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April 03, 2006
Pictometry Viewer ActiveX Control
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! This week Pictometry announced their Pictometry Viewer ActiveX Control, a control that makes it possible for third party vendors to integrate Pictometry oblique imagery and measuring tools into end user applications. Read about it in this week's Industry News.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Pictometry Viewer ActiveX Control

by Susan Smith

This week Pictometry announced their Pictometry Viewer ActiveX Control, a control that makes it possible for third party vendors to integrate Pictometry oblique imagery and measuring tools into end user applications.

According to Frank Giuffrida, senior vice president of engineering at Pictometry and Vice President Scott Sherwood, Pictometry Viewer ActiveX Control takes the basic capabilities of their Electronic Field Study (EFS) application and puts it into a form that can be easily embedded into third party applications in a seamless way.

Integration of the EFS capability with third party vendors became very important in several cases. Before ActiveX, Pictometry used what they call “cooperative integration” with ArcView. They had a set of Microsoft component object modules (COM) interfaces built into the professional desktop application. On their first integrating into ArcView they used those COM components to provide the integration.

With EFS, you would select the Pictometry tool inside of ArcView, but instead of a window inside of ArcView appearing, the entire desktop application would pass the relevant information from one application to the other. All the Pictometry data was still visible but you had to use EFS to do it. This method required that you had two applications running on your desktop that you needed to manage and understand. “Now we've taken that functionality and put it into ActiveX Control now running inside of ArcView,” said Sherwood.

Example: microDATA GIS, Inc. based in St. Johnsbury, VT, an emergency 9-1-1 dispatch provider, has been integrating their 911 application with EFS for years. The call taker application for 911 piece and the Pictometry EFS worked cooperatively together, however, it was difficult for the operator to be trained in both systems. “If you're a call taker, your primary function is answering the call and getting the information from the user,” explained Giuffrida. “You don't want to be a GIS expert as well in order to use our EFS.”

With the ActiveX Control, the provider of the end user 911 application, in this case, can integrate their technology into Pictometry's application in a way that's very natural for their users. “It uses their own natural call flow, the workflows are the same, there's no different help screen, look and feel to the application is the same,” explained The powerful ActiveX Control interface takes the oblique image set and gives the user the ability to drop it into any third party application.

The ActiveX Control works well with ArcView, and Pictometry also has an implementation inside of ArcGIS 9.1. “In the case [of ArcView] we added this ActiveX control as an extension into ArcView,” said Sherwood. “Users of ArcView may or may not be familiar with the Pictometry system and its data, but it's easy to use our dataset and our technology inside of ArcView.”

Sherwood said it's not a matter of which systems Pictometry supports, it's a matter of either they do the integration into the application or the manufacturer does the integration. In the case of the 911 system, Pictometry leaves the integration to the original equipment manufacturer.

When third party software vendors go shopping for ActiveX Control, developers will receive an SDK, which includes the control itself, documentation, the interface and some example code to use as a reference point to begin the integration.

“With ArcView and other GIS programs where we're doing the integration or teaming up with third parties to do the integration, then they not only receive the Active X control but they receive the installer for the extension for ArcView, so it's just a plug-and-play at that point. It depends if you're a developer or an end user,” said Sherwood.

After you run the installer in the ArcView scenario, the installer basically installs a new extension into ArcView like all other extensions into ArcView get loaded. Once loaded, it gives you the Pictometry extensions. You can click on any map or layer you may have opened in ArcView. There is some configuration that goes with it, but at that point the Pictometry oblique data will display inside of ArcView. Then you can use it to do some navigation and measurement like you can do in the professional desktop application.

The ArcView user will find it simple because it doesn't require any more training. All they must do is click on the tool or point on a map or layer, then start using the Pictometry technology to measure or navigate.

Pictometry began with the ArcView integration as most of their customers are ESRI users. They do plan to team up with some other GIS providers to provide the same level of integration with other products.

As Pictometry has been in the news lately regarding its contribution to Microsoft Live Local, I felt it only fitting to ask how the ActiveX Control and EFS compares with what is used in Live Local? What differentiates Pictometry functionality with the ActiveX Control and EFS from that which is integrated into the Microsoft Live Local components, is the level of professional functionality. Windows Live Local is a consumer level application that has the Pictometry data set, but not the measuring, analytical software, according to Sherwood.

Top News of the Week

Autodesk, Inc. launched the Autodesk Civil 3D 2007, Autodesk Map 3D 2007, and Autodesk Raster Design 2007 software products. These new solutions enable the integration of computer-aided design (CAD) and geospatial information system (GIS) data allowing customers to create, manage and share valuable spatial information for better decision-making and improved operational efficiency.

Sanborn CEO John Copple today announced that three key employees have joined the Sanborn team. Roger Crystal has joined the company as general manager for the Sanborn office in Portland, Oregon. Responsible for the overall growth and success of the Sanborn northwest location, Crystal will focus on management and improving operating efficiencies. Crystal joins the company from Wisconsin-based Aero-Metric, Inc. David Youngblood, Sanborn's new Florida state regional sales manager, joins the company from Airborne Data, Inc. Youngblood will be responsible for the success of market presence, client relations and sales in the state of Florida. James Peterson also joins Sanborn as the new
assistant general manager for the St. Louis, Missouri location. Peterson joins the company from Missouri-based Engineering Design Sourced, Inc. Peterson's principle duties include management support and field survey operation planning.

First American Real Estate Information Services, Inc., a subsidiary of The First American Corporation announced today that it has acquired Harvard Design and Mapping Company, Inc. (HDM), a leading provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to businesses and governments worldwide. Terms of the acquisition, which closed March 1, 2006, were not disclosed.

Intergraph Corporation announced that South East Water, a proven leader in the Australian water industry, has implemented Intergraph's G/Technology, in line with corporate strategies of knowledge management and data organization, to support a corporate wide GIS system that will streamline operations and provide a model of best practice for geospatial technology in a water utility.

NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital map data for location-based solutions and vehicle navigation, has been selected by Zillow.com to power its street and hybrid map views. Zillow.com is a real estate website offering free valuations and data on more than 60 million homes across the United States. The information available on Zillow is linked to NAVTEQ(R) maps, allowing users to visually understand the location and placement of the property of interest.


Galdos Systems Inc. (“Galdos”) announced the signing of a major distribution agreement. Atheeb Intergraph Middle East LLC (“Atheeb Intergraph”) has agreed to act as the distributor for Galdos products and services in the region of the Middle East. The territories that will be covered include Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia.

Pixxures, Inc., a provider of aerial mapping, direct digital image processing, and imagery Web services, announced that Portland Metro, Data Resource Center has signed an e-commerce service contract to host, deploy and broker Metro's imagery through Pixxures' Web Subscription Services and Online Image Store.

Optech Incorporated announces the strategic partnership of its Industrial & 3D Imaging Division with Applied Imagery, the manufacturer of QT Modeler software.

Optech will provide Applied Imagery's QT Modeler Software with Automated Alignment functionality as a standard tool in Optech's line of Intelligent Laser Ranging and Imaging Systems (ILRIS). This collaboration enables users to generate accurately aligned laser point clouds with minimal user input - at no additional cost to ILRIS customers.

RSI, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITT Industries, Inc., announced that Sierra Atlantic Ltd., its sole Indian distributor, has received certification for ENVI to be used to process data from the Indian CARTOSAT-1 satellite. ENVI, the remote sensing exploitation platform of choice, is one of only two products to meet the specifications and receive certification by the government-contracted ANTRIX Corporation.

MobileSphere, a provider of global wireless communications solutions, and XE Mobile, a pay-as-you-go MVNO targeting college students, today announced a marketing agreement that calls for XE Mobile to deploy MobileSphere's CarrierILD(TM) solution for international wireless calling to its subscriber base. MobileSphere will also promote XE Mobile services through MobileSphere's extensive university channel.

Pixxures, Inc., a provider of aerial mapping, direct digital image processing, and imagery Web services, announced that Portland Metro, Data Resource Center has signed an e-commerce service contract to host, deploy and broker Metro's imagery through Pixxures' Web Subscription Services and Online Image Store.

DIMAC Systems, s.à.r.l. of Luxemburg and VXServices, LLC, located in Longmont, Colorado, are pleased to announce their new joint venture DIMAC Systems, LLC, which will also be headquartered in Longmont, Colorado.

DIMAC Systems has produced a digital aerial camera system that incorporates newly patented technology to ease the work of aerial photographers while returning excellent core imagery for photogrammetric and orthophoto applications.


Ordnance Survey has taken a significant step forward in the product delivery schedule for its most highly detailed spatial address data, OS MasterMap Address Layer 2.

A first-cut national dataset has been released to around 40 organizations on the mapping agency's OS Insight product development programme. They are evaluating a range of data enhancements aimed at helping both government and business harness address geography for information management and service delivery.

The accuracy of more than 27 million postal addresses has been enriched with geographic alternatives such as localities and alias name-number combinations.

Firms in need of assistance in managing geotechnology products can now obtain new services from marketing firm Cary and Associates. The Product Management Lifecycle Process serves as the foundation for identifying and building profitable customer-focused products. Templates are available to guide the product management process and ensure all key business and technical issues are addressed, of value for both young firms and well-established firms. Product Management Seminars and Workshops are available. In addition, on-site Product Management Team-Building is available to any firm that wants to customize the discipline of product lifecycle management to its organization and coach its
team on the process.

Webraska, a provider of mobile GPS navigation solutions and high-end geospatial software platforms for wireless carriers and major service providers worldwide, is pleased to announce record breaking results for fiscal year 2005-2006.

Revenues for the period covering April 2005 to March 2006 will reach 15M EUR , a 100% increase compared to fiscal year 2004-2005. Net income is expected to be over 6M EUR. See
press release

Trimble announced it will launch its new Trimble(R) VRS Now(TM) service for Great Britain in May. The commercial service provides surveyors, civil engineers and geospatial professionals with instant access to real-time kinematic (RTK) Global Positioning System (GPS) corrections without the need for a base station.


At the 2006 ESRI Annual Business Partner Conference, GIS Solutions Inc. received the Business Partner of the Year Award for the Minneapolis Region. ESRI-Minneapolis named GIS Solutions as Partner of the Year because of its commitment to ESRI technology and proven quality results.

CartêGraph was awarded the highest recognition that an ESRI Business Partner can receive-the Foundation Partner Award for the St. Louis Region. The award is given to an ESRI partner that, through hard work and dedication, has consistently built a very strong, dependable relationship with ESRI. The prestigious honor was given to CartêGraph for demonstrating a strong commitment to ESRI's ArcGIS products. ESRI also recognized the addition of GEODATAconnect and GISdirector to CartêGraph's GIS Solution.

GeoDecisions was honored as the 2006 Technology Company of the Year at the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania's 14th Annual Awards Gala.

Kija Kim, president and CEO of Cambridge-based Harvard Design & Mapping Co., Inc., (HDM) has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2006 Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year, SBA's top award, according to an announcement made by Maurice L. Dubé, Massachusetts SBA District Director.

Case Studies

The City of Daytona Beach's GIS team has been busy creating custom Web based mapping applications utilizing ArcIMS and commercial off-the-shelf software for departments throughout the City. They created multiple applications ranging from permitting for the water system utility group, code enforcement and zoning applications, to police and fire applications.

Putnam County Board of Elections and International Computer Works, Inc. (ICW) today announced that ICW technology has been implemented by the Putnam County Board of Elections, Ohio for the delivery of sample ballots to voters for the upcoming May, 2006 State Primary Election. Additionally, local races and issues will appear on various ballots in the May 2, 2006 election. Those items which are specific to the voters that qualify to cast a vote on those unique ballot styles will be able to study their choices on the sample ballots. The internet based delivery system includes a lesson plan to encourage teachers in Putnam County Schools to bring this information into the classroom.
Students will be able to print ballots specific to their household address and run mock elections.


Smart Data Strategies, Inc. announced today that Tim Garret has joined the company as the VP Sales and Marketing. He will be based out of our cooperate offices in Franklin Tennessee with plans to strategically place additional Smart Data Strategies offices in locations across the United States that will better serve our current and future clients.

New Products

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:
GRMN), today announced the GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478 -- two amazingly versatile and portable GPS navigators that come pre-loaded with a comprehensive set of maps and charts.

The GPSMAP 478 features built-in Marine Detail Charts of the United States coastline, including Alaska and Hawaii -- utilizing elements of Garmin's new BlueChart(R) g2 technology. These charts provide integrated maps for a much smoother presentation. BlueChart g2 has all the detail of traditional BlueChart, but with richer detail and content. Chart features include shaded depth contours, port plans, wrecks, restricted areas, and more.

For road trips, the GPSMAP 378 and 478 come pre-loaded with MapSource(R) City Navigator(R) NT detailed street maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The industry-leading database features more than six million points of interest -- including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, marinas, attractions, and more. Map data is provided by NAVTEQ -- a world leader in premium-quality mapping. Each unit comes with a marine mount and automotive kit (including an integrated 12V power supply and speaker) that makes it a snap to transfer the unit from boat to car.

XM WX Satellite Weather data and audio is provided by XM Satellite Radio. Please see the
website for pricing and other details.

NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has completed a full and detailed digital map of the entire Republic of Ireland stretching from Dublin to Galway and Donegal to Kerry.

The new NAVTEQ map, which is fully detailed, includes all public roads in the Republic and every kilometre was driven and field verified by teams of NAVTEQ geographic analysts.
It covers 95,369 kilometres of road linking over 44,000 cities, towns and villages and enabling navigation systems to give drivers turn by turn directions to and from addresses throughout the country.

TeleNav Inc. is now offering the TeleNavTrack GPS solution on the BlackBerry(R) 7520 and 7100i Wireless Handheld(TM) devices from Research In Motion (RIM) through one of the largest carriers in the nation. TeleNavTrack provides companies with a highly integrated, low-cost tracking and management solution through the BlackBerry 7520, 7100i and other GPS-enabled devices.

Prepared Response, Inc., a Seattle-based developer of crisis management planning and response systems, announced today it has added Geographic Information System (GIS) functionality to the Web-based version of its Rapid Responder(R) crisis management system. The GIS capability allows police, fire, and other first responders to view a variety of features, such as streets, pipelines, railroads, or political subdivisions as layers on an interactive map. The GIS functionality allows emergency responders to create more accurate tactical pre-plans and respond faster and more effectively during a wide variety of emergencies, including terrorist related incidents, bombings, civil
disturbances, hazardous materials spills, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and tsunamis.

Blue Marble Geographics announced the release of Geographic Transformer 5.2 with new capability to write to the industry standard MrSID Generation 3 (MG3) image file format. The Geographic Transformer allows users to easily establish an "image-to-world" relationship between image and map coordinates and reproject an image into a georeferenced digital map. The Transformer is perfect for handling a variety of image data sources including scanned paper maps, aerial photos, and satellite imagery and is used worldwide by thousands of basic to advanced GIS analysts at universities, oil and gas companies, civil engineering, surveying, and technology firms and government and military

PCI Geomatics is pleased to announce the release of Geomatica® 10 for Linux™ and Solaris™ users. The latest version of the company's revolutionary image-centric geospatial software emphasizes automation, productivity, and support for more than 100 geospatial data formats. Geomatica 10 offers solutions for various geomatics processing requirements, while maintaining interoperability with outside software packages.

Géographs Corporation and Urban Explorer are proud to announce the release of CensusTrax. CensusTrax is an on-line interactive web GIS service to quickly retrieve, map and export US Census data. It will be available as an inexpensive on-line subscription service in the near future. For now, while it is still in this beta version, it is freely available to anyone who wants to use it:

For this Beta version, detailed statistics (SF1 Tables) are available for California, but will soon have a Nationwide coverage. SF2, SF3, and SF4 Tables will follow in subsequent releases of the software.

Letters to the Editor

Susan --

Thanks for the article on MSFT''s new consumer mapping feature, street-side views -- very interesting indeed!


Alan Dunton

Autodesk Public Relations

Around the Web

Map Mashups get Personal, by Annalee Newitz, March 23, 2006, Wired News -- A new and growing community site called
Platial is spreading a decidedly personal layer of geographic data atop the familiar terrain of online mapping.

Upcoming Events

GITA Annual Conference 29

Date: April 23 - 26, 2006

Place: Tampa, FL USA

GITA's Annual Conference and Exhibition is the most highly regarded educational event for professionals involved in geospatial information technologies.

PROGIS-Conference 2006

Date: April 19-20, 2006

Place: Vienna, Austria

The event explores background, legislation, needs and technologies for farm advisory systems, as they are necessary to comply with the new situations like commitments regarding Cross Compliance, documentation needs to ensure food- and feed-traceability, to calculate, to map etc..

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.