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November 10, 2003
Mobile GIS Hits the Road
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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! This week's Mobile GIS seminar in Albuquerque explained how ESRI's ArcPad software suite (supported by ArcGIS 8.3 technology) can be implemented for users in government, utilities, oil and gas, natural resources management, telecommunications, environmental consulting and transportation. Trimble, TeleAtlas and Electronic Data Solutions also demonstrated their mobile GIS products.

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, New Products, Going on Around the Web, and Calendar.

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

Mobile GIS Hits the Road

By Susan Smith

This week I attended a Mobile GIS seminar in Albuquerque, hosted by ESRI and ESRI partners. It appears that this is part of a series of seminars being held throughout the Southwestern U.S. region. The seminar explained how ESRI's ArcPad software suite (supported by ArcGIS 8.3 technology) can be implemented for users in government, utilities, oil and gas, natural resources management, telecommunications, environmental consulting and transportation. Trimble, TeleAtlas and Electronic Data Solutions also demonstrated their mobile GIS products.

What typifies a mobile GIS system, according to Chad Hall, Central U.S. Regional Manager for Trimble Field Solutions, is that it has
  • No cables

  • Memory of ½ Gig

  • Battery life - all day

  • Ruggedness

  • Open system (which in this case means Microsoft-compatible products and the ability to upload data, spreadsheets and workorder management forms). Previously Trimble was a closed system with its own software, but now users can use other software including custom software.

  • World class GPS
  • Trimble demonstrated its GeoExplorer CE Series which combines a ruggedized Trimble GPS receiver with a handheld computer running Windows CE. The product features an 8-hour-plus battery and 64 Mgs of RAM. The 512 MB non-volatile flash disk allows you to download your data to disk, and is recommended if you need to do a hard reboot in the field. The product is also integrated with Bluetooth technology. The GeoExplorer Series has a microphone speaker allowing you to talk to it and it can talk to you. Trimble will soon be adding voice activation as well.

    Hall explained to the audience that Bluetooth was simply wireless communication, allowing Bluetooth enabled devices to talk to each other. This, of course, is not very useful if your office doesn't have Bluetooth enabled devices.

    The CPU is a 206MHz Strong Arm 1110 with Windows CE operating system. What comes in the box:
  • CE handheld

  • Support module - power supply

  • USB cable to download files

  • Pouch

  • Stylus

  • AC Power adapter

  • Get Started Guide

  • Trimble Recon is only about three or four months old, and is known as Trimble's ruggedized IPAQ. The product has no GPS on it although one can be added. It sports a TFT screen display, 2 compact flash slots (Type I and II), Microsoft Windows CE.NET, 400 MHz Intel PXA 250X scale processor, and 15+ hours NiMH battery. Bluetooth cards can also be added.

    The Recon works well in cold temperatures down to 22 degrees Fahrenheit. It is water submersible and has been tested to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

    The difference between the Recon and TSC-Windows CE device is that the TSC has a keyboard. It also has no GPS but it can be connected to a sensor product if one is needed. This is a good device for those who need to enter a lot of text. The TSC uses the standard pre-installed software that GeoCE and Recon have, but it also has Pocket Internet Explorer, and inbox email client, and a few other features not included in the GeoCe and Recon.

    Trimble also makes some other sensor products such as GPS antennas and receivers. The Pathfinder XRS has real time accuracy. Through a beacon it can add positioning to ArcPad and ArcGIS. Pathfinder Pocket is an introductory GPS receiver the size of a computer mouse. It has a small GPS sensor and used with IPAQs. It has a 10-hour battery life, 2.5 meter accuracy, is rugged and lightweight.

    GPSCorrect for ArcPad is an extension for ArcPad that provides differential post processing and seamless integration for managing GPS and real time differential GPS(DGPS) settings.

    TeleAtlas is described by Executive Account Director of Mobile Resource Management Craig Gooding, as a “data content aggregator.” What that is exactly is a data mapping company, that works with customers and sets them up with partners such as ESRI, Trimble and others to provide network profiles, base maps and real-time applications. TeleAtlas develops data such as an ArcMap Streetmap extension that will include compressed USA street data, cartographic quality maps such as a U.S. map database that traffic attributed, fully attributed, and image attributed data. Their goal is to provide data for every town in the U.S. with 50,000+ population for urban areas, 2,500+ for
    small towns, and also including some non-urban, rural areas.

    The basic attributed network is a highly accurate map database that includes a complete road network with street name and address details, a highway network and geopolitical and postal information, water and parks locations. The sources for this database were TeleAtlas enhanced TIGER files, local government basemaps, postal service and state highway departments.

    Features and attributes include seamless data with partitions, enhanced functional road class, geocoding USPS data files, and city centers. The sources for this data are USGS digital orthophotos (DOQs), commercial DOQs and also TA-commissioned DOQs.

    The fully attributed network profile looks like this:
  • includes a nationwide map database that enables turn by turn route guidance

  • field collected and verified data of street geometry, street names and addresses

  • current population coverage
  • The fully attributed network also uses the following sources and methods - comprehensive field survey and feature change detection, and have local contacts.

    350,000 traffic location codes are fully linked with meteorologies, road segments, projected traffic (historic data that tells you what traffic is like on a particular day and time). These codes also provide real time linkage to the map and allow dynamic re-routing, pathfinding, route guidance, personal alerts for weather, routes and traffic.

    Gooding said that TeleAtlas' methodology encompasses the following:
  • Completeness of location destinations
  • Positional accuracy for AVL and display
  • Navigation attributes for directions
  • Real time linkage for rerouting and personalized notification
  • Steve Combe of Electronic Data Solutions discussed field data collection and mobile GIS applications. The company develops ArcGIS applications for ArcPad and water resources applications, and focuses on the natural resources industry.

    They have developed HydroPlus GIS, an ArcPad 6 Template that integrates water quality probes, GPS receivers, and Windows CE, and gathers positioned tagged water quality data in the field.

    Questions from the audience included that of one user who asked if any of the software and hardware demonstrated by the vendors was ever field tested.

    Chad Hall of Trimble replied that “we give hardware to customers who let us know how it works, and we take their comments and integrate it into our next release.”

    An ESRI spokesperson responded, “ArcPad has been field tested, with the software connected to a GPS unit.”

    By the way, ESRI-Denver announced the opening of a new offsite training center at Computer Corner in Albuquerque, NM. To register for any of the courses, go to


    Keep an eye out for GISWeekly's CAD/GIS integration stories profiling the solutions offered by various vendors. Reader comments on the topic are also welcome. Write to
    Email Contact


    Cadalyst Acquires Cadence

    One of the more notable pieces of news this week was the acquisition of Cadence magazine by
    Advanstar Communications Inc., the publishers of
    Cadalyst magazine. Advanstar plans to integrate Cadence into Cadalyst magazine, creating “the premier source of information for the CAD marketplace,” according to Advanstar Group Publisher Dana Fisher. “We will combine these magazines, news services and web sites under the Cadalyst brand to provide the CAD market's ultimate resource.”

    Although this isn't directly related to GIS, it is significant because many professionals use both CAD and GIS software concurrently and maintain an interest in publications for both industries. Note the current interest in CAD/GIS integration software (see
    GISWeekly, November 3,
    GISWeekly October 27 ). Both magazines have been running head to head for many years, and have recently focused on some of the same editorial and vied for the same advertising revenues. Many GIS print magazines have met
    the same fate as CAD magazines; but perhaps this acquisition of Cadence by Advanstar is a move that others will emulate.

    The move also speaks to the climate of technology publishing in general: as print publishing costs become prohibitive, we have seen many print magazines bite the dust. The Internet has taken over almost exclusively as the purveyor of technological information.

    I was involved with the CAD industry well before my introduction to GIS, and remember how these niche publications got started in the first place. When I was editor of MicroStation Manager (the MicroStation equivalent pub of Cadalyst-this was back when it was independent; before it became a Bentley Systems publication), people bought software but the manuals that came with it were not very helpful. The reason for this was that the focus was generally on the software release, not the accompanying manual. During the period that the software was being developed, the manual was developed as well, but sometimes changes in the software didn't make it into the manual. There was a rush to
    with the software, and the manual would just follow along, its writers picking up as many discrepancies as they could before presstime. Before long, publishers got wind of this and began to fill that niche with monthly magazines and books that would take a good look at the existing software release and make sure the publication could offer something the user desperately needed to know.

    The software vendors also wanted magazines that would provide monthly news of their products and answer specific how-to questions, so many of these magazines were funded in whole or in part by vendors. One publication I helped launch had most of the advertising sold before we even had a blueprint of the magazine to show the vendor!

    Today, users are rarely desperate for an issue of a magazine to come out to explain the finer points of a new software release. Web updates have taken care of that to a large extent. Definitely the Internet has made a difference to print publishing, and readers are deluged with more information as well. Today's search for knowledge is not so much searching for the right magazine article or book, but rather a sifting through the findings of search engines and looking at various websites to locate what you want. As I've mentioned before, the days of visiting the public library for research information are dwindling fast.

    Rachael Dalton-Taggart, president of Strategic Reach PR, notes in a recent
    commentary that what we have left, “In terms of CAD print publications in the US: - Just Cadalyst and Desktop Engineering for BPA-audited qualified subscriptions, and then subscription-only print newsletters, Engineering Automation Report, and A-E-C Automation News (owned by Cyon Research).”

    According to the press release, Cadalyst editors will deliver the first combined print publication with the December 2003 issue. Readers in the AEC, MCAD, CAE, CAM, PLM and GIS markets will be able to take advantage of Advanstar's other related publications --from vertical-market e-mail newsletters, value-added features and product reviews.

    MapInfo Corporation (NASDAQ: MAPS) announced that it has signed an OEM agreement with Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (IC Mobile). Under the terms of the agreement Siemens will incorporate MapInfo's miAware™ “GeoToolBox”, which provides functionality such as mapping, routing and geocoding, within its Location Enabling Server, Siemen's industry-leading solution for the delivery of location-based services.

    DigitalGlobe® announced it has completed definitive negotiations to acquire eMap International (eMap), a Reddick, Fla. based geo-spatial consulting practice specializing in geospatial planning, design and integration. eMap International will become a wholly owned subsidiary of DigitalGlobe with David Nale, founder, certified photogrammetrist, mapping scientist and professional land surveyor, serving as president.

    Geosoft entered into a mobile GIS content supply agreement and investment of 200 million won with MTI last month. In particular, Geosoft expects to make 3 million dollars or more of income for the next 5 years by supplying the mobile GIS content to MTI. Along with that, it has already received a request for detailed information related to the company for the purpose of obtaining the additional investment from MTI.

    MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq:MAPS), provider of location intelligence solutions for the enterprise, and DMTI Spatial(TM), Canada's provider of comprehensive geospatial products and services, announced a renewed partnership. Working together, MapInfo and DMTI Spatial will enable Canadian companies to more easily and efficiently use location-based technology to make better business decisions.


    Cary and Associates of Longmont, Colo., is investigating data storage trends in geotechnology. "Those of us in geotechnology know that organizations are replacing black-and-white imagery with color, that the high-resolution satellites are collecting terabytes of data every day, and that workflows are becoming increasingly digital. What is less clear is the rate at which these transitions are occurring and what they mean for the data storage industry," said company president Tina Cary, Ph.D. "If we as an industry document our needs and what priority we assign to various benefits, we can influence the development of capabilities in data storage."

    To gather data about these trends, Cary and Associates seeks survey participants from all sectors, every kind and size organization. The survey takes about five minutes to complete online at

    SANZ (OTCBB: SANZ) announced that a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Denver, Colorado, has successfully implemented the EarthWhereTM Spatial Data Provisioning Application from SANZ to provide timely mapping data to help combat the wildland fires burning throughout Southern California.

    GeoSpatial World 2004, the annual Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community (IGUC) international training and management conference, to be held May 12-14, 2004, in Miami Beach, Florida, will address the advancement of open interoperability and standards,demonstrate proven industry solutions and provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and innovations. Sponsored by IGUC and Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, the conference is targeted at decision makers, managers, staff, analysts, developers and users who create or use geospatial information technology in utilities, communications, commercial remote sensing and photogrammetry, location-based services, military and
    national and federal government, regional and local government, and transportation markets.

    Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions also announced an expanded breadth of membership benefits for the Team GeoMedia Subscriber Program with no change in the membership fee. The Subscriber Program is a complete support solution for in-house application development and implementation of geospatial projects. Through the program, Subscriber members are better prepared to face the challenges of internal project planning, development, implementation and maintenance, including technology innovation cycles, adoption of emerging geoinformation standards and IT standards, enterprise IT integration pressures and labor market pressures.

    In addition, IMGS is showcasing its interoperability solutions that serve as the foundation of spatial data infrastructures (SDI) at AfricaGIS being held November 4 through November 8 in Dakar, Senegal. AfricaGIS provides a platform for geoinformation professionals from Africa and abroad to learn from the application of geoinformation technology.

    IMGS also announced it has completed joint interoperability testing on the company's recently released Geography Mark-up Language (GML) data server that ensures direct access to digital data provided by leading European national mapping agencies Ordnance Survey and Topografische Dienst Nederland
    (TDN) (Dutch National Mapping Agency). This means users working in the free GeoMedia(R) Viewer or other GeoMedia products available from Intergraph can now read and present OS MasterMap and TOP10NL datasets in the format specified by their suppliers. The GML data server provides professionals
    with access to geospatial vector data in open GML formats for desktop viewing or distribution, thereby facilitating open standard data exchange.

    The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) is pleased to announce the creation of The ISPRS Foundation. Programmes are planned in the following categories: awards, awareness education, distance learning, exchange programs, fellowships, grants, international workshops, internships, preservation and archiving, research initiatives, scholarships, standards projects, tools and literature, and travel grants. Through these programmes, The Foundation will provide tangible support for the objectives of ISPRS, and recognize and reward outstanding achievements.

    Satellite Security Systems (S3), a global provider of asset security and logistics control, in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and InterState Oil Company, demonstrated the first wireless remote shutdown of a fully loaded moving petrochemical tanker truck. Blue Marble Geographics has recently licensed their GeoCalc and GeoView software development kits to Lucent Technologies based out of Murray Hill, New Jersey.

    Lucent chose Blue Marble software components to implement in an internal RF Planning Tool, allowing Lucent to optimize the geographical location of its wireless communication network antennae placement. This optimization gives Lucent the ability to maximize the overall performance of the Lucent cellular communication network.

    HP (NYSE:
    HPQ) solidified its position as the leading global server vendor with 29.7 percent of total unit shipments worldwide, according to preliminary results for the third calendar quarter of 2003 released by analyst research firm Gartner Dataquest.

    Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK - News) announced that it will broadcast its third quarter fiscal 2004 financial results conference call live via its website on Thursday, November 20, 2003, 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. If you would like to listen to the live call, Autodesk will be hosting a webcast at
    www.autodesk.com/investor. If you are unable to access the Internet for the call, you may dial in at 1-312-470-0197 and reference Autodesk as the password.

    New Products

    Horizon Navigation, Inc., a privately held vehicle navigation technology company, announced the availability of full coverage maps across the contiguous 48 states. Horizon's North American maps now include more than 4 million miles of streets and 1.7 million points of interest from categories like restaurants, hotels and shopping. The enhanced map coverage, provided by database supplier NavTech, enables Horizon to expand retail distribution of its NavMate(R) 2.1 product line into new areas across the U.S and Canada.

    LeadDog Consulting announced the release of Iraq Streets & Roads to support government, commercial and non-profit organizational work in Iraq. Designed to help companies track their assets, provide military support and accurate base level mapping, LeadDog's product provides various vector layers and attributes such as:
  • Streets & Roads
  • Street names and route numbers
  • Road classifications
  • Points of Interest (government building, palaces, etc.)
  • Landmark polygons
  • Water
  • Railroads
  • Laser-Scan and Intergraph (UK) Mapping and GeoSpatial Solutions announce their intention to work together to deliver joint solutions for Defence and Public Sector markets in the UK. This strategy capitalizes on the recent agreement that allows Intergraph Mapping and GeoSpatial Solutions to resell Laser-Scan's Radius Topology product.

    MapOCX Pro is Undertow Software's feature rich development tool for adding street map displays within any Window's visual development environment or internet application. The enhanced features such as map rotation, Point-to-Point routing, geocoding and reverse geocoding provide the perfect tool for advanced programming needs. Developers are able to access the powerful map engine to quickly generate detailed images of the entire United States and Canada. The average programmer can quickly create an endless variety of applications without being a GIS expert or learning complex tools.

    MapTivate is a hybrid mapping engine for software developers that integrates powerful rendering capabilities with a comprehensive rules-based paradigm which makes it a very agile GIS tool. MapTivate supports a variety of data formats (Vector and Raster) but also has a proprietary format designed for portability, speed and data size. Datasets can be imported into this proprietary TXF hybrid format.

    Mapping Solutions LLC today unveiled TerraViewer USA for ArcGIS, its latest version of this innovative software. TerraViewer is an extension to ArcGIS that seamlessly integrates the USGS aerial images and topological maps into ArcGIS as a dynamically updated layer.

    Going on Around the Web...

    As Earth Warms, the Hottest Issue is Energy, by Kenneth Chang, NY Times, November 4, 2003--If global warming occurs as predicted, there will be no easy way to turn the Earth's thermostat back down.

    Going on in November...

    2003 CityView User Conference

    Date: November 5 - 7, 2003

    Place: Toronto, Canada

    Integrating the Enterprise. Meet with and learn from your peers and find out about new features in CityView.


    Date: November 6, 2003

    Place: Hadley's Hotel Hobart, Australia

    DataVision GIS, in conjunction with ESRI Australia, Ultimate Positioning and RIA Mobile GIS, will host a Mobile GIS Seminar on the 6 November 2003. The seminar will be held at Hadley's Hotel in Hobart, Australia, at 2pm. This is a great opportunity for Tasmanians to learn about the latest in mobile geographic information systems technology. Please note that although the seminar is free you will need to register, by 31 October 2003, in order to reserve your place. The Registration Form can be downloaded from:

    30th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment

    Date: November 10 - 14, 2003

    Place: Honolulu, HI USA

    The symposium will bring together the knowledge and experience of experts from around the world in remote sensing of environment, and you are invited to be a part of it. In our commitment to sustaining development into the new millennium, specific perspectives will be featured in the technical program of this international assembly of the remote sensing community, the themes of Hazards & Disasters, Global Change, Natural Resources, and Technology and Infrastructure.

    ESRI Mid-Atlantic User Group ESRI Mid-Atlantic User Group

    Date: November 12 - 14, 2003

    Place: Sheraton Reston Hotel, Reston, VA USA

    The ESRI Mid-Atlantic User Group (ESRI-MUG) announces its annual GIS conference November 12-14, 2003, at the Sheraton Reston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA, 20191. November 12th will be devoted to three all-day training seminars. On November 13-14, 2003, the conference will feature keynote speakers, vendor exhibits, poster displays, user presentations, and ESRI technical sessions. For more information on the conference or to register, visit the ESRI-MUG web site (
    www.esrimug.org) or contact Jeff Poplin, Conference Chair, at
    Email Contact or (703) 849-0614. For exhibitor information, contact Delaney Meeting and Event Management at (802) 655-7769.

    Seven Hills Regional User Group for GIS (SHRUG)

    Date: November 17 - 21, 2003

    Place: Tallahassee - Leon County Civic Center Tallahassee, FL USA

    2nd Annual GIS Workshop - "Expanding Our Boundaries" Training Sessions : November 17-18, 2003 GIS Workshop: November 19-21, 2003 Building on the success of the 2002 SHRUG GIS Workshop, we are extending the 2003 Workshop another full day. The first day of the Workshop coincides with GIS Day (November 19th)! Pre-Workshop training sessions will also be available for purchase. These professionally-instructed, two-day sessions will take place on November 17-18. The sessions will cover a variety of popular GIS topics, ranging from Beginner to Advanced. The Seven Hills Regional Usergroup for GIS webpage will provide additional information like costs, directions, registration, hotels,
    and training availability. Inquiries:
    Email Contact

    CARIS 2003 - Gateways in Geomatics

    Date: November 18 - 21, 2003

    Place: Adam's Mark St. Hotel St. Louis, MO USA

    Hosted in St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, the CARIS 2003 conference theme, "Gateways in Geomatics," reflects the exciting results of recent advances in geospatial technology. Join us to learn how CARIS software is are opening doors for improved data quality, data sharing, facilitating the introduction of Geomatics to new audiences and is turning data into information...learn how CARIS is creating Gateways in Geomatics!

    GIS Day

    Date: November 20, 2003

    Place: USA

    November 20 every year GIS Day serves to make people aware of mapping technology and the vital contributions it is making in the fields of science, technology, information, and the humanities. It is a day for GIS enthusiasts to show individuals and organizations how to apply geographic information in their own communities, businesses, and environments and experience the amazing benefits of GIS technology. Principal sponsors of the event are the National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, the United States Geological Survey, the Library of Congress, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, Sun Microsystems, and ESRI. Users of GIS
    technology are
    invited to be a part of this worldwide educational mission and register to host an event. Participating organizations will receive support in promoting their event to local schools, newspapers, and other organizations.

    FME Training Surrey

    Date: November 20 - 21, 2003

    Place: (Safe Headoffice) BC, Canada

    Learn from the source how to use the core components of the Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) through hands-on training. During our two-day (1/3 lecture, 2/3 exercise and problem solving) training course, attendees learn to unlock the powerful features and functionalities of FME to more effectively manage their data translation and data transformation problems. Questions are encouraged throughout the class and attendees are encouraged to bring their own sample data files.

    GeoInfo 2003
    Date: November 24 - 27, 2003

    Place: Havana, Cuba

    "Informatics & Geosciences" GEOINFO'2003 will gather a wide group of specialists involved in urban and territorial planning, integral environmental studies, the exploration and rational exploitation of the natural resources, the integrated handling of water resources and the residuals, precision in agriculture, the protection of ecosystems of high fragility, the studies of environmental impact, electrification and telecommunications network systems and the environmental education. They should have as a main scope the sustainability of the socioeconomic activity and the mitigation and/or attenuation of impacts caused by the natural and anthropic disasters.

    ESRI Canada Regional User Conference

    Date: November 25, 2003

    Place: St. Johns, NL, Canada

    II International Congress on Territorial Zoning

    Date: November 26 - 28, 2003

    Place: Toluca, Mexico

    Territorial zoning is an instrument, process, strategy and/or policy of technical and political planning whose main purpose is to arrange the long-term organization of the use and occupation of territory according to its own potential and limitations, the expectations and needs of the people and the objectives of sustainable human development. The policies of territorial zoning are developed through programs which are carried out within a spatial organization or the existing territorial order of use and occupation adapted to a socially coordinated objective image.

    You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.