Coast Guard tests GIS mapping system

The Coast Guard is testing a geographic information system that adds geospatial data to maps in the Portable Data Format.

USCG has purchased three rugged notebook computers loaded with Adobe Acrobat 6.0 bundled with software from Layton Graphics Inc. of Marietta, Ga.

The platform, which includes the Toughbook 29 from Panasonic Personal Computer Co. of Secaucus, N.J., is being evaluated as part of the service's Geospatial Field System.

The Coast Guard uses PDF charts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Layton's MAP2PDF software is an extension for Adobe Acrobat that adds intelligence to the maps.

'We bridge the world between a PDF image and a GIS application,' said Andy Skillen, Layton national account manager. 'We add intelligence to the PDF file, so we extend Adobe Acrobat to do geospatial analysis.'

Using the Global Positioning System to establish coordinates, data including digital images and video, text and audio can be embedded in the map. The resulting GeoPDF map can be queried to produce data associated with coordinates or addresses.

The map can be read and queried on any computer with Acrobat Reader. With the full Adobe Acrobat, the maps also can be marked up and edited. USCG has a 40,000-seat site license for Adobe Acrobat.

Layton also expects to announce soon a contract for its MAP2PDF product with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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