vol 2 num 4

from VizMAP – letting you see where you stand…

Volume 2 – Number 4 

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
Drinking coffee for instant relaxation? That’s like drinking alcohol for instant motor skills. — Marc Price

This is funny too ;-)

VirtualGeography – the newsletter

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

I have to apologise that this one is a little late but I’m, currently on a Land Administration assignment in the Solomon Islands and the internet access here leaves a little to be desired. 

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.

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The Industry’s Two Cents Worth…

New 21st century technology leads the fight against flooding 
from SpatialNews
On 21st March 2003, British Waterways launched their GeoScaN system , designed to offer engineers valuable tools and information in flood prevention work. 

The system, developed by the Technical Services Department of British Waterways at Leeds, offers the worlds first boat-mounted inland waterway 3D spatial survey system. 

The GeoScaN system will provide information on the canal and river beds, heights of banks above water level and provide information on bank protection. Research has been ongoing into the dredging of river and heights of flood banks and the effects on recent floods. Now this research can be carried out in one simple exercise, offering agencies and the general public much needed reassurance. 

In addition the system will provide a geographical reference for all structures such as locks, bridges and weirs. All the information will be logged on computer and will also be recorded on digital video for future reference. Positional information will utilise Differential GPS as well as satellite imaging for flood plain mapping. 

Laurence Waterhouse, the system designer at British Waterways said “The GeoScaN project is cutting-edge technology utilising lasers, infra red sensors and sub-bottom profiling and we are taking out a patent for the system. As far as I know it is the first time combined hydrographic/topographic/GIS data collection from one piece of equipment has been used. 

We will be able survey everything above the water line with a scanning laser, whilst profiling the bed with scanning sonar. This is all linked to a sub metre accuracy DGPS offering a resolution of less than 0.9m RMS horizontal and less than 3cm vertical. All the data collected can be verified by four on board digital video cameras also linked to DGPS. These cameras follow the line of the laser scanners so data can be checked and assigned to GIS assets. The boat is also fitted with an underwater infra red video camera and a magnetometer 

It will offer real time information on dredging requirements, flood bank height and condition, asset location etc, in fact all the data that hydrologists and flood defence engineers have been requesting for years. Until now, actual collection has entailed sending out three or four different teams of surveyors which takes time and costs money. Now we will be able to collect the data quickly, efficiently and economically. 

In fact this system does it all ” 

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

Germany’s Waterway Engineering and Research Institute Chooses SGI Supercomputers to Meet Simulation Challenges of the Future 
from Intel
SGI Origin 3000 Systems Used to Analyze and Optimize Constructive Measures in Coastal River Systems image downloads 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (March 19, 2003)–SGI (NYSE: SGI) today announ-ced that Germany’s Waterway Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) heavily invested in SGI® technology for high-performance computing (HPC) to meet challenges in future numerical simulation projects. BAW’s coastal division in Hamburg, which designs, monitors, analyzes and repairs all waterways and tidal flood zones in the country’s coastal areas, has installed two of the new SGI® Origin® 3000 servers. The two supercomputers harness the power of 288 MIPS® processors and run the high-performance SGI® IRIX® operating system. 

The acquisition worth approximately €3 million (roughly $3.2 million U.S.) will not only greatly increase computing power for performance-hungry users, but will also establish an HPC environment that offers highly flexible usability and uniquely enhances supercom-puting productivity. The new SGI platform replaces BAW’s former vector-based supercomputer system, Cray SV1TM, and won the business over other major vendors’ competitive system offerings by delivering convincing benchmark performance and the best price/performance value. 

Using computer modeling and numerical simulation techniques, BAW achieves an increasingly precise understanding of the complex physical processes that govern fluid dynamics and suspended material transport phenomena within tides-influenced coastal waterway systems like the big river mouths of Elbe, Weser and Ems. 

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

Use of NOAA data to update nautical charts
from GIS Development
Maptech Digital Charts include 10,741 "Notice to Mariner" Critical Changes Included in Digital ChartKit and Marine Navigator 

Sometimes one of the most important factors in marine navigation goes unnoticed. Each year thousands of Notice to Mariner (NTM) changes takes place in US waters. Typical changes include relocation of navigation aids; channel shifts and shoaling; depth soundings, submerged obstructions (like rocks, jetties, and wrecks); and new danger areas. 

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) charts are the bible for commercial and recreational boaters. Many captains, as well as recreational boaters are unaware of the extent and the importance of these changes for safer navigation; changes that may not be included even in a current edition of a chart. Maptech is the only company that includes all the "critical changes" to produce up-to-date digital NOAA charts. These changes are incorporated into a variety of Maptech products that include Digital ChartKit and Marine Navigator CD-ROMs, as well as new editions of Maptech paper waterproof charts and ChartKit books. 

Each year Maptech offers a substantial discount to existing customers to stay current and update their digital charts for less than $100 per Region – a 50% discount. In addition new users are offered a special CD at the time of purchase that includes any new NOAA chart editions. This exclusive Maptech procedure (NTM changes and NOAA new chart editions) gives buyers the advantage of using the most current NOAA charts for the area purchased. 

Last year 10,741 Notice to Mariner critical changes occurred in US waters. A "critical change" is defined as a change that impacts safe navigation. These changes are published only by Maptech on a weekly basis as part of an update service that is delivered to subscribers over the Internet

Read that full story here
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A Recent Outing…

Shop ‘n Save 
from VizMAP
VizMAP uses TerraTools from TerraSim to create it’s Vis-Sim databases. This is an example from TerraSim of a modelled shopping centre in the USA

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 know your requirements…
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OK, That’s Different…

Spinning a Silver Disc 
from Apple
Last year media designer Dave Gare landed a Fortune 10 company on a 5-inch silver disc. It was a tricky piece of business, even for Gare, a renowned video designer who for the past 15 years has helped some of the best-known companies in the world (Prudential, BMW, Bell Atlantic) brand and spin their products, messages and results.

This time the spinning was literal. Gare’s company, Intuitive I.N.K., moved Verizon’s branding guidelines, previously scattered across various locations and media, onto a single DVD disc, complete with interactive motion menus and full-screen video exposition.

Verizon’s reasons for publishing the disc make as strong a case for DVD publishing as Gare’s immaculate results. Although influenced by the sheer capacity of the format, the company’s move to DVD was ultimately triggered by customer requests for media choice and meaningful interaction. “For corporations, there is truly useful interactivity in DVD,” says Gare. Reason enough for any business to go there and with DVD Studio Pro, easy enough to do.

No Medium, No Message
It was not always so easy. Gare, who experimented with multiplexed media long before he had anywhere to play it, developed an appetite for digital motion graphics during his graduate studies at the Apple Media Center in 1988. “We had only postage stamp-sized video running at 4 frames a second,” Gare remembers, “but it was the most incredible thing we’d ever seen. I knew someday the Mac would do full-speed, full-frame video and motion graphics on the desktop. We waited and waited.”

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

Stuff to look out for in April, May & June

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

This calendar of events has been collated from:

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
2-4 Apr 2003 PikeNet Forum  Chicago, IL USA
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
7-10 Apr 2003 7th Annual Intermountain GIS Conference Coeur d’Alene, ID, USA
7-11 Apr 2003 2nd SCAR International Antarcic GIS Workshop  Freiburg, Germany
8-9 Apr 2003 Mobile Entertainment 2003  London, UK
8-9 Apr 2003 China Wireless Shanghai 2003  Shanghai, PRC China 
8-12 Apr 2003 International Congress "Enter the Past -The E-way into the four Dimensions of Cultural Heritage" Vienna, Austria
9-10 Apr 2003 Pharmaceutical Product Liability  London, United Kingdom 
9-11 Apr 2003 California GIS Conference Palm Springs, CA, USA
9-12 Apr 2003 IBM developerWorks 2003  New Orleans, LA 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
15-17 Apr 2003 VirtualGISCafe – World’s First Virtual GIS Exhibit  Internet (USA – 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM PST) 
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
21-25 Apr 2003 Resource Management Tools Conference Pheonix AZ, 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
27-30 Apr 2003 Tobin Conference 2003 San Antonio, TX USA
28-29 Apr 2003 EF Telecoms’ Third Annual Mobile Payment Systems London, UK
28-30 Apr 2003 ISPRS Council Meeting Sydney, Australia
28-30 Apr 2003 13th Annual Nevada State GIS Conference Reno, Nevada, USA
28-30 Apr 2003 Delaware GIS 2003 Conference Newark, Delaware, USA
29-30 Apr 2003 Symbian Developers Expo  London, UK
May 2003
4-7 May, 2003 ESRI International Health User Conference  Arlington, VA USA
5-7 May, 2003 IMAGIN 2003 Conference Kalamazoo, MI 
5-9 May, 2003 ASPRS 2003 Anchorage, AK USA
5-9 May, 2003 Water Distribution Modeling Symposium  Perugia, Italy
5 May -13 June, 2003 Thirteenth United Nations/Sweden International Training Course on Remote Sensing Education for Educators  Stockholm and Kiruna, 
7-9 May, 2003 GeoAlberta 2003  Calgary, Alberta, Canada
9-14 May, 2003 Socio-Economic Research and Geographic Information Systems Spa, Belgium
11-16 May, 2003 Fifth Science and Management of Protected Areas Conference (SAMPA V) Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 
12-16 May, 2003 GIS BRASIL 2003 – 9th GEOTECHNOLOGIES TRADESHOW São Paulo City, São Paulo State, Brazil
12-16 May, 2003 GTC West 2003  Sacramento, CA USA
15-16 May, 2003 Avenza Systems Training  Denver, CO USA
15-17 May, 2003 EASY-ECO 2 Vienna, Austria 
18-22 May, 2003 2003 Bentley International User Conference  Baltimore, MD USA
18-23 May, 2003 21st AARB and 11th REAAA (Road Engineering Association of Asia and Australasia) Joint Conference – Transport – our highway to a sustainable future Cairns, Qld, Australia
19-21 May, 2003 GeoSpatial World 2003 New Orleans, LA USA
19-21 May, 2003 MOBILE AMERICAS 2003  Miami, FL USA
19-23 May, 2003 United Nations/Romania Regional Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management for Europe Sinaia, ROMANIA
22-23 May, 2003 2nd Joint ISPRS WG III/6 /IEEE Workshop on Remote Sensing and Data Fusion over Urban Areas (URBAN 2003) Berlin, GERMANY
25-28 May, 2003 11th International Symposium on Deformation Measurements Santorini, GREECE
26-29 May, 2003 3rd International Conference on GIS – for Earth Science Applications  Ljubljana, Slovenia
26-28 May, 2003 8th ISU Annual International Symposium Satellite Navigation Systems: Policy, Commercial and Technical Interaction Strasbourg, France
26-29 May, 2003 SimTecT 2003 — ‘Simulation – Delivering Tomorrow Today’ Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
27-29 May, 2003 8th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management  Sendai, Japan 
27-31 May, 2003 CAG 2003 ACG  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
28-31 May, 2003 1st Taipei International Conference on Digital Earth  Taipei, TAIWAN
June 2003
2-3 Jun 2003  TUGIS 2003, the 16th Annual GIS Conference Baltimore, MD USA
2-5 Jun 2003  23rd EARSeL Annual Symposium "Remote Sensing in Transition"  Gent, Belgium
2-5 Jun 2003  AEC Systems 2003 Washington, USA
2-6 Jun 2003 International Symposium on Spectral Sensing Research (ISSSR 2003) ISPRS WG VII/1  Santa Barbara, CA, USA
2-6 Jun 2003 ISSRM 2004 (International Symposium of Society and Resource Management) 2004 Keystone Resort, Colorado USA
3 Jun 2003 GITA Webinar… Geospatial Information: Government and Municipal Perspectives WWW
3-6 Jun 2003 ISPRS WG IV/8 Workshop "Global Environmental Databases: Adaptation to Meet Current & Future Needs"  Bangkok, Thailand
4-6 Jun 2003 ScanGIS’2003 – The 9th Scandinavian Research Conference on Geographic Information Science Espoo, Finland
6-7 Jun 2003 EARSeL Workshops "Forest Fires and Coastal Zones"  Gent Belgium
12-13 Jun 2003 FME Training Vancouver, BC, Canada
15-18 Jun 2003 IST Mobile & Wireless Communications Summit 2003  Aveiro, Portugal 
17-19 Jun 2003 ISPRS Joint Workshop of WG I/3 and WG II/2: Three-Dimensional Mapping from InSAR and LIDAR  Portland, OR, USA
23-26 Jun 2003 The 2003 International Conference on Machine Learning;Models, Technologies and Applications (MLMTA) Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
24-27 Jun 2003 Space 2003-NavSat 2003 CHINA Geneva, Switzerland
24-25 Jun 2003 11th Annual Pennsylvania GIS Conference  Harrisburg, PA USA
25-26 Jun 2003  2003 GenaWare Annual Symposium  Durham, NC USA
25-27 Jun 2003  The 11th International Conference on Geoinformatics’ 2003: Advanced Geoinformatics – Linking Pacific Rims to the World  Toronto, Canada
27-29 Jun 2003 ISPRS WG VII/4 4th International Symposium "REMOTE SENSING OF URBAN AREAS 2003"  Regensburg, Germany
30 Jun – 11 Jul 2003 23rd IUGG General Assembly "IUGG 2003" Sapporo, Japan
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A Parting Gesture…Don't take this too seriously...

Tech Support
From JokeADay
I had to call tech support. While I think I’m above average in the computer smarts department, there were a couple of things that needed some serious tweaking as far as network settings.What a mistake that was. Not so much that the fella I got didn’t know what he was talking about. I guess he did. It was me that didn’t understand half of what he was saying.

I said, "Sir, how about this. Why not explain what I should do as if I were a small child."

He said, "Ok. Son, could you please put your mummy on the phone?"

Smile... it's free.
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…that’s all, folks! (for now).