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G Hydro Special GERDAS Interview GAcquisition Sensors
GMapping Cultural Heritage Underwater GArc Marine Data Model
Magaz i ne f or Sur veyi ng, Mappi ng & GI S Pr of es s i onal s
April/May 2008
Volume 11
Here be sea dragons
About 70 percent of the surface of the earth is covered with water. An even larger percent-
age of the earth contains water, that is if we include the groundwater beneath our feet.
But we know very little about the waters surrounding us. We have been able to put men
on the moon and remote-controlled vehicles on Mars, but so far we have only investigat-
ed a very small percentage of our seas and oceans. Take, for example, information about
the sea bottom. Even though modern charts may lead us to believe that almost all the
oceans have been charted, the only data available is from satellite remote sensing.
And even that data is inferred information.
The equipment to make more detailed images is available, but the costs associated with
this type of research are staggering. As a result we only have detailed maps for the
shallow areas frequented by ships or those parts of the ocean where we drill for oil or
create new structures.
Considering the organisms living in the sea we know even less. At the same time we are
searching for life on Mars we are still discovering new creatures in the oceans. I once read
a good illustration of the problem that oceanographers face. Imagine you are in a hot-air
balloon travelling over the rainforest at night. The only equipment available to you is a
bucket and a photo camera. You lower the bucket and camera through the dense forest
canopy and hope something will end up in the bucket or in front of your camera. All the
information we have on life in the oceans has been gathered this way, but instead of a
bucket scientists use a dragnet.
The early explorers would leave a blank spot on their charts saying something like here
be dragons when an area went unexplored. Today we probably know little more about
large parts of the ocean, but it is unimaginable to put here be sea dragons on our digital
globes. As a result the majority of the public is unaware of our lack of knowledge concern-
ing our own planet.
In this issue we will focus on the liquid part of our planet and bring to you some
examples of the investigations and mapping currently being undertaken. As with the
science itself, large parts will remain unexplored but hopefully it will give you a good idea
of whats going on under the sea.
Enjoy your reading,
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
April/May 2008
GeoInformatics provides coverage, analysis and
commentary with respect to the international surveying,
mapping and GIS industry.
Ruud Groothuis
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
Editorial Manager
Eric van Rees
Frank Arts
Florian Fischer
Job van Haaften
Remco Takken
Joc Triglav
Bart van Mierlo
Mike Sanderson
Contributing Writers
Seger van den Brenk
Chuck Chaapel
Philip Cheng
Jack Cook
Florian Fischer
Paul Haase
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
Arjan van der Meer
Account Manager
Wilfred Westerhof
GeoInformatics is available against a yearly
subscription rate (8 issues) of 85,00.
To subscribe, fill in and return the electronic reply
card on our website or contact Janneke Bijleveld at
All enquiries should be submitted to
Ruud Groothuis
World Wide Web
GeoInformatics can be found at:
Graphic Design
Sander van der Kolk
ISSN 13870858
Copyright 2008. GeoInformatics: no material may
be reproduced without written permission.
GeoInformatics is published by
CMedia Productions BV
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Fax: +31 (0) 527 620 989
Don Murray
Eric van Rees
George G. Spoelstra
Remco Takken
Joc Triglav
Robert Wick
Dawn Wright
ESRIs Arc Marine
Over the past few years ESRI, with a significant amount of user
community input, has been engaged in the exercise of building "industry-
specific" data models for ArcGIS. A new marine data model
(Arc Marine) has been developed for those who apply GIS to the coasts,
estuaries, marginal seas, and/or the deep ocean; Find out all about the
activities that led to the release of the data model and accompanying
reference book, Arc Marine: GIS for a Blue Planet
The Growing Need for Spatial ETL
Spatial ETL (extracting, transforming, and loading) tools have been
around for over a decade. Yet only in the past few years has their true
strategic value emerged in geospatial initiatives around the globe.
By Don Murray.
C o n t e n t
April/May 2008
GIS, GPS and Digital Photography 12
Dutch Contribution to European Research Project
Increased Image Collection Opportunities 16
DigitalGlobes WorldView-1 Satellite
Digital Copy of GeoInformatics Is a Huge Success! 23
Over 7000 Subscribers in March 2008
The Growing Need for Spatial ETL 24
On Data, Technologies and Convergence
Part 7: S-57 IHO Transfer Standard for 28
Digital Hydrographic Data
Standards in Practice
Oceans Heavily Affected by Human Activities 32
A Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems
The Arc Marine Data Model 36
Process and Product
Emergency Solution 43
Senegal River Survey Project
Maintaining Fire Fighting Capacity while 44
Managing Pressure
Brisbane Water Deploys Rigorous Hydraulic Model
Acquisition Sensors 48
Part 1: Multibeam Echo Sounder
Real-Time Kinematic GPS Positioning 52
Guiding the Construction of The World
Mapping Cultural Heritage..Underwater! 62
Dutch Archaeological Research In The Waterbeds
A Sense of Foreboding? 21
By Mike Sanderson
Hydrology versus Hydrography: 47
Do GIS Specialists Know the Difference?
By Bart van Mierlo
Page 36
Page 24
Latest News? Visit
April/May 2008
Following in the Footsteps of Humboldt 6
Annual Conference of Runder Tisch GIS
Oceanology International 2008 8
Technology, Sustainability and the Oceans
Mladen Stojic on the New ERDAS 58
Leading the Renaissance of Geospatial Innovation
Product News 67
Industry News 71
Calendar 74
Advertisers Index 74
On the Cover:
The globe is built using Safe Softwares spatial ETL technology, FME. It
takes a simple text file containing average elevations of 1 x 1 degree
cells and creates a 3D globe. This is one example of how spatial ETL
technology breaks format and data model barriers to place spatial
data into the hands of users so companies can realize the full power
of spatial data assets. See article, page 24.
ERDAS Interview
With over 10 years of experience at ERDAS, Mladen Stojic has extensive
product development and management experience, coupled with a broad
understanding of the rapidly expanding geospatial markets. In an
interview with GeoInformatics, he explains all about the new ERDAS and
future strategies.
Page 24
GPS Positioning Guides
Construction of The World
Just a few kilometers offshore in the sunny waters of the Arabian Gulf, the
giant dredging and marine contractor of the Netherlands, Van Oord NV,
works on the largest project ever undertaken by a single marine contrac-
tor: building The World. One key to making the work cost-effective is high-
precision, Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS positioning. RTK dGPS for The
World project is enabled by technology from Trimble as well as the Pacific
Crest Corporation.
Page 52
Page 58
Annual Conference of Runder Tisch GIS
Following in the Footsteps
of Humboldt
From 26th to 28th of February 2008 the annual conference of the GIS networking association Runder Tisch GIS e.V.
took place at the Munich University of Technology. Around 350 visitors from Switzerland, Austria and Germany
gathered in Munich to compare notes about the future paths of the geospatial sector. This years focus was on
the emerging European Spatial Data Infrastructures and how to make their concepts and ideas alive.
This article will present some highlights of the conference.
By Florian Fischer
European Environment Agency presented the
European Environment Information and
Observation Network (EIONET). And then there
are still dozens of national information infra -
structures for different sectors and purposes.
Therefore Prof. Schilchers question met to
sympathy in the audience by all means.
Eventually the question is whether there are
crossroads of these infrastructures or do they
exist in totally parallel worlds. In order to
approach this question the INSPIRE initiative
has been in the center of discussion on the
The Current Status of European
Spatial Data Infrastructures
In Geographic Information Science a current
topic is the development of Spatial Data
Infrastructures (SDI). An SDI basically aims at
the provision and usage of spatial informa-
tion by geographically distributed and decen-
Conf er ence
April/May 2008
Information Infrastructures
Does there still someone have the general
overview on that? has been the short com-
ment on the first afternoon by Prof. Schilcher,
chairman of the networking association
Runder Tisch GIS e.V. and head of the GIS
department at the Munich University of
Technology (TUM). He referred to the general
view on the different information infrastruc-
ture initiatives that have been presented so
far. All on the level of the European Union and
all deal with spatial information somehow.
Probably the most well known is the
Infrastructure for Spatial Information in
Europe (INSPIRE). And there is the Global
Monitoring for Environment and Security
(GMES) which is a European initiative but an
information infrastructure as well and shall
support agencies in Europe on their repor ting
duties. And then Dr. Markus Erhard from the
The Munich University of Technology provided a good infrastructure to talk about Spatial Data Infrastructures.
tralised spatial information repositories and
spatial processing services. Prof. Lars Bernard
from the Technical University of Dresden gave
a lecture on the current status of European
SDIs and the INSPIRE initiative. So far there
have been many initiatives on regional and
national SDIs in Europe. Early operational SDI-
applications are already implemented but on
the European level they mostly the have the
character of pilot-projects, test-beds or feasi-
bility studies. Interoperable usage of geoin-
formation on a European level is limited due
to costs and a missing framework for coordi-
nation, standards, rules and organisational
structures. The INSPIRE Directive became
effective in May 2007 and will last until May
2019. The requirements of INSPIRE are put on
paper by implementing provisions and are
developed at the moment. First predominant
requirements for basic services are produced
and in 2010 the European SDI is expected to
be operational for searching metadata and
visualise data. That is a fairly tough time table
especially when one takes into consideration
that the EU member states and their regional
administrations are part of plan of conduc-
tion. Additionally the directive still involves
some pitfalls on the level of semantic trans-
formation. Proper web-services are still nee -
ded for an intelligent solution. Dr. Andreas
Donaubauer and Florian Straub (both TUM)
presented a quite sophisticated service for
semantic translation.
Model-driven Web Feature Service
INSPIRE requires to establish interoperable
geo web-services. By the guidelines an estab-
lishment an interoperable access to all geo
web-services of the EU member states shall
be granted on a technical level. On a seman-
tic level that is, on a level interoperability of
data-models INSPIRE provides European-wide,
harmonised data models for distinctive
themes like administrative boundaries.
Consequently data providers have to trans-
form their data from their own data models
to the EU models. The transformation is sup-
posed to be done by special transformation
services. One presented way of doing this is
the model-based transformation. Geo-data
models are therefore described by a concep-
tional schema language (CSL). Thereof con-
ceptional data models can be created and
afterwards transformed to any necessary
transfer format by an appropriate parser. But
again a conceptional illustration of a model
has to be created to use a model based trans-
formation. Donaubauer and Straub propose a
web service for the semantic transformation
called mdWFS-ST for model-driven Web
Feature Service semantic translation. The
service has two operations and is designed
monisation of spatial data. Secondly there is
the aim to establish a developer community
to keep the HUMBOLDT framework going on
in the future. Complementary a user commu-
nity ought to be established to gather peo-
ple that use the applications basing on HUM-
BOLDT. The communities frame the
development of application scenarios that use
the HUMBOLDT framework.
Geospatial is Not Special Anymore
The way to show the utilisation of the emer -
ging European Spatial Data Infrastructure by
developing real-life application seems to show
promise. Even more promising seems the idea
of the respective scenario as an initiation only
and the commitment to make the applications
operative and durable. However even the
HUMBOLDT applications still embrace a cer-
tain character of a test-bed. This might be
inevitably but this issue has to be dealt with
All the lively discussions about INSPIRE and
the emerging Spatial Data Infrastructures have
also shown that SDI is the vehicle to bring
geospatial technology to many application
areas. The integration of Geospatial
Technology into the mainstream IT is an
inevitable trend. All the more I wondered that
the geospatial community is still addicted that
much to application scenarios that focus in
pure use of geospatial technology. The com-
bination with mainstream IT opens up for
more interesting scenarios and I believe for
even better durability. The HUMBOLDT project
is line marking this paths a bit and hopefully
there will be more projects like this.
Florian Fischer is
contributing editor GIS for GeoInformatics.
For more information, have a look at:
The HUMBOLDT project:
Runder Tisch GIS e.V.:
to fit into an infrastructure of OGC Web
Services. Therefore the mdWFS-ST essentially
is a Web Feature Service (WFS) with the capa-
bility of semantic transformation on the fly.
Thus it ensures semantic interoperability on
a web-service level which perfectly fits in the
philosophy of INSPIRE. Eventually it is not
only a technical gimmick but has really pre-
cious functionality. A best practice example is
an application in cross-border spatial plan-
ning. The planners will be confronted with dif-
ferent notations and the semantics of these
notations but the mdWFS-ST could help to
resolve these problems.
Next to interoperable web services the
European Spatial Data Infrastructure will need
applications. There are already some pilot-
projects and test-beds but all lack of durabil-
ity. Moreover many of them concentrate on
specific technical features. Whereas the
approach of the HUMBOLDT project is rather
different as it tends to show new paths on
the way to INSPIRE. The aim is to achieve
progress in SDI by projects that build on a
SDI to what a SDI can be used for. The HUM-
BOLDT projects especially try to integrate
GMES here. Therefore the project name has
been chosen after Alexander v. Humboldt, a
scientist who tried to collect and integrate
knowledge about the world and create new
The aim of the HUMBOLDT project is not to
create a product and algorithm or an applica-
tion itself. As a project it aims on initiating a
long-term user perspective for data and ser-
vices of the emerging European SDI. Thus the
project is rather a hodge-podge of various
activities. It involves an Open Source
Framework that is, a collection of free and
open-source tools and concepts for the har-
Latest News? Visit
Conf er ence
April/May 2008
The Humboldt Project: On the interface between
Technology, Sustainability and the Oceans
Oceanology International 2008
Oceanology International (OI) is the marine science and ocean technology communitys premier forum,
and for well over three decades has provided a focal point every two years for the diverse range of individuals and
organizations that work in this sector to debate and discuss crucial topics. It also provides a unique networking
opportunity for companies to showcase the latest state-of-the-art technological solutions in use or under
consideration by the industries that work in the ocean environment.
By Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
The latest show, held from March 11 to
March 13 under the overall theme of
Technology, Sustainability and the Oceans,
attracted a record total of 8,703 attendees
through its doors at the ExCeL venue in the
Docklands. Attendees came from 67 countries,
from as far afield as China, Russia, the USA,
Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Angola,
Nigeria, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada, the United
Arab Emirates and India, as well as from
Europe and Scandinavia.
The exhibition, meanwhile, saw the available
space of 7,184 square meters sold out, with
533 exhibitors from 32 different countries par-
ticipating. Country pavilions from Canada,
France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain
were featured, alongside exhibiting organiza-
tions and companies including the European
Commission, Fugro, Acergy, Gardline, Balmoral
Offshore Engineering, Teledyne, Kongsberg
Maritime, Sonardyne and IXSEA.
The theme of the 2008 congress was
Technology, Sustainability and the Oceans.
The sessions covered three subjects; Energy
from the Ocean, the Oceans and Climate
Change, and Environmental and Civil Security.
The theme as well as the specific subjects
would lead most outsiders to believe that the
conference would provide more insight into
these politically important subjects. Any visi-
tor basing his or her attendance on just this
information would have been in for a disap-
pointment. As with many congresses of this
type, the sessions were highly technical or
academic in nature, addressing such issues
as the Development and field testing of the
Doppler Volume Sampler.
For the audience gathered at these sessions,
the information exchange proved, however, to
be very useful. There are very few oceano-
graphic events and every such event is an
opportunity to share infor-
mation amongst the
attending scientists.
The exhibition, on the
other hand, attracts atten-
dees from all disciplines.
When one is (or has been)
part of the world of ocean
and sea surveying the
exhibition is a sort of
reunion. The list of
exhibitors reads like the
whos who of the ocean
business. Although more
than 70% of the world is
covered with water, the
ocean business is much
smaller in terms of compa-
nies operating than, say,
land survey or GIS. As a result, the exhibition
serves every two years as a reunion of busi-
ness partners, old colleagues and people who
have retired from the industry.
The exhibitors themselves can be roughly
divided into three categories. The two biggest
categories are offshore survey companies and
equipment providers. The third category
covers the (inter)national organizations
involved in the ocean business.
Conf er ence
April/May 2008
Outside exhibition with
various survey vessels present.
Survey vessel Xplorer in the London docks demonstrating Kongsberg Simrad
multibeam echo sounding equipment.
Underwater Vehicles
Quite a few booths at the exhibition were
dedicated to underwater vehicles of all sorts
and sizes. Underwater vehicles can roughly be
divided into two categories: the ROV
(Remotely Operated Vehicle) and the AUV
(Autonomous Underwater Vehicle).
The major difference between the ROV and
the AUV lies in the method of control.
Whereas the ROV is connected to a mother
vessel through a so-called umbilical cord, the
AUV is programmed to do a set task and is
then left on its own with frequent checks on
the operation.
Due to the limited amount of power AUVs are
mainly used for survey tasks whereas ROVs
are also used as an underwater workhorse.
The size of the ROVs and AUVs on display at
OI2008 varied from very small eyeball ROVs
to large work-class ROVs.
Surface Vessels
Although not officially mentioned, there is a
third component to OI; the outside exhibition.
where the GPS antennas and the motion sen-
sor are installed in a single unit. This removes
the need to calibrate the offset between these
two instruments in the field. The major marine
GPS suppliers such as Trimble, Magellan,
Novatel and Navcom were present or repre-
sented by their main marine resellers. There
were, however, few new marine products.
Marine surveillance systems are getting more
and more attention at this sort of show. With
the US-based ISM safety code for marine ship-
ping being implemented at all major harbors
in the world, the need for automated surveil-
lance is increasing. The newest systems have
the ability to detect divers swimming towards
the quay. Since visibility underwater is gener-
ally poor, these systems are based on acous-
tics. Some systems even have a coupling
between an above-water camera and a below-
water acoustic imaging system.
As mentioned before, OI is not just a place
where companies show their latest products
and scientists exchange information; it is also
a major reunion of those involved in the
ocean business. Much attention is given to
the social aspect of this gathering and as a
result attendees could choose from quite a
few receptions. For example, on the first
evening of the show I counted at least four
receptions taking place.
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk is project manager
at IDsW and a freelance writer and trainer.
This article reflects his personal opinion. For more
information on OI:
A number of vessels attend every show. This
year the number of vessels was relatively
small due to gale-force storms in the North
Sea, with mainly larger vessels in attendance.
From experience I can tell you readers that it
is not funny and even downright dangerous
to try crossing the North Sea in that sort of
weather in a small vessel.
The vessels present represent a cross-section
of those used every day around the world.
The smaller vessels are used to demonstrate
the newest equipment from the various
manufacturers. This year a few smaller ves-
sels who had the luck to arrive before the
storm demonstrated their equipment in the
London docks.
In previous years the results from these
demonstrations have been quite dramatic.
Personally I remember the show where the
first high-resolution multibeam echo sounders
were demonstrated. During this demonstra-
tion various car wrecks that the London Port
Authority was not aware of were found near
the quaysides. This year, however, the winds
were still high during the
exhibition and no vessel
dared to go close to the
The inside exhibition dis-
played the latest equipment
from a variety of manufactur-
ers. These included high-
resolution multibeam echo
sounders and side-scan
sonars as well as various
positioning systems. New
from CodaOctopus was a
version of the F180 GPS
heading and attitude sensor
Latest News? Visit
Conf er ence
April/May 2008
Eyeball-type ROV in an aquarium in the exhibition.
Work-class ROV being explained.
Surveillance system using both optical cameras for
above-water surveillance and acoustic imagery to
provide a 3D underwater image.
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Dutch Contribution to European Research Project
GIS, GPS and Digital Photography
The introduction of digital cameras has led to enormous (online) collections of
digital images. The European Tripod project aims to introduce new tools on
automated labelling of these images. A Dutch partner, Geodan, wanted to know
if GIS could be used for recognizing objects and label images. Dutch Geomatics
student Arnoud de Boer took the challenge and came with promising results for
the future of digital imaging and GPS.
By: Eric van Rees
Since the introduction of digital imaging it
has become easier to share large photo col-
lections online with other internet users.
Describing enormous online photo collections
isnt automated yet. It still takes a lot of time.
To change this situation, a European research
project called Tripod has been initiated. The
purpose of this project is to improve the
access of visual media (especially digital
images) for multiple groups of users by deve -
loping tools that improve the quality of
existing images, labels and automatically
place labels of new images.
The project couples with technological deve -
lopments which integrate photo gear and
GPS. This means that alongside storage, also
the location of the image is being saved in
the metadata. Although useful tools have
been developed to save environmental data
(such as weather information and geographi-
cal names), its not yet possible to save infor-
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Edward Verbree (l), Arnoud de Boer (m) and Eduardo Dias (r).
mation of imaged objects, such as, for exam-
ple, names of historical buildings.
In the future this all will be different: digital
cameras for the consumer market will be
equipped with GPS and a digital compass, so
that imaging position and view angle can be
recorded. In Asia these cameras are already
being used for pedestrian navigation. Also,
the exact scale of the imaged situation is
Geomatics student Arnoud de Boer performed
research on the use of 3D positioning and ori-
entation of digital imaging to automatically
recognize and label imaged objects with the
use of GIS. This all happened within the scope
of a graduation project at Geodan, the Dutch
partner of Tripod. The results of this research
turned out to have significant benefit for
Extrusion Model
De Boers research combines digital imaging,
GPS and GIS. Roughly, the research can be
divided into three steps: the first step is com-
bining GPS and digital imaging, to be able to
localise the images geographically. The
second step contains linking the images in a
virtual model with a spatial dataset with the
use of GIS, in order to recognize the images
with a desktop computer. The third step con-
tains the automated labelling of the images,
also with the use of GIS.
Reference point of this research is recognition
of historical buildings, based on the assump-
tion that many people take pictures of histo -
rical buildings and use the names of those
buildings when labelling them. A second
reference point is that a perspective view
have been defined and subsequently height
data have been added to these footprints,
from a national Dutch LiDar elevation map-
ping initiative called AHN (General Elevation
Map in the Netherlands, Algemene Hoogte -
kaart Nederland). The advantage of this extru-
sion model, built in ArcGIS, lies in the fact
that the buildings simulate their real heights,
and dont necessarily look like flat blocks like
normal extrusion models do.
Object Recognition and Localisation
To identify the names of the imaged objects,
the extrusion is linked to the digital images.
The reason behind this is to present the 3D
extrusion model in 2D by means of a
perspective change, to be able to make an
overlay of the digital image and the identical
virtual scene. The reason for this is that the
digital image contains information about the
distance and depth, in relation to the real
objects. The virtual image, on the other hand,
contains information about the names of the
objects in the picture, along with geometry of
these objects.
ESRI ArcScene has been used to make a
perspective view of the virtual objects that
corresponds to the perspective of the digital
images. Each and every object gets a unique
colour value, that serves to be able to relate
the 2D vector features from the extrusion
model with each other. This export happens
in a PNG-file, so that no loss of (meta)data
occurs. Now, objects in the images can
be labelled with the object labels of the
virtual scene with an overlay command. With
replacing the object labels with the object
names, the user can place the object
names inside the labels in the virtual scene
(figure 2).
generator will be used for object recognition.
This can be done with GIS software such as
ESRI ArcScene, where 3D data can visualised
and rendered as defined by the user.
Another reference point is to make use of a
perspective viewer generator for recognizing
objects. A perspective viewer generator a soft-
ware program such as ESRI ArcScene, that can
be used to visualize, render and export 3D
data in a user-defined perspective.
For carrying out step one, spatial and visual
accurate images have been taken at the Grote
Markt (market square) in Delft, a town in the
west of the Netherlands. The most accurate
spatial images of step one have been made
with a Topcon imaging total station. Step two
demanded most creativity of all three steps:
in order to recognize the objects on these 3D
georeferenced images, they need to be
localized in a 3D model and linked to a
spatial model and data set.
To do justice to the irregular-shaped, unique
historical buildings at the market square in
Delft, a 3D extrusion model has been built,
based on spatial data sets such as 2D map
data and Buildings Top10nl (figure 1). With
this, the footprints of all individual buildings
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Figure 1. Extrusion model of the intersection of vectorized elevation model with the building footprints.
Figure 2. Object identification results of Topcon
image 1010.
August 25, 2008

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What do geographic information systems (GIS)
mean for surveyors and engineers?
Label Placement
The export of the extrusion model is a translation from 3D to 2D, by
means of the perspective change and file export. This way, it is
suitable for 2D GIS label algorithms. The application ESRI Maplex
Label Engine can be used to place labels on maps without overlap-
ping other features and give them a proper size. A constraint for
labelling the images is that the labels have to placed in the photos,
but not overlap the objects themselves. Another constraint is that
geographically remote objects will get a relatively smaller label than
less remote objects. These constraints are finally automated with a
script written in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) in ArcGIS (which
is the end of step three, see figure 3).
Evaluation of The Final Results
What is the benefit of De Boers research for Tripod? Eduardo Dias
(Geodan) explains the evaluation of the end results: Arnoud showed
that GIS techniques can be applied for Tripod. Now, we are convinced
to further develop this technique. When asked if there is a faster
and more convenient way of object recognition on digital images, for
instance with techniques as applied by a company as Cyclomedia,
thesis supervisor Edward Verbree (Delft University) explains the diffe -
rent approaches: Cyclomedia can easily convert pixel coordinates
with view direction and view angle accurately to terrain coordinates,
because of its image recording system specifics. Arnoud carried out
this conversion in a GIS by using available height data of buildings.
Especially this point of approach is what makes this research special,
states De Boer himself: The idea is to present a 3D problem in a 2D
environment, by means of a perspective viewer service like ESRI
ArcScene. It is expected that as spatial data sets become more
detailed because of a higher resolution DTMs, more accurate object
identification can be performed by better visual models.
Eric van Rees is
editorial manager for GeoInformatics.
For more information, have a look at:
Edward Verbree teaches at Delft University
and is researcher GIS Technology.
Eduardo Dias is Research Coordinator at Geodan.
Arnoud de Boer is
PHD-student at Utrecht University.
The thesis, as discussed here,
can be downloaded at
Figure 3. Screenshot of the demo-application build in ESRI ArcMap using VBA.
GPS Handbook
for professional GPS users
The GPS Handbook is available now. This unique book,
written by GPS specialist HuibertJan Lekkerkerk,
provides GPS users with the neccessary background
information for the understanding and correct operation
of satellite navigation systems in general and GPS in
Nowadays almost everyone, both inside and outside the
GIS and survey sector, is familiar with satellite
navigation, and GPS in particular. Even so thorough
knowledge of satellite navigation seems to be private to
specialists like geodesists and manufacturers. The group
of daily users of GPS systems and data however is
becoming larger by the day.
Order now on
Hard cover
211 pages full-colour
Written by:
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
Published by:
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(excl. shipping costs)
Latest News? Visit
April/May 2008
DigitalGlobes WorldView-1 Satellite
Increased Image Collection Opportu
The successful operation of DigitalGlobe WorldView-1 has created a new milestone for high resolution satellites.
The high resolution sensor and the improvement to the onboard equipment have advanced mapping using high resolution
images even without the need for ground control points.
By Philip Cheng and Chuck Chaapel
WorldView-1, built by Ball Aerospace and
Technologies Corporation with the imaging sen-
sor provided by ITT Corporation, is a high-
capacity, panchromatic imaging system featu -
ring half-meter resolution imagery. With a
nominal swath width of 17.6 km at nadir and
an average revisit time of 1.7 days, WorldView-
1 is capable of collecting up to 750,000 square
kilometers (290,000 square miles) per day of
half-meter imagery. Frequent revisits will
increase image collection opportunities,
enhance change detection applications and
enable accurate map updates. The satellite is
capable of collecting, storing and downlinking
more frequently updated global imagery pro -
ducts than any other commercial imaging satel-
lite in orbit, allowing for expedited image cap-
ture, processing and delivery to customers
where speed is a driving factor. WorldView-1 is
equipped with state-of-the-art geo-location
accuracy capability and exhibits unprecedented
agility with rapid targeting and efficient in-track
stereo collection.
WorldView-1 is part of the National Geospatial-
Intelligence Agencys (NGA) NextView program,
and was partially financed through an agree-
ment with the NGA. The majority of the
imagery captured by WorldView-1 for the NGA
will also be available for distribution through
DigitalGlobes Image Library. Additionally,
WorldView-1 immediately frees capacity on
DigitalGlobes QuickBird satellite to meet the
growing commercial demand for multi-spec-
tral geospatial imagery. It is likely that in the
future NGA will decide to move some of their
orders from QuickBird to WorldView-1, which
will allow for more tasking capacity on
WorldView-1 is the first of two new next-
generation satellites DigitalGlobe plans to
launch in the near future. In late 2008, Ball
Aerospace and Technologies Corporation and
ITT Corporation will complete WorldView-2,
bringing the total number of satellites
DigitalGlobe has in orbit to three; thus
enabling the company to offer a constellation
of spacecraft that will provide the highest col-
lection capacity more than 1 million square
kilometers per day of high-resolution Earth
imagery directly to customers around the
world. Additionally, WorldView-2 will provide
eight bands of multi-spectral for life-like true
color imagery and greater spectral applica-
tions in the mapping and monitoring
markets. This article will examine different
areas of the WorldView-1 satellite image data.
Firstly, the image data will be compared with
the QuickBird satellite data of the same area.
Secondly, the geometric correction method
and accuracy of the WorldView-1 data will be
examined. Given that the WorldView-1 is
equipped with state-of-the-art geo-location
accuracy, it would be useful to find out the
geometric model accuracy of the WorldView-1
data with and without ground control points
(GCPs). Lastly, we will test the pan-sharpen-
ing of WorldView-1 data using QuickBird mul-
tispectral data.
WorldView-1 Data
Similar to the QuickBird satellite data,
WorldView-1 data is distributed in five diffe rent
levels, i.e., Basic 1B, Basic Stereo Pairs,
Standard 2A, Ortho-Ready Standard OR2A, and
Orthorectified. For custom orthorectification the
Standard 2A and Orthorectified pro ducts are not
recommended. Standard 2A product is not re -
commended because of the coarse DEM correc-
tion already applied to the image data. Basic
Imagery products are the least processed of the
WorldView-1 Imagery Products. Each strip in a
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Figure 1: QuickBird image. Figure 2: WorldView-1 image.
Basic Imagery order is processed individually
and therefore, multi-strip Basic Imagery pro -
ducts are not mosaicked. Basic Imagery pro -
ducts are radiometrically corrected and sensor
corrected, but not projected to a plane using a
map projection or datum. The sensor correction
blends all pixels from all detectors into the syn-
thetic array to form a single image. The result-
ing GSD varies over the entire product because
the attitude and ephemeris slowly change du -
ring the imaging process.
Basic Stereo Pairs are supplied as two full
scenes (490 km
) with 90% overlap, designed
for the creation of digital elevation models
(DEMs) and derived GCPs.
Ortho-Ready Standard Imagery has no topo-
graphic relief applied, making it suitable for cus-
tom orthorectification. Ortho-Ready Standard
Imagery is projected to an average elevation,
either calculated from a terrain elevation model
or supplied by the customer. It can be ordered
from a minimum of 25 km
from the Library, or
from 64 km
for new tasking.
For this article three sets of WorldView-1 data
were obtained from DigitalGlobe. Each set con-
tains Basic 1B data and Ortho-Ready Standard
Imagery products. The data includes Phoenix,
Castle Rock, and Spokane in U.S.A. In addition,
QuickBird data of the same areas were also
obtained from DigitalGlobe. Phoenix consists
mainly of urban areas and Castle Rock and
Spokane consist of urban and mountainous
areas. Differential GPS GCPs with sub-meter
accuracy were also provided with the data.
QuickBird image and WorldView-1
Before the launch of the WorldView-1 satel-
lite, the QuickBird satellite was the commer-
papers/rpc_pci_cert.pdf ). Since biases or
errors still exist in the RPCs, the results can
be post-processed with a polynomial adjust-
ment and several accurate GCPs. PCI
Geomatics OrthoEngine RPC model computes
the polynomial adjustment math model for
each image.
Where A0, AS, AL, ASL and B0, BS, BL, BSL are
the image adjustment parameters, Line and
Sample are the line and sample coordinates of
an image, and P and R are the adjustable
functions expressing the differences between
the measured and the nominal line and sam-
ple coordinates. The OrthoEngine software sup-
ports zero, first and second order RPC polyno-
mial adjustments. It is recommended to use
zero order for IKONOS satellite data, first order
for QUICKBIRD satellite data, and second order
for IRS AWiFS satellite data. One of the pur-
poses of this article is to determine which order
of RPC polynomial adjustment would be sui -
table for WorldView-1 satellite RPC data.
Although the RPC model only requires a small
number of GCPs and TPs, high accuracy may
not be achieved if the GCPs are not well dis-
tributed within the block. To improve the rela-
tive accuracy, a DEM can be used if it is
available. During each bundle adjustment iter-
ation, the computed elevation of each tie point
can be replaced by the elevation at the com-
puted TP X and Y coordinates from the DEM,
cial satellite with the highest resolution. The
QuickBird satellite has panchromatic and mul-
tispectral sensors with resolutions of 61-72cm
and 2.44-2.88m, respectively, depending upon
the off-nadir viewing angle (0-25 degrees).
Figure 1 and 2 show the panchromatic images
of QuickBird and WorldView-1 of the same
area in Phoenix, respectively. It can be seen
from the figures that most fea-
tures in the WorldView-1
image, such as parking lot
lines, are more clearly visible.
Geometric Correction Method
and Software
In order to leverage the WorldView-1 images
for applications such as GIS, it is necessary
to orthorectify the images. A geometric
model, GCPs and DEMs are required. The RPC
model has been the most popular method in
orthorectifying high resolution images. More
details about the RPC model can be found in
the paper written by Grodecki and Dial (Block
Adjustment of High-Resolution Satellite
Images Described by Rational Functions - PE
&RS January, 2003).
The latest version of PCI Geomatics
OrthoEngine software was used for this tes -
ting. This software supports reading of the
data, manual or automatic GCP/tie point (TP)
collection, geometric modeling of different
satellites using Toutins rigorous model or the
RPC model, automatic DEM generation and
editing, orthorectification, and either manual
or automatic mosaicking. OrthoEngines RPC
model is based on the block adjustment
method developed by Grodecki and Dial
and was certified by Space Imaging
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
P = A0 + AS Sample + AL Line + ASL Sample Line +
R = B0 + BS Sample + BL Line + BSL Sample Line +
Figure 3: WorldView-1 image of Spokane. Figure 4: WorldView-1 image of Castle Rock. Figure 5: WorldView-1 image of Phoenix.
similar to the results of changing the planimetric TPs into altimetric points.
This method helps improve the relative accuracies between the ortho
images, which helps to minimize differences during the mosaicking
process. This option is available within the OrthoEngine software.
Spokane Test Results
Figure 3 shows a WorldView-1 image of Spokane. A total of 28 inde-
pendent check points (ICPs) were collected from both Basic 1B data
and Ortho-Ready Standard Imagery products (OR2A). The area has an
elevation range of 550m to 800m. The following tests were performed:
(1) no GCP, (2) 1 GCP, and (3) 4 corner GCPs using zero and first order
polynomial RPC adjustment. Table 1 shows a summary of the results. It
can be seen from the table that using OR2A product is more accurate
than Basic 1B product. For OR2A product the accuracy of using no GCPs
is approximately within 2m root mean square (RMS) and maximum error
within 3m. This is a significant improvement in comparison to the
QuickBird satellite data. It proved that the state-of-the-art geo-location
accuracy of the WorldView-1 satellite enabled the user to generate high
accuracy orthos without GCPs. When one ICP was converted as GCP, it
improved the RMS accuracy to within 1m for OR2A product. When four
corner ICPs were converted as GCPs, which allows the use of zero or
first order polynomial RPC adjustment, the results did not improve sig-
nificantly. Hence, it shows that using zero order polynomial RPC adjust-
ment is adequate for WorldView-1 data, which means less GCPs are
required (1 or 2 GCPs) to improve the accuracy.
To generate an orthorectified WorldView-1 image with coverage of about
18km by 18km (2.7 Gigabytes) requires approximately 18 minutes on a
Pentium IV 3.0 GHz machine running Windows XP.
Castle Rock Test Results
Figure 4 shows a WorldView-1 image of Castle Rock. A total of 28 ICPs
were collected from the OR2A product. The area has an elevation range
of 1750m to 2000m. Similar tests were performed to the data and table 2
shows a summary of the results. The RMS accuracy without using GCPs is
within 1.5m and maximum error within 2.4m. The RMS accuracy improved
to within 0.6m when using only 1 GCP. Similarly, the result did not improve
significantly when using first order polynomial RPC adjustment. Again, it
shows that zero order polynomial RPC adjustment is adequate for
WorldView-1 data.
Phoenix Test Results
Figure 5 shows a WorldView-1 image of Phoenix. A total of 5 ICPs were
collected from the OR2A product. The area has an elevation range of 300m
to 500m. Similar tests were performed to the data and table 3 shows a
summary of the results. The RMS accuracy without using GCPs is within
1.3m and maximum error within 1.6m. The RMS accuracy improved to with-
in 0.6m when using only 1 GCP.
A block of 8 images of Phoenix with overlaps were also provided.
The block covers an area of 50km by 44km. A total of 14 ICPs and 16 tie
points were collected from the block. The ICPs could only be collected on
the left side of the block due to availability. Tie points were collected for
the entire block and USGS 30m DEM was used during the RPC bundle
adjustment to improve the accuracy. Table 4 shows a summary of the
The RMS accuracy is within 2.1m with maximum error within 3.2m when
no GCPs were used. When 4 corner GCPs were used, the RMS accuracy
was improved to within 1m with maximum error within 1.4m. Figure 6
shows the mosaicked result of the images using PCI Geomatics
OrthoEngine automatic mosaicking and color balancing software. The red
color represents the locations of the GCPs. To check the accuracy for the
right side of the mosaic where GCPs were not used, USGS 0.25m color
photos were obtained from the USGS web site. Figure 7 shows the
WorldView-1 image together with the USGS color photo. The two images
overlap nicely with each other.
The availability of a 1m panchromatic band, in con-
junction with 4m multispectral bands, provides the
opportunity to create a 1m multispectral pan-sharpened
image by fusing these images. The concept of fusion
for multispectral images is not new. Landsat MSS data
(bands 4, 6 and 7) have been spatially enhanced (from
240m to 80m resolution) by using weighted high-
frequency information from band 5 at 80m resolution.
Previous techniques used different weighting coeffi-
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Table 1: Comparisons of Basic 1B and OR2A RPC results of Spokane in meters.
Table 2: Comparisons of OR2A RPC results of Castle Rock in meters.
Table 3: Comparisons of OR2A RPC results of Phoenix in meters.
Table 4: Comparisons of Phoenix OR2A RPC block results in meters.
Figure 6: Mosaicked WorldView-1 image of Phoenix.
cients for the panchromatic band and multispectral bands. The RGB-
IHS transformation is another common approach, where the high-reso-
lution panchromatic band replaces the intensity channel derived from
the lower resolution multispectral channels. Although these alternate
techniques yield enhanced imagery that appear to be sharper, they
destroy the spectral characteristics of the data.
Since most earth resource satellites, such as the SPOT, IRS, Landsat 7,
IKONOS, and QuickBird, provide both multispectral images at a lower
spatial resolution and panchromatic images at a high spatial resolu-
tion, it is possible to perform pan-sharpening for both of these images.
However, most of the existing techniques which perform suitably well
with medium-resolution images, can hardly satisfy the pan-sharpening
of multispectral and panchromatic high resolution images.
Based on the thorough study and analysis of existing pan-sharpening
algorithms and their fusion effects, a new automatic pan-sharpening
algorithm has been developed by Dr. Yun Zhang at the University of
New Brunswick, in New Brunswick, Canada. This new technique solved
the two major problems in pan-sharpening color distortion and ope -
rator dependency. A method based on least squares was employed for
a best approximation of the grey level value relationship between the
original multispectral, panchromatic, and the pan-sharpened image
bands for a best color representation. A statistical approach was
applied to the pan-sharpening process for standardizing and automa -
ting the pan-sharpening process. The new algorithm is available within
the PCI Geomatics software.
It is possible to perform pan-sharpening of WorldView-1 data using
QuickBird multispectral data. Both data need to be orthorectified first.
To test pan-sharpening using QuickBird and WorldView-1 data, a
QuickBird multispectral image and a WorldView-1 image of Phoenix
were used. Figures 8, 9 and 10 show the QuickBird multispectral,
WorldView-1 panchromatic, and pan-sharpened WorldView-1 using
QuickBird multispectral image, respectively. It is also possible to use
color air photo to pan-sharpen the WorldView-1 image. Figure 11 and
12 show the USGS color air photo and pan-sharpened WorldView-1
image using USGS color air photo, respectively.
Automated Batch Processing
Since it is possible to generate high accuracy WorldView-1 orthos and
color-balanced mosaics within 2m RMS without using GCPs, it is possi-
ble to integrate all the processes in a fully automated batch system.
The batch programs required to perform all the steps are available with-
in PCI Geomatics software. It can be run through python or PCI EASI
scripts. An automated GCP collection process can be used if higher
accuracy is required. The advantages of automated processing are (1)
maximize production, (2) automation of repetitive time-consuming tasks
to produce con si stent results, (3) gain operating efficiencies, (4) reduce
labor costs, and (5) shorten throughput time for the delivery cycle.
The generation of a large quantity of high accuracy orthos or mosaics,
such as a mosaic of an entire country, can be generated easily using
the automated system. Multiple computers can also be used to speed
up the proces ses. The fully automated process means that it is easy to
generate WorldView-1 orthos/mosaics for quick turnaround.
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Figure 10: Pan-sharpened WorldView-1 using QuickBird multispectral image.
Figure 7: WorldView-1 panchromatic image together with
USGS color photo.
Figure 8: QuickBird multispectral image.
Figure 9: WorldView-1 panchromatic image.
This article examines different aspects of the WorldView-1 data. The
WorldView-1 image quality is better than the QuickBird panchromatic
The RPC model can be used as the geometric model to orthorectify
WorldView-1 data. It is possible to achieve RPC model accuracy within
2m RMS without using GCPs and within 1m RMS with a
minimum of one GCP for WorldView-1 data. To improve the RPC model
accuracy, a zero order polynomial RPC adjustment can be used.
Pansharpening of WorldView-1 data can be performed by using USGS
color air photo/QuickBird multispectral and WorldView-1 images to
create a pan-sharpened WorldView-1 image.
Dr. Philip Cheng is
a senior scientist at PCI Geomatics.
Mr. Chuck Chaapel is
a senior geospatial engineer
at DigitalGlobe.
Have a look at:
The authors would like to thank DigitalGlobe
for providing the test data.
Latest News? Visit
April/May 2008
Figure 11: USGS color air photo.
Figure 12: Pan-sharpened WorldView-1 using USGS color air photo image.
Im excited as we move towards our Conference, 1 Source of
Truth. Its exciting times in our industry. Looking back to 2006,
Autodesk announced FDO and MapGuide as open source that
year. At a time when our boutique(1) industry was slow to catch
onto mainstream events (2), we suddenly had a tool that would
allow faster development of web components and lower cost of
ownership. At 1Spatial we took the tools and blazed this path(3).
There was no longer any reason for openness and interoper-
ability to be big issues in our community.
So why do I also feel a sense of foreboding? The burning issue
for me is spatial data content. After opening a path for Open
Source Software, what of Open Source Spatial Data? Google
paved the way introducing spatial data to the consumer
market. Recent months have seen a dash to own spatial data
content by companies who manufacture portable consumer
products such as mobile phones and satnavs. This is only the
start of these events as we build our knowledge economy.
Compare these events to the music industry and our industry
may be on the verge of a digital rights management problem
several orders of magnitude beyond the debates of free spatial
data. What of privacy and the Freedom of Information Act? Much
is being made of the convergence of 3D CAD and 2D GIS, and
Governments and others will be keen to leverage this as they
seek to provide homeland security and emergency response.
The private individual may not be so keen however to allow
open access to their property and routes of ingress and egress.
These issues need to be addressed as we consider how we
reuse data and ensure large-scale spatial data are used for
appropriate and secure, fit purposes.
(1) I am indebted to David Schell for this description
(see GeoInformatics, September 2007, p10-14)
Mike Sanderson, CEO, 1Spatial
A Sense of
BE Conference 2008 will provide infrastructure
professionals with an inclusive and engaging
environment to share best practices and learn
about Bentley solutions from the leading pro-
vider of infrastructure software.
The conference is an ideal setting to meet,
network, and exchange ideas with peers in
the infrastructure community while partici-
pating in program tracks. These solutions
tracks will cover ways to increase productivity,
improve project quality, and reduce the costs
associated with designing, building, and
operating the worlds infrastructure.
BE Conference 2008 will focus on projects and
technology in the following areas:
8lM and Beyond
8rIdge lnformatIon ModeIIng (8rlM)
Ladastre and Land eveIopment
IectrIc and 6as utIIItIes and
ower 6eneratIon
MInIng and MetaIs
II and 6as
aII and 1ransIt
Water and Wastewater
2008 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the B logo, and BE Conference are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect
wholly-owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.
We invite you to join us in Baltimore. Hope to see you there!
For more information, visit:

.b w w w
o j e invite you t W

o om/BEc .c y bentle
ormation, vi e inf or mor F
e. H oin us in Baltimor

e erenc onf
e! o see you ther Hope t

S y e l t n e B 8 0 0 2

wholly-owned subs
f n o C E B d n a , o g o l B e h t , yy, e l t n e B . d e t a r o p r o c n I , s m e t s y S

sidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademar
k r a m e d a r t d e r e t s i g e r n u r o d e r e t s i g e r r e h t i e e r a e c n e r e f

rks of their respective owners.
r o d e t a r o p r o c n I , s m e t s y S y e l t n e B f o s k r a m e c i v rrv e s r o s k

t c e r i d n i r o t c e r i d s t i f o e n o

Over 7,000 Subscribers in March 2008
Digital Copy of GeoInformatics
is a Huge Success!
In January 2008 we prepared the first digital issue of GeoInformatics. This digital issue was offered as an alternative to
our paper version for readers outside of Europe who have trouble receiving the magazine. Judging from the reactions from
subscribers and the download statistics, this initiative is a huge success: in March we counted over 7000 subscribers!
By Ruud Groothuis
After the first release of our digital version of GeoInformatics, we
received many positive reactions from subscribers all around the world.
Wed like to thank you all for your feedback and we want you to know
we are doing our best to keep you informed of the latest news in the
business by providing wide coverage on GIS, surveying and mapping.
Advantages of the Digital GeoInformatics
Digital GeoInformatics is 100% identical to the printed version.
For advertisers, this means that without paying extra you are reaching
a fast-growing worldwide readership. You will also enjoy the fact that
all advertisements contain hyperlinks to corporate websites and search
The digital format is a new medium for GeoInformatics to reach a
bigger and truly worldwide audience of GIS, mapping and surveying
professionals. For digital subscribers, the magazine has a number of
advantages over the paper version, namely:
Free of charge
Instant delivery: you get to read each new issue as
soon as we finish working on it
Fully interactive Contents page
Hyperlinks from editorial and advertising pages
Search function
Printable PDFs
Not a subscriber of digital GeoInformatics yet? Just send an email to We will email you the link to each new
issue of GeoInformatics as soon as it is completed.
Enjoy reading!
Ruud Groothuis
is owner of CMedia Productions BV,
the publishing company of GeoInformatics.
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
On Data, Technologies and Convergence
The Growing Need for Spatial ETL
Spatial ETL (extracting, transforming, and loading) tools have been around for
over a decade. Yet only in the past few years has their true strategic value
emerged in geospatial initiatives around the globe. Now more than ever, its the
data thats pushing the capabilities of Spatial ETL tools into a whole new
dimension. This article describes how the future of these critical data moving
tools is being shaped by emerging data model, source, and format requirements
alongside the trends in web and traditional IT technologies.
By Don Murray
The Backbone of Spatial ETL
So if today, Spatial ETL isnt just about format
translation, then what is it about? As a cus-
tomer survey distinctly indicated, Spatial ETL
is about reconciling data model differences.
This reconciliation between the source data
model and the destination data model is per-
formed by the transformation capabilities in
Spatial ETL. These transformations can be as
simple as a coordinate reprojection or more
sophisticated, such as combining multiple
data sources while changing both attribution
and geometry structures.
Ultimately, users need to be able to use data
with the tools of their choice, and these tools
need to be able to consume data in both the
correct format and the appropriate data
model. Spatial ETL enables this effective com-
munication of spatial information so users can
leverage the power of their spatial data
With the proliferation of not just new formats
but also a growing list of applications and
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Format Translation
When many people think about Spatial ETL, they usually think about
translating data between formats. Common responses are Spatial
ETL is used to move data from format X to format Y! Certainly,
as figure 1 indicates, Spatial ETL tools must support an ever
increasing number of formats in order to continue to meet the
diverse and evolving needs of organizations around the world.
While format support is most definitely required for moving data
(if you cant read or write data, then you cant apply the full power
of Spatial ETL), Spatial ETL is much more than just format trans-
lation technology. This point was really driven home to the peo-
ple at Safe Software by a recent poll of its users. It showed that
the number one use of our Spatial ETL tool was to convert data from
ESRI Shape to ESRI Shape! For MapInfo users, the number one desti-
nation was MapInfo, and the same pattern was found for AutoCAD
and Microstation users! This was very humbling discovery. After
having put a great deal of energy into Spatial ETL since 1993, Safe
Software envisioned that the number one use of Safes technology
would be something more dramatic. With their latest addition of sup-
port for AutoCAD Map Object Data, it is now no surprise that the
greatest excitement about the enhancement is from AutoCAD Map 3D
users who again want to simply go from AutoCAD Map Object Data
to AutoCAD Map Object Data.
Figure 1. The number of formats that Spatial ETL tools have had to add support for continues to increase as
demonstrated by this timeline of supported formats in FME, a Spatial ETL tool built by Safe Software.
Figure 2. Traditionally, Spatial ETL tools simply extracted, transformed, and loaded
data from one format to another. Todays Spatial ETL tools must be able to provide full
data transformation capabilities including format translation, data model transforma-
tion, and data integration, along with full distribution capabilities. They must also be
able to support a wide variety of data types from CAD to vector to 3D and so on.
new spatial data types, such as 3D and BIM,
users have a greater need than ever before
to get data into the format and data model
they require so that they can immediately use
it. This is one of the key values of Spatial ETL;
it is a non-intrusive technology which allows
the data to remain where it is and does not
require it to be physically moved in order to
be transformed. This is a sharp contrast to
other approaches in which physical data
models are dictated to organizations that
want to participate in a data sharing project.
Spatial ETL makes it easy to access data
where it is, in the structure it is already in, by
the applications each user prefers.
In the early days of Spatial ETL, the tools were
limited to one type of spatial data. Some
focused on vector formats which encapsula -
ted GIS and CAD while others focused on
raster formats. Todays spatial ETL tools must
answer to all worlds, as convergence is
becoming a common requirement at multiple
First, theres a convergence of different spa-
tial data types because state-of-the-art spa-
tial/GIS systems now support multiple types
of spatial data. For example, Oracle and ESRI
database technologies now support vector,
raster, tabular, point cloud and 3D data types
at the database level. With these database
technologies comes a whole new set of appli-
cations that can, for the first time, exploit mul-
tiple types of spatial data.
Populating these databases is a challenge for
users since they must retrieve data from tra-
ditional spatial sources and push it into these
new databases in order to effectively exploit
the new set of spatial tools available to them.
To satisfy this requirement, users need a
Spatial ETL solution that supports multiple
types of spatial data in order to be capable
of extracting data from multiple sources,
transforming it into the organizations chosen
data model, and loading it into the database
(see Figure 2).
Secondly, theres a convergence between tra-
ditional IT and what could historically be con-
sidered the mapping or GIS department. With
the advent of Google Earth, users are now
exposed to spatial data in ways that only a
few years ago were impossible. The support
for spatial data types within corporate
databases such as Oracle and ESRI
Geodatabase further facilitates this conver-
gence, as now there is a single data store for
all corporate data. This has begun to blur the
traditional line between mapping and IT appli-
cations. Nowadays, standard IT systems incor-
porate maps as a new way for users to visu-
alize and analyze their data. GIS and mapping
new set of opportunities. Imagine making a
citys entire infrastructure available at the fin-
gertips of its occupants, builders, and emer-
gency responders; not just the exterior infra -
structure! This marriage can revolutionize
emergency response and improve many other
facets of city living. For example, a firefighter
will know exactly how much hose is required
to reach a specific area within a building on
fire. This potentially life-saving information is
a direct result of combining the power of GIS
and BIM. Google and Microsoft have also
inspired peoples imaginations by building 3D
views of cities. Currently, these models are
exterior views of buildings which construct a
model of the cityscape. The future possi -
bilities for convergence are clear: complete
cities with both interior and exterior infor-
mation available in an integrated environment.
The key to making the marriage of BIM, 3D
and GIS work is the data model transforma-
tion capabilities of Spatial ETL tools. This
adds a whole new dimension to the develop-
ment process for Spatial ETL tools like FME.
Embracing a new data type requires Spatial
ETL vendors to first identify leading data
sources and targets to ensure the most sig-
nificant impact in the new market. In first
foray into 3D, Safe Software found that one
of the best sources of 3D building data is a
format called IFC (Industry Foundation
Classes). This format is an open specification
that is developed by the International Alliance
for Interoperability (IAI) to facilitate inter -
operability in the building industry. According
to Safe Software, the best data targets are
the leading databases with which they were
already familiar, such as Oracle and ESRI
Geodatabase, and Adobe PDF for its impres-
sive support for 3D data.
tools begin to leverage standard IT data,
thereby providing extra value to organiza-
As the job of traditional ETL tools is to enable
data sharing between disparate IT applica-
tions, traditional ETL vendors such as
Informatica, IBM, and Microsoft are starting
to team up with leading Spatial ETL vendors
to provide users with complete ETL systems
that can move both traditional and spatial
data between systems with ease (see figure
3). This convergence of IT and GIS technolo-
gy is indeed enabling organizations to per-
form analysis and visualization as never
New Data Types
The geospatial industry has traditionally
focused on exterior spaces such as countries,
counties, cities, and parcels. Up until recently,
geospatial data would end at the building
footprint and not contain true 3D geometries
but simply elevation, or 2 D data. In the
past year, the geospatial communitys interest
in Building Information Model (BIM) data has
increased substantially. This is reflected in that
databases have been extended by Oracle and
ESRI to support this growing requirement for
3D data storage.
BIM and 3D data has historically been the
domain of the Architecture, Engineering and
Construction (AEC) community. The AEC
community has great experience working with
BIM models and is able to create entire
3D models of building construction projects,
greatly improving the efficiency of the con-
struction process.
Convergence between the world of BIM (inte-
rior) data and the world of GIS (exterior) data
promises a marriage that will open up a whole
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Figure 3. ETL tools are facilitating the convergence between traditional IT and GIS.
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When Safe Software began developing sup-
port for 3D data, they first analyzed the 3D
models of several different Geospatial sys-
tems so that they had some level of confi-
dence in the new 3D data model that they
had created within their technology. Since
they have added support for new data types
before, they were not surprised to find out
that some of their initial IFC to PDF transla-
tion tests were missing data!
It turns out that IFC supports a 3D concept
called Constructive Solid Geometries (CSG,
see box section) which the other systems
dont support. To resolve this substantial dif-
ference between IFC and other systems, the
challenge was to find a solution to the data
model conflict so that the data could be
moved from a system that supports CSG to
systems that do not. To be effective, it also
had to ensured that CSG objects were not lost
when moving data between two CSG capable
This geometric requirement is yet another
example of the data model inconsistencies
that must be resolved by Spatial ETL tools in
order to achieve effective communication from
one system to another. It also illustrates that
the data model transformation which occurs
in Spatial ETL tools is often not just about
attribution, but also about geometric repre-
These conflicts are nothing new to Spatial
ETL. Another example, albeit simpler, that Safe
Software has addressed within the 2D market
space is resolving the movement of data from
systems that support arcs to those that only
support straight line segments.
Extending Spatial ETL to the Web
No discussion surrounding Spatial ETL would
be complete without addressing the role that
Spatial ETL plays within upcoming Spatial
Data Infrastructure (SDI) projects. As already
expressed, the role of Spatial ETL is always
about getting data from one or more data
stores into a form that can immediately be
used. Traditional Spatial ETL has typically
been a batch process which is run periodical-
ly. While there have been instances where it
has been used to transform spatial data in a
live process, these projects have been infre-
quent because of the burden they impressed
on the GIS department.
Web service technologies and new Spatial ETL
server solutions have now come together
making dynamic, or on-the-fly, Spatial ETL
available for the first time. Dynamic Spatial
ETL enables web services to serve data to
users in a data model that is totally different
from the data model of the underlying data.
It is even possible for a single web site to
provide different user communities with dif-
Don Murray
is President of Safe Software.
Have a look at
ferent views of the data through the power
of dynamic Spatial ETL. This is fundamental
for a SDI project to be effective, as different
user communities require different views of
the world and have different priorities of what
they need to see.
Until this technology emerged, SDI initiatives
were reminiscent of the Model T Ford in which
customers could have any color they want as
long as it was black. But as we learned with
traditional Spatial ETL: when it comes to data,
one size doesnt fit all.
The need for specific data models for distinct
communities is best demonstrated by the
INSPIRE project in the European Union. This
project has the challenge of building a pan-
European SDI that will serve users in multiple
countries. To be effective, the INSPIRE SDI
must be able to serve the same data to users
who speak different languages, and thus must
also serve the data in different languages. If
ever there was a need for a single system to
remodel data on-the-fly, then this is it.
While there are standards that all Spatial ETL
servers must support, there is also a
proliferation of web protocols, or formats, that
is occurring. Here the winning approach is to
once again for Spatial ETL tools to support as
many different web formats as possible, for
example Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
protocols, GeoRSS, GeoJSON, KML, and GML.
A Spatial ETL vendors role is not to try to pre-
dict which formats are going to succeed in the
marketplace, but rather to support as many of
the leading technologies as possible, thereby
allowing the market to decide. When it comes
to web technologies, advancements move very
quickly and are incredibly exciting to watch.
While one major use of Spatial ETL server tech-
nologies is to make data available to web
applications and users, conversely, web tech-
nologies can be used as their own source for
spatial data and services. An example of this
is MapQuests recent release of a new web API
that provides users with a set of routing and
mapping capabilities. There are many other
new web services being released all the time.
In fact, the OGC has just announced its Web
Processing Service (WPS) standard which will
enable more and more web services to
become available.
The Future for Spatial ETL
Throughout the industry, we are seeing an
explosion of data sources in a wide variety of
areas from new data types to databases and
web services. At the same time, we are see-
ing a great increase in the number of appli-
cations that require access to that data. With
the proliferation of applications and data, the
future need for Spatial ETL is growing as more
than ever, it is all about the data.
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Constructive Solid Geometries
CSG enables a model to be built out of
relatively simple objects to create very
complicated geometries. They are typically
used in 3D systems for BIM and CAD.
The illustrations below is from Wikipedia
and illustrates how a very complex object
can be constructed with very simple
Boolean Union: The merger of two objects into one.
Boolean difference: The subtraction of one object
from another.
Boolean intersection: The portion common
to both objects.
Standards in Practice
Part 7: S-57 IHO Transfer Standard
One of the largest standardized vector based data sets in the world is based on S-57 and yet
the standard is not well know, let alone used outside the hydrographic community. Time to introduce
this proven standard in more detail.
By George G. Spoelstra
The International Hydrographic Organization
(IHO) is an intergovernmental consultative
and technical organisation established in 1921
to support the safety of navigation, and to
contribute to the protection of the marine
environment. IHO Special Publication 57 (IHO
S-57) is the IHO Transfer Standard for Digital
Hydrographic Data. It is the standard inten -
ded to be used for the exchange of digital
hydrographic data between hydrographic
offices, and for the distribution of hydro-
graphic data to manufacturers, mariners and
other data users (e.g., environmental man-
agement organisations). To date the standard
has been used almost exclusively for enco -
ding Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) for
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A typical ECDIS daylight display showing the
entrance of the Port or Rotterdam.
One of the largest standardized vector based
datasets in the world.
use in Electronic Chart Display and
Information Systems (ECDIS). S-57 was first
released as version 2.0 in 1992 and was
approved by the 14th IHO Conference in
Monaco. Practical experience and introduction
of new technologies led to the release of ver-
sion 3.1 in November 2000. The latest official
release of the standard is S-57 Edition 3.1.1.
Structure of the Standard
Like most standards in the geo spatial
domain, S-57 is a complex standard to work
with. It is not just one document but a set of
standards that are related to one another.
Fortunately, major GIS vendors have at least
a spatial object, but each spatial object must
be refe renced by a feature object.
The data model is explained in the standard
using the Object Modelling Technique (OMT).
OMT was the modelling technique of choice
when the standard was written. Today OMT
is superseded by UML.
Data Structure
In order for a transfer standard to work, a
data model needs to be translated in some
sort of data structure. The translation implies
a linkage between logical constructs taken
from the model and physical constructs used
in the structure. Although the translation from
model to structure is independent of use,
each application or product, based on the
standard specifies its own rules for imple-
menting the data structure. S-57 refers to the
set of rules defining the translation as a
Product Specification. The exact subset of the
S-57 data structure constructs is called an
Application Profile.
Usually, more than one object is involved in
an exchange of data. The structure implemen-
tation of a modelled object is called a record
in S-57. Therefore, an exchange of data is
comprised of more than one record. To facili-
tate this, records are grouped into files. The
set of information which is finally exchanged
is called an exchange set. The way in which
records are grouped into files and files are
grouped into exchange sets is considered to
be application specific. In order to store the
structural constructs on a suitable media, the
data is encapsulated (encoded) using an
industry standard.
a read capability for S-57 data. In fact, S-57
read and write filters for FME are available
allowing for conversion to all major industry
standards. Most geo specialists, therefore,
have little reason to study all aspects of the
standard but having some knowledge is
important in order to interpret the content
and semantics of an S-57 data set. The struc-
ture of the standard is best explained by
means of a diagram.
Data Model
S-57 is designed to permit the transfer of data
describing the real world. The real word is far
too complex for a complete description to be
practical, therefore a simplified, highly-speci fic,
model of the real world is used. S-57 is spe -
cifically concerned with those entities in the
real world that are of relevance to hydro -
graphy. The hydrographic regime is consi dered
to be geo-spatial. As a result, the model
defines real world entities as a combination
of descriptive and spatial characteristics.
Within the model these sets of characteristics
are defined in terms of feature objects and
spatial objects. An object is defined as an
identifiable set of information and may have
attributes and may be related to other
Feature objects contain descriptive attributes
and do not contain any geometry (i.e. infor-
mation about the shape and position of a real
world entity). Spatial objects may have
descriptive attributes and must contain geo -
metry. A feature object is located by a rela-
tionship to one or more spatial objects. A
feature object may exist without referencing
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for Digital Hydrographic Data
S-57 IHO Transfer Standard for
Digital Hydrographic Data
What is it for: The exchange of digital
hydrographic data and products between
national hydrographic offices and for its
distribution to manufacturers, mariners and
other data users.
Relevant standards:
- S-57 is developed in close liaison with
DIGIWG (DIGEST) and ISO committees.
Its successor S-100 will be aligned with
the ISO 19100 series of standards.
Technical implementation (encapsulation):
- ISO 8211
Legal basis: S-57 has been formally adopt-
ed by the IHO as intergovernmental orga -
nisation and is mandated by the
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
as the standard to be used for official
Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs).
S-57 standard structure.
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S-57 uses the international standard ISO/IEC
8211 (Specification for a data descriptive file
for information interchange) as a means of
encapsulating data. The ISO/IEC 8211 standard
provides a file based mechanism for the trans-
fer of data from one computer system to
another, independent of make. In addition, it
is independent of the medium used to esta -
blish such a transfer. It permits the transfer
of data and also the description of how such
data is organized. ISO/IEC 8211 is not very
widespread. The Standard Data Transfer
Standard of the US Geological Service is one
of the other well known standards that use
ISO/IEC 8211. Other examples are DIGEST and
the French EDIGO. The latter two have listed
ISO/IEC 8211 as one of the possible encapsu-
lation standards but hardly any data sets have
ever been produced that utilize it.
Ships at sea have a constant need for up-to-
date charts. Simply buying new charts after
entering a harbour is not an option as during
the sometimes long voyages dangerous situa-
tion may arise (e.g. a shipwreck in a main ship-
ping channel). From the beginning IHO has put
a lot of effort in implementing a data transfer
standard that supports an efficient updating
mechanism. Given the often limited bandwidth
that is available to ships at sea, replacing com-
plete datasets was not an option. The solu-
tion was found by implementing an add, mo -
dify and delete structure up to the subfield level
in the standard that allow precise modification
of the data with a minimum of instructions.
The ENC Product Specification uses the
updating mechanism by defining two profiles
for data sets: a new edition profile and a
fied easily. Stability of the standard has been
one of the key success factors for S-57, how-
ever this rigid maintenance regime is block-
ing the adaption of the standard to future and
even todays needs. New real world entities
are being introduced and can not be managed
by the standard. Other international initiatives
like the ISO 19100 standardization efforts and
the INSPIRE directive more and more deter-
mine the future in geo spatial standardisation
and forcing the IHO to adapt. Also the fact
that S-57 has become synonym to the ENC
standard is restricting the IHO in broaden its
application. For this reason IHO has started
to work on the successor of S-57. The new
standardization effort will clearly differentiate
between the base components and the func-
tional implementations of the standard. The
new standard is referred to as S-100.
Specifications for products that use S 100 will
be defined in separate standards. The ENC
Product Specification that is now part of S-57
will then become known as S-101. S-100 will
be aligned with the ISO 19100 family of stan-
dards to facilitate a broader use of digital
hydrographic data outside the typical hydro-
graphic domain.
George G. Spoelstra is
senior consultant geo information at ATLIS.
For more information on S-57: IHO:;
There are many free data samples and
S-57 ENC viewers available on the web.
revision profile. It is even possible to cancel
previously published editions of a given
dataset by sending a cancelation instruction.
Application of S-57
After S-57 was mandated by the IMO as stan-
dard for the Electronic Navigational Chart, data
production started to boom. Today many thou-
sands of ENCs are available for international
shipping. The IHO member states that produce
these ENC distribute the charts through so
called Regional Electronic Chart Centres
(RENCs). A RENC coordinates the production
effort, facilitates quality control and ensures
consistency of the overall database. End user
distribution is organized by using Value Added
Resellers (VARs). Most of these VARs operate
on a commercial basis but some IHO member
states also distribute the ENC directly to end-
users via free of charge services (e.g. the US
Office of Coast Survey, NOAA). The two largest
RENCs are based in the United Kingdom (IC-
ENC) and Norway (PRIMAR).
Other organizations like the central commission
for navigation on the Rhine (CCR), US Army
Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Russian
Ministry of Transport have also implemented S
57 for the encoding of inland ECDIS ENCs. ENCs
for river navigation follow slightly different rules
compared to IMO mandated ENCs. NATO is
using S-57 as one of the standards to encode
Additional Military Layers (AMLs). An AML con-
tains typical environmental or tactical military
information that can be displayed as overlay on
an ECDIS or Command and Control System
Future Developments
S-57 is subject to a rigid maintenance regime.
The standard is frozen and can not be modi-
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S-57 data model.
A Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems
Oceans Heavily Affected by Human
The management and conservation of the worlds oceans require syn-
thesis of spatial data on the distribution and intensity of human activi-
ties plus the overlap of their impacts on marine ecosystems. The
National Science Foundations National Center for Ecological Analysis
and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California at Santa Barbara,
conducted the work. It involved nineteen scientists from a range of uni-
versities, NGOs, and government agencies. Together they built the
Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems and published it
in Science.
They developed a model to synthesize seventeen global data sets of
anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for twenty marine ecosys-
tems. The analysis indicates that no area is unaffected by human influ-
ence and that a large fraction (41 percent) is strongly affected. Large
areas of relatively little human impact are also seen, particularly near
the poles.
Seventeen Layers
So, more than forty percent of the worlds oceans are heavily affected
by human activities. Few, if any, areas remain untouched, according to
this first global-scale study of human influence on marine ecosystems.
By overlaying seventeen different layers symbolising activities as fish-
ing, climate change and pollution, the result was a composite map of
all human activity which impacts the seas.
The study used data concerning marine ecosystems such as coral reefs,
seagrass beds, continental shelves and the deep ocean. This project
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Nineteen American scientists worked together to create the first Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems.
More than forty percent of the worlds oceans are heavily affected by human activities.
By Remco Takken
The Global Map of Human Impact on Marine EcosysteM.
The Marine Ecosystems Map in Google Earth.
allows us to finally start to see the big picture of how humans are
affecting the oceans, said lead scientist Ben Halpern of NCEAS. Our
results show that when these and other individual impacts are summed
up, the big picture looks much worse than I imagine most people
expected. It was certainly a surprise to me.
The Last Frontier
The sea represents the last major scientific frontier on planet earth, a
place where expeditions continue to discover new species. The role of
these species in the ecosystem, where they sit in the tree of life, and
how they respond to environmental changes really do constitute mys-
teries of the deep. Despite technological advances that now allow
people to access, exploit or affect nearly all parts of the ocean, we still
understand very little of the oceans biodiversity and how it is
changing under our influence.
Four-step Process
There were four steps to creating this composite map. 1) The researchers
gathered or created maps (with global coverage) of all types of human
activities that directly or indirectly have an impact on the ecological
communities in the oceans ecosystems. In total, they used maps for
seventeen different activities in categories like fishing, climate change,
and pollution. They also gathered maps for fourteen distinct marine
ecosystems and modelled the distribution of six others.
2) To estimate the ecological consequences of these activities, the
scientists created an approach to quantify the vulnerability of different
marine ecosystems (like mangroves, coral reefs, or seamounts) to each
of these activities. For example, fertilizer run-off has been shown to
have a large effect on coral reefs, but a much smaller one on kelp
forests. 3) Then the cumulative impact map was created by overlaying
the seventen threat maps onto the ecosystems, and using the vulnera-
bility scores to translate the threats into a metric of ecological impact.
4) Finally, using global estimates of the condition of marine ecosys-
tems from previous studies, it became possible to ground-truth their
impact scores.
What Does the Map Tell Is?
We can now compare different locations to determine the least and
most impacted regions of the globe. There are large extents of heavily
impacted ocean in the North Sea, the South and East China Seas, and
the Bering Sea. Much of the coastal area of Europe, North America, the
Caribbean, China and Southeast Asia are also heavily impacted.
The least impacted areas are largely near the poles, but also appear
along the north coast of Australia, and small, scattered locations along
the coasts of South America, Africa, Indonesia and in the tropical Pacific.
Furthermore, the data summarized in the map provides critical informa-
tion for evaluating where certain activities can continue with little effect
on the oceans, where other activities might need to be stopped or
moved to less sensitive areas, and where to focus efforts on protecting
the last pristine areas. As management and conservation of the oceans
turns toward marine protected areas (MPAs), ecosystem-based
management (EBM) and ocean zoning to manage human influence, the
researchers hope their study will be useful to managers, conservation
groups and policymakers.
Lack of Data, Lack of Knowledge
Yet, the map is crude, Halpern says. Aquaculture, recreational fishing,
sediment input from rivers that are being blocked by dams, atmos -
pheric pollution, we know these are problems or potential problems
and we wanted to include them but we just couldnt find the data, he
notes. Our results are almost certainly conservative.
Shallow seas with muck at the bottom and the deepest parts of the
ocean proved the least affected so far, due to the resilience of those
ecosystems or a lack of good knowledge. The deep water is such a
vast, relatively unexplored area, we just dont know what kinds of
impacts were having on those ecosystems, Halpern says. We spend
trillions of dollars going to the moon and we dont really know whats
going on in our own oceans yet.
Although the Bering Sea is an area of strong human influence, the polar
seas are among the few watery stretches that show little sign of huma -
nitys impactyet. As these areas continue to warm under climate
change, however, dwindling sea ice may open up new areas to fishing
and other forms of human activity, the researchers warn.
Wake-up Call
By revealing areas where mankind does its worst, the map also divulges
where mankind can do best in limiting its impact. Its definitely ser -
ving as a wake-up call to really start paying more attention to what
were doing to the oceans, Halpern says. I hope people step up to
the plate, knowing they have the opportunity to make a difference.
Remco Takken is a
contributing editor of GeoInformatics. For more
information visit the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis:, NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences:, NSF
Directorate for Geosciences:
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Snapshot of the North Sea and Marine Ecosystems Map.
Invitation to the ISPRS 2008 Beijing
Process and Product
The Arc Marine Data Model
Over the past few years ESRI, with a significant amount of user community input, has been engaged in the exercise of
building industry-specific data models for ArcGIS. A new marine data model (Arc Marine) has been developed for those
who apply GIS to the coasts, estuaries, marginal seas, and/or the deep ocean. This article provides an overview of the
activities that led to the release of the data model and accompanying reference book (Arc Marine: GIS for a Blue Planet),
with an invitation for those interested to participate in the continued refinement and improvement of Arc Marine via the
preparation of additional use cases.
By Dawn J. Wright
One of the most important lessons to be
learned from collective experience in the
application domain of marine GIS, both
published and unpublished, is the impor-
tance of rigorous data modeling before
attemp ting to implement a GIS database.
Indeed, data models lie at the very heart of
GIS, as they determine the ways in which
real-world phenomena may best be repre-
sented in digital form. With regard to ESRI
products, many marine and coastal practi-
tioners and organizations have invested in
the coverage data model. Although this has
largely been successful, coverages have
important shortcomings. For example,
features are aggregated into homogenous
collections of points, lines, and polygons
with generic, 1- and 2-dimensional behav-
ior. And there is no way to distinguish
between behaviors within feature classes:
e.g., the behavior of point representing a
marker buoy is identical to that of a point
representing a pulsing transponder; the
behavior of a line representing a road is
identical to the behavior of a line represent-
ing a dynamic shoreline.
In ESRIs recent object-oriented data model
called the geodatabase, GIS features are
smarter, i.e., they can be endowed with
real-world behaviors for individual objects
within the same categories, and any sort of
relationship may be defined among them.
This has wonderful implications for marine
and coastal applications, but important
questions and concerns were still expressed
at the outset of the Arc Marine initiative in
2001. Given the existing investment, how
and when should one make the transition
to object-oriented data model and data
structure (e.g., the geodatabase in ArcGIS)?
How well are marine application domain
requirements currently met in object-oriented
data structures such as the geodatabase
structure? What are the potential benefits?
For users, any of the ArcGIS data models
provide a basic template for implementing
GIS projects (i.e., inputting, formatting, geo-
processing, and sharing data, creating maps,
performing analyses, etc.), thereby helping
to simplify and standardize the integration
of data at various jurisdictional levels (i.e.,
local, state/provincial, national, global). For
developers, they provide a basic framework
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Figure 1. Graphic depicting the various modes of
marine data collection. Modified and reproduced by
permission of the Partnership for Interdisciplinary
Studies of Coastal Oceans,
for writing program code and maintaining
applications. As such, the specific goals that
drove the development of Arc Marine from
the outset were:
Production of a common structure, a geo-
database template, for assembling, man-
aging, and publishing marine data in
1. For example, the model is specified in
an industry-standard modeling nota-
tion called the Unified Modeling
Language (UML). And because UML
code is easily converted to an ArcGIS
geodatabase, users can immediately
begin populating the geodatabase,
rather than having to design it from
2. Users can produce, share, and
exchange data in similar formats.
3. Unified approaches encourage deve -
lopment teams to extend and improve
ArcGIS software.
Extending the power of marine GIS analy-
ses by providing a framework for incorpo-
rating rules and behaviors in data, and
dealing more effectively with scale depen-
In the final analysis, aiding users in a
fuller understanding of object-oriented
ArcGIS, particularly if making a transition
from the use of shapefiles and coverages.
For instance, in the core ArcGIS data
model, arc-node topology can be used in
conjunction with other new and powerful
data structures. Routes and regions are
relegated to feature classes. And relation-
ships between tables can be preserved,
with regard to the ESRI geodatabase. With
ESRIs great success in fostering a grassroots,
user community approach to building cus-
tomized data models for various applications,
the working group was eager to accept their
advice and consultation on how best to navi-
gate from start to finish. This is illustrated in
Figure 2 & 3.
The author served as project manager and,
along with Pat Halpin of Duke University, as
discipline/domain technical leads. Disci pline/
domain technical leads are deeply immersed
in the subject matter, and are typically
leaders in implementing GIS projects within
that discipline. They provide technical leader-
ship in the user community in order to help
people understand what is being worked on
and how it is relevant to their organization or
research group. The discipline/domain techni-
cal leads need to understand the discipline
well enough to talk about the big issues: i.e.,
current and evolving federal standards, typical
projects, what should be important features
in the data model design, etc. They are also
the design partners of the ArcGIS technical
Michael Blongewicz of DHI Water &
Environment served as the ArcGIS technical
lead. He developed and maintained the UML
diagrams throughout the life of the project,
and in collaboration with the discipline/domain
leads, facilitated the technical design and
reviews of the model, intimately understan -
ding all of the technical issues involved, and
able to explain the rationale behind modeling
Steve Gris and then Joe Breman served the
critical role of the industry manager/disci -
plinary experts from ESRI, balancing the per-
spectives of data producers, data users, and
business partners within the marine commu-
nity, while providing crucial input on the data
model design and implementation. They also
collaborated with discipline/domain leads to
organize meetings and workshops, ensuring
that key players were from within ESRI were
maintained, and more efficiently managed.
It should be noted that, although Arc Marine
was designed to be instantiated as a geo-
database in ArcGIS, its UML diagrams could
be used to generate schema for other GIS
packages or for other data management
solutions. For instance, Arc Marines UML has
been converted to an XML/GML (eXtensible/
Geography Markup Language) schema, as
well as to an ontology in OWL (Web
Ontology Language) that can be browsed in
tools such as Protg. Protg is a free,
open source ontology editor used to con-
struct domain models and knowledge-based
applications that can be used in taxonomies
and classifications, database schemas out-
side of GIS, and semantic web services
The Process of Building
a Data Model
A marine data model working group was ini-
tiated in 2001 to begin designing the data
model and to address the concerns above
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Figure 2. The Arc Marine development process from the standpoint of the core working group but
also a broader community of external reviewers, partners, use case testers.
Figure 3. The development process presented from the standpoint of the core working group only, where the
technical lead and the domain experts work together on the conceptual and logical designs.
The entire process took six years.
informed and involved.
Over the course of the models development
from 2001 to 2007 (Figure 2 + 3, and sidebar
there were three 2-day workshops hosted at
ESRI headquarters, and at ESRI International
User Conferences (UCs) from 2003-2007:
three technical workshops, one paper ses-
sion, and several presentations at marine
special interest group meetings. This culmi-
nated in the publication of Arc Marine: GIS
for a Blue Planet, which was released at the
2007 ESRI UC.
Scope of Arc Marine
Although the focus of Arc Marine is on both
the deep ocean and the coast - and it
attempts to represent the essential elements
for a broad range of marine and coastal data
types and processes - it cannot include
a comprehensive catalogue of objects
meeting the needs of all user groups and
applications. However, those elements that
are common to many marine GIS users have
been identified to make the core as exhaus-
tive and generic as possible. Therefore, the
model is a starting point upon which to
build on and leverage the experiences of a
broader range of practitioners. Practitioners
may take the core, generic data model and
add their own attributes, tables and rela-
tionships to suit their specific application
needs (Figure 4). The generic core of the
model should be left intact so that
developers can code additional software
tools based on the core that take advantage
of the known entities in the database. For
example, if certain attributes are removed
from core feature classes or tables, new
software tools (such as DHIs Time Series
Manager) will not work properly.
A data model for marine applications will
undoubtedly be complex because of the
many varied uses of the data. And modern
marine data sets are generated by an
extremely varied array of instruments and
platforms, all with differing formats,
resolutions, and sets of attributes (Figure 5).
Not only do a wide variety of data sources
need to be dealt with, but a myriad of
data structures as well (e.g., tables of
chemical concentration versus raster images
of sea surface temperature versus gridded
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Figure 4. Design strategy for Arc Marine where the core is as exhaustive, temporally dynamic,
and generic as possible, but can be customized by various user groups (such as marine animal
tracking or benthic habitat mapping) for use within their specific enterprise.
Figure 5. A typical lifecycle in the creation of a customized ArcGIS data model. Modified and reproduced by permission of ESRI.
bathymetry versus four-dimensional data,
etc.). It has become increasingly obvious
that a comprehensive data model is needed
to support a much wider range of marine
objects, and that this is essential for
advanced management, cartographic and
analytical tasks. Arc Marine seeks to
identify and organize these objects.
Design Stages
Data model design consists of at least three
stages, increasing in abstraction as one goes
from human-orientation to implementation
in a computer:
1. conceptual design (where the real world
is simplified according to application
requirements, and an initial model is
populated with spatial objects and
attributes in the form of entity-relation
(ER) diagrams)
2. logical design (where ER diagrams are
converted to some kind of schema, such
as a table)
3. physical or internal design (where the
functions of actual hardware and
soft ware must be considered for actual
implementation of the model, in the case
of ArcGIS as a geodatabase repository,
which can then be populated with the
users data)
attributes. All marine feature and object
classes inherit properties from one of the
basic feature and object types that are pro-
vided in ArcGIS. The major groupings hold
related or complementary sets of essential
feature classes and objects within the larg-
er data model, related by function or type.
Arc Marine groupings include: Marine Points.
Marine Lines, Marine Areas, Time Series &
Measurements, and Mesh (used for storing
the results of numerical modeling of marine
phenomena, particularly finite element
With UML in hand, a user may participate in
the physical design stage by taking advan-
tage of an existing collection of CASE (com-
puter aided software engineering) tools in
ArcGIS in order to generate their own
schema. For example, an empty geo-
database can be created in ArcCatalog, and
the Schema Wizard used to translate to only
those portions of the UML that are needed
for a particular project to an XMI (XML
Interchange) template or *.mdb repository.
This in turn allows the user to populate that
geodatabase with their own data for use in
a specific GIS project, with all the necessary
feature classes, attributes, and relationships
from the data model intact.
The first stage in the data modeling process
is to define the overall scope and content
of the model. From an external design
standpoint, this involves the challenging
task of identifying the common, essential
things that are modeled in most GIS pro-
jects within an application domain. From a
conceptual standpoint, it involves the
creation of an analysis or in the case of Arc
Marine, a common marine data types dia-
gram (Figure 6), with the identification of
major thematic groups and an initial set of
object classes within these groups. The com-
mon marine data types diagram was there-
fore at the conceptual design stage in the
data modeling process for Arc Marine, and
was created and refined at the first two user
workshops hosted at ESRI headquarters in
Redlands, California.
Moving to the logical design stage, the com-
mon themes from the common marine data
types provided the major feature and object
classes, and relationships that were defined
in UML (e.g., Figure 7). These were organized
into major groupings containing a set of fea-
ture classes and supporting object classes,
with the relationships between those clas -
ses. Each feature and object class consists
of a descriptive name and a set of defining
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Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Figure 6. Common data types of Arc Marine from which feature classes, object classes, and relationships were eventually derived for the UML, and ultimately
the geodatabase repository. A larger version of this diagram may be downloaded from
Conclusion: Final Data Model
Content, Purpose and Use
The model has now reached initial maturity
with the following products available to the
international marine community:
1. A final reference book, Arc Marine: GIS for
a Blue Planet, and companion web site
at describing
and explaining the data model, demon-
strating its implementation in ArcGIS, and
providing thirteen use cases of various
marine applications (along with feature
and object class glossaries, lessons
learned and helpful tips/tricks). The rela -
ted items below are all available on the
companion web site.
2. The Arc Marine data model itself, specified
in UML (via Microsoft Visio software) and
further as an XMI (XML Interchange) tem-
plate or *.mdb geodatabase file, that can
be used by most marine application devel-
opment teams as a starting point for struc-
turing marine data. The physical UML is a
detailed view of the design, providing
specifications of data types, relationships,
and other details. The specific data needs
of a given user may require modifications
of, or extensions to, the basic data model.
3. A large reference poster that presents the
basic, conceptual structure of the data
model in UML. Project teams can use this
to review the data model with users and
4. An Arc Marine tutorial for new users, avail-
able on the companion web site.
modeling efforts such as Arc Hydro, the
S-57 Data Model (for electonic nautical
charting), the Atmospheric Data Model, and,
even the ArcGIS Parcels Data Model for
coastal land development. Once a data
model is designed and initially implemen -
ted, then the many ways it will be used will
be become clearer, and it can be refined
Dr. Wright is professor of geography and
oceanography at Oregon State University. She has for
many years been interested in solving problems
related to the management and spatial analysis of
oceanographic data, with an emphasis on
application issues for GIS.
Visit her Home Page at:
Davey Jones Locker Lab
Main Arc Marine Web Site
Acknowledgements: The author gratefully acknow -
ledges her collaborators on Arc Marine, Michael
Blongewicz, Pat Halpin, and Joe Breman, as well as
Steve Gris and Simon Evans of ESRI, and
international and case study team listed at, all of whom
are deeply thanked for providing helpful guidance,
critique, and, at times, good humor, in creating
a successful data model.
5. Several case study data sets that can be
used to demonstrate the efficacy of the
marine data model. The data sets will be
composed of public domain, marine data
that may be freely used to support spe-
cific applications. Current case study
databases and descriptive information
are available on the companion web site.
Helpful tools accompany some of the
case studies (e.g., tools to import
various data sets into Arc Marine, to
manage and analyze time series data, to
visualize data).
The user community is now invited to fur-
ther refine this model by preparing additio -
nal applications of Arc Marine using their own
data sets in order to test its viability and
usability. For instance, the reference book
features use cases in seabed mapping and
characterization, marine animal tracking,
sediment transport and shoreline evolution,
coastal planning, coral reef monitoring and
habitat analysis, water column chemistry,
numerical modeling of physical oceano -
graphic parameters, and more. But the prepa-
ration of additional use case in these and
other areas (e.g., ocean fisheries, marine
pipelines, marine protected area design,
species population viability, etc. are welcome
and may be coordinated into additional ESRI
UC sessions or addenda to the reference book.
It is also useful to understand what rela-
tionships may exist to related ArcGIS data
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Figure 7. A diagram representing a fragment of UML from Arc Marine, showing the connectivity between data collected on a Cruise to a track and multiple surveys which
may be conducted with any number of vehicles or instruments within said cruise.
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Senegal River Survey Project
Emergency Solution
Youd think conducting a bathymetric survey of a major waterway, like Africas Senegal River, would be impossible without
an existing digital map, and youd be right. However, surveyors who found themselves in that tricky spot
came up with an emergency on-site solution that saved the day:
they created a map as they went along.
By Robert Wick
The Senegal River, which flows west from
Mali to form the border between Senegal and
Mauritania before it empties 1800 kilometers
downstream into the Atlantic, was about to
undergo its first bathymetric survey when it
was discovered that an essential prerequisite
a digital map of the river did not exist.
Instead of stopping the three-nation project
dead in its tracks and creating a costly over-
run, surveyors used a Magellan MobileMapper,
a small handheld GPS navigation and GIS data
collection system that happened to be on-
scene, to keep the project on schedule.
Bathymetric Survey
Hydrographic department teams from Senegal
and Mauritania were aboard two survey vessels
to begin a preliminary bathymetric survey of the
entire length of the river when the oversight
was discovered. Fortunately, a Magellan tech-
nician, who was aboard to train operators of
newly installed Magellan marine positioning
units, happened to have a MobileMapper with
him. With only an hour of training, a crew was
aboard a Zodiac inflatable dinghy recording the
outline of the rivers banks with the
MobileMapper. This initial effort proved so suc-
cessful so quickly that project hydrographers
immediately ordered three additional
MobileMappers and the entire survey project
proceeded up river after only a minimal delay.
The map of the river was digitally drawn one
day at a time by keeping two Zodiac crews,
armed with MobileMappers to collect data
along the river banks, one day ahead of the
survey vessels. Each day at days end the crews
from the Zodiacs would download the data in
SHP format to the acquisition and preparation
software aboard the survey vessels for use the
next day. In this way, approximately 80 km of
the 1,800-km river was mapped and surveyed
each day. It took less than a month to com-
plete the entire project.
Robert Wick is press reporter.
Thanks to the Hydrographic Departments of Dakar,
Senegal; Nouakchott, Mauritania and Mali and to the
Port Autonome de Bordeaux for contributing to the
writing of the article. The Port Autonome de
Bordeaux authorities are working in co-operation
with the Senegal Port authorities and provide them
with technical assistance.
Also thanks to Claire Geffroy.
Have a look at:
Hydrographers leaving aboard a Zodiac inflatable dinghy to record the outline of the rivers banks with
the Magellan MobileMapper
Live-training on the river banks.
Surveyors used a MobileMapper, a small handheld GPS
navigation and GIS data collection system, to keep the
project on schedule.
Maintaining Fire Fighting Capacity while Managing Pressure
Brisbane Water Management
Brisbane Water is one of Australias largest utilities, providing water and wastewater services to the city of Brisbanes
one million residents and drinking water to an additional one million people in southeast Queensland. The utility was
recently challenged by the need to accelerate two high-priority programs involving potentially conflicting drivers:
a capacity improvement program to guarantee an acceptable level of fire fighting capacity, and a leakage management
program that would help maintain reliable water supplies under the record drought affecting southern Australia.
Utility engineers used Bentleys WaterGEMS to deploy a rigorous hydraulic model to find operational scenarios
that would satisfy the goals of both programs.
By Jack Cook
Conflicting Requirements
The Water Supply System Service Capacity
Improvement (WSSSCI) program was conceived
to improve the citys fire fighting capacity to
comply with Brisbane Waters performance tar-
gets. The work consists primarily of augment-
ing or replacing existing small-diameter (3-, 4-,
and 6-inch) pipes, particularly in older areas that
comprise dense developments of wooden struc-
tures from the early 1900s.
The Pressure and Leakage Management pro-
gram is one response to the long-term
drought that has caused a water crisis in
southeast Queensland. The program aims to
decrease water losses by reducing water pres-
sure, thereby decreasing the leakage rate
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
The screenshot illustrates how Brisbane Water uses the Fire Flow Results Browser to identify why capacity shortfalls occur. Note the high headloss gradients in the
distribution main downstream of the reservoir, and the 3 local reticulation main, for the selected fire event.
through small defects that occur in pressure
pipe networks. The strategy involves brea king
the network grid into discrete District Metered
Areas (DMAs) of 500 to 3,000 properties each,
helping city engineers to pinpoint leaks and
prioritize and schedule repairs. It also sup-
ports separation of high-pressure from low-
pressure areas, allowing for pressure modula-
tion for certain pressure-sensitive areas.
However, because the formation of the DMAs
requires numerous boundary valves to be
closed, managing pressure and leakage could
have a major impact on the WSSSCI program
and Brisbanes ability to fight fires. As a result,
the utility had to deploy a rigorous desktop
fire flow modeling solution to perform the
DMA design and verification to ensure fire-
fighting performance was not compromised.
Bentleys WaterGEMS
Faced with this challenge, Brisbane Water
needed a software solution that would enable
it to conduct numerous and frequent fire flow
simulations without incurring large overheads
and significant project delays. The utility tes -
ted several water distribution modeling pack-
ages and found Bentleys WaterGEMS to be
the best solution for its needs.
Ben Wilson, Water and Sewerage Strategic
Planner at Brisbane Water, explained,
WaterGEMS was implemented in parallel with
a program of system improvement, particula -
rly in checking and correcting the underlying
GIS data and process automation. As part of
this effort, the Network Navigator connectivi-
ty-checking tools in WaterGEMS found and
corrected the majority of these errors to which
fire flow analysis models are extremely sensi-
simulation runs.
Wilson explained, Traditionally, fire flow
investigations are one of the most labor-
intensive types of water modeling analysis.
Previously, separate manual runs often took
hours to set up, run, and save for each
critical network location. WaterGEMS new
Fire Flow Results Browser is a powerful new
feature that significantly reduces these
overheads. In a single fire flow simulation
our engineers immediately determined not
only where, but also why the water network
had failed to meet the desired standards of
service (see figure page 44).
In addition, WaterGEMS model results
can be read directly inside ESRIs ArcGIS,
one of the four interoperable platforms
WaterGEMS includes out of the box. The
other three are stand-alone, MicroStation,
and AutoCAD. The ArcGIS integration allows
a network model and its results to be over-
laid on rich background maps and layouts,
eliminating the need to import or
export model results, as the figure 4 illus-
tive. The implementation of the software was
an unqualified success.
Advancing Fire Flow Modeling at
Brisbane Water
With the help of WaterGEMS, Brisbane
Water has in a short period of time been
able to transition to a process of routine
fire fighting analyses by all modelers
across a wider range of applications, with
answers often being available in minutes.
Heres a comparison table prepared by
Brisbane Water summarizing the improve-
ments after implementing WaterGEMS for
fire flow modeling:
Key Features: Fire Flow Navigator
and ArcGIS Integration
Today, fire flow modeling in WaterGEMS is
more efficient than ever because of the
recent enhancements in V8 XM Edition.
A good example is the new Fire Flow
Results Browser, which allows modelers to
review the flow and pressure in the
network for any fire flow event
and determine where system bottlenecks
occur, all without performing additional
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Pressure and Leakage Management Reduces Water
Losses (Courtesy International Water Association
Water Loss Taskforce).
Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV).
The complete integration of WaterGEMS with ArcGIS allows users to analyze their network directly inside ArcGIS
and to overlay model results in ArcGIS for presentation.
Copyright 2008 ESRI. All rights reserved. The ESRI globe logo, ESRI, and are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of ESRI in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.
Share the value of your work throughout your organization with Server GIS.
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their productivity as well as yours.
By making your maps, data, and
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that spatial analysis and visualization
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IT Services Leader,
City of Mesa, Arizona
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Practical Applications and Conclusions
Fire fighting analysis is now a necessary part of almost all stu -
dies, investigations, and designs that Brisbane Water carries out.
Typical applications include:
Master planning and long-term infrastructure plans Coinciding
with Brisbane Waters enhanced modeling abilities; all new mas-
ter plans now analyze fire-fighting capacity. Previously, this could
not be carried out due to modeling difficulties;
Fire-fighting risk assessments and works prioritization
As pre viously discussed, this is carried out under Brisbanes
WSSSCI program;
Operational investigations A newly acquired ability to quickly
gauge and report the impact on fire-fighting capacity from
proposed re-zoning, valve openings or closings, or water main
maintenance operations.
Wilson added, Brisbane Waters implementation of Bentleys
WaterGEMS water modeling solution was an unqualified success. It
especially addressed the needs of two key projects and met our aim
of maintaining reliable water supplies under the ongoing drought,
while helping to ensure community fire safety.
He concluded, We estimate that we will save about half a million
dollars in planning and design overheads in the long term. In
optimized capital works, we expect to save tens of millions of
dollars, because we are able to run more analyses within the
available timeframe leading to optimized design.
Jack Cook is
Bentleys Vice President, Water Solutions.
For more information about WaterGEMS,
For more information about Brisbane Water,
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April/May 2008
Engineers at Brisbane Water also used the thematic mapping capabilities of
WaterGEMS to symbolize by color and size the available fire flows that helped
it to identify critical locations and to discover that the general capacity
shortfall occurred in this zones northern supply area.
The common denominator hydro in the disciplines hydrology and
hydrography is the Greek word for water. While hydrologists study
the amounts and movements of subsurface water, hydrographers
measure the depth of the water column and turn the collected infor-
mation into charts.
Logically, GIS and hydrography would seem to have a long-stand-
ing relationship. However, while for hydrologists GIS has become
an indispensable tool, it has taken a long time for GIS to catch on
in the hydrographic world. Why do you need GIS if you already
have all the necessary and dedicated software to (re)produce in
charts the information your client is interested in?
Hydrologists and GIS specialists often have a similar educational
background. They speak each others language. However, not many
hydrographers are familiar with GIS when they complete their
studies. The potential for its use has increased interest in GIS in
the hydrographic community and its clients.
But quite often the GIS specialist does not know the difference
between the two disciplines. It sounds the same, so it probably is
the same! Although Im convinced that a more intensive use of GIS
would widen the horizon for hydrographers and their clients, it
will take some effort to bridge the gap that exists between them
and GIS specialists. It would help if they could distinguish between
hydrology and hydrography. The broad possibilities that GIS can
offer will create tremendous opportunities for both GIS specialists
and hydrographers to fathom the uncharted waters of the GIS
Bart van Mierlo
is managing director
of Periplus Consultancy BV
Hydrology versus
Do GIS Specialists
Know the Difference?
Part 1: Multibeam Echo Sounder
Acquisition Sensors
The first step in any geo-information process is the acquisition of data.
In this new series we will describe different types of acquisition sensors in
detail. With this issue being a water special, the first acquisition sensor to be
analyzed is the multibeam echo sounder.
By Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
One of the principal differences between air
and spaceborne remote sensing systems and
underwater remote sensing systems, such as
the multibeam echo sounder, is the source of
energy used. Virtually every remote sensing sys-
tem that is deployed from an aircraft or satel-
lite uses electromagnetic radiation to image the
earths surface. Since most of the water is
unreachable with electromagnetic radiation, an
alternative energy source is needed. Virtually
all systems used in underwater remote sensing
use acoustic energy. Depending on the frequen-
cy (and power) used, ranges from a couple of
centimeters to tens of kilometers are possible.
Development of the Multibeam
Echo Sounder
Depth measurement has long been performed
using manual labor and lead and line. A weight
(lead) was lowered to the bottom on a wire
(line) and when the bottom was reached the
depth was determined from the amount of line
paid out. This may seem an archaic method,
but until the Second World War it was a quite
common method for depth determination. The
largest depth ever determined, the Mariana
Trough in the Pacific Ocean with a depth of
almost 12 kilometers, was determined using
lead and line. After the Second World War lead
and line was quickly replaced by the echo
sounder which used acoustics for depth deter-
mination. This instrument, which is still in use
today, can reach full ocean depth and has (in
shallow) waters an update rate of up to 20 mea-
surements per second.
Further development of the echo sounder led
to the multibeam echo sounder, which was
developed in the 1980s. The traditional echo
sounder sends out a single sound beam with
a large beam width in contrast to the multi-
beam echo sounder, which sends out a large
number of small bundles. All bundles together
form an image of a small strip of bottom; in
order to make a complete image the platform
needs to move forward.
Acquisition Method
The multibeam echo sounder is used to
create a data point grid or Digital Terrain
Model of the bottom, giving geo-referenced
depths. Two basic techniques are employed,
one to determine the range between trans-
mitter (transducer) and bottom and one to
determine the angle under which the signal
is received.
Ranges are determined using the travel time
of the signal. Sound in water travels at an
average speed of 1500 m/s; a signal that
takes 0.1 second between transmission and
reception travels over a distance of about 150
meters. Since this distance is twice the range
the actual range measured is 75 meters in this
example. A typical multibeam echo sounder
sends out sound in one large beam of sound
that covers an area of seabed approximately
180 across by 1.5 along. Upon reception of
the returns from the seabed the multibeam
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
A multibeam echo sounder can cover up
to 7.4 times the water depth with a
single swath.
determines the exact angle from which the
sound is received by using a beam forming
technique. Consequently, modern multibeams
typically have a receive beamwidth that is in
the order of 0.5 across and 1.5 along.
The angle over which the signal is received
(swath width) varies with the type of multi-
beam but is typically in the order of 120 to
150. A multibeam can measure between 15
and 40 swaths per second in shallow water.
As a result, a modern multibeam can measure
Multibeam echo sounders are used in almost
every branch of hydrographic surveying, with
each branch using the Multibeam echo sounder
for a different purpose. The most common use
of the multibeam echo sounder is for depth
measurement. The International Hydrographic
Organization (IHO), which defines the standards
for nautical charts, even specifies that in waters
shallower than 40 meters a full bottom search
is mandatory. A full bottom search can be
attained in only two ways, either a survey with
a multibeam echo sounder or the use of side-
scan sonar which is an acoustic imaging tech-
Another common use of multibeam is the
inspection of structures such as pipelines,
dikes, quays etc. The system is capable of
detecting small changes in, for example, the
coverage of rocks on the bottom.
Additional Sensors
A multibeam echo sounder alone is not able to
meet user requirements for either depth mea-
surement or inspection. A relatively large suite
of additional sensors is needed to provide an
accurate geo-referenced model.
First and foremost, accurate knowledge of the
speed of sound is needed. The actual speed of
sound varies with environmental factors such
up to 10,000 depths per second in shallow
water up to 25 meters in depth. When the
water becomes deeper, the number of swaths
per second decreases. This is due to the fact
that it takes longer for the signal to return to
the transducer, meaning that the multibeam
must wait before it can retransmit.
The resulting depths have a resolution that is
within centimeters and a depth accuracy in
the order of 0.1% of the measured depth (10
centimeters at 100 meters of depth).
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Multibeam echo sounders are commonly
used to assess the work of dredging
equipment. In this example an auger
dredge has been operating.
Bracket on a survey vessel
showing the multibeam echo sounder
(left) and combined compass / attitude
sensor (middle) as well as singlebeam
transducers (right).
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as temperature, salinity and depth. An incorrect

speed of sound means an incorrect depth mea-
surement. Apart from the actual depth mea-
surement, differences in sound velocity will also
influence the path the sound ray follows. Just
as with light, sound is bent at the interface of
is usually called the patch test. During the patch
test the misalignment in heading, roll and pitch
as well as the latency between the positioning
system and the echo sounder are determined.
Operation of the system itself is straightforward
but requires a well-trained operator. The multi-
beam has various settings for the amount of
power, gain and filtering that need an experi-
enced operator in order to create an optimized
image of the bottom.
Depending on the use and quality of data gath-
ered in the field, some amount of post-proces -
sing of the data is necessary. During the pro-
cessing phase the readings from the various
sensors are validated and corrected if neces-
sary. Then the data is integrated and, if
required, tidal information is applied to arrive
at a result that is referenced to a common chart
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk is project manager
at IDsW and a freelance writer and trainer.
This article reflects his personal opinion.
two media. As such, the
exact sound profile in
the water column must
be known in order to
accurately measure
where the sound is
coming from.
In order to geo-refer-
ence the measured
range from the multi-
beam, additional sen-
sors such as a position-
ing system, compass
and motion / attitude
sensor are necessary.
Last but not least, a
software package is
needed to integrate all
the various readings
into a single depth
After installation of the multibeam echo
sounder, it needs to be calibrated in order to
determine the relationship between the multi-
beam axis and the vessel axis. This procedure
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Investigation of wrecks is mandatory
when performing nautical
charting surveys in water up
to 40 meters in depth.
Guiding the Construction of The World
Real-Time Kinematic GPS Positioning
Just a few kilometers offshore in the sunny waters of the Arabian Gulf, the giant dredging and marine contractor of the
Netherlands, Van Oord NV, works on the largest project ever undertaken by a single marine contractor: building
The World. This massive job, a multi-billion dollar land reclamation effort, will create a 60-square-kilometer fantasy
archipelago of luxury resort islands. One key to making the work cost-effective is high-precision, Real-Time Kinematic
(RTK) GPS positioning. RTK dGPS for The World project is enabled by technology from Trimble as well as
the Pacific Crest Corporation.
By Paul Haase and Arjan van der Meer
A New World
Nothing but open water existed at the offshore
site of The World before Van Oord began work
in 2003. By the end of 2007 some 300 man-
made islands in the shape of the continents
have risen a few meters above the sea level,
created from massive volumes of relocated
sandmore than 300 million cubic meters
worth and transported over 30 million metric
tons rock.
But unlike islands in nature, these islands wont
be scattered here and there. Rather, when
viewed from above, the islands of The World
will have the exact shape and precise positio -
ning to create a pointillist-style map of the
seven continents and major islands of the earth.
Its sure to be an impressive sight even among
the Las Vegas-like spectacle of Dubais tourist
fantasyland. Many individual islands sold even
before construction began, at prices from 10
USD million up to 35 USD million a piece.
Reclamation work to build The World is a
major part of a decades-long program by inter-
national Dubai developer Nakheel and Van
Oord. The ultimate object: to create substantial
new beachfront real estate for Dubai. Dubai has
grown remarkably since the early 1970s, evol -
ving from a small trading post into a thriving
metropolis and worldwide travel destination.
By the 1990s, all the beaches were deve -
loped, said Nakheels Hamza Mustafa, General
Manager of The World project. So we deci -
ded to build more.
Ar t i cl e
Pacific Crests machine control product, Sitecom,
is installed in Van Oord dredgers to enable
high-precision GPS locating and tracking.
April/May 2008
Giant Size
As a large developer owned by the Dubai go -
vernment, Nakheel did not think small. Their
long-term land-building program aims to add
more than 1500 kilometers of new beachfront
to the emirates short 70-kilometer coastline.
By themselves the beaches of The World
islands account for some 200 kilometers.
As such, The World represents a huge con-
struction project. Building it required Van Oord
to dredge up hundreds of millions of cubic
meters of sand from the bottom of the
Arabian Gulf and relocate it into low islands
in shallow water 15 to 20 kilometers shore-
ward. The whole development is surrounded
by the longest breakwater in the world formed
from 32 million tons of rock to protect the
construct from wind and rough waters.
Its enormous, said Van Oord engineering
manager Mark Lindo in a 2004 article by
Popular Science magazine about The World
project, which was completed in January 2008.
it would take 10 years of planning and
studies to do something like this [elsewhere].
Economics of Scale
Its not all about construction records or sheer
volume of material at The World develop-
ment, however; its about economics. Time,
after all, is money. Van Oord is a long-esta -
blished company with almost 140 years of
dredging and marine construction experience,
including working in the waters of Dubai itself
stages of construction. Through advanced GPS
techniques, RTK provides accurate, sub-cen-
timeter measurements. With such accuracy and
precision RTK helped Van Oord guide the
movements of a fleet of special-purpose con-
struction vessels working at the jobsite.
Among others, these vessels included trailing
suction hopper dredgers, side-stone dumping
vessels, multi-purpose pontoons, and massive
marine cranes. RTK dGPS positioning techno -
logy has also been crucial in helping Van Oord
track the daily progress of island construction
and optimize work to keep this massive recla-
mation project on budget and on schedule.
At The World site, every vessel from crew-
tender to jumbo dredger was equipped with
Pacific Crest and Trimble positioning techno -
logy, ranging from DGPS to RTK dGPS. Each
unit could then be matched to the required
position. Such precise positioning allowed for
safe navigation through the continuously
changing seabed at the site in order to guide,
record, and optimize the sand mining. These
technologies also allowed Van Oord to confi-
dently control the placing of sand and rocks
within the specified accuracies and boun -
Likewise, hydraulic cranes operating on
barges several kilometers offshore were
equipped with Trimble MS860 RTK dGPS
receivers and Heading systems to guide con-
struction of the protective breakwater around
The World. And starting at 7 am each mor -
ning, the whole development was patrolled
on land and on sea by radio-linked topo-
graphic and hydrographic survey teams that
carried portable Trimble R7 or Trimble R8 RTK
dGPS systems to measure the prior days
To build The World, large trailing suction
hopper dredgers collected sand by sucking it
for the past decade. To control expenditures
at The World, Van Oord pursued the most
cost-effective operations possible. And with
efficiency refined over the years, the cost for
Van Oord to construct the new islands was
surprisingly low. The works were finished
beginning 2008 after only four years of work
by a crew of about 800.
Controlling construction costs at The World
required all of Van Oords expertise, and a big
key to efficiency for the company has been
investing in reliable survey and machine con-
trol systems. In particular, Van Oord relied
heavily on RTK dGPS technology as a tool to
rigorously guide and track progress at all
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
Overview of the World project.
April/May 2008
The World artist impression resample.
up from the seafloor at designated borrow
areas. Once a dredger was loaded it steamed
shoreward to the site of a future island,
guided by a Trimble DSM 132 DGPS receiver.
In the early stages of construction, each ship,
after arriving at the exact location, simply
dumped its load of sand to the sea bottom
from large underwater doors. Once a growing
island made the water too shallow for
dredgers to get close enough to dump sand,
the sand was sprayed or rainbowed onto
the nascent island using a huge pivoting
nozzle mounted in the bow of certain Van
Oord dredgers. As with dumping, DGPS guid-
ed the rainbowing process.
Overall, dredging-and-filling continued until
each new island reached about three meters
above sea level. And while island building
progressed, large marine cranes that worked
under RTK dGPS guidance to place rocks in a
breakwater around the seaward edge of the
whole project and around the islands to armor
and stabilize them.
Beneath the Surface
Obviously, most of the construction work took
place under the oceans surface. Nearly all of
the relocated sand and rockalmost 90 per-
cent of itwas used to form the new island-
s undersea foundations, where exact posi-
tioning and progress cannot easily be
observed directly with conventional technolo-
gies. It takes at least one hundred shiploads
of sand (the vessels vary in size) just to build
an island up to sea level and about a dozen
more to complete it. Given that The World
features more than 300 islands, construction
ultimately required many tens of thousands
of trips by Van Oords sand-carrying ships.
High accuracy, high precision positioning
helped Van Oord guide these trips, not only
to ensure that islands are placed to create the
complicated design of The World but also to
optimize construction work. After all, the num-
ber of dredger trips needed to complete the
project was what drove the economics of the
job. As much as possible, Van Oord wanted
to ensure that no trips were wasted, that no
sand was placed where it doesnt contribute
to building an island.
To achieve the required accuracies with the
rockwork construction and to optimize the
sand-dumping and rainbowing activities effi-
ciently, reliable and, above all, repeatable RTK
GPS coverage is essential, says Frans Pijpers,
Van Oord Survey Operations Manager.
In particular, vertical measurement represent-
ed a primary focus at The World. One
dredge-load of sand adds but a few centime-
ters of height to a growing island. Only RTK
technology, with its excellent centimeter-scale
performance, can repeatedly and reliably
detect such changes (underwater measure-
ments can be made by combining multibeam
depth-sounder readings to RTK results of sea
level). More than in any other aspect, Van
Oord depended on accurate and repeatable
vertical RTK GPS readings to monitor and
optimize the placement of each rock and load
of sand required to complete The World
Real-World Competition
In Dubai, the radio modems that enable RTK
positioning at The World jobsite played a
role out of proportion to their low cost. As on
other construction jobs it is possible that tens
of millions of dollars of heavy equipment
could be idled should a problem develop with
a radio worth a few thousand dollars. And
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Landsurveyor at work using RTK dGPS from Trimble.
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
Artist impression of the various
reclamation projects in Dubai
(foreground The World, background
the Palm projects).
April/May 2008
Close-up of a new island.
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Networking with an international community
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according to Van Oord, not being able to work
because of non-functioning equipment is
totally out of the question in the marine con-
struction business.
In order to ensure the maximum RTK dGPS
reliability for machine control and surveying
at The World project, Van Oord turned to
Pacific Crest, the company that developed the
original radio modem technology for RTK
applications. Specifically Van Oord employed
a mix of 15 Pacific Crest Positioning Data Link
(PDL) Low-Power Base radio modems and PDL
Sitecom radio modems mounted on ships,
cranes, backpack handsets, and at reference
them as the most reliable and flexible pro -
ducts; they valued the rugged all-weather
operation and worldwide compliance of
Pacific Crest equipment, as well as the com-
panys easy-to-use turnkey packages that are
fully compatible with GPS products from
Trimble and other major manufacturers.
Consequently, Van Oord has come to use
Pacific Crest radio modems and Trimble GPS
exclusively for its RTK needs at The World
and elsewhere. The Pacific Crest products
provide us with the accuracy and reliability
and covering range to execute this project,
says Van Oords Pijpers. Im sure many other
solutions are possible, but never change a
winning team.
Parts of this article have appeared in American
Surveyor and were reproduced with permission from
both Trimble Corporation and American Surveyor.
Arjan van der Meer from Van Oord has updated the
text to reflect the current situation. For more infor-
stations on land in Dubai.
Van Oord selected Pacific Crest products
based not on catalog specifications or experi-
ence with a single vendor, but only after real-
world competition. The present company was
formed from the recent mergers of three of
the largest and oldest Dutch dredging con-
cerns, and these mergers brought a diverse
mix of state-of-the-art telemetry equipment
into the new Van Oord. In the years following
the mergers, Pacific Crests radio modems and
RTK telemetry solutions, out of the many sys-
tems inherited by the merged company,
proved themselves superior. Crews recognized
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge rainbowing sand.
April/May 2008
Leading the Renaissance of Geospatial Innovation
Mladen Stojic on the New ERDAS
With over ten years of experience at ERDAS, Mladen Stojic has extensive product development and management
experience, coupled with a broad understanding of the rapidly expanding geospatial markets. He has held several
positions within the company, including Photogrammetry Product Manager and Platform Extensions Product Manager.
Since 2004, he has been the Director of Enterprise and Visualization Solutions, spearheading the market strategy
and vision for ERDAS growing enterprise and visualization portfolio, including ERDAS TITAN, ERDAS ADE and
ERDAS Virtual Explorer. In September 2007, Mladen Stojic joined ERDAS Executive Management Team.
In this interview, he explains all about the new ERDAS and future strategies.
By Joc Triglav
increased offerings. Leading the renaissance of
geospatial innovation, we are securing our posi-
tion in the broader geospatial information mar-
ket. Broadening its offerings, the companys
portfolio not only appeals to existing geospa-
tial customers, but also to those with larger
web and enterprise needs.
After the Hexagons acquisition of
Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging
(now ERDAS) in 2005, where is
ERDAS place inside Hexagon
Measurement Technologies?
ERDAS is an important piece of Hexagons
measurement technologies. ERDAS focuses on
developing a broad range of solutions address-
ing the authoring, managing, connec ting and
delivering of geospatial information. ERDAS
leads Hexagons technological advancements in
geo-processing, remote sensing, photogramme-
try and data sharing and delivery, incorporat-
ing these strengths into interoperable solutions
for the desktop, enterprise, web and mobile
Where do you see ERDAS expanding
in the geospatial industry? What are
the main planned strategies in product
management and marketing?
About three years ago, a group of us started
a market research team that eventually evolved
into a business plan, with the goal to catapult
and expand our reach into the market. As you
know, we have a very strong position in mar-
kets focused on producing geospatial data from
a variety of sources. If you go to most public
or private sector mapping organizations, they
are using our remote sensing or photogram -
I nt er vi ew
April/May 2008
have a very different kind of customer base.
The ERDAS name has value in the geospatial
software industry. Moving forward, the com pany
will do business under the ERDAS name.
Building off an established brand in the indus-
try, ERDAS is known for developing the most
advanced geospatial technology and delive ring
reliable customer service and support world-
wide. Utilizing the ERDAS name, we are lever-
aging our rich pioneering history and expertise
in geospatial imaging, while also promoting our
Why have you changed your name
from Leica Geosystems Geospatial
Imaging to ERDAS?
As Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging, we
were one of several Leica Geosystems divisions.
The Leica Geosystems name is largely associat-
ed with developing hardware components for
measurement technology. As the Geospatial
Imaging Division, we were a unique piece of
Leica Geosystems, speciali zing in software solu-
tions. While we serve related industries, we
Mladen Stojic.
metry products on the desktop to author maps, land cover datasets,
spatial models, 3D scenes, ortho images, terrain datasets and fea-
ture databases. ERDAS has more than 60,000 licenses worldwide.
To date, our customers exist within several departments of large enter-
prises. These same organizations have approached us to extend the
utilization of geospatial content to the rest of their organizations. Our
customers have made large investments in producing source content
used to feed a variety of business systems. In order to increase their
return on investment they continue to look for ways to extend and
serve this data as on demand information products to support a
diverse number of decision support systems.
We therefore translated our customers business problems into a stra -
tegy that would allow us to provide comprehensive geospatial busi-
ness systems, not only for producing source content, but also for
maintaining, updating and delivering value added information prod-
ucts based on that source content. Understanding our customers
information value chain allows us to identify gaps in current pro ducts
within our industry, while offering new innovative solutions based on
highly scalable and interoperable geospatial business technologies.
As part of our growth strategy, we understand that we need to extend
our customers geospatial business systems across the enterprise.
This, of course, requires new technology, a new business plan and a
new growth strategy. We understand where we are strong and where
we need to grow and strengthen our core domain.
How is your company adjusting its business model to
address the changing geospatial market? Being a leader in
imaging, remote sensing and photogrammetry, how do you
adapt to accept growth opportunities in broader market?
We are continuing to strengthen our geospatial imaging technology
base, while also integrating and deploying our new enterprise
platform. The authoring desktop market will remain important and
will be the launch pad for extending our reach into the market. Moving
forward, ERDAS will continue deve loping versatile agnostic solutions
for the application server market. Additionally, ERDAS growing port-
folio comprehensively addresses the vertically integrated
solution/service market that has been developing. ERDAS is building
solutions integrated with industry databases, open standards and
state of the art scalable client/server web-enabled and mobile
Which factors do you see as the main geospatial industry
Integrating geospatial and location-based information into an orga-
nizations existing business system provides greater understan ding
and management capabilities for that organization. Because content
as a geospatial ingredient is interoperable with the organizations cur-
rent system, it not only provides powerful tools, but also quickly
increases ROI. With the appropriate tools, an organizations data can
truly provide the fuel for its success. Therefore, adding the vital
Latest News? Visit
I nt er vi ew
April/May 2008
photo credit: DOP, (c) HVBG 2007.
If you go to most public or
private sector mapping organizations,
they are using our remote sensing or
photogrammetry products on the desktop
to author maps, land cover datasets,
spatial models, 3D scenes, ortho images,
terrain datasets and feature databases.
geospatial component to business information
addresses the following universal business
ChangeHow current is the content in the
geospatial business system?
QualityHow accurate is the information
and content in the geospatial business
Social NetworkingIs it easy for employees
scattered around the world to find, access
and retrieve information from the business
DeliveryHow long is the wait for a request
to receive an information product for a given
area of interest?
SecurityCan the business system be
secured to ensure reliable content and
prevent corruption of business critical infor-
An integrated geospatial business system pro-
vides the following important capabilities, fully
responding to an organizations needs, thereby
adding value to the decision-making processes:
ChangeAuthoring and maintaining fresh
up-to-date content that can be used as the
source for creating information products
QualityCreating accurate and precise data
and web service solutions
Social NetworkingDynamically connecting
users to one another inside an organization
while also connecting organizations to one
another (B2B)
DeliveryRapidly delivering the right
content and online services in an IT and
Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) com-
plaint manner
SecurityPreserving the investment organi-
zations have made in their source content
and value added products.
Please outline some of the crucial
elements of ERDAS strategy?
In 2007, Leica Geosystems acquired IONIC,
ER Mapper and Acquis, and has since
integrated these companies and their
technology. Also in 2007, we opened our
India headquarters, fully equipped to deve -
lop, market, sell and implement
customized solutions throughout
this region. Globally, we are also
expanding our Singapore office,
and strengthening our market
access throughout India, China,
Eastern Europe, Latin America and
Russia. As security, interoperabili-
ty and standards-based compli-
ance are important to our cus-
tomers, we have made this a key
feature in our solutions, giving
our products a differentiator in
the enterprise space. We have
also increased our Open
Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
membership to Strategic member,
the organizations highest level.
Additionally, we have also
increased our activity in the
International Organization for
Standardization (ISO). We have
also strengthened our ties with
our strategic business partners
like Oracle. Several of our exist-
ing enterprise solutions, including
Manager leverage existing busi-
ness systems, such as the Oracle
database for persisting intelligent
metadata and application specific
Following the recent acquisitions of
Acquis, ER Mapper and IONIC, how
is the integration of these products
processed at ERDAS?
We will continue selling existing solutions
under the ERDAS brand. Both existing and
acquired technologies will continue to be
incorporated into new solutions. Our stra tegy
allows us to provide comprehensive geospa-
tial business systems, not only for producing
source content, but also for maintaining,
updating and delivering value added infor-
mation products based on that source
As mentioned, ERDAS is now a Strategic
member of the OGC, increasing the participa-
tion that both Leica Geosystems and IONIC
contributed to the organization independent-
ly. Strategic Members provide significant
resources to support OGC objectives in the
form of funding for program initiatives and
staff resources inserted into the OGC process.
ERDAS strong commitment to the OGC
reflects the companys understanding of their
diverse clients needs for standards-based
geospatial data management and delivery
solutions. Standards-based interoperability is
I nt er vi ew
April/May 2008
ERDAS Image Manager Diagram.
a key requirement in solving complex pro -
blems that involve sharing spatial data and
processing resources and managing the life-
cycle of enterprise data. ERDAS brings image
processing, spatial modeling, exploitation
and sensor expertise to the larger industry
community, collaborating with many partners
to provide customers with comprehensive,
multi-vendor, fully interoperable enterprise
ERDAS recently released a new version of
ERDAS ADE, with the ability to handle Oracle
11g data. Previously a product of Acquis,
ERDAS ADE contains web-based and mobile
enterprise applications for editing Oracle
Spatial data in both a connected and discon-
nected environment. Extending the value of
Oracle, ERDAS ADE combines business
information with geospatial content.
ERDAS ADE now provides editing of user-
defined data types, including Shapefiles (.shp).
As well as being fully integrated with the
Oracle Database and Application Server, the
new version of ERDAS ADE also offers
enhanced digitizing capabilities and support
of Oracle MapViewer, a J2EE service for ren-
dering maps managed by Oracle Spatial.
MapViewer features supported by ERDAS ADE
include the Linear Referencing System,
GeoRaster and Workspace Manager. These
enhancements provide ERDAS ADE with more
comprehensive feature editing and data man-
agement capabilities. Efficiently handling spa-
tial and non-spatial information, ERDAS ADE
is further equipped for use in the field or
office, using a mobile client, the web, desktop
or laptop computer.
Recently, ERDAS also released a new version
of Image Web Server (IWS), a solution
acquired with ER Mapper. IWS is a high-speed,
specialized server application that efficiently
distributes large volumes of geospatial image
data. IWS solves the infrastructure congestion
problems associated with deploying large
amounts of image data, empowering users to
quickly access the information they need. IWS
8.5 provides online image processing of
images, transforms and mosaics. This new
technology allows the serving of different
versions of the same image to desktop, web
or server applications. These virtual images
minimize the duplication of data across the
enterprise, ensuring faster deployment of
processed images. Users can now automati-
cally receive scale dependent images from
OGC compliant Web Mapping Services (WMS),
specific to their view. The client application
delivers the image for the scale needed,
optimizing viewing performance for clients
using the WMS protocol.
Reach Down: A client application or user
on a high-side network transparently
requests data from a low-side web
Transact Down: A client application or
user on a high-side network transacts
data from the high-side via a low-side
web service into a low-side database.
Reach Up: A client application or user on
a low-side network requests data from a
low-side web service fronting a high-side,
label-aware database.
Transact Up: A client application or user
on a low-side network transacts data via
a low-side web service into a high-side,
label-aware database.
What other changes can we expect
from ERDAS?
We will develop additional technology for
incorporating geospatial data into existing
business systems, empowering organizations
to complete the value chain, transforming data
into geospatial information. Given the enter-
prise technologies we have brought into the
company, we now have a platform to build
solutions that we sell to our customers who
have specific vertical market needs, including
customers in the public sector (national map-
ping agencies, other levels of government), oil
and gas, utilities, insurance and more. We
have partners who will take our platform to
build additional vertical market solutions.
We have a strategy of enabling the use of our
technology throughout an organization. We do
not want to limit options by dictating whether
a customer needs a mobile, Web or desktop
client. The reason we chose our system archi-
tecture (J2EE) is that it allows us the flexibility
and scalability to deploy our solutions on a
Web browser, in a mobile client and in a rich
desktop client or on a cluster of CPUs that are
supporting a distributed processing factory.
We enable customers to deal with data from
a variety of sources. We are agnostic when it
comes to maintaining, updating and creating
a fresh geospatial business system. We will
continue to innovate, developing solutions
that deliver geospatial information to all
environments very rapidly.
Joc Triglav
is editor of GeoInformatics
Thanks to:
Jason Sims Have a look at:
With the proliferation of space-based
and airborne imaging sensors (whether
electro-optical, multispectral, hyper -
spectral, radar, etc.), many enterprises
are struggling to effectively manage
their vast stores of accumulated
imagery. Do you at ERDAS offer any
solutions for your customers to tackle
this pro blem?
ERDAS Image Manager, a new product in
our portfolio enables users and organiza-
tions to efficiently store and quickly share
imagery throughout the enterprise. ERDAS
Image Manager is a comprehensive OGC/ISO
compliant solution that solves business
problems associated with securely discover-
ing, describing, cataloging and serving
imagery to a variety of web and rich client
applications throughout an organization
(see figure 3). Providing true interoperabili-
ty, ERDAS Image Manager seamlessly con-
nects to numerous geoweb applications and
geospatial solutions, including ERDAS IMAG-
INE, LPS and ArcGIS desktop products.
ERDAS Image Manager is flexible, while
ensuring a high level of security through
administrator defined privileges. With
ERDAS Image Manager, users may develop
vertical market applications using an exten-
sible web and rich client application frame-
work. Implementing OGC standards (WMS,
WCS and CS-W) and the ECW-P protocol,
ERDAS Image Manager provides rapid deliv-
ery of unprecedented volumes of imagery to
domain specific desktop and consumer web
client applications.
For years, the same spatial data has
been repeatedly replicated and hosted
on multiple security domains so that
users with different clearances could
access it. How can ERDAS help its
customers to overcome these
compli cated and costly schemes for
upward and downward synchronization
of data?
ERDAS OGC compliant web services sup-
port Oracle Label Security, and thereby
Oracles Cross Domain Security Solution
(CDSS). The CDSS is in process for a DCID
6/3 PL4 by the Joint Cross Domain
Management Office. This label secure envi-
ronment enables data of different classifica-
tions to reside in the same database,
enabling users with different roles and clear-
ance levels to access the same database,
and only the data needed, according to their
security clearances. ERDAS Cross Domain
Spatial Data Infrastructure solution allows four
distinct user scenarios:
Latest News? Visit
I nt er vi ew
April/May 2008
Dutch Archeological Research In The Waterbeds
Mapping Cultural Heritage..Under
Archaeological research underwater used to
lag behind. Despite major infrastructural
developments like land reclamation projects
and deepening of waterways, not much atten-
tion was given to the possible archaeological
remains in the waterbeds. However, the lack
of archaeological research
prior to dredging activities
regularly resulted in
the unexpected fin -
ding of historical
shipwrecks, thus causing
unnecessary delays and
extra costs.
Since the official imple-
mentation of the Treaty of
Valletta, the situation has changed dra-
matically. Archaeological research is now
compulsory prior to any bottom-disturbing
development, whether on land or in water.
This raised the question: How do you do it?
What is the most efficient method to map
archeological heritage underwater? And most
importantly, what are the guidelines accor ding
to which this research needs to be executed?
In the past few years, the experience gained
in the different phases of investigation has
resulted in a quality standard for archaeolog-
ical research underwater (Kwaliteitsnorm
Nederlandse Archeologie (KNA) Water bo -
dems). This standard describes all procedures
and processes necessary for legitimate
The different phases of archaeological
research underwater are listed below:
1. Desk study
2. Geophysical field research
3. Dive inspections
4. Excavation underwater
In the following part, the different phases of
research are outlined using some examples
and illustrations.
Phase 1: Desk Study
The objective of a desk study is to acquire
information, using existing (historic) sources,
concerning known or expected archaeological
values within a defined area. All relevant his-
torical information from literature is collected,
like the nature of current and previous forms
of land use, historical development, historical
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
The Treaty of Valletta, Malta (see inset) resulted in a substantial increase in archaeological research. Prior to land
development, the sites have to be investigated in order to prevent the possible loss of archaeological artifacts or cultural
heritage. On land, research methods have become more efficient due to the use of geophysical techniques like ground
penetrating radar and very high-resolution elevation models like the AHN
(Actual Height model of the Netherlands).
By Seger van den Brenk
Figure 3. Side scan sonar acquisition in the river Vecht.
The nearby presence of the castle Muiderslot makes this
area a site with high expectancy.
Figure 1. Collection of
geo-referenced maps
of the river Vecht.
maps, soil maps and known archaeological
values. The available historical maps are geo-
referenced and all data is combined in a GIS.
As an example, Figure 1 shows the river Vecht
in the Netherlands, a study which was carried
out for Waternet in Amsterdam. In the next
few years, the Vecht is going to be dredged
because of pollution of the top layer of the
riverbed. The result of the desk study is an
expectancy map showing the areas with a dif-
ferent archaeological expectation (see figure 2).
If the desk study indicates a high expectancy
of archeological remains (like the example of
the Vecht), then Phase 2, geophysical field
research, has to be carried out.
Phase 2: Geophysical Field Research
The objective of geophysical field research is
to supplement and verify the expectancy
model that resulted from the desk study.
Using geophysical quick scan techniques
like side-scan sonar and multibeam echo
sounders, the research area is mapped. Both
sonar and multibeam are acoustic techniques
used to map the riverbeds. The latter also
data result in a list of locations with objects.
These objects can be just dredging obstacles,
but could also be of archaeological value (see
figure 3).
In the case of the Vecht, an average of 13
objects per kilometer were found. Less than
10 percent of the objects have been identi-
fied as potentially of archaeological value.
Figure 4 shows the side-scan sonar record of
a medium-sized shipwreck at the bottom of
the river.
When available, a multibeam echo sounder
provides extra information like height and
depth information thus simplifying the inter-
pretation of the object. Figure 5 shows an
example in the river Meuse, where a recent
car wreck was found next to two historical
shipwrecks from the Second World War.
It is very difficult to identify the exact nature
of the objects designated as having archaeo-
logical potential. Therefore these objects will
be investigated more closely in Phase 3 by
conducting visual inspections underwater.
Phase 3: Dive Inspections
During Phase 3, archaeologically-trained divers
supervised by an underwater archaeolo gist
inspect the unidentified objects. If suspected
to be of archaeological value, the object and
surroundings are measured and mapped, the
depth and extension of the object in the sed-
iments are determined and if necessary, wood
provides depth information making it possi-
ble to construct 3D models of the observed
objects. Processing and interpretation of the
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
Figure 2. Expectancy map of part of the river Vecht.
Figure 6. A wood sample (timber)
is collected for closer inspection
and dating.
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samples are taken in order to date the object
(figure 6).
When archaeological objects are found, the
value of the archeological remains is further
investigated, evaluated and reported. The
Dordtsche Kil in the south of Holland. The
ship was discovered (and partially destroyed)
during the deepening of the waterway in the
summer of 2006. Immediately after the
encounter with an unknown obstacle, the
dredging operations were halted. Additional
geophysical research and dive inspections
confirmed the finding of a fairly well-preserved
historical shipwreck. Preservation in situ was
not feasible. Therefore the wreck was
excavated and raised in December 2006 (see
figure 7).
The introduction of the Treaty of Valletta has
changed the view of how to deal with archae-
ology. As the different phases of archaeologi-
cal investigations can be a lengthy process, it
is important to get archaeologists involved at
an early stage of any infrastructural project.
In that way no valuable time is lost and no
unnecessary expenditures are made to
achieve the goals set for the project.
Seger van den Brenk is
a senior prospector at Periplus Archeomare B.V.
He has more than ten years experience in
hydrographic surveying and mapping and over
the last five years has been involved in a number of
maritime archaeological projects in the Netherlands.
counsel of archaeological heritage (in Dutch:
Archeologische Monumenten Zorg) then
decides whether the remains need to be pre-
served. If in situ preservation and conserva-
tion are possible, the object will be protected
if necessary and moni-
tored over the years.
However, if preservation
of the archaeological
object is not feasible, the
final phase is carried out:
excavation underwater.
Phase 4: Excavation
The excavation of an
object is the last resort
for archaeologists. Once
recovered the object is
analyzed, reported and
conserved. An example of
such a project is the
research and raising of
the historical vessel
Jacob in the river
Latest News? Visit
Ar t i cl e
April/May 2008
MACHU project
In order to promote public awareness of the cultural heritage underwater on a European scale
and to establish a platform which maritime scientists can use to exchange information, the
European MACHU project was initiated. MACHU stands for Managing Archaeological Cultural
Heritage Underwater. More information on this project can be found at
Treaty of Valletta
In 1992, the Council of Europe signed the
Treaty of Valletta concerning archaeolo gical
heritage. The major points in the treaty are:
To protect the archaeological heritage as
a source of the European collective
memory and as an instrument for his-
torical and scientific study, whether sit-
uated on land or underwater
Making provision for the conservation
and maintenance of the archaeological
heritage, preferably in situ or provide
appropriate storage places for archaeo-
logical remains that have been removed
from their original location
Making provision for the financing of
archaeological research and conserva-
tion in the budget of projects in the
same way as for the impact studies
necessitated by environmental and
regional planning precautions
Promotion of public awareness
The treaty was implemented in national
law in 2001 (UK) and 2006 (The Nether -
Figure 4. Side scan sonar record of a shipwreck in the river Vecht.
Figure 5. Multibeam echosounder image of a car wreck next to a
shipwreck in the river Meuse.
2008 POINT, Inc. The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any used of such marks by SOKKIA is
under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.
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featuring GPS plus Russian-based GLONASS satellite tracking capability. Now you can
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GPS + GLONASS 72 universal GNSS channels support all GPS and GLONASS signals.
Better satellite coverage means increased ef fciency on the job.
High-performance RTK algorithm Initializes within seconds for consistent
centimeter-level positioning. Extended baseline range of 40 km or more oers superior
accuracy and reliability.
Seamless VRS support Stand-alone RTK rover positioning means no base is required.
Compatible with Virtual Reference Station (VRS), FKP and Master Auxiliary reference
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ESRI Releases ArcGIS 9.3 Beta
ESRI is currently distributing the beta version of ArcGIS 9.3. In addition to enhanced
performance, participants in the beta program will experience improved functionali-
ty and easier integration of data and services. Using the Web, mobile devices, and
desktop applications, geographic information system (GIS) content and capabilities
can be shared with people who may not even be aware they are using GIS.
A highlight of ArcGIS 9.3 will be the new JavaScript APIs that will make it possible
to create mashups using ArcGIS Server technology. These APIs are included with
ArcGIS Server and let GIS users quickly integrate, view, and use disparate data
through standards-based tools. Various Web services, such as those provided via
Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth, can be combined with content and capabil-
ities served from ArcGIS Server, allowing end users to access geospatial analytic
capabilities while customizing how they view information.
Other important enhancements of ArcGIS 9.3 will include an out-of-the-box mobile
editing application to better help field staff participate in a common operating pic-
ture, additional platform support, and expanded support for Open Geospatial
Consortium, Inc. (OGC) and ISO standards to continue to improve the interoperabil-
ity of ArcGIS with other enterprise systems. ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 will also offer new
cartographic tools that enhance productivity as well as numerous general mapping
Trimble Introduces Flexible GNSS Mapping and GIS Solution
Trimble introduced a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver for Geographic Information System (GIS)
data collection and mappingthe GPS Pathfinder ProXRT receiver. The receiver combines a high-performance
GPS receiver with Trimble H-Star technology, OmniSTAR correction capability, and optional GLONASS capability to
provide various levels of positioning accuraciesfrom submeter to decimeter (10 centimeter) accuracy.
The ProXRT receiver is suited for high-accuracy mapping, data collection, and asset management applications in
industries such as water/wastewater, utilities, telecommunications, transportation as well as many others. In
recent years, these industries have experienced the need for subfoot and decimeter level performance.
With Trimble's patented H-Star technology, GPS Pathfinder ProXRT receiver users can relocate assets in real time
so they can verify their data before they even leave the job site. Users can connect to a real time correction
source and collect decimeter positions in the field by using wireless communications link and a local Trimble
VRS network or they can set up a base station for additional flexibility.
If a VRS network or a local base station is not available in the area, users can also achieve real-time decimeter
accuracy with OmniSTAR HP corrections. The OmniSTAR antenna is integrated in the ProXRT receiver so there's
no need to carry extra equipmentall a user needs to do is purchase a subscription from an OmniSTAR reseller
for over the air corrections. The GPS Pathfinder ProXRT receiver is also capable of receiving OmniSTAR XP (for
subfoot accuracy) and OmniSTAR VBS (for submeter accuracy).
Optional GLONASS support is also available. GLONASS increases the number of satellites that can be observed
when working in real time. The GLONASS option provides users with the capability to maintain lock on enough
satellites when sky visibility becomes limited, allowing them to continually work in urban canyons or high
foliage environments. Tracking both GLONASS and GPS satellites can also improve productivity by reducing
the time required to achieve real-time decimeter or subfoot accuracy.
With Bluetooth technology, the GPS Pathfinder ProXRT receiver allows for cable-free communications to a field
computer. The receiver can be connected to a variety of field computers, including the rugged Trimble Nomad
series, Trimble Recon handheld, or the Trimble Ranger handheld as well as laptops, tablet PCs, and PDAs.
The Trimble TerraSync software or Trimble GPScorrect extension for ESRI ArcPad software provides a com-
plete solution from the field to office and back. Mapping professionals can also use GPS Pathfinder Tools
Software Development Kit (SDK) to build their own customized application to fit their unique needs.
Latest News? Visit
Pr oduct News
April/May 2008
Snowflake Softwares GO Publisher: the First to Attain WFS 1.1.0 Compliance from the OGC
Snowflake Software announced that GO Publisher WFS is the first Web Feature
Server to meet the new stringent Team Engine WFS 1.0.0 and WFS 1.1.0
Compliance Tests of the Open Geospatial Consortium. GO Publisher WFS was
awarded certification to the OpenGIS Web Feature Service Implementation
Specification, Version 1.0.0 and Version 1.1.0 after passing over 200 individual
tests on February 28, 2008.
GO Publisher Version 1.3 is the latest release of Snowflakes GML publishing
suite. In addition to obtaining WFS 1.0.0 and WFS 1.1.0 compliance, GO Publisher
v1.3 incorporates many additional features including: JBOSS support, JNDI
database connections, XPath property queries, additional WFS filter requests and
extensions to enable root level metadata. These will be of particular benefit to
users wanting to publish their data to complex GML schemas and be able to run
advanced WFS filter queries on these schemas in a standards compliant manner.
GO Publisher is being used internationally by many very demanding applica-
tions. Its User Base includes companies such as the European Commission Joint
Research Centre, TNO and the UK MET Office, all of whom are working on highly
challenging implementations. The technical expertise of the users has naturally
raised the expectations of the products capabilities, encouraging the earliest
adoption of new requirements.
GO Publisher Version 1.3 is now released and shipping.
The GO Publisher product suite covers two key requirements:
1) I wish to publish my data as XML and create an XML Schema.
This requirement addresses the need for users to quickly exchange data in an
open manner
2) I have been given an XML Schema and I wish to publish my data in XML to
it. This requirement enables users to quickly contribute to wider standards ini-
tiatives where they have already been provided an XML Schema and need to
translate their data into it.
To date, GO Publisher has been successfully applied to a variety of schemas,
including but not limited to;
BS7666 XML CityGML EuroRoads IMBOD IMGeo IMRO 2006
Latest News? Visit
Pr oduct News
April/May 2008
1Spatial Releases Premium Version of Validation Tool for Spatial Data in Oracle Databases
1Spatial announces the release of their Radius Check
Plus product, a user-friendly, windows-based appli-
cation that allows easy identification and admini -
stration of spatial data held in Oracle Databases.
Radius Check Plus is a follow-up to the existing
Radius Check Lite and Radius Check. The trio of
products are designed to enable any user of spatial
data in Oracle to manage their databases effec tively,
without the need for a significant level of expertise.
Each product provides the user with a different level
of access and functionality.
Radius Check Lite is a free, downloadable version
that allows users to review the relevant metadata,
indexes and SDO_GEOMETRY data in one, easy-
to-use form. Problems are then highlighted in a
user-friendly, colour coded display. Radius Check
has, in addition to the Radius Check Lite functions,
the capacity to allow the user to identify and then
create, delete and amend relevant schema problems
using simple drop-down menus within the interface.
Radius Check Plus is the premium product in the
suite and includes all of the functionality of Radius
Check Lite and Radius Check, as well as additional
visualisation and correction capabilities, allowing
users to identify and correct certain problems with-
in the data, such as double digitisation.
As small applications, any of the Radius Check pro -
ducts can be installed quickly and easily with mini-
mum disruption to users. This, combined with the
simple interface, makes for a more time and
cost-effective solution to spatial database admini -
stration, created after months of trials and feed-
back from Oracle DBAs and system developers.
1Spatial have built up considerable expertise in the
area of Oracle Spatial technology, and are active
members of the Oracle Spatial development
community and beta program. The continued
Certified Partner Status with Oracle is testament to
the close relationship between the two companies
and affirms 1Spatials commitment to the Oracle
technology stack.
Prepare to set sail. The revolution in surveying is under way, with Trimble taking the lead. Trimble has
dedicated its experienced team to helping you and your business reach the highest levels of success.
Were more than surveying technology; Trimble is the proven leader in providing surveying solutions
of superior quality and versatility. In addition, we prepare your business for the future, in the ofce as
well as on-site. From increasing productivity to maximizing return on investments to preparing for
surprises in the eld, the Trimble team will be with you the entire voyage.
2008, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved. Trimble and the Globe & Triangle logo are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited registered in the United States
Patent and Trademark Ofce and other countries. SUR-105
The support your business
needs to stay the course.
ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS Summit
Continues to Grow
Geographic information system (GIS) technology is
rapidly reshaping the survey and engineering indus-
tries. The 2008 ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS
Summit to be held August 25, 2008, at the San
Diego Convention Center in California, will help
attendees explore how GIS is building new oppor-
tunities for their businesses. Surveying, engineering,
and GIS professionals will gather at the summit
the only event of its kindto discuss the latest
trends, challenges, and solutions.
During the Plenary Session, attendees will hear from
keynote speaker Colonel David Madden, comman-
der of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Wing
at the Space Missile Systems Center. Madden is
responsible for the multinational, multiservice devel-
opment of all GPS space, satellite, and ground seg-
ments. He will discuss the largest avionics integra-
tion and installation program in the U.S. Department
of Defense.
ESRI staff will continue the plenary discussion by
sharing real-world issues, advancements in GIS, and
how ESRI technology is creating more complete busi-
ness solutions with capabilities for project planning
and execution with advanced data management and
analysis capabilities. Other features of the summit
include the Industry Panel, where heads of industry-
leading organizations will discuss hot topics and
answer questions about how their organizations are
addressing today's top concerns. In addition, ESRI
business partners will exhibit their solution products
and services at the GIS Solutions EXPO.
The summit's wide range of sessions and activities
is geared to meet the needs of all participants.
Professionals will want to attend to
See how others are using GIS to optimize core
business functions.
Hear from technology experts and industry lead-
ers about where GIS is headed and the vital role
for surveyors and engineers.
Meet one-on-one with ESRI staff.
Sharpen the competitive edge in a changing
industry by discovering how state-of-the-art
technology and added functionality address
real-world problems.
Also, since the summit is held concurrently with the
2008 ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC).
GeoEyes OConnell and DigitalGlobes Smith Join
USGIFs Board of Directors
The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
(USGIF) announced the election of two new direc-
tors to its board. Matthew M. OConnell, chief exec-
utive officer, president and director of GeoEye, and
Jill Smith, chief executive officer of DigitalGlobe, were
elected new members of the board.
The addition of Jill Smith and Matt OConnell to the
USGIF board brings a wealth of knowledge in the
commercial imagery sector and also best practices
in business from their wide-ranging experiences in
finance, strategic management and brand develop-
ment, said Stu Shea, USGIF chairman and CEO.
They are great assets to USGIF and the communi-
ty, and we are pleased they are now helping set the
direction of the community.
OConnell has more than twenty years of experience
in communications management and finance. He
came to the commercial remote sensing industry in
2001 as CEO of GeoEyes predecessor, Orbimage. In
January 2006, Orbimage merged with Space Imaging
to form GeoEye Inc. A year later, Deloitte named
GeoEye as one of the Virginia Technology Fast 50
companies, ranking the company No. 12. In January,
OConnell was appointed by the Department of the
Interior to serve on its National Geospatial Advisory
Smith came to DigitalGlobe in November 2005 with
a wealth of experience leading commercial technol-
ogy companies in the Internet, software and elec-
tronic publishing markets. She was previously presi-
dent and CEO of eDial, a collaboration software
company she successfully repositioned and helped
grow, culminating in eDials acquisition by Alcatel.
Before that, she was COO of Micron Electronics Inc.,
a $1.5 billion direct PC manufacturer and marketer.
Geokosmos and TerraImaging Have Signed a
Co-Operation Agreement.
Geokosmos announces that they have entered into
a strategic cooperation with the Dutch-based com-
pany TerraImaging B.V. Geokosmos, a company in
the topographical survey market of Russia and CIS,
and TerraImaging, a player in the west European
market expect mutual benefits and synergies from
Latest News? Visit
I ndust r y News
April/May 2008
The market for accurate 3D models of buildings and vegetation is continually growing. INPHO is meeting the demand with the
new generation MATCH-T DSM. In addition to its well-proven terrain extraction, MATCH-T DSM offers a photogrammetric means
to acquire surface models with highly dense point clouds that till now have only been achievable by LIDAR. The economic
benefit is clear. MATCH-T DSM takes aerial imagery based 3D modeling to the next level with continued INPHO quality.
Image Capture Aerial Triangulation Data Capture Terrain Modeling Orthophoto Processing
See the world with
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their partnership. Under the terms of the agreement
Geokosmos takes a shareholding in TerraImaging
and provides LiDAR and Digital Camera systems to
Both companies will make their specific knowledge
and experience available to each other to better
position on the worldwide market. TerraImaging
acquires and executes projects in the field of Laser
scanning, digital camera projects, innovative value
adding and 3D-Data products by using its contacts,
know-how and the existing international network.
Sergey Melnikov, founder and President of the
Geokosmos company, comments on the new
alliance: "Europe has always been a very important
market for us; we are very enthusiastic about the
possibilities to explore Western Europe markets via
our new reputable partner, which is well known and
experienced in all fields of our business. Our part-
nership with TerraImaging is a significant step for-
ward to penetrate such a growing market. I am con-
vinced that the extensive experience and impressive
record of LiDAR and Digital Camera projects of
TerraImaging and Geokosmos solid LiDAR technolo-
gy base and extensive practical experience will clear-
ly enable both of our companies to fully meet client
requirements in our worldwide markets."
Jan Willem van der Vegt, managing director of
TerraImaging, commented after signature: "The part-
nership will strengthen our operations and help us
to extend our presence in the international markets.
Both companies have complimentary experience in
the laser scanning and digital imagery markets. Our
clients will receive products and services based on
the most state-of-the-art LiDAR and Digital Camera
3A goes 3D
3D Geo GmbH has a new partner: the software com-
pany AED-SICAD Corporation, a specialist for geo-
data and 3A standards. Due to the link-up with 3D
Geos LandXplorer technology both companies will
be able to visualize two-dimensional geo-data in 3D.
Quickly and efficiently land registry data can be inte-
grated into city information spaces.
3D Geo, pioneer and international pace maker in
matters of 3D geo-visualization, has formed a part-
nership with the software house AED-SICAD, known
for its cadastral, municipal, and supply solutions.
The aim: to sustainably link-up AED-SICADs 3A pro -
duct line with the 3D world. Through the combina-
tion of the 3A processing solution meaning soft-
ware that enables the generation, qualifying and
keeping of AFIS, ALKIS, and ATKIS data (official fixed
point information system, official realty cadastral
information system, official topographic cartograph-
ic information system) city information spaces have
a new component added. The geo-data, like realty
and topographic data based on the ISO/OGC stan-
dards of the consortium for surveying administra-
tion (AdV) can, in future, be transferred into 3D city
information spaces. As a reminder: the 3A standard
was launched by AdV to create unity in geo-data
throughout Germany meaning also across federal
state borders. One house should look like the other,
at least in the data model of the official land regis-
ter. The system is just being implemented in the fe -
deral states and has the aim to eliminate communi-
cation problems and make planning processes
easier. The 3A-solution from AED-SICAD is based in
software terms on the ArcGIS product family from
ESRI. This makes it possible to use many basic GIS
functions additionally to the extensive functionali-
ties of 3A. The 3A products realize on this platform
the AFIS-ALKIS-ATKIS-Standard with the handling of
the norm based exchange interface (NAS), conform
siganturing, as well as extensive and comfortable
support of all business processes.
The 3D tools of 3D Geo GmbH can freely generate,
administer, analyze, and distribute memory inten-
sive geo-information in a secure, efficient and con-
trolled way. With the help of the LandXplorer prod-
uct family city information spaces can be created,
administered, analyzed and updated.
I ndust r y News
April/May 2008
Infoterra Ltd supports MapAction's Relief
Infoterra, a company in
the provision of geospatial
products and services,
supports MapAction's
relief operations with the
donation of two Erdas
Imagine licences. "In the
field, it's often necessary
to manipulate Earth obser-
vation data quickly to pro-
duce the most relevant
image-based maps for dis-
aster relief organisations.
Erdas Imagine is an ideal tool for this work, and we
are very grateful to Infoterra for donating licences for
use by our team during our humanitarian response
missions," commented David Spackman, Direc tor of
MapAction. "We are pleased to be able to support
MapAction's field staff in their vital supporting role
to UN and national disaster response agencies," said
Phil Cooper, Head of Geospatial Imaging Software, at
Infoterra Ltd. Infoterra Ltd is the newly appointed
Leica Geosystems' Geospatial Imaging Software dis-
tributor in the UK & Ireland.
ArcGIS Survey Analyst Adds Depth to City of
Torontos Cadastre
The City of Toronto, Canada, has chosen ESRI's ArcGIS
Survey Analyst software to maintain its survey, parcel,
and cadastral data. With the tools and workflow avail-
able in the Survey Analyst extension of ArcGIS, the city
will manage and continually enhance the accuracy of
its cadastre using survey methodologies in a geo-
graphic information system (GIS) environment.
ArcGIS Survey Analyst provides a workflow and tools
to create, process, maintain, and centrally locate
survey and cadastral data in a desktop or enterprise-
wide GIS. The latest release of ArcGIS Survey Analyst
introduced a new dataset called the Cadastral Fabric
and a Cadastral Editor that defines
a new workflow. The Cadastral
Fabric dataset will become a key
part of the city's geodatabase
because it delivers a seam less
coverage of parcel boundaries and
associated survey control free of
gaps and overlaps. Cadastral Editor
will give the city the ability to
add new parcels from subdivision
plans, split parcels, add survey
control points, and improve the
spatial position of parcels without
changing the original survey record
data stored in the GIS database.
The addition of Survey Analyst to
the City of Toronto's ArcGIS
software-based Integrated Geospatial Environment
(IGE) will streamline maintenance of more than
600,000 existing parcels, improve information
exchange among city divisions, and elevate govern-
ment services to Toronto's 2.3 million citizens.
Latest News? Visit
I ndust r y News
April/May 2008
The ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC) is the largest conference
dedicated to geographic information systems (GIS). This one-of-a-kind
event brings together users from more than 120 countries to delve into the
power of place using GIS. Attendees gain knowledge, develop skills, and
experience a strong sense of community. Youre invited this summer to be
part of this enlightening and inspiring forum.

Hear about the future of GIS.

Explore the latest geospatial technology.

Learn from your peers about recent applications and best practices.

Bring your questions to the technology experts.

Kick-start your project.

Get energizing ideas from new solutions, programs, and services.

Copyright 2008 ESRI. All rights reserved. The ESRI globe logo, ESRI, and are trademarks, registered trademarks,
or service marks of ESRI in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions.
Join more than 14,000 ESRI users at the
28th Annual ESRI International User Conference
for a week of insight, opportunities, and community.
ESRI International User Conference
August 48, 2008

San Diego, California, USA

Visit for more
information or to register.
Enlightening. Inspiring. Influential.
Calendar 2008
Advertiser Page
Applanix 40
Bentley 22
Cardinal Systems 69
ESRI 14, 47, 73
Geokosmos 20
ITC 35
Leica Geosystems 10-11
Magellan 64
Navcom 30
Novatel 26
Safe Software 2
Sokkia 42, 66, 75
SuperGeo 68
Topcon Europe 50
Trimble Surveying 70
Advertisers Index
04-07 June 4th Workshop of the EARSeL
Special Interest Group Integrating GIS
and Remote Sensing in a Dynamic World
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +49 (511) 762 2482
Fax: +49 (511) 762 2483
09-20 June 6th Vespucci Summer Institute
on Geographic Information Science
Fiesolle, Tuscany, Italy
Tel: +34 655 475 333
10-12 June GIS/SIT 2008 - Swiss GI Forum:
Added value by Geoinformation
Zrich, Switzerland
Tel: 004161 686 77 11
Fax: 0041 61 686 77 88
11-13 June International Workshop
E-learning 2008
Enschede, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 53 4874333
Fax: +31 (0) 53 4874554
13 June Geoserves 1st Conference on
Satellite Image Products
Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 527 241010
Fax: +31 527 241011
14-19 June FIG Working Week 2008 and
XXXI General Assembly
Stockholm. Sweden
Tel: +45 3886 1081
Fax: +45 3886 0252
16-18 June Azteca Systems 8th Annual
Cityworks User Conference
Snowbird, UT, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 (801) 523 2751
16-20 June 8th Scientific Conference SGEM
2008 Modern Management of Mine
Producing, Geology and Environmental
Albena, Bulgaria
Tel: +359 2 975 3982
Fax: +359 2 817 2477
23-25 June Spatial Data Handling
Conference 2008
Montpellier, France
Tel: +33 (1) 4398 8432
23-25 June INSPIRE Conference 2008
Maribor, Slovenia
Tel: +39 0332 789803
Fax: + 39 0332 789101
Saratov, Russia
Tel: +7 (8452) 27 71 91
Fax: +7 (8452) 27 85 29
28-29 June Geoinformatics 2008
Guangzhou, China
Info: Dr. Qingnian Zhang or Dr. Kai Liu
Tel: +020 84115833
Fax: +020 84115833
Urumqi-Lhasa, China
Tel: +86 (991) 7885458/7885360
Fax: +86 (991) 7885320
01-04 July GI_Forum 2008
Salzburg, Austria
Tel: +43 (662) 8044 5278
Fax. +43 (662) 8044 5260
03-11 July ISPRS 2008 Beijing
Beijing, China
Tel: +86 (10) 683 466 14 or 683 390 95
Fax: +86 (10) 683 115 64
06-11 July IGARSS 2008
Boston, MA, U.S.A.
13-20 July COSPAR 2008
Montreal, Canada
Tel: +33 (1) 4476 7510
Fax: +33 (1) 4476 7437
21-25 July GeoWeb 2008
Vancouver, Canada
02-05 August ESRI Education User
San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 888 377 4575
02-05 August ESRI Survey & Engineering
GIS Summit
San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 888 377 4575
August ESRI International User
Conference 2008
San Diego, CA, San Diego Convention
Center, U.S.A
Tel: 1 888 377 4575
04-09 August GEOBIA, 2008 - Pixels,
Objects, Intelligence: Geographic Object
Based Image Analysis for the 21st Century
Calgary, Canada
Info: Geoffrey J. Hay
Tel: +1-403 220 4768
Fax: +1 403 282 6561
06-09 August The 3rd Indonesian Geo-
Information Technology Exhibition (IGTE
Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel: 62 21 87 90 89 88
Fax: 62 21 8790 8988
10-14 August SPIE Optics + Photonics 2008
San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 360 685 5407
Fax: +1 360 647 1445
12-15 August Society for Conservation
GIS Annual Conference
Monterey, CA, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 888 377 4575
19-21 August Map Asia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
26-28 August Map Africa 2008
Cape Town, South Africa
Internet: http://mapafrica.gisdevelopment
05-08 May 11th AGILE 2008 Conference on
GI Science
Girona, Spain
Tel: +34 972 418 039
Fax: +34 972 418 230
12-15 May 13th FIG Symposium on
Deformation Measurements and Analysis
Lisbon, Portugal
Tel: +351 (218) 443 483
Fax: +351 (218) 443 014
14 May Geographical Information Systems
(GIS) in the Public Sector
London, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 0 1273 702904
15 May NEXTMap on Tour Seminar Digital
Elevation Data
Dresden, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3090799 20
Info: Markus Heynen
19-21 May REALCORP 008
Vienna, Vienna International Airport WTC,
Tel: +43 1 892 85 02
Fax: +43 1 892 85 02-15
21-23 May MapWorld 2008
Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A
26-30 May Digital Photgrammetric Systems
Barcelona, Spain
Tel: +34 93 556 92 80
Fax: +34 93 556 92 92
28-30 May BE Conference
Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Convention
Center, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 800 949 0498
Fax: +1 610 458 6284
02-05 June 28th EARSeL Symposium
Remote Sensing for a Changing Europe
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +49 (511) 762 2482
Fax: +49 (511) 762 2483
02-06 June Intergraph 2008 - Intl Users
Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 (256) 730 1000
02-06 June Sensor Orientation:
Calibration & Block Adjustment
Barcelona, Spain
Tel: +34 93 556 92 80
Fax: 34 93 556 92 92
04-05 June 4th International Optech
Terrestrail Laser Scanning User Meeting
Measuring New Horizons
Munich, Germany
Tel: 1 905 660 0808
Fax: 1 905 660 0829
Please feel free to e-mail your calendar notices
April/May 2008
Its a name you know, with a face thats new. A brand-new company with a track record
of 30+ years. We still offer all the solutions youve come to rely on to access, manage,
process and share information about our changing Earth. With a new vision for putting
that information to work in business.
As a leading global geospatial solutions provider, we help organizations harness
information about the world to drive better decision-making, increase productivity
and grow new revenue streams.
Welcome to the new ERDAS: a trusted name, with a new energy, and a new vision.
Say hello to the Earth to Business Company at 1 877 GO ERDAS or
Introducing the new ERDAS: the Earth to Business Company.
Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging + IONIC Software + ER Mapper + Acquis = ERDAS, Inc.