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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Among other technologies shown at yesterday’s press conference (including face and handwriting recognition solutions) the company announced EasyShare V610 which includes Bluetooth wireless, a step perhaps, toward location-tagging phones. The idea, which a Wired article suggests Kodak has considered, is to use Bluetooth to connect to GPS-enabled phones to capture location information.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/26 at 06:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

National Geographic dubs the current revolution in online mapping not “mashups” but “neogeography.”:

The trend has been dubbed neogeography, and some enthusiasts predict it could spur a revolution in electronic cartography.

Which enthousiast coined the term (which I heard for the first time today)? Platial co-creator Di-Ann Eisnor. Oh. Okay. Sure.

I’m really trying to get used to those outside our industry “taking over” from us (per Bill Thoen’s note here, see#3), honest! But, I’m the first to say this term makes me cringe!

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/26 at 06:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I sat down yeseterday for 30 minutes with Jack Dangermond to get a quick look at ArcGIS Explorer. Other information about the product has been published by Directions, our own APB and other blogs before so I won’t repeat what has been said other than to reiterate that the product is essentially "GIS on the Web". When geospatial visualization and analysis was first delivered by ESRI, Intergraph and others back around 1996-1998, no one really "wanted" GIS on the web. The internet was considered "too slow" to handle the advanced functionality considered necessary to be productive. That changes radically with ArcGIS Explorer as the available services it can call really does make the difference between desktop and web functionality transparent. ArcGIS Explorer, lets just call it AGE for the context of this report, does not really look like Googel Earth (GE) or Microsoft’s Virtual Earth (VE) so just put those arguments aside for now. If you are an experienced GIS user, you’ll love AGE. Yes, it have some of the "wiz-bang" of GE but because if it ability to call remote services like a WMS and other ArcGIS servers, the functionality to perform trace analysis along linear features, for example, go far beyond what you can do with any other visualization tool like GE or VE. Much like many desktop products such as ArcView or MapInfo or GeoMedia, you will find that although the workflow is different, the functionality of AGE closely approximates what you can find in those desktop products.

So, perhaps the obvious question is: "What do you buy?" AGE is free and for anyone with ArcIMS, you will probably want to move from that environment to AGE-ArcGIS Server. The architecture is different but the benefit may be worth the move. But the discussion gets very fuzzy if you have a situation where you’ve invested in desktop GIS systems but you know that more people could benefit from seeing/using geospatial information. Do you migrate to a completely web-based solution? We all tend to think that everyone is up on the latest technology and everyone moves to new environments and architectures when the vendor makes them available. Not so. Many are very comfortable sticking with ArcView and other desktop products. But if you have waited a long time thinking about how the internet would serve your enterprise better, then AGE may be worth a serious look. AGE is not yet available and Mr. Dangermond says more information is forthcoming in June and at the UC in August so we’ll keep watching.

by Joe Francica on 04/26 at 06:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Evan Yares (head dude at Open Design Alliance) shares a fascinating story of how “all of the sudden” Autodesk is looking to trademark DWG. That’s right, all the years we’ve been using DWGs and the term DWG, Autodesk did not have legal ownership of the term. Yares points out some, well, oddities in the applications as well as raising the general question about trademarks, etc. He’s also very clear that his organization is in direct violation with the existing (since March) trademark guidance on the Autodesk website. I suspect we at Directions Media are too.

via TenLinks Daily

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/25 at 03:05 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

At the Information Builders User’s Conference in Orlando this week, I had a chance to meet briefly with Jerry Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Information Builders as well as a more extensive chat with Dr. Marty Slagowitz, another co-founder and senior VP. Both left no doubt in my mind that IBI is aggressively marketing their relationship with ESRI to broaden the solutions they offer to their customers with a GIS component. And their customers are listening. Even better, their customers are asking the right questions and demanding to know more about how location technology can benefit existing business intelligence applications.

Bob Hazelton, IBI’s GIS coordinator (and Location Intelligence Magazine editorial board member) is in reactive mode only because his customer base wants more information about the spatial aspects of their data warehouses. "People are getting more comfortable with maps," said Hazelton. When I was introduced to Cohen, he immediately rattled off the appropriate buzz words of GIS and the more prefered acronym of "Geographic Business Intelligence Systems," or GBIS. Sounds like something he and Jack Dangermond cooked up, both of which have recognized similarities in their businesses…both are private; both run by strong, original owners; and both started some 30-odd years ago. I’d suggest taking a look at IBI’s GIS integration demos. We’ve mentioned this link before but if you have BI tools from Information Builders then you need to understand the bi-directional interface between WebFOCUS and ArcIMS. In the works is an architecturally more robust integration between WebFOCUS and ArcGIS Server. As a tool provider for data analysis and reporting, IBI seems to be a much more proactive BI vendor when it comes to offering location technology integration.

There will be more information forthcoming about some of their customer success stories from companies like Hillman, a parts distribution company that recognizes that its entire supply chain as well as sales and marketing team will benefit from "seeing" spatially-related business data. Hazelton and ESRI rep to IBI, Steve Trammell, are talking with many companies that keep telling them, "I never knew I could do that before," referring to the visualization and analysis capabilities of GIS. "There are many ‘ah ha’ moments at the conference this year," said Hazelton. From my perspective, it never fails to amaze me that after 17 years of writing about GIS in Business that we are still getting ‘ah ha’ moments. But at least now, there seem to be many more of them. 

by Joe Francica on 04/25 at 09:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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