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Integrating Both North and South America

New GIS Services Company Is Joint Venture Between Two Well-Known Firms

Aeroterra S.A., the Esri distributor for Argentina and Uruguay, and the EarthData group, headquartered in Washington, D.C., have established EarthData International of Florida to provide GIS services throughout the regions they serve. Both companies have long experience in airborne mapping and remote sensing and increasingly provide their customers with GIS services as well. By joining forces in EarthData of Florida, they now offer their clients the benefit of both companies' strengths with specific emphasis on Web-based GIS services.

Located in Miami, EarthData International of Florida officially opened on January 2, 2001, with Eduardo Viola, formerly the vice president of Aeroterra, as its president.

Metropolitan Regional Information Systems' parcel map and photo of a residential property
The ArcIMS ColdFusion Connector links the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc., Web site to parcel maps.

While both companies contribute expertise in the development of enterprisewide GIS applications to EarthData International of Florida, Aeroterra adds unique experience in Web-based GIS services. Aeroterra has offered these services in Argentina for many years, and now EarthData International of Florida will expand on Aeroterra's capabilities and experience for the United States market.

For its GIS services, EarthData International of Florida will exclusively use Esri's suite of products including ArcInfo, ArcView, ArcIMS, and ArcSDE.

Esri President Jack Dangermond says, "This is the first GIS initiative between North and South America and will prove instructive to other organizations within the GIS community. I am pleased to learn that EarthData International of Florida has chosen Esri tools to provide services to its clients."

The new company also will integrate Aeroterra with the U.S. companies that make up the EarthData group—EarthData International offices in Maryland, North Carolina, and New Mexico; EarthData Aviation in Maryland; EarthData Technologies in Washington, D.C.; Calgis, Inc., a wholly owned California subsidiary; and Towill, Inc., also of California.

Metropolitan Regional Information Systems

One EarthData GIS project involves the development of a customized ArcIMS application for Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS), which provides online real estate information covering Maryland, the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and parts of West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

"MRIS always has offered a sophisticated database of information about properties on the market," says Bernard Catalinotto, the GIS program manager at EarthData's Maryland office. "But now with a GIS based on ArcIMS, MRIS licensees will be able to view all the geographic attributes of a property at the same time they check the listing information. This is a huge advancement and, using Esri's ArcIMS ColdFusion Connector, MRIS is making it available online to its customers through the Internet during the spring of 2001."

The ColdFusion Connector is part of ArcIMS and provides a gateway for developing certain ArcIMS applications utilizing ColdFusion.

"The immense management and decision making capabilities made possible by GIS technology are transforming the way our clients use the photogrammetric map data traditionally provided by Aeroterra and EarthData," Viola says. "With this new venture, we build on our existing five-year mapping alliance with a stronger presence in the GIS services market. This GIS focus perfectly complements our production of photogrammetric data and three-dimensional terrain models from aerial photography and a variety of other airborne sensors."

For more information, contact Heather Powell, GIS specialist, EarthData International of Florida, 701 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1490, Miami, Florida 33131 (tel.: 305-377-1601, fax: 305-377-1602, e-mail:, URLs: and

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