Web Exclusive! July 2003 New and Notable

Vexcel Corporationannouncedaccurate 3D models for virtually any city in the world. This includes all locations where traditional mapping products are either outdated or not available for reasons such as restrictions imposed by local governments. Such locations include South America, Africa, India, China and many Asian nations. To provide these 3D products, Vexcel has developed new software that allows its proprietary 3D modeling tools to support imagery collected by the DigitalGlobe QuickBirdsatellite. The result is the efficient, rapid production of urban models for any area captured by QuickBird, at resolutions significantly better than what has previously been available. (Vexcel Corporation, Boulder, Colo.) (DigitalGlobe, Longmont, Colo.)

Tobin International Ltd.launched theTobin Vendor Data Index (VDI), a spatially enabled data search tool that puts all available vendor data at a user’s fingertips. Tobin partnered with many industry data vendors to provide streamlined data research capabilities through the VDI feature of Tobin WebViewer. The partnership involves A2D Technologies, IHS Energy, Seismic Exchange Inc., Seitel Data, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company and Tobin International. All partners have agreed to provide access to information about seismic, well log, production and map data across the entire U.S. Some partners are providing information on data in other parts of the world. In the future, Tobin will continue to expand partnerships for VDI to include more data vendors based on customer requests. VDI provides a single, web-based, spatially-enabled data viewing tool with all partner vendor data indexed for display on the industry’s standard base map, Tobin SuperBase. The Vendor Data Index enables users to search a variety of data, then overlay both proprietary and vendor data for comparison to make the best data selection for a project. Because it is deployed over the Web, it is a cost-effective solution. The Tobin Vendor Data Index can be deployed in two ways. Any user interested in browsing data available from the VDI partners can access the information with their Internet browser at www.tobin.com/vdi http://www.tobin.com/vdi. Companies seeking access to vendor data as well as indexed proprietary data viewed on the industry standard base map can implement VDI with Tobin WebViewer within their intranet. Data vendors have committed to providing their services to the exploration and production industry through the VDI feature of Tobin WebViewer because it is an independent and data neutral application that can integrate with most systems. Because it is a part of the Tobin InSight system of geo-business information products, Tobin WebViewer and VDI are scalable, extensible and compatible with existing client applications. (Tobin, Houston, Texas)

A.R.E. Inc. introduced an LSII fiberglass tonneau cover for the 2003 Toyota Tundra Step-Side. The LSII Series is the ultimate in custom-fitted hard tonneau covers for today's pickups. A.R.E. designs each model to match the curvature and style lines of the pickup it is made to fit. Compound curves add strength as well as style. Each unit is made to the customer's specifications for model, color and options. A state-of-the-art factory painting system matches the truck's paint code with the best available DuPont ChromaSystem(tm) paint formula, for a custom look. The LSII Series also is easy to install, thanks to A.R.E.'s exclusive slide-on, black painted aluminum rail mounting system and OEM-style black powder coated, corrosion-resistant clamps. LSII tonneaus come equipped with an exclusive Lift Assist gas strut system that makes it easy to open and close. A painted palm-grip handle blends easily with the LSII body for a sleek appearance, and an easy twist of the wrist easily unlatches the tonneau. A key lock is standard. Optional equipment includes a Nomadic(r) roof rack, sport wing, fabric headliner, interior light, remote keyless entry and hardware shroud. Aside from this new fitment, A.R.E. makes an LSII to fit most any pickup truck. The approximate weight is 90 pounds for a mini-truck and 120 pounds for a full-size truck. The product is guaranteed to be structurally free from defects in material and workmanship for as long as you own it. The painted finish of the fiberglass lid also is covered under warranty against defects in workmanship and abnormal fading for as long as you own the product and the original truck. (Masillon, Ohio)

TenLinks Inc., opened its latest website, FreeCAD.com. http://www.FreeCAD.com, created as a resource for engineers, designers and architects, contains downloads of hundreds of free programs. Many are fully functional programs that rival commercial products costing thousands of dollars. To qualify for a listing on FreeCAD.com, a program must be available to the general public for free. Programs must be useable for at least 180 days. After 180 days, the vendor has the right to terminate the use of the program. A 180-day period is deemed sufficient to learn the program as well as do productive work. FreeCAD will offer only those programs that are stand-alone, excluding any add-ons. (TenLinks, Novato, Calif.) Bentley Systems Inc. announced Bentley Institute’s Training Subscription program, offering user organizations convenient, virtually unlimited training on Bentley products for a fixed price. The program features training from the source; comprehensive training; organization-wide consulting and curriculum development; and streamlined administration and budgeting. The program cuts administration overhead and costs, simplifies budgeting, and maximizes training opportunities for users. (Bentley, Exton, Pa.)

DMTI Spatial, released CanMap Streetfiles v7.1, CanMap Parks v1.1 and CanMap Water v1.1. CanMap Streetfiles v7.1 adds over 35,000 addressed kilometers of roadway and well over 25,000 additional named kilometers of roadway across Canada. CanMap Parks, Canada’s first attributed National and Provincial Parks mapping data file, now includes 1,538 national, marine, provincial and territorial parks across the country, and is a combination of attributed boundary and point-based features. CanMap Water v1.1 continues to be Canada’s only detailed hydrography file complete with naming for major water features. New features in this release are additional named water polygons and additional major double-line rivers split from adjoining lakes. This release also has new point features, such as navigational hazards that display exposed shipwrecks or rocks located in various bodies of water. (DMTI Spatial, Markham, Ontario, Canada)

Safe Software Inc. added Open GIS Consortium Web Feature Services (OGC WFS) Client support to its entire product line, including its flagship data transformation product FME (Feature Manipulation Engine). This will allow FME to seamlessly interoperate with WFS compliant servers, resulting in a generic solution for ingesting remote datasets, regardless of the vendor software that is serving the data. A current list of the known compliant OGC WFS Servers that FME has been tested against can be found at http://www.safe.com/wfs. Users and WFS site administrators can contribute new sites to the list. (Safe Software, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Positive Systems Inc. launched DIME (Digital Images Made Easy) version 3.0, an alternative to traditional photogrammetric methods for imagery preparation. The “drag & drop” feature, Manual Flightline Definition, offers improved efficiency during project set-up, allowing the user to create an image mosaic without the benefit of positioning data. Continuing with the approach of “leveraging existing geospatial data,” DIME 3.0 can read and utilize vector and GCP data as additional sources of control or reference information. Combining multiple reference layers (raster & vector) with a new “local” warp has enhanced accuracies, specifically in areas of high terrain relief. The color balancing toolset has been further automated through the innovative CENT (Contrast Equalization & Normalization Tool). This “one touch” radiometric feature applies contrast adjustments on a project wide basis. Additional automation has been achieved through the integration of batch output functionality which provides the user the ability to schedule multiple outputs simultaneously. (Positive Systems, Whitefish, Montana)

UCLID Software announced that a Parcel Mapping Productivity Calculator is available online at http://productivity.uclid.com. The calculator was designed to allow mappers to see how much time they can save using IcoMap. Sample documents and a spreadsheet are available to help in the comparison. IcoMap’s technology for converting scanned documents, paired with a 10-key COGO package has been proven to increase parcel mapping productivity. Several document types have been converted with IcoMap, including scanned parcel maps, scanned property legal descriptions and ASCII text property legal descriptions. The conversion times are available in a spreadsheet. To use the calculator, visit http://productivity.uclid.com, download the sample files, convert them to maps and enter your time in the spreadsheet. (Uclid Software, Madison, Wis.)

Z/I Imaging Corporation integrated the latest 3Dlabs Wildcat4 graphics accelerator in ImageStation workstation and ImageStation Stereo Softcopy Kit (SSK) to deliver a high level of 3D graphics performance. The new Wildcat4 7110 graphics accelerator increases graphics memory capacity to 256 MB and supports the AGP8X interface to boost graphics processing power. The new Wildcat graphics makes an ideal engine to support ImageStation’s smooth roam capabilities at high resolutions, allowing operators to manipulate high-quality imagery, such as satellite and terrain data and digital data for small-scale or large-scale mapping at engineering accuracy acquired with the DMC in real time. ImageStation provides a production platform offering seamless integration of state-of-the-art technologies, such as the Wildcat4 110, and a full suite of photogrammetric software applications combined with ergonomically designed computer components. User friendly, customizable hardware components include a configurable rack-mount storage enclosure, electronic, height-adjustable digitizing and monitor surfaces, a telescoping monitor surface, exclusive redesigned solid state handheld controller for comfortable and reliable data operations and high-end single or dual 21" and 24" monitors. (Z/I Imaging, Huntsville, Ala.)

RockWare Inc. released an updated version of RockWorks2002 that allows the direct import of shapefiles. This addition will allow RockWorks2002 users to take advantage of the shapefile format and its widespread use for base-mapping applications. Users of RockWorks can now import features such as sitemap locations, oil and gas wells, mine boundaries, and local, state and county data. Other RockWorks features include OpenGL 3D Graphics, a new data management system and a new borehole manager. RockWorks runs in Windows98/NT/2000/XP and is available with both single-user and network licenses. (Rockware, Golden, Colo.)

UpFront.eZine Publishing Ltd. released “Tailoring AutoCAD 2004” for the new AutoCAD 2004 software from Autodesk, an updated and expanded e-book for new and experienced AutoCAD users. The 204-page e-book contains step-by-step tutorials for learning how to customize the CAD software. “Tailoring AutoCAD 2004” is published exclusively in Adobe Acrobat format. The new e-book covers creating and applying CAD standards drawings; importing and exporting layers; customizing the ToolPalettes; using the interactive acad.pgp editor; customization with specific Express Tools; creating linetypes from objects in drawing; using the the CleanScreenOn and FullScreen commands to maximize drawing areas; listing shortcut keystrokes new to 2004; creating hatch patterns from images, blocks, xrefs, and wipeouts; and documenting the XML-like .xtp file format. (upFront.ezine Publishing, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)

Applied Mapping Inc., a division of Clary & Associates Inc. offered a free new online community service, www.jagsonville.com. Internet users visiting the website have the opportunity to utilize the applications of GIS technology, creating visible and active layers of property-related information in several Northeast Florida areas. Jagsonville.com provides free online GIS for Duval County, St. Johns County and Cecil Commerce Center. Visitors can create maps that highlight zoning, land use, evacuation zones and school locations in those areas. Internet users may also link to the Applied Mapping website (www.appliedmapping.com) and review a variety of online demonstrations illustrating visual information management solutions. Jagsonville.com allows users to search for property-related information on parcels, property values, dimensions, land use and ownership information. (Clary and Associates, Jacksonville, Fla.)

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions announced “Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS),” an online education training program presented by the Intergraph GeoSpatial Users Community (IGUC). The training program, established to provide both a theoretical and hands-on understanding of GIS, is suitable for existing users of GeoMedia Professional or other GIS technology, as well as those within the academic or commercial community who are new to GIS. Designed to help students understand geospatial data and its benefit in a real-world setting, the program teaches students to maximize the value of data across a broad range of applications. The training program provides a 10-week online course that affords a unique opportunity for participants to learn at their own pace and according to their own schedule. Through the web, instructors and participants will be able to interact, share files, discus course content and join forums. Students will receive a 12-week license of GeoMedia Professional to facilitate hands-on learning. Those who complete the program may take an online test to gain GeoMedia Professional Certified User status. (Intergraph, Huntsville, Ala.)

ESRI Business Information Solutions (ESRI BIS) released the 17th edition of The Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics, the 15th edition of The Sourcebook of County Demographics, and the 2003 edition of Sourcebook America with ArcReader. The ESRI BIS sourcebook product suite provides current consumer demographic data with query, sort, report and map display software can be used to make marketing decisions. The Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics includes reference information such as the top ACORN consumer classification types for each ZIP Code and a directory of nonresidential ZIP Codes. The Sourcebook of County Demographics includes demographic data for every county in the United States. State maps with county boundaries are also included. The 2003 edition of Sourcebook America with ArcReader provides key 2003/2008 updated demographic data from the printed sourcebooks on one Windows-compatible CD-ROM. ESRI’s ArcReader map display software is built into the Sourcebook America with ArcReader CD, allowing users to pan, zoom, and create published maps from the demographic data. Also included are updates and projections for data such as population, age distribution and income. (ESRI, Redlands, Calif.)

Thales launched a new generation of decimetric Differential GPS (DGPS) positioning systems with no range restrictions from reference stations. SkyFix XP is capable of accuracies of 10cm in the horizontal and 15 cm in the vertical domains, surpassing accuracies and quality standards previously experienced in the Differential GPS marketplace. SkyFix XP draws on a completely new technique, known as Satellite Differential GPS (SDGPS), using the existing global network of Thales reference stations to track all satellites continuously throughout their orbit, generating reference-station-independent correction data. This fully dynamic, highly accurate and completely reliable correction information, available for any location regardless of proximity to a reference station, makes the system truly global, with no range restrictions, representing a major breakthrough for the industry. SkyFix XP’s associated new MultiFix 4 software package builds on the high levels of quality control – based on the UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) - and system status information previously available to operators while at the same time retaining the advantages of an uncomplicated and easy to configure user interface. Also, for reliability, MultiFix 4 may be configured with a number of automatic back-up solutions for the primary SkyFix XP calculation to provide optimum redundancy. This allows the system to switch automatically to an alternative DGPS solution such as SkyFix or SkyFix Premier if decimetric performance is not required for a particular application, providing ultimate confidence in the system. Fully compatible with existing systems, SkyFix XP has a similar hardware platform and configuration to that of the standard SkyFix model making it easy to upgrade an existing system with the addition of a dual frequency GPS receiver and the new MultiFix 4 software. In addition, the MultiFix 4 software is compatible with most leading GPS receivers including, but not limited to, units produced by Thales Navigation. (Thales Navigation, Santa Clara, Calif.)