vol 2 num 8

from VizMAP – letting you see where you stand…

Volume 2 – Number 8

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.


To subscribe to VirtualGeography
click here.

To unsubscribe to VirtualGeography
click here.

A Moment’s Notice
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five" — Groucho Marx 
This is funny too ;-)

VirtualGeography – the newsletter

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

Well I came back from my three month stint in the Solomon Islands, was back for only a few weeks and was sent back again. Four weeks later I’m back in Oz again but have missed sending you another VirtualGeography. For this I apologise. I’ll endeavour to be more timely next month. The Land Administration gig in the Solomons was an awesome experience. Made a lot of new friends and hopefully made a bit of a difference with respect to land and the tracking of who owns what in a troubled quarter of the globe.

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 This is funny ;-)). 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 here to 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.

Back to Top

The Industry’s Two Cents Worth…

3D Roars Back: From Hollywood to Product Marketing
from SimulationInformation
Lightspeed Design Group announced the completion of a stereoscopic 3D motion simulator ride-film for automotive supplier, Continental Teves.

The 3D film was written, produced, and visually realized by Lightspeed, and will educate the public about Continental’s innovative safety technology, Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Eye-popping 3D movies have caught the public’s attention again, with viewers rushing to see everything from Hollywood’s "Spy Kids 3-D" to James Cameron’s IMAX documentary "Ghosts of the Abyss."

Marketing companies are also catching on to the sizzle created by high-quality 3D films, as proven by the success of Continental’s "Safely There" mobile exhibit and marketing campaign. A 3D high-definition film by Lightspeed Design Group (http://www.LightspeedDesign.com) is now crisscrossing the country in an 85-foot mobile exhibit.

"Today’s consumer audience is rightfully cynical and demanding. Disney and others have created a legitimate expectation of excellence in info/entertainment messaging. Continental’s ESC exhibit will typically be only one of many competing attractions for the consumer in each of its national tour markets," said Mike Adams, account executive for H.B. Stubbs Company in Warren, Michigan, charged with building out the tractor trailer exhibit. "We enthusiastically supported our client’s preference for 3D with motion as a way to bring their messages effectively to a larger audience. It generates a buzz all unto itself."

The realism of the film is heightened by Lightspeed’s proprietary 3D technology, which immerses viewers in an eye-opening 3D world that seems lifelike and natural. "We’ve been refining 3D technology for ten years, working on everything from precision computer graphics to live action shots," said Lightspeed President Chris Ward.

Read that full story here
Back to Top

Hardcore Stuff (hardware bits)…

3D Graphics: Quality Matters  
from ExtremeTech
Quality — you know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is. But that’s self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! There’s nothing to talk about…. But for all practical purposes it really does exist…. Obviously some things are better than others — but what’s the "betterness”? So round and round you go, spinning mental wheels and nowhere finding anyplace to get traction. What the hell is Quality? What is it? 
     – Robert Pirsig 
     Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974 

In his landmark 1974 novel, Robert Pirsig delved long and deep into the questions posed in the above paragraph taken from the book’s opening chapter. And while Pirsig was grappling with the notion of quality on deeper, metaphysical levels, our task in 3D graphics is, relatively speaking, a much simpler one. Who draws the best-looking pictures? 

Image quality is one of those ballyhooed subjects that often pits one 3D high priest against another in forums, where arguments about image quality minutiae often dissolve into religious shin-kicking contests. For most users, this is a big yawner. Then again, focusing just on frame rate and ignoring image quality also misses the forest for the trees. Drawing a lot of crappy pictures faster than the next guy doesn’t deliver great results either. 

The goal should be to strike a balance between two competing considerations: the best image quality at a frame rate that delivers the best possible overall experience. 

Read that full story here
Back to Top

Softcore Stuff (software and data bits)…

Plotting the War on Terror and Disease
from Business Week
Smart mapping systems can predict the spread of viruses, replace paper charts, and help aid teams pool life-saving data 

Maps are mundane, that’s for sure. And yet rebuilding Iraq without good ones has been a nightmare. During Saddam Hussein’s reign, only high-level loyalists had access to maps that showed where roads, hospitals, and sewers were located. And those maps were 10 years out of date, says Shawn Messick, senior analyst for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation’s Information Management & Mine Action Programs (iMMAP) in Iraq. Each international aid organization used its own version of the inaccurate maps, which often resulted in duplication of effort. 

For instance, four humanitarian aid groups discovered that each had done damage assessments of the same hospitals, says Messick. And two other organizations repaired the same school building. That’s why Messick, who since May has worked out of Basra and then Baghdad, is spearheading an effort to create a database of locations and conditions of buildings and infrastructure that can be shared by aid organizations. The database would generate detailed digital and paper maps using technology called GIS (geographic information systems) — and possibly speed up Iraq’s reconstruction by months.

That’s just one example of why computer mapping is becoming one of the most popular technologies used by nonprofits and governments to help solve social problems. A recent study by the environmental think tank World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington has shown that mapping a cholera outbreak in South Africa in 2002 reduced the mortality rate from the usual 10% of those infected to 0.2%, says Dan Turnstall, a program director at WRI. South African health authorities used GIS maps to predict where the virus might spread — and then began preventive measures, such as instructing people to boil water and milk. Many agencies have even discovered that the colorful illustrations that track a disease can increase their chances of getting donations. "We use GIS as a carrot," says Messick. "Many organizations now understand that [mapping] can make them look [more] like they know what they’re talking about. It’s also a great tool for showing progress."

GIS has been used by both the military and mining companies for 30 years. But until recently, the technology was prohibitively expensive — and so complex that it took a PhD to run. But prices of computers, storage, and servers have fallen by as much as 75% in the past two years, as have prices for global positioning systems (GPS), which, in combination with GIS, can help pinpoint exact locations of buildings or disease outbreaks. Also, mapping software has become cheaper and less complex — enough so it can be be used by just about anyone. And GIS has started to run on smart phones powered by Microsoft’s (MSFT ) Windows CE operating system as well as on personal digital assistants — a major plus for agencies that require mobility to do their field work.

Read that full story here
Back to Top

A Recent Outing…

Solomon Islands 
from VizMAP
Something a little different this time… 

Whilst in the Solomon Islands, I managed to take a couple of hundred digital photographs of facades of buildings in the main streets of Honiara (Guadalcanal) and Gizo (Western Province) in the hope that I might one day have the opportunity to make a "virtual Honiara" and a "virtual Gizo". My return to sunny Queensland coincided with the deployment of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) by the Australian Govenment. My photographs proved valuable to Australia’s Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO). I secured a number of maps which I turned into HTML pages with hyperlinks to all the photographs to help, both in Australia and in the Solomon Islands in command and control, reconnaissance and surveillance. 

The photographs were supplied to DIGO at full resolution but "webbable" versions can be found on the VizMAP website at Honiara and Gizo.

Sample images from the hyperlinked maps are displayed here. An active internet connection is required to be able to view these images.


 If you have a need to dynamically visualise your geographic data, let VizMAP know your requirements…
Back to Top

OK, That’s Different…

from Auran
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 25, 2003 — Game developer and publisher Auran Games (www.auran.com), in conjunction with NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, and Chronic Logic, the creator of the original award winning game Pontifex II, today announced Bridge It, an addictive PC game that uses cutting-edge 3D technology to immerse players in the challenging world of bridge building. 

Set in the picturesque surroundings of colorful deserts and dense forests, Bridge It challenges players to strategically design and construct a variety of engineering masterpieces. Once a bridge is built, players watch in eager anticipation as the game tests the soundness of their designs as unsuspecting motorists, heavy freight trains, and tourist riverboats approach their bridge. Will the bridge hold or come crashing down? Adding to the challenge are environmental effects, such as earthquakes, and an intelligent scoring system that rewards players both for strength in design and for watching their budgets! 

"With Bridge It we have created a game that will surely become a favorite to many for its hard-to-master gameplay and superb graphics. Using the Auran Jet® 3D engine and running on NVIDIA’s latest GeForce™ FX hardware, we have also been able to create a host of real time effects that surpass many pre-rendered scenes," said Andrew Edelsten, Producer of Bridge It.

Bridge It takes full advantage of the newest NVIDIA GeForce FX graphics processing units (GPUs) to achieve a new level of visual quality in simulation gaming. Designed with the newest software tools and graphics hardware, Bridge It is one of the first games of its kind to incorporate cinematic shading and lighting effects to create a realistic 3D world.

Read that full story here
Back to Top

Whazzup Next – with 20/20 Foresight…

Stuff to look out for in October, November & December

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

This calendar of events has been collated from:

October 2003
TBA October ISPRS Workshop Monitoring and Modelling of Global Environmental Change Tokyo, Japan
TBA October United Nations/Saudi Arabia Regional Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management  TBA, Saudi Arabia
1-2 October  19th Annual New York State GIS Conference  Albany, NY, USA 
1-3 October  16th Annual GIS in the Rockies – "Geospatial Integration Today for Tomorrow" Denver, Colorado USA
1-4 October  Oil & Gas Technology Indonesia 2003, the 4th International Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Exhibition Jakarta 10310, Indonesia 
2-3 October WG IV/1 workshop "Spatial and Temporal Data Modelling: specifications, standards, formalisms and other system design issues" Quebec, Canada
2-3 October 4th ISPRS Workshop on Dynamic and Multi-dimensional GIS 2003 (DMGIS 2003) Quebec, Canada
4-8 October PDMA 2003 Annual International Conference Boston, MA USA
5 – 17 October Seminar for Senior Executives in Oil & Gas Industry Dallas, TX USA
6-7 October FME Training Chicago  Chicago, IL USA
6-8 October ISPRS Workshop ‘High Resolution Mapping from Space 2003’ Hanover, Germany
6-10 October 4th International Conference on 3-D Digital Imaging and Modeling Banff, Alberta, Canada
7-11 October  MEDCOAST 03 – The Sixth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment  Pala De Andre in Ravenna, Italy 
8-10 October ISPRS Workshop WG III/3, 3-D Reconstruction from Airborne Laserscanner and InSAR data Dresden, Germany
8-10 October Driving Simulation Conference North America 2003 Dearborn, Michigan
United States
8-11 October North American Cartographic Information Society XXIII Jacksonville, FL, USA
9-10 October Storm Water Conference & Trade Show Columbus, Ohio USA
9-11 October ISPRS WG V/5 Workshop GeoSensor Networks (GSN’03) Portland, Oregon, USA
9-11 October GEA’2003 IX International Geodesy Fair and Spatial Information Technologies  Warsaw, Poland
11-15 October 41st Annual URISA Conference Atlanta, Georgia USA
13-15 October Map Asia 2003 Tun Ismail, 50480, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
14 October "Putting IT All Together" GITA Webcast  Internet
14-15 October Oilfield Services Market in Russia and the CIS London, UK
14-15 October 3rd DiMENSIon Conference Paris, France
14-16 October 3rd International Symposium on Geophysics Tanta, Egypt
14-17 October The First Annual Geospatial-Intelligence Symposium, GEOINTEL 2003 New Orleans, CA USA
14-18 October International Meeting on Applied Physics (APHYS-2003) Badajoz, Spain
15-16 October Confrencia ESRI 2003 Madrid, Spain 
15-17 October 2003 Interoperability conference Arlington, Va, USA
15-18 October GeoInformation for Practice Zagreb, Croatia
16th October 50th Anniversary Seminar of Honour "From OEEPE to EuroSDR, 50 years of European Spatial Data Research and beyond" Munich, Germany
16th -17th October GeoWorld 2003 Paris, France 
16th -17th October Vehicle Tracking ’03 London, United Kingdom
16th -18th October CoastGIS 2003 – Fifth International Symposium on GIS and Computer Cartography for Coastal Zone Management Genova, Italy
16th -18th October 96th Annual Conference of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics "Geomatics for Industry – Micro to Macro" Calgary, Canada
16th -18th October Asia GIS 2003 Conference  Wuhan, China
18th October Working Group 3 of Commission VI of ISPRS, International Collaboration and Technology Transfer Zagreb, Croatia
18th – 22nd October Workshop "Innovatory Methodologies for Satellite Image Processing and Analysis" Manama, Bahrain
19-21 Oct  ISPRS WG IV/5 Workshop "Next Generation Geospatial Information" (NG2I 2003) Boston, USA
20-21 Oct  GITA Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter 4th Annual Conference Glenede Beach, OR USA
20-23 October OracleWorld-Paris Paris, France
20-23 October 10th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress and Exhibition Madrid, Spain
20-23 October Pipes Wagga Wagga 2003 — Back To Basics, Design and Innovation Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
20-23 October Maptitude Training Newton, MA, USA
21 – 22 Oct ISPRS WG VII/6 Workshop Monitoring and Modelling of Global Environmental Change Kyoto, Japan
21 – 24 Oct 11th IAIN World Congress Berlin, Germany
21-24 October  Intl. Association of Institutes of Navigation IAIN 11th World Congress Berlin, Germany
22-24 October 22nd Geodesia Congress Utrecht, the Netherlands
22-24 October Mobile Games Madrid, Spain
22-24 October Mississippi Gulf Coast Geospatial Conference Biloxi, MO USA
23 October Homeland Defense Management Seminar – GIS Arlington, VA, USA 
23-24 October The South-East European Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference Sofia, Bulgaria
25-30 Oct  ASPRS Workshop "Terrain Data: Applications and Visualization Making the Connection" Charleston, USA
26-28 Oct  Ascential Software User’s Conference Miami, FL, USA 
26-29 Oct  American Field Services Management International-Business Education Summit & Expo Reno, NV 
26-29 Oct  GE Network Solutions 2003 Americas Users Conference  New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
27-28 Oct  EEE Workshop on Advances in Techniques for Analysis of Remotely Sensed Data Washington DC, USA
27-28 Oct LBS WORLD FORUM 2003 San Francisco, CA, USA 
27-29 Oct UNEP Meeting/Workshop on Sustainable Building and Construction  Arendal, Norway
27-30 Oct 2003 IACA Conference Kansas City, Missouri USA
27-30 Oct ESRI Southwest User Group Conference  Jackson, WY USA
27-30 Oct First Workshop on Web Enabled Modelling and Simulation  Reston, VA USA
October 28 – 29 Product Lifecycle Management Road Map 2003 Dearborn, MI USA
October 28 – 30 Terrain Data: Applications and Visualization Charleston, SC, USA 
30 October East Tennessee Regional GIS Conference Knoxville, TN 
30-31 October  Huntsville Simulation Conference Huntsville, AL USA

November 2003
2-4 November ISOTech-Insurance & Technology Conference Anaheim, CA, USA 
2-5 November NEARC Newport, Rhode Island, USA
3-7 November The 7th South East Asian Survey Congress (co-sponsored by FIG Commissions 4 and 5) Hong Kong, China
3-7 November ACRS 2003 ISRS (incorporating Asian Conference and International Symposium on Remote Sensing) Busan, Korea
4-5 November International Workshop "Semantic Processing of Spatial Data" (GEOPRO2003) Mexico City, Mexico
4-8 November The North American Lake Management Society 2003 – Protecting Our Lakes’ Legacy Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA
4-8 November  6th AfricaGIS Conference and Exhibition Dakar, Senegal
5-8 November  26th Annual Applied Geography Conference Colorado Springs, CO USA
6-7 November Modern Technologies, Education and Professional Practice in the Globalising World Sofia, Bulgaria
6-8 November ISPRS WG IV/4 tutorial on "Spatial Data Infrastructure for Urban Planning and Management" Dehradun, India
10-11 November 2003 Research Seminars; Sydney; School of Surveying & Spatial Information Systems, UNSW Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
10-14 November 30th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment Honolulu, Hawaii
11-13 November Service Management Europe 2003 Birmingham, UK 
12-14 November ESRI Mid-Atlantic User Group Annual GIS Conference Reston, Va., USA
13-14 November 1st India IP Telephony / Voice over Internet Protocol New Delhi, India
15-18 November Asia GIS 2003; (incorporating the 2003 3S (GIS, RS and GPS) Technologies International Workshop Wuhan, China
15-18 November 2003 International Symposium on GPS/GNSS  Tokyo, Japan
17-18 November Training Sessions – Seven Hills Regional User Group for GIS (SHRUG) Tallahassee, FL, USA
17-18 November GIS in Illinois Annual Conference 2003 Lisle, IL, USA 
17-20 November 3rd International Conference in High Resolution Surveys in Shallow Water Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
17-21 November United Nations Workshop on Satellite-Aided Search and Rescue Miami, Fl, USA
18-20 November GTC Southeast 2003 Atlanta, GA USA
18-20 November Retail Delivery Conference New Orleans, LA, USA
18-21 November CARIS 2003 Gateways in Geomatics  St. Louis, Missouri, USA
19 November GIS DAY – GIS Day is a grassroots event that formalizes the practice of geographic information systems Worldwide
19-21 November SHRUG 2003 GIS Workshop Tallahassee, FL USA
November 20 – 21 FME Training Surrey BC, Canada
November 20 – 21 Biotech Patenting London, UK 
23-26 November ALGIM 2003 (Association of Local Government Information Management) Taupo, NZ
24-25 November The 4th Asia Pacific Mobile Location Services & Content Delivery 2003 Hong Kong, China
24-26 November 4th Australian Hydrographic Symposium Christchurch, New Zealand
24-27 November  NAVSAT Asia Beijing, China
24-27 November VI International Workshop
"Informatics & Geosciences" (GEOINFO’2003) 
Havana, Cuba
26-28 November II International Congress on Territorial Zoning – The policies of territorial zoning in the Second International Congress  Mexico
27-29 November Telematics Asia Pacific Seoul, Korea

December 2003
1-2 December Call For Papers – UNIGIS Conference "GIS: A tool for Sustainable Development" Port Elizabeth, South Africa
1-2 December US Commercial Remote Sensing Industry Conference Washington D.C., USA
2-4 December GEOdiffusion 2003 Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
2-5 December 2nd FIG Regional Conference and 10th Anniversary of ONIGT "Urban-Rural Interrelationship for Sustainable Environment"  Marrakech, Morocco
2-5 December Autodesk University Las Vegas, NV, USA
3 December "Utilities-What’s the Latest with Fiber?" GITA Webcast  Internet
3-5 December ISPRS Joint Workshop : Spatial Analysis and Decision Making Hong Kong, China
8-9 December Private Equity Forum London, UK
8-12 December United Nations/United States of America International Workshop on Global Navigation Satellite Systems  Vienna, Austria
9-12 December ISPRS WG VII/3 Workshop on "Integrated Monitoring System" Thiruvananthapuram, India
9-13 December  International Conference of Historical Geographers – On the Edge Auckland, New Zealand
9-13 December National League of Cities – 80th Congress of Cities and Exposition Nashville, TN, USA
10-12 December 4th International Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering Roma, Italy
13 December  Third International Workshop on Web and Wireless Geographical Information Systems "W2GIS 2003" Internet
13-16 December ISPRS WG I/4 International Conference on Advanced Remote Sensing for Earth Observation; Systems, Techniques, and Applications Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
13-17 December Space Technology and Disaster Management Workshop  Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
15-16 December International Advanced Workshop on Virtual Geographic Environments and Geocollaboration Hong Kong, China
20 December ESRI Regional User Conference – Calgary Calgary, AB, Canada

Back to Top

A Parting Gesture…Don't take this too seriously...

Windows 2000 Error Messages 
From Giggleville
  1. Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.
  2. Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue.
  3. Press any key to continue or any other key to quit.
  4. Press any key except… no, No, NO, NOT THAT ONE!
  5. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del now for IQ test.
  6. Close your eyes and press escape three times.
  7. Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.
  8. This will end your Windows session. Do you want to play another game?
  9. Windows message: "Error saving file! Format drive now? (Y/Y)"
  10. This is a message from God Gates: "Rebooting the world. Please log off."
  11. To "shut down" your system, type "WIN."
  12. BREAKFAST.SYS halted… Cereal port not responding.
  13. COFFEE.SYS missing… Insert cup in cup holder and press any key.
  14. CONGRESS.SYS corrupted… Re-boot Washington D.C? (Y/N)
  15. File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)
  16. Bad or missing mouse. Spank the cat? (Y/N)
  17. Runtime Error 6D at 417A:32CF: Incompetent User.
  18. Error reading FAT record: Try the SKINNY one? (Y/N)
  19. WinErr 16547: LPT1 not found. Use backup. (PENCIL & PAPER.SYS)
  20. User Error: Replace user.
  21. Windows VirusScan 1.0 – "Windows found: Remove it? (Y/N)"
  22. Welcome to Microsoft’s World – Your Mortgage is Past Due…
  23. If you are an artist, you should know that Bill Gates owns you and all your future creations. Doesn’t it feel nice to have security?
  24. Your hard drive has been scanned and all stolen software titles have been deleted. The police are on the way.
Smile... it's free.
Back to Top

Click here for interactive, real-time, 3D visualisation of YOUR geospatial data
Feel free to forward this to whomsoever you wish.
To e-mail the VirtualGeography Editor, click here.
To subscribe to VirtualGeography, click here.
To unsubscribe to VirtualGeography, click here.
…that’s all, folks! (for now).