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IMIA REPORT                                                                                   

Industry News, Profiles and Future Events                 

June 2015

IMIA is an international organization where mapmakers, publishers, geospatial technology companies, location-based services, content producers, and distributors come together to both connect and to conduct business in the spatial information and map related industry. It is a global organization and welcomes members from every corner of the globe. The Association is made up of three regions: IMIA EAME (Europe, Africa and Middle East), IMIA Americas (North America, South America, Canada, and Mexico) and IMIA Asia Pacific (Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific).


The IMIA Report reports the current issues of the worldwide mapping industry giving members information on new products, member news, plus items of interest to those in the industry. We encourage all our members to send to IMIA Headquarters their new product information and press releases for distribution. Advertising is available.   

Meet Hans Niemeyer, Managing Director, Interkart GmbH and
President of the IMIA EAME Region
Hans Niemeyer

Hans Niemeyer started his career in the German graphic arts industry 40 years ago as a typesetter. During the next 10 years, he witnessed a business with dramatic and fast changing production and technology developments.  He worked across many technical areas of the graphics industry before he moved from technical support to sales representation.


From 1979 to 1984 Niemeyer became Product Manager in the cartographic industry and sold in Germany a full range of products for cartographers to make maps.  In 1984 he founded his own business.  For more than 6 years he represented companies like Keuffel & Esser, Klimsch and Du Pont, supplying materials to nearly the entire German cartographic industry.


In 1990 Hans Niemeyer sold his trade company.  After German Unification, he took the opportunity to buy and privatize the traditional East German globe manufacturer, "Rathgloben."  For the next 10 years he operated this business, with his main task being the modernization of the outdated company and its old fashioned products, making it competitive with other world globe manufacturers.  Rathgloben survived all manner of crises and, since 2000, Rathgloben 1917 Verlag has been predominantly owned by the Italian globe company, Tecnodidattica S.p.A.


In 1997 Niemeyer founded his company, "INTERKART," specializing in wholesaling globes and wall maps to the German bookstore retail market.  In 1999, INTERKART launched its first Webshop in Germany.  Today INTERKART has four different Webshops that sell a wide range of maps and map-related products to end users in Germany and other European countries.  Since 2000, he has also represented Tecnodidatica globes in Germany as their key account agent for the globe- mass-market.


Hans Niemeyer has been involved with IMIA since 1992, serving on the EAME board from 1998 - 2002 to return to the board in 2014 as President of the IMIA EAME Region.     


IMIA Asia Pacific Member Spatial Vision Helps Dion Create Online interactive Map!

In late 2014, Dion spent a week in his hometown of Canteen Creek, NT, Australia working with Media Mob. Here, Dion received training in still photography and video to capture the houses, dogs and residents of Canteen Creek. With his uncanny memory for landmarks, dogs and direction, Dion created a whopping 3.5m x 3.5m topographical style map of the community. This detailed and remarkably accurate map features: numbered houses, roads, landmarks, and the dogs that live in each home.

After digitising the map, Media Mob and Dion worked closely with Melbourne based company Spatial Vision www.spatialvision.com.au to create an online interactive map. Here, the user is invited to experience Canteen Creek by clicking on the various landmarks on the map that then bring up the videos, photographs and soundscapes captured by Dion.

The Artist with Disability Program, funded by Australia Council for the Arts, was designed to further develop Dion's skills in drawing and mapping and has afforded him another platform for artistic and personal expression. http://barklyarts.com.au/digital-mapping-interactive-map.




Avenza's Latest PDF Maps App Enhancements Quickly Becoming

a Go-To Tool for Commercial Users

Version 2.5 for iOS Highlights

Pan and Zoom Features Needed for Detailed Course Plotting and Navigation



TORONTO, (June 16, 2015) - Avenza Systems Inc., a leading developer of cartographic software including MAPublisher for Adobe Illustrator and Geographic Imager geospatial tools for Adobe Photoshop announced PDF Maps app 2.5 for iOS devices with enhanced features.


A distinguishing technology in its own right, Avenza's PDF Maps app and mobile solution is now used for both personal and commercial purposes and incorporates more detailed functions commonly needed when tracking, plotting points, navigating and collecting data in areas where internet service is unavailable. To date, Avenza's PDF Maps app has grown its commercial side to more than 30,000 regular users.


Paired together with mobile devices that utilize GPS, such as a smartphone or tablet, the PDF Maps app provides constant access to geographic locations without the risk of losing reception due to cell tower proximity. Over the years, the app initially attracted the attention of recreational users such as hikers who traveled through rugged areas. Today, PDF Maps app has developed a growing list of commercial users globally, including the military, wild fire units, search and rescue teams, and conservation groups that use the app to record data, document with images and share detailed navigation points with others quickly and easily. Based on the various types of environments the app is being applied in, Avenza has further developed its latest features based on the feedback and specifications of its users. This includes:

  • Enhanced navigation - ability to establish both GPS position and compass

  • Measurement - tools to calculate distances, size and areas

  • Map use - capable of overlaying search engine results on any map for offline use

  • Map Collections - convenient map searching tools including the ability to pan and zoom between maps

  • Personalization - ability to load a user's own geospatial PDF, GeoPDF, GeoTIFF, JPG and TIFF maps, and imagery from a file system, Dropbox, URL, or email

"Avenza's PDF Maps app has always been popular with the recreational groups who often use the free app for use while in the air, on land or sea excursions. The mapping resource has helped many novice and expert outdoor enthusiasts navigate through areas where most digital maps fail in the details," said Ted Florence, president, Avenza Systems Inc. "Recently, the popularity experienced on the recreational side is now being felt on the commercial end as many organizations that work in remote areas, and require use of their own custom maps and drawings on smartphones or tablets, need the ability to locate themselves and make notations and share information on detailed maps quickly. Avenza is excited to see the growth of PDF Maps, not just as a product, but as a valuable tool that is aiding commercial users such as conservation teams and similar groups. We hope the latest features of PDF Maps app 2.5 helps make a difference in their work."


Currently, Avenza's vast PDF Maps app library covering maps for domestic and international destinations includes more than 100,000 maps organized by country, state and area. All maps available through the in-app iTunes-like map store offer the following capabilities:

  • Access and load maps through in-app purchase, iTunes File Sharing, Wi-Fi or cellular network to read maps anytime

  • Access and interact with saved maps without the need for a live network connection (offline)

  • View your location on the PDF map using the built-in GPS device or via Wi-Fi triangulation

  • Find coordinate of any location in the map, including the ability to type in a coordinate to search

  • Display coordinates as Lat/Long (WGS84), Lat/Long (Map Default), Northing/Easting, or Military Grid Reference System (MGRS/United States National Grid (USNG)

  • Support for GeoTIFF files to create tiles similar to how a geospatial PDF is tiled

  • Map rendering in higher resolution

  • Overlay Google search results

  • Add waypoints and collect/record information about locations, including photos

  • Measure distances and areas

  • Open current map extents in the Maps app

  • Quickly view, zoom and pan maps using gestures (pinch, drag and flick, double tap)

  • Change pin colors, position and label names

PDF Maps app 2.5 is available now on the iTunes App Store free of charge for personal and private use. PDF Maps app is also available for use with Android devices in the Google Play Store free of charge for personal non-commercial use. A Windows version is currently in public beta targeted for a release later this year. Commercial, government and academic use licensing is available for a nominal annual fee. For more information about PDF Maps, visit the Avenza website at http://www.avenza.com or the PDF Maps website at http://www.pdf-maps.com/Pricing of each map is set by the publisher and free maps remain free to users through the PDF Maps app in-app store.


About Avenza Systems Inc.

Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with powerful software tools for making better maps as well as the PDF Maps mobile mapping system. In addition to software offerings for Mac and Windows users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training and consulting services. For more information, visit the Avenza website at http://www.avenza.com. 


Fascinating Old Census Maps, Updated for a Modern America


Thanks to satellite data and other sources, the modern map of waterways is incredibly detailed.


Inspired by a landmark 19th century atlas produced by the US Census Bureau, statistician Nathan Yau has created a series of fascinating maps of the country. The new maps are updated versions built with data Yau pulled from a variety of government websites.


The original "Statistical Atlas of the United States," based on the 1870 census and published in 1874, was part of a revolution in cartography. Up to that point, cartographers mostly made maps that captured physical features of the landscape: a river here, a city there, and so on. But the Statistical Atlas did something very different: It also mapped things you can't see directly, things like crop yields, the prevalence of disease, the provenance of people. It freed data that had been locked up in lists and tables and made it spatial.


Yau says he was motivated to make the maps after learning that budget cuts had scuttled a plan to make an atlas for the 2010 census. The Census Bureau discontinued the Statistical Atlas after the 1920 census, and has revived it only once, in the 2007 Census Atlas based on the 2000 Census. (The New York Times made this interactive map for the 2010 Census, which includes some of the same variables Yau mapped, but makes no attempt to mimic the style of the original).


Yau says playing around with the 1870 atlas was entertaining. "It's a snapshot in time, and you can see not just in the data but in the language used and how and what data was visualized," he said. "Plus, it's all hand-drawn back then, which makes it all the more impressive." 


An impressively oversized copy of the 1890 Statistical Atlas of the United States. 

Ariel Zambelich/WIRED


To make the modern version, Yau went through the 1870 atlas page by page and tried to make a map or chart that covered the same topic. He used only data publicly available on government websites and produced a total of 59 maps and charts, which he published on his blog, Flowingdata. In some cases the modern maps look very different than the originals. The government now has impressively detailed data on land cover, for instance, whereas the land cover maps in the 1870 atlas included some rough estimates and were drawn and shaded by hand. Also, times have changed. Malaria is no longer a major cause of mortality, and the male population is no longer disproportionately high along the western frontier.


Yau wants to keep working with data from the Census and other sources to try to tie together modern and historical datasets. There's so much data out there, he says, but it's scattered on different government servers and accessible only through outdated websites. Pulling together old and new data could provide different ways of looking at the country's development, showing, for example, how transportation networks and people's occupations have evolved with demographic changes, Yau says. "The challenge is filling in the data holes and making sure datasets from various years are comparable."


By Greg Miller  Science  06.17.15


 North America's Highest Peak to be Surveyed


The USGS, along with NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS), and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), are supporting a Global Positioning System (GPS) survey of Mount McKinley, the highest point in North America. Surveying technology and processes have improved greatly since the last physical survey in 1953 which set the summit peak elevation at 20.320 ft. An experienced team of four climbers will start the precarious trek to the peak with the needed scientific instruments in tow, in the middle part of June. They plan to return on or before July 7 and announce an updated elevation in late August. http://on.doi.gov/1BdmALu.


MAP: Where Jobs Will be Lost to Computerisation in Australia


Almost 40% of Australian jobs that exist today, more than five million of them, have a moderate-to-high likelihood of disappearing in the next 10 to 15 years due to technological advancements, researchers say. A study by CEDA (Committee for the Economic Development of Australia) shows Australia and the world is on the cusp of a new but very different industrial revolution. The project examined the probability of job losses due to computerisation and automation in each local government area across Australia. The research shows that in some parts of rural and regional Australia there is a high likelihood of job losses being more than 60%. 


Chief Executive Stephen Martin says the labour market will be fundamentally reshaped by the scope and breadth of technological change. "Currently the commitment needed to link education and innovation policy with funding is appalling compared to other countries and Australia's industry innovation strategy is woefully underfunded compared to global competitors," he says. "For example the five industry growth centres announced last year by the Federal Government should be critical in driving innovation but only $190 million has been allocated over four years. "In comparison, the UK Catapult Centres, which they are based on, have been allocated almost $3 billion over the same period.


"The German Fraunhofer Network, the Netherlands' Top Sectors Strategy and US National Manufacturing Institutes have had even larger allocations. "If we expect to compete with countries such as these as a smart and innovative economy then we need to get serious about how we invest in driving innovation." Professor Martin says we also need to reconsider how to deal with reskilling workers as particular fields of employment disappear.


"The CEDA report highlights the policy approach taken by Denmark to reskill mature age workers," he says.

"The Danish approach is three pronged - greater flexibility around hiring and firing, generous unemployment benefits and substantial programs to help unemployed people gain new skills. Often these programs start before a person is even retrenched. "In comparison Australia has the lowest levels of unemployment benefits of the OECD for a single person recently unemployed and often programs to assist with skills training do not start until a person has been unemployed for some time.


"The Danish model is underpinned by the same mutual obligation approach to Australia but rather than send people off on work-for-the-dole projects, it is training people with the skills their economy needs. "The Danish policy while more expensive initially, makes long-term economic sense because it ensures people return to the workforce more quickly and with the skills the economy needs. "As more job restructuring occurs in the Australian economy this type of policy is going to be vital. "It is likely some tough decisions about the Australian labour market will need to be made in the next decade; we've already had a taste of this with the decline of the car manufacturing industry. "However, if we develop the right policies now, we have the potential to reduce the impact of these challenges and ensure our economy remains robust."


Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn  


Nasa Maps Show That the World is Going to be Really Hot by 2100

Harry Readhead for Metro.co.uk 

Tuesday 16 Jun 2015 3:30 pm


If these maps are anything to go by, our planet is going to be really hot by the end of the century. Scientists at Nasa ran simulations using more than 11 terabytes of data in an attempt to accurately predict the world climate, including greenhouse gas concentration, temperature and rainfall, in July 2100.


Londoners may find average daily temperatures of 25C bearable (or even quite nice) but for those living in South America, Africa or the Indian subcontinent it's a different story. 



Those areas will likely experience 45C every day (the current average is a little less than 39C), and Los Angeles and New York may see similar temperatures as well.


Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will have reached 935 parts per million, Nasa predicts, which represents around 0.1 percent of the atmosphere. At the moment, carbon dioxide constitutes around 0.04 percent, or 400 parts per million.


Nasa believes this data will help scientists understand what challenges the planet is likely to face and better plan for the future. 'Nasa is in the business of taking what we've learned about our planet from space and creating new products that help us all safeguard our future,' Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at Nasa, told MailOnline. 



'With this new global dataset, people around the world have a valuable new tool to use in planning how to cope with a warming planet.' Dr. Ramakrishna Nemani, a project scientist, added: 'This is a fundamental dataset for climate research and assessment with a wide range of applications.' The data was compiled by Nasa's Earth Exchange, a platform within the Nasa Advanced Supercomputing Centre at the Ames Research Center in California.

Mapbox Raises $52.6M Led By DFJ To Be The "Map Layer" For All Apps


By Ingrid Lunden (@ingridlunden


With questions swirling over who may end up buying Nokia's mapping division Here, a startup trying to disrupt it and other big boys like Google has raised some major funding.


Mapbox, a developer of customizable maps used by third-party apps like Foursquare, Pinterest, Mapquest and 16,000 others, has raised $52.55 million in a Series B round of funding. The company claims that it's one of the biggest rounds ever in the world of mapping and location-based startups. The round was led by DFJ Growth with participation also from existing investors Foundry GroupDBL Partners, Thrive Capital, the Pritzker Group, former Goldman Sachs president Jon Winkelried and Promus Ventures all also chipped in.


The news comes at a pretty recent and fast moment of growth for Mapbox - "an insane two years," in the words of Eric Gundersen, Mapbox's very enthusiastic CEO and founder.


The company, founded in Washington D.C. in 2010, was essentially bootstrapped at first, barring a small injection from the Knight Foundation, until 2013, when it raised a modest $10 million from the Foundry Group.


With an office in San Francisco, it's been quietly growing, adding thousands of developers, including several high profile names like Foursquare and Pinterest, to its list of users and also making some key hires from the mapping departments of its much larger competitors. It also recently released an SDK to make its customizable maps more easily embeddable in iOS apps, seizing on the fact that Apple has not really been able to provide such a feature to developers, not least because it has been trying to find its own way in maps for the last couple of years.


Unlike companies like Google, Nokia's Here and TomTom, Mapbox does not make products that it offers directly to consumers, meaning it has no agenda to compete against its developer customers, who pay Mapbox based on usage.


"The last thing I would do is call us a mapping company," Gundersen said. "We are making the building blocks for a platform for developers to put location and maps into their own applications."


Randy Glein, a partner at DFJ Growth who is joining the board, agrees. "I think it's important to have an independent platform like Mapbox," he noted. "I think the market needs and wants a platform and that's why there is an opportunity here. Not everyone wants to integrate someone else's map, and here we have something that is powerful and flexible and aggregates and overlays data."


While a lot of Mapbox's growth may have been under the radar, it's been taking place amidst rising importance for digital maps in general. The boom in smartphones and other connected, unanchored devices like watches and cars has created market and consumer demand for location-based services to run on this hardware.


Maps essentially underpin how a huge number of apps work - whether it is navigating yourself from point A to B, or social networking and photo sharing, or finding a shop near you, or checking out the weather, or getting something delivered - and so demand for accurate and customizable data is only growing.


Mapbox's original business model was to create customizable layers on top of raw data that came from OpenStreetMap, the non-profit foundation dedicated to providing open sourced geospatial data, which is also used by the likes of Apple and others. Over time, Mapbox has been working on ways of enhancing and growing that data, and that is part of the reason for this very large round of funding. "The main focus of the raise is growing our tech and global teams out, but also to buy strategic data assets," Gundersen tells me. That will include more accurate geocoding data and new satellite imagery that it can integrate into its own larger mapping database.


Part of the evolution in satellite technology will mean more data, too. "We're excited to be doing more business with major satellite companies, but we're also excited by smaller satellite companies coming on. There is a ton of rich data and now is a great time to buy because of the number of sources out there. There will be a flood of imagery we can buy so being capitalised is a super strategic move now."  



Industry News  


Ukraine & Moldova Travel Reference Map by ITMB ... 


Want to advance your career or learn marketable new skills? Consider Michigan State University's Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS)


Scientists create computational algorithm for fact-checking


These charts map the 'truth scores; of statements related to geography, history and entertainment. Correct statements appear along the diagonal, with ...

Computational Algorithm Checks the Facts - Scientific Computing


How "The World's Largest Map" was built in Tempe


The story goes back to 1988 during National Geography Awareness Week. Sponsored by National Geographic, the recognition was established ...


Ordnance Survey joins the digital age with an app to take walkers from A-Z

The Independent

He could turn on Google Maps, the go-to guide for millions of us, but it ... leap into the digital era for a national agency born almost 225 years ago.


Meet the startup drawing maps for Foursquare, Pinterest and (soon) Mapquest


The mapping technology sector is navigating a serious directional shift. ... And Nokia is seeking buyers for its digital mapping business, which could be ...


Nokia leans toward German carmakers as buyer for maps business

Crain's Chicago Business

Nokia is leaning toward selling its digital-mapping company, formerly ... for the business, which supplies maps data for about 80 percent of cars with ...


WWI trench maps exhibit shows magnitude of 'the Great War'

The State

An exhibit opening Friday at the Relic Room is called "Trench Maps: Military Cartography on the Western Front, 1914-1918." The exhibit features 19 ...

Explore the beauty of the ocean with Google Maps

Google Maps


Mapping the Outer Milky Way

Sky & Telescope

What's remarkable about these efforts is that, in this computer-dominated age, these measurements are still largely done by eye. First Camargo and ...


Northwestern Researchers Helped Make A Site That Creates Maps Out Of Your Web Searches

Chicago Inno

Northwestern University and University of Minnesota computer scientists have just created a website that you might spend the rest of your day ... 


New IMIA Asia Pacific Student Members


Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Sarah Smith s158.smith@connect.qut.edu.au


Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

David Cini  david.cini@connect.qut.edu.au


Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Luis Villamizar  luisvpinilla@gmail.com


University of Queensland

Bethany Dorsett  bedorsett@live.com.au


Osmania University, Hyderabad, India

Ch. Nagarjun  nagarjuna007@gmail.com.


An international calibre event where leaders interact with the world's brightest minds in spatial technologies. The date is 29 - 30 June 2015, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  www.pivotal2015.org.
IMIA Asia Pacific Region Conference 15 - 17 November 2015


This year the IMIA Asia Pacific Conference is running alongside Brisbane International GIS Day to allow delegates to visit both events.


IMIA Asia Pacific Member GIS People created Brisbane GIS Day events, which are the largest in the world! People come together from across Australia - government, professionals, businesses, university students, and everyone in between - it is an exciting event that connects the geospatial industry to potential or existing users and clients.


The conference theme this year is 'International Map Year'. Call for Presentations close 6th July: http://imiaconferences.com/ap/presentations.




 IMIA Asia Pacific Conference Sponsors


There are a number of Sponsorship Opportunities still available: http://imiaconferences.com/ap/sponsorships.


Further information and registration details can be found on the conference website at: http://imiaconferences.com/ap/register.




IMIA Blog   - "What is a Map?"

"A Map is Worth 10,000 Words"  

By Bennett Moe

Director of Innovation


Part of the IMIA Blog Series "What is a Map?"


If a photograph is worth a thousand words, a map is worth ten thousand. But a maps worth cannot be measured simply by words. Maps are unequalled in their ability to spark the imagination and convey emotion, images, sounds and smells. Maps are used to inform, direct, propagandize and instruct. Perhaps most importantly, a map gives context to the world in which we live - and sometimes those that we don't.


When I was in school, there was a map hanging on the wall in just about every classroom. I would often get lost staring at a World map, studying the curve of the Horn of Africa or wondering what kinds of creatures lurked on that big island called Borneo or mentally pushing the continents around to see how they once fit together. My notebook was made in Taiwan. Where is that? How far is it from here to there? How could I get there? And how long would it take? What language do people speak there?


The world of education is shifting rapidly toward digital media and new forms of instruction. While maps are hung on fewer and fewer classroom walls, maps are being used in new and exciting ways to give context to learning. There is nary a discipline that cannot benefit or be augmented by the use of maps and geospatial concepts and technology to draw together the tapestry of data that is now available to see, explore and understand. From the traditional map-heavy subjects of history and geography to earth science, math, psychology, reading, the arts and more, maps are being used to engage, instruct and drive creative inquiry.


Maps are context.


I take great pride in knowing that the work that I do, both at Maps.com and with IMIA, is making a difference in the lives of people young and old, giving them the beauty and wonder that maps inherently convey and providing context to understand our world and make better decisions for themselves and for the future of our planet.


IMIA Americas Conference & Member Showcase

'International Map Year 2015 - 2016'

September 27 - 29, 2015

Washington Hilton

Washington, D.C. USA


Washington, DC is a city of monuments and memorials. We honor the generals, politicians, poets and statesmen who helped shape this great nation. Although the most famous monuments and memorials are on the National Mall, you will find statues and plaques on many street corners around the city. Since Washington, DC's monuments are spread out, it is hard to visit all of them on foot. At busy times, traffic and parking makes it difficult to visit the monuments by car.

The best way to see the major monuments is to take a sightseeing tour. Many of the memorials are open late at night and their illumination makes nighttime a prime time to visit.  See photos of the favorite National Memorials. 


  Old Town Trolley tours provide a narrated tour, highlighting the history and interesting facts of over 100 points of interest. The tour includes Washington's major attractions such as the Smithsonian Institution, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, Georgetown, Washington National Cathedral, the White House, and much more.

Old Town Trolley Tours are a convenient way to explore Washington, DC, especially for a first time visitor. You can explore the nation's capital and its many attractions at your own pace using "Hop on - Hop off" privileges at 19 stops around the city. Old Town Trolleys operate from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and make stops at each designated location every 30 minutes. No reservations are required and you can board at any stop and reboard for free all day long.


Conference Registration / Schedule of Events / Hotel Reservations / Map Award Program /
Student Map Award Program / Special VIP Tours at:  www.imiaconferences.com
 2015 Calendar of Events

Esri International User Conference

July 20 - 24

San Diego, CA USA


International Cartographic Association (ICA)

August 23 - 28 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



September 15 - 17

Stuttgart, Germany


IMIA Americas Region Conference 'International Map Year'

September 27 -  29

Washington, D.C. USA


Frankfurt Book Fair

October 14 - 18

Frankfurt, Germany


IMIA Asia Pacific Region Conference 'International Map Year'

November 15 - 17

Brisbane, Australia 


Brisbane GIS Day

November 18

Brisbane, Australia


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