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Friday, April 11, 2008

Update 4/11: The ERDAS folks called me to explain the tag line. Apparently, it’s a very shorted version of this idea on the company website:

At ERDAS, we help organizations harness the information of the changing earth for greater advantage, by creating geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information. We are The Earth to Business Company.

I fear it lost too much in the compressed version for me. I do have to give the company credit for grabbing ownership of “geospatial business system.”

—- original post 4/8/08———

Got a very clever e-mail from Leica Geosysetms to launch its rebranding as ERDAS. You’ll likely get it too: shot of the earth with a name tag saying, “Hello, my name is ERDAS.” Well done! I’m still working to get “the earth to business company” tag.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 09:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The $1.32 billion bid by Alliant Techsystems Inc., to purchase the space and radar business of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates feel through. No real reason was given by the Canadian government, save a lack of benefit to Canada, per the industry minister who sent the rejection letter to Alliant this week. Alliant has 30 days to reply and talks are apparently ongoing.

- Baltimore Sun

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 08:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Campus Destinations now hosts maps of 8 college campuses and plans to add more in the coming months. The difference between its maps and those from your favorite Web mapping portal?

- no need for an address, just the name of the building/area of your destination
- pedestrian and bus routing (no cars)
- the number of paces to get to the destination
- information on campus buildings
- restaurant reviews
- optional for fee card to get discounts on local eateries

The about us shows how geeky the folks behind the app are: “Campus Destinations mission is to save students time and money by eliminating inefficient ways of allocating their schedule and funds and creating an interactive portal that enables them to profit from the correction of this externality.

A quick look at the directions tab for Duke (not all listed universities have maps/directions yet) yields these issues:

- odd directions like “Proceed straight under the Kilgo archway and follow inner Kilgo sidewalk 83 feet 32 - 38 paces” (perhaps that makes sense to folks on campus; not sure about a visitor)
- ugly maps with no labels (I’d like to know the names of the buildings I pass)
- no way to print or save maps to a mobile device that I found

- AppScout

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 07:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Why the quotes? It just doesn’t seem that effective to me. Here’s the deal: go to the interactive weather maps on The Weather Channel site. Zoom in to to your geography (the maps are from Microsoft’s Virtual Earth) to see the weather. Oh, and if you see it, on the bottom of the map, below the various search tools is a check box to run on UPS Store locations. It’s comparable to the Holiday Inn check box found below MapQuest maps. The former I don’t expect to be checked too often; the latter I’ve checked myself on occasion.

An amusing detail: when you click on a UPS Store location you get the address and of course, the weather at that point. Finally, had I not read the PR copy, I’d have ignored the giant green UPS Store ad that sat alongside the map. I guess I was too focused on the map!

- press release

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 07:07 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

From the TomTom Front, several seemingly different stories on status:

(1) The company “declined to offer concessions to resolve European Union antitrust concerns as part of an EU review of its proposed acquisition of digital-map maker Tele Atlas NV,” according to Bloomberg. That means that TomTom is going with its initial takeover plan and “giving nothing” to make the EU more comfortable with the competition issues. The information is gleaned from the EU not changing its decision date. TomTom had until yesterday to submit any remedies; a final decision is expected May 21.

(2) Reuters paints a different picture:

Tele Atlas shares reversed a 5 percent gain on a Thomson Financial News report that the European Commission would not seek harsh remedies for TomTom’s proposed merger with Tele Atlas, but traders in Amsterdam said there was doubt about the EU review process, sending Tele Atlas shares sharply lower.

TomTom not offering remedies and the EU not seeking them sound different to me. Still all these reports seem a bit speculative.

(3) Thomson Financial suggests a remedy is on the table.

Satellite navigation group TomTom NV. is offering to license out map databases to alleviate European antitrust concerns over the company’s proposed $4.6 billion takeover of map maker Tele Atlas NV., sources told Thomson Financial News.

Suggested licensee? AND.

Another source said the commission is no longer asking for ‘physical’ remedies—such as the selling the map database—but wants ‘behavioural’ remedies, which could include database updates and contractual agreements.

That seems to jibe with Reuters comment above.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/11 at 06:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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