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May 19, 2008
Access “Geo” From Inside Microsoft Office 2007
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on GIScafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each GIS Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the GIS industry, GIS product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by GISCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, New Products, Around the Web and Events Calendar.

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Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News
Access “Geo” From Inside Microsoft Office 2007
By Susan Smith

GfK Geomarketing’s software applications RegioGraph and DISTRICT have been updated so they can now perform geomarketing from within Microsoft Office 2007 Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

Based on Microsoft’s .NET technology, the updated RegioGraph 10 and DISTRICT 10 include the plug-in for Microsoft Office 2007 in addition to a map set of any European country of choice plus purchasing power data for European countries.

RegioGraph and DISTRICT have been around for more than 17 years and have always been independent from other GIS platforms such as ESRI or MapInfo. “It’s always our goal to provide geomarketing solutions that integrate well into the Microsoft Office environment, as this is the standard platform for 99% of our customers,” explained Cornelia Lichtner, public relations director for GfK Geomarketing.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
RegioGraph and DISTRICT are geomarketing software solutions geared towards sales, controlling, marketing and expansion departments. They support users in common business tasks such as optimizing sales territories, planning new locations, organizing direct marketing campaigns, assessing sales results, creating company reports and presentations, etc.

Entrepreneurs and the enterprise are just beginning to understand the “geo” factor as a decisive element in most entrepreneurial settings. Lichtner said that all too commonly, companies regard implementing GIS or geomarketing solutions as a laborious task requiring significant time and/or training. It is very often viewed as a tool used only by geospatial professionals. “That’s why we focus so heavily on making our software easy to use. When people see that it’s very user-friendly and has such huge benefits and actually helps save time, they come to see the software as a necessity rather than merely a nice extra,” said Lichtner.

Achieving user friendliness employs two approaches:

The first is to give the geomarketing software a Windows “look and feel” that emulates the familiar Microsoft-style tool bars and layout;

The second is to maximize the compatibility in terms of technology.

As an example: with the new plug-in, it’s now possible to export a sales territory network from Excel to DISTRICT without even switching applications. Similarly, it takes just one mouse-click to export a map analysis created in the geomarketing software to a PowerPoint presentation. Changes can be made in a geomarketing project and reflected on the maps associated with that project.

The convergence of technology helps make geomarketing accessible for as many users as possible. “Our experience shows that learning to use our RegioGraph and DISTRICT software is very straightforward. Most users master it within a couple of days by using our Quick Start Manual or attending a two-day training course. Even without any prior knowledge of geomarketing, statistics or cartography, they are ready to go after these quickly completed orientations.”

Because in recent years, Microsoft has developed geospatial applications aimed at the consumer, with its Microsoft Virtual Earth, Live Search Maps and MapPoint Web Service, which are geared to consumers, it would appear that GfK Marketing’s offerings would strongly complement their existing solutions.

“We have a long-term partnership with Microsoft that both sides are very pleased with. We are particularly happy to give our customers the option to acquire these two components – our geomarketing software RegioGraph together with Office 2007 – in a very attractive product bundle,” said Lichtner. “It’s also not the only bundle we offer: as part of the worldwide GfK network, we can provide a huge array of regional market data for any market worldwide. Our global geomarketing products and perspective – which include not only software, but also Europe-wide market data, worldwide digital maps and geomarketing consultancy for location planning and real estate evaluation – makes us feel very much at home in that environment.”

Although Virtual Earth is a valuable tool in its own right, Lichtner stressed that the main focus in GfK’s geomarketing applications lies in creating purely thematic maps with business analyses. Whatever topographical detail is needed is already provided in the map set that comes with the software.

As GfK’s software runs independently of any other GIS platform and technology, many map formats can be used with RegioGraph and DISTRICT. There is also a map format converter that automatically converts .shp files or TAB files to their own .gfk format. “But really we focus on developing solutions that enhance our own geomarketing applications,” Lichtner pointed out. “The Office plug-in is especially useful with regard to our software applications, as they are used on a daily basis in sales and marketing environments for which Microsoft Office is the standard.”

Currently, many scientific and other institutions and public authorities use RegioGraph and DISTRICT. Ultimately, because of the flexibility of the products, Lichtner envisions them being used for any type of business or agency, from the industrial or service sector to the pharmaceutical, insurance and banking sectors – both B2B and B2C. “In short, any context in which spatial analysis plays a role,” offered Lichtner. “Areas of application span from sales territory planning and market or target group analysis to defining catchment areas, automating sales reports, planning locations, visualizing product flows and strategic tasks such as international expansion planning.”

Top News of the Week

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released a new water resources data management tool called the Integrated Water Resources Information System (IWRIS). IWRIS is a Web-based Geographic Information System application that allows users to access, integrate, query, and visualize multiple sets of data from diverse sources.

Some of the databases currently accessible through IWRIS include DWR’s Water Data Library, California Data Exchange Center (CDEC), United States Geological Survey streamflow data, Local Groundwater Assistance Grants (AB303), and data from local agencies. The system will be expanded with additional data sets and functionality in the future.

Infoterra Ltd has launched a new Managed Service solution to enhance business decision support for insurance professionals by delivering improved risk intelligence.

Working with Infoterra, underwriters, loss adjusters and other insurance professionals will be able to combine their current and prospective property portfolios with a range of geospatial information and perils datasets. This will enable them to gain risk intelligence at an individual property level and to have a comprehensive geographical view of exposure in a given area.


GISCafe has started coverage of trade shows using short video interviews and demonstrations. The first trade show to be covered in this format is the ASPRS Conference in Portland, Oregon. Sixteen short videos were shot for this conference. Most of them are less than one minute long.
The videos are available here

The show photos are available at this website

SPOT Image Corporation has been providing its Reference3D Digital Elevation Data (DEM) to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to supplement an important global foundation elevation data set that the Agency has been producing since 2002. The SPOT data is used to supplement data collected during the February 2000 Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) Space Shuttle mission. The NGA’s project involves the production of medium resolution and high accuracy DEM data for the entire Earth landmass from 60 degrees north latitude to 56 degrees south latitude. Over 14,277 geocells (one degree of latitude by one degree of longitude) of landmass coverage are included in this data set. Since the SRTM mission, the NGA and partner commercial companies have been processing and finishing the geocell data.

Intermap Technologies Corp. announced that its Intermap Federal Services, Inc. subsidiary has received a USD $8.1 million contract to provide 3D digital elevation data and orthorectified radar imagery for an international project. Data will be used for topographic map production, 3D visualization, and natural resources management.

Using the Company’s proprietary Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR) technology, Intermap will begin collecting and delivering radar mapping services for the client in 2008 and will complete the project in early 2009.


Intermap Technologies Corp. reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008. For the first quarter, Intermap reported a 23% increase in total revenue to $7.7 million, compared to $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2007. Intermap’s contract services revenue component grew to $5.9 million and multi-client data licenses (MCDL) from NEXTMap datasets contributed $1.8 million, compared to $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2007.


TerraGo Technologies announced that Richard M. “Rick” Cobb has been appointed the company’s new President and CEO, effective immediately. Cobb, who most recently served as COO for Approva Corporation, replaces James Davis, who is departing the company after three years of leadership. In his new role, Cobb will be responsible for developing company strategy, fostering strategic partner and customer relationships and leading business operations for the growth-oriented company.

Timmons Group, an industry-leading Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) consulting and solutions provider, announced that the firm has hired Marty Demblowski as a Systems Implementation Consultant within the Richmond, Virginia-based firm’s Infrastructure Solutions practice.

New Products

ERDAS announces the Beta release of IMAGINE Objective, a new tool providing object-based multi-scale image classification and feature extraction capabilities for building and maintaining accurate geospatial content. With IMAGINE Objective, imagery and geospatial data of all kinds can be analyzed to produce GIS-ready maps.

Océ announced the launch of a fundamentally new printing technology called Océ CrystalPoint™. The first product based on this new technology is the Océ ColorWave™ 600, also unveiled in The Netherlands and being debuted in the US at the IRgA 2008 Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV, May 13-15.

KVH Industries, Inc. , working in close cooperation with leading GPS manufacturer NovAtel Inc., introduced the CNS-5000, a self-contained navigation system that combines fiber optic gyro (FOG)-based inertial measurement technology from KVH with global positioning system (GPS) technology from NovAtel. This rugged navigation solution affordably provides the precise position and orientation of a host platform on a continuous basis, even during periods where GPS signals are blocked by natural or man-made obstructions or conditions.

The commercial launch of the UK's NLPG (National Land and Property Gazetteer) held at the Royal Geographical Society, London, on the 30th April 2008 was a resounding success, attended by over 130 interested parties, including mapping specialists, the emergency services, utilities companies, credit reference agencies, identify management businesses, engineering concerns, central government and information services specialists.

Avencia Incorporated has developed an innovative and unique web-based digital asset management (DAM) software for georeferencing, managing, searching, and displaying an organization’s digital assets from and for any location in the world. The company announces a new version of Sajara that is able to support digital maps which, like other assets supported by the system, can be searched and retrieved by enabling users to type an address, street intersection or neighborhood.

Spatial Insights is pleased to offer Synergos Technologies’ newest data offering, STI: BlockPoint. This unique product was created by Synergos Technologies in response to one of the leading trade area research issues since the release of the 2000 Census: showing accurate population change (especially growth) in rapidly changing and rural areas in the United States.

GeoDecisions recently completed Phase 2 of a Route Log Mile Filter (RLMF) project for the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT). The enhanced Web-based application provides MaineDOT with a custom straight-line diagram (SLD) toolset for obtaining and viewing relevant information about selected route segments, and displays the results in an easy-to-interpret format.

Telmap, a leader in mobile location solutions, unveiled Telmap Navigator 4.5, introducing a whole new level of personal mobility into mobile navigation. Telmap Navigator for the first time introduces features and functions that allow the user to experience beyond GPS navigation. These features include the use of cell data location when GPS is not available, better mapping functions, integration of public transport data, dynamic content deck empowering operators to dynamically offer mobile content, a new and improved traffic feature, and the release of APIs for both the Telmap Andromeda platform as well as the Telmap navigation application, for integration with 3rd party application providers.

Geographic Technologies Group, Inc. (GTG) announces the release of GeoBlade Dispatch, a mapping interface that provides E-911 dispatchers with an interactive map displaying the location of emergency calls. GeoBlade Dispatch is ESRI compliant and operates with ArcGIS Server and pre-ArcGIS Server technologies.

Adapx announced the availability of Capturx for Autodesk Design Review. Capturx is the only solution that enables building design teams to print designs on ordinary paper, which can be marked up with a digital pen that digitizes notes and sketches and integrates them directly into Autodesk Design Review files. With Capturx, architects, contractors and engineers can quickly get accurate data from the field, collaborate better, and make faster, more well-informed design decisions.

Around the Web

Rare Element Engages Datamine North America for Drill-hole Database Compilation and GIS Technologies for GIS Database Compilation, May 12, 2008, CNW Group

GIS Put to Use in Myanmar, May 12, 2008, NTEN: The Non-Profit Technology Network – blog

Upcoming Events:

MapWorld '08
Date: May 21 - 23, 2008
Place: The Rio
Las Vegas, NV USA
MapWorld 08 lights up Las Vegas with cutting edge ideas for exploiting business data. See the newest tools to share location intelligence across your organization. Learn proven strategies to increase profitability. And experience it all in America’s top vacation destination.


Intergraph 2008
Date: June 2 - 5, 2008
Place: Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, NV USA
Get ready for another energizing experience… Another networking extravaganza… Another event with unlimited possibilities. And that’s just for starters! We invite you to experience firsthand the excitement, natural beauty, and difference between ordinary and spectacular.


GeoGathering 2008
Date: June 2 - 3, 2008
Place: Estes Park, CO USA
Located in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, GeoGathering 2008 is a conference dedicated to providing oil and gas gathering system professionals a venue to share their experiences and best practices with geospatial information while learning about current industry regulations and GIS solutions.


GeoTec Event 2008
Date: June 2 - 5, 2008
Place: Ottawa Congress Centre
Ottawa, Canada
The GeoTec Event provides a unique gathering place for geospatial technology professionals from all disciplines to interact and learn from each other's experience and knowledge. The program is designed to help you discover cutting-edge geospatial technology solutions from diverse application areas.


You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.