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eNewsletter November 2011

GeoDigital Acquires Powel, Inc.

Norway's Powel AS sold the assets of its U.S. subsidiary Powel, Inc., on Dec. 1, 2011 to GeoDigital International Inc., a digital mapping, imaging and data acquisition services firm. The deal provides GeoDigital with the ability to provide customers with end-to-end solutions, including software to create actionable information from the lidar data. GeoDigital is a major player in distributed infrastructure management solutions and in the fast-growing utility vegetation management and Transmission Line Re-rating marketplace. 


Merrick Names David G. Huelskamp as President

The Board of Directors of Merrick & Company selected David G. Huelskamp as president of the firm, effective January 3, 2012. Merrick & Company is a global, employee-owned, multidisciplinary professional services firm specializing in the energy, national security, life sciences, and sustainable infrastructure markets. It provides engineering, architecture, design-build, surveying, and geospatial technologies services, through ten offices in the United States, as well as offices in Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. 

Mr. Huelskamp will report to Ralph W. Christie, Jr., PE, who has been Merrick’s chairman, president, and CEO for nearly 15 years and will continue as chairman and CEO. As president, Mr. Huelskamp will be responsible for the operations of the company and several corporate support functions within the organization. He has been with Merrick for more than 15 years and most recently held the role of senior vice president for business development. He holds an engineering degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an MBA from Arizona State University. URL: www.merrick.com

ITT Visual Information Solutions Renamed Exelis Visual Information Solutions

On October 31, 2011, ITT Corporation spun off its three business units — the parent company, which supplies highly engineered solutions in the aerospace, transportation, energy, and industrial markets; its water technology subsidiary; and its defense segment — and formed three stand-alone, publicly-traded companies. The parent company, ITT Defense & Information Solutions, became Exelis, Inc.  It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “XLS” and established its new corporate headquarters in Fairfax County, Virginia. It will continue to specialize in networked communications, sensing and surveillance, electronic warfare, air traffic management, and information systems — supplying military, government, and commercial customers in the United States and globally. Exelis (ik-'sel-əss) is derived from the word “excel,” which is rooted in “ex,” meaning “out in front” or “beyond.”  

ITT Visual Information Solutions became Exelis Visual Information Solutions and remains a subsidiary of the parent company. It will continue to develop ENVI, IAS, IDL, E3De, and its line of complementary geospatial products, as well as a suite of training, support, and consulting services. The water company was named Xylem.

ITT shareholders now own shares in all three corporations. ITT Corporation will retain the current corporate name, logo, and “Engineered for Life” company tagline and will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ITT.” It will continue to specialize in the engineering and manufacturing of components in niche markets such as harsh-environment connectors, aerospace actuation and valves, friction brake pads, railway equipment, and industrial process applications. URL: www.exelisvis.com

AutoCAD Map 3D Users Connect with Pictometry’s High Resolution Aerial Oblique Image Library and Tools

Pictometry International Corp. announces the launch of Pictometry Integration for AutoCAD Map 3D 2012. This powerful new integration connects users of Autodesk’s AutoCAD Map 3D with access to Pictometry’s library of Intelligent Images, while working within the Map 3D environment.

Now AutoCAD Map 3D users can quickly and easily bring high resolution real-world oblique and orthogonal imagery of field locations and corresponding geospatial data into their day-to-day workflow. As a result, pipes, manholes, power lines and other Map 3D CAD and GIS infrastructure data can be accurately displayed on top of Pictometry’s patented geo-referenced imagery. Users can then measure on imagery and calculate area, distance, height, elevation without ever leaving the office.

“We are excited to welcome Pictometry as an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner and to have them make their imagery and analytics tools available as part of the Map 3D user experience,” said Paul McRoberts, vice president, infrastructure product line group, AEC solutions, Autodesk. “Autodesk offers a broad portfolio of solutions – including the new Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2012, which includes AutoCAD Map 3D 2012 – to help consultants and owners plan, design, build, and manage more sustainable infrastructure. The integration with Pictometry will help to enhance that workflow for our users.” To learn more or download the integration online, visit www.pictometry.com.

First Global Orbital Observation Program Proposed

A consortium of scientists led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has proposed taking advantage of a new generation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to create a global network of sensors. It would continuously gather critical data on climate, the atmosphere, the oceans, gravity, space weather, and other geoscience topics to benefit students, scientists, policy makers, and the public.

Called GEOScan, the program would piggyback on the Iridium NEXT constellation – a new generation of low-Earth orbiting polar communication satellites to be launched in 2015-2017 – and use its real-time data link, creating the first globally networked orbital observation facility.  By placing low-cost payloads, made possible by economies of scale, on satellites already headed to space, the program would dramatically reduce the cost of collecting, transmitting, and distributing important scientific information about Earth and help answer critical global science questions that require real-time measurements.

A feasibility study of the GEOScan concept was conducted with support from the National Science Foundation. On each of the 66-plus NEXT communications satellites, it would use a single “SensorPOD” slot – only about the size of a shoebox but filled with instruments to image Earth and characterize the space environment. These units would also measure reflected sunlight and infrared radiation to provide the most precise measurements yet for climate models – as well as enable improved disaster relief and humanitarian assistance efforts by providing affordable real-time imagery. In addition, by providing a continuous set of globally-distributed gravity measurements, GeoSCAN would offer a new look at Earth’s global gravity field, including data on ocean currents, sea level change, atmospheric variations, movements of solid Earth, and the melting of polar ice and glaciers.

The GEOScan proposal includes a “Hosted Sensor” program that would provide an opportunity for university researchers and students, as well as small businesses, to address novel science topics and test new instruments and technologies in space at a low cost.

Iridium Communications Inc. – the only mobile satellite services provider offering 100 percent worldwide coverage – designed its new satellites to accommodate a standard payload, which provides a unique capability to host scientific sensors with 24/7 real-time visibility over the entire Earth's surface and atmosphere. URL: geoscan.jhuapl.edu

New Public Online Mapping Platform

The federal government and its geospatial partners have unveiled Geospatial Platform, a prototype Website providing an initial view of the future of user-friendly, integrated, federal data collections on common geographic maps. This version combines map-based data and tools with the latest Internet technologies to deliver geospatial information in a simple, understandable package to provide a user-friendly ‘one-stop shop’ for reliable place-based data and the tools to display it on a map platform. Users – including the public, federal agencies, and their partners – can easily find federally maintained geospatial data, services and applications, as well as access data from partner agencies across state, tribal, regional, and local governments.

Through the Website and without having to install software on their own computers, users can create maps by combining their data with public domain data and collaborate in public and private groups with others who share their interests. They can share maps they assembled through the platform using Web browsers and mobile technologies.

The Geospatial Platform has been developed as a partnership among the member agencies of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), an interagency committee composed of representatives from the Executive Office of the President, and Cabinet-level and independent federal agencies including Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The FGDC promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. The platform is a key driver for FGDC member agencies to improve the quality and access of their unique geospatial assets. It enhances and complements efforts that are underway to develop mission-specific geospatial applications in agencies such as NOAA, EPA, Interior, and Agriculture.

Examples of the information available on the initial version of the Geospatial Platform include environmental clean-up data from EPA and coastal environmental sensitivity data and historic hurricane data from NOAA. These datasets could be combined on a topographic map from Interior to assess hurricane vulnerability in coastal areas.

The launch of the Geospatial Platform improves the availability and usability of geospatial information from all federal agencies. The platform will also integrate and display the geospatial information on Data.gov. It is a work in progress that will continue to be refined, updated, and refreshed over the next several months with additional data, services, and tools, based on user feedback and partner inputs. URLs: www.geoplatform.gov, www.fgdc.gov

ILMF Returns to Denver

The International LiDAR Mapping Forum is taking place in Denver January 23-25, 2012. Highlights include:

  • A three day world class Technical Conference reporting on latest technology advances and recent projects, highlighting actual experiences and lessons learned in airborne and bathymetric LIDAR with a focus on mobile mapping.

  • More than 50 leading companies exhibiting new LIDAR products and a wide range of new technologies and services.

  • Mobile mapping vehicles onsite offering delegates the opportunity to learn more about their full survey capabilities by taking a drive in one of the vehicles.

  • Entry-level workshop sessions teaching the basic principles and fundamental benefits of LIDAR whilst providing up-to-date information on current developments.

The International LiDAR Mapping Forum is being held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. Book before December 16, 2011 to receive a discounted rate: http://www.lidarmap.org/accommodation/Default.aspx.

Imaging Notes Fall 2011 Digital Issue

Imaging Notes has always provided our full pdf of each issue online. The Fall issue includes features on human geo, radar update, lidar processing, open source software for NGA, and meteors. Click here to go to the full archive:


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