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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Xavier Lopez of Oracle discussed some of the new features coming with Oracle 11 (beta release in the fall; production release in early 2007) at the Oracle Spatial Special Interest Group (SIG) in Tampa. They include:
Planned Features
  Support for
** OGC OpenLS
** OGC Catalogue Service
** OGC WFS ** SOAP & XML interfaces for all web services ** MapViewer: AJAX Interface    
Workspace Manager
** Oracle Label Security for versioned data       ** Additional valid time enhancements – for long transactions

Planned Support for 3D
  Server side data management
  ** 3D Coordinates – vertical datums & accurate height measurements
      ** 3D types   - Lines & points - Solids (cuboids, pyramids)
  - Surfaces (TIN)
              - Points clouds and LIDAR data types
  ** Indexing and operator support
  - Extend the Rtree index to support 3D
            - SQL operators for 3d types
            - SQL functions for basic 3d Analysis

More details can be found at the Oracle developers technical website:

by Joe Francica on 04/27 at 09:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MSNBC offers a look at Geospatial Decision Making, aka, GeoDec, a decision making tool that blends many types of real time and not real time data. Part of the hype from the USC project is a glove interface, but the intersting part to me is this:

“You don’t really need to manually create a database,” he [says computer scientist Cyrus Shahabi, one of the leaders of the USC research team.
] explained. “We utilize all the data sources already out there. We ‘wrap’ them so it looks like it comes from our database, but it actually comes from the original source.”

The program also is designed to blend data from the different sources to create a coherent picture rather than a hodgepodge. The usual method for building a computer landscape requires processing loads of laser-ranging data, then struggling to reconcile inconsistencies in the 3-D maps. GeoDec can crank out 3-D maps automatically, using two different aerial images of the same area to add perspective. And the results are produced much faster.

Hmm… sounds like standards would be good, eh?


by Adena Schutzberg on 04/27 at 09:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“It can point the way, it can’t make decisions.”

Joshua Schwartz of the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission on using GIS for locating housing development.

- Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/27 at 08:12 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

As many expected one way or another, Google has made SketchUp, the 3D design product it acquired from @Last free for personal use. (Now Windows only, but Mac coming soon. A non-free Pro version offers more tools and can be used for commercial work.) The announcement came last night and is covered at by Randall Newton, a CAD industry guru.

As intriquing as the free SketchUp is, the 3D Warehouse is moreso, especially in the hands of Google. The warehouse is where you store your designs for others to find (if they are say doors or windows - perhaps with links with info for purchasing them in the virtual world) or 3D visualizations of homes, buildings to put on Google Earth. The Warehouse allows posters to “tag” their creations for others to find and provides URLs for further information.

This comes as no big shock really. Gary Smith, who’s actually noted in the announcement page, wrote in Directions why Google bought SketchUp: “From Google’s standpoint, the concern might be that someone else would buy @Last Software and they would lose this terrific solution to build 3D content for Google Earth. Now, that can’t happen.” Joe Francica and I saw much the same thing: “What Google, via SketchUp, will do in time is just what these other services mentioned above have done: they’ve captured the creativity, energy and, frankly, free labor of the planet to build content.”

Newton notes that Google doesn’t want to be a CAD company and think it’s telling the truth. It wan’t to manage the world’s information and with this pair of free offerings, its taken another step in that direction.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/27 at 07:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The GITA conference attracted somewhere between 600-800 people this year. The exhibit floor was looking a little light but vendors indicated that many quality people attended. However, with ESRI having their own Electric and Gas User’s Group (EGUG) conference and Intergraph offering their user’s a combined conference this year (not separate GIS and Power and Plant meetings-kind of like the old IGUG…what’s old is new!), plus that fact that GITA offers a separate event for Oil and Gas, the justification for opting to come to the GITA annual event gets a little dicey. Vendors will tell you that they have to be at this event. If that’s the case, then GITA is doing them a disservice by not structuring the event to attract the maximum number of attendees. I’d suggest combining the Oil and Gas events with the annual conference and making certain GITA’s corporate sponsors understand that their user conferences are significantly impacting attendence at the annual event. They are essentially competing with themselves. Budgets are much too slim and attendees have to make a choice. As such, given that users in these industries (telco, gas, electric, water/waste water) rarely make major changes to their operartional GIS environments, having chosen a vendor long ago (it may be a 10 year cycle between evaluting new system purchases or even considering a swap of vendors), they will choose a user’s conference every time.

by Joe Francica on 04/26 at 08:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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