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Surveying Software for HP49G
Software by D'Zign announced four software packages for the new HP49G. The products will all include software for transferring files to and from the PC and for converting files between the HP49 format and ASCII. The software products will include a ‘basic' Pac; an advanced Pac that adds 3D programming, 3-wire levels, trig traversing and more; and an approximate equivalent of the current D'Zign TRANSportation Pac, adding automatic slope staking, 3D traversing and so forth to the programs it currently has in the HP48 version. The products include a set of True Type fonts that contain standard surveying abbreviations and symbols that may be used as the text font with PC-based CADD systems or in printed reports. For more information on the new HP49G, visit
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Spatial Data Management Software
Autodesk, Inc. announced the worldwide availability of Autodesk World Release 2.5. Autodesk World 2.5 offers the ability to create, edit, query, present and integrate spatial data from various sources. Enhancements include full read/write support for AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD Map 2000, the AutoCAD Map 2000 Coordinate System Definition Tool, the ability to export vector format data and related attributes directly to Autodesk MapGuide R4, and display performance improvements. Autodesk World allows users to integrate and manage ARC/INFO, ArcView, MapInfo, Intergraph and other vector files in one place without converting them. Users can keep their data in the original format or bring it into the World Geobase format at their discretion. Any format not immediately supported in the box can be added as a DLL by any third party.
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Automatic Levels
Leica Geosystems introduced its new range of NA700 series automatic levels. The NA700 replaces the NA800 product line. The levels are available in four models with 20X, 24X, 28X and 30X magnification. Angular measurement can be configured to 360º or 400 gon, the footscrew tension can be adjusted by the customer, and the NA700 level can be used together with either dome-head or flat-head tripod equipped with the standard 5/8" screw. The optics of the levels are unchanged from the NA800 series. The levels are delivered with a rain hood and adjustment pins.
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Document Management System
Intergraph Corporation announced its Spatially Enabled Document Management System (SEDMS), a new solution combining GIS and document management technology with products from Intergraph, SpatialENTERPRISE and FileNET. SEDMS is Web enabled, allowing users to access business-critical information on the enterprise network, from an intranet or the Internet. SEDMS comprises Intergraph's GeoMedia, FileNET's Panagon Document Services and SpatialENTERPRISE. With this new SEDMS solution, document access and map displays can all be conducted from a single window.
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Leica GPS with TDS SurveyPro
Leica Geosystems announced that TDS SurveyPro with GPS and SurveyPro Max running on a Husky handheld can be used with the System 500 sensor for RTK operations. Developed by Tripod Data Systems, the SurveyPro with GPS and SurveyPro Max data collection packages run on the Husky FS/2 or MP2500. SurveyPro with GPS and SurveyPro Max use a simple Local Area Transformation that computes local coordinates based on the user's control points in real time, allowing users to work in their own coordinate system rather than having to use latitude/longitude data. Users may use either TDS SurveyPro or the System 500's lightweight handheld controller. Leica GPS System 500 and TDS SurveyPro are available for immediate delivery.
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Image Extension for ArcView GIS
ESRI announced that the ArcView Image Analysis 1.1 extension for ArcView GIS will be available later this year. The new release will provide access to a broader range of data types and will emphasize the growing uses and applications of aerial photography. ArcView Image Analysis 1.1 adds new capabilities for mosaicking imagery in a single-button operation and setting and managing user preferences, as well as additional data enhancement options. Arc-View Image Analysis features a range of imaging processes that fully extract the information contained within aerial and satellite imagery. ArcView Image Analysis is an ERDAS software program and the result of a collaborative effort between ERDAS and ESRI.
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Remote Sensing Camera System
Eastman Kodak Company's Commercial & Government Systems Business Unit announced the Model 1000 Kodak Space Remote Sensing Camera system. The Model 1000 camera system is designed to capture high-quality panchromatic imagery to 1-meter resolution and multispectral data to 4-meter resolution. Image capture is achieved by the camera's compact 5-element telescope that has a resolving power equivalent to an 80X telephoto lens. Three of the five telescope mirrors are shaped to ultra-precise atmospheric figures, and mirror surfaces are polished to atomic-level accuracy with Kodak's ion-figuring system.
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Surveying Software with RTK GPS
Tripod Data Systems (TDS) announced Survey Pro GPS 4.5, the first version of the company's surveying software to perform true map projection and geoid modeling for RTK GPS data collection at the centimeter level. Survey Pro GPS enables data collected with RTK GPS to be stored in the same files as data collected with a total station. Localization is a simple routine that approximates a small section of the Earth's surface as a plane, which works well for small-scale projects. Survey Pro GPS 4.5 allows users to integrate GPS measurements into large-scale projects with no loss of precision and without the need to localize on multiple control points.
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GIS/GPS Data Collection System
Leica Geosystems announced the GS50 GPS/GIS Data Collection System with GIS DataPRO Office Software. The system includes a palm computer, Leica's patented ClearTrak GPS technology, and an intuitive software package for gathering and editing geographical data. The GS50 features menu-driven software that guides the operator step by step through the process of recording attributes and position with accuracy up to 1 cm. Field data can be transferred back to the office through a data cable or via built-in PCMCIA cards with up to 85 MB of memory capacity. The GS50 is compatible with Leica's System 500 GPS survey product line.
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Visual Control for Raster Images
Blue Marble Geographics announced the release of the Geographic Transformer Version 4.0, a visual control for geographic referencing, reprojection, tiling and mosaicking of raster images. Users can convert scanned paper maps, aerial photos and satellite imagery into image and background maps or base maps for overlaying other spatial data. The Geographic Transformer allows users to establish an "image-to-world" relationship between image and map coordinates and reproject an image into a georeferenced image map. Version 4.0 features extended support for GeoTiff, CADRG and PGN image formats. The software supports more than 12,000 pre-defined coordinate system conversions.
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Half-Watt GPS Module
Trimble introduced the Lassen SK II GPS module, a small, high-performance GPS receiver with half-watt power consumption. Designed specifically for embedded solutions, the Lassen SK II offers reliable GPS information for navigation, tracking, data collection and timing applications. The Lassen SK II is fully compatible with first-generation Lassen-SK8 applications. The receiver is intended for OEMs and system integrators who require low power consumption, maximum GPS performance and flexibility. The Lassen SK II operates in extended temperature ranges from -40ºC to +85ºC. The receiver is also DGPS ready for applications that require accuracies of better than two meters.
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Digital Photogrammetry Software
LH Systems introduced Version 4.2 of SOCET SET, its software suite for digital photogrammetry. The many new features offer increased productivity and throughput, friendlier user interface and tighter interface with other systems. Bi-directional conversions have been introduced between ESRI Shapefiles and SOCET SET feature databases and betweenArcGrid terrain files and SOCET SET terrain files. Version 4.2 is equivalent in functionality on the Unix and Windows NT platforms.
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Y2K Firmware Upgrade
Magellan Corporation announced its Y2K firmware upgrade and trade-in allowance offers for Ashtech GPS receivers. The firmware upgrade offer applies to the following Ashtech equipment: L-Series, M- Series, P-Series, DN-12s and Rangers. Users of equipment with 6F firmware or later and an internal FLASH memory board may download new firmware (7F) from the Ashtech customer support FTP site, accessible from Users of Ashtech GPS equipment with EPROM instead of FLASH can send their receiver(s) to the factory for a hardware upgrade. There is a $750 per unit service fee for this upgrade. In addition, owners of compliant or non-compliant GPS surveying systems from Ashtech or other manufacturers are eligible for a 35 percent trade-in allowance toward the purchase of an Ashtech Z-Surveyor Receiver System or Locus Survey System. The program is available until December 31, 1999. For more information about the upgrade and trade-in programs, customers can contact Ashtech's Inside Sales Department at 800/229-2401 or

Base and Rover Radio Modem Kits
Pacific Crest Corporation introduced the Positioning Data Link (PDL) kits, which include base and rover radio modems for GPS RTK surveying. The PDL kits provide a complete solution for surveying with base and rover radio modems by including a tripod, carrying cases, battery, cables and antenna. To obtain optimum radio range, a tripod with an adjustable telescoping mast is available. Also available is a power supply that extends the surveyor's time in the field, and all cables are customized to fit with the surveyor's GPS manufacturer's equipment. Pacific Crest radio modems have an enhanced user interface so the user can see what channel he or she is on and change it instantly and easily, if necessary.
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Digital Scanning Workstation
LH Systems introduced the DSW500 Digital Scanning Workstation. A stroboscopic illumination system produces very accurately controlled "bursts" of light and requires no aperture or shutter in front of the scanner's digital camera. A lighter color wheel facilitates faster color scanning. The scanner is supplied with one of three high-performance digital cameras, enabling customers to select their optimum throughput and price levels. The integrating sphere, a characteristic component of all the DSWs, has been redesigned with a smaller diameter and a larger aperture to give more light and a bigger illuminated area on the image. The DSW500 is offered on both Intel/Windows NT and Sun/Solaris platforms.
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3DI, LLC, announced that it has acquired the Photogrammetric Data Services (PDS) group of companies. The company delivers digital imagery and mapping services throughout the United States as well as Canada, Europe and South America. Nadir Mapping Corporation of Vancouver (a PDS company) will be responsible for all non-domestic 3DI inquiries.

LH Systems celebrated its second birthday on June 2, 1999, at its San Diego headquarters and several of the company's subsidiaries and sales offices. An engineering model of the company's new airborne digital sensor has completed several successful test flights. The scheduled launch of the commercial product is set for the ISPRS Congress in Amsterdam in July 2000. The company has also opened a subsidiary in Japan. LH Systems K.K. opened for business on July 1, 1999, with 11 employees: 10 in Tokyo and one in Osaka. All employees transferred to the new company from the aerial camera and photogrammetric systems group at Leica Geosystems K.K.

Magellan Corporation and Topcon Corporation announced that they will pursue a strategic alliance to develop and sell precise positioning products for the surveying, industrial GIS mapping and machine control markets. This new development replaces the companies' previously announced joint venture arrangement. Magellan will continue the research and development and manufacture of its Ashtech GPS and GPS+GLONASS precision products. Additionally, Magellan will retain and expand its sales and distribution channels of survey, mapping, GIS and machine control products for the geophysical, construction, engineering, oil and gas, mining, natural resource management, utilities and other industries.

MDL Technologies, Inc. has announced that assets of the MDL products division have been sold to Measurement Devices Limited, effective August 1, 1999. Richard S. Pender, President and Founder of MDL Technologies, Inc., will continue to operate the company from its Houston headquarters with emphasis on the representation of expert systems, rentals and consulting services.

Nikon Inc. and NovAtel Inc. have announced plans leading to the end of their distribution arrangement. Nikon Inc. has been the distributor of NovAtel GPS products in the United States since 1997. On October 1, NovAtel will assume responsibility for the support of all GPS components of NovAtel's Outrider and GISMO GPS systems sold by Nikon. This support will be provided directly by NovAtel to all dealers and customers. Nikon will continue to sell NovAtel products through the end of 1999.

Orbital Imaging Corporation (ORBIMAGE), an affiliate of Orbital Sciences Corporation, dedicated its new headquarters in Dulles, Virginia. Various dignitaries from Congress and the executive branch joined ORBIMAGE at the dedication ceremony. In addition to management, engineering and marketing offices, the headquarters building contains ORBIMAGE's Satellite Operations Center and Image Processing Center.

When space shuttle Columbia mission STS-93 blasted off, it carried into space NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Eastman Kodak Company assembled, aligned and tested two of the telescope's three components, which will allow scientists from all over the world to study supernovae, black holes, galaxy clusters and other abstruse phenomena. Kodak designed, assembled, aligned and tested the Optical Bench Assembly (OBA), the backbone of the telescope, and the High Resolution Mirror Assembly (HRMA), the heart of the telescope. The HRMA, which contains eight mirrors, was the most complicated and most crucial component of Chandra. For additional information about Chandra, visit NASA's Web site at

Sokkia Co. Ltd., and NovAtel Inc., solidified a unique partnership by forming a jointly owned subsidiary company. This company, called POINT, Inc., began operations August 2, 1999. The partnership brings together NovAtel's GPS engineering with Sokkia's sales and distribution system. Composed of marketing and development groups from both parent companies, POINT, Inc. will provide Sokkia's global market with advanced measurement solutions for the fields of surveying, mapping, GIS, construction and machine control. Sokkia's distribution system includes more than 25 subsidiaries and additional representatives around the world, each having its own dealer network. POINT, Inc. will be headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, with offices in Calgary. Although specific details were not released, Sokkia has 51 percent ownership of the new company.

Trimble announced that its U.K. distributor, Survey Supplies, has been awarded the contract to supply the largest RTK network of GPS base stations for the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL). The CTRL is the United Kingdom's first high-speed train line from London St. Pancras to the Channel Tunnel. Once the entire high-speed link is complete in 2007, a journey from London to Paris will take about 2 hours 20 minutes—half the time that it takes to travel from London to the Channel Tunnel today. To ensure conformity of the work, a network of six Trimble base stations and three repeaters is being installed along the route, which will be used by all contractors. These stations will ensure that centimeter-level GPS coverage exists over the entire construction site. The project marks the first GPS network in the United Kingdom to provide a RTK signal over such a large area.


Maryland Society of Surveyors (MSS) Past President Bob Gauss has been named to a 5-year term on the Maryland State Board for Professional Land Surveyors by Gov. Parris Glendening. Gauss is a graduate of Baltimore Poly and studied at Johns Hopkins and Penn State Universities and Frederick Community College. He has been licensed since 1975 and was named "Surveyor of the Year" by MSS in 1997. His firm, Robert Frederick Gauss & Assocs., is based in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Sokkia Corporation announced several personnel changes. Michael Adkins has been named Vice President of Sales and Marketing and elected Corporate Vice President of Sokkia Corporation. Adkins was formerly the Executive Sales Manager. Jim Courtney has been named Vice President of Finance and Operations and Corporate Secretary of Sokkia Corporation. He was also recently elected Corporate Secretary of Sokkia Technology, Inc. In addition to his new duties, Courtney retains his position as General Manager and Corporate Secretary of Sokkia Credit Corporation. Before joining Sokkia, Courtney held a variety of positions in the banking, financial, natural gas pipeline and retail industries. Keith Raymer has been named Business Development Manager and will lead Sokkia's dealer development effort in the United States and Canada. Raymer, previously the National Marketing Manager, has served in various management positions. John Bohlke will head the Surveying and Mapping Division as Sales Manager. Formerly the GPS Product Manager, Bohlke will now direct all sales activity in the United States and Canada. Bohlke is a licensed professional engineer.

Air Survey Corporation of Virginia announced that Charles H. Foster has joined the company as Project Administrator. Foster is a professional land surveyor and certified photogrammetrist. He will be responsible for marketing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region. He brings 25 years of surveying and mapping experience to the company.

KVH Industries, Inc. announced that it has named Charles R. Trimble, founder of Trimble Navigation Limited, to its board of directors. Trimble succeeds James Saalfield on the seven-member board.

In Passing

William D. French, CAE, 62, former Executive Director of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), died on Monday, July 12, at Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. French served as executive director of ASPRS from January 10, 1977, until his retirement on September 8, 1997. He will be remembered for his significant contributions to the Society and will be deeply missed by the many friends he made during his 20-year tenure at ASPRS. French received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University and began his career with Barnes Engineering Co., in Auburndale, Massachusetts. From 1963 to 1977, he was employed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in New York. French is survived by his wife Margaret (Mena), his children Daniel and Paula, two grandchildren, and his mother and brother.


ALERT! Assistance needed!
Unless a grassroots effort is mounted, recent events within Congress will have a severe impact on the GPS user community. An excellent synopsis of the situation appeared in the June 28 edition of Federal Computer Week and can be found at Additional information can be found in a GIAC position memo released on June 17. The memo can be found by clicking here.

In a nutshell, GPS modernization funding is being withheld for political reasons revolving around the difficulties FAA is having in coming up with a GPS-centered navigation system. But what Congress doesn't seem to realize is that the myriad other uses for GPS (which will eventually dwarf air navigation uses) are critically dependent on modernization efforts. Because these things take time, the funding is necessary now to ensure 1) that the user community will have the benefits, and 2) that the European system (now in its planning stage) will not take valuable commercial opportunities away from the GPS system.

Readers should contact their representatives in Congress and let them know about the importance of the "other" uses of GPS and to not let the FAA situation hold the vitally needed funding hostage.

ASPRS 1999 Conference a Success
ASPRS: The Imaging & Geospatial Information Society announced that more than 1,960 people attended its 1999 Annual Conference and Exhibition, held May 17-21 in Portland, Oregon. Keynote speaker Moira Gunn, PhD, of the weekly interview program Tech Nation … Americans and Technology, gave an address titled "Our Digital Globe, One Person's View." More than 250 speakers spoke at 100 educational sessions. More than 90 companies were featured in the exhibit hall. Other events included the opening reception; the "GIS in Action" regional conference, hosted by the ASPRS Columbia River Region and URISA Oregon/SW Washington Chapter; the 10th Annual Awards Luncheon and 65th Annual Installation of Officers.

ASPRS Draft Camera Calibration Report
ASPRS: The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society has posted the full text of the draft report of the Camera Calibration Review Panel to its website ( and established a two-way online discussion forum to facilitate review and comment. This report posting and discussion forum supports the independent panel formed earlier this year as an advisory group to USGS on the future of camera calibration and related issues.

Babbitt Endorses NAPA Study
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt has issued a strong endorsement of the findings of the 1998 National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) study of Geographic Information. Testifying before the House Committee on Government Reform, Babbitt endorsed several key findings of the study, including creation of a Federal Geographic Data Council (with private as well as public representatives); consolidation of cartographic functions in federal agencies; and new legislation to strengthen the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NAPA report called for a new statute that would broaden the current Federal Geographic Data Committee and strengthen the 1994 Presidential Directive that is the basis for federal geographic information policy. (Source: ACSM)

Billing Rates on the Rise in 1999
Zweig White & Associates, Inc., announced that billing rates among architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms are up, according to its 1999 Fee & Billing Survey of A/E/P & Environmental Consulting Firms. According to the survey, 83 percent of firms annually update their billing rates. The 1999 median billing rate for architects and engineers is $65 per hour, compared with the median billing rate of $60 per hour in last year's survey. From 1998 to 1999, project managers' median hourly billing rates increased from $85 to $88, and department heads' rates went from $90 to $100. Also on the rise are associates' and principals' billing rates. In 1998, associates charged a median of $90 per hour, compared with $100 this year. Principals' median hourly billing rates climbed from $115 to $120.

Certified Floodplain Manager Program
The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) has inaugurated a national program to professionally certify floodplain managers. The program recognizes continuing education and professional development that enhances the knowledge and performance of local, state, federal and private-sector floodplain managers. A professional certification program is critical at this stage in the flood hazard management industry to provide a formal, measurable mechanism for training and developing proficiency in those persons who make decisions to guide development and mitigation in flood hazard areas. Anyone interested in obtaining the Certified Floodplain Manager information and application package may download it from (Certification button on the front page) or contact the ASFPM Executive Office at or call 608-274-0123. (Source: ASFPM;

MAPPS Government Activities
The Management Association of Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) announced its input in the proposed Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act. The proposed legislation would prohibit FPI from providing services in the commercial sector and prevent inmates from working with personal or financial information about private citizens without prior notice being given to such citizens, effectively eliminating FPI from GIS work. MAPPS also announced that, based on financial information it provided, SBA will review its recently adjusted size standard in mapping. Also, a MAPPS grassroots effort was successful in persuading the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding for national data collection as part of a FY 2000 Interior and Related Appropriations bill.

NIMA Contracting Clarification Protested
The Department of Defense and the General Services Administration have issued a clarification on contracting for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). The regulations (Federal Register, June 17, 1999, pages 32746-32747) remove NIMA from wording in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). MAPPS and other organizations have protested that the action was taken without time for public comment. MAPPS says the new rule will limit the application of the Brooks Act for qualifications-based selection in defense agencies. (Source: ACSM)

Ephemerides Needed
The Museum of Surveying in Lansing, Michigan, is interested in compiling a set of ephemerides. Currently, the greatest need is for ephemerides prior to 1960, although some of the Gurley ephemerides for the 1960s and 1970s are still needed. Anyone who can contribute is encouraged to contact Dave Ingram ( The value of these items would be considered a tax-deductible donation, and the Museum can provide a receipt.

House Passes Airport Bill
On June 15, the House approved the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) and the Airport Improvement Program. The $57 billion package, approved 316 to 110, would increase spending by approximately one-third for airport construction and air traffic control facilities over the next five years. The bill also takes the Aviation Trust Fund off budget, essentially forcing the government to use aviation ticket taxes for aviation improvement. A last-minute flurry of lobbying helped push the bill through. (Source: ACSM)

Indiana Increases Deed Recordation Fee
Indiana legislators have passed a bill that will collect $5.00 for every deed recorded in each county of the state, to be used by county surveyors for perpetuating section corners. According to ACSM Vice President Gary Kent, the fund has existed for a number of years with funding set at $1.00 per deed recorded. The bill also corrects a number of problems in existing laws, including a law that gave regulatory relief to engineers preparing sanitary sewer plans, but not to surveyors. The bill was "shepherded" through the legislature by a joint effort of the Indiana County Surveyors Association and the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors. (Source: ACSM)

New Jersey Map Filing Law
A new law on map filing has been passed by the New Jersey state legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature. The legislation fixes several problems with a 1997 Map Filing Law. The new law will require that corners must be set on subdivisions prior to the filing of maps. The New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors is also working with the legislature on a 10-year statute of limitations for surveyors (released from Committee); tort reform (released from Committee) and Map Filing for minor subdivisions (hearings scheduled). (Source: ACSM)

Plat Quality an Issue in Maryland
Poor quality plats being produced at the Towson, Maryland, courthouse are upsetting some surveyors, but the director of the Maryland State Archives promises to remedy the problem promptly. The problem stems from the decision to scan microfilm of plats—rather than scan the originals—and provide images via computer link between Maryland's courthouses and the state archives. When the quality of a plat made from microfilm is not acceptable, the archives will pull out the original and scan it. That process is supposed to take no more than 24 hours, but it still requires a return trip to the courthouse. Moreover, the 1-day fix is not always possible.

Senate Aids Commercial Spatial Data
The Senate has included a provision in its fiscal year 2000 Defense authorization bill that authorizes the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) to honor licensing agreements and withhold release and disclosure of commercial spatial data or government data that would be competitive with the private sector. The measure is particularly beneficial to commercial satellite remote sensing firms and is likely to increase NIMA's use of commercial remote sensing from such firms as Earthwatch, Space Imaging and Orbimage. Section 1054 of S. 1059, which has passed the Senate, says "the Secretary of Defense may withhold from public disclosure information … that … would compete with or otherwise adversely affect commercial operations in any existing or emerging commercial industry or the operation of any existing or emerging commercial market" provided such withholding "is consistent with the national security interests of the United States."

USGS Establishes GIO Position
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has announced the establishment of a new senior-level position: "Geographic Information Officer" (GIO). The officer will be responsible for providing information management solutions for USGS. The position will be similar to that of a Chief Information Officer (CIO), which is recommended for all federal agencies. A USGS spokesperson said that the GIO will lead the agency's commitment to making geographic information easier to access. The officer will also coordinate the addition of map data from other federal, state and local agencies. (Source: ACSM)

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