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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Several media related happenings in the last few weeks draw my interest.

I actually read (ok, Directions Magazine ran) a press release from a geospatial company that said “we have a new website.” I recall back in the 1990s the Web was so new that such a statement was a big deal. Heck, even geospatial print pubs would print screen shots of homepages. Some I think, still do. But, in 2006, is an updated website news? Clearly the company in question figured it was, as it paid to have the release written and distributed.

Over in the land of “new media” Very Spatial noted last week the signing of its first sponsor, ESRI. That means that in the podcast a short ad appears. If you like you can listen to the ad here. While at least one member of the geospatial community is clearly against such in podcast ads, I have no problem with it. I applaud ESRI for its continued support of independant geospatial media.

In a “media begets media” story, Bentley has put out a press release touting how a leader at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has written an article for its online BE Magazine. The release goes on to basically outline the new issue’s table of conents.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/15 at 03:10 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Declan Butler, who writes for Nature, points out its extensive coverage of virtual globes of all stripes in the latest issue. (All are available without subscription.)

I don’t regularly read Nature, but I love that a real science magazine is taking on the topic instead of the now redundant fawning of much of the mainstream media.

Quote of note:

“Google Earth is just the most fantastic thing I have ever seen,” says Jack Dangermond, founder and president of ESRI, the world’s largest creator of GIS software. ESRI, which is based in Redlands, Virginia, and other GIS companies that were caught napping by Google Earth are now eager to capitalize on its success.

Yeah, yeah ESRI is in Redlands, CA…

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/15 at 02:16 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Mike at TechDirt notes that Topix (News on 300,000 topics, from Autos to your ZIP code.) recently instituted a simple tool to share the location of those involved in discussions via the site. The outcome, it seems, is that folks are bit more civil when others know, in general, from whence they come. The technology is a simple IP location tool but it seems to do the job.

The use patterns mostly parallel US population density save Seattle and San Fransisco. (See a real time map on the main page.) Why? Perhaps because those geographies have their own more local discussion forums which pulls those potential discussants from Topix.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/15 at 08:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Brian Goldin (Spatailly Enabled) notes that some ESRI folks put together an interview podcast to promote its speakers (and topic, ArcWeb Services) at the upcoming FlashForward conference to be held at the end of the month in Seattle.

FlashForward? That’s the conference on MacroMedia Flash and related topics. (No, I didn’t know what it was either!) While Brian notes the podcast is pretty clear cut (and includes my former colleague Mansour “I can connect any ESRI software to a toaster” Raad), the interesting thing here for me is ESRI having a bigger presence at technology shows.

In the past ESRI was at OracleWorld and the big IBM events and lots of industry specific shows, but its becoming a bit more technology mainstream by appearing at this sort of event.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/15 at 06:50 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yesterday, I met with the newly appointed president of Intergraph’s Security, Government and Infrastructure (SGI) division, Ben Eazzetta and CTO Peter Batty. Eazzetta, having done stints at Intergraph’s Process, Power, and Marine (PPM) division as COO and as president of Intergraph’s Public Safety division, has spent the last several months serving as the COO of SGI before moving into the top leadership position with the retirement of Preetha Pulusani.

The move to put Eazzetta in charge of SGI, with Batty engaged as the CTO not only signals a changing of the old guard at Intergraph, but perhaps the emergence of a team of executives that could radically alter the fortunes of their company. With Eazzetta having spent most of his time in the PPM division and Batty a relative newcomer to Intergraph coming on board just last summer, the company looks to leverage the operational background of the former and the geospatial experience of the latter. Together, I expect them to look deep into the domain expertise that Intergraph has in mapping/geospatial technologies, especially in the federal sector, but also to look for synergies across Intergraph’s platform solutions. This approach will depend on Batty’s ability to identify the unique competive advantages that Intergraph has stored away in its various divisions and Eazzetta’s operational knowledge to bring solutions to market. This last part has hindered Intergraph in the past. They’ve had the right ingredients, but they’ve never been blended well enough to come up with the right "sauce."

The Eazzetta/Batty tandem has certain challenges but it’s not for lack of opportunity, as they see it. With the geospatial market growing, especially with money available for security and a sound ROI in field service management sectors, the company could easily muster many of the company’s existing platforms to grow the business beyond the 5% annualized pattern that it has had in the recent past.

by Joe Francica on 02/15 at 06:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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