[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
December 17, 2007
Security Systems and Geospatial IT Sharing
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!

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/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, 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 giscafe-

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Security Systems and Geospatial IT Sharing

by Susan Smith

Intelligence data of all sorts is often mission critical and requires geospatial IT sharing in order to be used most effectively. However, sharing is not something that comes naturally to those who are working on public safety and national security.

Robert Scott III, industry manager for security solutions at Intergraph Corporation, spoke with GISWeekly about the company's public safety systems and large scale security solutions use at the upcoming 2012 Olympics in Beijing, Vancouver and London.

Intergraph's public safety systems use maps and the location of events for responding to 911 calls and the location of all response assets such as police, firemen, and emergency management personnel. Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems have been used for response in airports and other large and populated facilities for some time.

Many of the same public safety technologies can be extended to allow for large-scale events such as the Olympics or event security. Large-scale events with an enormous international public presence and thousands of spectators are prime targets of terrorism, as has been seen in the past with the tragic outcomes of the 1972 Munich massacre and the 1996 Atlanta bombing.

"We're looking at utilizing this new security ability to begin interfacing into existing access control systems, so for example, badge readers for access control and a ground based sensor that's already being utilized for tracking the aircraft traffic on the tarmac are already in place," explained Scott. "The security system using sensor-based intrusion detection will enable users to watch outside the perimeter to see someone too close to the fence, for example. Someone near that person could be sent to assess whether they pose a threat."

The use of sensors, cameras and a geospatial map with icons and features representing all those devices linked to geospatial technology can identify the location of a target within an area of interest. Once the location has been established a camera can be pointed at the target and the user can determine whether or not there is a need to respond to it.

click to enlarge [
With security solutions, Intergraph uses their GeoTechnology to display "targets," and determine if security personnel are in a security posture. Devices are used to detect a threat or intruder, which can display this as a feature on the GIS.

"Using some of the traditional GIS capabilities, I can then put out areas of interest," said Scott. "I want to put a polygon out there so that if something goes in there--I don't care what it is--I want to be alerted, something to happen: a tone to go off, a video camera to display the possible danger. We're using the geospatial technology to start giving situational awareness of where I might have threats, where I have activity and where I have response resources that can go mitigate that."

article in Contingency Today by Scott described the security expectations of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, led by the Olympic Security Directorate, developed and organized by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The Directorate is responsible for coordinating all security efforts for the 60-day event, expected to draw thousands of spectators, athletes, coaches, media personnel, and event officials from over 202 countries.

The Technology

Intergraph GeoTechnology applications include Incident Detection which focuses on the ability for software to interface to third party systems that do detection like a fence sensor, radar, or access control device which can issue an alert or a detection.

"On the security side, when a 911 call comes in, people usually call in because there is an issue," said Scott. "A lot of times in a home system you get false alarms because you forgot to turn off the system to go outside. In an environment like an airport, or city, you don't have enough response forces to send out every time a detector goes off. Camera systems traditionally used for surveillance can produce video that can be linked with detection technology. It will detect activity if you get a camera on it."

click to enlarge

Intergraph's I/AlarmPlus module that integrates multiple system messages into a single alarm monitor, providing personnel with a common operational picture.

"We're interfacing to those existing systems, into the core capability which we've been building for years. This is the dispatch response side which is all map based. We are starting to blend all those technologies to make them more effective. However, some of those technologies are old analog technologies, and a lot of our customers are beginning to upgrade to newer digital which we can interface with more readily, control their standards using XML data exchanges and service oriented architectures, to try to more easily look at all these things. It's an ongoing process."

Since the 2006 Winter Olympics, technology has grown rapidly, according to Scott. "Back then we were using more of the geospatial from our planning and our mapping side, where we could depict where things were happening. It wasn't as tightly integrated with detector and assessment technologies. Step one was being able to dispatch to be able to manage incidents. Step two - by getting in phone calls and looking at videos I could mark the map and say here's where things are happening. Now I'm automating that interface to where the software will automatically put information on the map based on a target."

Legacy data and systems

The design of GeoTechnology is flexible in that it enables users to utilize products that address specific solutions. Because most situations are mission critical, noted Scott, Intergraph must make sure data gets moved around a system and that requires a good framework that can take in data from various sources.

"We usually have a data ingestion area where you're bringing data from different sources and you're publishing it inside of the mission critical piece," Scott pointed out. "My job as geospatial analyst may be to ingest data from open source, be it web based, image data, vector data, floor plan data and I want to do plume analysis. I want to do it isolated from the mission critical system, because I don't want to bring data in that could put the mission critical system at risk, by bringing bad data or a virus, etc. We are looking at ways now to make that more open but we have to protect the internal system."

"Anything that's in an image data format, whether it's LiDAR data, satellite, aerial photography, any of those sources that meet standard data sources, can be ingested readily, then geolocated, put on a common projection system, datum, etc. We can manipulate it once we bring it in."

Intergraph is also looking at Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth to see how they benefit the workflow, and GeoPDF for dissemination of information.

The customer base is comprised of security and public safety professionals whose primary mission is to understand how to take care of the population. They need tools that only allow them to see what they're allowed to see, strictly a "right information to the right person at the right time" scenario which really drives the multiple levels of the user environment.

Intergraph's Security Solutions have three primary market areas, and then events follow in the subset of one of them:

1) Border security at the national level, from U.S. borders to foreign borders and how these kinds of systems can help.

2) Transportation security, the realm of airports and transit systems.

3) Anti-terrorism force protection, meaning military base security.

Scott said Intergraph has the capability to manage the entire security posture from detection, assessment, and response. "If there's an event, we basically manage the response, such as firemen and security. We work with technologies such as access control and badging systems to integrate with to make that decision faster. They might have geospatial technology to map out where their access points are, information that we can use. Because some of the third party technologies such as E-Team and WebEOC can be preintegrated into a system, it is getting easier to handle catastrophes when they occur."

What used to be called an analytical and static environment (GIS) has now become what Intergraph terms "spatial information management" where the map becomes the visualization tool with dynamic and real-time data integrated into it. This produces what military and security personnel often call a "common operational picture."

With the convergence of technologies, Scott concluded that "The good news is it's all about spatial: where is it, and what's it doing there."

Top News of the Week

Osmose Utilities Services, Inc. has introduced an innovative new approach to the collection and integration of T&D asset data that promises to enhance the accuracy and value of field surveys and inspections. The Osmose Video Data Capture system (VDC) can provide a "virtual field visit" for the utility operator while also streamlining project design and quality control procedures.

ESRI's ArcGIS 9.3 software, the next scheduled release of ESRI's ArcGIS suite, will take full advantage of the new spatial technology in the upcoming release of SQL Server 2008. With the November SQL Server 2008 community technology preview (CTP), Microsoft Corporation is extending the use and value of spatial technology by integrating it directly within SQL Server at no additional cost.

Infoterra Ltd, a leader in the provision of geospatial products and services, has won a contract from EDF Energy Networks, one of the UK's largest energy companies, to map its overhead high-voltage power line network and adjacent vegetation to ensure a continued safe and reliable electricity supply.


Microsoft Corp. has acquired Multimap, one of the United Kingdom's top 100 technology companies and one of the leading online mapping services in the world. The acquisition gives Microsoft a powerful new location and mapping technology to complement existing offerings such as Virtual Earth, Live Search, Windows Live services, MSN and the aQuantive advertising platform, with future integration potential for a range of other Microsoft products and platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Geospatial Mapping Systems, Inc. a privately-held infrastructure technology company specializing in the mapping and management of underground pipeline systems has entered into a Letter of Intent to be acquired by Kayenta Kreations, Inc.

Altus Group Income Fund ("Altus Group") announced that it has completed the acquisition of Crape Geomatics Corporation (Crape). Altus Group financed this acquisition through a combination of cash, bank financing, the assumption of certain liabilities and limited partnership units.

Intermap Technologies Corp., announced that Harris Corporation, a major supplier of commercial, government and defense communications systems and geospatial solutions, has extended its agreement to distribute Intermap's high-resolution digital elevation and orthorectified radar images.

TerraGo Technologies announced that IMU Korea, Ltd. has joined its rapidly expanding list of international channel partners reselling Map2PDF® products around the world.


ESRI (UK) is proud to announce that it will be hosting the ESRI Europe, Middle East and Africa User Conference 2008. The Conference will take place from Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 October 2008 at the QEII Conference Centre, London.

The conference theme is 'GIS for everyday life', reflecting ESRI (UK)'s vision for geographic information systems to be an indispensable part of daily life.

For further information visit

GeoVector(R) Corporation, provider of "advanced search" capabilities for location-based applications, announced an additional patent within its augmented reality technology family.

US Patent 7301536 better enables mobile phones or other devices to display stored digital images which are linked to real-world objects or places.


Pixxures, Inc., a provider of aerial mapping, direct digital image processing, GIS services and imagery Web services, announced that Kumar Navulur has joined Pixxures' staff as Vice President of Business Development.

New Products

Tracking Server 1.1, an ESRI solutions product for collecting and sending near real-time data from many data sources and formats to Web and desktop clients, tracks the movements of aircraft, ships, delivery vehicles, and any other asset in motion. Use Tracking Server to integrate real-time data about these moving assets with geographic information system (GIS) technology to make better decisions and share information quickly, easily, and efficiently.

Encom announces the release of its professional geophysical interpretation package Encom PA 7.0, along with a change in name, feature packaging and a free viewer. Encom PA was previously named Profile Analyst, but the product has matured well beyond its sophisticated airborne EM profiling origins. Managing Director, David Pratt says that "the old name failed to express the product's rich integrated, interactive environment that includes sophisticated image analysis and 3D object creation, editing and visualization capabilities".

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change -- AWhere, Inc has partnered with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Climate Systems Analysis Group and others, to develop the Climate Change Explorer (CCE) Tool for simplifying the delivery of climate data.

TerraServer, an online satellite and aerial imagery service, has recently released a site upgrade which adds additional drawing and measuring functionality. TerraServer subscribers can now access advanced drawing features such as displaying custom drawings on multiple image dates, saving drawings online, and adding drawings to downloads and prints. The new upgrade was made possible by utilizing open source technologies including MapServer and PostgreSQL as well as the acquisition of new servers and storage.

Adapx introduced Capturx built for Microsoft® Office OneNote. Unlike other field data management options, Capturx provides a fully integrated digital pen and standard paper software solution that seamlessly links with Microsoft Office OneNote and operates in even the most extreme conditions. Adapx's new software solution allows users to automatically convert field notes into digital data as they write and then immediately share field observations across teams.

Munsys, Inc. announced the release of Munsys 10. This major product release delivers new functionality, enhanced usability and includes strategic additions to the platform and data models. The Munsys solutions for utilities and local government include a central database with pre-defined Oracle Spatial data models and integrated applications for the management of water, sewer, drainage, parcels, roads and electricity infrastructure. Autodesk design products are utilized for spatial data creation and editing.

Proximex, a developer of award-winning solutions for the physical security information market (PSIM), announced that Surveillint 3.0 will be available in early 2008. Proximex Surveillint(TM) is a premier physical security solution for policy-based incident discovery, connection and resolution. Version 3.0 offers several new technologies designed to speed incident response times and resolution, improve the apprehension rates of suspicious persons and decrease the time required to generate reports.

Around the Web

The Team That Put the Net in Orbit, by John Markoff, December 9, 2007, The New York Times (Registration required)

Upcoming Events

b-GIS@Asia 2007

Date: December 17 - 19, 2007

Place: Technopark Trivandrum, India

Trans Asiatic GIS Society is pleased to announce its conference on GIS titled "b-GIS@Asia" from 17th to 19th of December 2007 at Technopark, Trivandrum, India. b-GIS@Asia is about discovering how GIS empowers organizations and demonstrating the role of GIS in organizational business with the intention of urging entrepreneurs, and/or organizations, to invest in GIS for profit or operational performance.

Mapping California Communities Workshop: An Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis

Date: January 4, 2008

Place: San Diego Training Ctr. 350 10th Ave. Ste 950 , San Diego, USA

Participants will learn how to easily create thematic maps of their own data and display spatial trends in information.

Mapping California Communities Workshop: An Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis

Date: January 10 - 11, 2008

Place: ExecuTrain 2901 K St Ste 450, Sacramento, USA

Participants will learn how to easily create thematic maps of their own data and display spatial trends in information.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.