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May 08, 2006
Notes from MapWorld 06 Phoenix
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 I attended MapWorld in Phoenix, a new experience for me. The theme of this conference was “Location Intelligence is Hot” and it looks like it borrowed the 'Location Intelligence' part from the Location Intelligence conference held in San Francisco in April. But that's the way verbiage goes in technology - a popular, descriptive phrase sweeps the industry like wildfire, quickly on its way to becoming a geo-household moniker.


I learned that attendance was doubled from last year to 400 attendees, and those attendees were IT professionals and GIS analysts for large retail, insurance and banking concerns.


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


Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor




Industry News


Notes from MapWorld 06 Phoenix

by Susan Smith


This week I attended MapWorld in Phoenix, a new experience for me. The theme of this conference was “Location Intelligence is Hot” and it looks like it borrowed the Location Intelligence part from the Location Intelligence conference held in San Francisco in April. But that's the way verbiage goes in technology - a popular, descriptive term sweeps the industry like wildfire, quickly on its way to becoming a geo-household moniker.


I learned that attendance was doubled from last year to 400 attendees, and those attendees were IT professionals and GIS analysts for large retail, insurance and banking concerns.




Interview with Mark Cattini, MapInfo president and CEO and Mike Hickey, MapInfo COO


This interview was conducted after Mark Cattini's keynote address at MapInfo, in which he recapped what was spoken about and also answered GISWeekly's specific questions.


Mark Cattini: People care about what we do because we're making a fundamental difference in their business, that's why you've got so many people here from around the world. I spoke about location as an enterprise asset that is very often unused, and I also marry it with research we've done. There are only certain ways to drive competitive advantage in a business: how you learn, how you adapt, how you analyze and collect that information. Our view is that there are many different ways of doing that, our value proposition is around location. It is a hidden asset, and it helps you learn. When our customers talk about what we do for them, i.e., IHOP, MasterCard, Home Depot, etc., they talk of
ROIs of over 1,000 percent, or how we helped transform this or that. Those people that understand location intelligence as a discipline and have developed a core competency really do have a competitive advantage.


We shared some results of a Business Week study that we commissioned last year, 440 senior managers were interviewed about their perspectives on the market, and 6% had location, 7% were evaluating it, and the number of people evaluating it now are equivalent to three times the size of the market.


Fire eater at MapWorld Customer Appreciation Party
Everybody has the operations type systems, ERPs, supply chain managements, CRMS, to varying degrees of success. The competitive advantage with that technology is marginal rather than revolutionary which we can be. A customer like IHOP is building its entire network based on proven location intelligence capability versus a competitor that isn't, I know who I'd bet on. If you're a major telco planning a network around potential customers, the ability to predict the dollar value of several types customers and predict that they will be your customers then you want to figure out where they are, versus a company that's not doing that, that's competitive advantage.


Mike Hickey: It's almost as though there's a philosophical difference, they are thinking about technology and everybody should have a feature function and GIO and hire a bunch of people who understand GIS.


Location intelligence is more about integrating capabilities, about delivering a solution that fits within a customer's business, within how they do their job, within the work processes, within their current applications, so it is a more commercial focus. It means more than just the technology, it means predictive analytics capabilities, data information, vertical market expertise, application expertise, and that's why we think its different and why it's more relevant to some of those key commercial markets.


How quickly can one of your systems be implemented, and how easy is it to use?


Cattini - It matters whether they're going to do it themselves or have an organization like us to do it for them. When people talk about solutions, it doesn't mean anything. What it is: a customer has a problem and it gets solved. How you solve it isn't really important if the customer is happy. So you solve it using a technology or using a packaged piece of software technology, or highly customized services onsite.


In the case of IHOP it was easy for IHOP to deploy because we basically did it for them. We can handle a customer from their start to finish. We still have customers who just buy loads of MapInfo Professional at the higher end.


The core competence of companies like IHOP, Home Depot, The Gap and Children's Place is retail. In talking to the vice president of real estate at Children's Place, within five minutes you hear what he wants: he wants to understand if this is a could location for his site. He doesn't care much how you get the answer as long as it's accurate. We're going to do that for him. His deal is how he wheels and deals and gets property. Customers like him don't think about technology, they think, does it help me become more efficient, does it help me realize market opportunities.


I think they think of these three components: software, data and services, and somehow those components work with some secret sauce, and based on that I put my stores in the right place or build my network out in the right place, or I underwrite more intelligently if I'm in insurance.


They want the house, not the hammer and nails.


If you look at our business, we call it desktop mapping but in a sense it's GIS, right? And the only technology that existed was for the public sector, right? On a global scale, only 30% of our business is in the public sector. We created $170 million worth of business this year (2006 projections) and $130 million of that is not in the public sector. It is in telco, insurance, retail banking, and retail.


What sets MapInfo apart from other GIS companies who also come in and provide services?


We've always really focused on our standards. We've always really tried hard to allow our companies to take advantage of their existing infrastructures. I think the most proprietary thing we do is MapBasic - everything else is absolutely standards based every which way. A lot of what we do is user friendly. I think in our DNA as a business we're able to talk commercial. Here's the acid test: I always ask new customers: how did we win your business?


Customers say that MapInfo asks about a customer's business, what do they want to do, what is the business problem, etc. Our job is to work with the customer to solve the problem. We have people who model location at senior management levels within these big multimillion dollar retailers for years, so we brought that into to the business. We've recently acquired that capability in financial services, we've built our knowledge in telco, we've been selling into the telco space successfully for 10-13 years, so we have the main expertise so we can describe and discuss with our customers what it is we're supposed to be doing for them. We've got the underpinning technology and the data to deliver
it: which in itself is millions of lines of intellectual property.


To whom do you do most of the selling to in a customer organization?


It's different with each industry who makes the buying decisions. 80% of our business this year comes from our key verticals, last year it was 75% . Even though the overall numbers go up in the company, that's being driven by those verticals and that's happening because you're solving very important problems fro them. They are deciding where to build a store and where to put a network infrastructure for making current business decisions. Usually the business owner in those things, who has the functional responsibility for that process, has a lot of the decision making authority on how to implement things operationally. Some industries are different: in insurance, for example, you have
issues, such as they don't trust their own IT shops, and don't trust outsourcing IT shops. They've been under delivered for three years from the IT shop, so a lot of times you have to sell to both the IT shop and the C-level people. But for the most part, it's the C-level people or the high vice presidents.


In the public sector, it's very often the CIO, because GIS is just an understood architectural issue there. Now that the application footprints are becoming bigger we are seeing more CIO involvement.


Hickey: We have built this business on very location centric applications. We stick a bunch of our tools together and build applications for people.


We've got our enterprise Envinsa location platform (a service oriented architecture (SOA)) that has taken all those disparate tools and now its capabilities are joined in the platform, so you can still go into that client and solve that one departmental location problem. But now you can location enable any other systems that you have in your business. This means that if you have supply chain management system, HRS system, CRM, sales force automation, etc. you can make better decisions by location enabling those systems.


How long has Evinsa been available?

Cattini: It was originally launched about five years ago, and we built Vodaphone's LBS infrastructure with it. That's the genesis, then we went through a couple of iterations but Evinsa's been out for a couple of years. Evinsa spills across all our vertical markets now. The cool thing about the product is the infrastructure capability allows you to integrate location into your applications where ever they are because it's standards focused, it has security encryption, enterprise management capability and “console control.” Rather than it being a series of individual products that needs to sit within a controlled environment, it's self contained. It's exactly what our IT people
are looking for. MasterCard were first million dollar customer with Evinsa.


Is Evinsa easily integratable with the other business systems in a typical company?

Hickey: There are always integration challenges with the enterprise so we typically bundle some services and implementation for setup - each customer's different.


Is there backwardly compatibility?

Cattini: Right now somebody would build MapXtreme geocoding and take some data and build an application. In the future what they'll be able to do is just buy Evinsa, turn on the components that are like MapXtreme, or turn on the components that are just like MapMarker. When we have that 100% functionality shifted to the platform we should have backward compatibility. One of the things we have right now is the other products are a little deeper. When we first started building Evinsa we took the 80/20 rule: 20% functionality gets 80% of what clients want. Now we continue to evolve that. Over the next 18-24 months, the platform will have 100% functionality and capability and we can move
everything to it.


Are you planning to retire any products?

Cattini: MapMarker is a brand name that people recognize for geocoding. Some people in the insurance space don't care about a brand for geocoding, i.e., they have the application and geocoding is one of the things it does. For them, in implementing Evinsa, we will turn on the geocoding. We have a telecommunications company that still likes MapMarker that they have in a customer service application. We'll still sell them MapMarker as a brand, but underneath it will be the Evinsa platform as opposed to a standalone. We will still maintain legacy product lines while building out the Evinsa platform.


Are there other industries you're looking into as potential markets?

Hickey: Our Emerging Markets team look at other industries and take a horizontal approach. That's actually how our financial services teams got started and now we split them up into a specific banking team, home sales teams, strategic industry management teams and insurance. The team's job is to figure out where our value propositions are next.


Who are your competitors?

Hickey: In the mature GIS space or public sector - ESRI. It's hard to go up against them and their strategy. In telecom we used to see Autodesk out there because they came from the engineering/CAD side, but we don't see them much anymore. We used to see them when location based services was out there.


Someone doing what we do needs to have a person for GIS, for several data products, someone with vertical expertise. They need to bring in four or five companies and try to integrate them all. We really don't have any competition in these new markets like insurance, as they're not going to line item all these things and look for who they can get for geocoding, for example, and let their people put it all together and then give best price on all these different things.


What about partnerships?

Hickey: We acquired ten companies in the last ten years, and four in the last year and a half. Usually our acquisition strategy is tailored to our verticalization strategy as a company so we identify those skill gaps and domain experience gaps that we need.


The more we know about our customer's business, the more we can come up with the next idea or suggestion, the next way to improve how they do business.




Keynote: BI and LI: Putting It all Together for Operational Excellence


In this panel discussion-style keynote moderated by Jon Winslow, speakers Gail McGiffin, Partner, Accenture, Tom Villani, MicroStrategy, VP global alliances and Mike Hickey, COO, MapInfo addressed such hot topics as the need for accessing data from many different software providers and systems, Google, and integrating location into non-traditional business intelligence.


Mike Hickey said that clients are able to gain knowledge about location these days, particularly as there is so much buzz about Google. The applications being built around Google are not GIS applications, so you need to be sure they fit into the environment you're moving them into. However, Google does raise the awareness of the location business.


Tom Villani said that BI is a platform that allows people to tap into their databases in order to supply meaningful information for supply chain providers and others and make some sense of it. With BI, customers can build their own analytical reporting allocation, “we provide a platform that resides on top of a database, that allows people to do complex analytical functions that you can't do on your own.” Where BI and LI come together, you can get a visual capability to see the “Where” of people, results, statistics, and the bottom line of cost, revenue, and many other benefits to the organization.


70% of stress is involved in managing databases and building reports, according to Villani, and customers need a system where you can take data from a database and assemble reports in a more efficient manner (managing non-geographic data within the applications they are developing).


80-85% of those with BI were interested in having LI (which to their way of thinking, was “having a map in there”)


Why is there such a strong desire among BI users to have LI?


“A lot of people want to see the Where of inventory, parts, etc.,” explained Villani. “One of the things that comes about when you put a spatial element to it is, you actually see areas you didn't know about. For example, in a geographic area where you are taking a specific analysis, you didn't know it was next to a factory, because you couldn't see it in the other data.”


Hickey said that at a number of MapInfo installations, customers are becoming more aggressive in the reverse viewpoint. “Now I'm getting graphic information, what if the data was even more intelligent before I got the map? they ask. They want to know, how good can I make the data?”


Gail McGiffin said that they are definitely facing a data problem in the insurance industry. Data rich information sits in legacy systems 30-40 years old, sometimes lacking a front office, and the challenge is just getting data into the insurance office. Secondly, she explained that it is not easy to get to a single legacy policy platform, an additional challenge in getting data quality and consistency. Because of this, you often find lack of data congruence: data definitions are different. Just defining data structure as you develop LI, you have to start with a good repository of data which can be your own data as well as external data. “It doesn't help that there are events such as
the World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina, event-based risks that put pressure on the industry to do a better job, to have much better vehicles in place for handling and managing that data,” McGiffin stated.


Benefits of BI and LI:

1) Clients may have more rapid decision making capabilities as they are able to get more accurate data faster, which helps them leverage the intelligence into every decision made.


2) Although not fully evolved, the user can use the disparate solutions offered by BI and LI to make the work process easier.


3) The customer has a data repository and can build real time applications and can much more dynamically react and change their business rules and adjust to market opportunities.


McGiffin said that we will continue to see more external data, and will have to build core competence around cleansing data. Other looks at the future: RFID tags and sensor based technology will allow insurance companies to have a more granular insight into their clients' behavior, the convergence of mapping technologies and search engines will explode possibilities of buying decisions.




Technical Session: Putting it all Together: Achieve amazing results through convergence of Location and Business Intelligence


Jon Winslow, who introduced panelists for the morning breakfast keynote, was this session's speaker. Business Intelligence (BI) came to the attention of MapInfo when they attended BI conferences, and realized that the customers of BI were the same as those of Location Information (LI). Thousands of users in a company have access to BI, which is represented by companies such as MicroStrategy, Business Objects/Crystal, Siebel Analytics, Hyperion/Brio. It is the accepted IT standard for distributing reports.


The ramifications of this for the Location Intelligence folks is pretty overwhelming: obviously by linking BI and LI, those thousands of people will expand the use of LI throughout an organization and increase the capabilities of the existing BI solution.


Winslow said the goals of MapInfo were to


Explain Business Intelligence

Explain the relationship between Business Intelligence and Location Intelligence and how they work together

How easy it is to integrate location with business intelligence


In Business Intelligence, he said, organizations store lots of data in SQL Servers, Oracle, legacy databases, Excel spreadsheets, ASCII, etc.


For example, MapInfo has a lot of databases, and it's hard to put together a simple report when the data is disparate and you must go to a lot of sources to gather it.


Business Intelligence lets you assemble metadata to explain what that user wants, whether it be units sold, revenue, etc., and allows you to draw a circle around the data you need. Using jellybeans for illustration (participants were invited to do something with the jellybeans, organize them in a certain way to give them new meaning) Winslow said that valuable assets didn't amount to a “hill of beans” unless you can do something with them. The Business Intelligence challenge: you have a lot of high value data and need a solution with which to analyze and organize it to create new meaning.


Things that you can do:

- add location to grid reports

- perform proximity based query

- map should be able to be used by everyone in the organization


To illustrate the importance of the link between BI and LI, Winslow said that human resources uses BI extensively for compensation, overtime, employee attrition, upcoming hires, employee profit trends, benefits usage analysis. In planning for something like the bird flu, he said that 15% of U.S. companies have a plan in place. Futurists expect Google mash-ups to display zip by zip spread of outbreaks. A geographically organized report can turn a flat report into a map without leaving the BI environment that is used by the whole organization.


In the accompanying demo, Winslow showed that location intelligence provided by MapInfo is built into the existing BI solution. There is no user interface and no administrative tools. “You can look at a report to populate with data from MicroStrategy,” said Winslow. “and drill down to find subcomponents such as revenue, etc. You can do this in MapInfo as well. You can see if a store is doing poorly and if it is positioned near competition. It's important to have proper codes stored in the data warehouse. You can use Safe Software's Spatial ETL to transform your database to be spatially enabled.”


Andy Meehan, CTO of Integeo, based in Sydney, spoke of their Dashboard product which provides spatial analysis services to the BI platform. At this time they have a fully integrated version of Excel and Hyperion and are working on others.


He gave examples of the Dashboard used for fisheries management, showing the depth at which you catch fish; law enforcement, where they were able to reduce the incidence of breaking and entering crimes by 50%; real estate, where types of houses can be noted and connected to the agencies that sell them, plus what's available today.


All these applications are built without writing any code, as Integeo writes the code. Meehan said that their view is to bring spatial analysis within the grasp of business analysis and to combine external data with internal data, to create “a single view of the truth.”




Keynote: “The Home Depot: Building the Best Store Locations”


Mike LaFerle, Depot, VP of Real Estate
Mike LaFerle, vice president of Real Estate, Home Depot, pointed out that Home Depot is MapInfo's oldest customer. From their first store built 25 years ago, Home Depot has expanded to 300 retail stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, taking up a grand total of 260 million square feet of space, “second only to WalMart,” according to LaFerle. Home Depot is expanding into geographic areas such as Canada, Mexico and China and creating new entities such as Home Depot Supply. They are now completing a new store every 48 hours. In 20 years, the company grew to revenues of $40 million, and in the last five years their revenue has risen to $81 million.


LaFerle credits a lot of their success to the effective use of predictive analysis to drive new store locations. Although some say the home improvement arena is “saturated,” LaFerle said that they don't believe that at Home Depot. With those figures, who would?


To enhance their core business, they focus on store modernization, store readiness, IT, and leadership development. These factors drive customer shopping experience, conversion, and higher average ticket.


To extend the business, Home Depot focuses on

- new stores/new formats (urban/rural)

- at home services (catalogs - online)

- direct-to-home

- homedepot.com

- credit

- Pro (in-the-box)


These factors drives new locations, new services, new retail channel, new customers. Home Depot has moved into densely populated areas such as Manhattan and urban areas of Canada to offer a different kind of hardware store. They are also in the supply business as a result of numerous acquisitions made for construction, electric, plumbing, concrete preparation, lumber and much more.


LaFerle said that with MapInfo they are able to leverage analytical expertise, form a strategy, and enjoy unparalleled sales growth. Important is the relationship between retailer, market research and real estate. He believes that there is a trillion dollar market out there in North America alone.




Top News of the Week


The City of San Mateo uses a suite of GIS applications for staff to access geospatial data. The City wanted to provide more intuitive access to its GIS data and make it accessible to the public. Google Earth offered a simple and easy to use interface that is quickly understood by all users. However, the back end GIS was not able to deliver geospatial data directly to Google Earth. The City asked Farallon Geographics to build a prototype that integrates the two systems for real-time visualization and test the functionality and processing speed for public access.


A recent RMSI study that involved merging satellite imagery with federal demographic data has produced unexpected and bountiful answers for government and business alike. The surprising results show it is possible to create “new” algorithm-based information sets by merging available census data with satellite-derived data. The study thus reveals that seemingly disparate and easily available macro-level information can now generate micro-level answers by using GIS.


Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of MapPoint(R) 2006, an industry leader in business mapping software. MapPoint 2006 can help customers improve decision-making capabilities and increase new business opportunities through the use of maps and geographical information, enabling better analysis, visualization and communication of business information. It also enhances its usefulness for mobile information workers by adding rich new Global Positioning System (GPS) integration and driver guidance capabilities so that users can make the most out of time spent away from the office. MapPoint 2006 is available today, and comes in two offerings: a stand-alone software package as well
as one that includes both the MapPoint 2006 software and a new GPS locator hardware kit.


Intergraph Corporation announced ImageStation(R) PixelPipe, an integrated solution for enterprise orthophoto production designed to meet the increasing demand for orthophotos, larger projects and tighter project schedules.


PixelPipe provides a single seamless solution, from one vendor, for all aspects of orthophoto production, including image and metadata management, intelligent distributed processing, rigorous quality assurance/quality control processes and automation.


Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher cartographic software for Adobe Illustrator and Geographic Imager spatial tools for Adobe Photoshop announces that National Geographic Magazine in Washington, DC has chosen both MAPublisher and Geographic Imager for their map creation needs.


Multiple MAPublisher licenses of both products have been purchased by the NGS, along with onsite MAPublisher training for its cartographic designers.


Airborne 1 released LiDAR XLR8R 3.0 upgrade to LiDAR XLR8R's beta version 2.0. The product of a key partnership with Canadian software developer, Ambercore Software Inc., LiDAR XLR8R 3.0 is a robust LiDAR data management, analysis, and visualization tool for LiDAR and geospatial data consumers.


The XLR8R 3.0 version offers users batch processing and feature merger capability, as well as enhanced pyramiding, 3D visualization, and geo-referencing functionality for raster data.




Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements


Microsoft Corp. announced it has acquired Vexcel Corp., a worldwide leader in photogrammetry, imagery and remote sensing technologies. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.


This deal, the second in the past six months for Microsoft's Virtual Earth business unit, was done to enhance the talent, technologies, products and services dedicated to fulfilling Microsoft's broad vision for best-of-breed local search and mapping solutions for consumers, businesses and government.


Tensing USA announced that it has been named a Technology Partner by Safe Software, a leading provider of extract, transform and load (ETL) tools for spatial data. As a Technology Partner, Tensing USA is able to integrate Safe Software products, including its popular Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) suite of ETL tools, into the full line of Tensing Mobile GIS solutions.


Telmap, provider of mobile Mapping and Navigation solutions, announced that the Telmap-driven mobile navigation service offered by Israel's leading cellular operator, Cellcom, is now available for two key Nokia S40 phones -the 6230i and 6280 - as well as for an extensive list of Windows Mobile, Symbian and Java devices. The service, called "Cellcom Navigator", is based on Telmap Navigator, Telmap's unique cross-platform mobile mapping and navigation solution.


Intermap Technologies Corp. announced that it has been awarded a $1.57 million contract to provide elevation and geospatial data from the company's NEXTMap USA and NEXTMap International data collection. Under the agreement, the company will perform work and deliver radar imagery and elevation products over the next twelve months.


QC Data, an international solutions provider to some of the world's largest telecommunications companies, utilities and other infrastructure based organizations, announced it has acquired certain key Intellectual Property from Barton Creek Technologies, Inc. a privately owned company.


This acquisition will extend and strengthen QC Data's offering to telecommunication companies through the addition of a full suite of proven software tools designed to provide data migration and automated clean-up for migrations from the Intergraph Framme format to the Telcordia Network Engineer product.


GISFocus group announced the acquisition of KORDAB International AB. Through this acquisition current and new customers will have large benefits through standards-based and sustainable solutions combined with a broad development and market experience. KORDAB's products will be able to benefit from the rich GIS functionality of ESRI's ArcGIS products which means that KORDAB can focus on improving its customer solutions. Long term this means more cost effective solutions.


DAT/EM Systems and PCI Geomatics are pleased to announce the signing of a strategic distributor partnership. The agreement will allow both companies to market, distribute and sell each others complimentary geospatial and photogrammetric technology in certain key markets, including DAT/EM's SUMMIT Evolution Stereoplotter software and PCI Geomatics Geomatica desktop software.


Both companies have previously worked together to integrate their technologies; particularly PCI Geomatics' high resolution, airphoto and satellite pluggable functions with DAT/EM's software.


The Carbon Project, the world leader in Open-Geospatial .NET technology, has announced a reseller relationship with GlobeXplorer, provider of the world's largest commercial library of aerial photos, satellite imagery and geographic maps. The agreement calls for GlobeXplorer to make global imagery data available through its ImageConnect® WMS service and for The Carbon Project to add this powerful online service to its new CarbonTools PRO toolkit and Gaia 3 application suite.




Announcements


ESRI's 2006/2011 demographic data updates and projections were presented by Lynn Wombold, ESRI's chief demographer, at ESRI's third annual Business GeoInfo Summit, held in Boston, Massachusetts, April 30-May 2, 2006. During this special session, Wombold outlined new demographic trends that were revealed during the update process; discussed the posthurricane population findings; and explained the new, innovative methodology that was used to create ESRI's 2006/2011 demographic data updates.




Awards


MapInfo Corporation, global provider of location intelligence solutions, announced the winners of the 2006 MapInfo Meridian Awards(TM). This awards program recognizes MapInfo customers who are driving business innovation with dynamic uses of location intelligence technology. See
press release




People


Navigon, one of Europe's leading authorities in software solutions for navigation products and services, announced the appointment of Andreas Hecht as Senior Vice President, General Manager, of the Americas. Hecht will lead Navigon operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and South America. An authority in the navigation sector, Hecht is a 10-year veteran of Navteq, creators of the world's most widely-used digital maps, where he served in senior executive roles in technology and business development in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.




New Products


LeadDog Consulting, LLC announced the release of geographic databases of city streets for the Egyptian cities: Cairo, Alexandria, BaniSuef, Fayed, Fayoum, Minya, Hurgada, Sharm Shick, Arish, and Sohag to support asset-tracking, government, military, and commercial GIS applications. Designed to help companies track their assets and provide accurate base level mapping, LeadDog's product provides numerous vector layers and attributes such as:


- Streets at 1:10,000 scale

- Street names

- Street classifications

- Extensive Points of Interest (government ministry offices, banks, hotels, etc…)


After a successful Beta program, Genasys announced the release of Version 9 of the GenaMap Product Suite. This powerful GIS development and distribution platform is celebrating more than 20 years providing flexible functionality and Unix and Linux support while Version 9 adds support for the Windows operating system.


The Joint Interoperability Test Command (Fort Huachuca, Ariz.) has registered GeoWorx software, produced by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, for compliance with Controlled Image Base(R) (CIB(R)) specifications as determined by the National Imagery Transmission Format Standards for exchange, storage and transmission of digital-imagery products. This is the first time a commercially available software package has been registered for compliance with CIB. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics.


Cloud Peak Software, LLC, has advanced LiDAR data processing with the introduction of Surface Magic™, a revolutionary, terrain-adaptive, bare earth extraction algorithm. Using Surface Magic™, anyone can quickly and easily create bare earth surfaces from unclassified LiDAR data. Surface Magic™ is available with Cloud Peak Software's LASEdit application, a high-performance geospatial data editor and viewer.




Around the Web


Murder in New York: Killers and their Victims in the Five Boroughs Crime Map, The New York Times, (registration required) April 28, 2006


Will Sun Open-Source Java?, Peter Galli, eWeek, April 30, 2006 - New Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz's first 100 days at the helm are about to get interesting. First up: managing an internal debate over whether the company should open-source Java.




Upcoming Events


DGI USA 2006

Date: May 8 - 10, 2006

Place: Westin Arlington Hotel Arlington, VA USA

The North American Defense Geospatial Intelligence Conference

Advancing geospatial intelligence for National Defense and Homeland Security is crucial to our efforts to disseminate data quickly, effectively gain the tactical edge, and ultimately save lives. As we face a new enemy with the War on Terror, it is critical that we come together in a cross-Service forum to seamlessly support the Warfighter and first responder through enterprise-wide transformation.


NEGIS 2006

Date: May 8 - 10, 2006

Place: Sheraton Ferncroft Resort Danvers, MA USA

NEGIS is the largest gathering of GIS professionals in New England with over 40 exhibitors. Plus, dozens of presentations.


GID 2006

Date: May 8 - 10, 2006

Place: Westin Arlington Hotel Arlington, VA USA

The rapid advancement of geospatial intelligence has gained the attention of Intelligence leaders across the globe. The benefits of geospatial intelligence to our WarFighters and first responders are crystal clear and GID 2006 offers you a forum to push the potential of geospatial intelligence to its limits!


2006 Washington GIS Conference

Date: May 8 - 10, 2006

Place: Tacoma, WA USA

The Washington State Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (WAURISA) has begun accepting presentation proposals for the 2006 Washington GIS Conference, to be held May 8 - 10, 2006, in Tacoma, Washington. WAURISA is seeking potential speakers to provide fresh, dynamic solutions to today's challenges. Presentations are invited that address the subjects of interest to GIS practitioners. This is an opportunity to share your experience, expertise, and knowledge with colleagues and offer solutions for success. Individuals chosen to present will gain recognition by their peers, raise awareness of critical issues and identify current trends in the industry.


Pennsylvania GIS Conference 2006

Date: May 16 - 17, 2006

Place: Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center Camp Hill, PA USA


BE Conference

Date: May 20 - 25, 2006

Place: Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, NC USA

The BE Conference is a once-a-year learning opportunity for Bentley users and their managers who want to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge. The BE Conference includes hundreds of information-rich sessions.


GeoAlberta 2006

Date: May 30 - June 1, 2006

Place: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Join us for Western Canada's #1 independent GIS and Geomatics show! This year, GeoAlberta will be held at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta from May 30 to June 1st, 2006. It features world class keynotes including Joseph Berry from the University of Denver and Peter Batty, CTO of Intergraph. The three-day conference is also packed with hands-on workshops, insightful sessions, engaging speakers, and plenty of fun, entertainment, and networking opportunities. This event is vital to professionals who create and promote the effective application of GIS and Geomatics. Early bird registration deadline is April 30, 2006.


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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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