November 21, 2005
Interview with Peter Batty
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| by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Message from the Editor -
Welcome to GISWeekly! Peter Batty is
to GISCafe readers as the co-founder and chief technology officer for Ten Sails, a company focused on building businesses in the area of spatial and location based technologies. Prior to Ten Sails, Batty was vice president of technology for GE Power in the GE Network Solutions group. In October, Batty accepted a position with Intergraph as vice president and chief technology officer, bringing his cutting edge expertise to that organization. Read about Peter Batty's plans for Intergraph 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/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Awards, Financials, 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
Susan Smith, Managing Editor
Interview with Peter Batty
By Susan Smith
In October, Intergraph
that Peter Batty agreed to join the company as vice president and chief technology officer. Batty, a globally recognized spatial and location-based technology expert with 18 years experience in the field, will report to R. Halsey Wise, Intergraph's president and chief executive officer.
to GISCafe readers as the co-founder and chief technology officer for Ten Sails, a company focused on building businesses in the area of spatial and location based technologies. Prior to Ten Sails, Batty was vice president of technology for GE Power in the GE Network Solutions group.
1) The work you've done in the past has been very cutting-edge and forward thinking. How does this move to Intergraph advance your own vision? Or rather, how is your vision in concert with that of Intergraph?
Thank you. Many of the ideas I have written and talked about over the past couple of years are very closely aligned with Intergraph's direction and vision. In particular, I see real-time operational systems being one of the major growth areas in the geospatial industry. This is an area where Intergraph is very strong and is developing some interesting technology. Intergraph has combined its rich geospatial software with its incident command software, which has been a leader in the public safety market for many years, and integrated it with intelligent video and other types of sensors - giving us a unique offering for applications such as emergency response and incident management.
I think Intergraph offers a great opportunity to realize many of the ideas I have been exploring - and several of the innovative things they have been doing in areas such as intelligent video, expand those ideas. Intergraph has an excellent position in markets where there is the greatest demand for these types of integrated systems, such as homeland security and transportation. Intergraph has recently won or has been part of teams to provide integrated electronic security systems to New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and several large airports. Many of the innovations in this space are likely to come from large projects such as these.
2) What do you see yourself working on at Intergraph that the company may need help with, or wants to develop or explore more deeply?
A primary focus will be to help to further develop and articulate Intergraph's technology vision, and I have mentioned some important high-level elements of this already. I think Intergraph has so much great technology that many people don't know about. I have just spent my first week in Huntsville and have only just started to scratch the surface in terms of looking at our rich product portfolio in more detail. But already I have seen a lot of industry-leading features, which I am really excited about.
Our GeoMedia product line has a unique architecture for dynamic spatial analysis, which I think is incredibly powerful and a significant differentiator. We have the most powerful and flexible capabilities I have seen for doing version management and handling historical data. Our linear referencing capabilities have several unique aspects that are especially valuable in the transportation market. These are just a few examples of some of the innovative features in our products I don't think we've publicized as well as we could have. Explaining our many technology differentiators and why they are important will be an important aspect of my role.
3) At Geospatial World, "data fusion" and "sensors" were referred to repeatedly, largely in discussion about the military and intelligence. Is this an area that you will be focusing a lot of time on and how do you see that evolving?
Yes, I will be heavily involved in further developing our strategies and technologies for sensor integration. This is an area I have been involved in over the past few years in my work with Ten Sails and Ubisense, and I see integration of geospatial systems with sensors being one of the key growth areas in the market.
4) At that conference it was also stated that the three most important technologies with respect to intelligence (and perhaps overall) are: sensors, GPS and wireless. Does this fit with your viewpoint and in what way?
I do share Intergraph's view that sensors, location-tracking devices and wireless networks are extremely important in the future of our industry. Pervasive wireless network access is getting closer and this will be a key driver for the type of real-time spatial applications we have been talking about. GPS is becoming increasingly commoditized, and other location tracking technologies are developing rapidly, including RFID, UWB, cell phone locating techniques and more. In a few years we will have the technology to know where everything is all the time - opening up many opportunities, as well as challenges in developing appropriate privacy policies. Non-spatial sensors, which include video
cameras and traffic sensors, are also multiplying, but require a geospatial context to truly understand the data's significance. Intergraph's solutions integrate all these technologies, providing a common operational picture in real time, which can be applied in many different markets.
5) What areas (if not aforementioned) besides military and intelligence, do you see as evolving with the use of sensors, wireless and GPS?
Homeland security, an area in which Intergraph has had significant success, is a key market currently using these technologies. The broader public safety market, including police, fire and ambulance services, is another where Intergraph has been a market leader for years. Intelligent transportation systems will advance significantly over the next few years by leveraging these technologies. In the slightly longer term, many traditional GIS markets will be radically changed by the idea of self-updating databases: as a utility worker installs a device in the field, this action will automatically be detected and reflected immediately in the company's geospatial database, without him needing to
take any special action.
6) Do you think Intergraph will maximize the use of existing spatial portals in relationships with companies such as Microsoft (MSN Virtual Earth) and Google (Google Earth) in the future?
MSN Virtual Earth, Google Earth and others have created a quite a buzz this year, which has significantly increased awareness of geospatial technology outside of the traditional GIS industry. This infusion of technology, talent and new ideas brings tremendous opportunities to the geospatial industry, but poses challenges for traditional vendors who provide horizontal GIS platforms. Their territory is being encroached upon from one direction by the likes of Google and Microsoft, and from another by Oracle and other mainstream IT vendors. On the other hand, vendors such as Intergraph, who are focused on providing vertical applications to solve specific business problems, using both geospatial
and other technologies, are in a position to leverage these new developments and treat them as an opportunity for growth, rather than as a threat.
Intergraph Corporation, a global provider of spatial information management (SIM) software, announced that it has acquired POPPENHÄGER GRIPS GMBH, a software company based in Neunkirchen/Saarland, Germany. PoppenhTMger Grips provides geospatial analysis software and services to municipalities and utility companies and has approximately 170 customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
NAVTEQ, global provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has signed a contract with Zagat Survey to link Zagat's rating and review information for restaurants, hotels, golf courses and nightlife to NAVTEQ's digital map data. Zagat Survey is the leading consumer survey-based dining, travel and leisure information provider.
Laser-Scan announced that Geodan signed up to Laser-Scan's growing Partner Network. This partnership extends Laser-Scan's partner network in the Netherlands where other Geodan partners' Intergraph and MapInfo are already resellers for Radius Topology. Geodan will build on Laser-Scan's initial entry into the Dutch market where they have already started work with City of Amsterdam. In particular, Laser-Scan will strengthen their commitment to providing eGovernment solutions across EMEA by focusing on public sector in the Netherlands through Geodan.
Telmap, a worldwide provider of mobile Mapping and Navigation solutions, and Saunalahti, a Finnish provider of consumer Internet and telecommunications services, announced the upcoming launch of the first real-time GPS navigation service for Finnish mobile phone users.
The service, Saunalahti Kartturi, is set to be launched in the coming weeks. It will initially provide full real-time mapping, navigation, POI (Points of Interest) content, and connectivity throughout Europe and North America. Additional regions and extended real-time content will be introduced soon after. For the immediate rollout, the service will be available for Smart phones and Java phones, with support for additional handsets on multiple platforms to be added in phase two.
Qlinks America, Inc. (Qlinks), a privately-held Colorado Corporation, announced the purchase of two online communities, the GeoCommunity and the Wireless Developer Network from ThinkBurst Media, Inc., a Florida Corporation. With this asset purchase executed on October 31, 2005, Qlinks furthers its business strategy of becoming a market leader in “linking community business” over the next five years.
GIS Day is a global event that is part of the National Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week, which focuses on promoting awareness about geography education. Games, open houses, lectures, and a host of other activities will spread the word about the power of the innovative technology and its critical presence in daily life. Over 30 organizations across Canada will be participating in GIS day by hosting celebrations, many open to the general public. Visit
International LIDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF)
2006 is to be held in Denver, Colorado, on February 13 and 14, 2006 at the Grand Hyatt Denver Downtown.
Global Locate, Inc., a privately held global leader in assisted-GPS (A-GPS) products and services, announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued patent number USP 6,453,237 entitled "Method and Apparatus for Locating and Providing Services to Mobile Devices." This is one of 14 patents covering various aspects of the Global Locate Worldwide Reference Network (WWRN), a wide area network of GPS reference stations that provides assistance data to location-enabled devices anywhere in the world.
In response to public concern for the water quality of Lake Pontchartrain following Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is conducting intensive studies of water, sediment, and seafood quality of Lake Pontchartrain.
Findings released suggest that, despite expectations that hurricane-related flooding in New Orleans could cause uniformly high concentrations of fecal bacteria in Lake Pontchartrain, water samples from sites in and around the lake commonly were within limits acceptable for recreational waters.
MAPPS, the only national association of private geospatial firms, will kick-off a new Washington Policy Forum on December 8 with a luncheon featuring Col. Brian Cullis, USAF, Special Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary for Installations and Environment for Geospatial Information Policy and Executive Manager of the Defense Installation Spatial Data Infrastructure.
Department of the Interior (DOI) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials presented the 2005 William T. Pecora Award, a prestigious federal award given to individuals and groups to recognize career achievements in remote sensing at a recent ceremony in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The award, sponsored jointly by the DOI and NASA, recognizes outstanding contributions to the understanding of the Earth by means of remote sensing. 2005 winners include: Dr. Jeff Dozier, a preeminent researcher in snow hydrology and the remote sensing of snow properties; Dr. John R. G. Townshend, a highly successful and inspiring researcher, educator and leader in Earth observation and monitoring;
Bentley Systems, Incorporated was named Technology Company of the Year during the Eastern Technology Council's (ETC's) 13th Annual Enterprise Awards ceremony, held Tuesday evening, 11/1, at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center. The Enterprise Awards recognize the achievements of the most outstanding technology and life sciences companies and CEOs in the Philadelphia area. Other finalists for Technology Company of the Year included SAP America and eResearchTechnology.
Bentley's BE Careers Network sponsors and supports various student competitions to encourage growth and support of students education and interest in the AEC industry. This new empowerment program gives students practical, hands-on experience with professional AEC. MicroStation PowerDraft can be downloaded by schools and students for free at
Bentley also hosts an annual
BE Award Student Competition
each May where students get the opportunity to present their projects in front of industry leaders from around the world, as well as the chance to earn a scholarship.
The National Association of GIS-Centric Software (NAGCS) has announced their certification of ArcFM, the award-winning facilities management application from Miner & Miner, a Telvent company. The designation acknowledges ArcFM as meeting all the prescribed criteria for GIS-centric software.
San Holdings Inc., a national provider of data storage management, system integration services and spatial data provisioning solutions, today announced preliminary results for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2005.
Quarterly Highlights include:
-- Record Revenue, Gross Profit and Gross Margin Percentage
-- Service Revenue for the quarter improved by more than $1.0 million
-- Initiated process to report "stand-alone" financial statements for EarthWhere business
-- Generated positive cash flow from operations
The company expects to record revenue of $18.0 million, gross profit of $4.6 million and gross margin of 25.3 percent. All three of these are records for the company.
The company also announced today that the filing of its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the September 2005 quarter will be delayed due to the expected restatement of 2004 operating results, and filed a 12b-25 Notification of Late Filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The Company will provide complete financial performance detail with its quarterly report which the company expects to file no later than Nov. 21, 2005.
GfK MACON is supplying the new 2005 version of the digital map edition "Europe Postal and Administrative.” The 2004
map set has been completely revised and expanded to include additional, detailed map levels for Romania and Bulgaria.
The Europe Edition comprises the postal and administrative territories of all European countries including Turkey. These territories are supplemented by a large selection of topographical map layers, such as roads, railway lines, city areas and elevations. The maps are provided as vector data in the standard GIS formats Shape (ESRI), mid/mif (MapInfo) and RegioGraph (GfK MACON). All map objects are fully inscribed and include the national as well as the international terminology and characters where necessary.
, a new extensive web portal, is now available for providing access to a large and growing number of public ArcIMS map servers. Developed by the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas, the portal is searchable by spatial layers, fields, and map service names. Specialists in any number of industries can locate and use readily available data for their particular needs; they can also learn about data origin, date of creation, scale, and any other number of metadata variables.
East View Cartographic (EVC) announced the addition of global outsourcing management services for mapping and GIS data production. EVC is the leading provider of authoritative global mapping products and geospatial data and sees global outsourcing management services as a natural extension of its business.
Visual Learning Systems (VLS) announced the release of Feature Analyst 4.0 for ArcGIS, the latest edition of the feature extraction software recognized by ESRI as the “Most Innovative Solution” . Feature Analyst 4.0 provides users with significant new capabilities including enhanced image and vector handling, direct read/write with the Geodatabase, and a developer API for creating plug-in tools.
Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher cartographic software for Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand as well as MAPdataUSA and MAPdataWorld royalty-free data sets, announces that Geographic Imager, a new plug-in suite for Adobe Photoshop CS2 software that adds geospatial functionality to this powerful image editing program, is now shipping.
CARIS announced the first release of is next generation suite of products for bathymetric data management. CARIS BASE Editor 1.0 has been released to enable users to compile, validate and analyze source bathymetry. Users import BASE surfaces and data from a variety of third party sources to perform functions for 3D visualization and fly-through, subset area editing and surface comparison.
MapInfo Corporation, provider of location intelligence solutions, announced the release of Demand Insight Financial, the banking industry's first financial demand data product derived from actual retail banking accounts and engineered specifically to generate accurate current and five-year projections for the total financial services demand in any given U.S. market. Total wallet demand estimates are segmented and allocated by residential, workplace and small business customer categories.
Around the Web
Mapping a revolution with 'mashups'
, November 17, 2005, CNET News.com
--The ability to mash together maps and other content has people mapping everything from urinals to UFO sightings.
Enlisting Cellphone Signals to Fight Road Gridlock
, by Matt Richtel, November 11, 2005, The New York Times
- Several state transportation agencies, including those in Maryland and Virginia, are starting to test technology that allows them to monitor traffic by tracking cellphone signals and mapping them against road grids.
'Geocoding' used to locate Katrina survivors
, by Marsha Walton, November 10, 2005, CNN - Police, firefighters, and Coast Guard crews may be the first to come to mind when naming the lifesavers during disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
It might be time to add geographers to that list.
In the sometimes desperate hours following Katrina's landfall, experts in geographic information services -- GIS -- helped search and rescue crews reach more than 75 stranded survivors in Mississippi.
One of their most valuable tools was a process called "geocoding," the conversion of street addresses into global positioning system (GPS) coordinates.
Date: November 21 - 25, 2005
Place: Brunei, Brunei Darussalam
The Brunei Institution of Geomatics will present the 2005 South East Asian Survey Congress in Brunei Darussalam, The theme is Geomatics and the Community. Enquiries to Sariawati on +673-238-2005 or via email.
Date: November 28 - December 1, 2005
Place: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel , Orlando, FL USA
Autodesk University®, an annual user's conference, is the premier educational and networking conference. The conference features over 250 classes, labs and great networking opportunities with Autodesk representatives and industry experts.
Date: November 29 - 30, 2005
Place: Mexico City, Mexico
Geospatial semantics is an emerging research theme in the domain of geographic information systems and spatial databases. GeoS 2005 will provide a timely forum for the exchange of state-of-the-art research results related to the many facets of modeling and processing geospatial semantics.
You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.