I’ve been reviewing what people have been discussing at conferences this year, and what their thoughts are for 2015. While so many topics such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) have been around for awhile, they are still very relevant moving forward. Customers are still grappling with challenging problems surrounding project delivery and collaboration. Others want to ensure that the model they build will not only last through the life of the project, but will extend beyond it into the future, for operations and maintenance. Reality capture, UAVs, scanning, data management, data acquisition as a service, cloud computing, are all technologies we have today, yet will be front and center in the AEC community going forward into the new year.
Posts Tagged ‘GIS’
Starting in September, the new next-generation family of large-format color printers – the Epson SureColor T3270, T5270, T7270, T5270D, and T7270D will be launched. Epson product manager, Timothy Check, gave me a demo of these printers at the Esri User Conference 2014 in San Diego last week.
The Exhibit Floor tells a part of the story of any architectural conference. At the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference in Chicago two weeks ago, you walk in, and the first booths you see contain windows, doors, facades, all necessary features of a built environment. Toward the back are the software vendors, which provide the design and conceptual tools to make the building a reality.
Jeff Groudan, worldwide director, Thin Client and Virtual Workstation Product Management and Jim Christensen, product manager at HP, talked about the announcement this week of the HP DL380z Virtual Workstation solution – a slick combination of HP’s server hardware technology and the integration of it into the true workstation ecosystem, delivered out of the Workstation Business unit.
Land surveyors, contractors and civil engineers will be pleased by these releases designed specifically for them: MicroSurvey, the maker of MicroSurvey CAD and the MapScenes System, recently announced the release of MicroSurvey inCAD 2014 and MicroSurvey embeddedCAD 2014.
The MicroSurvey inCAD 2014 plugin makes AutoCAD into a survey and design powerhouse. The MicroSurvey feature set can be added to the latest Autodesk software – including AutoCAD 2014, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014, and AutoCAD Map 3D 2014 – with complete survey drafting toolkit, including COGO, DTM, traversing, adjustments, volumes, contouring and more.
Holistic City Limited has just announced their latest release of CityCAD, version 2.6.
Several sharp improvements characterize this release as well as stability and performance upgrades:
- New samples have been added to the settings library (different kinds of residential and mixed-use blocks with a variety of detailed building perimeter objects) to make it easier to get up and running quickly.
Spike (Smart Phone ike!) from IkeGPS is a laser based device that attaches to your phone to ensure that you can rapidly & accurately measure & model an object up to 200 yards (600 feet) away just by taking a snapshot of it. For ten years, Ike has been designing measurement and modeling systems for industrial customers.Using the IkeGPS technology, Spike makes use of the smartphone’s technology and adds its own features. It incorporates a digital camera, 3D compass, a laser range finder and GPS that snaps onto the back of your phone and fits into your pocket.
Spike integrates your smartphone’s current technology with some specialized features of its own. It amalgamates a digital camera, a 3d compass, a laser range finder and GPS. It fits neatly into your pocket yet is robust enough to use every day.
According to Darrell Etherington of Techcrunch, “The benefits of the Spike and its powers are evident…telecom and utility companies, architects, city planners, builders and more would be better served with a simple portable accessory and the phone they already have in their pocket than by specialized equipment that’s heavy, bulky, requires instruction on proper use and lacks any kind of easy instant data portability like you’ll get from a smartphone app’s “Share” functions.”
“The short version of IkeGPS was developed in concert with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a number of years ago,” said Leon Toorenburg. “It was a handheld GPS device with a laser rangefinder and a camera, and you can locate the target and take a photo of it at the same time. It is used to geotag measurements of buildings, and you don’t have to worry about where you took the photos because it’s attached to the GPS. We took it a stage further with the electrical ultility industry, they have no idea of what’s on their power poles, and with one photo they can take a measure of everything on the pole. They don’t have to spend hours at each pole with a measuring tape.”
Insurance adjusters can also use it to take a photo of a wall that may be falling down, for example, and get the size of it.
Laser range finders typically cost $1500 or so. This app that runs with the smartphone allows you to make measurements just from your smartphone, with height, width, distances without having to connect the rangefinder app to the smartphone at all. “We’re also going to publish an API that allows people to take the functionality inside their custom workflows. Say you have an app on the iPhone, an insurance app and you want to measurement-enable that app, you can use our API and incorporate this into the insurance app,” said Toorenburg.
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?”
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 www.bentley.com/BentleyMapMobile.