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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Military Information Technology reports that the National Security Agency (NSA, also known as “no such agency” and the folks behind the domestic spying program that’s in the news) has ok’d the licensing of a patent it holds for associating a location with a computer. In the business world this is called geotargeting and is offered by companies such as Quova and Digital Envoy.

NSA has operated a Technology Transfer program since 1990, but it was no made public until the first check cleared in 1993. The location patent was granted in September of last year, but to date has not been licensed.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/31 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Today, LizardTech announced the release of GeoExpress 6. Of the key features that are included with this upgrade, I found threeitems of particular interest:

1. In total, the new features creep ever toward competing with a full blown image processing system. Color balancing for mosaicked images to eliminate the tile boundaries, selective degredation of image sections to obscure areas where security is of some concern,and image reprojection from one coordinate system to another. However, according to Carlos Domingo, LizardTech’s president and CEO, he has no intention of competing with Leica and others. This is good news for users as many of the basic image processing tools that are used most frequently are now included with this release.

2. The ability to store MrSID images natively in the Oracle Spatial 10gR2 database is a huge deal. If you are looking to save space in the database and optimize resources and performance, this will help immensely. And as Domingo pointed out, since the imagery is now stored directly in the database (as oppsed to a BLOB), the user can take advantage of the benefits of load balancing and security that are simply built into the database.

3. In addition, LizardTech is working with Galdos to be able to use GML to store image metadata.

Basically, GeoExpress 6 is an incremental release and LizardTech seems to have done a good job of listening to their customer’s wishes for a few, necessary product enhancements.

by Joe Francica on 01/31 at 01:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ok, so now Microsoft, Oracle and IBM have freebie databases out there. The IBM version is limited as to what hardware it can run on, but otherwise has no other limitations, with a memory limit of 4GB. I’m behind on what spatial goodies are in the core of DB2 - can anyone clarify that for our community?

-via Slashdot

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/30 at 09:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In addition to announcing less than ideal financials last week Intergraph also shared information on job cuts.

Less than stellar earnings caused the stock price to fall 25% on Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday saw near record highs above $50 . Officials pointed to soft sales in SG&I (aka GIS) and higher than expected restructuring costs.

About 40 positions were cut in the last quarter of the year, and $2.7 million was spent on resturucturing. That brings total job cuts last year to 215.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/30 at 09:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Denver Business Journal reports that National Geographic Maps, the taxable part of the nonprofit is moving out of the consumer market to focus on “detailed maps targeted for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, emergency responders, geologists and other field workers who often venture out of well-traveled terrain.”

With the pressure from Google and its peers, President Fran Marshall decided it was time to move outside the consumer realm. A reorganization will cut 3 of the 40 jobs at the Evergreen, Colorado company. Most of Nat Geo’s maps are sold through REI and the plan is to limit printed maps and make on-demand maps purchaseable from the Nat Geo website.

I always thought that the traditional “GIS” companies would be the first to be impacted by the move to Web portals, but I guess I’m wrong.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/30 at 08:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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