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April 12, 2004
A Mobile Enterprise Solution
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! At the 2004 CTIA Wireless Expo recently Microsoft Location Server (MLS) was announced, a product that allows developers to acquire real time location of mobile devices within their own business or enterprise. With this
news came the announcement that mobile operators, Sprint for the U.S. and Bell Mobility for Canada, are Microsoft's first partners to embrace the Location Server to build plug-ins or extensions to build real time location into their applications. Learn more about this product and how it addresses privacy issues 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, Alliances/Acquisitions, Announcements, Appointments/Resignations, 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

A Mobile Enterprise Solution

By Susan Smith


At the 2004 CTIA Wireless Expo last week Microsoft Location Server (MLS) was announced, a product that allows developers to acquire real time location of mobile devices within their own business or enterprise. With this
news came the announcement that mobile operators, Sprint for the U.S. and Bell Mobility for Canada, are Microsoft's first partners to embrace MapPoint Location Server by building plug-ins to enable their customers to build real time location into their applications.


Hitachi G1000 device running MapPoint Location Server
According to Steve Lombardi, Technical Evangelist, “We've been working on MapPoint Location Server for the last 2 years, and built these plug-ins over the last couple of months. These partners in their respective territories, both in the U.S. and Canada, have made significant investments in location technology. 70% of the handsets Sprint has in the market today are assisted GPS enabled and 99% of the ones they are selling today are assisted GPS enabled. That means within a generation of phones on the Sprint network, every one of them is going to have assisted GPS, which is going to allow them to get 10 meter level accuracy of location as opposed to cell triangulation which can be off
by 100's
of yards, let's say.” The scenario has been very similar for Bell Mobility, who has been putting assisted GPS into more of their devices. “The plug-in that we built for their network can take advantage of assisted GPS if it is present. If not it can fall back and do lesser accuracy location lookup using cell sector triangulation techniques.”


When an organization installs the Location Server, they can also install plug-ins, picking from a palette of plug-ins for whatever wireless operators' networks they want to talk to.


“For instance, a sales force automation application- maybe a sales manager at the home base wants to pull up a map on her Windows XP desktop that shows where the sales force is in real time,” suggested Lombardi. “So that she can do some analysis on what territory for the day's calls who needs to go where. You don't want to switch out to a dedicated application right within your existing sales force automation application. You want to be able to view that information. MLS allows developers to build that functionality into those applications.” Some of Microsoft's early partners, namely, Action Engine, Immedient and Cubistix have built applications for their customers
that illustrate the value of the Location Server.




Partners


Immedient is a Microsoft Gold Partner that has been developing Microsoft technologies for over a decade and has been developing on MapPoint technologies for the last year. “What they've built is a newsroom application for a large global news agency which has trucks and reporters across the country and around the world,” Lombardi explained. “When news breaks and they get a call from the newsroom, they've used a very manual process of finding out who is in the vicinity by calling out to various truck drivers and reporters that they believe are nearby, and asking where they are. Now in the dispatch center they can actually pull up a map on big plasma displays in the newsroom
and see where each truck is located. They can now optimize who should be covering this event.”


“Cubistix has been building on our CD product, MapPoint 2004 -one of their customers is a bread company in New Jersey called Pechters. They roll approximately 70 delivery trucks out of their central bakery each day, those drivers go as far as Connecticut, Lower New York State, and Pennsylvania. They could be 150 miles from home base; a call comes in asking for them to deliver 40 loaves of rye bread for a big catering job that just came up. Normally they would have run another truck up there. Now all they have to do is pull up a map in real time and see who is nearby. They SMS out to the drivers to check on their real time inventory to see who can best serve that customer.”




Privacy Controls


Of course, privacy controls are a big consideration. “Unlike MapPoint Web Service which is hosted by Microsoft, Location Server is hosted by the enterprise and exposes its functionality to any developer at that company who wants to use it,” said Lombardi. “There are more privacy concerns here, so we architected this piece as a real server product that would be hosted by the business so in the case of that bread company, for example, they would purchase Location Server much in the same way they would purchase a Microsoft SQL Server, install it and control it inside their IT infrastructure. It keeps private information, personal settings about mobile phones' locations within
the enterprise, in their IT infrastructure.”


Realtime location from the wireless operator networks including all the good mapping and driving technology, together with location technology in the
Microsoft MapPoint Web Service 3.5, and GIS mapping tools for developers are in Location Server.


Real time location hasn't really taken off for businesses, Lombardi noted, and the reasons why it hasn't worked is because of privacy issues and the lack of a good developer platform. “They were using very high end GIS tools to solve a very small problem, A developer who is building mobile location based services applications needs only 10 % of that functionality,” said Lombardi. “What we try to do is focus on that 10 % for mapping, driving directions, and street level geocoding. That's what we are going to give you and we're going to make it really easy. We've had people get up and running building these applications in five minutes, whereas in the past it took a long
time to build location based services with a GIS system.”


The typical enterprise today also has more phone networks to interface with, so with the MLS plug-in architecture, they can choose the plug-ins they need for the various networks they are supporting and install them on their server. “We are implemented as a SOAP/XML API, and it makes it easy for developers to work cross platform, cross device,” Lombardi said, adding: “These are the same benefits our web services had for years; now our Location Server has the same architecture and the same benefits. It means developers learn one single API that then works across all supported geographies and mobile networks. They can then work on different brands of phones, different
wireless operator networks,
and different operating systems. The product has a privacy framework right in the API that developers have access to, to allow them to build into their applications things like user permission, and opt in. When I add someone to my location enabled contact list they have to reciprocate. It's much like adding a buddy to my MSN messenger buddy list.” The end user can turn on and off his location at will.


Microsoft now supplies free access to the MapPoint Web Service and the Microsoft MapPoint Location Server for a year for MSDN subscribers. Limited commercial use of services and server product will allow a developer to build and prototype an application as they've always been able to do but now Microsoft is allowing them go live with it, for a limited time and a limited number of transactions.




Acquisitions/Alliances


NAC Geographic Products Inc. and SafeAngel Ltd. (UK) have reached an agreement to incorporate the NAC addressing standard into the SafeAngel Public Platform. SafeAngel develops middleware for the emerging enterprise location based service market, and targets areas such as service provision by location, rapid urban response systems and large scale human management using wireless GPS technology, in addition to the more traditional tracking, navigation and fleet management. NAC Technology allows SafeAngel to specify locations and areas anywhere in the world.


LizardTech, Inc. announced that it has joined the Kofax Technology Alliance Partners (TAP) program. LizardTech is a worldwide leader in software solutions that make it significantly easier to manage, distribute, and access digital content such as aerial photography, satellite images and color image documents.




Announcements


The 2004 Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) will open for submissions on or about April 16, 2004. This year, the CAP is jointly sponsored by the FGDC, Geospatial One-Stop (GOS), and the US Geological Survey on behalf of The National Map. Information describing the 2004 CAP will be found on-line at the FGDC and Grants.gov websites. For more information contact David Painter at (703) 648-5513 or
Email Contact and visit the FGDC website:
www.fgdc.gov


Visitors to the recent Geoevenement 2004 show in Paris lined up to access 8 Terabytes (8,000GB) color orthophoto data in the ECW compressed image format, covering the whole of France. In addition to the numerous interactive web browsers permitting multiple views of this massive dataset, was a new kiosk style concept in on-line digital access, by DIGIBORNE. Using a touch screen facility, visitors could roam and zoom to any area of France and then frame and print their image all in real time.


NAVTEQ and XM Satellite Radio unveiled a groundbreaking new satellite data information service called XM NavTraffic: a satellite traffic information service that enables a vehicle's on-board navigation system to display current traffic information for a driver's chosen route.


The Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community (IGUC) announced the implementation of online message boards for its Networks Program. The IGUC Networks are forums for users to provide direct comment and feedback about Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions' product planning, development, priorities and direction. The online message boards have been added as an integral part of the IGUC Network program, serving as electronic discussion forums for Network members. Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions also announced Northern Illinois University (NIU) has implemented an interactive Web map that enables users to locate sites and resources on the
NIU Campus.
An Intergraph Registered Research Laboratory, NIU's Department of Geography Advanced Geospatial Laboratory created the detailed automated campus map using GeoMedia® technology.


Hitachi Software Engineering Co., Ltd Japan, has launched the image publishing website PiXterra. PiXterra distributes 40 GB of 60-centimetre Quickbird satellite image data covering the central area of Tokyo using ER Mapper's Image Web Server and ECW image database format. By spring 2004, PiXterra will be publishing half a terabyte of data, covering most major Japanese cities, including Osaka and Kyoto. The PiXterra website is available to the public for subscription at
http://PiXterra.net/.


IONIC has been selected by Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) sponsors to lead the definition and implementation of the Web Service Description Language (WSDL) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) bindings for the OpenGIS specification baseline during the current Open Web Services (OWS2) Interoperability Program testbed. The OGC pioneered the concept of geospatial web services and is now extending protocol support to WSDL and SOAP, which will harmonize the OpenGIS specifications with the larger IT web services environment.




New Products


NavCom Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), announced the availability of VueStar, a complete global navigation system configured specifically for all aerial survey applications. VueStar couples NavCom's dual frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) technology with its global satellite based StarFire™ service to provide real-time decimeter navigation and superior positioning accuracy.


RMTrack Issue Tracking Solutions, a developer of a fully web-based issue tracking application for software development teams, recently released version 2.0 of its self-named application, updating an already very powerful base program with new features, and strengthening existing features to further enhance the software.


To help users cope with the riskier post-9/11 world, the editors of the
Disaster Recovery Yellow Pages ™, have begun shipping a PC-based CD-ROM version of the 2004 Edition of their popular sourcebook.


Blue Marble Geographics announced the release of TIGER/Line® 2003 Data package with their TIGER Translator kits. This data contains important updates to TIGER® including new economic census information.


Avenza Systems Inc. announced the release of MAPublisher 6.0 for Adobe Illustrator. MAPublisher 6.0 is mapmaking software used to produce high quality maps from GIS data.


ESRI announced its plans to release ArcGIS Server, an enterprise application server that gives distributed users access to geographic information system (GIS) functionality via a centralized
shared server. ArcGIS Server deploys GIS functionality, previously available only in GIS desktop solutions, in an information technology (IT) standards-based server environment.


GEO CONCEPT SA announced a major new version of GeoConcept Dispatcher, its vehicle routing, scheduling, and dispatching solution for field services and mobile sales forces.
GeoConcept Dispatcher is a tool for routing optimization. It is used to manage several routes at the same time, whatever the route type (sales, deliveries, and maintenance).


GeoFusion, Inc., announced GeoPlayer™ Mars, created with the high performance
GeoMatrix® Toolkit technology. This Interactive 3D Demo allows users to interactively fly around the planet of Mars which is comprised of global imagery and terrain derived from NASA/JPL data. Download the 32MB demo now at:
www.geofusion.com/MarsDemo




Going on Around the Web...


Ralph Grabowski's
upfrontezine newsletter focused on COFES, the Conference on the Future of Engineering, held in Scottsdale, Arizona, “where 228 CAD users, vendors, journalists, and analysts spent 2-3 days talking about the past, present, and future of CAD.”


Land Development Today, April 2004 - Setting a corporate vision is important for the future of every company...”Simply approving a mission statement and setting a goal does not qualify as setting the future course of a company's direction or guarantee a successful start. Much more introspection is required.”




Upcoming Events...


APS April Meeting 2004

Date: April 12 - 16, 2004

Place: Orlando, FL USA

AeroSense is now the SPIE Defense and Security Symposium. This symposium is designed to meet the technical, educational, and business needs of the engineers and scientists who develop technologies for sensor related defense and security applications. Come see Research Systems Inc. at: Booth# 1036


14th Annual Nevada GIS Conference

Date: April 14 - 16, 2004

Place: Las Vegas, NV USA

The 14th annual Nevada Geographic Information Society conference will be held April 14-16th , 2004 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The theme for this year's conference is "Address: Nevada, Planet Earth". The focus for this annual conference will spotlight on technology that is being implemented in the state of Nevada that highlights the connectivity of GIS.


FME Training Course Outline

Date: April 15 - 16, 2004

Place: Denver, CO USA

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 welcome to bring their own sample data files.


International Symposium on Spatial Data Quality (ISSDQ 2004)

Date: April 15 - 17, 2004

Place: Vienna, Austria

The conference should present new research results in all aspects of spatial data quality and how spatial data quality descriptions are used to sole real world problems.


MidAmerica GIS Symposium

Date: April 18 - 22, 2004

Place: Hyatt Regency Crown Center, Kansas City, MO USA


2004 ACSM-TAPS Annual Conference and Technology Exhibition

Date: April 16 - 21, 2004

Place: Nashville, TN USA


MidAmerica GIS Symposium

Date: April 18 - 22, 2004

Place: Hyatt Regency Crown Center, Kansas City, MO USA

The MidAmerica GIS Symposium is the major GIS conference event in the central Midwest sponsored by the MidAmerica GIS Consortium, Ltd. (MAGIC), a nonprofit educational organization.


2004 INTERMOUNTAIN GIS CONFERENCE

Date: April 19 - 23, 2004

Place: Sheraton Hotel Billings, MT USA

The 2004 Intermountain GIS Conference, sponsored by the Montana GIS Users Group and the Northern Rockies Chapter of URISA, will bring participants together for an exciting week-long program centered in the theme, "GIS -- Tools of Discovery" linking the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to modern day geospatial technologies.


MapWorld 2004

Date: April 22, 2004

Place: Metro Toronto Convention Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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


APA National Planning Conference

Date: April 24 - 28, 2004

Place: Washington, D.C., USA

Join 5,000 colleagues and experience the rich history, renowned symbols of patriotism, inspiring monuments, museums, neighborhoods, and much more - as APA celebrates its 25th anniversary. Take part in a conference rich with more than 200 sessions, 70-plus mobile workshops, Saturday workshops, and special events, all of which will give you an opportunity to explore Washington and the entire metropolitan area.


GITA Annual Conference 27

Date: April 25 - 28, 2004

Place: Seattle, WA USA

GITA's Annual Conference and Exhibition is the premier educational event for professionals involved in geospatial information technologies, including automated mapping/facilities management (AM/FM), geographic information systems (GIS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and related geospatial technologies.
The MidAmerica GIS Symposium is the major GIS conference event in the central Midwest sponsored by the MidAmerica GIS Consortium, Ltd. (MAGIC), a nonprofit educational organization.


You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


To read more news, click here.



-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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