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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Early in July, Daratech Inc., the market research firm, released a report on the general growth of the geospatial industry and the relative market shares of the geospatial software vendors. Then they issued another one; and then another one. The controversy, as we pointed out, centered on whether Bentley Systems or Intergraph was either the number two or three company in terms of market share. Bentley had received information from Daratech that they were being reported as the number two software vendor in the study and subsequently issued a press release. Daratech was contacted by me; they never replied; but Bentley is #2.

All this is to say that this is a very unfortunate situation for Daratech. If they can’t get their press releases right, how can we trust their report. That may be over reaching but let me go a step further.

I had a conversation with Richard Zambuni, global marketing director for Bentley, and although clearly disappointed at Daratech’s missteps, he called the report "dispassionate, analytical, and comprehensive." A stellar recommendation for sure. It’s just unfortunate that Daratech royally mishandled their public relations efforts. In addition, Zambuni found that even where Bentley was ranked fairly low for individual market segments, he believed that this was consistent with his view of the market. Again, if this is a reflection on the fine work of the Daratech analysts, you would be misled because the initial public statements were erroneous.

For many years, Daratech was the only source of market share numbers for the geospatial marketplace. But they are not the only market research firms following the market now. IDC, The Yankee Group, and Frost and Sullivan have all issued reports on some or all of the geospatial and location technology vertical market segments. Even so, the current Daratech study reports the share numbers for 2004 only. That was 18 months or more ago. That’s a long time for vendors to wait to understand their position in the market. So what’s going on now?

I encourage Daratech to communicate better with the media. Their press announcements were poorly reviewed and it is probably reflected in the sales of their study. Too bad, it sounds like the study is worth the money.

by Joe Francica on 08/23 at 10:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Perhaps I missed it, but according to a post on security cameras at c|net Asia, Cisco is getting into the GPS/cell phone tracking space.

Also, in a report by Channel NewsAsia (CNA) recently, Cisco is planning to put in place a Track and Trace system that promises complete coverage of Singapore using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the mobile phone. A device is embedded into the handset and, with the GPS, all that one need do is call in the control center to find out where the user is.

That’s one big player to be in our space…

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/23 at 08:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes a new tactic to encourage use of public transportation in that city: let cars remain parked in the same spot for five days. In certain areas residents can leave the car in place for five days (during spring/summer) instead of being required to move once every 24 hours.

Interesting idea. We have similar challenges in my very dense city and have I believe a two day same spot limit. To be fair our “traffic and parking” folks seem to have a more than full time job just ticketing those without permits…

I’d be curious how Milwaukee will track the impact of this program. GIS anyone?

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/23 at 07:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

While we all ponder the role of blogs as journalism (and other matters) here’s an example of why we, the geospatial community, needs geoblogs. The bottom line: we the bloggers try to leave no stone unturned for news about geospatial technologies.

Case in point: Before the ESRI User Conference opened OAS posted a press release about a new relationship between OAS and ESRI to grow GIS use in Latin America. I though it a fine choice to put the information out before the big event, which yields lots of new releases. Now, to me, that was big news and I covered it here on August 6. Just yesterday, Redlands Daily Facts (which is not in the business of covering geospatial, but rather Redlands, CA) covered that same news.

Another case in point: Yesterday I dug up a German website with a press release about a new Autodesk/Google software bundle for U.S. government players. Autodesk had not yet released the news in the U.S. (I’m curious why that was.) To be fair, some of this is simply who finds the news first and for many in our community getting that info today or tomorrow or next week is acceptable. The problem is that sometimes getting that info immediately is key. And, you never know which news tidbit will be key to your work/decision-making/job prospects, etc.

And, yes, I really enjoy writing this blog…

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/23 at 07:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MoneyControl India explores open source software in India with Michael Tiemann, President (Open Source Initiative) and Vice President (Open Source Affairs), Red Hat Inc. He notes:

There has been a substantial uptake of open source in India. But India is a big country and it’s not easy for 800 million people to move in the same direction at the same time.

There are opportunities for open source Geographic Information System (GIS) software. There has been some work with Geographic Resources Analysis Support System or GRASS, which is being used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing commonly used for urban planning and other land issues in India.

GRASS is a fine place to start. I wonder if he’s not aware of all the newer projects with large followings? I wonder if Autodesk/OSGeo have looked at this market recently? Somehow, with all the tech expertise (geospatial and otherwise) in India, open source GIS should be a natural.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/23 at 07:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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