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eNews Archive

eNewsletter June 2011

LBx JournalNewsletter Announced

Location information is invaluable for businesses. We know that many of you are working to get your geospatial solutions into more vertical industries, and are tracking this trend. LBx Journal, sister publication to Imaging Notes, is partnering with SmartBrief to deliver Location SmartBrief: Business Game Changer, a free weekly email business briefing on location information, services and technologies. If using location in business is relevant to your role, please subscribe to that newsletter, or click here: www.smartbrief.com/lbx. For those of you who do not want to get this newsletter, note that if you do not opt in, you will no longer get it in a few weeks.

RapidEye Announces Restructuring, and Partners with ImageSat

Days after RapidEye announced a partnership with ImageSat, the company announced on June 1, 2011 that it has filed for insolvency under German insolvency laws, the equivalent of Chapter 11 protection.

Wolfgang Biedermann, the CEO of RapidEye (with its constellation of five satellites) commented that this move was necessitated by recent actions of the financing banks. The intention of the banking consortium is to allow the company to use the Chapter 11 protection to resolve certain contractual and financing issues. This action will not affect the delivery of products and services to existing and future customers nor will it affect marketing and sales activities. It is expected that RapidEye will emerge from Chapter 11 after a short time as a stronger and healthier company fit to compete successfully in the global remote sensing market.

“We hope that our customers, our employees, and our partners will support us during these next several weeks,” said Wolfgang Biedermann. “During the last more than two years of operations our team has demonstrated that we can be successful in this market. We need to build on our strengths and continue to work on improving our weaknesses to be a viable and prosperous supplier of remote sensing data and of advanced remote sensing based information products and services.”

RapidEye also announces a partnership agreement has been signed between RapidEye and ImageSat International. The agreement allows ImageSat to use RapidEye imagery to colorize their panchromatic 0.7 meter resolution imagery to produce a colorized product. John Ahlrichs, RapidEye's Vice President commented, "This unique partnership combines the strengths of two major imaging companies. RapidEye's global, fresh archive of five-meter data is the perfect source for ImageSat to use in creating a color ImageSat product. We can almost guarantee that we will have imagery in our extensive archive that will meet the needs of ImageSat and their customers."

"This partnership allows ImageSat to bring another dimension to the very high resolution panchromatic EROS images," said Rani Hellerman, Director of Business Development for ImageSat. "The combination of RapidEye's constellation and the EROS satellites allows ImageSat to offer colorized data with great quality for a wide range of applications.” See www.imagesatintl.com and www.rapideye.de.

Join Us Next Week in DC to Discuss “Environmental Intelligence”

The Forum on Earth Observations V, scheduled for June 14, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, will focus on creating a national strategy for environmental intelligence - actionable information that enables decision-makers to better respond to, adapt to and manage the changing planet.

The Forum on Earth Observations is the signature event of IGES’s Alliance for Earth Observations. This year’s Forum brings together public and private sector leaders to discuss the nation’s growing demand for improved environmental information and strategies by which our civil, defense and commercial programs will meet the nation’s priorities, which range from more accurate weather and climate models, to more robust and accessible information for emergency response, to a less vulnerable and more energy-efficient military.

A diverse community of stakeholders critical to the environmental information supply chain will share their ideas, priorities and potential contributions for creating a cohesive and comprehensive national strategy for environmental intelligence. url: www.ForumOnEO5.com

exactEarth Announces Launch of Satellite

On April 20, exactEarth Ltd., a leading provider of satellite AIS data services, announced that a satellite containing its Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload was successfully launched earlier this morning from Sriharikota, India. The AIS payload, which was designed and built by COM DEV International in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, and its European subsidiary COM DEV Europe, is integrated onto the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) ResourceSat-2 earth observation satellite.

"Today's launch is an important milestone for us as we establish our full operational capability," said Peter Mabson, President of exactEarth. "This is the most advanced satellite-based AIS payload ever launched. We expect it to generate more than 1 million AIS messages per day, utilizing our ground-based message processing technology, as it orbits the globe every 90 minutes." This is the first of a new generation of advanced AIS receivers that will provide the highest vessel detection rate ever achieved from space, ensuring that exactEarth gives you the complete picture when it comes to Maritime Domain Awareness. For the full press release, visit the website at www.exactearth.com.

MDA Launches Ice Monitoring Service for Safe Ship Navigation

MDA’s Information Systems Group (MDA), announced today that its Geospatial Services division is launching an ice monitoring service to support safe ship navigation in the Arctic. MDA will use RADARSAT-1 and -2 satellites’ superior ice detection and classification capabilities to produce ice information products that can be rapidly delivered in a variety of standard formats.

MDA will deliver the products electronically to ships and operation centers, through either direct transmission or via a web portal. Customer-specific products can also be developed upon request. Selected locations will be routinely monitored using the RADARSAT satellites. Initial locations and time periods to be monitored include:

  • Peel Sound, North-West Passage, Canada – July through October 2011
  • Fury and Hecla Strait, North-West Passage, Canada – July through October 2011
  • New Siberian Islands, Northern Sea Route, Russia – July through October 2011
  • Kara Gate, Northern Sea Route, Russia – July through October 2011
  • Point Barrow, Alaska, USA – July though August 2011

Tornadoes in the Midwest

Check out this live Severe Weather Map from Esri allowing you to view continuously updated U.S. tornado reports, wind storm reports, weather warnings, and precipitation. The map also pulls in social media pertaining to severe weather events.


April and May were tough months for those living in “Tornado Alley” in the Midwest. Outbreaks of violent weather in April and May have broken records for number and strength of storms and for death and destruction. Beginning April 27-28, when 173 tornadoes ripped through towns like Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in a 24-hour period, and continuing through May 21-22, when Joplin, Missouri and nearby Reading, Kansas, were devastated, the storms have killed more than 400 Americans. The Joplin storm created a path of total destruction a mile wide and six miles long.

Joplin, Missouri, on May 24, 2011, showing hospital. Aerial imagery is courtesy of MJ Harden, a GeoEye Company.

Joplin, Missouri clearly showing the path of the tornado through town. Aerial imagery is courtesy of MJ Harden, a GeoEye Company.

SimpleGeo’s New Product: Storage

Storing and scaling real-time location data can be extremely challenging. SimpleGeo's new storage solution allows you to quickly index gobs of location data and query it efficiently via a simple HTTP interface. Their proprietary storage infrastructure means your data scales simply and is served from multiple point-of-presences around the web. Click here for their offering of 30 days of free unlimited use. https://simplegeo.com.

Hitachi and TerraGo Assist Japan Reconstruction

In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, the clerical work of issuing disaster damage certificates – confirmation of actual property damage – is a challenging process that requires someone to physically inspect and verify any damage to homes, schools and other buildings. In an effort to simplify this process, Hitachi Solutions, Ltd. has donated a TerraGo GeoPDF map atlas to the central Japanese government, disaster response headquarters and local governments. GeoPDF maps are easy to both view and update from the field and can also be put to effective use in the planning for reconstruction efforts.

Even in situations where on-site visual inspection is necessary, use of the geographical coordinates in the map can greatly expedite the inspection process. Furthermore, by making reconstruction schedules on the basis of area-by-area damage predictions that the satellite images make possible, progress can be monitored by uploading the status of recovery efforts on the GeoPDF map atlas.

“Disaster response and reconstruction are greatly aided by the ability to disseminate geospatial information and to incorporate the most current intelligence from the scene to be shared by individuals and between organizations whether in a connected or offline disaster environment,” said Jeff Vining, Gartner vice president and research analyst for government, homeland security and law enforcement.

The GeoPDF atlas maps to be distributed are comprised of three layers: residential cadaster maps from before the earthquake, flood estimate data, and satellite imaging from after the disaster. Users will be able to confirm the condition of affected areas by comparing the different layers, as well as utilize geographical coordinates to add information and images to each location.

“TerraGo is honored to work with its valued partner Hitachi Solutions in providing geospatial collaboration software that will help accelerate the recovery effort for this unprecedented disaster,” said TerraGo CEO Rick Cobb. “Through our solutions and technical support, we hope that we can contribute to reconstruction and improving the lives of those in the devastated area.”

For additional maps and information about Japan disaster recovery efforts, check out www.terragotech.com and www.imagingnotes.com/blog.


For the past seven years, United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) has been hosting its GEOINT Community Week, which is the mid-year version of its larger GEOINT Symposium. This year’s event was held May 9-13 in the Washington D.C. area and brought together many players from industry, defense and government to network, learn, showcase key innovations and enhance opportunities for companies selling geospatial technologies and services.

As with previous years, GEOINT Community Week included the USGIF Golf Invitational, the Army Geospatial Imagery Conference (AGIC), GEOINT Community Week Career Fair, USGIF Technology Day, and workshops and networking receptions.

In addition to providing exhibits from more than 60 USGIF member companies and organizations, the USGIF Technology Day provided very in-depth, and often standing-room only workshops in the Emerging Technology Showcase. The morning sessions focused on the concept of “On-Demand” GEOINT, which the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Letitia Long first announced in her GEOINT keynote address in November 2010. Presentations included demos from Chris Rasmussen, Social Software Coordinator, Joint Operations Integration Office, NGA; and Evelyn Thai, Production Directorate, NGA, as well as a Q&A panel with the NGA Vision Team.

The afternoon session focused on Commercial SAR and highlighted how SAR is a viable tool for capturing and analyzing imagery in maritime situations, as well as how it is the ideal solution for any weather situation. Dr. Oliver Lang, Senior Application Development Manager, Infoterra, and Ian McLeod, Director, Defense and Security Business of MDA, provided presentations on TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT, respectively. In addition, Technology Day closed with a special showcase that allowed high school students to present their award-winning projects from Science Fair and Technology Student Association competitions.

On Friday, USGIF hosted a day-long workshop that focused on the theme of “Analytic Transformation,” and featured keynote addresses from Ed Mornston, Director, Joint Intelligence Task Force-Combating Terrorism (JITF-CT), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Robert Cardillo, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration (DDNI/II).

The week was capped off on Saturday evening with the annual GeoGala, which is an invitation-only black tie event that celebrates key accomplishments throughout the year. This year’s GeoGala included USGIF member companies, as well as General James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence and NGA Director Long.


Index of eNewsletters
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