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July 12, 2004
The Debut of GeoVideo
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 response to the growing interest among GIS users in the use of DVD video to add to mapped environments, Fort Collins-based Red Hen Systems, Inc. announced the release of an extension to ArcGIS 8.x and 9.0, GeoVideo, which makes it possible for users to integrate DVD video within GIS environments. Read about this product 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, 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

The Debut of GeoVideo

By Susan Smith


In response to the growing interest among GIS users in the use of DVD video to add to mapped environments, Fort Collins-based Red Hen Systems, Inc. announced the release of an extension to ArcGIS 8.x and 9.0, GeoVideo, which makes it possible for users to integrate DVD video within GIS environments. Prior to this release this capability was available with Red Hen's MediaMapper, but that product is proprietary to the company's GIS system, which is optimized for video and digital still mapping.


Because many MediaMapper users were also big ArcGIS users, Red Hen saw the need to produce something that combined DVD video with spatially referenced ArcGIS data. “We have many customers like utility companies that are sending pilots over their utility corridors with video cameras or high resolution still cameras and capturing the state of their assets,” explained Norton Ewart, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Red Hen. “They want to create a mapped environment where they can review that information so that when they're watching the video they have a reference to where on the map it came from. And they also want 'spatial random access' added to the video, allowing
them to click on the map and view the video from that location.”


Users can use any off-the-shelf DVD video cameras and GPS receivers to collect video via foot, aircraft, vehicle or boat. Red Hen offers GPS video collection hardware as well, optimized for specific uses such as on aircraft, in vehicle or for pedestrian use. These hardware offerings will be bundled with GeoVideo.




“We have so many customers using this already in our own environment that we knew what people need in the way of features and functions and what would be useful in the ESRI environment,” said Ewart. Customers who find this functionality useful include intelligence/defense, utility/transportation and natural resource managers. Currently a customer is using the product to do coral reef mapping off the coast of Hawaii. “She is using a video camera underwater and collecting imagery from the bottom, then using that to produce a map in the ESRI environment that will represent the health and territory of the coral reef,” explained Ewart.


To encode video with geo-referenced information, GeoVideo has a patented technique that processes the video and at the same time, creates a map of the route with reference points-for example, if you were inspecting for potholes along a road, you could click on those locations and points would be created at each of those potholes so that you could later see only the potholes on the map without having to view the entire route. A moving cursor shows the position and camera direction as the video plays. Still images can also be captured from the video, you can create a map feature and associate the still image with it. The spatial DVD information can be shared with other GeoVideo users.
“You can
also use the database of the GIS engine to ask the system to find all potholes or whatever, and they would be organized on the map for you, and you would have an image to go along with them.”


Ewart said that getting up and running with GeoVideo is quite simple. “In order to take advantage of the ArcGIS power of the product you would want to take a certain amount of training to understand this if you were starting from a non-GIS background. However,” he added, “I'm not a GIS professional and I use it all the time.”


“Adding spatial random access to DVD video in a mapped environment has proven to be an effective decision support solution, saving time, money, and in some cases even lives, in defense/intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, transportation, utilities, natural resources, and other industries,” said Ewart.


GeoVideo software is $1395 including a copy of PixPoint, an extension to ArcGIS. The hardware is in the range of $1500-$2000, depending upon the configuration used.




Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements


GeoDecisions has just been awarded a $3 million dollar open-end contract with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC). GeoDecisions will provide SDDC with geographic information system (GIS) services and IT services for a three year period.


UAI (UAI, Inc.), provider of geospatial information technology solutions to the utility industry and public sector, announced that it has entered into a business partnership with engineering analysis powerhouse CYME International (Quebec, Canada) to enhance the functionality available in its UtilityCenter™ 2.0 solution.


Fastrax Ltd., a developer of OEM GPS receivers for optimal utilization of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), today announced a new distribution agreement with Eurodis Electron PLC, third-largest electronic components distributor in Europe.


Microsoft Corp. and European mobile operators O2 and TeliaSonera announced plans to deliver real-time location services designed to enable businesses to significantly improve the way they locate, track and manage their mobile assets and mobile work force. The real-time location services are built around Microsoft® MapPoint® Location Server (MLS) and enable developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators to create and deploy location-aware business applications for their customers by combining the real-time location data from the O2 and TeliaSonera networks with the rich mapping and location capabilities from the Microsoft MapPoint Web
Service.


Wireless network providers striving to meet federally mandated implementation timelines for deploying Enhanced 911 (E911) services will receive additional support from an agreement announced today by The Wilkins Group, Inc. (WGI) and TruePosition, Inc. The agreement between WGI, a nationwide telecommunications and Internet services company and TruePosition, Inc., a leading provider of location-based technologies, will increase the deployment of TruePosition's Finder(TM) technology, thus enabling carriers to provide wireless telephone subscribers in the United States with Enhanced 911 service.


CPS (Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd) and Xion announce plans to collaborate on the development of a new wristwatch-based child safety communicator and locator - the first of its kind to deliver high accuracy location in all environments including indoors.


Laser-Scan announce that it has taken over the Utilities delivery business of Ewan Optimal Solutions (EOS). On June 3rd Ewan Group and Laser-Scan agreed a deal whereby Laser-Scan assumed the responsibility for delivering Ewan Optimal Solutions Utility contracts in the United Kingdom. EOS had earlier made a strategic decision to embed Radius Topology in a new web browser based GIS application being developed for Northern Ireland Water Service. EOS and Laser-Scan have worked together to build this solution since 2003. The application combines both above and below ground asset information and is delivered on top of an Oracle9i database and uses MapInfo technologies.


A revolutionary new service giving up-to-the-minute travel information for journey planning across Britain using numerous forms of transport is one step closer today - thanks to an agreement between Ordnance Survey and the Department for Transport (DfT).


The agreement allows DfT to draw on Ordnance Survey's most sophisticated and detailed mapping - including the latest generation of its integrated transport network data - for the forthcoming web-based Transport Direct service,
www.transportdirect.info




Excellence Awards


In recognition of his many contributions to the development of OpenGIS Specifications and to the advancement of the vision of interoperable geoprocessing, Martin Daly, Technical Director, Cadcorp has been awarded with this year's Kenneth D. Gardels Award by the Open GIS Consortium (OGC).




Contract Awards


Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced the Kosovo Cadastral Agency (KCA) has selected the company's land information management solutions for cadastral registration and land information access. The agency, a part of the Kosovo government's Ministry of Public Services, was established after the Kosovo war to reconstruct the country's cadastre as well as to implement new GIS technology to streamline spatial information creation. Using Intergraph solutions, KCA is developing the national Immovable Property Rights Register to house records on property ownerships, buildings, parcels, land raster and vector data and associated metadata. Kosovo has
approximately two million parcels in a 10, 877 square kilometer area.


Merrick & Company has been awarded the Precision Topographic and Bathymetric Mapping project for the Yellowstone River Conservation District Council. Merrick will provide global positioning system (GPS) and bathymetric surveys, LIDAR data acquisition, one-meter contours, half-meter bathymetric contours, planimetric feature and breakline mapping, color aerial photography, and color digital orthophotography with a 30-centimeter pixel resolution.


GE Energy was awarded a contract by Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. (Minnkota) of Grand Forks, N.D., for multiple XA/21™ energy management system upgrades. GE Energy's XA/21 system provides energy management (EMS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) capabilities combined with an open systems architecture featuring Web-based full graphics, advanced power system applications, historical information storage and retrieval and relational database technology.




Announcements


While braving the bitter weather and harsh conditions at the Colwell Massif site in Antarctica, geologists are reminded of the woman behind the name. The site was named after the respected scientist and educator Dr. Rita R. Colwell in recognition of her work in the polar regions. Her dedication to science and education is evident in the many facets of her career. Colwell will speak about her experiences and knowledge at the Twenty-fourth Annual ESRI International User Conference on August 9, 2004, in San Diego, California.


GEOCOMtms, architect of A.MAZE, a fleet scheduling optimization and territory design solution, announced today that it is now offering its A.MAZE software on Stratus Technologies' ftServer system to provide its customers with a continuously available hardware platform.


Software on a NASA spacecraft recently made a scientific observation on its own without human interaction. The Space Technology 6 Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment captured images of Antarctica's Mount Erebus and detected volcanic activity.


The software, developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., controls the Earth Observing-1 spacecraft. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md, manages the satellite. The software examines pictures from the Hyperion spectrometer, an instrument highly sensitive to heat released from molten lava.


Geographic Data Technology, Inc. (GDT), and ESRI will present seven U.S. and Canadian educators with scholarships to attend the 2004 ESRI Education User Conference (EdUC). GDT will provide recipients with a scholarship for travel costs and ESRI will provide complimentary admission to the conference in San Diego, California, August 7-10, 2004.


Tele Atlas N.V. announced that its North American subsidiary, Tele Atlas North America, Inc., received clearance from the Department of Justice to acquire Geographic Data Technologies (GDT). With this official approval, Tele Atlas can now execute on the agreement to close the deal that was announced April 27, 2004, and begin the integration process. The transaction is expected to close within the next two weeks.


NASA and other agencies will measure the movements of pollution around the globe this summer. NASA is participating with U.S. and international agencies as part of a combined air quality and climate study.


The first phase of the two-part experiment kicks off today through August 19. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are leading a team of scientists. Researchers will conduct observations, as part of the New England Air Quality Study, to track the path of polluting gases and aerosols traveling from North America to Europe. The University of New Hampshire, Durham, is a partner on a broader experiment, called the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-North America (INTEX-NA).


The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) invites comments from all interested parties on the draft framework data standards developed through the Geospatial One-Stop e-Government initiative. The public review period will begin in July 2004 and will last 90 days. These standards establish common requirements to facilitate data exchange for seven themes of geospatial data fundamental to many different Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. The seven geospatial data themes are: geodetic control, elevation, orthoimagery, hydrography, transportation, cadastral, and governmental unit boundaries. For more information on participating in the review of the draft framework data
standards, go to
www.fgdc.gov.


Farallon Geographics, Inc. announced that it has joined the ESRI's Business Partner Program. Farallon is a San Francisco based consulting firm that focuses on development of spatial data solutions.


Laser-Scan is pleased to announce the dates for this year's User and Partner Conference. The conference will be held in Cambridge on the 15 -16 September 2004 with an emphasis on Spatial Data Quality Management.




Appointments


The aerial photography company BlueSky (
www.bluesky-world.com) has appointed three directors following a management buyout from Getmapping plc. Rachel Eddy, James Eddy and David Stubley will spearhead the company which is the master reseller responsible for non-internet sales of Getmapping's Millennium Map; the countrywide aerial photomap that famously attracted the Queen as an investor.


Definiens Imaging has appointed Dr. Ursula Benz and Martin Ehrhardt to the positions of managing directors.


Benz joined Definiens Imaging in 2000 from the German Aerospace Centre, initially responsible for SAR development, before setting up Definiens Imaging Professional Service Group.




New Products


Intergraph (NASDAQ:
INGR) Mapping and Geospatial Solutions began shipping the latest release of G/Technology software, version 9.2. The result of the company's commitment to build and maintain industry-specific, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions, G/Technology delivers an integrated geofacilities management system that optimizes operational efficiency and reduces the cost of designing, operating and maintaining a service delivery network of utilities and communications companies.


Kinetic Solutions, a privately held, full-service application development and data integration company specializing in geographic information systems (GIS), has introduced SCOUT (Special Crisis Operations for Urban Terrain), the company's Incident Command System. SCOUT is an advanced tactical response support system originally developed as an incident planning tool to aid first responders during crisis situations.


Navman, designer and manufacturer of world-class global positioning systems (GPS), communication and marine products, announced the latest addition to its innovative line of GPS products for the consumer electronics market, the Navman PiN. The Personal Interactive Navigation (PiN) device integrates the power of advanced GPS navigation with the efficiency of Pocket PC organization, delivering handheld convenience.


MapInfo, provider of location intelligence for the enterprise, has announced the latest release of MapInfo GBPro an up-to-date, high quality, map dataset for England, Scotland and Wales. This new version which includes new look vector data for better looking more realistic maps, offers a number of new features and improvements with extended coverage, updates to the road network, postal area and district boundaries and the addition of Government Office Regions. MapInfo also announced the availability of Smart Site Solutions, an advanced site selection and predictive modeling solution that enables UK retail organizations, including fast food restaurants, high street chains, banks
and building societies, to make faster more informed decisions about their networks in order to maximize profitability and reduce risk.


Bergmann Associates announced the release of ACAS; a GIS-based commercial software product designed to integrate ALOHA plume modeling results directly into ArcGIS 9.


Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) announced a major upgrade to Design Web Format (DWF) - its industry-standard format for sharing complex design, engineering and mapping information. This functionality will be available in an upcoming release of its free, downloadable viewer software, Autodesk® DWF™ Viewer 5, expected to be made available mid- July.


GlobeTrac Inc. (OTCBB:
GBTR), a supplier of telematics and tracking services to the European market announced, in conjunction with WebTech Wireless, the release of the WebTech 5000 locator that utilizes the global GSM/GPRS networks to enhance fleet management with access to real-time Vehicle Tracking, Internet Access, Messaging and Email, as well as Telemetry Monitoring applications. The WebTech 5000 is designed to provide an in-vehicle data communications gateway and scalable application platform to equip industries such as field services, transportation and security with a real-time connection to their mobile workforce and assets.


ObjectFX announced it is shipping it's SpatialFX 4.0 platform. This new version offers significant improvements to existing features as well as the introduction of a Micro Edition, which provides stand-alone J2ME mapping capabilities for handheld devices. Also new are Spatial Rules enabling automated detection and notification of spatial events.


Stylus Studio™ shipped Release 5.3 of its award-winning XML Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Stylus Studio Release 5.3, adds a flexible XML differencing utility, significant XML Mapping enhancements, and many usability and performance improvements.


@Road(R) (Nasdaq:ARDI), a provider of mobile resource management (MRM) services, announced the availability of the company's newest mobile data integration application, @Road Mobile Enterprise Access (MEA). The @Road MEA service is designed to streamline customers' business processes by improving field force data communications with the enterprise. Developed for use on JAVA and GPS-enabled handsets, @Road MEA lets companies of all sizes access back-office applications from the field, such as customer relationship management (CRM), inventory control and scheduling databases, as well as integrate real-time location-based data directly into these same systems.


NAVTEQ, global provider of digital map data for in-vehicle navigation, Internet/wireless, business and government solutions, launched its first map of Hong Kong. With digital maps available for more than 40 countries, NAVTEQ also offers maps of Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan in Asia.




Around the Web...


From National Geographic,
Colombia's Cocaine Country map and more. Can the war on drugs be won? An online poll and exclusive look at a new article add insights and exclusive imagery to the long-simmering debate.




Upcoming Events...


XXth Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

Date: July 12 - 23, 2004

Place: Istanbul, Turkey

"GeoImagery Bridging Continents" is the theme of this conference. The use of ?GEO-IMAGERY? will play an important role in our future professional activities. New technological developments, particularly in computers have significantly influenced the theory and practice of photogrammetry, remote sensing and SIS.


RIT with Autodesk WEBcast

Date: July 15, 2004

Place: Online USA

If you are using ESRI ArcIMS and you want to manage and shape your GIS system, then TTI's Rapid Integration Toolkit (RIT) is the solution for you. Designing an internet GIS site can be difficult and expensive. RIT is a solution that helps you manage, maintain, and monitor your GIS data. RIT allows an organization the functionality of providing a graphical web-based front-end to their databases, essentially making the database entirely transparent for users. Share and distribute GIS and emergency management data with other agencies quickly and efficiently. Implementation times are drastically reduced with RIT, and completed without expensive and time-consuming programming or outsourced
consulting. In this WEBcast, TTI GIS Specialist, Scott Hameister, will demonstrate several features of RIT with ESRI ArcIMS. With an Internet connection, you don't have to leave the office to attend.


GITAs 2004 Webcast Series

Date: July 17, 2004

Place: USA

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Geospatial technology developers are embracing Web services as a channel for delivering business solutions. Web services technology is having a powerful effect on the delivery and use of geospatial information, and its impact will only continue to grow. This webcast, featuring two past GITA Annual Conference speaker award winners, will provide a detailed explanation of spatial Web services architecture, beginning with introductory fundamentals, continuing with real-world examples of the technology, and progressing to case studies of the functionality in use today.


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.


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