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December 11, 2006
1Spatial Addresses Hot Topic of Spatial Data Management
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!

Welcome to GISWeekly! Spatial data management has become a hot topic for geospatial and IT. This week Laser-Scan changed its name to 1Spatial to better reflect its focus on the spatial data marketplace. Although the company originated in 1969, when it built laser plotters, it has evolved from that through the scanning of paper maps to its present iteration as the creator of digital databases. This includes spatial database management and most specifically spatial data quality control. 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 at

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Best wishes,


Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News


1Spatial Addresses Hot Topic of Spatial Data Management

by Susan Smith

This week Laser-Scan changed its name to 1Spatial to better reflect its focus on the spatial data marketplace. Although the company originated in 1969, when it built laser plotters, it has evolved from that through the scanning of paper maps to its present iteration as the creator of digital databases. This includes spatial database management and most specifically spatial data quality control.

CEO Mike Sanderson said the company produced its own object oriented database environment in the middle 90s. They have done numerous large projects such as OS MasterMap® for Ordnance Survey Great Britain, which has replaced the LandLine® product. In addition to their work in the UK and Europe, 1Spatial has previously done work for U.S. government agencies such as NIMA, NGA and NOAA.

Generally, 1Spatial has worked with organizations that are using large volumes of very complex data. "I joined 1Spatial five years ago to start what was called the Radius program and that was to take some of this technology that had been proven in our own database environment and move it into a mainstream IT environment," said Sanderson. "At that time it seemed that Oracle was the way to go because they were the market leader and also technically provided the functionality we needed to provide our next product, which was Radius Topology."

After years of testing features in their own environment and most recently in an Oracle Spatial environment, 1Spatial had the geometric and topological processing ability to put topology into their engine. In 2002, Radius Topology launched as a transparent, interoperable solution that would work with a standard Oracle spatial data type.

"One of the things we started to find was that with Radius Topology we detected a lot of geometric errors," said Sanderson. "Depending on how you set up your rules, you can automatically fix something like 85% to 90% of the data. But for many organizations, they don't necessarily want to automatically fix the data, they want to determine or resolve why the errors are there, or maybe there aren't errors, maybe they are valid exceptions to the rule."

Sanderson said they saw from this that there was a real lack in the marketplace for some kind of meaningful data quality certification; a way to not only identify patterns and rules, but then to discover the reasons behind this and then to find ways to check rule conformance with data and provide fix up tools. "So Radius Studio was born."

Radius Studio is a pure web browser application that runs on the application server. It is IE and Firefox supported with no downloads and no applets, and so anybody in the organization who has access to the internet on their desktop can access Studio and access the available data in the organization or anywhere else on the web through FDO and WFS. It is standards based, supporting W3C, OWL, OASIS and OGC.  Studio can be used to develop rules in an interface and it is not necessary to be a developer to define these rules. People can quickly build their business rules, comment on them, and make them available for others to comment on them. There is also a Data Quality

Steward that makes sure the rules repository is being used to check the quality of data, that it is current, and has only authorized and verified rules inside the repository. There can also be nodes and elements inside rules, with complex conditions and queries. There is a wide spectrum of different user types for Studio, according to Sanderson.

Using Oracle Fusion Middleware allows the use of Oracle MapViewer for data portrayal, as well as full compliance with Service Oriented Architecture principles and integration into BPEL workflows.   In addition, support for the Oracle Database by both Radius products allows advanced data storage and management along with potential transaction management capabilities with Oracle Work Space Manager (WM). "We are leveraging the whole Oracle technology stack to provide solutions that operate seamlessly in the modern mainstream IT environment," noted Sanderson.

Sanderson said that 1Spatial was one of the first companies to address these spatial data quality issues that were not just translating formats and exchanging data, but providing a meaningful way to quantitatively measure the data quality. You can then check the rules and conformance against the data you have. This extends to managing data quality levels throughout an organization's lifecycle management. Spatial data management is such a hot topic that OGC has proposed a working group on the subject and its formation will be debated at the forthcoming Technical Committee meeting in San Diego in December 2006.

Large organizations such as IBM, TeleAtlas and Ordnance Survey Ireland, who are all part of 1Spatial's beta program, have extensive rule bases that they wish to manage and have extremely high quality data that they need to maintain. Generally organizations have enormous investments in data, but many of them don't know how to describe their data quality level. "We're trying to get people to think more about data quality." Sanderson said they offer more "business intelligence" than GIS, as they focus on things like data profiling and data mining.

"Some companies have spent over 1 million pounds to produce data that they're just using as digital wallpaper," explained Sanderson. "They're not harnessing the value of that spatial data for analysis and decision making, and a lot of the reason for that is data quality. The data is not fit for purpose so they can't harness it effectively. We find departments have either captured the same data or want to access the data they want to use in decision making but didn't know it was available (at their company), so went ahead and purchased it themselves. We use Studio for what we call ‘collaboration platforms.' People can see what data are available, how it was captured, when it was

captured and what standards it was captured to, and it gives people a window into that data to see if it's useful for them. If they think it is useful, they can then assess how relevant it is for effective decision making and they can add their own comments and review the data rules that are inside Studio to measure the data quality and add their own rules as well." This is called the Knowledge Collaboration Platform.

One of the big topics at 1Spatial's conference this year was the spatial data supply chain. "We think this topic is not adequately addressed," maintained Sanderson. "There's a whole host of things like GPS inputs, RFID sensors, whatever is coming in as a location source, and we are starting to address this by offering solutions to fill gaps within the spatial data supply chain, then taking data and turning it into knowledge. RFID sensors are just data. How does this data become critical in an emergency situation, how does it improve your business process, how do you harness the data?"

Top News of the Week

Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave and Assistant Commissioner for Citywide GIS Marsha Kaunitz  announced the launch of the New York CityMap, available on

NYC.gov . While offering everything the current NYC Map Portal does, including links to building information and violations, election poll site locations and census data, the new CityMap application also provides several features not previously available elsewhere, such as City Council district and Community Board boundaries, restaurant inspection results, subway station entrances and exits, and an aerial photograph-view of the City.

Optech Incorporated introduced DASHMap, the latest data processing software development for Optech's Airborne Laser Terrain Mapper (ALTM) product line.

DASHMap is Optech's next generation data processing software for airborne LiDAR data. With a vastly accelerated data acquisition-to-processing ratio, a simplified user interface with embedded 3D visualization, fully incorporated geodetic transformation and the total elimination of intermediate processing files, DASHMap is the world's most advanced LiDAR point processing tool.

HP introduced what they say is the industry's first blade workstation solution which combines the benefits and security of a centralized data center with workstation-class performance.



Based on HP BladeSystem infrastructure, the HP ProLiant Blade Workstation Solution gives users the ability to quickly and seamlessly access workstation compute power from anywhere in the world using thin client devices or Microsoft Windows(R)-based workstations, PCs and notebooks. This type of solution is ideal for customers in the financial trading, public sector, and manufacturing industries.

Intergraph Corporation, global provider of spatial information management (SIM) software,  announced the completion of the acquisition of Intergraph by an investor group led by Hellman & Friedman LLC and Texas Pacific Group.



Intergraph announced on August 31, 2006 a definitive agreement with the investor group regarding the acquisition of the Company in a transaction valued at approximately $1.3 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Intergraph stockholders will receive $44.00 in cash, without interest, for each share of Intergraph common stock held.

USGS and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) formally announced their request for proposals to support the 2007 National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP). With a total of $1.2 million spread across five categories, the 2007 NSDI CAP will fund an estimated 26 innovative projects in the geospatial data community. Each project aims to build new and improve existing and infrastructure necessary to effectively discover, access, share, manage and use digital geographic data.

2007 NSDI CAP project grant awards are scheduled to be announced by USGS/FGDC contracts officer in March 2007 with obligated work to begin on each project by September 30, 2007. The full 2007 announcement and further information is available at the

website.

Alliances/Acquisitions/Agreements

ESRI announced that it has entered a strategic alliance with CG/LA Infrastructure LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based company dedicated to promoting and supporting infrastructure development in Latin America aimed at quadrupling the current level of investment for infrastructure development projects in the region.

Garmin Ltd. announced that it has  acquired Dynastream Innovations Inc. ("Dynastream") for approximately $36 million in cash. Dynastream will continue operations as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to Garmin Ltd. earnings in 2007.

Announcements

A free ESRI online seminar will demonstrate the power of

ArcGIS Server 9.2 technology to quickly build Web-based mapping applications and publish geographic data as maps and globes for use on the Internet.

What's New in ArcGIS Server at 9.2 will air on the Training and Education Web site at the
ESRI training website on December 14, 2006, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. (Pacific standard time).

PCI Geomatics, a developer of image-centric software and solutions for the geospatial industry, is pleased to announce that it will support the upcoming German radar satellite TerraSAR-X for image processing, correction, and analysis.



The satellite is set to be operational in mid 2007, and PCI Geomatics software will support the sensor's data as it becomes available.

The inaugural Advanced Positioning Educational Exposition (APEX) educational conference on GPS, GIS, surveying and mapping solutions, will be held April 2-5, 2007 in Albuquerque.



This first conference is dedicated for federal users and is co-sponsored by Topcon Positioning Systems of Livermore, California, and Holman's, Inc., a GSA contract holder.


Headquarters for the conference will be at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North. There is a registration fee of $275 for early registration (before Feb. 28, 2007).  After that date the fee will be $350.


Online registration will be available after January 1, 2007 at the
website.

 

NIIT-GIS Ltd. (ESRI India) will host the Second Annual ESRI Asia-Pacific User Conference in New Delhi, India, January 18-19, 2007. The conference will offer participants insight into the latest developments and technology trends in geographic information system (GIS) technology. More than 1,000 ESRI software users are expected to attend.

For more information and to register, visit

ESRI Asia-Pacific UC website.

GeoTec Media announced  that its 21st annual GeoTec Event will be held May 14-17, 2007, at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. GeoTec Media is the publisher of GeoWorld magazine and developer of the Web portal

GeoPlace.com

AEgis Technologies Group, provider of expert modeling and simulation services and products, and DigitalGlobe, provider of the high resolution commercial satellite imagery, will demonstrate a new collaborative 3-D mapping application at the 2006 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Fla., December 5-7.  The combination of current 60-cm resolution satellite imagery with a highly detailed 3D modeling and terrain database dramatically merges geospatial intelligence with virtual simulation.  The I/TSEC demo of this new capability will

showcase the Arak nuclear-associated facility in Iran and can be seen at the AEgis Technologies Booth, No. 1321.

ESRI demonstrated the full suite of its geographic information system (GIS) technology and solutions available to law enforcement and homeland security professionals at the 2006 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference. As part of the IACP Exhibitor Pavilion, ESRI and its partner organizations provided the more than 14,000 attendees with an opportunity to see how GIS is used in all aspects of law enforcement.

Financials

Analytical Surveys, Inc. (ASI) announced it has secured a $1.65 million financing for its recently formed division, ASI Energy.

The Company issued three one-year senior secured convertible notes totaling $1.65 million. The notes, together with interest that accrues at the rate of 13% per annum, are convertible into shares of the Company's Common Stock at a conversion price of $0.695 per share, which is a 23.6% premium above fair market value of the Common Stock on the trading date preceding the closing date of November 24, 2006. Upon maturity, any unconverted outstanding principal and interest is due and payable in cash. The lenders received warrants to purchase 2,374,101 shares of the Company's Common Stock at $0.57 per share, which was slightly above

the fair market value of the common stock on the trading date preceding the closing date. Palladium Capital Advisors LLC acted as the sole placement agent and was paid 8% of the note's principal in cash and in warrants.

People

GeoEye announced the promotion of Angela Galyean to the position of vice president of Human Resources.

Mrs. Galyean joined GeoEye in 2002 as director of Human Resources. She has over 20 years of industry experience and is responsible for managing the company's employee relations, recruitment and retention; health and welfare programs and organizational effectiveness.

deCarta (formerly Telcontar), supplier of software platforms and services for the Location-Based Services (LBS) industry, has announced  the launch of the deCarta Navigation Software Developer Kit (SDK). The new developer kit enables personal navigation device and smart phone manufacturers to quickly build and bring to market highly customized and differentiated navigation applications. The SDK also provides the manufacturer the freedom and ability to reinforce their brand with a customizable look and feel.

New Products

Pictometry International Corp., a leader in digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software systems  announced a number of new technical advancements of its software that were recently introduced at its FutureView User Conference. 

Geographic Information System (GIS) departments can now utilize a number of new enhancements with Pictometry's Extension for ArcGIS. Pictometry's Extension for ArcGIS allows digital oblique imagery to be viewed and used inside a variety of ESRI products. The power of oblique imagery combined with the power of GIS all within the ESRI operating environment opens many doors for GIS professionals. The Pictometry Extension is available for ArcGIS/ArcMap 9.X and ArcIMS.

AirPhotoUSA, a GlobeXplorer company and a provider of affordable, pre-packaged aerial information solutions, announced  a major-market update featuring high-resolution, one-foot pixel imagery of the Eastern United States.

AirPhotoUSA (APU) has finished acquiring more than 40,000 square miles of seamless aerial imagery for Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The project is part of APU's extensive new acquisition program that will provide nationwide coverage at one-foot pixel resolution. 

Around the Web

A Bubble Watcher Watches Google, by Dan Mitchell, The New York Times (registration required), December 2, 2006 - COULD Web 2.0 be fast becoming Bubble 2.0? It's hard to say, mainly because of the lack of a yardstick to measure the value of most Internet companies.

Be More Productive with ArcGIS: ArcMap white paper

Upcoming Events

Date:

January 9 - 11, 2007

Place:

Washington Convention Center;


WA USA

The conference supports those who deploy ESRI software for geoprocessing and analysis, integrated work flows, and intelligent collaboration across government.

 

Date:

January 22 - 24, 2007

Place:

Hyderabad International Convention Centre


India

MAP WORLD FORUM will be a medium of convergence of various stakeholders of global geospatial community and its integration with end users of geospatial information. Map World Forum will be a combination of activities in the form of seminars, workshops and panel discussions covering technology to policy to user oriented themes at global level.

 

Date:

January 22 - 25, 2007

Place:

Hyderabad, India

MAP WORLD FORUM will be a medium of convergence of various stakeholders of global geospatial community and its integration with end users of geospatial information. Map World Forum will be a combination of activities in the form of seminars, workshops and panel discussions covering technology to policy to user oriented themes at global level. Framework of Map World Forum will encourage various international professional societies focusing on different sub domains of geospatial community to discuss latest developments and its integration with other sub-domains (Remote Sensing, Cartography, Photogrammetry, GIS, Surveying

and Positioning) within the geospatial community and also with other related domains (Information Technology, Architecture, Engineering, and Social Sciences).

 

Date:

January 23 - 25, 2007

Place:

QE II Conference Centre


Westminster, London, United Kingdom

DGI (Defence Geospatial Intelligence) is the annual European event for the Military Geospatial Intelligence community, bringing together government, industry, and military leaders together with leading suppliers and industry experts.

 



You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


To read more news, click here.



-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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