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Posts Tagged ‘apps’

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.

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