[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
October 23, 2006
TerraGo Partners with In-Q-Tel
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! Some corrections to last week's story on the EGUG Conference in Albuquerque: the event drew 350 attendees including international, and the Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) was incorrectly listed as Power of New Mexico.

On another note, the ever increasing focus on information sharing between multiple agencies of the U.S. government has spurred the signing of many deals and the subsequent development of many important technologies.

This week TerraGo Technologies, known for its GeoPDF and MAP2PDF products based on Adobe PDF technology, announced that it has entered into a strategic agreement with In-Q-Tel, an independent strategic venture capital fund that focuses on geospatial technologies and identifies innovative technologies to support the missions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the larger Intelligence Community (IC). Read about it in this week's Industry News.

GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Financials, People, New Products, Around the Web and Events Calendar.

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

TerraGo Partners with In-Q-Tel

By Susan Smith

The ever increasing focus on information sharing between multiple agencies of the U.S. government has spurred the signing of many deals and the subsequent development of many important technologies.

This week TerraGo Technologies, known for its GeoPDF and MAP2PDF products based on Adobe PDF technology, announced that it has entered into a strategic agreement with In-Q-Tel, an independent strategic venture capital fund that focuses on geospatial technologies and identifies innovative technologies to support the missions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the larger Intelligence Community (IC).

This agreement is an equity and technology advancement agreement that will enhance the development of new technologies requested by government agencies such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and other In-Q-Tel Intelligence Community partners. Currently, TerraGo is used in many intelligence communities to share geospatial communities. Using a free Adobe Reader and the
GeoPDF Toolbar software, users are able to view finished digital maps, turn layers on and off, query attributes, display coordinates, measure distances and track locations via GPS without the need for specialized geospatial knowledge or training.

In-Q-Tel is a nonprofit organization independent of government that receives government funding to deliver and identify innovative technologies, and focuses on market trends and technology analysis to know what current needs could be met by future capabilities. In-Q-Tel conducts a range of investigations in R&D, universities, start ups, and venture capital. The company creates connections with the vendors and also helps to guide further development in some of the new technologies in the commercial market. Consequently, the flow of private sector capital helps innovators improve their products and develop and further advance their technological capabilities, lower costs, etc.

In the words of James Davis, TerraGo president and CEO, “In-Q-Tel serves as an accelerator for emerging technologies, proving the ability of these tools to positively impact government organizations. In-Q-Tel's support of TerraGo is validation of the increasing importance of using GeoPDF to distribute and collaborate on geospatial data and confirms the advantages of a tool that can be used anywhere, anytime by anyone.”

Davis said that In-Q-Tel has made a number of investments in companies such as Keyhole, which was acquired by Google, and is now known as Google Earth. @Last Software, another Google acquisition, was also a company that In-Q-Tel invested in. “We're excited In-Q-Tel is a partner of ours now,” said Davis.

Recapping In-Q-Tel's history, Donald Tighe, VP of External Affairs for In-Q-Tel, said
the company was founded in 1999 by the CIA. The director of the CIA was also the director of Central Intelligence for the nation, and thus that began a process of In-Q-Tel being a resource for helping deliver innovative technologies to the intelligence community, in the form of gap analysis or a technology problem set for intelligence capabilities. “Since 1999, we have continued to expand the number of agencies in the intelligence community that we deal with directly,” said Tighe. “In late '04, with the director of National Intelligence Office being formed, we became a resource for the entire intelligence community, but obviously geospatial capabilities are a very big
part of that. We have more in common both with each other and with other organizations (non-intelligence organizations) than regular citizens might imagine.” One example, noted Tighe, is that the information management requirements are similar to that of large Fortune 500 companies, in that you need to be able to analyze and search vast amounts of data, and require application integration.

In-Q-Tel is not part of the intelligence community itself. “Venture capital tends to have an equity component,” explained Tighe. “In our case it's usually a very small component because we're not a merger or acquisition kind of management company at all. We just help connect entrepreneurs and innovators with the problem sets of the intelligence community.”

Many government agencies are already using TerraGo's GeoPDF and other products, so how is this beneficial to them? “There are two primary benefits of In-Q-Tel being in a relationship like this,” said Tighe. “One is, by virtue of the equity component of the deal, it develops a relationship very different than a normal vendor-to-customer relationship where government organizations may be already using this capability. We spend a lot of time with the scientists, engineers and innovators in a given company. This allows us the ability to offer that company guidance and insight into future needs of our government partners. They might love a current capability but also may be
able to give us feedback to say it'd be great if we could have more layers, etc. so it tightens that connectivity of us being able to offer insight to a company for future product development.

Secondly, our public profile of working with companies attracts further private capital investment. The greater these companies are doing in the marketplace, the more funding and non-governmental dollars they receive to improve their product, and do advancement in subsequent releases and lower costs, etc. It is a very different kind of relationship that the government benefits from by an In-Q-Tel deal, as opposed to just finding a good product that's on the shelf. That's great in the immediate term, but we work to provide benefits down the road.”

Tighe noted that government comes to In-Q-Tel with problem sets, generally an annual problem set to solve. In-Q-Tel seeks innovation from a range of sources, including the national laboratories, universities and small companies and startups.

“Once we've identified a current or nascent technology capability, we then do due diligence to make sure we're finding best of breed,” Tighe said. Sharing and comparing information for decision making is a big priority for the government, which is looking for solutions to implement as a team, to facilitate multiple organizations working together.

Reflecting back, Tighe said the focus on information sharing among government agencies really harkens back to 1999 when 1) the leadership of the CIA and their brightest science and technology minds realized that not only had the bulk of funding for R&D segued from the private sector as opposed to cold war government driven, but that 2) the information technology explosion bubble burst, with the advent of the internet, information management, and the volume of information exploding. “They realized they couldn't afford to fail to capture the IT innovation that was occurring in the private sector. That is what resulted in the establishment of In-Q-Tel, and then obviously, two years
later, with 9/11, the national demand for greater information sharing has allowed us to provide great value to government because we are one of those shared sources,” concluded Tighe. “A source of shared technological capability. I think TerraGo's innovation exactly reflects that goal, so for us it was a real sweet spot.”

Top News of the Week

ESRI (UK) will be showcasing the latest developments in GIS software including the latest release of its ArcGIS suite at a series of Tech Updates across the UK. Around 500 delegates are expected to attend the four, free, one-day seminars, aimed at geographic information systems (GIS) professionals. The events are being held in Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and London in October and November.

The seminars are designed for current users of ESRI software, including GIS analysts and coordinators. IT/IS managers and technology strategists will also benefit from attending. They are being held at the following locations:

Edinburgh 31 October 2006
Manchester 09 November 2006
Birmingham 14 November 2006
London 16 November 2006

While there is no cost to attend, seating is limited and pre-registration is required. For further information and to register, visit
ESRI UK TechUpdate

CH2M HILL's Enterprise Spatial Solutions (ESS) business announced it has been awarded a $400k contract by the Mohawk Valley Water Authority (MVWA) in Utica, NY to provide spatial application development, data capture and modeling services. These services will support the development of an enterprise geographic information system (GIS) and business model of the MVWA water distribution system.

Red Hen Systems, Inc. announced the release of IsWhere™ for Google Earth, a simple, easy-to-use utility that displays where GPS-tagged photos were taken. IsWhere works with any image that has Global Positioning System (GPS) data stored in the image's EXIF header. This new utility provides a method for photographers and photo analysts to quickly verify and communicate the spatial location of photos. With a right mouse click or drag-and-drop selection, users pass images to IsWhere to quickly display them and their locations inside the Windows version of Google Earth.


Tele Atlas, a global provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location based solutions, announced an agreement with Lectronix Inc., a supplier of automotive integrated electronics technology, software and product design services, to provide high-quality digital map data and related content to new vehicle market segments such as trucking and recreational vehicles (RV).


Getting students in the K-12 grade levels excited about earth-science studies is not always an easy task--especially if schools and teachers do not have the right tools on hand. But one Virginia-based group is offering assistance to Washington, D.C. metro area schools so that educators can purchase the resources necessary to spur interest in geographic studies.

The United States Geospatial Foundation (USGIF), through its recently created James and Susan Clapper Education Initiative Fund, has raised more than $1,600 for area schools to purchase educational materials relating to earth-science studies such as maps, geological tools, compasses, books and related software.

In celebration of Earth Science Week, 1350 students from more than 20 local schools will visit the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park on Friday, Oct. 13, from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., to meet with scientists for hands-on activities, workshops, and demonstrations.

Blue Marble Geographics announces the GeoObjects® Royalty Free Promotion, available for a limited time. GeoObjects, Blue Marble's map display and data translation developer toolkit, is the display library behind much of their software.

Pictometry International Corp., a worldwide provider in digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software announced that it has successfully delivered over eight million (8,000,000) digital aerial images for the six month period ending July 31, 2006. Pictometry has a 99% share of the oblique aerial imaging market with a 99% customer retention rate. This delivery of oblique and orthophoto data now brings Pictometry's aerial coverage of the United States to approximately 50% of where the U.S. population resides. The company anticipates having 80% of the developed U.S. covered in 2007.


MapInfo Corporation, provider of location intelligence solutions, will hold its fourth quarter fiscal 2006 conference call on Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 4:45 p.m. EST / 1:45 p.m. PST. The conference call will be Webcast live at
www.mapinfo.com/investors or
www.investorcalendar.com. The fourth quarter earnings announcement will be issued at 4:00 p.m. EST on November 2, 2006.

An audio replay of the call will be available starting at 6:00 p.m. EST on November 2, 2006 through November 9, 2006. To access the recording, domestic callers may dial into 877-519-4471 and international callers into 973-341-3080 (passcode: 7985551).

SAN Holdings, Inc. announced for its quarter ending September 30, 2006, the company received $2.3 million in new orders for its EarthWhere(TM) geospatial data management software and related products and services. Customer billings for this same period were more than $1.7 million based on preliminary unaudited results.

OSI Geospatial Inc. announced its financial results for the third fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2006. All amounts are reported in U.S. dollars and in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

For the third quarter of 2006, OSI Geospatial reported revenue of $4.3 million, up from $2.6 million for the same quarter in 2005. The $1.7 million increase includes $2.0 million in land and air systems revenue gained through the company's U.S. systems operations, and a $210,000 increase in mapping revenue. Marine systems revenue decreased $534,000 due to the timing of contract awards.


East View Cartographic (EVC) announced the addition of Joseph Njangiru to its staff as its General Manager - Africa. The appointment comes as the company continues its leading role as a supplier of the world's most authoritative mapping and geospatial data. Mr. Njangiru's responsibilities include product launch, management, and the success of EVC's in-continent African operations. In addition his responsibilities include country-specific cartographic product selection and procurement, as well as government copyright and reseller agreement negotiations. Mr. Njangiru's activities will be based from Nairobi, Kenya.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), announced the selection of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Science Team. These scientists and engineers will advise the USGS and NASA on issues critical to the success of the LDCM. Expected to launch soon after 2010, the LDCM is designed to supply Landsat-like data from the next generation of Earth observing satellites.

New Products

Trimble introduced its new AgGPS(R) Implement Steering system for keeping implements pulled by tractors using the Trimble RTK Autopilot(TM) automated steering systems on the same repeatable path, even on extremely sloped fields. The announcement was made at the Sunbelt Farm Expo.

The system includes its own implement-mounted GPS receiver and T3 roll-compensated control system. A single display in the tractor communicates desired path information to the implement, instantly adjusting the steerable coulters. This information instructs the implement to directly follow in the path of the tractor.

Visual Learning Systems Inc. (VLS)' new release of LIDAR Analyst 4.1 is now available to automatically extract features and more, in a simple and straight-forward manner. LIDAR Analyst completely automates the collection of attributed 3-D buildings, trees, forested regions and bare earth from airborne LIDAR. New capabilities include direct processing of point clouds in .LAS format, extraction of realistic 3-D buildings with complex rooftops, and access to a suite of 3-D Shapefile editing tools.

terra IMS announced the release of its mapicons Dynamic Generator. The mapicons Dynamic Generator is a browser-based application that allows users to easily and quickly generate graphic images in PNG format for use as map markers in Google™ Maps and Yahoo!™ Maps.

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:
GRMN), announced enhancements to its all-glass, G1000 integrated avionics suite. These upgrades simplify operation, enhance situational awareness and increase safety during flight and when taxiing. Garmin's FliteCharts(TM), ChartView(TM), and SafeTaxi(TM) will be on display at Garmin's exhibit (#2853) at the National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting and Convention, October 17-19, 2006, in Orlando, Florida.

Optech Incorporated, a leader in the development and manufacture of lidar survey instruments, is pleased to announce the introduction of their new ALTM Gemini.

The Gemini is the most recent member of the ever growing ALTM family, complementing the ALTM 3100EA. While maintaining the full performance characteristics of the ALTM 3100EA, the Gemini offers higher altitude operation at its peak repetition rates. A user can now operate 100 kHz laser rep rates from altitudes up to 2 km. Other modes of operation have similarly enhanced performance ranges. This greatly improves the survey efficiency of the ALTM by more than doubling the area coverage rate. There will be opportunities for those clients who wish to upgrade their older ALTM models.

Optech Incorporated announces the release of an additional feature for its ILRIS-3D laser scanner, the Motion Compensation option. This option increase the scanner's functionality in difficult environments.

LeadDog Consulting, LLC announced the release of detailed geographic databases of major roads for Ecuador and city streets for Quito, Guayaquil, & Cuenca to support military, government, asset-tracking, and commercial GIS applications. Designed to deliver accurate positional data, assist organizations 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 (airports, hospitals, government offices, etc…)

-Water and Landmark polygons

-Political division and borders

The GeoInformation® Group, publishers of Cities Revealed aerial photography, announced that it has captured aerial imagery of Belfast at 12.5 cm resolution. This high-resolution aerial imagery dataset was captured on 16th September 2006 and is the most current aerial imagery available of Belfast, at this resolution.

IPC Systems, Inc. launched a unique, map-driven dispatch solution that speeds critical response times and improves resource and event management by delivering instant, visual access to real-time information. IPC Systems, Inc. has been a leading provider of mission-critical communications solutions to global enterprises for more than 30 years.

Orbit Geospatial Technologies announced its free Orbit Explorer 4.1 and Orbit Explorer Plus for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, 32-bit and 64-bit Linux and most Unix platforms.

Download your copy now from

Orbit Explorer 4.1 is the free viewing, consulting, inspection and annotation tool from the Orbit GIS family of desktop products. It is now available for all Windows and Linux, Unix platforms. Orbit Explorer provides equal consulting capabilities on each of these platforms, allowing to access local file-based resources, Multiresolution imagery (e.g. the Orbit portable OMI image format), or remote servers.

Bentley users can download a new SELECT update for WaterCAD and WaterGEMS V8 XM Edition, including support for Autodesk's AutoCAD 2007 platform. Support for AutoCAD 2007 for SewerGEMS and CivilStorm will also be available at the end of November 2006.

Maptuit Corp. announced the commercial availability of “Maptuit NaviGo™,” the industry's most anticipated client agnostic in-cab navigation service available to date. Maptuit NaviGo's content will provide the professional truck driver and trucking companies with high-end, interactive maps, and audible turn-by-turn truck specific directions; a luxury that to date only existed in consumer vehicles, and will run on several WinCE and Winmobile 5 Platforms and devices utilizing Wi-Fi, Cellular or Satellite modes of communication.

Leica Geosystems announced the introduction of its Leica ADS40 2nd Generation Airborne Digital Sensor. In 2001, the company was first to introduce large-format digital cameras with its Leica ADS40. With more than 50 Airborne Digital Sensors already delivered worldwide, Leica Geosystems has now developed two new sensor heads - SH51 and SH52 - for this successful system.

Around the Web

Lessons from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Topic of Public Forum, October 16, 2006 - Newswise - How coastal communities manage risks associated with major tsunamis is an issue of global importance following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 200,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage in 11 nations. The issue also has important implications for the general public on Cape Cod and in coastal communities throughout the United States.

October 12, 2006, Associated Press - An open-government group sued Santa Clara County on Wednesday seeking to break up what it called a "government monopoly" on the county's digital mapping data.

The California First Amendment Coalition accuses the county of violating the state Public Records Act by charging hefty fees to access the so-called "base map" of the county's geographic information system, or GIS. Santa Clara claims the data is copyrighted and proprietary.

Upcoming Events

NYS GIS 2006

Date: October 23 - 24, 2006

Place: Crowne Plaza Hotel Lake Placid, NY USA

Meet Talbot Brooks and Twyla McDermott, two key people who responded to the hurricane Katrina. They will be part of a spellbinding panel at beautiful Lake Placid. The panel will demonstrate GIS techniques used to analyze storm surge, power outages and map out missing persons reports and calls for service during this incredible time.

2006 ESRI Health GIS Conference

Date: October 23 - 26, 2006

Place: Denver, CO USA

The ESRI Health GIS Conference will provide a forum for participants to examine current capabilities and coming opportunities for managing and sharing geospatial data and analysis in a GIS framework for community health programs, healthcare delivery, hospitals, epidemiology, disease surveillance, health research, and more.

2006 ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit

Date: October 23 - 26, 2006

Place: Denver, CO USA

This conference is for those in local, regional, state, and federal government, utilities, and private-sector organizations who establish priorities and set directions for their organizations and work to improve systems for public protection and business continuity.

2006 Virginia GIS Conference

Date: October 23 - 24, 2006

Place: Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, Roanoke, VA USA

The VA GIS Conference has been organized and sponsored annually by the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) for seventeen years. The GIS Conference draws over 400 professionals from local, state, federal government, private sector and universities.

Geomatics 2006

Date: October 25 - 26, 2006

Place: Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Geomatics 2006 symposium will address both public- and private-sector managers and personnel playing an active role in strategic and operational processes, whether geomatics professionals or not. Participants will have a chance to hear knowledgeable speakers present their latest achievements, their new products and services or their vision of the future. As in past years, visitors will be treated to a large commercial exhibition bringing together the key hardware, software and service players.

AGI User Exchange 2006 (WEST)

Date: October 25 - 26, 2006

Place: San Diego Marriott Mission Valley 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego, CA 92108 USA

Join the experts at the AGI User Exchange 2006 in Washington, DC (Oct. 17 & 18) or San Diego, CA (Oct. 25 & 26). Learn analysis for land, sea, air, and space from user presentations, technology demonstrations, and peer-to-peer discussions with AGI astrodynamicists, developers, and product managers.

ESRI Latin American User Conference

Date: October 25 - 27, 2006

Place: Los Tajibos Hotel & Convention Center Santa Cruz , Bolivia

The Latin American GIS Users Conference is an annual itinerant event that gathers organizations from different parts of the world, specially from Latin America with the goal to exhibit the several applications of SIG and encourage the use of its different tools.

ESRI Middle East and North Africa User Conference

Date: October 31 - November 2, 2006

Place: Le Royal Hotel Amman, Jordan

InfoGraph, ESRI's authorized distributor in Jordan and ESRI Inc, U.S.A are pleased to announce the 9th Middle East and Africa Conference for ESRI Users. The main tracks will encourage focus on topics such as Transportation, Utilities and Energy, Health and Human Services, Cadastre, Education, Defense and Homeland Security and Emergency Services; many sessions will also appeal to a wider range of attendance interested in planning and resource management, communitywide mapping projects and technology in general.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.

For more discussions, follow this link …