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eNewsletter September 2009

Iranian Nuclear Facility Image

Below is a new GeoEye-1 satellite image taken just a few days ago, of the alleged nuclear enrichment facility under construction inside a mountain located about 20 miles NNE of Qum, Iran. Exact coordinates as derived from the satellite imagery are Lat 34.885N and Long 50.9965E. According to press reports, the facility is located in an arid area about 100 miles SW of Tehran on a military base believedto be under the control of the Revolutionary Guards.

According to IHS Janes, who did the analysis of the imagery, the imagery shows a well-fortifiedfacility with amain entrance, which was seen under construction early this year, and is now abuilding that abuts and provides access into the mountain. Small round ventilation shafts in the center of the mountain are near completion. Quarry equipment, a surface-to-air missile site, and more construction equipment surround the mountain.

This facility is still under construction. Reportedly, President Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he named the enrichment plant "Meshkat," which means Lantern.

This image was taken on Sept. 26,2009 from 423 miles in space as Va.-based GeoEye's newest satellite, GeoEye-1, moved from north to south over the Middle East at a speed of 4miles per second. Image Credit: GeoEye Satellite Image/IHS Janes Analysis.


ERDAS Previews New Releases, Announces New Distributors

ERDAS, a company based in Norcross, Georgia that creates geospatial business systems, previewed its new releases at three large international conferences in September: Map Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa; INTERGEO, the world's largest geodesy, geoinformation, and land management conference, in Karlsruhe, Germany; and SSC 2009 in Adelaide, South Australia. At the conferences, ERDAS previewed its ERDAS IMAGINE 2010, as well as new releases LPS and ERDAS APOLLO. ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 incorporates image analysis, remote sensing, geospatial analysis, Web Processing Service (WPS) publishing, Web Coverage Service (WCS) access, Web Mapping Service (WMS) access, Catalog Services for the Web (CS-W), catalog access, and more.

LPS 2010 is a photogrammetry system for a variety of workflows, including defense, remote-area mapping, transportation planning, orthophoto production (for basemap generation), and close-range applications. ERDAS APOLLO 2010 helps users understand, manage, and serve large volumes of geospatial data by implementing a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that provides a publish, find, and bind workflow for any data type. With a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), ERDAS APOLLO provides an interactively connected framework to support the management and serving of spatial data, metadata, and maps.

ERDAS, which is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden, recently announced two new distribution agreements. In Yemen, the ERDAS distributor to customers is now GISTRAIN, founded in 2006 and based in Aden. It will promote and sell ERDAS solutions, as well as provide professional support to end-users — including software maintenance, training, consulting, and software installation. In Colombia, the ERDAS distributor to customers is now Datum Ingeniería Limitada, which specializes in geospatial solutions for researching, surveying, mapping, and monitoring of natural resources. Its offerings cover such areas as GNSS, GIS, LiDAR collection, image processing, meteorology, applied geophysics, remote sensing, photogrammetry, data sharing, GeoIT integration, opened standards, and enterprise solutions. In Colombia, Datum will provide local sales and support, including technical support and individual training. See www.erdas.com.


Vexcel Releases Version 2.0 of the Microsoft Virtual Earth Server

Vexcel Corp., a Microsoft-owned remote sensing company based in Boulder, Colorado, has released version 2.0 of the Microsoft Virtual Earth Server (VES), the on-premises intranet mapping platform based on Microsoft Bing Maps for Enterprise. VES allows users who have security concerns or unreliable Internet connections to access Bing Maps without having to connect to the Internet.

Version 2.0 provides several significant product enhancements to support the needs of enterprise customers, including: a new Silverlight-based map control; 3rd party data integration capabilities for GeoTIFF and KML that take advantage of SQLServer 2008's spatial extensions; a template to connect to and ingest content from OGC-compliant WMS imagery servers; and a forward geocoding capability.

Coinciding with the 2.0 release is the debut of the Virtual Earth Server on Microsoft Volume Licensing, which customers can now license at a discount through their Microsoft Enterprise Agreements. See www.vexcel.com.


Microsoft's Vexcel Imaging Releases the UltraCamXp Wide Angle, Selects Imagemaps as Asia/Pacific Sales Representative

Vexcel Imaging GmbH, a Microsoft-owned photogrammetry company based in Graz, Austria, has released the UltraCamXp Wide Angle, a new version of the UltraCam large format, digital aerial camera system that features a wide-angle lens with a shorter focal length. The camera allows lower-flying airplanes to collect data at the same ground sample distance (GSD) as higher-flying planes carrying the UltraCamXp, while delivering comparable image quality.

Applications include large-scale engineering mapping, high-resolution orthophoto production, multi-ray photogrammetry, feature extraction, and classification.

The new camera is capable of collecting stereo imagery at a 1-inch GSD at a flight speed of 110 knots and allows post-processing to be started on board. Its large image format is identical to that of the UltraCamX at 196 megapixels; the pixel size is 6 µm, and geometric accuracy is better than +/- 2 µm. It is fully compatible with the storage (DXp) and computing (CXp) systems of the UltraCamX and UltraCamXp and is fully supported by Vexcel's UltraMap workflow software system.

The company has selected Imagemaps Pte. Ltd. as its sales representative responsible for the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar). This will help Vexcel Imaging meet Asian demand for its UltraCam digital camera systems and software. Imagemaps will be supported by local sales partners, including Vexcel Spatial Information Technical Co. Ltd. in the People's Republic of China, Kang Ying Enterprises Ltd. in Taiwan, Vexcel Australia Pty. Ltd. in Australia, and Royal Sky Co. Ltd. in Thailand. See www.vexcel.com.


U.S. Department of Agriculture Adds RapidEye to its Prime Vendor Contract

The International Production and Assessment Division (IPAD) of the Office of Global Analysis (OGA) of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has added RapidEye, based in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, to its Prime Vendor Contract to provide its levels 1B and 3A satellite imagery products. This will enable the agency either to order imagery from RapidEye's archive or to task the RapidEye constellation of satellites to image a new area.

IPAD is responsible for global crop condition assessments and estimates of area, yield, and production for grains, oil seeds, and cotton. The primary mission of OGA is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural market intelligence information. See www.rapideye.de.


Intergraph Honors Photogrammetry Experts with 2009 Carl Pulfrich Award

Intergraph (Huntsville, Ala.) has named Drs. Devrim Akca and Michael Cramer as the winners of its biennial Carl Pulfrich Award, which recognizes significant design and manufacturing contributions to the photogrammetry, remote sensing, and Earth imaging industries.

Dr. Akca completed a Ph.D. program in photogrammetry and remote sensing at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, where he was also a senior research associate. His studies focused on 3D least squares surface matching, which has many applications in photogrammetry. He became an assistant professor in the Department of Information Technologies at Isik University in Istanbul, Turkey in mid-September.

Dr. Cramer is a researcher and senior lecturer with tenure at the Institute for Photogrammetry at Stuttgart University in Germany, where he received his Ph.D. He is one of the leading international experts and scientific researchers in the field of high-definition airborne camera performance and specializes in integrated GPS/inertial navigation systems for airborne applications; georeferencing of airborne sensors; digital camera performance tests; and digital camera calibration, validation, and certification. See www.intergraph.com.


MDA To Provide RADARSAT-2 Imagery To the European Space Agency

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), a provider of information solutions based in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, has signed a $4.6 million Computer-Aided Design (CAD) contract to provide RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to the European Space Agency (ESA). It will deliver the imagery from July 2009 until September 2010.

The imagery will provide information on ice and disaster mapping applications in support of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program, which was established to help key users in Europe manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, and ensure civil security.

Launched in 2007, RADARSAT-2 is a commercial C-band synthetic aperture radar satellite that offers new imaging capabilities and a faster turn-around schedule for data acquisition and product delivery. It provides enhanced information for applications such as environmental monitoring, ice mapping, resource mapping, disaster management, and marine surveillance. See www.mdacorporation.com.


Conference on the New Green Economy

The National Council for Science and the Environment will hold the10th National Conference for Science, Policy and the Environment: The New Green Economy, January 20-22, 2010, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. This large interactive conference aims to develop and advance science-based solutions to move the economy to a more robust and sustainable condition. Leaders from the Obama administration and others will discuss and assess the performance of the administration in trying simultaneously to recover and to green the economy. Conference participants will discuss the role of energy and climate change in economic transformation.

Participants from the U.N. Climate Convention to take place in Copenhagen this December will provide first-hand reports.

The conference will combine speakers and discussions with35 interactive facilitated breakout sessions to develop an economic greenprint;30 symposia to explore pieces of green;40 skill-building workshops to learn tools for transformation, scientific and educational posters; the Green Pioneers Expo, a youth voices and visions writing contest; and networking opportunities.

Confirmed speakers include Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University; Paul Hawken, Eco-entrepeneur; Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres; Gus Speth, Dean Emeritus, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Damon Silvers, General Counsel, AFL-CIO and Deputy Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel "TARP Accountability and Oversight"; and Herman Daly, Ecological Economist, University of Maryland.

The discounted early-birdregistration fee of $325 is available until October 23. Discounts are available for students, workers at non-profit organizations, and conference volunteers. For more information, visit http://ncseonline.org/conference/greeneconomy/ or contact conference@NCSEonline.org.


Definiens to Build on Its Object-Based Image Analysis Platform

The Earth Sciences division of Definiens, a company that develops software to analyze and interpret images, will build upon its object-based image analysis (OBIA) platform to simplify the development and distribution of applications among its users and partners, following the recent launch of the Definiens eCognition Community Web site. Later this year, the company will launch its newest software suite for Earth Sciences, Definiens eCognition 8, which will incorporate functionality designed to make the software accessible to users without extensive software programming experience.

The new software will maintain Definiens' easily transportable and modifiable ruleware and open architecture, enabling the integration of industry-standard platforms and imaging data from all modalities, while introducing a streamlined graphical user interface and pioneering new multidimensional and LIDAR capabilities. Definiens first utilized the eCognition brand in its introduction of OBIA to the earth sciences industry in 2001.

The company's image analysis software products, Definiens Developer and Definiens Architect, enable users to develop custom solutions to extract geo-information from remote sensing data. Definiens and its partners will increasingly develop standardized remote sensing and mapping applications and will facilitate the commercial and non-profit distribution of third-party applications developed using Definiens software. See www.definiens.com.


Now Accepting Speaking Proposals for Where 2.0 Conference 2010

Where 2.0 organizers are looking for people pushing the boundaries of location-enabled technology. If you are working on cutting-edge mobile projects, rich data, analysis tools, or augmented reality, join us. Geo programmers, researchers, early stage startups, garage hackers, social media mavens, CTOs, entrepreneurs, and product developers are invited to submit proposals to speak at Where 2.0. There are 30-minute sessions, 75-minute workshops, 5-minute Ignite sessions and Product Launch sessions.

Here are some of the topics that will be included:

  • Location Aware Devices
  • Augmented Reality in the Real World
  • 3D Immersive Imagery
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Crisis Mapping and Disease Awareness
  • Government Data
  • Protocols
  • Geo Support for Mapping Applications

Proposals are due by October 13, 2009.

Submit proposals to: http://en.oreilly.com/where2010/public/cfp/78

Registration opens December 2009.

Where 2.0 is earlier this year. Mark your calendars for March 30-April 1, 2010.

See http://en.oreilly.com/where2010.

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