EOGEO 2004

Date: June 23 - 25, 2004

Place: UCL London, United Kingdom

EOGEO is a workshop for developers of Geospatial data services over the Web. It covers a wide field of applications from Earth Observation and GIS to Internet standards. The common themes are Web based solutions to resource discovery, interoperable data access, distributed data services and data fusion.

MapWorld 2004

Date: June 24, 2004

Place: TechMart Santa Clara San Francisco, CA USA

Whether you are a power user, developer, manager or are new to using MapInfo, MapWorld 2004 is the place to be.

ESRI GeoInfo Summit

Date: June 28 - 29, 2004

Place: Chicago, IL USA

Discover how GIS technology provides a cost-effective solution for understanding, serving, and growing your customer base by helping you better organize and visualize existing data.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.