March 17, 2003
More on Homeland Security
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!
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Welcome to GISWeekly! This week's GISWeekly will feature more coverage of GITA educational sessions and new product announcements.
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More on Homeland Security:
Presidents Reception Hall (GITA)
Due to space considerations, GISWeekly is running the remainder of its GITA 26 coverage in the Industry News and Products sections this week. For those of you who were unable to attend the event, GITA 26 was held this year in San Antonio, Texas, March 2-5, sporting the theme “Wide Open Spatial Frontiers: Adding Value to Your Business.”
There were numerous panel discussions and sessions presented at GITA 26 on the topic of Homeland Security, but these were two that I managed to get to myself.
Pam Fromhertz of NOAA in Silver Springs, Md., spoke on “Homeland Security: A Federal Update.” Summarizing her talk, she said that only 30 percent of organizations are prepared in the event of emergency. “A lot depends upon the dedicated resources you have,” said Fromhertz.
First of all, organizations must start with a living document. With one full time person, it may take six months to complete this document, depending upon the nature of your organization. How do you get plans in place?
“Most agencies are putting plans in place,” she said, and there are some guidelines:
Undergoing vulnerability assessment, finding critical components within your system, figuring out how long it will take to get from here to there.
“Get the assessment done first,” advised Fromhertz.
“The fact that we're talking about Kentucky is incidental,” claimed Adona Valicenti, CIO, Commonwealth of Kentucky in her educational session, “Directions in Kentucky's GIS Strategy after 9/11”. “You could put any state's strategy under scrutiny, because it's changed dramatically since 9/11. Across the country, people have begun to realize what a difference geospatial information can make in an emergency.”
“Homeland defense is a geospatial problem,” Valicenti continued. “It needs GIS planning, response and recovery.”
Since 9/11, state and local governments have been on the front lines. The event exposed the need for states to help local governments. Also coming to light are budget realities that require the efficient use of resources, and the need for innovative GIS concepts.
“GIS needs to be more than a technical tool,” said Valicenti, “and it can be used to anticipate as well as react.”
GIS is used by high level administrators in Kentucky for:
- strategic planning
- needs analysis
- policy creation and implementation
- management of a wide range of programs
Valicenti said that she has 600 employees and contractors, and is a central point-one data center- for all the telecommunications across the state, all county and clerks offices, the Kentucky Health Board, which delivers medical diagnostic services through telecommunications, the commercial mobile radio service emergency telcom board which is updating the 911 system.
The Office of Geographic Information is an administrative agency that coordinates multiagency projects, including statewide base map creation, serving as a liaison to the federal government, consulting and training to state and local government and maintaining a geographic information clearinghouse.
Kentucky has a statewide digital base map that includes: boundaries, transportation, hydrography, elevation and orthoimagery. The geodesy control layer of the basemap is improved and maintained through partnership with the National Geodetic Survey.
A GPS Road Centerline Project is currently under way and is expected to be completed by 2003, covering 120 counties.
GIS is a critical component of how business is done now, and the way to get things done is to develop partnerships with other agencies to share data. Valicenti explains, “Kentucky's GIS strategy is to create a database before it's needed for homeland security. These databases all have other uses - for program administration, 911 response, economic development, law enforcement, etc.” The new strategy includes plans to add five new statewide data layers to the basemap, including parcels, structures, addresses. Land cover and other geographic information.
“Even though states are looking for federal money,” said Valicenti, “they will have to deliver their own data. We have to work in partnership-between local governments, between state and local governments, between state and federal governments and between local and federal governments.”
ESRI and Information Builders, enterprise business intelligence (BI) and real-time Web reporting company, announced as the next step in their agreement the integration of ESRI's ArcIMS Internet mapping software solution for distributing GIS data and applications on the Internet with WebFOCUS 5, Information Builders' new flagship enterprise BI solution. WebFOCUS 5 is a real-time information platform with enhanced features for reporting, end-user query and analysis, information delivery and management, portal integration, and extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) capabilities.
Intelliscan, specialists in software development for geographic information systems (GIS) and Metoc, providers of project management and consultancy services, announced an agreement that will allow Intelliscan to distribute the vector Admiralty data produced by Metoc, but also permits cross promoting and distribution of their other respective products and services.
Spatial server products GenaMap and GenaServer from GenaWare have received RedHat Linux Ready Application status, according to a press release issued by GenaWare. GenaWare is committed to delivering a viable enterprise class spatial solution which is enhanced by the partnership with the Linux vendor RedHat.
MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq: MAPS) announced an extension of its long-standing partnership with Statistics Canada (STC) to provide customers with the industry's first location-enhanced demographic solutions that utilize data from the most recent 2001 Canadian Census. The new data products built with 2001 Census information from STC, Canada's central statistical agency, are for use with MapInfo Professional(R), TargetPro(R), MarketMath, or via MapInfo's market analysis services or custom modeling projects.
GenaWare announced its acceptance as a technical committee member of the OpenGIS Consortium (OGC). The Open GIS Consortium, Inc.'s (OGC) Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI) will hold a demonstration on March 27th at Wayne State University, in Detroit Michigan, to outline the results of the first of a series of pilots, which focus on the Detroit/Windsor area. Both U.S. and Canadian organizations are participating in this important study, contributing staff and data resources. The demonstration will conclude Phase 1 of the CIPI-1 initiative.
Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced its Team GeoMedia Registered Research Laboratory (RRL) Program has grown to include more than 60 educational institutions worldwide since its launch at GeoSpatial World 2002, the annual Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community Training and Management Conference. To support this tremendous growth pattern and further promote open interoperability, the RRL Program recently added the GML data server (read-only) GML export command to the expansive list of products currently available to its members.
) announced that Gartner/Dataquest Worldwide Quarterly PC Statistics 4Q/02 show AMD processor-based desktop and mobile computers increased worldwide unit market share to 19 percent among buyers of Windows(R)-based PCs in 2002.
ESRI announced its sponsorship of the Vespucci Initiative Summer School on geographic information system (GIS) technology, which will focus on location-based services (LBS) and spatial data infrastructures. The summer school will be held at Villa Demidoff in Pratolino (Florence), Italy, from July 28 to August 8, 2003. Leaders from academia and the private sector will meet to discuss important issues in location-based services including privacy, tracking, GIS Web services, and interoperability.
Ordnance Survey has made changes in the way it manages a key part of its data collection strategy in order to bring significant benefits to Britain's most detailed digital mapping. A new series of long-term supply agreements which comprise a mixture of in-house and external suppliers has helped efficiency and data quality and cost control. The result is that data has been revised that is critical to forthcoming layers of the OS Mastermap digital map data, including positional accuracy improvements to rural areas and selected rural towns.
Beijing Waterworks Group, the largest water utility in China, purchased Haestad Methods' WaterCAD(R) software to help the City of Beijing guarantee the reliability of its water distribution system for the 2008 Summer Olympics. WaterCAD, Haestad Methods' water distribution modeling software, was selected by Athens Water and Sewer (Greece) to upgrade its water system for the large influx of visitors that will be generated by the 2004 Olympics.
A just-released high-resolution map from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) shows the existence of the impact crater, Chicxulub, all but hidden in the flat limestone plateau of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, in the mission's first released continental data set.
In the 1990s, this crater gained attention through satellite data and ground studies as many scientists thought it responsible the demise of the dinosaurs and more than 70 percent of Earth's living species 65 million years ago. The SRTM has provided the most telling visible evidence to date of a 180-kilometer (112-mile) wide, 900-meter (3,000-foot) deep impact crater, the result of a collision with a giant comet or asteroid on one of Earth's all-time worst days.
The North America and Yucatan Peninsula images created from the map are available on the JPL Planetary Photo journal at:
"Earth as Art," a joint USGS and NASA collection of satellite imagery displays 41 images of Earth taken by the Landsat 7 satellite from over 400 miles high. These portraits of Earth show illuminating aspects of nature. Fine art prints of these and other selected U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) satellite and aerial images are now available as part of a recently signed cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between the USGS and LookClickPrint, Inc., (LCP) of Los Lunas, New Mexico. Under the CRADA, the USGS and LCP will together make premium-quality reproductions of the "Earth as Art" collection available to public.
Haestad Methods, a leading provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based hydraulic modeling solutions, launched its latest on-line discussion group, GISTalk. Accessible at http://www.haestad.com/forums, this free on-line forum is a place for GIS professionals to ask questions and raise issues regarding geographic and geospatial information systems and receive feedback from colleagues and Haestad Methods' GIS experts.
WebTech Wireless Inc., a telematics services provider serving fleets, announced that Land Air Express, a North American full service expedited carriers service serving 15 states and Canada, has selected WebTech's Quadrant System to achieve real-time monitoring of its fleet. Operating costs for Land Air have been cut and customer service has improved as a result of the switch to WebTech's "always-on" GPRS based system from a satellite-based system.
Intergraph Hong Kong Limited, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Intergraph Corporation, announced the successful rollout of its Geospatial Information and Outage Management System (GIS-OMS) powered by Intergraph's G/Electric solution, for Companhia de Electricidade de Macau - CEM, S. A. (CEM). Companhia de Electricidade de Macau is the sole electricity provider in Macau, serving more than 187,000 customers across 22 square kilometers. The GIS-OMS was deployed in approximately thirteen months, meeting company expectations for rapid implementation. The solution replaces CEM's existing mapping system and provides an outage management capability for its electric distribution network.
Mapbyte, a UK based company and owner of the Mapminder website (
www.mapminder.com) has officially launched its map-based community website. The Mapminder website is based on unique mapping technology developed and designed by Telmap, a software provider of mobile mapping applications. With the addition of Telmap's advanced internet mapping technology the Mapminder website will be able to provide users with very fast download time on detailed maps together with a map-based restaurant and venue service for the whole UK. Mapminder.co.uk is a comprehensive online location guide for the UK market, offering the ability to search and map up to 26 million UK sites by address, postal code,
crossroad and map coordinates.
The service is currently offering free membership for 30 days, after which charges for subscribing to mapminder.co.uk are as follows:
Monthly charge £2.95
Quarterly charge £7.95
Annual charge £24.95
Established in 1991, the Outstanding Service Award is given to American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) members in recognition of outstanding and unusual efforts in helping ASPRS develop and carry out its programs over a sustained period. Recipients have performed outstanding service at the chapter, regional, or national level. Awardees' services include any activities, including professional, that have helped the Society achieve its goals and objectives.
Those selected for the 2003 ASPRS Outstanding Service Award are:
ASPRS Sustaining Member Companies
- SAIC, Inc. for their sponsorship of the Estes Memorial Teaching Award
- AERO-METRIC, Inc. for their initial sponsorship of the Paul R. Wolf Scholarship
- ASPRS Members
- Allen Watkins for his efforts to make the SAIC Estes Memorial Teaching Award a financial reality
- Bernard (Barney) Schur for his vision and effort in making the Paul R. Wolf Scholarship a reality
- Mary Clawson for her leadership of many ASPRS sponsored or co-sponsored conferences, and, specifically, for the outstanding 2002 XXII FIG International Congress and combined ACSM-ASPRS Conference and Technology Exhibit
- Sky Chamard for his many years of dedicated service to the ASPRS Certification Program
Announced at GITA:
AM/FM/GIS has not been embraced by utility professionals as it has been in other industries, perhaps because there has not been much interest in mapping from the utility community. For many years, mapping has been considered “discretionary spending,” largely because of the sheer cost of computing. Today, you can run applications from within browsers, not requiring the space on your hard drive.
I spoke with Marie Smith and Frank Castlebury of Byers Engineering SpatialAge Solutions. Their new web-based Fiber Management Tool (FMT) provides analysis, management and restoration tools for complex telecommunications fiber optic network facilities. FMT provides a seamless view of the fiber network to OSP and ISP engineers, planners and construction personnel, augmenting existing systems.
FMT is built on Byers' SpatialAge platform, which was developed using JAVA on Oracle 9i Spatial, and thereby offers seamless intranet enabled environment that allows for the sharing of geospatial facility data collaboratively. FMT brings users closer to a spatial data warehouse with tools for analyzing and viewing inside and outside fiber optic plant facilities for fiber optic networks.
Marie and Frank also told me about Byers' “Silo Busters” which breaks down the walls between the legacy systems at the data layer by utilizing the power of geodata. The system provides tools to publish into future environments such as JAVA, Html, etc. from legacy environments. The system addresses the challenge of legacy systems that have been developed on numerous platforms spanning several technology generations, which stand in the way of effective workflows.
Presidents Reception Hall (GITA)
Hitachi Software Engineering Co. Ltd. announced Any*GIS Version 3, its open spatial data integration solution which allows organizations to adopt open standards technologies while preserving legacy spatial data and workflows. Any*GIS is based on Open GIS standards such as SFS, SRS, GML and open industry standards such as Java 2 Enterprise Edition, CORBA, XML and SQL. Many operations can be streamlined with this system, so that large enterprise organizations can integrate disparate facility data sources, manage GIS data with CAD and maintain legacy GIS applications and data. The solutions will be generally available in April.
In the Intergraph booth G/Technology and GeoMedia(R) for geospatial facilities management, analysis, and data mining; InService and IntelliWhere(TM) solutions for emergency response and field crew and mobile asset management and tracking; and TerraShare(TM), an image distribution and management solution were demonstrated as a completely integrated solution. G/Technology is the enabling core for Geospatial Resource Management (GRM). G/Technology version 9.1 was demonstrated at the show, showcasing the product's open and non-proprietary COTS software that allows, through its precise interaction with Oracle and ability to minimize network traffic, a very highly scalable solution that
reduces database processing in multi-user environments. G/Technology makes applications such as network planning, analysis, outage management, work management, and workforce management available to more users on the network and makes interaction between the applications more seamless and accessible.
Telcordia(tm) Technologies announced its upcoming 3.0 release of Telcordia(tm) Network Engineer software through its subsidiary Mesa Solutions. New functionality in version 3.0 addresses next generation network challenges of efficiently operating and managing networks, and delivering competitive services.
Tadpole-Cartesia and TelDig Systems made a joint announcement at GITA of the development of new software embedding Tadpole's Conic GIS field mapping software into TelDig's Utility Suite. TelDig's customer base will be able to make use of a fully automated, online locate-ticket damage prevention process, which could avoid many underground excavation accidents and consequently save millions of dollars. Utility companies lose money each year due to a high number of accidents resulting from inaccurate asset information for excavation teams in the field. The product release is scheduled for summer.
Other product announcements:
ESRI announced the availability of the interoperability extension for ArcExplorer 4.0.1-Java Edition. The interoperability extension adds support for OpenGIS Web Map Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS). A lightweight GIS data viewer, ArcExplorer offers an easy way to perform basic GIS functions.
Safe Software Inc. announces it has released an enhanced version of its Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) Geographic Data Files (GDF) reader to support TeleAtlas MultiNet 3.2 GDF (ASCII) sequential datasets.
Avenza Systems Inc. announced the release of MAPublisher Lt -- a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand. With MAPublisher Lt, a subset of Avenza's flagship MAPublisher software, users can import maps in various GIS formats directly into Illustrator and FreeHand with all attributes intact. Once imported, the user can enhance the map using the powerful vector editing capabilities that these applications are known for.
Maptech's new Terrain Navigator Pro aims at bringing the benefits of using USGS topographic maps and Aerial Photos to a broad user base that relies on detailed maps for work or recreation. Over 30 new features give users a wide selection of tools to customize the maps for land surveying, real estate, forestry, land management, public safety, homeland security, fire fighting; as well as recreational uses from hunting and hiking to genealogy. Terrain Navigator Pro is available for the entire United States.
TruePosition Inc., a leading provider of location-based technologies announced a multi-year agreement with Cingular Wireless to provide a location-based E-911 technology for Cingular's GSM networks. The agreement also states that Cingular has contracted to upgrade its existing TruePosition location system to the TruePosition GSM location product.
Contex Scanning Technology, wide-format document technologies provider, announced the introduction of Automatic Lens Enhancement (ALE) for their entire range of scanners. The Accuracy Lens Enhancement (ALE) is an electronic correction of spherical errors in CCD based camera scanning systems.
A “spherical lens error” is characterized when looking at pixels across the image range of a camera, and you can see the pixels tend to be more elliptical at the outer edges of the lens and rounder at the middle of the lens. This anomaly can introduce inaccuracies in the scanning system and can vary quite substantially between different points along the scan line. New customers will automatically receive this ALE in their scanners.
The availability of a new solution combining @Road mobile resource management services with GPS enabled mobile phones was announced this week by @Road(R) (Nasdaq:
), a provider of location-enhanced wireless Internet solutions for mobile resource management (MRM). Now, @Road customers can use the Pocket Edition to locate and manage mobile workers carrying a GPS-enabled Motorola(R) i58sr or i88s handset wherever they are.
For the history buffs, librarians, and map collectors on your shopping list, the Map Collector Antique Map Series of CDs might be just the ticket. For 500 years, maps used magnificent artistry and the evolving craft of printing to document the exploration and civilization of the world. Now, Jim Hess, president and curator of the Heritage Map Museum, Lititz, Pennsylvania, is on a mission to display the most famous cartographical highlights from the 15th through 19th centuries this collection of CDs. The collection is considered the largest, most comprehensive and valuable of its kind.
"We are creating a CD for each state in the U.S. and all major countries of the world," notes Hess. "We selected the finest historic maps representing landmarks in the progress of a state or territory, from the time of its first exploration and settlement through the Civil War."
So far the Museum has produced 13 CDs: California and the Western States, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wash. D.C., and Suffolk, NY, as well as a CDs for England, Wales, Germany and Switzerland. Soon to be finished are editions for Illinois, Texas, Ireland, Israel & Iraq. The CDs are offered at the museum's website at
DCSE, provider of GIS products and services and an ESRI and Microsoft business partner, announced the release of a new GIS solution called Mapplet.NET which is focused on helping agencies retrieve their enterprise data and documents in a GIS environment. The product is built on several new generation technologies including ArcMap Server, an ArcIMS component from ESRI, and .NET technology from Microsoft. It is compatible with either Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle databases. It has also been integrated with several 3rd party applications including SharePoint from Microsoft, LibertyWeb from LibertyIMS, Springbrook's billing system, and MapLibrary from DCSE. The product is available
The 2002 version of the Gazetteer of Australia, the official national database of geographic names, contains 297 220 authorized geographic names from all over Australia and its offshore regions, as well as postcodes for most of the localities. In addition to postcodes, the updated Gazetteer also includes a State ID field to indicate the State or Territory in which the geographic name is located; and a Concise Gazetteer field to flag which geographic name is included in the Asia-Pacific Concise Gazetteer. The data is available as fixed length text files on a single CD-ROM from Geoscience Australia.
GISCafe has many popular downloads in various categories that can be accessed directly by going to
. Visitors are encouraged to go to the site and add new downloads or update their old ones.
Data and Data Tools
From Centerline Construction Management Services Inc. --
Centerline's Inline Inspection Feature Location Tool
allows a user to accurately field-locate defect indications reported by any inline inspection company during pipeline construction or operation. Use of this tool allows any feature reported by an inline inspection or pig run to be quickly and easily located in the field using above-ground chainage along the pipeline, or by using GPS coordinates, if available. The tool matches inline inspection data supplied by the inspection company to the pipeline's as-built location, supplied by the owner, and reports the location of each reported inspection indication.
Teletype GPS Software
is a flexible and fully featured GPS enabled mapping software available for Windows CE and Pocket PC. The same software also supports desktop and laptop systems.
Free Trial Software
from Uclid Software is a fast way to enter attribute data found on scanned maps. Faster and easier than typing, this ArcMap extension automates attribute editing.
Around the Web
Military Now Often Enlists Commercial Technology
, by Simon Romero (New York Times March 10, 2003)
you didn't know you couldn't live without
Going on this Week
The Future of CGDI - A Roundtable Discussion - Hosted by the GeoConnections Access Advisory Node and the Technology Advisory Panel.
Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2003
14:00 - 17:30 Mackenzie II Room
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
800 Canada Place Way
Vancouver, BC (opposite Vancouver Convention Centre)
To register, contact Tim Evangelatos at
Date: March 16 - 19, 2003
Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
"A Spirit of Collaboration" -- the conference is designed to provide a broad vendor-neutral overview of geospatial technology applications. Call for papers--deadline July 15, 2002
Date: March 20 - 21, 2003
Place: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Whether your a beginner or experienced FME user, GIS professional, or developer, our hands on course and professional training materials will show you how to get the most out of FME. Register early, space is limited!
Date: March 20, 2003
free web forum with experts to talk to online. 10 GMT
You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here
To read more news, click here
-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.