Released in March, SPANS (SPatial ANalysis System) 6.0 is a modular spatial analysis system from Tydac. Core functionalities are provided by the base module, SPANS Explorer. The optional modules -- SPANS Prospector, SPANS Pioneer, and SPANS Topographer -- extend core functionalities for a wide range of applications. The system is compatible with Windows 95, Windows NT, OS/2 and multiple UNIX workstations.

Data management tools allow users to establish working links to Microsoft Access; import and export major vector formats; use raster data in its source format without translation; and identify and correct geometric problems.

Users can query up to 20 maps simultaneously for quick comparison; do polygonal searches to interactively highlight entities on screen and in the data layer; and build complex attribute queries using relational and logical operators.

SPANS Prospector

Contains analytical functions for creating continuous surface maps from point data, and provides tools for gravity modeling, point aggregation, density mapping, random point generation and contouring.

SPANS Pioneer

Users can conduct modeling operations for a wide range of applications, including topological modeling and aggregation. Other capabilities include change detection -- comparing two maps to produce a third, showing area changes over time.

SPANS Topographer

A suite of spatial analysis functions that include "Isolines to Points" -- converting digitized contour lines to a point data layer that can be used in creating a digital elevation model. Provides capabilities for contouring and generating perspective models from surface data. Users can conduct visibility analysis and generate maps displaying the visible and non-visible portions of a surface. Topographer can also be used for neighborhood analysis, providing a set of local operations that can be performed on a map to create new maps.

SPANS Cartographer

A suite of cartographic production tools that offers a complete project preparation environment, including data translators and direct-data access utilities. Users can index, annotate and customize cartographic products. The Cartographer module provides a WYSIWYG environment that allows users to preview changes as they are made.


TYDAC Research

2 Gurdwara Road, Suite 210

Nepean, Ontario, Canada K2E 1A2



(minimum) 486 with 8MB RAM, VGA, 10MB free space

(recommended) Pentium with 16MB RAM, Super VGA, CD-ROM


Windows 95, Windows NT, OS/2, UNIX (Sun, HP, IBM, Silicon Graphics)


Now shipping

SPANS 6 is shipped on CD ROM with four sample data sets, 10 training data sets and two tutorial data sets.


Annual maintenance $1,495, includes all upgrades within 12-month period and an 800 customer support line for North America.


SPANS 6 Explorer $2,995

Upgrade $695

Bill McGarigle is a freelance writer specializing in communication and information technology. E-mail: .


[July Table of Contents]