vol 2 num 2

from VizMAP – letting you see where you stand…

Volume 2 – Number 2

About VizMAP

VizMAP Pty Ltd, is a leading supplier of terrain Visualisation and related services to the defence, GIS, environmental, mapping, mining and exploration industries, engineering and construction firms, developers and planners, as well as government administration departments dealing with land, transportation and the environment. 

VizMAP‘s products are designed to be run on reasonably to highly configured graphics computers (PC, Linux and Unix) for public display, group training, mission rehearsal, environmental monitoring, etc. and to enhance management decision making. 

VizMAP is headquartered on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (Australia) with affiliation in Asia, Europe, Africa and the USA and thereby provides support and services to customers worldwide. 

If you need to visualise anything geographic, e-mail VizMAP here with the details. 

For more information about VizMAP visit the VizMAP Web site at http://www.vizmap.com.au.


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A Moment’s Notice
A young and foolish pilot wanted to sound cool on the aviation frequencies.
So, this was his first time approaching a field during the nighttime.
Instead of making any official requests to the tower, he said: "Guess who?"
The controller switched the field lights off and replied: "Guess where!" — anonymous

VirtualGeography – the newsletter

G’Day… and Welcome to VirtualGeography
from VizMAP
Welcome to another free VirtualGeography from VizMAP Pty Ltd.

VirtualGeography is a collection of interesting snippets from all over the shop, dealing with industry issues concerning the computer based visualisation of geography and a few other associated (or otherwise) interesting bits and pieces. You are receiving this either because you subscribed to VirtualGeography or you have had recent dealings with VizMAP Pty Ltd. If you do not wish to receive further instalments of VirtualGeography, just click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this e-mail. 

A new VirtualGeography is pushed out about once per month, towards the end of the month, which shouldn’t be too big a drain on your mailbox if you’re not already subscribed (of course it won’t be a drain on your mailbox if you ARE subscribed, either ). If you know of anyone who might like to get VirtualGeography, feel free to forward this to them and ask them to subscribe. By the way, subscription and unsubscription details are at the bottom (click here).

So, g’day to all you enthusiasts requiring to visualise and simulate both urban and rural geographic information (GIS), cartography, photogrammetry, remote sensing, digital elevation modelling (DEM) and general mapping.

By the spelling of "Visualisation" you may have already guessed that we’re not US based – that’s a good thing, or at least not a bad thing. This comes to you from Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, where it’s beautiful one day and perfect the next.

The link between visualisation and mapping may seem a little esoteric if this is your first encounter with this sort of stuff, but let me tell you, the bond is significant… but enough of that: on with the show… I hope you like it. Any feedback you might have is highly appreciated. E-mail me hereto make your comments.


Graeme Brooke
VizMAP Pty Ltd

P.S. You’ll need an active internet connection to view any images that are in the content. We’ve done it this way to keep the size of the e-mail to a minimum.

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The Industry’s Two Cents Worth…

ImageSat International Launches its New Web Site at www.imagesatintl.com 
from The GeoCommunity
Limassol – The Management and Staff of ImageSat International N.V. announce the launch of the Company’s newly enhanced web site, which is accessible at its URL: www.imagesatintl.com. The newly designed ImageSat Web Site features an enhanced presentation of samples of EROS A high-resolution satellite imagery, improved functionality and downloadable content. 

"ImageSat undertook the revision of its web site to make browsing sample imagery and acquiring Company information more inviting," said Karen Gold Anisfeld, Vice President Corporate Communication. 

"The new site is intended to be dynamic, with areas designated for industry input, media access to downloadable information and imagery, and convenient access to ImageSat’s image gallery on ImageNet. 

"We also make available our camera model and EROS Viewer through the web site, to enable potential customers to efficiently use our imagery and to create from it value-added products," she added.

Read that full story here
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Hardcore Stuff (hardware bits)…

ETC Receives Contract From RAAF for Advanced Spatial Disorientation Trainer 
from Environmental Tectonics Corporation
SOUTHAMPTON, Pa., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Environmental Tectonics Corporation (Amex: ETC) today announced receipt of a contract from the Royal Australian Air Force for its Advanced Spatial Disorientation Trainer, the GYRO Integrated Physiological Trainer, Generation II (GYRO-IPT-II).

Following delivery in June of this year, ETC will install and commission the revolutionary trainer in the RAAF Aeromedical Center. The GYRO-IPT-II will be used by the RAAF to train its high performance aircraft pilots and other aircrew to successfully deal with the problem of spatial disorientation.

The GYRO-IPT-II combines the latest available simulation technology, including real world out-the-window visual effects, realistic engine and flight sounds, detailed aircraft cockpit with closed-loop flight controls and high fidelity aeromodels for a single engine turboprop aircraft and a generic, turbine powered helicopter. The trainer incorporates ETC’s patented technology in sub-threshold motion science. Conversion of the GYRO-IPT-II from a fixed-wing configuration to a helicopter configuration can be done in less than two minutes. Also, force feedback control loading is included to provide the pilot trainee with the most realistic flight experience short of actually flying an actual aircraft.

The high fidelity cockpit is mounted on an electromechanical motion system that exceeds the capability of conventional six-degrees-of-freedom motion systems, while quietly and economically delivering high reliability. This motion system, developed by ETC specifically to support spatial disorientation training, stimulates the pilot with simultaneous continuous and transient motions. Accordingly, the GYRO-IPT-II accurately reproduces the motion and visual cue combinations that cause pilots to mistake their aircraft position and motion with respect to the earth’s surface. This type of pilot error is called "Spatial Disorientation (SD)."

Spatial Disorientation remains a largely unsolved problem for military air forces and commercial airlines worldwide, and results in many lost pilot lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in aircraft losses. Possible reasons for the lack of a reduction in mishaps caused by SD include increasingly complicated flight activities, increased night and IMC flight operations, night vision goggle flight operations, and more complex and capable aircraft. However, the primary reason may lie in the approaches traditionally taken to train aircrews to recognize and manage SD, since they typically place the pilot in a passive learning role. ETC is pleased to offer its latest technology, a fully interactive solution, to remedy this problem with the GYRO-IPT-II.

Read that full story here
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Softcore Stuff (software and data bits)…

Geo Version 1.0, Release Candidate 1 Now Available 
from CarbonGraphics
Carbon Graphics is pleased to announce a new stage in the development and release of Geo, the premier 3D modeling & animation package for the Visual Simulation market. Andy Bushnell, the President of Carbon Graphics, stated: "This release marks our first official 1.0 Release Candidate and signifies our growing satisfaction with both quality and feature content". he further added: "We feel that Geo represents a significant challenge to existing market solutions and are pleased to provide the market with some real alternatives". 
Read that full story here
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A Recent Outing…

from VizMAP
VizMAP recently created a Vis-Sim database of Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT, using hyperspectral data supplied by Themap.

Sample still images from the completed dynamic visualisation database are displayed here. An active internet connection is required to be able to view these scenes.

Click on these small resampled images to view the full screen images on the VizMAP website. Bear in mind that these are just screen dumps from a dynamic, interactive, 3D "flythrough". 

 If you have a need to dynamically visualise your geographic data, let VizMAP knowyour requirements…
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OK, That’s Different…

Automated Avatars Take the Strain Out of Animation 
from Matt Lake / NY Times
The next time you watch a movie with a lot of computer-generated special effects or animation, stick around at the end for the credits and wait for the names of the character animators to appear. The list will be huge. 

That is because characters like Shrek (from the movie of the same name) and the talking Sorting Hat (in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone") have to be realistic, especially when they speak, and to achieve that level of realism takes a lot of work. 

In movies, characters are meticulously built from scratch using 3-D modeling software – first creating a skeletal and muscular structure, then adding a layer of padding to simulate body fat and finally a texture layer to imitate skin. The result can be a very realistic-looking figure – but one contained in a data file that is so overstuffed it takes hours of computer processing time to animate. 

Outside of movies, lip-synched animations are also appealing – as avatars, or graphic icons representing real people online or in other electronic realms. Because of this, several software developers have been working on tools to make animation cheaper, more automated and less of a drain on processing power. The goal is to make animations with so little data that they can easily be sent not just over dial-up Internet connections but even over cellphones.

This kind of animation has become such a hot area that the Moving Picture Experts Group (the multimedia compression group behind the MP3 audio standard) has published a specification for facial and body animation that developers can adhere to. The MPEG-4 working group on face and body animation defined 68 separate features that can be moved to simulate normal facial gestures, including speaking. 

The group’s chairman, Eric Petajan, a former Bell Labs researcher, emphasizes that in this type of animation, the face and the animation are two separate entities. "You start with a model," said Dr. Petajan, now chief scientist at Face2face Animation of Summit, N.J. , which uses the MPEG-4 standard. "It doesn’t need to look like a person. It could be a talking dog or a talking pile of trash. In MPEG-4, the animation is kept separate from the face itself. Any face can receive an animation stream." 

Read that full story here
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Whazzup Next – with 20/20 Foresight…

Stuff to look out for in February, March & April

Included in last issue…
Updated since last issue…
New since last issue…

This calendar of events has been collated from:

February, 2003
3 February, 2003 Commercial Loan and Security Documentation London, UK
4 February, 2003 Successfully Documenting Syndicated Loan Transactions  London, UK
4-6 February, 2003 VirtualGISCafe – "World’s First Virtual GIS Exhibit" USA
4-6 February, 2003 DistribuTECH 2003 Las Vegas, NV USA
5-6 February, 2003 2003 Federal GIS User Conference Washington, DC, USA
6-7 February, 2003 FME Training Vancouver, BC Canada
9-12 February, 2003 12th Annual Cadtel conference 2003  Scottsdale, AZ, USA
10-11 February, 2003 Leveraged Finance Transactions London, UK
10-11 February, 2003 Polish Power 2003 Warsaw, Poland
11-12 February, 2003 Technology for Marketing  Olympia, London, UK 
11-14 February, 2003 5th Geomatic Week ‘Cartography, Telematics and Navigation’ Barcelona, Spain
12-13 February, 2003 SmartCard Alliance Mid-Winter Meeting & Educational Institute Salt Lake City, UT USA
12-13 February, 2003 WirelessLAN Japan 2003 Tokyo, Japan 
12-14 February, 2003 GeoCart 2003 Taupo, New Zealand
16-19 February, 2003 The Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists 16th Geophysical Conference and Exhibition "Growth Through Innovation"  Adelaide, Australia
16-22 February, 2003 12. Internationale Geodätische Woche Innsbruck, Austria
17 February, 2003 NZ MapInfo User Conference Rotorua, New Zealand 
19-21 February, 2003 DCI’s Customer Relationship Management Conference & Exposition  Chicago, IL, USA
20-21 February, 2003 2003 NC GIS conference Winston-Salem, NC, USA
21-22 February, 2003 International PROGIS Conference 2003  Budapest, Hungary
24-28 February, 2003  ISPRS WG V/6 International Workshop on Visualization and Animation of Reality-based 3D Models  Tarasp-Vulpera, 
25 February, 2003 "Evolving Technologies for Spatial Asset Management" GITA Aus/NZ Workshop  Auckland, New Zealand
25-26 February, 2003 EURAN 2003 – International Symposium on European Radionavigation Networks – Integration of GPS, EGNOS, Galileo and LORANC/EUROFIX Bonn, Germany
25-26 February, 2003 Run-Off and Commutations  London, UK 
25-26 February, 2003 Telecom Fraud Management & Revenue Assurance Singapore 
25 February – 1 March, 2003  CORP2003 & GeoMultimedia03  Vienna, Austria
26 February, 2003 Copyright Directive  London, UK 
26-27 February, 2003 Biotech Patenting  London, UK 
26-27 February, 2003 3rd Korea Broadband Services & Applications Seoul, Korea
26-27 February, 2003 Dispute Resolution involving Russian and CIS Parties Moscow, Russia
27-28 February, 2003  Indiana GIS 2003:Securing Our Future Indianapolis, IN USA
27-28 February, 2003  Trade Marks Conference  London, UK
27-28 February, 2003  FME Training  Calgary, Alberta Canada
27-28 February, 2003  GPS-Wireless Conference 2003 San Francisco, CA, USA
27-28 February, 2003 RockWorks2002 Workshop  Denver, CO, USA
27-28 February, 2003 Asia Pacific Communications & IT in Transportation Singapore
28 February – 1 March, 2003 IMTA (EAME) Tenth Annual Conference and Trade Show  Budapest, Hungary
March, 2003
1 March, 2003 Avenza Systems Training  Budapest, Hungary
1 March, 2003 Introduction to MAPublisher workshop at IMTA Europe  Budapest, Hungary 
1-4 March, 2003 Extend 2003 – SRC’s Annual User and Partner Conference Broomfield, CO, USA
1-5 March, 2003 California/Hawaii/Nevada/Guam-ESRI Regional Users’ Group  Honolulu, Hawaii USA
2-5 March, 2003 The Geospatial Information & Technology Association’s (GITA) Annual Conference San Antonio, Texas, USA
3-4 March, 2003 The 2nd International TD-SCDMA Summit 2003  Beijing, China
3-5 March, 2003 Public Wireless Hotspots  London, UK
4-6 March, 2003  GEO-evenement 2003 Paris, France
4-6 March, 2003 The International Direct Marketing Fair Earls Court 2, London UK
4-8 March, 2003 99th Annual AAG 2003 Meeting New Orleans, LA USA
6-7 March, 2003 Avenza Systems Training – MAPublisher training Sessions San Antonio, TX USA
6-7 March, 2003 FME Training  Houston, Texas USA
6-7 March, 2003 MMS China Beijing, China
12-13 March, 2003  Geo-statistical Analysis of Spatial Data Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA 
12-13 March, 2003  Telematics Asia Pacific Seoul, Korea
13-14 March, 2003  Introduction to Disease Clustering and Spatial Epidemiology  Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA 
16-19 March, 2003  GeoTec Event Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
16-19 March, 2003  GIS-T 2003: The Evolving Frontier  Colorado Springs, CO, USA
17-18 March, 2003  Tennessee Geographic Information Council Nashville, TN USA
17-19 March, 2003  CTIA WIRELESS 2003  New Orleans, LA USA
17-21 March, 2003  34th Annual Lunar & Planetary Science Conference Houston, TX USA
18 March, 2003  GEONorth 2003 Manchester, UK
18 March, 2003  Galileo Industry Day Brussels, Belgium
18-19 March, 2003 The 2nd Annual Summit Asia Pacific WiFi 2003 Hong Kong, China
18-21 March, 2003 Microsoft Mobility Developer Conference New Orleans, LA, USA
19-20 March, 2003  2nd International Symposium on Spatial Data Quality  Hong Kong, China
19-20 March, 2003  The Retail Sector in Russia & the CIS  Moscow, Russia
20-21 March, 2003  FME Training  Vancouver, BC 
22 March, 2003  ISPRS WG IV/9 ET Mapping Workshop "Advances in Planetary Mapping 2003" Houston, TX USA
24-26 March, 2003  Munich Satellite Navigation Summit 2003 Munich, Germany
24-26 March, 2003  Missouri GIS Conference  Columbia, Missouri, USA
24-28 March, 2003 SD West 2003  Santa Clara, CA
26-27 March, 2003  Jill Dando Institute National Crime Mapping Conference  London, UK
27 March, 2003  7th Annual Northeast Oregon Geographic Information System User Conference  Pendleton, OR USA
27-28 March, 2003 Mobile Enterprises 2003  Singapore
28-30 March, 2003  NSGIC 2003 Mid-Year Conference Denver, Colorado USA
29 March – 2 April, 2003  ACSM 2003 Phoenix, Arizona, USA
30 March – 1 April, 2003  Platts Global Power Market Conference New Orleans, LA USA
30 March – 1 April, 2003  Integrating GIS & CAMA Columbus, OH USA
31 Mar – 2 Apr 2003 Int. Conference towards an operational system for monitoring, modeling, and forecasting of phenological changes and their socio-economic impacts "Challenging Times" Wageningen,
The Netherlands
31 Mar – 1 Apr 2003 The Premier 2003 Mobile Open Services Access (OSA) Forum  Singapore
April, 2003
1-3 Apr 2003 3rd International Conference on Computer Vision Systems "ICVS’03" ISPRS Comm.III Graz, Austria
2-3 Apr 2003 BAPCO 2003, The Public Safety Communications and IT Event London, UK
2-3 Apr 2003 APAS (Association of Public Authority Surveyors ) Conference Wollongong, NSW Australia
5-10 Apr 2003 XI Brazilian Remote Sensing Symposium "XI SBSR" Belo Horizonte, Brazil
6-11 Apr 2003 EGS-AGU-EUG 2003 Joint Assembly Nice, France
8-12 Apr 2003 International Congress "Enter the Past -The E-way into the four Dimensions of Cultural Heritage" Vienna, Austria
9-11 Apr 2003 California GIS Conference Palm Springs, CA, USA
10-11 Apr 2003 Avenza Systems Training  Toronto, Canada
13-15 Apr 2003 Drilling & Blasting 2003 San Antonio, TX, USA
13-16 Apr 2003 National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration  Baltimore, Maryland, USA
13-17 Apr 2003 FIG Working Week and XXVI General Assembly 125th Anniversary of the International Federation of Surveyors Paris, France
14-16 Apr 2003 The GEBCO Project 1903-2003 Monaco 
15-17 Apr 2003 Powerline Communications & Technology Hong Kong, China
21-22 Apr 2003 6th International Wireless & Beyond Japan  Tokyo, Japan
21-23 Apr 2003 GIS in Action Conference Portland, Oregon, USA
21-25 Apr 2003 SPIE’s 17th Annual International Symposium on Aerospace/Defense Sensing, Simulation, and Controls "AeroSense 2003" Orlando, Florida USA
22-25 Apr 2003 GNSS 2003 – The European Navigation Conference Graz, Austria
23 Apr 2003 GITA Webinar… Using GIS to Bolster Emergency Services and Homeland Defense Web-based
24-25 Apr 2003 Avenza Systems Training  Washington D.C, USA
24-26 Apr 2003 6th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science "AGILE 2003: The Science behind the Infrastructure" Lyon, France
26 Apr – 1 May 2003 EURESCO Conferece "Geographical Domain and Geographical Information Systems: Modelling for Wayfinding Services" Bad Herrenalb, Germany
28-30 Apr 2003 ISPRS Council Meeting Sydney, Australia
28-30 Apr 2003 13th Annual Nevada State GIS Conference Reno, Nevada, USA
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A Parting Gesture…

Oh, no, not Oil again…
From George W. Bush?
Dear Sir / Madam, 

I am George Walker Bush, son of the former president of the United States of America George Herbert Walker Bush, and currently serving as president of the United States of America. This letter might surprise you because we have not met neither in person nor by correspondence. I came to know of you in my search for a reliable and reputable person to handle a very confidential business transaction, which involves the transfer of a huge sum of money to an account requiring maximum confidence. 

I am writing you in absolute confidence primarily to seek your assistance in acquiring oil funds that are presently trapped in the republic of Iraq. My partners and I solicit your assistance in completing a transaction begun by my father, who has long been actively engaged in the extraction of petroleum in the United States of America, and bravely served his country as director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. 

In the decade of the nineteen-eighties, my father, then vice-president of the United States of America, sought to work with the good offices of the president of the republic of Iraq to regain lost oil revenue sources in the neighboring Islamic republic of Iran. This unsuccessful venture was soon followed by a falling out with his Iraqi partner, who sought to acquire additional oil revenue sources in the neighboring emirate of Kuwait, a wholly-owned U.S.-British subsidiary. 

My father re-secured the petroleum assets of Kuwait in 1991 at a cost of sixty-one billion U.S. dollars ($61,000,000,000). Out of that cost, thirty-six billion dollars ($36,000,000,000) were supplied by his partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf monarchies, and sixteen billion dollars ($16,000,000,000) by German and Japanese partners. But my father’s former Iraqi business partner remained in control of the republic of Iraq and its petroleum reserves. 

My family is calling for your urgent assistance in funding the removal of the president of the republic of Iraq and acquiring the petroleum assets of his country. Unfortunately, our partners from 1991 are not willing to shoulder the burden of this new venture, which in its upcoming phase may cost the sum of 200 billion dollars ($200,000,000,000). The costs of the long-term management of the country will be higher, but covered by the sale of the petroleum assets, which will then be under our control.

Without the funds from our 1991 partners, we would not be able to acquire the oil revenue trapped within Iraq. That is why my family and our colleagues are urgently seeking your gracious assistance. Our distinguished colleagues in this business transaction include the sitting vice-president of the United States of America, Richard Cheney, who is an original partner in the Iraq venture and former head of the Halliburton oil company, and Condoleeza Rice, whose professional dedication to the venture was demonstrated in the naming of a Chevron oil tanker after her. 

I would beseech you to transfer a sum equaling ten to twenty-five percent (10-25 %) of your yearly income to our account to aid in this important venture. The internal revenue service of the United States of America will function as our trusted intermediary. I propose that you make this transfer before the fifteenth (15th) of the month of April. 

I know that a transaction of this magnitude would make anyone apprehensive and worried. But I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. A bold step taken shall not be regretted, I assure you. Please do be informed that this business transaction is 100% legal and extremely profitable. The Republic of Iraq is known to have the largest oil reserves in the world, and all those who have made the transfer by the 15 of April will share in the petrol revenue for the following fifty (50) years. So far it seems that only the government of the United States of America and that of its 51st province are willing to take this bold step and share the revenue. Do not let yourself escape this golden opportunity. 

I pray that you understand our plight. My family and our colleagues will be forever grateful. If you wish to participate in this transaction, please reply in strict confidence to the contact numbers below, or simply do nothing. If you do not, please make it very clear in the loudest possible way.

Sincerely with warm regards, 
George Walker Bush

Switchboard: 202.456.1414
Comments: 202.456.1111
Fax: 202.456.2461
E-mail: president@whitehouse.gov

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…that’s all, folks! (for now).