March 31, 2003
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.
| 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 GISWeekly will feature some cartographic contributions and other GIS products being used in the war with Iraq. We wish those who are involved in the war and their families safe journeys and send them our heartfelt prayers.
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, Awards, Appointments, New Products, Featured Downloads, 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
Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Comic relief and laughter help provide balance amid the constant media reports of war. Of the news that emanated from GeoTec 2003 in Vancouver last week, IDELIX Software had the most amusing announcement with their 'Alien life form' Funny Faces demo hosted at the IDELIX Software booth. Many attendees had their photo taken with a digital camera, then the image was manipulated using IDELIX's PDT lens. The effects created from the information in the magnified focal region and the condensed shoulder region of the lens created some very funny faces. IDELIX created an online photo gallery of the participants - check out "Funny Faces of GeoTec" at
While we try to put a bright face on things, the war is ever present in our thoughts these days, and affects our industry as well. From around the web, GISWeekly has assembled some of the GIS images and products that have emerged as a result of the war with Iraq.
has a special gallery of Iraq images as featured in the media.
NOAA polar-orbiting satellite
displays the massive dust storm in Iraq moving southward. Little cloud cover is evident over most of Iraq. 'Hot spots' in southern Iraq, Kuwait, Iran and the Persian Gulf are depicted in another image taken by the NOAA satellite. Some of the 'hot spots' in southern Iraq are believed to be burning oil fields. Smaller 'hot spot' areas visible southwest of Baghdad are believed to be fires in the region. The other 'hot spot' areas in Kuwait, Iran and the Persian Gulf are the result of operations of waste gas flaring from oil wells.
Caption: Above are two images of Iraq taken from ORBIMAGE's OrbView-2 "SeaWiFS" satellite at 1km resolution from Thursday, March 27th and Friday, March 28th, the first clear images over Baghdad since the sandstorm passed through . Both images clearly show thick black smoke coming from Baghdad after coalition forces launched their heaviest days of air strikes on Iraq's capital.
- "Courtesy of ORBIMAGE"
Radar based mapping technology will be displayed by Environmental Mapping Canada Ltd. (EMC) at its corporate hangar facilities located at TRADEX, Abbotsford Airport, on Friday, March 28. The company will showcase its replica Scud B Missile, which, with the assistance of Canadian Military Engineers, will be placed underground within the company's Evaluation Proving Ground (EPG) at Abbotsford Airport. Other military weapons placed within the EPG include a simulated minefield composed of inert replica landmines placed by Canadian Forces 6 Field Engineer Squadron (6FES), in November 2002.
LeadDog Consulting of Anchorage, Alaska announced the release of Baghdad vector street mapping, which is designed for cartographic display and educational reference. Baghdad vector map is available in every major GIS format. The product provides various vector layers and attributes such as:
- Streets & Roads
- Points of Interest (government building, palaces, etc.)
- Landmark polygons
All vector layers are attributed with feature names.
Courtesy of SpatialNews. Image created by SpatialNews Editor Glenn Letham
Announced by AirIQ (TSX: IQ), a mobile resource management firm, is its acquisition of the balance of the patent title and interest in certain U.S. patents and Canadian patent applications, to bring them to 100% ownership of the patents. The strategic patents relate to the "Method of Retrieving Vehicular Collateral" and become financially important when the financial services industry uses a telematics solution to locate and recover mobile assets (i.e., cars, trucks, construction equipment and transport trailers) for which financing is in default.
Fastrax Ltd., a Finnish developer of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), announced a new Sales Representation and Distribution Agreement with a leading electronic component distributor ACTE, a part of a Swedish Lagercrantz Group.
ACTE will start representing Fastrax's family of GPS modules in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. ACTE is specialized in the distribution and representation of electronic components and system products, which require high technical skills and customized control of logistics.
Within hours of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (see
GISWeekly, Feb 10-14
), teams of investigators and researchers were sent to help locate the shuttle debris over a broad area of several states. One of the NASA engineers brought from the Johnson Space Center to help in those efforts had used DeLorme's
Topo USA 4.0 in NASA's X-38 Crew Return Vehicle flight test program. Because of that experience, he contacted DeLorme and the company has since provided the XMap 4.0 mapping software which integrates satellite imagery with topographic data and imported user databases. In addition
DeLorme has supplied NASA with copies of pre-release XMap 4.0, Earthmate GPS receivers, and a variety of geographic datasets developed for use within the XMap Professional Mapping Software suite - including a custom-cut aerial and satellite composite imagery dataset covering the debris path across Texas and into Louisiana.
The software was loaded onto a laptop, connected to a GPS receiver, then recovery team members took the laptops with them on their search missions across central Texas. The software has a GPS bread-crumb trail feature, which is superimposed onto a zoomed-in satellite image, to provide real-time visual data to the helicopter pilot indicating their exact location within a given search field.
After the flight the GPS log was played back against a map imagery backdrop to document the exact search pattern. The program's Draw Tab was used to color in completed search areas and document recovered debris locations by attaching text and pic files to the map.
All the search data was coordinated digitally at one central location with XMap 4.0.
Sponsored by Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) the 2003 Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) is open for submission of proposals through May 30, 2003. The CAP program is designed to support the implementation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).
The 2003 CAP will provide seed funds to help organizations in building the NSDI through metadata implementation, training and outreach, and clearinghouse implementation of OpenGIS web services. Application information and instructions can be found on-line by visiting
Electric Energy Magazine
, a Jaguar Publication, together launched a new series of research reports specifically targeted at progressive electric utilities. The Utility Horizons Report Series entitled, “Automation Strategies, Issues & Trends for Progressive Utilities (2003-2006)” is scheduled for publication in April 2003.
Utility Horizons reports address two broad categories of utility automation involving both real-time and information systems/technologies:
Transmission & Distribution Management Solutions (TDMS)
GIS & Mobile Computing Solutions (GMCS)
Under a multi-million contract totalling approximately US $2.2 Million, GE Network Solutions is supplying software technology, installation services and training to Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) for a New Distribution Information System (NDIS). The NDIS, scheduled to begin operation early this year in 2003 at KEPCO's Seoul offices headquarters, is designed as part of the company's overall program to upgrade its information system.
STAR INFORMATIC of Liege, Belgium announced that the Eastern Branch of Saudi Electricity Co, power supply Company in Saudi Arabia, has just signed a contract with STAR INFORMATIC and its strategic local partner, STAR Middle East for the deployment of a Geographic Information System (GIS) based on STAR software. The contract calls for software and services to be provided in the overall amount of US $ 1,800,000. The project is expected to be fulfilled within 18 months, although several extensions are already being considered.
The national mapping agency of Belgium has joined the national mapping agencies of both Great Britain and Denmark in a project to advance the development of automated generalisation.
IGN Belgium (Institut Géographique National - Nationaal Geografisch Instituut) is the new member of the Mapping Agencies Generalisation NETwork (MAGNET) project which already includes Ordnance Survey Great Britain (OSGB) and Kort & Matrikelstyrelsen (KMS, Denmark).
MAGNET aims to consolidate and extend current generalisation capabilities in line with the business requirements of its members. The organizations involved in MAGNET will drive the development of Laser-Scan's newest automatic generalisation product: Clarity.
Generalisation is the task of deriving maps or geodata products at a smaller scale, starting with more detailed existing mapping or source data. Those aspects that are important for this particular purpose and scale are exaggerated, while irrelevant detail that would clutter the map and confuse the user is eliminated. Generalisation allows a series of products to be produced from a single database.
Municipal Software Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Municipal Solutions Group, Inc. (TSX-V: MSM),welcomed their first client in Utah: the City of West Jordan (population approx. 105,000). The city will use Municipal Software Corporation's CityView 8.NET Enterprise to automate their Permitting, Building, Planning and Engineering processes. The city plans to deploy several of these services over the Web in the future.
The ESRI Health and Human Services Solutions Group invites submissions of presentation topics at the 2003 ESRI International Health GIS Conference. The theme for 2003 is “GIS in Health-Changing the Way We Think and Act.” GIS is being recognized as a valuable framework for data analysis, coordination and collaboration within and between organizations such as the medical community and the public.
The conference brochure may be mailed to you, or you may download a copy from the Web site at
Laser-Scan announced the second in a series of FREE interactive Radius Topology Web Forums - specifically for organizations in the US and Canada. For information go to
The second Web Forum will take place on Wednesday 2nd April:
09:00 Pacific Time
10:00 Mountain Time
11:00 Central Time
12:00 Eastern Time
13:00 Atlantic Time
18:00 Greenwich Mean Time
NavCom Technology, Inc.' s RT-series of high performance, centimeter accuracy Real Time Kinematic (RTK) dual frequency GPS receivers are now fully supported by Carlson's SurvCE(tm) and Tsunami (tm) field data collection software, according to an announcement this week.
The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) is issuing a Call for Sponsors for a Planning Activity that may support future development of an OGC Property and Land Information (PLI) Initiative. This planning activity will seek interested Sponsors to provide input on technology requirements and concepts to foster development of next-generation interoperable networked architectures and capabilities to enable broader sharing and application of property data and land information between collaborating organizations.
PlanGraphics, Inc. (OTCBB:
), working with Halcrow Group, Ltd.
of London, England has been awarded a contract to aid the Second Beijing Environment Project with GIS needs assessment for the sewage component of the project.
PlanGraphics will assess the need for establishing a drainage-sewerage GIS system, review alternative GIS system designs that can be developed for the Beijing Municipal Drainage Group (BDG), define the scope of implementation with BDG and prepare an implementation program for deploying the BDG GIS.
Thales (TAL-less) Navigation announced that it has received a prestigious 2002 Planet PDA(R) Product of the Year Award for its Magellan GPS Companion(TM) for Palm(TM) m500 Series Handhelds. Thales Navigation is among a few honored by Technology Marketing Corp.'s Planet PDA Magazine and website for outstanding products and services that have furthered the growth of the handheld computing industry.
The Magellan GPS Companion for Palm m500 Series Handhelds features a cordless Magellan GPS attachment, Rand McNally StreetFinder(R) Deluxe Travel Navigation Software and Magellan NAV Companion(TM) software. The GPS Companion has the ability to calculate and download a route to a Palm handheld and provide audio-prompted, turn-by-turn GPS guidance on a moving map.
William R. Faresich has joined the iSECUREtrac Corp. (BULLETIN BOARD: ISRE) as vice president of marketing and business development. Faresich brings 19 years of marketing and business development experience to the iSECUREtrac team. He will be responsible for increasing the company's presence in the criminal justice industry and in other personal tracking market opportunities.
PCI Geomatics(r) announced two new leadership appointments. Dr. Richard Pollock has accepted the roll of Director of Research and Development at PCI Geomatics' Richmond Hill facility, and Arnold Hougham has accepted the position of Vice-President of Sales and Product Marketing.
With over 20 years of experience in the fields of remote sensing, GIS, machine vision, and direct georeferencing sciences, Richard Pollock joined PCI Geomatics in September 2001. His practiced knowledge spans technology applications, system development, research and design, and project management.
As the new Vice-President of Sales and Product Marketing Arnold Hougham will lead the overall worldwide sales and marketing efforts for PCI Geomatics. A graduate from the University of Waterloo Geography Masters degree program, Arnold Hougham has been with PCI Geomatics since 1989 and has been involved in product sales for over 13 years.
At ESRI's 2003 Business Partner Conference in Palm Springs, ESRI Business Information Solutions (ESRI BIS) announced the release of its CommunityInfo data products. This data provides an accurate picture of the people who live, work, and spend in communities. It is tailored specifically for industries served by ESRI and includes:
- CommunityInfo for Economic Development
- CommunityInfo for Homeland Security
- CommunityInfo for Health and Human Services
- CommunityInfo for Insurance
- CommunityInfo for Financial Services
- CommunityInfo for Retail
- CommunityInfo for Restaurants
- CommunityInfo for Census 2000
A free software application, ECW Spy v1.0, was recently announced by Digital Earth. ECW Spy v1.0 allows users to easily browse their Windows® file system to locate ECW (Enhanced Compressed Wavelet) files. ECW Spy v1.0 allows all users to locate their extensive library of files easily and quickly. ECW Spy v1.0 allows a user to:
Locate all ECW files stored in any local folder, including sub-folders.
Use pointer mode to get coordinates.
View ECW images and the metadata stored in the file header.
Single click to copy any metadata value to the clipboard.
Save the image metadata to a text file or XML file.
Simple check for ECW Spy updates..
Download a free copy of ECW Spy v1.0 from:
Every second is critical in an emergency situation, requiring government agencies to take control of the situation immediately. MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq: MAPS), has unveiled its newest homeland security solution designed to help government agencies leverage location analysis when making critical decisions. The Critical Area Response Manager (CARM) is the first dynamic homeland security solution developed for rapid analysis, planning and response around a declared area as a result of an incident or disaster.
GeoGraph Systems Corporation announced the release of GeoFlash, a Macromedia Flash based GIS Software that works inside almost every Internet browser. GeoFlash is a map publishing tool that integrates intelligent maps into internet applications. A map server is not required to publish the maps.
UCLID Software's latest release, IcoMap for ArcGIS v2.0, is an extension featuring a ten-key COGO package, and Text-to-Vector technology for converting scanned documents into ESRI ArcGIS features. Free trial software is available at
GISCafe has many popular
in various categories. Visitors are encouraged to go to the site and add new downloads or update their old ones.
demo version of A3D Scheduler Client (with tutorial), a complex mapping based software for effective scheduling and management of delivery and outside appointments.
Around the Web
LIDAR Discussion Board about LIDAR mapping technology and activities has been set up. The goal is to create an online community of LIDAR enthusiasts and encourage participation in the community's activities. Discussions about various LIDAR-related topics are encouraged on the board, which is currently being run as an un-moderated, open forum. People are encouraged to post discussions, announcements, inquires and questions related to LIDAR mapping technology and should feel free to respond to any of the posts already there; the idea is to encourage people to offer opinions and comments rather than just industry
news and information.
Study: War could crimp IT spending
The war in Iraq is giving chief information officers pause about IT spending, according to a survey by investment bank Merrill Lynch. Although less than one-fifth of the surveyed American and European CIOs said they would slow technology spending with the start of the U.S.-led war against Iraq, fewer still said they would increase spending even if the war were to end quickly, according to the recent survey.
March 25, 2003,
Going on in April
Date: April 7 - 11, 2003
Place: Freiburg, Germany
Following the first International Antarctic GIS workshop in Wuhan, China in 2000 the Geospatial Information Group within the Geoscience Standing Scientific Group of SCAR plans on holding a second GI Technical Experts Meeting of SCAR.
Date: April 7 - 10, 2003
Place: Coeur d'Alene Resort Coeur d'Alene, ID USA
Date: April 9 - 11, 2003
Place: Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA USA
"The Evolving State of GIS" hosted by So Cal URISA and BAAMA (Bay Area Mapping Association)
Date: April 10 - 11, 2003
Place: Toronto, Canada
MAPublisher training using MAPublisher 5.0 on Adobe Illustrator 10 on Windows. Given by Avenza technical and training staff.
Date: April 15 - 17, 2003
Place: Your Desktop Computer Connected to Internet, USA
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (PST) Unmanned: Through May 31, 2003
Date: April 21 - 23, 2003
Place: Portland, OR USA
For the past eleven years, the Oregon chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) and the Columbia River Region of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) have held a conference dealing with current issues on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from a regional perspective. A full day of workshops will lead off this year's conference followed by two days of plenary and concurrent educational sessions.
Date: April 24 - 25, 2003
Place: Washington D.C, USA
MAPublisher training using MAPublisher 5.0 on Adobe Illustrator 10 on Windows. Given by Avenza technical and training staff.
Date: April 28 - 30, 2003
Place: CIRCUS CIRCUS Reno, NV USA
Nevada State GIS Conference, Reno, Nevada. This thirteenth annual conference, attracting GIS professionals from throughout the state and eastern California, exhibits the latest GIS technology and features introductory and advanced education sessions. For general information contact the conference committee chair; Sally Kleiner, phone: 775-954-4629, e-mail
You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here
To read more news, click here
-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.