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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

That’s right. An article about satellite navigation in the Moscow Times discusses, not Glonass - the Russian satellite navigation constellation - but GPS. Apparently, receivers from the rest of the world are dropping in price and becoming more common.

Glonass is not mentioned until the final paragraph, along with a mention that restrictions on locating a place to within less than 30 meters will soon be eased.

The Defense Ministry, keen to further develop the Global Navigation Satellite System, Russia’s answer to GPS, said in March that it would ease restrictions on location determination by year’s end. The industry hopes that will further boost the use of the navigation equipment in the country.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/26 at 07:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This past week, I’ve been covering both the GITA conference in Tampa and the Information Builders (IBI) User’s Conference in Orlando, moreso the later than the former. While the telcos and utility companies are discussing enterprise GIS, the IBI users are discussing enterprise data analyisis and reporting. The juxtaposition was just too ironic. Here is GITA, an industry association with corporate partners that don’t make a move without geospatial information and IBI whose solutions are all about communicating information throughout the enterprise using dashboard visualization tools, maps included thanks to a strong partnership with ESRI. So, don’t you think its time that the enterprise BI players and the enterprise GIS players got together and dance. Well, they have but it’s kind of like a high school dance where the partners are are sometimes looking at the next attractive person to walk by. IBI indeed has a strong partnership with ESRI, but Business Objects plays with both MapInfo and ESRI; Microstrategy’s preferred partner is MapInfo; COGNOS is unsure who they want to play with; SAS has also had a strong alliance with ESRI; Hyperion thinks they understand the need for geospatial data integration but is a "wallflower" so far. Frankly, and with a bit of self promotion, that is the goal of the Location Intelligence Conference; i.e. to offer a forum for how location technology best integrates with enterprise computing. To be sure it is coming and I’ve been impressed with the efforts of IBI to educate their customers on the benefits of location-based information and they are getting it. We’ll have more in-depth articles soon on some of the success stories.

by Joe Francica on 04/26 at 07:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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
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