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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Yesterday, I met with the newly appointed president of Intergraph’s Security, Government and Infrastructure (SGI) division, Ben Eazzetta and CTO Peter Batty. Eazzetta, having done stints at Intergraph’s Process, Power, and Marine (PPM) division as COO and as president of Intergraph’s Public Safety division, has spent the last several months serving as the COO of SGI before moving into the top leadership position with the retirement of Preetha Pulusani.

The move to put Eazzetta in charge of SGI, with Batty engaged as the CTO not only signals a changing of the old guard at Intergraph, but perhaps the emergence of a team of executives that could radically alter the fortunes of their company. With Eazzetta having spent most of his time in the PPM division and Batty a relative newcomer to Intergraph coming on board just last summer, the company looks to leverage the operational background of the former and the geospatial experience of the latter. Together, I expect them to look deep into the domain expertise that Intergraph has in mapping/geospatial technologies, especially in the federal sector, but also to look for synergies across Intergraph’s platform solutions. This approach will depend on Batty’s ability to identify the unique competive advantages that Intergraph has stored away in its various divisions and Eazzetta’s operational knowledge to bring solutions to market. This last part has hindered Intergraph in the past. They’ve had the right ingredients, but they’ve never been blended well enough to come up with the right "sauce."

The Eazzetta/Batty tandem has certain challenges but it’s not for lack of opportunity, as they see it. With the geospatial market growing, especially with money available for security and a sound ROI in field service management sectors, the company could easily muster many of the company’s existing platforms to grow the business beyond the 5% annualized pattern that it has had in the recent past.

by Joe Francica on 02/15 at 06:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Jo Walsh at Mapping Hacks requests those in the EU to consider signing a petition to encourage members of the European parliament to reject the INSPIRE initiative as it stands. She feels “Many European citizens and small businesses will be negatively affected by a license, copyright and protection oriented policy towards sharing geographic data inside Europe.”

The petition and further details are available at PublicGeodata.org.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/15 at 06:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Novariant Inc. named Herb Satterlee as its chief executive officer today and didn’t say what happened to its former CEO. Novariant, based in California, develops products that use GPS and other location technology to automatically steer equipment, map the landscape and land planes. Satterlee was most recently CEO at DigitalGlobe, and before that at Boeing and before that at Resource21. DigitalGlobe appointed a new CEO, Jill Smith in November. Last I knew Satterlee was still at the company.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 03:58 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Back in 2004 Digital Envoy, a company that offers geotargeting, that is location determination of computers on the Web, sued Google saying it had used its technology beyond the license. Google expanded its use to third-party sites in its AdSense program. Google countersued. Yesterday, a northern California district court dismissed the original complaint (c|net). The two companies no longer work together.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 06:43 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Declan McCullagh’s article at c|net is worth your time. It covers the latest rulings on allowing police access to cell phone user’s location information without a warrant. It also details how when a 1994 surveillance law was to be passed, then FBI Chief Louis Freeh said it would never be used to track cell phones, which is exactly what’s happening.

Bottom line:

Consider the implications. If you voluntarily transmit your exact GPS-derived location to a cellular provider—so you can get information returned about nearby restaurants or driving directions—the Justice Department apparently believes that your location should be available without a warrant.

That’s not what Louis Freeh promised, that’s not what Congress wrote, and that’s not what a majority of federal judges who have looked at this have decided. But for now, there’s nothing stopping prosecutors from shopping around and finding a sympathetic judge who will find some way to interpret the law in their favor next time.

But there’s more, and this is something many of us know, since we were trained in cartography: “[this situation] highlights one of the biggest problems with all of these data collection efforts—both governmental and in the private sector (yes, that means the search engines, too)—is that no matter what the intentions of those who set them up originally, sooner or later someone will abuse them and use the data for unintended purposes. ” That’s from Mike at TechDirt and he’s right on. Was the data in Goole Earth (and peers) designed to be used by terrorists to make trouble? No. Is it being used that way? Probably.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/14 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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