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Archive for July, 2013

Startup Owlized teams with Autodesk for urban design and infrastructure visualization

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

“San Francisco-based startup Owlized has teamed with Autodesk to help “bring the symphony alive” for public stakeholders and non-technical policymakers when considering infrastructure and urban design proposals. […]Owlized and Autodesk recently debuted a new device called the “OWL” for San Francisco’s Better Market Street project [ ….]The OWL looks like a traditional coin-operated retro viewfinder that we’ve all seen and used at scenic lookouts. With all its potential flexibility, the OWL’s potential for urban design and infrastructure visualization is vital for better city planning through civic engagement.”

Future San Francisco Market Street Comes into ViewTriple Pundit

Bentley Map Mobile debuts for infrastructure professionals

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

The first version of Bentley Map Mobile, a Bentley app that empowers infrastructure professionals to share Bentley Map geospatial information with field technicians via Android-based mobile devices, was released recently.

In a conversation with Richard Zambuni, global marketing director, geospatial and utilities at Bentley Systems, he said that the Bentley Map Mobile project was initiated through an engagement with a telecommunications company who requested they start development work on it. “Although it works with any class of infrastructure that is managed geospatially it was an engagement with telecommunications firm that initiated the project,” said Zambuni. It is “very much a first release, and it will be available in the future on other operating systems. For upcoming releases, we are looking at including redlining, inserting special objects, editing object attributes, to support different workflows.  Bentley is working on closed loop workflows in the cloud for bringing in data. Users can publish spatial data as an i-model and it can be consumed on the Android device. They can use very large datasets and the performance is excellent.”

“A lot of our users will want to support specific workflows with this technology on mobile devices, so we have an SDK to help them develop what they need,” said Zambuni. “This will be able to be tailored to individual organizations. We will provide redlining, and object editing out of the box in future releases, but the more specific forms-based interaction with the data will probably have to be created by the users themselves using consultants. Some will have programming resources in house.”

Spatial information on smart devices is something Bentley has been moving toward for some time as the consumerization of physical formats  has coincided with the ability to view and interact with very large datasets. Plans for further releases on different operating systems are in the works; next on the list is the iOS platform.

Bentley Mobile Map is available publicly but users can only publish to Bentley Map Mobile from Bentley software. There is a free publishing utility to create i-models which works with Bentley Map Enterprise, Bentley Utilities Designer, and Bentley’s communications products, including Bentley Coax, Bentley Copper, Bentley Fiber, and Bentley Inside Plant. These are Bentley’s geospatial products that are application-specific.

“Although you can’t publish from Esri products such as ArcGIS or ArcMap directly,” explains Zambuni. “You can bring in shapefiles to Bentley Map and publish out through Bentley Map to Bentley Map Mobile, but you have to bring the data into a DGN environment to publish out.”

When this technology is deployed , it will mostly be at a departmental level to support departmental workflows, which may require that users develop their own “flavor” of the app on top of the SDK. The SDK enables organizations to make the app as light and simple to use as possible – to be used in the field by many people inside and outside of the organization who are not GIS professionals, such as construction and engineering teams, installation and maintenance teams, and inspectors.

From the press release:

Bentley Map Mobile provides the following functionality:

  • fast access to large geospatial data sets;
  • easy-to-use, standard tablet-based gestures such as pinch to zoom, swipe to drag, point to select features, etc.;
  • simple query mechanism to look up features quickly;
  • GPS integration for fast location in the field;
  • Google Maps integration for directions to located features (with network connection);
  • disconnected, view-only operation for access anywhere, without a network connection;
  • raster and vector display.

The advantages of Bentley Map Mobile include:

  • improving the quality of decisions made by field personnel by providing quick access to accurate, up-to-date asset information;
  • increasing worker safety by having access to current information as well as information on adjacent utilities that might have an impact on the work they are completing;
  • increasing the return on investment in geospatial data by making this valuable data available to an entirely new group of users.

Bentley Map Mobile is available to all Bentley Passport holders at no additional charge and can be accessed at


Developers take note: most iOS apps are free

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

According to a report from Flurry Analytics, 90 percent of all iOS apps available in the App Store are free. Flurry’s data is collected from the 350,000 apps that use its analytics platform. The company states that since 2010, the number of free apps in the App Store has stayed between 80 and 84 percent, but this year the number has gone way up.

Many companies, particularly software companies, have free apps that are lighter ad-supported versions of a paid app or product they sell, with less functionality. Generally companies offering these free apps are hoping that they will entice users to buy the paid version for more advanced functionality.

The report states that “People want free content more than they want to avoid ads or to have the absolute highest quality content possible.”

Some users are concerned that a free ad-supported app may allow access to their data that they don’t want. With a paid app, users have more control and can demand a certain value for their product

Flurry’s report also revealed that many developers who originally sold their app decided to make their app free after doing A/B pricing experiments. In 2010, 65 percent of price-tested apps were free. As of April 2013, that number is up to 80 percent.

For users of both Android and Apple devices, the average price of an app as of April of this year was $0.06 on Android, $0.19 for iPhone apps, and $0.50 for iPad apps.

4D Ships CADLearning course for Revit Architecture

Thursday, July 18th, 2013
CADLearning for Autodesk Revit Architecture provides training and tutorials for the popular architecture design tool from Autodesk. The company has just shipped CADLearning course for Revit Architecture. Beginner, intermediate and advanced users will learning the core functions of Revit, BIM and much more with this comprehensive set of courses.

Specific Applications for Revit Architecture

  • Building Planning – Architects can utilize CADLearning for Revit Architecture to completely plan out every aspect of a building, including walls, stairs, railings, doors and roofs. This will ensure that the entire building comes together in a cohesive way that conforms to the specifications of the project.
  • Site Planning – A well-planned site is essential for a safely constructed building, and CADLearning can show users how to map out a site complete with property lines, elevation and parking components. By creating a 3D model of a site, architects can plan exactly how to proceed with the construction of a building.
  • Project Management – For architects that are planning a complete building project, Revit Architecture can provide them with tools for scheduling, planning out materials and more. CADLearning shows users how to manage a complete building project, from the basics of planning to more in-depth organization tools.

Construction for changing environments

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Architects Cristina Murphy and Andrea Bertassi asked the questions at Smartgeometry 2013 held in London April in their presentation “Constructing for an Evolving Ecology”:  How do we design for and within the evolving contemporary city and the cities yet to come?


How can we cope with relationships within and between global supercities and address the dynamics of our times in a world more densely and instantly connected? Who are the agents that generate change in construction industry and in relation to what kind of opportunities? They discussed these questions with Duncan Wilson (Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities), Judit Kimpian (Aedas), and Alan Penn, Dean of the The Bartlett School.

Murphy talked about designing for people for the El Bosque project, in Soyapango, El Salvador. The Toolbox approach application has  been developed to address the housing issues there. El Bosque will become an Integrated Sustainable Low-Income neighborhood in the heart of the metropolitan area of San Salvador, surrounded and defined by nature. Poor people usually settle in areas that are unorganized and are then vulnerable. The El Bosque site is difficult, in that there are floods and it is hilly for social housing. Two violent gangs surround the area and are not connected to the community. People who live here are all poor and desperate.


BricsCAD announces beta version of BricsCAD BIM Module for Windows

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Bricsys, a globalprovider of dwg engineering design software under the BricsCAD brand, recently announced the availability of the beta version of the BricsCAD BIM Module for the Windows operating system. This add-on module for Building Information Modeling is available for free to users of the Pro and Platinum edition of BricsCAD V13.2 (32-bit).

Customer feedback has and will help shape this beta version into product. BricsCAD’s direct modeling technology aims to push the limits of what can be accomplished with the BIM environment and .dwg.

With the addition of the BricsCAD BIM Module, Bricsys is now providing the building blocks for comprehensive solutions in the AEC market:
* BricsCAD Pro or Platinum software
* BricsCAD BIM Module beta
* Smart connection with the Chapoo collaboration platform

The company will be testing the integration of BricsCAD BIM Module with their Artisan rendering solution. Users of the new beta will be able to use what’s familiar to them – .dwg without any conversion or relying on additional products, in the creation of 3D modeling, BIM and 2D drafting.

Pricing for the different editions of BricsCAD V13.2 ranges from €350/$445 to €845/$985.

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