GIS Applied to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Casa Rinconada is heavily reconstructed. The entire model using geodetic referencing is oriented within 2 millimeters of ground truth. Thousands of photos were used to create a texture mosaic. Although it is a fairly uncomplicated building, it took four days to scan it with over 300 set ups for scanning, 160 man hours to create the model from the data, a total of four days in the field with a four man crew doing GPS work. “Quite a lot for a two-minute video,” said Friedman.

“Using GIS data to drive your 3D visualizations is a really powerful tool,” Friedman concluded. Watching the Chaco Canyon flythrough, he added: “If we hadn’t done the 3D model, we never would’ve realized the interconnection of roads between Bonito, the other buildings and the rest of the inhabited world of that time.”

Top News of the Week

ESRI (UK) has entered into an asset purchase agreement to buy the Geospatial Solutions Division (GSD) of T adpole Technology plc for half a million pounds.

The agreed purchase further strengthens ESRI (UK)’s position as GIS market leader in the UK, while adding considerable industry expertise to its portfolio. ESRI (UK) will gain one of the most experienced groups of GIS software consultants in the UK with particular expertise in field-based GIS delivery for government, utilities and national mapping agencies. announced the release of SmartDraw 2008.1, an updated version of its latest software. The new release now features more than 35,000 maps from around the world, as well as revamped image charts.

In addition, SmartDraw 2008.1 offers improved image charts, which enable users to create lively, eye-catching charts that use pictures and images instead of standard bars, lines and circles. Now, image charts are even easier and more intuitive, and feature helpful features such as "one-click fills."


In its largest deal to date with the U.S. government, TerraGo Technologies announced that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has licensed Map2PDF, the software used to create GeoPDF® files.

GeoPDF is the only geospatial data distribution and collaboration format that leverages the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) to give users powerful mapping functionality and capabilities via Reader®, an application already installed on hundreds of millions of computers worldwide. Utilizing the GeoPDF format, the NGA can extend maps, imagery and attribute data to virtually any computer, making extensive geospatial intelligence available in a portable format that most people already know how to use.

Avalara, provider of web-hosted sales tax management services, announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement to purchase New Horizons Systems, LLC, a supplier of business geographic and tax jurisdiction assignment software products and data files. By acquiring New Horizons Systems, LLC, Avalara expects to accelerate delivery of next generation services while enhancing its position as the industry's premier accurate sales tax management service provider.


The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC(R)) seeks public comment on a draft Sensor Alert Service (SAS) Standard.

The draft OGC(R) Sensor Alert Service standard defines an alert and notification mechanism that specifies how alert or alarm conditions are defined, detected, and made available to interested users. The Sensor Alert Service uses the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) to provide the push-based notification functionality. The focus of SAS is on alerts from sensors and sensor webs, a more narrow scope than a complete Web-wide alerting service.

This draft standard can be downloaded from the website.

Image Matters LLC released the source code of gnizr™ Community under the Mozilla Public License. This provides enterprises and individuals with an out-of-the-box Web 2.0 mashup framework for bookmarking, tagging, and sharing Web resources. As an open source project, gnizr will allow developers worldwide to participate in creating the industry’s most advanced Web mashup and social bookmarking framework with spatial capabilities. The open source gnizr and documentation are available under the Mozilla Public License (MPL) at the website.


Bohannan Huston, Inc. (BHI) recently hired Loretta Davis as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. Loretta has 19 years of business development experience in the spatial data, GIS consulting, and IT professional services industries.

Safe Software granted official "FME Certified" accreditation to FME experts from around the world. These individuals are the first to be formally assessed and recognized as part of a new FME Certification Program that is designed to identify training and consulting professionals with deep FME expertise and a proven record of high quality service.

More than 50 individuals in 17 countries have received designation as FME Certified Professional and/or FME Certified Trainer. These highly qualified experts can now reap the benefits that professional accreditation offers.

New Products

ESRI announced the release of ArcGIS Data Appliance, which gives ArcGIS Server users a new way to quickly access terabytes of prerendered, precached nationwide and worldwide data. This data, which had previously only been accessible via the ESRI-hosted ArcGIS Online, is now available within a user's internal network. The data includes satellite and aerial imagery, street and transportation data, place-names, administrative boundaries, topographic maps, shaded relief imagery, and elevation data.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated has begun shipping StormCAD V8 XM Edition, an easy-to-use storm sewer network design and modeling solution that is the first to offer multiplatform interoperability. StormCAD was identified as the No. 1 hydraulic modeling solution for stormwater networks in a recent national survey.

Pizza Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of VTEC, Inc. and home of, The Original pizza search engine, announced the launch of their New Advanced Technology Pizza Search Engine. is leading the way in search technology, by combining open source from Yahoo's AJAX Library for a faster web experience, Google's mapping for an enhanced visual address locater, and Geocoding for the zip code proximity searches for increased accuracy.

Autodesk, Inc. announced the availability of Autodesk Topobase Electric software, a new infrastructure management solution designed to help North American electric utilities better manage their transmission and distribution networks, by integrating design and facility asset information. Topobase Electric joins Autodesk’s portfolio of utilities solutions, including Topobase Gas, Water and Wastewater, and Autodesk Utility Design.

For hikers, bikers, travelers and adventurers of all kinds, LocationNation announced the release of the GeoSpatial Media Organizer (GSMO), a free online service for managing and sharing personal Global Positioning System (GPS) data.

Eye-Sys®, a ground-breaking application created to revolutionize data-driven, real-time visualization, has been launched by Interactive Data Visualization, Inc. (IDV).

The software, developed and partially funded through engagements with the U.S. Department of Defense, various research organizations and leading defense contractors, offers unprecedented versatility and an intuitive user interface to meet the demands of visualizing complex and dynamic data of all types.

IDV Solutions announced that its Visual Fusion ServerTM product will utilize the spatial enhancements of SQL Server 2008 to provide customers powerful spatial query support within their visual composite applications. IDV Solutions’ Visual Fusion software also utilizes Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Virtual Earth to offer a comprehensive visual composite application platform.

Fortified Holdings Corp. ("Fortified" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the launch of its wholly owned subsidiary, Fortified Intelligence, with the general release of its latest product, VantagePoint™ a suite of geospatial mapping software tools that have been specifically developed for laptop and desktop computers, as well as for network servers. VantagePoint provides easy and affordable access for developers to add mapping functionality to virtually any desktop, server or web-based application.

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Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Greg Newkirk'
    Susan has done it again, bringing complex and esoteric GIS to life. While credit goes to the actual persons working on this project, this article weaves together a fascinating story. This is the stuff that inspires young students to pursue careers in science and in this case geoscience. This is fun and rewarding reading.

      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

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