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April 04, 2005
System Integration, Italian Style
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by GISCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Message from the Editor -


Welcome to GISWeekly! Using their complete SDK for GIS, the Italian ABACO Group, in business now for 12 years, can build an entire GIS on Oracle Spatial 10g, eliminating the need for some organizations to buy an entire GIS. Instead they can buy an integrated IT solution to be used throughout an enterprise to create numerous applications and manage many different types of data. 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, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Appointments, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.


GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at
Managing Editor


Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor




Industry News


System Integration, Italian Style

By Susan Smith


Much has been said about Oracle Database 10g's new features, but we are now beginning to see partner companies come forward with technology that can utilize these powerful features. As a recap, here's what's in 10g:
- Network Data Model: A data model that stores network structure, stores and maintains connectivity of link-node networks and provides network analysis capability useful to transportation, utilities, life sciences and transit.

- Navigation Routing Engine: The spatial database now supports navigation routing such as driving distances, times and directions)

- Topology Data Model: This data model “persistently” stores topology in a relational database, good for those situations that require data integrity across maps and map layers.

- Geocoding Engine: A fully functional geocoding engine is now a part of 10g, providing international address standardization, geocoding and POI matching.

- Spatial Analytic Functions: These include server-based spatial analysis functions such as classification, binning, association, and spatial correlation, useful for application developers needing to deploy spatial mining operations on point-based features.
Using their complete SDK for GIS, the Italian ABACO Group, in business now for 12 years, can build an entire GIS on Oracle Spatial 10g, eliminating the need for some organizations to buy an entire GIS. Instead they can buy an integrated IT solution to be used throughout an enterprise to create numerous applications and manage many different types of data.


ABACO has developed DbMAP ASJ, which allows database administrators, Java developers and system integrators to build websites and client/server applications using ABACO's 100% pure Java applets, components and servlets. These tools allow users to remotely view and edit GIS raster and vector data over the internet or intranet, while data is stored in Oracle Spatial tables. ABACO also developed DbGIS Dev, OCX/ActiveX components that integrate GIS, CAD, AM/FM, GPS, and RDBMS technologies.


Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute: Display and manage raster and vector backgrounds overlapped with drawn contour lines with calculated values of air pollution materials in the atmosphere.
In a conversation with Robert Orsi, Director of Sales and Business Development at ABACO, I was reminded of a
conversation I had had last year with Xavier Lopez, Director of Spatial and Location Technologies, Oracle Corporation. IT managers are getting the responsibility to manage all spatial data, as data is moved away from the desktop. All data is saved and managed on a central IT server. The more centralized data becomes, the more IT has expectations of access, security, and increasing the leveraging of the application server and database. Openness is fundamental in IT, and as Lopez said: “Big vendors are leveraging Oracle technology to differentiate their solutions.”


A feature of every Oracle database -- Oracle Locator -- allows organizations to use the native spatial data management and geoprocessing existing in every database that Oracle licenses - at no extra cost. This presents a huge opportunity to partners, when one realizes that every Oracle9i and 10g database is location-enabled. Oracle has been labeled a “disruptive technology” by some. "Incorporating geoprocessing into a DBMS alone is not disruptive," said Lopez. "It's the growing availability of third party technologies and spatial solutions that leverage what comes in the Oracle platform that is disruptive. The emergence of Oracle10g Spatial as a platform for a variety of spatial
applications and services, is also coinciding with an emergence of new specialized tool vendors that leverage the native capabilities of the platform as a starting point for development."


That emergence of new specialized tool vendors is at hand now with companies like ABACO offering tools for system integration based on Oracle Spatial 10g that are less expensive than traditional tools and offer an algorithm for database administrators who need to be able to analyze, create, import and export to the web. The tool also makes it possible to manage different applications from handhelds. The cost is only on the server side, according to Orsi.


Q: DbMap sounds a lot like ESRI's ArcIMS.

Roberto Orsi: Yes, except that DbMap is a non-proprietary, completely independent solution, a straightforward and cheap alternative to ArcIMS.


Q: I seem to recall you saying something about the speed of connectivity: please elaborate on that.

Roberto Orsi: The speed of the transfer of the geographical information to the client occurs through vectors with an optimization that depends on different factors, such as the visualization scale and the video reduction on the client (that's completely transparent to the user.) We also support WMS services.


Q: Bentley's ProjectWise Oracle 10g Spatial Connector that is not formally announced yet, will allow enterprise workflow, specifically direct interaction between Bentley engineering and geospatial applications of any kind. It allow users to decide what to populate datastores with. Bentley has never had a geodatabase, but they can leverage 10g's spatial capability by moving management of geospatial information into the enterprise IT workflow. Also, in 10g users can do direct editing of the model for topology. Will your product(s) be similar to this offering?

Roberto Orsi: Yes, it's similar. But our tool is more oriented to the system integrator, who has wide freedom of personalization of the applications. I emphasize the possibility to be connected to more geodatabases (Oracle Spatial 10g, Locator, PostGIS and the standard RDBMS) at the same time and in the same project.


Q: I also heard an announcement at GITA about the new Oracle Spatial 10g GeoRaster API that will provide a plug-in architecture to support partner compression technologies. LizardTech will supply the module that will enable that API for loading and retrieving MrSID data natively to and from Oracle Spatial 10g. Will this mean that you will partner with MrSID to access this capability for your customers, or will this become a part of Oracle and make it unnecessary to create another partnership?

Robert Orsi: We support the Oracle georaster, and how they will partner with LizardTech to elaborate themselves doesn't affect us.


Q: Who are your customers?

Roberto Orsi: Companies [with system integrators] that need to realize and publish GIS applications, thus to software houses as well as to civil services.


Q: What features of Oracle Spatial 10g are you utilizing?

Roberto Orsi: We are utilizing all the functionalities available.


Q: Can you build entire GIS systems with these tools?

Roberto Orsi: Absolutely yes. Our tool has all the necessary technology to build an entire
GIS system. We can build a GIS application that gets geographical information from all file systems (SHP, DVG, etc.) and the geodatabase, if the user wants to centralize the geospatial data.


Q: You mentioned the ability to store data on different servers as opposed to the now-popular central datastore model being touted by many vendors. What are the advantages of this?

Roberto Orsi: The concept of the centralized database is the same, but the user can build a distributed architecture if necessary. If, for example, there are different levels of information and it's unnecessary or not a good idea to completely share, the database can have distributed architecture: everybody can reach all the information in the database, but the various data are in different databases. Their kind can also be different: for example, Oracle Spatial at the National level, and Locator, PostGIS or other at the State and County level.




Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements


Tele Atlas N.V., a global provider of digital map data and other geographic content, announced that it has entered into an agreement to transfer its Indian technical center to Infotech Enterprises, Ltd. in an all cash transaction. Tele Atlas has partnered with Infotech for more than 10 years, and regards this arrangement as the logical next phase of their relationship.




Announcements


Pictometry International Corp., provider of a patented information system that captures georeferenced, digital aerial oblique and orthogonal images as well as related software, announced today that its software and high-resolution imagery have been incorporated as part of several projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The Board of Trustees of the ISPRS Foundation is delighted that Dr. Hans Hess, CEO & Executive Director of the Board, Leica Geosystems, Switzerland, and a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees, has announced a donation from Leica Geosystems to the ISPRS Foundation of $US25,000. The Board of Trustees expresses its appreciation for this generous donation, as it will significantly boost its finances, enabling it to make grants to worthy individuals in the near future.


NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has added new roads and updated attributes and geometry on existing roads in its maps of the following middle eastern countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The updated maps of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were released in Q4 2004, and the updated map of Saudi Arabia was released in Q1 2005 to NAVTEQ's direct customers.


Boeing recently delivered the final installment of Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED ®) to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, completing work on the most complete, medium-resolution digital topographic database of Earth.




Appointments


Christopher Haakon has joined IDELIX Software's Board of Advisors. Mr. Haakon is the former CEO and general manager of Boeing Autometric.




New Products


ESRI announced the availability of MapObjects-Java Edition Version 2.1. MapObjects-Java Edition is a powerful collection of pure Java client and server-side components used to build custom, cross platform mapping and GIS applications.


Hitachi Software Global Technology, a provider of enterprise GIS systems, announced new functionality through its Any*GIS GeoAdapters. Built on Open Geospatial Consortium standards and open systems architecture, Any*GIS is a multi-tiered interoperable framework that integrates multiple GIS data sources. Any*GIS supports spatial data access and updating to OpenGIS® Simple Feature Specification data stores in Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL, as well as proprietary formats from Autodesk, ESRI, Intergraph, MapInfo and GE Energy (Smallworld).


Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced that GeoMedia(R) Grid 5.2, an advanced, fully integrated grid analysis toolkit for GeoMedia, is now shipping worldwide. GeoMedia Grid provides integration of vector and grid data formats for viewing and analysis.


Also from Intergraph (IMGS) the announcement of GeoMedia(R) Fusion, its new product that automates and standardizes geospatial data collection, integration and maintenance. With the increased emphasis on data access and sharing and the immediate need for geospatial information, it has become more common for organizations and agencies to ingest multiple data sources in their enterprisewide databases on a regular basis. GeoMedia Fusion, available in April, is targeted for geospatial professionals in transportation, photogrammetry, local and state government, federal and national government and military and intelligence markets.


MapInfo Corporation, global provider of location intelligence solutions, announced the latest release of MapInfo MapXMobile, its mapping application for Microsoft Windows Pocket PC software developers. With new functionality and support for the latest handheld devices and standard development languages, MapX Mobile v5.0 software enables an organization to receive, view and analyze data wherever critical decisions are made-in the field and across the enterprise.


Franson Technology has released Franson GpsGate, a Windows and PocketPC utility that lets you run many GPS applications using a single GPS. You can create any number of virtual serial ports, simulate a GPS, and log and replay GPS data.


MapText, Inc. has announced the release of SmartLabel 1.0, a low-cost text placement engine that integrates with MapInfo Professional, MapInfo's GIS. The product, which is designed to provide high-cartographic-quality label placement, will be demonstrated at MapInfo's MapWorld 2005 User Conference in Miami, FL, April 6-8, 2005.


DM Solutions Group Inc., an Open Source and open standards Web mapping solutions company, and Orkney Inc., a Japanese business solutions provider, announced the ability to output SVG file formats through MapServer. This new functionality will allow cell phone users in Japan to access location-based services, such as maps and point of interest sites, seamlessly through goSVG.




Around the Web


Speedy desktop search tools raise security concerns By Heather B. Hayes, March 28, 2005, Federal Computer Week-- Today's super-size hard drives don't come close to storing the billions of gigabytes of information found on the Web, and yet federal workers often have a significantly easier time locating an obscure document in cyberspace than they do finding a dated but much-needed e-mail message in their inbox.




Upcoming Events


The 2005 Annual Meeting of the AAG

Date: April 5 - 9, 2005

Place: Denver, CO USA

The Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers is a Professional and Scholarly meeting of over 4000 attendees. Nearly 3000 attendees present their research in over 700 sessions scheduled throughout the meeting.


COFES

Date: April 14 - 17, 2005

Place: Scottsdale, AZ USA

COFES is the engineering software industry's only annual think tank event which brings executives from design, engineering, architectural, development and technology companies together to understand the role engineering technology will play in the future survival and success of your business.


FIG Working Week 2005 & 8th Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference(GSDI-8)

Date: April 16 - 21, 2005

Place: Intercontinental Semiramis Cairo, Egypt

From Pharaohs to Geoinformatics The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure supports ready global access to geographic information. This is achieved through the coordinated actions of nations and organizations that promote awareness and implementation of complimentary policies, common standards and effective mechanisms for the development and availability of interoperable digital geographic data and technologies to support decision making at all scales for multiple purposes. These actions encompass the policies, organizational remits, data, technologies, standards, delivery mechanisms, and financial and human resources necessary to ensure that those working at the global and regional scale are
not impeded in meeting their objectives. Call for papers - deadline 20 November 2004
http://www.fig.net/cairo/call.htm


8th GSDI Conference

Date: April 16 - 21, 2005

Place: Cairo, Egypt

"From Pharoahs to Geoinformatics" --"The role of spatial data and spatial data infrastructures in an information society" is a major theme. The GSDI Association (Global Spatial Data Infrastructure) will hold this conference in conjunction with the Federation of International Surveyors (FIG).


2005 ESRI Business GeoInfo Summit

Date: April 18 - 19, 2005

Place: Chicago, IL USA

Learn how to integrate consumer data with GIS to make better business decisions.


21ST Annual Louisiana Remote Sensing & GIS Workshop

Date: April 19 - 21, 2005

Place: Lindy C. Boggs Conference Center University of New Orleans, LA USA

The annual Louisiana Remote Sensing & GIS Workshop (LA RSGIS) is the State's premier event for professionals using geospatial information technologies, including automated mapping/facilities management, cartography, land use and land management, geographic information systems, remote sensing and photogrammetry, and other related geospatial technologies.


15th ANNUAL NEVADA STATE GIS CONFERENCE

Date: April 20 - 22, 2005

Place: John Asuxaga's Nugget Sparks, NV USA

"GIS Makes Nevada Spatial"


2005 Delaware GIS Conference

Date: April 21, 2005

Place: The Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center Rehoboth Beach, DE USA


2005 Symposium and Exhibition on Best Practices in Mass Appraisal

Date: April 21 - 22, 2005

Place: Bangkok, Thailand

The symposium is designed to provide a forum for investors, professionals, academics, and other professionals who use CAMA and GIS tools in their real estate appraisal work to come together and share experiences from around the world. The event will feature presentations, panel discussions, a product exhibition, and a study trip. We are currently accepting papers for the conference (see website for more details).


The International Lidar Mapping Forum

Date: April 25 - 26, 2005

Place: Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans, LA USA

The International LIDAR Forum (ILMF) is an industry group whose goal is to advance the education and knowledge of LIDAR mapping technology and applications. To further this objective, the ILMF holds an annual meeting that brings together LIDAR professionals from around the world to network and hear about the latest technologies and issues affecting LIDAR mapping.


GeoSpatial World 2005

Date: April 26 - 28, 2005

Place: Hilton San Francisco San Francisco, CA USA

Sponsored by Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions and the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community, GeoSpatial World is the annual international training and management conference for Intergraph customers and individuals who are interested in learning more about managing and applying geospatial technology, information, and solutions.






You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


To read more news, click here.



-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.