Blom brings oblique aerial imaging to navigation and LBS

Pictometry on PND and Smartphones
Pictometry on PND and Smartphones
At the Canalys Navigation Forum this week in Barcelona Blom ASA, a listed Norwegian company did a demonstration of its oblique aerial imaging for personal navigation devices, called Pictometry, (see exclusive video below) and announced a first customer, I-Joy S.A., a Spanish PND manufacturer.

Blom, which specializes in geographic information databases, was established in 1954 and has subsidiaries in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland in addition to approximately 200 people at own production units in Romania and Indonesia. Its expected revenue for 2007 should exceed US$128 million, said the company in its latest financial guidelines.

In 2005 Blom signed a 10 years agreement for the marketing and sales of Pictometry in 23 countries throughout Europe. Pictometry, a new digital photo and software technology, was patented in 1993 by a US-based company called Pictometry International. This technology enables the users to view high-resolution digital color images (aerial photographs) of selected areas from optional angles.

Blom dedicated 12 planes to the task of creating a comprehensive European imaging database using the Pictometry patent. Today the company offers 900 cities, an equivalent of 100,000 km2 and 30 million images. A total of 1,000 cities will be available by the end of 2007.

In addition, Blom has developed a software tool that enables companies developing navigation software and hardware to use Blom’s Pictometry aerial images into their applications and devices. This allowed the company to sign a first deal with I-Joy for the sale of software and content for 48 000 PNDs. The contract has a total value of US$2.13 million. The I-Joy PND featuring Pictometry will be available for Spanish consumers during the Christmas season.

For the navigation market Blom is also working on creating full 3D cities with textured buildings created with its Pictometry database. Blom does not only target the navigation market, but also the mobile phone market for dynamic location based services or static imagery. In this area Blom has recently acquired Opera Wireless, a Spanish company with capabilities in LBS technologies.

Friday, September 14th 2007

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