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18 December 2001
For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Helen Worth
Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory
Phone: 240-228-5113 or 443-778-5113

Johns Hopkins APL Licenses Map Technology to North Star Science and Technology

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, Md., has exclusively licensed its shaded relief map technology to North Star Science and Technology LLC, of Baltimore. North Star will use the technology to enhance its global tracking and monitoring services for wildlife conservation research and other related markets.

"The shaded relief maps make it possible to map the locations of transmitter-tagged migrating birds and animal herds in their habitats in near real time with GPS [Global Positioning System] accuracy," says Dr. Joseph J. Suter, Director of Technology Programs in APL's Office of Technology Transfer, who negotiated the agreement.

Ray E. Sterner, a space scientist at APL, created the technology being leased, which translates digital elevation data into shaded relief maps of any area on the planet. He maintains an award-winning Web site at http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/states/, displaying detailed relief maps of the U.S. states, which researchers and the general public have been using for several years.

"I'm excited about this agreement with North Star," Sterner says. "New, more usable forms of maps and easier public access to them will benefit everyone from school kids to scientists."

North Star Partner M. Blake Henke says his short-term goal is to package the current shaded relief maps on a CD-ROM for public sale. "These maps will be of immediate use to researchers, environmental scientists, and educators everywhere," he says. "Then we'll be using APL's technology to update and improve our own wildlife tracking and data management capabilities and to develop new products and services for our clients."


The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.

North Star Science and Technology LLC, of Baltimore, is committed to conducting research and developing products and services that will help us describe, understand and preserve our natural world. For more information go to: www.northstarst.com.

Media Contact:
Ben Walker
Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory
Phone: 240-228-6792 or 443-778-6792
E-mail: ben.walker@jhuapl.edu