GlobeXplorer Acquires AirPhotoUSA

By Adena Schutzberg

If the announcement has you a bit confused, have a look at the timeline below to get a sense of the recent history of GlobeXplorer and AirPhotoUSA.

1/03 - Stewart Geo Technologies Corp., part of the larger Stewart Information Services Corporation, acquires GlobeXplorer.(Joe Francica interviewed senior GlobeXplorer staff after the acquistion.)

3/03 - GlobeXplorer acquires CitiPix from Kodak

8/04 - InterMap states intent to acquire AirPhotoUSA.(I interviewed senior staff at the ESRI conference, when the announcement was made.)

11/04 - Intermap announces it will not go forward with the acquisition of AirPhotoUSA.

9/05 - GlobeXplorer acquires AirPhotoUSA.

GlobeXplorer Logo
This is a classic matchup of content and distribution expertise.AirPhotoUSA is one of the larger and more successful aerial imaging businesses and GlobeXplorer has kept its focus as a deliverer of geospatial information.The companies have had a long term partnership to take advantage of their respective strengths, so this acquisition should be straightforward.
This is also a classic "Web 2.0" matchup."If you don't own the content," I recall Tim O'Reilly saying, "be the one who indexes and distributes the content." This acquisition puts those pieces together.AirPhoto Logo

Last year's attempt to link Intermap and AirPhotoUSA in one organization failed.Perhaps that was because both organizations were in the data creation arena? They had staff in similar roles (selling data, for example) and may have felt they shared the same "small scale" part of the market.In fact, while Intermap is best with "very small scale" that is, nationwide coverage, AirPhotoUSA works well in state and regional level deals.

Stewart is clearly looking to leverage GlobeXplorer's expertise by lining up more data for it to distribute.CitiPix was an easy piece to buy out from Kodak (who didn't, it seemed, really want it).This acquisition likely cost more (details were not disclosed) and may have a better longer term success rate.Stewart, as part of the larger Stewart Information Services Corporation leverages geospatial information across many business units including land title, legal, relocation, real estate, and insurance.I expect to see GlobeXplore and other others in the distribution businesses looking to acquire additional geodata content providers.

Published Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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