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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Autodesk CEO Carl Bass on Autodesk Financials

 
February 26th, 2013 by Susan Smith

In a webcast this week, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass addressed the company’s financials. “As we near the 2-year anniversary of the launch of our design and creation suites, we couldn’t be more pleased with their progress and growth. Revenue from Suites increased 50% over that 2-year period. Suites now represent 30% of total revenue, up from 23% just 2 years ago. We’re delivering exceptional value to our customers, who get to utilize and experience more of our broad product portfolio. What’s more, we have seen a meaningful increase in our ASPs. It’s a win-win. Growth in our Suites help drive the record revenue results in both our AEC and Manufacturing business segments.”

Bass went on to say that the investments made over the past couple of years in major account direct sales continue to pay off. In the fourth quarter, Autodesk had a record 45 transactions that exceeded $1 million in value. This is up 25% year-on-year. The total value for these large deals increased 36% year-on-year. For FY ’13, large deals increased by 18%.

Autodesk’s AEC business had record quarterly results. Strong growth in AEC Suites to the growing implementation of BIM across all disciplines of the AEC industry, including infrastructure. BIM 360 wins in Q4 were concentrated in construction, reflecting Autodesk’s leadership role in providing cloud and mobile technologies to that industry.

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Japan plans to spend $100 billion on unnecessary infrastructure

 
February 26th, 2013 by Susan Smith

While the U.S. is trying to figure out where to get the money to pay for much needed infrastructure, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to spend more than $100 billion on infrastructure in the next 15 months to help revive his country’s economy. Half of this growth is expected to be funded by government debt. Further, the country doesn’t have a great need for infrastructure, according to industry experts. It already has man-made islands, bullet trains and elevated highways, the result of its love affair with concrete and steel.

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Beyond the desktop with IMSI/Design’s TurboSite and free TurboSite Reader for iPad

 
February 20th, 2013 by Susan Smith

IMSI/Design announced TurboSite and free TurboSite Reader for iPad in November. I spoke to Bob Mayer about this release at Autodesk University.

TurboSite is a field and site survey mobile app that facilitates drawing in the field and geolocation using a GPS on an iPad. It also has an indoor sensor based positioning system which tracks your position indoors.

Royal Farros, CEO of IMSI/Design, said: “TurboSite is the first true mobile AEC app… a professional building app that can’t be done on a desktop or laptop computer.”

This product eliminates the need for laptops, full sets of building plans, table and chairs and digital cameras that were all a part of the site visit process in the past. The information gathering is also simplified by having this app on the iPad where all building plans can be electronically viewed and navigated with the touch screen.

According to the press release, GeoWalk tracks location within a structure, while GeoNudge pinpoints exact location. When documentation is required, a photo or video is taken using iPad’s built-in camera and is automatically positioned correctly in a separate layer over the electronic file. Text notes and audio annotations can also be added. Even your orientation when taking notes and photos is denoted by TurboSite’s unique GeoMarks. GeoMarks offers a collection of rich data that are geolocated, according to Mayer. This can includes audio, notes, photos, dictation, and many other data types.

Read the rest of Beyond the desktop with IMSI/Design’s TurboSite and free TurboSite Reader for iPad

Times Square Valentine Heart Design 2013 winner is Situ Studio

 
February 14th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Brooklyn-based design firm Situ Studio is the winner of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design. Over the last five years, the Times Square Alliance has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square. This year’s winning design, Situ Studio’s Heartwalk, was unveiled on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and remain on view until March 10, 2013.

Situ Studio’s winning entry, “Heartwalk”

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President Obama recognizes the need to rebuild U.S. infrastructure

 
February 13th, 2013 by Susan Smith

In President Obama’s State of the Union address, he specifically talked about rebuilding the U.S. He outlined a “Fix-it-First” program to put people to work on “urgent repairs,” such as failing infrastructure like bridges, roads and other critical infrastructure. He also said on the topic of climate change, “If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”

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TopCon offers ScanMaster CAD Link interactive link with AutoCAD

 
February 5th, 2013 by Susan Smith

At AU I spoke with TopCon Positioning Systems (TPS)’ Brad Burgess, North American sales manager for scanning products, about the ScanMaster CAD Link which they were demonstrating at the show. CAD Link provides users with an interactive link between ScanMaster and AutoCAD and enables them to efficiently extract and draw objects.

The ScanMaster CAD Link makes editing point cloud data collected by the GLS-1500 scanner through the drawing operation via AutoCAD very smooth and efficient.

The main functions of CAD Link for ScanMaster are as follows:
— Synchronize views between ScanMaster and AutoCAD.
— Send coordinates, distances by picking scans data.
— Send ortho-images as background images of AutoCAD screen.
— Synchronizing UCS (User Coordinate System).

CAD Link had been released several weeks before the show. TopCon is active in various industry segments, and very busy in the heavy construction and machine control industries. The scanning product division covers a couple of vertical markets.

Where once before TopCon was known more as a traditional hardware manufacturer, now they are very involved on the office side. There has always been some software packaged with TopCon hardware.

“It’s a necessity today because once you collect the data it’s got to be processed in some manner so it can be consumed in the traditional design packages like Autodesk and MicroStation, and Carlson,” said Burgess. “You don’t have a solution unless you can move your data off your hardware platform and into your customers’ CAD platform.”

In the past 10-20 years or more, there has always been a multi-step process to move data. There were always a number of hoops to jump through to get that done. “What is different about this is a customer that’s using our scanning technology in conjunction with our ScanMaster software, doesn’t have to export a certain file format and then import that back with the CAD Link data. With the link created, as you’re working in ScanMaster software extracting features, those features are automatically and simultaneously populated in the AutoCAD environment.  So there is no import/exporting, it’s just happening in real time.”

By creating this link you’ve really streamlined a couple of keystrokes and there is no glitch of having to have compatible versions, it’s a seamless workflow.

CAD Link provides a link between the two worlds of data production and design. “Even if you went to a surveying engineering company you might find surveyors in the basement and the designers are on the second or third floor,” Burgess pointed out. “Now we truly have a product that links these communities together with one piece of software.”

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Geodesign Summit 2013 Summary

 
January 29th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Geodesign is a set of techniques and enabling technologies for planning built and natural environments in an integrated process, including project conceptualization, analysis, design specification, stakeholder participation and collaboration, design creation, simulation, and evaluation (among other stages). “Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts.”[1]Wikipedia

Geodesign is yet in its infancy and as the conference made clear, many are just on the dawn of using it while others might be exploring its inner workings. The focus on the first day did seem very geo-centric, as of course the event was hosted by a GIS company. Ideally, Geodesign will pull datasets from geographic information systems as well as computer aided design and BIM software and other datasets to tackle big world problems such as sustainability, ecology and building tomorrow’s cities.

Bran Ferren, co-founder of Applied Minds LLC and keynote speaker for the opening session at the Geodesign Summit held at Esri’s Redlands, Calif. Campus, set the tone for the Summit that commenced Thursday, January 24th, 2013.

The Geodesign Summit, introduced by Esri in 2009, explores the concept of merging geography and design, and being able to access various datasets through the “CloudGIS,” Esri’s version of the Cloud. According to Ferren, it is a way to begin to build the cities of the future, using technologies such as geographic information, planning, building information modeling and much more.

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REVIZTO communicates design intent

 
January 24th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Arman Gukasyan, CEO of VIZERRA,spoke with AECCafe Voice about their new REVIZTO virtual reality product designed for the AEC market.

AECCafe Voice:  How do you think virtual reality is game-changing at this point?

Arman Gukasyan: Thanks to virtual-reality technology such as Google Earth, people are able to explore settings that mirror our existing world of natural and built environments. People have become accustomed to exploring virtual environments, which is driving the demand for new applications of virtual reality technology. It is now possible not only to view a virtual world, but also to interact with the intricate details of buildings and cities – making it a game-changer for architects and urban planners.

How does REVIZTO fit into that picture?

REVIZTO allows design professionals to convert detailed 3-D building models into interactive, data-rich 3-D virtual environments that can be shared with others to visually explore and collaborate. This is a great way for project owners and other stakeholders to visualize their projects, and to provide feedback to designers and contractors before construction has begun.

 What are the areas architects are most often using virtual reality for?

Architects have used 3-D modeling tools to develop highly detailed virtual building models for construction, and to study the way their buildings will  impact the surrounding environment. REVIZTO takes this one step further by allowing anyone to easily visualize and collaborate in an interactive 3-D virtual environment everyone can understand – without having to learn how to use complex 3-D modeling software.

 Do you see REVIZTO being used in the development of 3D cities and other larger planning efforts in the future, and how do you think it can contribute?

Yes. In fact, REVIZTO’s development was a direct result of the visualization services we provided for large-scale construction projects, such as city planning for a new train station in Barcelona, and the master plan for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. While working on these projects, we saw a clear need for an easy-to-use visualization platform that enabled anyone to communicate and collaborate. REVIZTO helps architects and planners easily communicate the design intent of their projects with non-professionals. 3-D visualization allows everyone to have a clear understanding of the project and to foresee problems before construction starts. REVIZTO is a powerful tool to build projects more efficiently and therefore more sustainably.

2013 Construction Industry Predictions from Autodesk

 
January 17th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of information modeling and platform products group (IPG) at Autodesk, outlined his predictions for the construction industry this year. Specifically, Amar believes the following trends will drive critical change in how construction firms compete for business and deliver completed projects:

1.       National Infrastructure Discussions Evolve Into Global Discussions

Discussions on national infrastructure will evolve into global conversations on interconnected transportation and financial systems. For example, completion of the Panama Canal will force the U.S. East Coast to upgrade their ports to accommodate a massive increase in traffic and ship size.

2.       Infrastructure Priorities: Developing vs. Developed Regions

Today, there is a marked divide between the infrastructure priorities of developed and developing countries. Developing countries are creating, funding and building brand new infrastructure systems while developed countries are trying to fix their crumbling systems in order to address the needs of tomorrow.

Read the rest of 2013 Construction Industry Predictions from Autodesk

AECO Industry Predictions for 2013 from Microdesk

 
January 15th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Mike DeLacey, president of Microdesk, spoke about the company’s AECO industry predictions for 2013. Microdesk provides business and technology consulting services to help firms plan, design, build and operate land and buildings. At Autodesk University 2012, the company presented their predictions, which were brought to the forefront by natural disasters such as Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Sandy that swung the spotlight onto the country’s failing infrastructure.

Read the rest of AECO Industry Predictions for 2013 from Microdesk

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