Point of Beginning

Newsline: December 2010

December 1, 2010
Federal Geographic Data Committee seeks comments on a Geospatial Platform; the third annual Carlson Software User Conference draws global crowd; and Trimble Dimensions' 5th international users conference has record-breaking attendance.

Bruce Carlson


Carlson Software Conference Draws Global Audience

With the theme “Partnering You with the World,” the third annual Carlson Software User Conference, held at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 8-10, attracted attendees from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe and the United States. On display during the event were Carlson’s Surveyor+ GPS system, which was introduced in July 2010, and the new Carlson Supervisor tablet PC, which was introduced during the conference.

The event included classes about Carlson’s new interoperability with Esri, its road rehabilitation routine in Carlson Civil 2011, SurvCE’s increased capabilities, and 3D model building. Keynote speaker Francois Erceau, vice president and general manager of Ashtech (formerly Magellan), presented an extensive overview of the GNSS industry. He noted that GPS remains the core, but that Glonass, which is expected to be completed by next year, continues to be the ideal complement to GPS. Other systems that he mentioned included: Galileo, which is “at least five years in the future,” the Compass BEIDOU system; and the Japanese QZSS, which could be operational by 2013. “GNSS coverage will grow dramatically,” Erceau said, “but it will take some time. Future readiness will be nice to have, but the current GPS/Glonass equipment will work until 2020 and more.”

The next Carlson Software User Conference is tentatively scheduled for April 2012. The company’s Web site is www.carlsonsw.com.

Deadline Nears for Geospatial Platform Comments

The partner agencies of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) are developing a Geospatial Platform to more effectively provide place-based products and services to the American public. The Geospatial Platform will be a managed portfolio of common geospatial data, services and applications contributed and administered by authoritative sources and hosted on a shared infrastructure for use by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs and the broader needs of the nation.

A statement in the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2011 summarizes the objectives: “In 2010 and 2011, Federal data managers for geospatial data will move to a portfolio management approach, creating a Geospatial Platform to support Geospatial One-Stop, place-based initiatives, and other potential future programs. This transformation will be facilitated by improving the governance framework to address the requirements of State, local and tribal agencies, Administration policy, and agency mission objectives. Investments will be prioritized based on business needs. The Geospatial Platform will explore opportunities for increased collaboration with Data.gov, with an emphasis on reuse of architectural standards and technology, ultimately increasing access to geospatial data.”

The FGDC is seeking comments through the end of December 2010 and will use the feedback to improve the plans for the Platform. Comments can be submitted through geoplatform.ideascale.com or e-mailed to geoplatformcomments@fgdc.gov. The Modernization Roadmap and other key documents associated with this initiative can be accessed at www.geoplatform.gov.

Trimble Dimensions Hosts Record-Breaking Attendance

Trimble’s 5th international users conference drew more than 2,900 registered attendees from 67 countries around the world. The Trimble Dimensions 2010 conference theme--Converge, Connect and Collaborate--provided insight into how the convergence of technologies can redefine the way professionals connect and collaborate to achieve success. The conference explored the use of technology in a wide range of applications including surveying, engineering, construction, mapping, GIS, geospatial, utilities and mobile resource management. The event was held November 8-10 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. “We are extremely pleased with the continued and strong interest demonstrated in Trimble Dimensions,” said Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble vice president. “It is truly a unique conference focused on how advanced technology solutions are transforming the way work is done.”

Attendees had the opportunity to network with key industry leaders, build partnerships, develop new contacts, discuss opportunities and discover how to overcome obstacles in today’s competitive business environment. With more than 400 sessions across multiple specialty tracks, the conference focused on increasing productivity in the field and the office by revolutionizing work processes. Trimble’s Web site is www.trimble.com.