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Thursday, October 27, 2005

I received word today from officials at RBI Geomatics/GITC America that “EOM has ceased monthly publication, while its parent company RBI Geomatics/GITC America explores its options.”

EOM, Earth Observation Magazine, the brainchild of Roland Mangold, lauched in 1992. It was purchased by GITC America in February of 2003. I became editor in May of 2004. The publication moved online in February of this year under the editorship of Matteo Luccio.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/27 at 10:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

We were surprised and pleased to learn that Peter Batty has joined Intergraph Corporation as the Chief Technology Office, reporting directly to CEO Halsey Wise. Batty’s long experience in the geospatial technology sector will be a strong asset for INGR, especially in the utilities sector where it has often stumbled on its execution of software enhancements to remain competitive. Batty needs to jump start an organization that has, at times, seem mired in an "engineering mindset" where market awareness was lacking. Batty’s entreprenuerial experience and vision on technological developments should serve to envigorate the software development team at the company. Let’s hope they listen to him. It’s a smart move by Wise and we’ve been waiting for him to bring in outside talent that does not have the parochial views that have sometimes hampered Intergraph’s competitive position.

Intergraph had been seeking a CTO for some time. Interesting that they selected a geospatial expert, but I suspect that Batty’s recent experience with location-determination solutions (microwave, RFID, etc.) with Ubisense, will allow him to offer advice in Intergraph’s other sectors in Power and Process. But perhaps, Batty’s greatest asset will be to act as the "Bill Gates" (in the CTO sense, of course) of Intergraph to see well beyond the cotton fields surrounding the company headquarters.

by Joe Francica on 10/27 at 10:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Garmin’s stock took an 11% hit yesterday (10/26) as Wall Street reacted negatively to revenue growth of 30% and profits that were up 53% for the quarter. According to the Kansas City Star, rumors were flying about a "blowout" quarter. Such innuendo has a tendency to inflate expectations and therefore the stock price tumbled. However, Garmin has raised its guidance for the remainder of the year and expects total revenue to be $1.0 to $1.02 billion and diluted EPS in the $2.53 to $2.58 range. The company expects to introduce more than sixty new products for the year.

At the close of today’s trading, the stock fell another 5%, closing at $56.45 per share.

by Joe Francica on 10/27 at 08:08 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. The best way to prepare for an emergency is to use the tools and processes you use everyday to address that emergency. This article from the Arkansas Times that some would argue is too “pro” Wal-Mart is a terrific reminder of that idea. Wal-Mart has been a hero during the recent and not so recent hurricanes. Why? It does what it does every day and applies it to the emergency. Wal-Mart knows about demand, it knows about monitoring the weather, it knows about routing trucks… And that’s why Wal-Mart outshined FEMA:

While former FEMA head Michael Brown was still looking up Louisiana on a map, Wal-Mart trucks filled with water and trailer-sized generators had been sent from its nine emergency storage facilities to the scene to be ready for the onslaught the company’s weather-watchers knew was coming. None of the trucks wandered around the Southeast for four days with hauls of melting ice no one would receive — the incident that’s come to symbolize the ineptness of the federal response. The stricken of the Gulf Coast got things they needed, and they got them fast.

FEMA need not turn into Wal-Mart, but it sure can learn from it.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/27 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Recent allegations that websites provide imagery that might support terrorist activities or misrepresent the sovereignty of some areas prompt some interesting questions. One such question is simply this: who is responsible for the error, the mapping website or the data provider? In a recent border issue in the middle east, MapQuest determined it was their data provider who should answer the request of an e-mail campaign so it turned over the contact information for AND in The Netherlands. The team behind the effort is still awaiting an answer from AND and has asked for more e-mails to be sent to that company.

This issue will come up again and again. The only good news is that such incidents will no doubt educate the public on how these mapping websites actually work. The vast majority of mapping websites do license data from other companies at significant cost. Most research the data options with care before selecting one or more data providers. And, most work hard to provide feedback to those data vendors to insure data improves over time.

What’s really going on here is something we in the geospatial arena have been doing for some time: providing feedback on data. Back in the day we were the only ones to see this data; today its streaming all around the globe for billions of eyes to see and potentially “correct.” I hope the mapping portal operators and their data providing partners will take seriously the need for processes to receive and react to these requests. Further, they need to as transparent about their decision making as possible to help end user and mapping portal hosts to make the best choices. 

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/27 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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