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January 06, 2003
Pilot Catastrophe Risk Assessment Study for the World Bank In Asia
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! I hope you have all returned from your holidays in good spirits and ready for twenty-oh-three. The wonderful thing about the start of a new year is the sense it gives us of starting fresh, of having the opportunity to be insightful and to look forward with eagerness to what the “new year” has to offer.

GISWeekly -- a weekly newsletter available at your desktop every Monday morning -- is GISCafe's new offering for 2003. GISWeekly will examine select top news each week, pick out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature an article on a Pilot Catastrophe Risk Assessment Study for the World Bank in Asia, Industry News, Alliances/Acquisitions, New Products, Appointments and Awards, Around the Web, and Calendar. Special this week-- “Top Ten Most Popular GISCafe Downloads from the Year 2002.”

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Ultimately, we would like to include a Letters department at some point in the future. Send your comments to me at
Email Contact

Best wishes for the coming year,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

December 30, 2002 --

RMSI Undertakes Catastrophe Risk Assessment Study for World Bank's Asian Initiative

RMSI, a global IT services company, successfully carried out a pilot catastrophe risk assessment study for four Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Orissa, as part of World Bank's ongoing regional initiatives for risk transfer in Asia.

For those not familiar with the World Bank, the World Bank Group was founded in 1944 and is one of the world's largest sources of development assistance. It is now operating in more than 100 developing countries, providing financial assistance and ideas to improve living standards. In the fiscal year 2002, the Bank provided US$19.5 billion in loans to client countries. For each client, the Bank works with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to design assistance strategies.

The purpose of this World Bank pilot catastrophe risk assessment study is threefold:

- to assess the financial risks of natural hazards including the exposures, and vulnerabilities of countries in this region to catastrophic shocks;
- secondly, to evaluate the existing post-disaster funding mechanisms in the region, including catastrophe insurance and reinsurance arrangements;
- and thirdly, to explore methods of funding the direct costs of natural disasters outside the national budget.

RMSI was awarded the study in February and challenged to deliver findings within three months' time. “It was a much bigger challenge, in view of the limitations in India when compared with developed countries, ” says Adityam Krovvidi, Head of the Risk Management Group at RMSI. “Limited data and domestic research, accessibility and reliability of the data, and also a general lack of appreciation of the benefits of public and private sector collaboration in the country made the task an uphill one, ” he adds.

A comprehensive risk assessment study of the four Indian states was created that addressed the assets of housing and public infrastructure against natural catastrophes such as cyclones, earthquakes, and floods.
In a further email correspondence with Krovvidi, I learned that the following components of the study involved spatial related applications provided by RMSI:
1) The flood risk model is GIS-based. ArcView Spatial Analyst was used to prepare digital elevation models (DEMs) and river networks, and compute flood plain extents and depths on a 100 meter grid for various return periods.
2) The windstorm risk model is also GIS-based. The model used the MapInfo platform to generate windfield around the storm. Land use and landcover data is a key input to this model. The data was derived from remote sensing images at a 25 meter resolution.
3) The exposure data of road networks was derived from remote sensing images of 23.5 meter resolution.
4) One of the key deliverables is mapping. GIS was used to generate hazard and risk maps.
Several probabilistic risk models for hazard assessment, vulnerability analysis and financial implications were developed as part of the study. Results of the comprehensive report submitted to the World Bank that help in decision-making included exposure value, average annual loss (AAL), probable maximum loss (PML), exceeding probability (EP) loss curves, and hazard/risk mapping. These findings are part of the feasibility studies and are expected to set standards for application in similar regions of the world.
The World Bank will make findings from the study public around March 2003.
January 2, 2003 --
ER Mapper and AgroGIS Form Strategic Partnership

Earth Resource Mapping announced this week the formation of a strategic partnership with AgroGIS, Brazil, an established leader in the provision of GIS solutions and data consultancy for the agricultural market in southern Brazil.

AgroGIS's flagship product, AgroGIS 2.0, has been instrumental in widening the role of Earth Resource Mapping's compression file format ECW in the Brazilian GIS market. The new partnership will allow AgroGIS to offer ER Mapper as part of their integrated GIS management solutions package.

Joe Fernando Martins of AgroGIS said: “Today, Brazil plays a major role in the world's food production chain and the use of technological solutions is growing very fast. Industries in the Agricultural sector are increasingly using geo-spatial images to analyse their data and monitor their crops. After analysing several options, we have selected ECW as AgroGIS native image file format. We look forward renewing our relationship with Earth Resource Mapping in Brazil.”

January 2, 2003 --
Analytical Surveys Reports Notice of Potential Nasdaq Delisting
December 30, 2002 -
Census Bureau Tip Sheet

New Products

December 26, 2002 --
NavCom Technology, Inc. to Unveil the New Safari Network SR-7100 Mark II at COMNET Expo
December 20, 2002 --
MapFrame Corporation Unveils Addition to Its Mobile Mapping Software, FieldSmart Route


January 2, 2003--
Webraska to Power Mobile Tracking Application for the Paris-Dakar Motorcycle Race
Worldwide provider of location-based services (LBS) and enabling platforms, Webraska announced its collaboration with Cobra Automotive Technologies to power the tracking of two vehicles participating in the 25th Annual Paris-Dakar rally.
COBRA is a leading manufacturer of alarm systems for cars, and uses its new Connex wireless GPS black-box devices on the two vehicles. One black-box is installed on the motorcycle of Gerard Barbezant, world champion in his category (less than 250 cc) and the other black-box is installed on the truck of Gendarmerie Nationale (police assistance vehicle). The GPS data collected by the black-boxes will then be transmitted to Webraska's server-based platform which will display it on maps to be consulted via the web.
The objectives of the tracking of these vehicles are:
To validate the Connex tracking, anti-theft and after-theft services in severe and extreme conditions; and to demonstrate the ease-of-use and flexibility of the applications via the web.
The vehicles can be tracked on
http://www.cobraconnex.com/dakar/desert_base_us.html from January 2, 2003.
December 26, 2002 --
Spatial Insights, Inc. and Pinebush Technologies Establish Strategic Alliance
Alliances of this kind are becoming more common between GIS consulting companies and providers of visualization printing and plotting software for technical applications.
The current one allies Spatial Insights, Inc., a GIS company specializing in innovative project consulting and mapping services, customized software solutions and data products for commercial customers, and Pinebush Technologies, a developer and supplier of printing and plotting software for a wide range of technical applications, in the CAD, GIS, A/E/C, mapping, scientific, and many other industries.

Pinebush's HyperXpress suite of printing and plotting software will be offered by Spatial Insights, who will act as a value added reseller and master distributor for Pinebush. The product suite has particular importance to Spatial Insights, in that it includes a highly optimized raster image processor designed to decrease printing time for large complex raster and vector images. HyperXpress can provide enhanced printing and plotting from various Windows mapping applications, including, Intergraph, ESRI or MapInfo.

Stories on Similar Alliances/Acquisitions:
GISCafe Special News Report:
Complementary Technologies Mark AGRA Baymont Acquisition

GISCafe Special News Report:
Greater Industry Focus with Intergraph's Z/I Imaging Acquisition

Appointments and Awards

January 2, 2003 --
PlanGraphics, Inc. Awarded New York City Geographic Information System Utility Contract Extension
PlanGraphics, Inc. (OTCBB:
PGRA) has finalized a contract with a maximum value of $15.4 million with the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to continue the implementation of the Citywide Geographic Information System (GIS) Utility.
The contract covers a period of three years and has two optional one-year renewals that the City may exercise. PlanGraphics was selected to perform a Citywide GIS Needs Assessment in 1999 and again selected to design and implement the Citywide GIS utility in 2000. The citywide GIS Utility serves as New York City's centralized resource for key locational and spatial information, GIS application development, data warehousing and systems integration services.
The award-winning Citywide Utility uses the repository architecture for enterprise GIS, which is in keeping with PlanGraphics' approach.

January 1, 2003 --
Douglas Richardson Selected as New AAG Executive Director
Dr. Douglas B. Richardson, formerly President and founder of GeoResearch, Inc. has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Association of American Geographers, effective January 1, 2003. Richardson succeeds retiring Executive Director Ronald F. Abler.

Richardson has been serving at the AAG as Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives since July 2001. His background includes working with Native American tribes for over 20 years on cultural, natural resource and ecological issues. His firm GeoResearch, Inc. is known internationally for their invention, development, and patenting of the first interactive GPS/GIS (global positioning system/geographic information system) technology, which has paved the way for advances in the way geographic information is managed, integrated, mapped and collected within the geography community.

Around the Web

Earth and Moon Viewer by John Walker. You can view either a
map of the Earth showing the day and night regions at this moment, or view the Earth from the
Sun, the
Moon, the
night side of the Earth, above any location on the planet specified by
latitude, longitude and altitude, from a
satellite in Earth orbit, or above
various cities around the globe.

CADxp, a French language CAD portal focusing on AutoCAD

GeoImages Project University of California, Berkeley - makes images useful in teaching geography available via the internet. By G. Donald Bain, Director of the Geography Computing Facility.

Top Ten Most Popular GISCafe Downloads from the Year 2002

GISCafe has many popular downloads in various categories that can be accessed directly by going to
http://www10.giscafe.com/link/display_categories.php. The Most Popular downloads on the site represent the top 10% of all those posted. Visitors are encouraged to go to the site and add new downloads or update their old ones.
GIS Software

AGIS for Windows - a simple mapping and GIS shareware package

Free GIS for biodiversity data from DIVA-GIS. You can use it to make maps of species distribution, and analyze these data in various ways.

Digitizing Tools

ProVec 3.5 is a stand-alone raster to vector conversion package which can output to various CAD & GIS packages. Download this 30 Day evaluation version and try the software on your applications. From Sinclair Knight Merz
Conversion Cafe

Digital Terrain Modeling Directory from TerrainMap. Generate 3D Digital Terrain Models and Digital Terrain Maps using free digital elevation model (DEM) data from the USGS, NIMA, ASTER, Landsat and other sources.
Utilities & Scripts

AV Garmin is an ArcView 3.x extension. Used with a Garmin GPS and Waypoint+, GarTrip, or PCX download software, AV Garmin allows you to easily create shapefiles in ArcView. Point, line, or polygon features can be created from either waypoint or track data. California Department of Fish & Game.

HUD Environmental Maps.

ArcReader is a new addition to the ArcGIS Desktop family of products. It is a free, easy-to-use product that allows anyone to view, explore, and print published map files (PMFs).
Data and Data Tools

The GIS Survival Guide -
Geodata Institute

Free Trial Software

SVGMapper is an extension for ArcView GIS (3.x) for exporting the View into SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format (which is very exciting new XML-based language for displaying vector graphics on the WWW). (NEW VERSION !) Uros Preloznik
Web Mapping

HTML Image Mapper 3.0 from Alta4 Geoinformatik AG is the easiest and most affordable way to transform ArcView GIS maps and data into great looking interactive maps for the internet or to be cut on CD-ROM.

January's Calendar

Coastal GeoTools '03
Date: January 6 - 9, 2003

Place: Charleston, SC USA

"The Premier Spatial Technology Conference for Coastal Resource Professionals"

Date: January 8 - 10, 2003

Place: Birla Auditorium

Jaipur, India

Society for Computer Awareness - A non-profitable organization committed to technology promotion announces its first Information Technology Mega Event. GIS INDIA 2003 is the first National level conference and exhibition on Geographic Information System (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), Remote Sensing (RS), Digital Photogrammetry and Computer Aided Design (CAD) through Information Technology being promoted by the Society for Computer Awareness, at JAIPUR-INDIA.
DMTI Spatial Seminar - Census Demographic Products
Date: January 14, 2003

Place: Markham, Ontario, Canada
Institute of Navigation 2003 National Technical Meeting
Date: January 22-24, 2003

Place: Anaheim, CA

Sample plenary session: GPS Modernization: Plans vs. Needs: Dr. Bradford Parkinson, Stanford University
Avenza Systems Training
Date: January 23-24, 2003

Place: Orlando, FLA
The Big Picture - Library Planning Using GIS
Date: January 24, 2003

Place: Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA USA

Public and academic librarians and planners concerned with library services will learn how using GIS can improve decision making and planning.8:30-12 p.m
GIS Ostrava 2003
Date: January 26 - 29, 2003

Place: VSB-Technical University Ostrava, Czech Republic

10th International Conference GIS Ostrava 2003. This conference has been organised every year since 1994 and grown into one of the most important GI/GIT conferences in the Czech Republic. There were about two hundred participants last year, mainly from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Reputable foreign speakers have been invited every year to present main topics to Czech and Slovak GI community. The aim of this series of conferences is bringing together researchers, developers, users, and practitioners from the field of GI/GIT. The goal is to facilitate discussions between researches and practitioners to support knowledge and technology transfer.

GIS Ostrava 2003 is now open to an international audience. The theme of this conference is “GI/GIT Theory and Practice Bring them Together.” The conference will provide a forum for research contributions and practical system design, implementation and applications of GIT.

Date: January 27 - 28, 2003

Place: New Orleans, LA USA

The International LIDAR Forum (ILMF) is an industry group that is committed to helping further LIDAR mapping technology and applications. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a technology that uses laser light for topographic or bathymetric mapping.
The ILMF hosts annual meetings to bring together LIDAR professionals to discuss the latest technology and issues affecting the LIDAR mapping industry. Over 120 people attended last year's Forum, representing almost every major LIDAR operator in North America, as well as LIDAR system and component manufacturers, hardware and software companies, universities and end-users.
The Third Annual Meeting of the International LIDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) will be held at the beautiful Chateau Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans on January 27 and 28, 2003.
The ILMF is expanding its format to a two-day meeting that will include exhibits, workshops and presentations. Much of the benefit of the Forum is derived from the networking opportunities, and the popular Icebreaker reception, held on the first evening in the exhibit area, allowing attendees to socialize and network.
Map India 2003
Date: January 28-31, 2003

Place: Hotel Grand Inter-Continental, New Delhi, India

Map India 2003 is the 6th Annual International Conference and Exhibition in the field of geographic information technologies like GIS, GPS, Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing. Although it primarily serves the Indian geographic community it also attracts considerable international participation and provides a platform for collaboration between India and rest of the world.
GITA Webcast Seminar Series
Date: January 28, 2003

“Airtight Business Case” Moderator: Kris Magnuson, Advantica Stoner

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.