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Friday, February 03, 2006

StarChase of Virginia is providing the devices which are to be installed in the grills of police cars. When a suspect begins to flee in the vehicle an officer can “shoot” a small GPS (LA Daily News) that will ideally “stick” (sticky compound encases it) to it and send out location information. The idea is that such tracking will decrease injuries to all parties involved in high speed chases, including the public. No details on price or how well the devices works at speed; all tests to date have been on stationary vehicles. (Huh?)

More detail in this LA Times article.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/03 at 09:07 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Intergraph’s mapping division (Security, Government, and Infrastructure) looks to new leadership as the company announced today that Ms. Preetha Pulusani, head of the division since 1998, will be retiring. During Ms. Pulusani’s tenure, she restructured the division to focus on Intergraph’s core constituents in local and state government and brought back the utilities division into her domain. I suspect this move had to be done during a time when the company was re-evaluating its core competencies and to save money. It was a move that was a low risk strategy in a time of some upheaval and uncertainty. Ms. Pulusani’s style was collegial and was well respected by her staff [In the interest of full disclosure, I worked for Ms. Pulusani for a number of years in the mid-90’s] and she leaves at time when the company faces challenges of only modest revenue growth when competitors are growing faster and the likes of Google are stepping on toes in the mapping world.

I can’t help but think that her hands were a bit tied by CEO Halsey Wise’s insistence that the company use its IP settlement cash to buy back stock rather than invest in new technology (GeoMedia is getting a bit old) or to acquire companies that would bolster the company’s position in mapping with a new customer base. Ms. Pulusani’s strength was in her management style and always articulated the company’s vision well but was reluctant to offer new direction beyond the existing markets known to the company.

This challenge now falls to Ben Eazzetta, former COO of the SGI division. We don’t know Mr. Eazzetta in the mapping business and let’s hope he’s not just a "numbers guy". The company needs to find a way beyond the 5% growth path that it is on. I would have suspected that they company might move Peter Batty, recently hired as the company’s CTO to be more involved with the mapping division and let’s hope that his influence will be felt. 

by Joe Francica on 02/03 at 08:35 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

She’ll be leaving the company after 25 years of service She’ll be at Intergraph through late summer to work on the transition. Ben Eazzetta, chief operating officer of Intergraph’s SG&I division, succeeds Pulusani as the SG&I division president.

This marks a big change for geospatial technology at Intergraph.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/03 at 08:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The folks at the Windos Live Local (WLL) blog are all excited about the designation and the 4 of 5 star rating. The WLL review is among those for Google Local, maps, and AOL Local. Google Local also received 4 of 5 stars, but was dinged for many irrelevant results. AOL, at 3 of 5, gets dinged for interface challenges and lack of features., the only offering with street level imagery, is dinged as incomplete.

Davis D. Janowski, who wrote all of the reviews, is to be commended for his thoroughness and following the same script in exploring each offering. That makes reading them all a bit tedious, but allows direct comparison. I also appreciate that he highilights end user license agreement for its toolbar and how it allows the company to collect data on visitor’s travels on the Web.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/03 at 07:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Microsoft Live Local added Detroit to its list of urban areas using the "bird’s eye view imagery" from Pictometry just in time for Super Bowl XL. But I expected to see restaurants, parking lots, and transportation hubs that would be more useful to tourists. The local points of interest were "flagged" around Ford Field but I think the tourist would find more benefit in knowing where to park then a list of churches.  The link to previous super bowls (upper left corner) was interesting but it took a second refresh of my browser because the first time I hit that link I landed among buffalo wallows in the middle of South Dakota. Anyway, it’s worth checking out if you are a fan but I think the benefits to local businesses or to the tourist to help them navigate stadium traffic are sketchy at best. I would have liked to see a more direct benefit to the area economy for this to be a more useful tool. Again, I wear the hat of trying to determine how Live Local and other web mapping portals are helping businesses "profit" from location technology.

by Joe Francica on 02/02 at 10:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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