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July 26, 2004
Training Made Easy
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! In an age where organizations are trying to lower their training costs and get users up and running quickly, the Bentley ETS Resource Center sounds like a godsend with its self-service training that can be accessed at the user's convenience.


Also in the education arena, the Industry Trends Analysis Group (ITAG) of the Geospatial Information & Technology Associates (GITA) has produced its sixth annual Geospatial Technology Report, available since April, which is a content-rich, independent survey of technology trends and users feedback that originally set out to be a tool for information exchange and to educate GITA's membership.


Look for next week's Industry News which will feature a story on digital mapping cameras and some news from the ISPRS conference held in Istanbul.


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, New Products, Going on 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

Training Made Easy

By Susan Smith


This week Bentley Systems announced the availability of its ETS Resource Center, Bentley's online learning source. The format is different from other online training offerings we have covered in GISWeekly, in that the “student” can access training offerings whenever and whereever needed, rather than adhering to a set schedule of courses. (see
Online Training Courses - Are they for You?
University Distance Learning Programs) It all sounds very easy: according to the press
release the center “adds a wide portfolio of on-demand resources to Bentley Institute's training offerings and is highlighted by more than 1000 innovative, instructional video clips of product features and workflows…. Users can find training immediately, become more productive, and return to work in as little as two minutes.”


The Center offers the following: Feature Clips-- instructional video clips of user tasks, Recorded Virtual Classes--hour-long multimedia presentations covering a range of product features, especially suited for reinforcing training. Nearly 40 recorded classes are available on demand, with new sessions added weekly; Online Classroom Training Guides-- containing all the comprehensive, in-depth information of traditional Bentley Institute classroom courses. These 21 online self-study courses are divided into modules, each taking about an hour to complete.


“Training is among the top two technical challenges facing design firms, according to our 2004 Information Technology Survey of A/E/P & Environmental Consulting Firms,” said Christopher Klein, a principal with management consulting and research firm ZweigWhite. “The on-demand capabilities in the ETS Resource Center will help organizations address that need for training anytime and anywhere.”


In an age where organizations are trying to lower their training costs and get users up and running quickly, the ETS Resource Center sounds like a godsend with its self-service training that can be accessed at the user's convenience. The downside is that users will not have an instructor to call on for tough questions, but it is a beginning and maybe all that is needed in many situations. For more indepth training, Bentley does offer the Bentley Institute and the annual BE Conference.




A Look at the 2003-2004 Geospatial Technology Report - Review

2003-2004 The Geospatial Technology Report

Analysis by Brian Kiernan

Published by the Industry Trends Analysis Group of the Geospatial Information Technology Associates (on CD)

$145 for GITA members

$245 for non-members

ISBN 0-9644786-7-6


Accumulating and analyzing industry survey data holds the promise of greater understanding and confirmation of trends in the industry, and offers us a glimpse of the direction of the future.


The Industry Trends Analysis Group (ITAG) of the Geospatial Information & Technology Associates (GITA) has produced its sixth annual Geospatial Technology Report, which is a content-rich, independent survey of technology trends and users feedback that originally set out to be a tool for information exchange and to educate GITA's membership. But the addition of significant new detail, a growing number of participants, and cumulative data have helped the 2004 report far exceed its original goal.


Areas of detail that were added included:

*Respondents provided more detailed information about how geospatial information technology (GIT) is used

*Respondents provided a breakdown of costs into categories that would be of most interest to readers, that included software, hardware, services and data.

*Expenditures on data were separated by conversion costs versus purchased data of various types.

*New data was gathered about software and hardware-full-use seats versus view-only seats, by provider; number of workstations and servers, including operating systems and manufacturers.


The cumulative value of five years' worth of survey data makes it possible to see trends in the GIT industry, see how they affect utility operations and be able to analyze how that industry will be impacted in the future. In addition, a larger GITA membership participates in the survey, thereby increasing the statistical reliability of the report. The report addressed individual market segments such as utility, gas, pipeline, telecommunications, waste and wastewater and stormwater, public sector.


Many of the figures confirmed what some industry watchers already know. For example, in the past, GITA has been perceived as having an emphasis on electric and gas utilities, but according to the report, that is no longer true. Water and public sector participants are now catching up with utility. However, there were 70 participants in the 2003-2004 utility industry survey and it remains the largest participating market segment, with the most statistically reliable data.


One of the most popular features of the report is the rating of the top 10 applications and technologies in each GIS discipline. The report showed that the use of consultants and conversion companies is declining, a shift that is due to economics and the fact that software vendors have made great strides in the ease-of-use of their products, in addition to peer-to-peer networking on the Internet. This trend will not stay the same, according to the report, as the upgrade of the Electric Utility Transmission Grid (following the August 13, 2003 blackout) will cost an estimated $100 billion and will require a resource of highly trained consultants to implement.


Three implementation approaches were surveyed:
- Enterprise, where geospatial data is stored in a corporate data database repository and applications support a wide range of corporate business processes


- Departmental, where geospatial data and applications are stored at a department level, including land management, engineering, maps and records.


- Service organization approach is where a specific GIS group resides within a company and provides GIS services on demand to users within the organization.
Without giving away the contents of the report, it's safe to impart some of the findings, such as, project costs included new, higher cost levels and expanding the categories to include detail of software and applications, hardware, data and implementation services. Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) data use was detailed and it was discovered that water utilities and public sector GIS users are spending the most on COTS data and imagery.


It was found that between one-third and one-half of all participants were using more than one single GIS platform. As many as two-thirds of all those users were sharing data between systems. The trend of GIS companies to partner up in 2003 to offer integration between their products - evidenced by ESRI and Bentley, and other top players such as MapInfo, Autodesk and Intergraph, is now being reflected in users who increasingly use the native functionality in their GIS systems to move data back and forth.


All in all, the report is an important resource for GIS professionals, IT managers, users, -- anyone seeking to keep a finger on the pulse of the geospatial industry, who wants to know what technologies will be shaping the future of that industry in the years to come.




Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements


NGRAIN announced that Image Peak Systems and Aero Geometrics Ltd. have licensed and applied its interactive 3D visualization and simulation technology solution to develop advanced mapping and terrain visualization applications and products, to help address new demands in the geospatial industry for more advanced applications that allow users to better visualize, analyze and communicate a wide range of information and scenarios.


TELUS Geomatics, a division of TELUS Communications Inc., announced a partnership with Iunctus Geomatics Corp. to procure and process Canada-wide satellite imagery using the SPOT satellite system. TELUS Geomatics will be the exclusive marketer and distributor of the imagery in Canada.


Sky Light Communication Ltd. and LocatioNet Systems Ltd. announced their agreement to introduce advanced location-based services (LBS) in the Chinese wireless market. According to the agreement, LocatioNet will provide Sky Light with its LBS Middleware, Geo Toolbox, and two of its LBS applications: MyMap and Fleet & Workforce management. The two companies will join forces in the creation and integration of the LBS solutions with the local Chinese mobile operators.


Tadpole-Cartesia announced that it has partnered with VELOCITIE Integration to provide its enterprise ArcGIS data management solution to the utility, municipal government, and communication industries. The intent is to unite Tadpole-Cartesia's Enterprise Data Management system with VELOCITIE's world-class implementation services and for both companies to offer the new solution to existing and prospective clients.


Laser-Scan announced they have acquired Sysdeco. This event has been timed to coincide with the end of the first year's profitable trading after the Management Buy out in July 2003. Previous to the acquisition, Sysdeco and Laser-Scan were close business partners working in the National Mapping Agency vertical markets using Laser-Scan's Oracle based Radius Programme as a means of delivering interoperability.




Company News


CompassCom Inc. of Centennial, Colo., announced the creation of CompassData Inc., formerly a CompassCom business unit which specializes in collecting high-quality ground control points (GCPs) for orthorectification of aerial and satellite imagery. In addition, CompassData introduced the availability of the CompassData Ground Control Archive containing more than 6,000 points collected worldwide by CompassData since 1998.


ESRI announced that its European office, ESRI-Europe, will sponsor Technical Committee 287 (TC 287), organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).




Announcements


Space Imaging Middle East (SIME), provider of satellite imagery products and services is exhibiting at the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) fair that is being held in Istanbul, Turkey.


The Spatial Technologies Industry Association (STIA) is pleased to announce that the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) has agreed to be a Cooperating Sponsor of STIA's SPATIAL-TECH 20004 national policy symposium and exhibition. SPATIAL-TECH 2004, which is STIA's annual event to identify, articulate, and champion the interests of the evolving integrated spatial technologies industry, will be held at the Walt Disney Swan & Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Florida from September 26 to 29, 2004.


The first "OGC Plugfest" was held June 16 at the OGC's 50th Technical Committee Meeting meetings in Southampton, UK. A plugfest is an event at which vendors gather in a cooperative effort to test and improve interoperability between their product implementations of standards specifications.


Vendors participating in the first OGC Plugfest declared it a great success. Eight vendors tested interoperability between clients and servers designed to comply with Web Map Service 1.1.1 and Web Feature Service 1.0. The procedure was to find problems, document them on a form, deliver the form to the appropriate participant and work together to fix the problems. All the participants agreed that OGC should organize more plug fests, using the same format as the UK event.


Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT - News) and the U.S. Air Force have completed on-orbit checkout of the upgraded Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite launched successfully June 23 from Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft has been declared fully operational for military and civilian navigation users around the globe.


Built by Lockheed Martin in Valley Forge, Pa., the satellite, designated Space Vehicle Number (SVN) 60 and GPS Mission IIR-12, is the third Block IIR to feature a high-performance antenna panel designed to provide greater signal power to navigation users. The current constellation of 29 GPS satellites now includes 11 fully operational Block IIR spacecraft, which were developed to improve global coverage and increase the overall performance of the global positioning system.


CDR Group has been supporting Derbyshire County Council in the development of their MapInfo based corporate GIS for more than four years. In addition to supplying software, data, training and technical support, the Projects team at CDR has carried out a number of data capture and site survey exercises for the Authority. Derbyshire has now further cemented this close working relationship by appointing CDR as Approved Contractor for Data Capture and Conversion Services under a new 3 year Framework Agreement.


Image courtesy of Space Imaging

CLICK TO ENLARGE
To highlight the 2004 Tour de France's Stage 13 being held Saturday, July 17, Space Imaging is releasing an archived, IKONOS satellite 'Zoomify' image and 3D fly-through of the cyclists' route. Space Imaging's IKONOS image was loaded into Zoomify's Zoomifier for Macromedia Flash software. The 3D fly-through was created in-house using Sensor Systems Inc.'s RemoteView software, multiple scenes of IKONOS imagery and digital elevation data.


The 1,600-pound IKONOS satellite travels 423 miles above the Earth's surface at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. It's the world's first commercial high-resolution remote sensing satellite and can see objects on the ground as small as one-meter square.


New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (
http://www.aerospaceanddefense.frost.com), "North American Remote Sensing Vertical Markets," reveals that revenue in this industry totaled $1.29 billion in 2003 and projects to reach $1.68 billion by 2010.


Strategic Research Institute presents the second Commercial Remote Sensing Conference, September 13 & 14, in Denver (
http://www.srinstitute.com/ApplicationFiles/web/WebFrame.cfm?web_id=257).


This forum will analyze current and future opportunities and explore key issues within the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry, including its relationship to system and technology partners, federal government agencies, as well as back-to-back panels from both satellite and airborne imagery platform businesses.


ORBIMAGE Inc. ("ORBIMAGE") announced the one-year anniversary of the launch of OrbView-3, its first high-resolution imaging satellite. Launched on June 26, 2003 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, OrbView-3 orbits 470 km above the Earth in a sun-synchronous orbit while collecting imagery of every continent of the Earth's surface at one-meter resolution in the Panchromatic (black and white) mode, and at four-meter resolution in the Multispectral (color) mode.


MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq:
MAPS) reported earnings per share of $0.08 for the third quarter of fiscal 2004 ended June 30, 2004 compared to the prior year's earnings per share of $0.03, representing a 166 percent increase on 14 percent higher revenue.


Financial highlights for the quarter include:


-- Balanced revenues across vertical markets: retail accounting for 23 percent, telecommunications 21 percent, public sector 18 percent and financial services, including insurance representing 8 percent of total revenue.


-- Operating margin increased to 10.5 percent, representing the third consecutive quarter of sequential improvement. For the second quarter of fiscal 2004, the operating margin was 9.1 percent and for the first quarter the operating margin was 3.9 percent. The third quarter operating margin also improved 800 basis points over the prior year operating margin of 2.5 percent.


-- Cash from operations grew by $5.0 million during the quarter. As of June 30, 2004, cash and investments were $83.5 million, including the $44.2 million of net cash raised from the company's follow-on offering completed in April 2004.


-- Total deferred revenues stood at $14.0 million at the end of the quarter.


The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) today announced that The Map Network will serve as the Official Map Provider for the 2004 Democratic National Convention, held July 26-29 in Boston.




Appointments


ObjectFX announced Barry J. Glick as its President and CEO. He was a founder and served as CEO of MapQuest.com from its inception as a business unit of RR Donnelley and most recently had been CEO of Webraska Mobile Technologies.




New Products


Geographic information specialist GDC (
www.graphdata.co.uk) launched the latest addition to its product family; GeoReveal is a tool that enables users to graphically represent the relationship between data and geography. GeoReveal makes it possible for both GIS-literate and non-GIS users to link back-office data with eye-catching graphics and informative interactive mapping.


Digital Map Products (DMP announced it has launched a new application, ObliqueInterface(TM), enabling users to extend the value of their investment in oblique aerial photography by making these photos accessible from a location identified by the user.


NovaLIS Technologies will release NovaLIS Parcel EditorTM for ESRI's ArcMap 9 at this year's ESRI User Conference in San Diego. “Parcel Editor provides the best combination of core functionality, customized tools, and workflow capabilities to meet the diverse requirements of current and future ArcMap users,” says NovaLIS Parcel Editor Product Manager Matt Archibald.


Thales introduced MobileMapper(TM) CE, a handheld GPS receiver for geographic information system (GIS) and many other data collection applications. Priced substantially lower than competing systems, the MobileMapper CE GPS receiver offers an array of features, including real-time, sub-meter GPS positioning, embedded Microsoft(R) Windows(R) CE .NET, Bluetooth(R) wireless technology, removable SD card memory and an all-day removable battery.


Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:
GRMN), introduced the GPSMAP 96 and GPSMAP 96C -- two new portable devices for the aviation market. These products are enabled with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and feature detailed obstruction data and auto-routing capabilities to help pilots navigate the skies above and the roads and waterways below.




Around the Web...


RFID Chip in Kids' Car Seats - Information Week, by Laurie Sullivan, July 20, 2004 - AirGate Technologies Inc. says it's developing a prototype child car seat that incorporates a radio-frequency-identification tag. The seat would warn drivers if the seat buckle disengages. A finished prototype is expected within 90 days.


Japanese Carrier Unveils Mobile Phone Wallet Associated Press--TOKYO, By Yuri Kageyama, July 22, 2004 (USA Today) - As it is, you don't leave home without it. In a world of cashless payment, why not simply make your cell phone a wallet? Japan has long been phasing out the hassle of coins and bills with microchip-laden "smart cards," which let people make electronic payments for everything from lunch to the daily commute.




Upcoming Events...


GML Days 2004

Date: July 25 - 29, 2004

Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

GML Days 2004 is the third annual conference on the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML) and Web Services for GIS.


GML And Geo-Spatial Web Services Conference 2004

Date: July 25 - 29, 2004

Place: Delft University of Technology Vancouver, Canada

GML 3 has introduced several new geometry types, including data types for 3D geo-data. In addition GML 3 offers a set of topology constructs. In this paper we will present two examples that build on these new possibilities. The first example is that of a Web service that handles both 2D and 3D GML. The 2D GML is visualized in the client after conversion into SVG; the 3D GML is likewise transformed into X3D, the XML successor of VRML.


You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


To read more news, click here.



-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.