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February 28, 2011
The National Broadband Map Launches
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!


Welcome to GISWeekly!

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.

GISWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at giscafe-editor@IBSystems.com  


Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor 

Industry News
The National Broadband Map Launches
By Susan Smith

Exciting news this week was the public launch of the National Broadband Map developed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration ( NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission ( FCC) in partnership with 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia -- with the geospatial guidance and  involvement of technology consulting firm, Computech, Inc.,

The Map was an objective of one of the White House’s objectives for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The publicly accessible, searchable and interactive Map “connects consumers and businesses with useful information about broadband where they live and work, and serves as a tool for policy analysts to identify additional underserved areas in order to make informed broadband funding decisions,” according to press materials.

 



By disseminating data on the availability, speed, location and type of broadband services available, the Map presents this data in a straightforward manner with the support of geographic information systems, visualization techniques and a sleek user experience. It will appeal to the novice consumer looking for basic information about broadband availability in their area, as well as to advanced users looking to interact with sophisticated aspects of the site.

When the map went live on February 21, the response was astounding, according to a blog on the NTIA site, with the number of requests to the website averaging more than 1,000 per second. Below is just a short list of the metrics observed on the first day;

By developing the National Broadband Map on a layer of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), developers and engineers are able to consume the broadband data for their own mash-ups and applications. Leveraging Computech's expertise in geospatial analysis and mapping, data visualization, operations research, statistical data analysis and user experience design, the site provides quantitative information interactively to end-users, allowing for search functionality and integration of multiple visual experiences. Geographic information includes simple to understand maps that load quickly. Computech's partners in the project extended the firm's ability to render interactive data and produce advanced visualizations of the broadband data.

The APIs (Application Programming Interface) are provided so that developers can further drive the data across the public and private sectors through their own applications. The APIs are free for use by anyone.

Engage invites users to offer feedback.

Each grantee's data gathering process began by contacting the potential broadband providers within a state. Although participation is voluntary, most providers chose to support this effort. In sum, grantees identified and contacted more than 4,600 potential broadband providers nationwide and collected data for approximately 3,400 actual providers operating across the country. When rolled up into parent companies for the national dataset, this work resulted in data for more than 1,650 broadband providers. Every grantee provided a spreadsheet detailing its outreach efforts.
These can be found here.

Information technology firm, Computech, Inc., develops, implements and maintains business-critical information systems for public/private organizations. Computech offers expertise in data-driven dashboards; legacy system modernization; business process modernization; revenue-based collection systems; change management; and has an industry leading international auction/spectrum management practice.

According to Computech president Larry Fitzpatrick, the company was selected by open competition to provide the technology for the Map. In concert with the FCC, Computech selected a fully open source geospatial stack which starts with PostGRES at the bottom to OpenGeo and various open source frameworks. Look for an upcoming block about the technology stack to be posted on the Computech, Inc. site.

In future, there will be a mobile app launched at some point, said Fitzpatrick, and future developments will be community driven and shaped by what enhancements the FCC and NTIA decide to make. “In terms of what other developers do, the site was built so the data and APIs are available – we expect folks who have data that they would like to fuse with this data to take advantage of that,” said Fitzpatrick.

 

There is a government process for processing and vetting the information people can submit for crowdsourcing such as my providers not listed, or my service type is not listed, said Fitzpatrick. “In terms of speed and reliability issues there is an automatic link to a speed test and there is a graphic in there within the gallery that compares measured speed against advertised speed. The way that that information is validated by using the specific speed test that’s built into the site.”


Partners in the various states are working to expand and update this important dataset, and NTIA will update the map with new data every six months. In the meantime, users can search the map, and have the opportunity to tell the NTIA about the data they are seeing. This crowdsourced feedback will be an important tool to improve and refine the data.

With funding from NTIA’s State Broadband Data & Development Program, state partners have gathered and worked to validate broadband data from thousands of providers across the country. Together, NTIA, the FCC and Computech developed a dataset and website that includes more than 25 million searchable records displaying where broadband Internet service is available, the technology used to provide the service, the maximum advertised speeds of the service, and the names of the broadband providers.

According to the website: To start, search for broadband by address. Or go straight to analysis tools and compare one area to others, and make sure you spend some time with our maps.  Want more? Download the dataset, use our APIs and please tell us how you’re using the data.

Top News

Technology consulting firm, Computech, Inc., announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have completed the public launch of the National Broadband Map (the "Map"). The publicly accessible, searchable and interactive Map, which supports one of the White House's objectives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, connects consumers and businesses with useful information about broadband where they live and work, and serves as a tool for policy analysts to identify additional underserved areas in order to make informed broadband funding decisions.

 The new Map Widget for ArcGIS is available for IBM Lotus Greenhouse and WebSphere Portal Business Solutions Catalog users. It allows them to embed mapping and geographic information system (GIS) capabilities in mashup applications. The map widget can be used within IBM products such as the IBM Mashup Center and IBM WebSphere Portal Server.

Acquisitions,Agreements,Alliances

Sybase Inc., an SAP company announced an agreement between Sybase Australia and its long-time enterprise mobility partner, Geomatic Technologies (GT), to bring mobility-as-a-service to Australia’s mid-market. With the hosted offering, GT’s managed services division, GTcentral, will enable businesses to benefit from Sybase Afaria’s comprehensive management and security features for smartphones and tablets – all remotely deployed and managed in GTcentral 's secure hosted environments.

Pacific Geodata, a GIS mapping and analysis firm located in Yountville, California  announced a reseller agreement with OpenGeo, a global leader in open source geospatial solutions.  Through this partnership, Pacific Geodata will be able to offer the OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition to its clients.

Autodesk, Inc., announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Blue Ridge Numerics, Inc., a leading provider of simulation software, for approximately $39 million in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in Autodesk’s first quarter of fiscal 2012 (which ends on April 30, 2011).

Announcements

 The President’s proposed $1.1 billion budget for the U.S. Geological Survey in 2012 emphasizes cost-containment and program savings while investing in research and development programs to restore and protect the nation’s lands and waters for future generations.

“The USGS supports Secretary Salazar’s and the Administration’s strong commitment to use science as the cornerstone of natural resource management by providing timely, unbiased research related to our nation’s most important natural resources,” said Marcia McNutt, USGS Director. “By providing funds for the sustained operation of Earth-observing satellites and for scientific research to enable understanding of complex ecosystems, the USGS budget will help our nation meet its energy needs, protect its land, water and wildlife, and make wise decisions about natural resources.”

The 2012 budget represents an increase of $6.1 million from the 2010 enacted level, which includes net program increases of $28.8 million, administrative cost savings of $23.4 million, and fixed costs and related change increases of $710,000.

The LBS industry’s thought leaders will gather in Amsterdam in May for what is set to be a definitive meeting for the industry – The Location Business Summit 2011.

Now in its second year, The Location Business Summit was created to provide a much needed meeting place for companies to mark out strategies for monetisation.

TheWhereBusiness has now announced the program for this year’s event, which takes place in Amsterdam on May 24th and 25th. 

Hexagon AB, leading, global provider of 3D solutions to design, measure and position objects and to process and present data, will host its inaugural international conference, Hexagon 2011, 6-9 June at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida, USA. Hexagon 2011 will bring together the latest technologies and user communities from Intergraph, as well as Hexagon’s Metrology, Geosystems and Technology divisions, in one location to provide attendees with a user experience of unprecedented scope and value.

GfK GeoMarketing is releasing a new study on purchasing power for retail product lines in European countries. The study gives retailers an objective benchmark for assessing consumption potential on a region-by-region basis. Due to the significant differences in Europe's income levels, consumer behavior and expenditures on product lines vary widely across the continent.

People with lower incomes typically spend a larger share of their earnings on daily needs, such as groceries. The share of spending on luxury product lines such as jewelry and consumer electronics increases as average income levels rise. However, there is not a linear relationship between these two variables, as higher income earners often devote a large share of their earnings to non-retail items such as rent, traveling, insurance and various services.

RapidEye announced  that the second coverage of China for the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) in as many years has been delivered.

The imagery campaign, which ran from August 1, 2010 through January 11, 2011 was intended to cover almost 5.8 Million square kilometers; 60% of the country. The project was successfully delivered and accepted by the MLR in the first week of February.

Financial

TomTom reports fourth quarter and full year 2010 results

Dell Delivers Record Results in Fiscal-Year 2011 Fourth Quarter and Full Year


People

Intelligent Addressing (IA) has appointed Neil Silley as the new custodian of the NLPG (National Land and property Gazetteer). The custodian is responsible for the coordination of inputs from local authorities across England and Wales to ensure the quality and accuracy of this key national database.

New Products

ESRI Canada  announced that it has signed an agreement to resell high-resolution earth imagery solutions from leading global content provider DigitalGlobe.  The partnership enables users of ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) technology to access the most current and comprehensive library of earth images and data available to enhance their applications. 

CDV Systems, providers of full BIM Lifecycle Management and specialists in BIM/CAFM/GIS/FM, released elements of its proprietary BIM/CAD to GIS and FM workflow process for "Meeting #2: Interoperability" to the Healthcare BIM Consortium. This group includes BIM leaders from Kaiser Permanente, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency, Sutter Health and the Department of Defense -MHS.

MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. launches its free MapQuest for Android app for the 18.2 million domestic Android phone users*. The new app features the same award-winning technology MapQuest previously issued for iPhone with major additions including OpenStreetMap (OSM) data that allows consumers to use the app internationally, as well as directly report errors onto the map.

StreetMapper, the vehicle-based laser mapping system, is now being offered on a Fractional Ownership basis providing affordable access to leading edge technology. With projected cost savings of more than 25 per cent and without the up front investment required for an outright purchase, the StreetMapper Fractional Ownership Plan is set to broaden the appeal of the world’s most accurate mobile laser mapping system. 

Aerial mapping company Bluesky has been awarded a number of contracts by UK Local Authorities to map heat loss from properties using new thermal imaging technology. The resulting thermal maps provide Councils and other organizations with intelligence with which to address fuel poverty, reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency. Thermal imagery has even been used by the Police to identify properties used as cannabis factories.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced the launch of STUDENTserver. This intuitive website offering is available at no charge to schools participating in the Be Careers Network Academic SELECT Subscription program. STUDENTserver provides all students and faculty at these schools with easy, self-serve access to the same commercial-grade software used by leading architects, engineers, and owner-operators to design, build, and operate the world’s infrastructure. It includes access to unlimited training, learning transcripts, professional networking opportunities on Be Communities, and more. Featuring automatic fulfillment, STUDENTserver is extremely easy for schools to administer. It registers students for services from Bentley, distributes software for home use, provides licenses to students and faculty, and maintains the software licenses and training.

Claraview, a division of Teradata Corporation, a strategy and technology consultancy focused exclusively on data warehousing and business intelligence (BI),  announced the expansion of its BI service offerings with the addition of Geospatial Business Intelligence (GBI) services.

deCarta, Inc., announced its next generation mapping Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that provide a free service for web and mobile developers who want to offer maps and local search under their own brand. Many developers  use maps from Google, which constrain those developers to Google’s business model. deCarta’s new APIs provide a comprehensive set of mapping, routing and local search services that allow these developers to leverage their own content, their brand and their business model.

Blue Marble Geographics announces the release of GeoCore 2.0, the all-in-one data conversion developer tool kit for geospatial data. The updated version of GeoCore includes the latest versions of GeoTransform, GeoCalc, and GeoTranslate software development toolkits. With these three products combined into GeoCore, users can seamlessly work with any Blue Marble data conversion toolkits in the same development environment to build powerful geospatial software. Whether your application needs coordinate, vector, CAD, raster, 2D or 3D geospatial data, GeoCore enables developers to address a variety of unique data transformation challenges, quickly and efficiently freeing up time to work on your core offering. Within GeoCore 2.0, developers will have access to GeoCalc 6.4.5 coordinate transformation library and toolkit, which now has support for HTDP time dependent shifts, Alberta Township System (ATS) land grids, as well as new Geoid definitions, and many other features.

Trimble introduced the new GeoExplorer 6000 series of high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) handheld computers. The series delivers dramatic improvements in difficult GNSS environments such as urban canyons and under tree canopy using Trimble Floodlight satellite shadow reduction technology.

Around the Web

GISCafe Today Blog

Cellphones Become the World’s Eyes and Ears on Protests February 18, 2011, The New York Times (registration required)

Many dream of conquering Mount Everest, known in Nepal as Sagarmatha, or "goddess of the sky." Some climbers reach the lofty goal and-for a few minutes, at least-stand victorious atop the 29,035-foot mountain. But very few are able to take a global audience with them, as 13-year-old Jordan Romero did. – ArcNews Online “Live on Everest” application


Events


2011 Indiana GIS Conference
Date: March 1 - 2, 2011
Place: Horizon Convention Center
401 South High Street, Muncie, IN 47308 USA
The Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) will host the 2011 Indiana GIS Conference March 1-2, 2011 at the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie, Indiana.  This event brings together over 300 of Indiana’s leading GIS professionals specializing in all facets of GIS use and development.
ESRI Partner Conference
Date: March 5 - 8, 2011
Place: Palm Springs, CA USA

As a partner, you’re part of ongoing, breakthrough innovation that fuels organizations across the globe. The Esri Partner Conference is here to help you further grasp how to drive business with the geographic advantage.
  • Get updated on trends and how you can leverage our resources.
  • Connect with people who can help you succeed, from other partners to Esri staff.
  • Collect insight from Esri President Jack Dangermond.
  • Gain a more competitive edge and improve the health of your company.
2011 ESRI Worldwide Business Partner Conference (BPC)
Date: March 6 - 8, 2011
Place: Palm Springs Convention Center
CA USA

Plan to join us for the 2011 ESRI Worldwide Business Partner Conference (BPC),
2011 ESRI Developer Summit
Date: March 7 - 10, 2011
Place: Palm Springs Convention Center
CA USA

Plan to join us for the 2011 ESRI Developer Summit, taking place March 7–10, at the Palm Springs Convention Center in California.
Bentley Map V8i (SELECTseries) Fundamentals
Date: March 11, 2011
Place: 8517 Excelsior Dr
Madison, WI 53717 USA

This course is designed for GEOPAK, InRoads, and MXRoads users who want to incorporate GIS data in their civil workflows. This course covers use of Map Manager for creating and managing map layers and themed output. Also covered are ArcView Shapefile interoperability capabilities, the topology tools, as well as coordinate system operations and transformations including Grid-to-Ground transformations.
GISWORX 2011
Date: March 14 - 16, 2011
Place: Convention Centre of Al Bustan Rotana Hote
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

GISWORX is our proactive technical support delivery mechanism. This annual 3-day event provides a unique indepth learning environment on different aspects of GIS to both beginners as well as advanced users through several technical workshops on focused topics. It helps the organizations take full advantage of their software investment by enhancing the knowledge and skills of their GIS professionals. It also addresses key issues related to implementation of GIS in specific industries. Over the years, GISWORX evolved to be the premier GIS event in the Middle East region.
GEOFORM+2011 The 8th International Industrial Forum
Date: March 15 - 18, 2011
Place: EcoCenter Sokolniki
Pavilion 2 , Moscow, Russia

The 8th International specialized forum of the latest technologies in the field of geodesy, cartography, geographic information systems, intelligent transport systems and satellite navigation, geology and geophysics, tunnel construction and underground utilities
SPAR 2011: 3D Imaging & Positioning for Engineering, Construction, Manufacturing
Date: March 21 - 24, 2011
Place: THE WOODLANDS WATERWAY
MARRIOTT HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER, THE WOODLANDS (HOUSTON), TX USA

Access the change agents in engineering, construction, manufacturing, and security who embrace new technologies in 3D capture, processing and delivery and drive new work process within their organizations.  SPAR attendees are leaders in driving productivity and safety benefits for their organizations and their clients.  Attendees come to SPAR to make things happen.  You won’t find this level of engagement at any other conference.
Coastal GeoTools 2011!
Date: March 21 - 24, 2011
Place: Myrtle Beach
SC USA

Coastal GeoTools is the conference series that focuses on the technical information needs of the nation's coastal programs.
24th Annual GIS-T Symposium
Date: March 28 - 30, 2011
Place: Hershey, PA USA

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials sponsors the annual GIS for Transportation Symposium. It is a chance for persons in government and private industry who are interested in the use of GIS for transportation purposes to get together and share experiences, see state-of-art software, and learn more about this field. The Symposium annually attracts over 400 Symposium registrants in addition to the 50 exhibitors in the technology hall
17th Annual California GIS Conference - Meeting California's Challenges
Date: March 28 - 31, 2011
Place: Radisson Hotel & Conference Center
Fresno, CA USA

CalGIS is definitely the place to be to learn about the Best in California GIS. A comprehensive educational program (for beginners and advanced professionals), networking events and an exhibit hall are all featured at CalGIS. Make plans to attend the 2011 conference in Fresno!


You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.


-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.