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March 09, 2009
Community Data Informs the World’s Highways
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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!

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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, Training, Financials, New Products, Around the Web and Events Calendar.

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Industry News

Community Data Informs the World’s Highways

By Susan Smith

Thanks to search engines, added to the collection of data accumulated by databases is “volunteer geographic information,” volunteered by citizens, consumer generated content in the specific context of geographic information. Other names for this are collective intelligence and crowd sourcing. What is significant about this content is that it does not come from an authoritative source, but from millions of private citizens who are not GIS experts and who know virtually nothing about geographic information, and receive no reward for collecting this data.

The acquisition of TeleAtlas by TomTom NV and the acquisition of NAVTEQ by Nokia have catapulted these companies into a whole new realm of data collection from a community of mobile phone users, launching capabilities that range from offering updated road geometry on streets as well as traffic conditions.

TeleAtlas/TomTom NV

click to enlarge [

TeleAtlas World Coverage Map
TeleAtlas, a subsidiary of TomTom NV, has announced their first map database that contains new and adjusted roads based on map user feedback. Previous announcements of the database were primarily focused on updating attribution on streets which improved street names and information about them. The new Tele Atlas MultiNet 2009.02 uses GPS measurements to change the geometry of the TeleAtlas database. The essence of the release it that it has a huge number of road geometry changes as opposed to just attribution on street changes. The GPS measurements provide a much more accurate depiction of what the streets are.

“By changing the geometry and in some cases this involved highlighting new geometry, we are realizing some of the initial benefits outlined when TomTom and TeleAtlas agreed to the acquisition of TeleAtlas by TomTom,” explained Jay Benson, vice president Strategic Business Planning at TeleAtlas.

click to enlarge [

NAVTEQ Global Coverage Map
The power of the community makes it possible to update the data quickly and get more changes into the database in a shorter period of time, changes that are delivered to TeleAtlas’ partners and ultimately their customers very quickly. Consumers who own TomTom devices and opt into the data sharing Map Share program which sends information back to TomTom provide all the community data.

Benson said there are two different types of feedback they receive; one is active feedback where a user would use their device and to alert TomTom to the fact that they are missing the name of a particular street. If they receive notices from 50 different people who say the database has the same problem, the odds are high that there’s a problem with the database. The information is used to corroborate against existing sources. In the case of one way information, for example, TeleAtlas can look at highly detailed aerial imagery and see the direction of cars and validate it. There are many different ways they can corroborate that information against other sources.

“In the case of the GPS measurements, we’re literally receiving billions upon billions of GPS measurements,” said Benson. “We have algorithms that can go through and determine what the realistic geometry is, and then again, we can use third party resources to get validation of street names, direction of travel, etc.”

TeleAtlas produces one database which is then used by numerous vendors such as Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth. All community driven data enhances that database and the benefit extends to customers.

All feedback is added to a feedback library where it is processed. Obviously, a road that is travelled by many has the odds of getting more feedback than a road travelled infrequently. “There are a lot of different mechanisms to validate data,” said Benson. “You have people who are high volume feedback providers and you began to build a history on the ability to know that that feedback is good. You see how many changes are made in a certain area. Lots of times we might get many different tags, so we might get 20 people in a neighborhood all saying an address is off, it might be a different address, but from the statistical perspective that’s probably a good indication to
TeleAtlas that there’s an issue in that area and we need to go correct it. We do have other partners that contribute feedback to us, and we’re trying to develop more relationships with other customers to get their feedback as well, because the power of the community is exponential as you get more feedback in.” This feedback in turn builds the internal systems with the capability to handle high volume and having the high volume to process.

The community provides feedback every day, according to Benson. TomTom users alone cover the equivalent of the entire European road network four times a day and the equivalent of the North American road network once per day. The bulk of the GPS measurements are coming from TomTom users that have opted into delivering data to the community.

All TomToms are equipped with GPS. When users plug their TomTom in at the desk to upload those GPS measurements, those measurements are cleansed to assure the data is private, etc., hence the billions of measurements that TeleAtlas receives. Map Share customers can make instant corrections to their maps on TomTom devices and share those corrections and routes with other users.

MultiNet 2009.02 makes it possible for TeleAtlas to identify changes in diverse geographical locations such as rural areas that are not as populated or well documented as other areas. Among the updates to TeleAtlas maps are changes from over 50,000 global sources that include construction companies, safety officials, government documents, truck drivers and companies, in addition to aerial and satellite imagery.

Primarily customers reside in Europe and North America, however, the Map Share community is also active in Taiwan and Asia Pacific. TeleAtlas does the statistical analysis to determine what roads are being used, direction of travel, and speeds of travel.

In addition, TomTom’s speed profiles database available for Tele Atlas calculates routes using real measurements instead of rough estimates. The speed profiles database is derived from almost half a trillion speed measurements accumulated and shared by TomTom customers in 25 countries for the past two years. Introduced last year, the speed profiles database offers accurate information about actual average speeds for every five minutes of the day any day of the week on all roads in 23 European countries plus 90 percent of U.S. roads.


NAVTEQ featured the Mobile Millennium pilot in 2008, which included NAVTEQ Traffic and employed data gathered from GPS enabled Nokia phones. This new technology increases the quantity and quality of traffic information beyond what is available commercially, and includes, side streets and rural areas that consumers frequent. NAVTEQ calls their technology traffic “probe data programs.” The data provided not only extends the availability of road data, it extends coverage for roads and times of day that consumers want to know about. Technological advances will keep consumers up to date with efficiencies and offer privacy protection for mobile phone users.

More than 10,000 handset owners agreed to provide mobile phone GPS data for the pilot. Coupling this data with proprietary technology gives NAVTEQ a very accurate picture of real world traffic conditions. Nokia’s Privacy by Design system, a proprietary privacy technology, monitors information and removes any data that could pinpoint an individual phone so that users can be assured sensitive information is not transmitted unwittingly.

NAVTEQ Traffic has a Smart Traffic Network that is comprised of “mobile trace data including GPS-enabled commercial and consumer devices; taxis and fleet vehicles as well as fixed sensor data points from toll tag readers and proprietary and government sensors.” The company’s Smart Traffic Processor technology takes advantage of mobile trace and fixed sensor data points combined with NAVTEQ-collected incident and historical information which makes it possible to deliver accurate travel time predictions.

Top News of the Week

Autodesk, Inc. reported revenue of $490 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, a decrease of 18 percent over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. GAAP diluted loss per share in the fourth quarter was $0.47, compared to earnings of $0.40 per diluted share in the fourth quarter last year. See
press release

ERDAS announces a new suite of extensions that operate with Stereo Analyst for ArcGIS, available for ArcGIS 9.3. These extensions form a production set of tools aimed at assisted feature collection and terrain editing. Recently, ERDAS also announced a new release of Stereo Analyst for ArcGIS.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

AGCO Corporation, Your Agriculture Company, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, announces a strategic partnership between AGCO and Topcon Positioning Systems. The partnership will provide high-performing machine control, machine management and precision farming technology products and services to the global agricultural machinery market. Innovative and industry-leading products will reach the market faster by combining AGCO’s equipment, customer base and agricultural industry knowledge with research and development from TPS.

ESRI's ArcGIS software provided a complete geospatial enterprise for Super Bowl XLIII risk management. ArcGIS software was integrated with Digital Sandbox, Inc., Risk Analysis Center software, a primary security information system that linked more than 10 command posts and the emergency command center with real-time data feeds and analysis.

The two systems worked seamlessly to supply staff from multiple agencies with a map-based common operating picture (COP) for monitoring events on the ground as they happened. It helped provide security for tens of thousands of people participating in dozens of events, occurring over several days before, during, and after the Super Bowl, held February 1, 2009, in Tampa, Florida.

21st Century Systems, Inc. (21CSI) announced it has entered into an agreement with Infoterra GmbH (Infoterra) as U.S. distributor of its satellite based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) TerraSAR-X Services. In a meeting at 21CSI’s Arlington office, the CEO’s of both companies met to finalize the agreement.


The Board of Directors of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has chartered a committee of the Board to specifically address the “spatial law and policy issues” which will influence development requirements of the Consortium’s technology process. The Spatial Law and Policy Committee (SLPC) will be chaired by OGC director and Executive Committee member, Kevin Pomfret, and will be organized under board leadership as an educational forum to include both select member and community participation.

The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) is requesting comments from the public on the candidate OpenGIS Web Map Tiling Service (WMTS) Interface Standard.

The candidate WMTS Interface Standard is much like the OGC’s popular Web Map Server (WMS) Interface Standard, but it enables better server performance in applications that involve many simultaneous requests. To improve performance, instead of creating a new image for each request, it returns small pre-generated images (e.g., PNG or JPEG) or reuses identical previous requests that follow a discrete set of tile matrices. This proposed standard provides support for multiple architectural patterns – KVP, REST and SOAP.

The 30 day public comment period for this document begins February 27, 2009. Comments are due by March 29, 2009. The WMTS RFC can be downloaded from

In order to better serve their clients in search of GPS solutions, The Sidwell Company, the Midwest Distributor of Magellan GPS navigational solutions, has launched their GPS Solutions On-Line store. The store, which can be found at
Sidwell GPS, features Magellan products and creates a convenient on-line shopping resource for existing and new users of GPS solutions. Among the products offered on the site are Magellan Mobile Mapping receivers such as the MobileMapper 6 and MobileMapper CX, which can be configured with a variety of data collection software, including ArcPad from ESRI, GPSDifferential for ArcPad, and Magellan Mobile Mapping software. Users can also purchase the software separately, as well as choose from various accessories to complement the MobileMapper units.

New Urban Research, Inc. has expanded its relationship with ESRI to become an ESRI Business Partner.

ESRI has recognized New Urban Research as a Value Added Reseller, a Consultant Program member and a Data Provider Program member. This agreement will help New Urban Research, a leader in urban research and analysis, to build relationships with local municipalities and non-profits.


Intermap Technologies Corp. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2008. A conference call will be held , March 3, at 4:30 p.m. EST to discuss the results.

All amounts in this news release are in United States dollars unless otherwise noted.

For 2008, Intermap reported a 10% increase in total revenue to $37.0 million, as compared to $33.8 million in 2007. See
press release

New Products

SPOT Image Corporation announced the recent completion of thirteen Reference3D geocells over the Chugach National Forest region of Alaska. These geocells are notable, as they provide the first broad area, DTED-2 quality DEM coverage in Alaska.

Reference3D provides a great DEM solution to fill in areas of Alaska where Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEM data is not currently available. The US Government has already purchased this data as a cost effective solution for their project in the Chugach National Forest region.

1Spatial, through its subsidiary ComSine, has delivered to Pole Star Space Applications Limited (UK) an advanced geospatial analysis subsystem to form part of its MarVTS LRIT-DC product and in addition its suite of associated Fleet Management and Alert offerings.

The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) Regulation i.e. SOLAS V/19-1, requires that in general all ships on international voyage should automatically transmit a GPS position report each 6 hours via a satellite communication system to a Data Centre (DC) established by the Flag the ship is registered to. 1Spatial’s geospatial components provide Pole Star with the mandatory functionality to allow each DC to establish the relational location of the incoming position reports against a published set of dynamic geographical areas and complex associated position reporting rules (set-up by each participating Government to represent
approximately their coastline, territorial sea and outer 1000 nm LRIT zone).

Tele Atlas announced the availability of its first navigable databases for Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in Africa, providing a rich offering that allows Tele Atlas customers such as Google and TomTom to launch solutions across the continent. The database also includes coverage for the French Overseas Territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin.

SuperGeo Technologies will release SuperPad 3.0 Beta in April of 2009. SuperPad 3.0 is developed by the brand new operating core-SuperGIS Mobile Engine 3.0, which features with more powerful functions, speedy operation and more user-friendly manipulation. Moreover, users are also able to develop their own plug-in extensions, such as the self-defined layer format, symbols, GPS Protocol or toolbar buttons with SuperPad 3.0. Therefore, SuperPad3, providing a wider application and more flexibility for function usage, can be seen as the best choice of the mobile GIS software.

deCarta, supplier of software and services for the Location-Based Services (LBS) industry, announced its real-time, two-way European connected navigation solution for next-generation personal navigation devices and smartphones. The software and service will be available to consumer brands, automotive OEMs, in-vehicle service providers, mobile network providers and handset manufacturers from the end of March 2009.

deCarta launched WLNA Fleet Europe. This navigation software application is specifically focused on the needs of the enterprise customer. It features a two-way communications interface that enables Fleet Tracking and Mobile Resource Management (MRM) service providers to easily develop navigation systems with integrated dispatch and messaging capabilities. In-vehicle navigation with messaging provides improved driver efficiency - resulting in cost savings for end users and generating new revenue opportunities for solution providers.

GeoSpatial Experts of Thornton, Colo., introduced the GPS-Photo Link Express Series, a consumer edition of its popular photo-mapping software.

DMTI Spatial (DMTI), Canada's provider of Location Intelligence solutions, has introduced the fifth of its six innovative Location Content Cartridges (LCC) designed to address specific vertical industry business needs. The Exploration & Mapping LCC is a comprehensive solution providing next generation content designed to address the unique complexities oil and gas and mining organizations face surrounding optimum site selection, regulatory compliance and risk management. This new content, including detailed geospatial culture data, will enable clients to drive workflow efficiencies, optimize survey costs and improve ROI.

PCI Geomatics, a developer of hardware/software systems for geo-imaging solutions, announced the availability of Geomatica 10.2, the latest version of its image-centric desktop software, emphasizing automation and productivity for turning spatial data into information.

Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher cartographic software for Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand, Geographic Imager spatial imaging tools for Adobe Photoshop as well as MAPdataUSA, MAPdataCanada and MAPdataWorld royalty-free GIS data sets, announces the release of Geographic Imager 2.1 for Adobe Photoshop CS3 and CS4. Geographic Imager 2.1 is the latest version of this powerful software that adds geospatial functionality to Adobe Photoshop.

Around the Web

Bartz revamps Yahoo to get faster, simpler CNET News.com Feb. 26, 2009 --The new CEO is overhauling Yahoo's management structure to be speedier and more responsive to those who use its site. CFO Blake Jorgensen is out.

1,000 Points of Data, by Kenneth M. Duberstein, The New York Times (registration required), February 23, 2009 -What we need now is a Web-based system for measuring our changing society with key national indicators — in a free, public, easy-to-use form.


March 9 - 13, 2009


ASPRS proudly celebrates its 75th Anniversary throughout 2009, with special events taking place at the 2009 Annual Conference in Baltimore.

March 10 - 13, 2009
Place: Crocus Expo Exhibition Centre

Moscow, Russia

The 6th International industrial Forum of geodesy, cartography, navigation, geoinformation systems, engineering geology and geophysics, tunnel and utility systems construction.
March 11 - 12, 2009
Place: Grand Media Congress Hotel Villach

Villach, Austria

The topic of this conference is the request for concerted activities to ensure that agriculture will be able to feed worldwide the ongoing growing population.Climate change, the reduction of natural resources, a stronger demand for bioenergy, urbanization and environmental protection, are additional mega-trends that have to be considered. Hence, globally there is a strong demand for technologies and practical instruments for improving the planning, development and management of agriculture.
March 15 - 18, 2009
Place: Hotel Allegro Chicago

171 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601 USA


American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) is pleased to welcome you to the 12th Annual Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Conference & Exhibition, March 15-18, 2009 in beautiful Chicago, Illinois! In addition to a wide variety of presentations, panels and open discussions with Airport GIS managers, government officials, consultants and vendors, the conference provides: an educational Introduction to Airport GIS roundtable for those new to airport GIS, an Exhibit Room, and opportunities for sharing lessons learned with airports from across the U.S. and around the world.

March 17 - 18, 2009
Place: Westin Washington, DC City Center

Washington, DC USA

MAPPS will return to Washington, DC to meet with agency representatives and walk the halls of the U.S. Capitol, to visit with members of Congress, March 17 and 18 during the annual Federal Programs Conference. The meeting will focus on the partnerships MAPPS has with federal agencies engaged in geospatial work. The highlight of the conference is the time MAPPS members spend on Capitol Hill with their members of Congress advocating legislation and policies impacting the geospatial marketplace. Open to MAPPS Members Only.
March 19, 2009
Place: Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center

6200 Martway, Mission, KS 66202 USA

Seiler invites you to jump ahead of your competition and experience a jam packed day filled with various educational seminars where we will address your workflows and business challenges and their “Solutions” for your Industry.
March 19, 2009
Place: Thames Valley Park, Microsoft Campus

Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

If you are a developer and want to take working with Virtual Earth to the next level then this event is for you. The first session will comprise of a platform update to bring you up to speed on the latest version of Virtual Earth. Later, Johannes Kebeck, Tim Warr and Alexis Harakis will show how Virtual Earth interacts with other Microsoft technologies to create a powerful tool that can be used for much more than placing pins on maps.
March 20 - 21, 2009
Place: JN Tata Auditorium

Bangalore , India

With almost 300 million Indians living in urban areas (in 3700 towns and cities), the country has the second largest urban population in the world and it is growing at a rapid pace of over 31 percent over the last decade due to higher employment rates in urban areas. It comprises of about 30 per cent of the total population in urban areas and contributes to over 60 per cent of the country's GDP.
March 20, 2009
Place: Indianapolis, IN USA

Join us for an AutoCAD® Map 3D event specifically for Municipals and Electric Cooperatives and learn how to improve your electric utilities workflow.
March 22 - 24, 2009
Place: Wyndham Hotel and Palm Springs Convention Center

Palm Springs, CA USA

As an ESRI business partner, you are invaluable to the advancement of GIS. The BPC Conference is designed for you, planned to give you the best opportunities to network with ESRI staff and other partners as well as learn about the most recent developments in geospatial technology and how to leverage them in your business. Stay current and competitive and attend this premier event that fuels the strength and reach of GIS.
March 22 - 27, 2009
Place: Las Vegas, NV USA

Join 8,000 geographers, GIS specialists, and environmental scientists from around the world in Las Vegas for the very latest in research, policy, and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience, during the annual conference of the Association of American Geographers, to be held March 22–27, 2009. The program will feature 4,000 presentations by leading scholars and researchers from more than 60 countries, an international networking reception, and exhibitions showcasing recent scholarly publications, advanced geographic technologies, and expanding employment opportunities.
March 23 - 26, 2009
Place: Wyndham Hotel and Palm Springs

Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA USA

Be part of the 2009 ESRI Developer Summit—the ideal resource for professionals developing on an ESRI platform. Connect with ESRI staff and software developers from around the world to explore trends, tips, and best practices for effective GIS development. Attend the 2009 Summit to access the best in spatial developer resources.
March 24 - April 8, 2009
Place: USA

See the latest features of AutoCAD with this one-hour complimentary webcast. Live Q&A will be offered at the end of the presentation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009     10:00 AM ET

Tuesday, March 24, 2009     2:00 PM ET

Wednesday, April 08, 2009  10:00 AM ET

Wednesday, April 08, 2009  12:00 PM ET

Friday, March 27, 2009         10:00 AM ET

Monday, March 30, 2009      2:00 PM ET

Thursday, April 02, 2009      2:00 PM ET

Friday, April 03, 2009           10:00 AM ET
March 25, 2009
Place: USA

Presented by Brad Mayo, Henkels & McCoy

9:15am Pacific/11:15am Central/12:15pm Eastern
March 28 - April 1, 2009
Place: Crowne Hotel Plaza

Manama, Bahrain

GIS is "an institutional entity, reflecting an organisational structure that integrates technology with a database, expertise and continuing financial support over time." This five day conference offers an intensive and dynamic opportunity to refine your knowledge, catch up with key industry players and share best practice lessons with your peers on the latest technologies within GIS.
March 31 - April 1, 2009
Place: Sugar Land, TX USA

The PODS Association (www.pods.org) announced today they are hosting a conference for the pipeline GIS industry on March 31 & April 1, 2009. This conference will be held at Fluor Enterprises in Sugar Land, Texas. Registration is free and open to anyone in the pipeline industry including energy, chemicals, water, etc. Attendees may register for one day or both days.
April 1 - 2, 2009
Place: Ricoh Arena

Coventry, United Kingdom

GEO-9 is the UK's only dedicated geospatial trade exhibition. GEO-9 will be showcasing leading players from every aspect of the geographic information industry. From measurement and data collection through to advanced geospatial analysis, GEO-9 brings them all together at the same event.
April 2 - 3, 2009
Place: Telus Convention Centre

120 9 Avenue SE Calgary, Calgary, AB, T2G 0P3 Canada

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.
April 5 - 8, 2009
Place: oklahoma city , OK USA

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials sponsors the annual GIS for Transportation Symposium. It is a chance for persons in government and private industry who are interested in the use of GIS for transportation purposes to get together and share experiences, see state-of-art software, and learn more about this field.

April 6 - 9, 2009
Place: Hyatt Regency Sacramento

1209 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 USA

The CalGIS team is currently planning for the 15th annual CalGIS conference, April 6 – 8th 2009 in Sacramento California. This conference is intended for those who use spatial information or are in the spatial information field. It is a great conference to network with others in California and learn new techniques and skills, as well as, what innovative products are available to get the job done.

April 7 - 8, 2009
Place: BW Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre

591 Wellington Road , London, Ontario, N6C 4R3 United Kingdom

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.
April 8 - 9, 2009
Place: Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

As much as 85% of the enterprise data that companies already possess has a reference to location that is considered when making critical decisions. Location Intelligence leverages this location content to help companies unlock potential and improve business performance.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.