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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Oracle today reported that total third quarter software revenues were up by 15% and non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principals) revenue was up 25%. However, earnings per share fell to $0.10 from $0.12 one year ago and net income fell as well. Consequently, the stock fell by 1.26% today and has been falling this week from an approximate high of $13.30 per share this week to a close today of $12.49, a drop of about 6%.

Also reported in today’s press release is that IDC, the market research firm, indicated that Oracle’s market share for databases increased to 41.3% from 40.3%, while IBM’s fell from 31.8% to 30.6%.

This has been a general trend for the last six months as Oracle continues to pound away at other database vendors. The success that 10g is having on the market is showing and certainly the geospatial functionality is turning heads in our corner of the IT industry.

 

by Joe Francica on 03/22 at 05:32 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

(Special correspondent Eddie Pickle reports on the conference from The Netherlands)


I didn’t know quite what to expect, but as is often the case, things were generally just as labeled.  The focus WAS on geo-information for disaster management (or Gi4DM as they shortened it).  The setting WAS the Technical University of Delft.  So, the focus was on “technical” data on this first day - satellite, radar, remote sensing, etc. 


There were about 320 people registered, and I counted about 200 in the largest session today (some new faces will come over the next 2 days).  The best thing about the conference (except for the reception in the historic Delft town hall, which was very fun as far as conference gatherings go!) was the proceedings, which came in a huge (1434 pp.) book (not counting a 94 page addendum for late papers) There were very few Americans (a refreshing change), and a large Dutch contingent, of course, but it was a very international crowd with all European and many Asian countries represented (plus Canada and Africa that I could see).


Peter van Oosterom of TU Delft was an amiable and cordial Dutch host.  Michael Goodchild of UC Santa Barbara gave the keynote of the day, and he spoke on some basics before getting to his core problem:  In a disaster (and every other GIS mode) “analysis” is the only part of the process that happens fast; too much time is spent on steps getting ready to do analysis. He talked about interoperability, a common data model, etc. to speed things up. And, he spent some time on the unique aspect of Gi4DM - the fact that the user may be at the same location as the subject (i.e. onsite at the disaster).  This led to a review of some of the devices that GIS people at UCSB and Columbia are tinkering with to take GIS out on into the real world.


By far the best and most interesting presentation of the day was by Boudewijn Ambrosius’ of TU Delft on his research (with several others) on the December Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. They were already doing research in Indonesia using satellite altimeters and GPS on plate movements and the former caught the tsunami in motion and the latter got a lot of great data on the various plates/earthquakes and the very far-flung effects of the event. His charts on which stations moved how far and in what directions (and they were stationed on 4 plates) would blow your mind!


You can go online and see the presentation list - there weren’t any no-shows today.  I did very much like Cees van Westen’s organized and thorough presentation on disaster management in Nepal, and Dusan Sakulski of the UN University in Germany was a dynamic and interesting speaker on the National Disaster Hazard and Vulnerability “Atlas” in South Africa - he made the point that a lot of first world countries would learn a lot from South Africa, and he backed it up with examples of excellent data collection and management processes there.  I stayed all day and noted the focus on technology, not really “information.” Several people agreed with me that the topics were not exactly holistic or comprehensive.


After the last session ended I got to walk through a 300-400 year old city with flowers and trees showing early spring stirrings and quite mild temperatures, to a festive gathering in the wonderful town hall (with its 10’ by 10’ map of Old Delft on the wall).  Even a Chamber of Commerce speech by the Lord Mayor of Delft!. The conference will reconvene in Indonesia next year!

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/22 at 03:16 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Microsoft announced their Fleet Edition of MapPoint 2004 today for applications involving vehicle tracking and management. At issue was a problem with the end-user licensing agreement (EULA) which deterred some MapPoint developers from delivering dynamic data updates. Technical Editor, Hal Reid provided more details about this in his article in January. There are no changes in functionality to the product; this is simply a tweaking to the licensing agreement with a subsequent price increase to $750 to cover data licensing. According to the press release issued today, "Customers are required to purchase a Fleet license for each desktop and/or laptop that is used for tracking." This might get expensive if lots of vehicles are involved.
 

by Joe Francica on 03/22 at 08:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Pictometry is taking credit for helping evacuate an apartment building where shooting suspect Brian Nichols was holed up after allegedly shoot several people the day before. The incident commander received a sketch of the building from the supervisor but it was out of date. When the SWAT team van arrived, complete with its Pictometry system, officials used the obliques to get a sense of the situation. As IТve noted before, this is how Pictometry advertises, through small, local stories.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/22 at 07:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Just in case you thought all MapInfo did was make maps, consider that one of its employees recently told Gillette, Wyoming to clean up its act. The consultant was tasked with encouraging economic development in the area. While she advised cleaning up store fronts and windows, she also noted the demographics that make Gillette appealing including low median age and relatively high income.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/22 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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