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Friday, September 01, 2006

Adena Schutzberg, Joe Francica and Hal Reid ponder what the acquisition of Intergraph by a group of investment companies may mean. Also, what this acquisition might mean for other public geospatial companies like MapInfo. The 15 minute podcast, recorded September 1,  2006, includes a lot of speculation.

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by Adena Schutzberg on 09/01 at 01:34 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The privatization of Intergraph, a public company since 1981, is just one more data point of how GIS is a technology sector in transition and it may indicate how other companies position themselves for future growth or acquisition.

Just a few other data points:

Bentley Systems delayed is initial public offering perhaps thinking that it did not want to fight the quarterly battle with Wall Street in the numbers game.

Vexcel, a company focused on high resolution remotely-sensed imagery and photogrammetry was recently acquired by Microsoft, a surprise move by the software giant that continues to profess that it’s not in the GIS business. A few years earlier, Microsoft purchased Vicinity, the web mapping portal and later relaunched it under the Microsoft banner thus acquiring technology to compete against another web mapping giant, Mapquest.

MapInfo, one of the only remaining public mapping companies, and I would say a "pure" mapping play, has gobbled up smaller niche industry companies to support further verticalization of its solution suite. It now finds itself under pressure by one of its largest stockholders to sell the company. I suspect the move by Intergraph will cause CEO Cattini to rethink his position to continue on its current path.

Google buys Keyhole, a satellite image web service, in another surprise move by a major IT company acquiring mapping technology.

NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas have both acquired companies in recent years to try to enhance their databases with additional geographies. Both are public companies, but for how long? Each is ripe for picking by companies that want to control content and thus absorb data and technology for the purpose of cornering the market on geospatial information.

Companies like deCarta, TeleCommunications Systems (TCS), and even Autodesk Location Services are offering geospatial platforms on which to build web services or other kind of mapping portal on which to deliver location-based services. Each is professing "not" to be a GIS platform and hence wants only to be recognized for its technology that serves very specific functionality.

We are very much in a period of transition where more acquisitions are possible and probable. I would look for the large system integration firms (Lockheed, Boeing, Accenture, CH2M HILL and others) to vie with mainstream IT companies (Oracle, SAP, IBM) for some of the remaining parts of the geospatial technology sector in the next few years.

by Joe Francica on 09/01 at 11:29 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The two countries will develop a new generation GLONASS-K satellite for the GLONASS global positioning system. The plan is to have GLONASS fully operational by 2010 with 24 satellites. The commercial side of the plan is not detailed.

via The Hindu

by Adena Schutzberg on 09/01 at 07:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A Boston Herald article profiles Margot Delogne after her first year as VP of global communications for Tele Atlas. She’s based in Boston.

by Adena Schutzberg on 09/01 at 06:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A press release highlights the website of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute which includes some basic but nify mapping. First of there’s a “find me app” but more interestingly, there’s a tool to map points (lat/lon or UTM) and create a file for download. So far as I can tell the technology called MapServer is in fact MapServer.

by Adena Schutzberg on 09/01 at 06:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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