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July 27, 2009
ESRI User Conference: Exhibit Floor Technology Wrap
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

ESRI User Conference: Exhibit Floor Technology Wrap

By Susan Smith

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The ESRI User Conference held in San Diego last week focused on 3D GIS and imagery; energies rallied around the coming ArcGIS 9.4 release, heralded as a true 3D GIS. Understandably, ESRI partners have been working to provide support for the release. ESRI is leveraging third party partners such as ITT to achieve such tasks as automated image extraction into the geodatabase and create highly scalable image data.

In keeping with those announcements, more emphasis was placed on virtual cities.

Another area that was covered at the conference was GIS in mobile. This area is growing rapidly and ESRI’s ArcGIS Desktop, ArcPad for the field, and ArcGIS Mobile for focused tasks fill out the complement of solutions for that area. ArcGIS 9.4 will offer customized applications for mobile, available for the tablet and iPhone as well as other mobile devices.


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Computing power took the shape of partnerships such as ESRI’s partnership with Microsoft in the development of their Fusion Core Solution, which provides technical capabilities for public safety and homeland security professionals to do a better job of identifying and preventing terrorist action, crime and responding to natural disasters. The information management and collection, analysis and modeling and information sharing that these tools are designed to address target all governments: municipal, county, regional, state and federal for use in intelligence and fusion centers.

Rolta Canada and ESRI Canada announced a strategic partnership and OEM agreement for North America combining Rolta's OnPoint Enterprise web-GIS solution with the ESRI's ArcGIS Server technology. Rolta’s role will be to provide the joint solution to enterprise accounts in North America.

Rolta’s Geospatial Fusion solution was also exhibited, which enables government agencies to analyze data by establishing linkages among these agencies and their data in a secured manner. The solution retrieves and fuses data that resides in multiple geodatabases in various formats, gathered from many different locations and agencies. This offers a Common Operational Picture for those decision makers and emergency responders tasked with responding to both human-generated and natural disasters.

In a recent GISWeekly
article, First American Spatial Solutions (FASS) was profiled with the announcement of their National Parcel Database for the U.S. First American Spatial Solutions (FASS) has deep roots in the insurance industry.

At the conference, ESRI and FASS announced the release of Risk Analysis Solution for ArcGIS, designed as a location-based risk analysis solution for the insurance industry. The solution is developed on ArcGIS and insurance companies will be able to use Risk Analysis Solution to view and analyze data at the portfolio and policy level. The National Parcel Database is one piece of the larger picture offering multiple risk layers for insurance, plus the parcel layer that feeds the geocoder that they acquired from Proxix about a year ago.

“We are trying to give risk information at a property level,” explained executive vice president Scott Little. Going forward, the company expects to bring in more application developers to create more vertical solutions for such industries as oil and gas.

The upcoming version of ESRI StreetMap Premium will include Tele Atlas digital map data. The enhanced street database adds to ArcGIS geocoding, routing and high quality map display.

ESRI’s Smart Data Compression format is behind the optimized data structure of StreetMap Premium which results in the use of geocoding, cartographic display, route planning and driving directions with ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Desktop.


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Dale Lutz and Don Murray of Safe Software are both happy that they began working on the infrastructure for 3D in their FME technology two years ago, otherwise, they say they would have behind the curve. ESRI was one of Safe’s first 3D customers (Oracle being the other one), and they have supported 3D in the geodatabase since the beginning. ArcGIS 9.4 will be a true 3D GIS and Safe plays a vital role in getting 3D data into and out of the geodatabase. Data integrations are also part of the geodatabase, and users will be able to take advantage of increased performance in ArcGIS 9.4 to input different types of data: orthophotos, LiDAR, digital elevation models, textured
objects and georeferenced video, to name a few. Clearly, building city models could become ubiquitous with this 3D GIS technology.

Besides its role in ArcGIS 9.4, Murray said that one of the primary uses for their technology continues to be to translate shapefiles to shapefiles for data use.

For a look at what is in store in ArcGIS 9.4, take a look at this
video from the ESRI UC Plenary session.


The addition of Lawrie Jordan, original founder of ERDAS, to the ESRI team has helped to spearhead the integration of imagery with GIS at the company.

ITT Corporation announced their new image processing product for GIS professionals. The new product, ENVI EX, is the first image processing and analysis solution resulting from a partnership with ESRI. The product is tightly integrated with ArcGIS, and is designed to be easier to use and integrated with GIS workflows. The demo shown was a classification workflow with vector data in ArcMap. To use it, Richard Cooke, president of ITT’s Visual Information Solutions group, said, you don’t need to know image science. “No longer are imagery and GIS living in separate worlds.”

This technology integrates the ArcGIS projection engine into ENVI.

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An important announcement was LizardTech's LiDAR Compressor, which enables users to transform huge point cloud data into MrSID files that retain 100 percent of the raw data at 25 percent of the file size. Key to this announcement is the fact that the LiDAR Compressor can reduce LiDAR File sizes by 75 percent, while retaining all the points and point precision and accuracy of the original file.

Dubbed MrSID Generation 4 (MG4) the new compressor uses an improved version of the MrSID technology. This version, known as MrSID Generation 4 (MG4), uses wavelet compression similar to previous versions of MrSID to efficiently compress large LiDAR data sets. The time it takes to compress a LiDAR dataset vs. a comparably sized raster file to MrSID is nearly identical, according to director of marketing, Jon Skiffington. Developers will definitely be able to use MrSID SDKs to decode and view MG4 data.

The company’s goal is to have one cohesive MrSID format that supports both LiDAR and raster data. In this way, customers will be able to work with MrSID files just like they currently do.

GeoEye showcased its search and discovery tool called GeoFUSE, with “FUSE” representing “Find, Use, Serve and Extend.” This tool uses a search mechanism to enable users to find IKONOS imagery data that might pertain to specific project needs. The
archive contains over 300 million square kilometers.

TerraGo Technologies previewed TerraGo Toolbar, TerraGo Composer and TerraGo Publisher solutions. Their server based solutions offer fast food type of “grab-and-go” access to digital maps from ArcGIS Server and extension of geospatial products to a non-GIS audience, as well as throughout an enterprise.

Pictometry showed its recently announced Pictometry Navigator API (Application Programming Interface), now integrated into
Site To Do Business, an online suite of analytical and mapping resources used by leading commercial real estate association and broker network, CCIM Institute.

The Pictometry imagery integrates into the company’s ESRI mapping application. Chief marketing officer for Pictometry, Dante Pennacchia, demonstrated cityscapes for multiple cities around the globe, created using Pictometry’s aerial oblique and orthogonal Intelligent Imagery, captured at an angle to show greater clarity and site detail.

Incidentally, Pictometry recently added 50 jobs at its Rochester location, expanding its workforce to over 200 employees.


A company new to the GIS market, JAVAD, came on the scene with the JAVAD ArcPAD Extension that extends ArcPad’s surveying capabilities with JAVAD’s own GNSS solutions. Using Bluetooth, GPRS and UHF enables broadcasting/receiving differential corrections and the ability to synchronize ArcPAD with ArcGIS Server.

Juniper Systems and Surveylab launched the Archer Longbow remote positioning GPS handheld. This solution is touted as an all-in-one mobile GIS data capture solution, offering laser rangefinder in 100 meter, 300 meter and 1,000 meter versions. Other attributes include a ruggedized computer, GPS receiver, 3D compass, digital compass as well as the laser rangefinder. The product is the combination of Juniper’s rugged Archer Field PC and Surveylab’s ikeGPS precision geospatial instrumentation and software.

Achieving sub-meter accuracy for GIS data collection and mapping is a goal of those using ESRI ArcPad.

Magellan Professional introduced GPSDifferential for ESRI ArcPad 8, for the MobileMapper 6 GIS/GPS receiver with ArcPad 8. The post processing software extension logs raw data required for sub-meter post-processed differential corrections even when real time corrections cannot be obtained.

Accela is known for handling government transactions including permitting, code enforcement, work order, infrastructure management and licensing. While the company did not announce new products at the conference, they did talk about the late fall product launch of their 7.0 product which will included support for ArcGIS and expanded GIS and wireless capability.


In spite of the lighter turnout of vendors at the conference this year, and the more modest booth displays, it is heartening to see that the beat goes on as far as technology advancements. The emphasis was on cost-effective, grab-and-go, visual applications and 3D that can be consumed by a broad, non-GIS audience. This year, bandwidth and compression were more popular topics than data warehouse appliances.

For coverage of additional products that were shown, please see the GISCafe home page for some short videos GISCafe made with some of the primary vendors at ESRI UC.
GISCafe Today blogged about some individual products and activities. Also keep an eye out for photos from the conference.

Top News of the Week

Trimble announced it has acquired the assets of privately-held CTN Data Service, LLC, creator of Farm Works software, located in Hamilton, Indiana. The acquisition is expected to accelerate Trimble's information management capabilities and offer agricultural customers significant new capabilities in their precision farming operations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DigitalGlobe, a global provider of commercial high-resolution earth imagery products and services, announced its Crisis Event Service, a new web service providing timely and accurate pre- and post-event satellite imagery to aid in emergency planning, response and recovery.

The new online service is designed to provide a comprehensive picture for global crisis including at least three high-resolution imagery versions of each affected area: the most current pre-event imagery from DigitalGlobe’s extensive ImageLibrary archive, imagery during or just after the event, and a follow-up image within 30 days following the event.

Oklahoma Maps is an interactive mapping system designed to help users find relevant state, county, and local information. The new mapping service is available

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

Intermap Technologies announced an agreement with GIOVE Srl, a company headquartered in Italy that specializes in infomobility software, to supply the Company’s new line of elevation shaded image (ESI) products and AccuTerra Europe contour data to GIOVE in support of their MyNav portable navigation device.

ERDAS Inc. announces that InfoSAT is now the master ERDAS distributor to customers in Argentina.

Based in Buenos Aires, InfoSAT brings over 20 years of experience in the geomatics field to meet the needs of new and existing ERDAS users throughout Argentina. InfoSAT specializes in remote sensing, image processing, photogrammetry and GIS and software, delivering tailored solutions for the forestry, defense, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries, as well as local governments.


The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has issued a
Request for Information (RFI) to solicit industry input into a Fusion Standards Study to be conducted in preparation for the planned OGC Web Services, Phase 7 (OWS-7) Testbed. OGC also seeks to establish alliances with other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) having technology relevant to fusion.

In the context of this RFI, “Fusion is the act or process of combining two or more pieces of data or information regarding one or more entities in order to improve the capability for detection, identification, or characterization of that entity”.

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announces the release of
online videos that document the recent final interoperability demonstration of the OGC Web Services Initiative, Phase 6 (OWS-6) Testbed. OWS-6 addressed activities organized around geospatial interoperability requirements in the following areas:

1) Sensor Web Enablement (SWE)

2) Geo Processing Workflow (GPW)

3) Decision Support Services (DSS)

4) Aeronautical Information Management (AIM)

5) Compliance and Interoperability Test and Evaluation (CITE).

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and The buildingSMART alliance (bSa) announce the availability of the May 28 webinar on the
Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator Phase 1 Testbed (AECOO-1). The webcast demonstrates results that focused on increasing interoperability among software used by architects, engineers, construction companies, cost estimators and building energy performance analysts.

MAPPS, the association of private geospatial firms, has announced that it will host its third annual Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards competition, recognizing the professionalism, value, integrity and achievement that member firms have demonstrated in their projects and technology developments over the previous year.

The 2009 contest is open to all MAPPS Member and Associate Member firms. The deadline for submitting entries is August 7, 2009.

To learn more information about MAPPS and the Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards program visit
Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards.

URISA and the University of South Florida’s National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) are pleased to announce a new partnership to present the 2009 GIS in Transit Conference: The Route to Success in GIS, taking place in St. Petersburg, Florida on November 16-18, 2009.

The 2009 GIS in Transit Conference keynote speakers will include presentations from both Google Transit and Consensus Systems Technologies Corporation. For more information about the conference or to register online, please visit
URISA GIS in Transit.

Broadband coverage maps created with geographic information system (GIS) technology are providing a competitive advantage during the funding application process for $4 billion in broadband grants and loans available through the U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The maps are produced with the help of Connected Nation, a nonprofit corporation, using ArcGIS technology from ESRI. Several states already have the maps in hand to provide applicants with strong, detailed support for their cases.

ESRI has launched a new user group specifically for its forestry and timberland management customers. The newly formed ESRI Forestry Group (EFG) will build opportunities for foresters to learn about business solutions, network with like-minded professionals, and develop professional growth.

The EFG 2009 startup plan includes a user group
web page; support for the 2009 ESRI International User Conference forestry track; a quarterly forestry solutions webinar; and an accessible information center for current GIS information, white papers, case studies, and more. EFG members can join the group at no cost and subscribe to the free newsletter
Forestry GIS Journal.

The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) and its Subgroup on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are proud to announce the publication of INCITS 453-2009, the North American Profile (NAP) of ISO 19115: 2003, Geographic Information – Metadata.

PCI Geomatics, a developer of geo-imaging software and systems, announced the launch of its new on-line store. The web store offers direct sales of the Geomatica software product line. For additional information, visit
PCI Geomatics store.


Intergraph has named Bill Campbell as Security, Government and Infrastructure (SG&I) division senior vice president for the Americas.

In this new position created to meet the expanding market demand and growth trajectory for SG&I's geospatially powered software, Campbell will oversee the sales and delivery teams for the SG&I division's Public Safety & Security, Government & Transportation, and Utilities & Communications business units.

Jason Carter was recently appointed a senior client manager with GeoDecisions, an information technology (IT) company specializing in geospatial solutions.

New Products

The Germany-based company GfK GeoMarketing is releasing an English version of its new geomarketing solution RegioGraph 2009 in August 2009. The software has a wide range of applications for sales, marketing, expansion and controlling divisions of internationally active companies from all branches of trade. In addition to maps and GfK data, RegioGraph 2009 includes a unique geocoding feature for locating addresses at the street level for 22 European countries.

GfK GeoMarketing is releasing an updated and expanded digital map edition for Asia. All maps have been revised to reflect the latest status. The edition also contains new and even more detailed regional administrative and postal units. With these innovations, GfK GeoMarketing's Asia Map Edition is the most up-to-date and comprehensive digital map collection for the 48 Asian countries on the market.

Spatial Technology (UK) has launched ISM MapView an entry level web based GIS (Geographical Information System) which comes complete with a very fast NLPG (National Land and Property Gazetteer) loader and address search facility. ISM MapView is aimed at organizations such as Local Authorities which are already using high end Geographic Information Systems but would like to make their maps and other data available to all staff at minimum cost.

SRC, LLC, provider of Geographic Business Intelligence solutions, announced the launch of the next generation of
FreeDemographics.com, delivering the intuitive navigation capabilities that offer users a faster and more interactive way to leverage demographic data.

AeroGRID imagery of Germany, Britain and Benelux is now available through the ESRI ArcGIS Online data delivery website. The deal has been brokered by i-cubed, AeroGRID’s core partner in the US.

Trimble introduced a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based office and handheld asset maintenance inspection solution for utilities. The solution is comprised of two new products: the Trimble UtilityCenter Field Inspector software for handhelds and the Trimble UtilityCenter Maintenance-2 module. In combination with Trimble Mapping and GIS rugged handheld computers with integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, the software offers electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities of all sizes a scalable and easy to deploy field solution for improving asset maintenance inspection operations.

PlantCML, an EADS North America company, announces the release of ORION Vela 2.0, an advanced mapping solution designed to simplify call processing. ORION Vela provides sophisticated administrative control and streamlines the user interface for operational efficiencies by allowing call takers to determine wireline and wireless call locations for dispatching first responders in high-pressure situations.

Spatial Wave, Incorporated has worked with Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to implement Spatial Wave, Inc.’s Field Mapplet/ Underground Service Alert (FM/USA) solution. FM/USA provides full support of MISS DIG workflow. The MISS DIG process is also known as "one-call" or "call before you dig" workflow to safeguard the public, environment, property and utility infrastructures. Field Mapplet / USA is Spatial Wave, Inc.’s systematic management of the one-call ticket workflow. It provides for rule based filtering of tickets which eliminates unnecessary locates and optimizes locator assignment.

Around the Web

The Crowd Is Wise (When It’s Focused), by Steve Lohr, July 18, 2009 - The New York Times (registration required) - Few concepts in business have been as popular and appealing in recent years as the emerging discipline of “open innovation.” It is variously described as crowdsourcing, the wisdom of crowds, collective intelligence and peer production — and these terms apply to a range of practices.

Setting a New Standard, Coral mapping advances conservation efforts, by Barbara J. Brunnick and Stefan E. Harzen, Summer, 2009, ArcNews Online - The first full fledged coral mapping project carried out in the Bahama archipelago has resulted in a highly precise map of the marine area that identifies different habitat types and locates individual species.


Date: July 27 - 31, 2009
Place: Downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada

GeoWeb conferences focus exclusively on geographic information systems, the Internet, and the economic potential associated with their convergence. GeoWeb 2009 will continue the tradition of focusing on the reciprocal impact of the Web and Geographic Information as well as the ever-increasing need for collaboration in light of global economic and environmental concerns. GeoWeb 2009 is for everyone!
Date: August 4 - 6, 2009
Place: Providence, RI USA

This conference has evolved from URISA's Street Smart and Address Savvy Conference (held from 1999 to 2005). In 2006 (Nashville), the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) joined URISA as a full partner in this educational program and the conference was re-named to the Geospatial Integration for Public Safety Conference.
Date: August 4 - 7, 2009
Place: Bali International Convention Center

Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia

SEASC is a biennale event of ASEAN FLAG (ASEAN Federation of Land Surveying and Geomatics), supported by FIG (International Federation of Surveyors), and as well by some other international affiliated organizations
Date: August 4, 2009
Place: Hampton Inn at Arapahoe & Boston - just east of I-25

9231 E Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, CO USA

WHY ATTEND?  Technical session will cover making better quality maps. Product session is on AnySite Demographic Reporting.  The Main session will focus on What's New in MapInfo Professional v10.  And you can network with local MapInfo Users!

Time:  Morning and Afternoon
Date: August 10 - 12, 2009
Place: Marriott Raleigh Crabtree Valley Hotel

Raleigh, NC USA

Who Should Attend:  New, Experienced, and Interested Users of HAZUS-MH; First Responders, Local Government Decision Makers, Planners and GIS Specialists.
Date: August 12 - 14, 2009
Place: Johnson Center, George Mason University

4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22023 USA

The local organizating committee for GeoInformatics 2009 welcomes your participation in the 17th international conference on Geoinformatics for GIScience professionals. The International Conference on Geoinformatics is a well-known annual forum for Geospatial Information Science Professionals.
Date: August 12, 2009
Place: USA

SHRP 2 Safety Project S04-A: Geographic Information System (GIS) Developer/Manager for SHRP 2 Roadway Information Database Budget and Project Duration: TBD—announced 7/28

Project Manager: Charles Fay
Date: August 18 - 20, 2009
Place: Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre


The Asia and Pacific region is the largest developing region in the world in landmass, population and aggregate income. Its 48 countries have nearly three fifth of the worlds total population. Each country in the region abounds in rich natural capital and has comprehended the true potential of Geospatial information in leveraging this capital to its utmost economic viability.

You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.