This past week Autodesk announced three acquisitions: two for BIM for infrastructure – the technology assets from Bestech Systems and Savoy Computing, Ltd. These investments extend Autodesk’s infrastructure portfolio for road and bridge design and greater adoption of BIM. For third are technology assets from Get The Point, LLC.
Sam — A suite of software modules from UK-based Bestech Systems for loading, analysis and design of small and medium bridge spans. The software will help Autodesk customers save time and increase accuracy and data consistency during the analysis phase of bridge design..
AutoTrack – A suite of software from Savoy Computing, LTD for road, light rail, airport, parking and intersection analysis and design. The technology will further support infrastructure planning by architects, designers and engineers.
Secondly, Autodesk acquired technology assets from Colorado-based Get The Point, LLC and introduced Autodesk Point Layout, new software for layout at construction sites. The acquisition will extend Autodesk’s construction solutions portfolio and BIM in the field.
Autodesk Point Layout automatically creates points from BIM and CAD models within Autodesk Revit, Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Navisworks software. The point data drives robotic total station hardware, such as Topcon’s line of positioning systems and related hand-held devices or tablets, to give contractors and sub-contractors laser-guided pinpoint accuracy for the placement and verification of building elements.
By removing error-prone manual layout techniques, Autodesk Point Layout improves field accuracy and productivity, as building designs are more available and accurate at the construction site. The software used in combination with Autodesk BIM 360 portfolio for field management and coordination will add to the productivity at construction sites and on entire projects.
Here is a video of the Vico Office 4.2 download link so you can get up and running with the latest functionality. Vico Office 4.2 is virtual construction software, augmenting 3D models with constructability analysis and coordination, location-based quantity takeoff, 4D (time) scheduling and production control, and 5D (cost) estimating that has just been released. This software is part of Trimble’s new data integration capabilities between a variety of its planning, estimating and management software applications.
See what the new interface between Tekla and Vico looks like in this video, narrated by Marcel Broekmaat, Market Manager of Project Controls, with Trimble Buildings’ General Contractor Division:
A recent article in Wired profiled some companies that have decided to move off the cloud and instead move most of their computing to some basic computers they can manage themselves. MemSQL, a Silicon Valley company founded by Eric Frenkiel, did exactly that about two years after it was founded, taking the company assets off the Amazon cloud, and saving money on managing their own computers.
‘I’m not a big believer in the public cloud. It’s just not effective in the long run,” said Frenkiel. While the cloud is great for many tasks, including launching a startup or running a small website, it may not sense for all applications. Zynga’s online gaming empire grew to monumental sizes in 2012, and promptly shifted a large portion of its operation off the Amazon cloud into its own data center.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Compensation Report, compiled from a survey of U.S. architecture firms,outlines information on how the profession is faring as well as compensation data for 39 architecture firm positions in 28 states, 28 metro areas and 14 cities.
The AIA Compensation Report cites problems from the “Great Recession” as still challenging to U.S. architecture firms, however, the economy improvement has benefitted the architectural industry as well as the construction sector.
Architecture firms report an increased revenue of almost 11% in 2012 from 2011 levels, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, and payrolls have reflected this change. In mid-2011, architecture firms hit a low, but then have seen gradual improvement since then. According to figures provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, payroll employment has increased about 3% between mid-2011 and the end of 2012.
The report takes into account the size of architectural firms and the experience levels of employees. During the downturn, many less experienced architectural positions were eliminated. Some of the current average compensation figures may reflect a share of more experienced and highly compensated positions. The average compensation for architecture positions increased only 0.7% per year compounded between 2008 and 2011, however, growth increased to only 1.1% per year between 2011 and 2013. This figure includes base salary, overtime, bonuses and incentive compensation..
In July, Bentley Systems announced their Field Supervisor, an app for the iPad that allows users to connect to multiple data sources. It extends the reach of information that is managed securely in ProjectWise and eB, and in other user repositories to field workers with online and offline access. Now construction professionals and field workers can make on-site decisions more easily with current project information.
“We’ve been doing a lot around information mobility, and how can we help infrastructure teams share and collaborate and interact with information across the phases of a project, between systems and people,” Huw Roberts, vice president, Core Marketing at Bentley said. “Fundamentally we want people to be able to interact with project information on a mobile and have that be part of their workflow, rather than a separate app or technology. Our app strategy is built around extending and building upon those secure project environments.”
Paul McRoberts, vice president of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Business, talked this week about the company’s announcement today of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, that offers the latest 3D modeling, visualization and cloud-based collaboration technologies to address the estimated $30 trillion gap worldwide between desperately needed infrastructure and the funding required to deliver it.
To expand access to the critical BIM solutions that design professionals need to address this challenge, the new solution is available via a quarterly plan, making it ideal for firms to test-drive Autodesk 360 Pro, or use it for short-term project needs.
Those users who have been aware of the Autodesk InfraWorks environment will note that the product goes to the next level with cloud capability and the ability to integrate lots of disparate Big Data. “We are still struggling with how to manage this Big Data world,” said Paul McRoberts. “Things have been focused around the single user, GIS analyst, GIS technician, drafter, a very expert oriented environment. As were building out the InfraWorks 360 environment, we ask how does that environment get us to change?”
“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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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.