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Friday, April 28, 2006

I got a quick glance at Microsoft MapPoint 2006 which has been released to manufacturing and should be shipping soon. New features are aimed mostly at the mobile market. According to Alex Dailey, MapPoint Evangelist, the company wants to "extend the product from on the desktop to on the go." So here are some of the key new features:

** Integration from a tool bar button with Microsoft Live Local. For example, if you have a point of interest (POI) that you’ve located from within MapPoint, you can click on the Live Local button and it will take you to the information and bird’s eye view.

** Map Interface changed for better vehicle navigation. If you used a GPS device with MapPoint 2004, you’ll notice a different interface that is targeted at using MapPoint 2006 as a portable in-vehicle navigation system. A new map style changes the view for night time driving and things like dynamic turn views and orienting the map so that it always points north can be accommodated. A compass shows direction of vehicle movement.

** GPS improved. The USB GPS receiver that will be delivered with MapPoint 2006 is different than that which was available for purhase with Streets and Trip. Any NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) comformant device will work, but the device that will be bundled with it for $50 more is based on the SiRFstarIII GPS chipset.

** Pricing. Price remains unchanged: $299 retail; $349 with bundled GPS receiver.

My take: I’ll reserve final comments until I get a full version to do a proper product review. I had hoped to see more spatial querying and analysis functionality to slice spreadsheet-based information better. However, I liked the fact that for mobile professionals that if I were to use this as a vehicle navigation system that I don’t have to rent a Hertz NeverLost system everytime I go into a strange city.

[Click either of the images at right for a larger view.]

 

by Joe Francica on 04/28 at 12:50 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

High flying revenues from the past few years that Intergraphy built on hefty IP lawsuit wins are being moderated with restructuring charges and changes in the marketplace. Income was actually up, while Security, Government and Infrastructure (SG&I) income was down over the year ago quarter.

Intergraph has cut 315 jobs worldwide since it began restructuring in 2005; that’s cost more than $14 million. (Other people, like my longtime press contact, left for other opportunities.)

SG&I revenues were down, reports CEO Halsey Wise, due to lower sales of the Digital Mapping Camera and less income from federal contracts.

The other division, Process, Power and Marine division, was up substantially.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/28 at 09:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Times Union in Albany does a great job summarizing MapInfo’s investor calls. This time, in addition to noting that overall quarterly revenue was at record levels, the paper shared these tidbits about the new MapInfo Pro and MapWorld.

CEO Mark Cattini said in a conference call with analysts Thursday that the company is scheduled to unveil a new version of its MapInfo Professional software at its MapWorld conference next month in Phoenix, Ariz. More than 500 people are expected at the event, which is held each year for the company’s customers.

Cattini said that the new version will allow users to access so-called RSS feeds from Web sites to provide them with additional data.

I’ve got a ping into MapInfo to tell me about the nature of RSS support - is it GeoRSS support? W3C version? GeoRSS.org support? Stay tuned!

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/28 at 09:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MapInfo reported yesterday that revenue rose but income fell for the second quarter. CEO Mark Cattini sounded typically upbeat and reaffirmed long term guidance which has the company growing to about $172 Million in yearly revenues. But "the Street" is worried about income which fell from $2.55 to $2.35 million during the quarter, year over year, and the stock took a slight hit. I will be speaking with Cattini and COO Mike Hickey next week and the questions I’ll pose are…if the revenues are increasing, why is the stock languishing…what is causing the concerns about the company’s growth and where do you see trouble ahead? The company’s stock has risen about 8% since the beginning of the year; with current revenue projections, the company should be on pace to increase revenues by 16%. The stock has hit $15 dollars per share this year but has since fallen to its current level of about $13.50. The company’s stock and revenues seem stuck in only moderate growth at a time when the interested, if not the demand, for geospatial technology seems to be booming. Cattini points to 12% "organic" growth, i.e. new business. That’s probably not enough to encourage market analysts to upgrade the buy rating on the stock from its current "nuetral" status. Just by comparison, Intergraph, which took a huge hit on its stock (a 30% drop) after dissappointing earnings in late January has bounced back 20%; and Autodesk, which also experienced a drop in late January has recovered 20% as well.

by Joe Francica on 04/28 at 07:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Alex Brown hosted “Introduction to Network GIS” at Clark University (Worcester, MA) this month.  He offers the Web presentation materials for the seminar from various sources on this website.

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) offers a Crime and Intelligence Analysis (CIA) option as part of its Bachelor of Technology degree in Forensic Investigation. It’s the first of its kind in Canada and supported by ESRI and other commerical partners. The new option “seeks to meet increasing demand for crime and intelligence analysts in the fields of law enforcement, business and security.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/28 at 06:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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