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Archive for February, 2013

A GIS Laboratory, Indeed

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Arizona State’s GIS master’s program thrusts students onto the leading edge of the field—and geospatial technologies

A good place to get a sense of where the geographic information system (GIS) field is headed is Lattie F. Coor Hall at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. That’s the home of the 30-credit-hour Masters of Advanced Study in GIS (MAS-GIS) Program within ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Here, students are exposed to not only the latest GIS concepts but also ever-evolving technologies.

ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning offers additional options for GIS studies, including an undergraduate certificate and an undergraduate degree program that is in development. Like all master’s programs, though, the MAS-GIS is designed to convey the most advanced concepts in its field.

The program was developed from 2002–2003 and launched in 2004 by Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., who had overseen ASU’s Office of Climatology for 18 years. Balling—the associate program director—and several faculty associates—including Nik Smilovsky, MS, GISP, product specialist for Topcon Positioning Systems dealer RDO Integrated Controls in Phoenix—part of RDO Equipment Co.—teach a total of 10 courses in the program, which also includes an internship and capstone GIS project in the final semester. Typically, students start in the fall semester and complete their studies in 12 months.

Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., associate director of the Masters of Advanced Study in GIS (MAS-GIS) Program at Arizona State University, developed the curriculum for a program that has provided advanced training for more than 250 students since 2004.


ArchiCAD Tutorial: How to Import 3D Objects from IFC and DWG files

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Article source: Eric Bobrow

In this ArchiCAD tutorial excerpted from the Best Practices Course ( you’ll learn how to import manufacturer components as 3D library parts. These are becoming more widely available in IFC and DWG formats from many websites, and allow you to place highly accurate representations of actual real world equipment and furniture into your ArchiCAD models.

ArchiCAD 16 makes this an easy process. You can import IFC files directly using the File menu – File Special – Merge command, which will create a new library part and immediately place it. If it appears faceted (due to curved or detailed surface models), you may select a copy of the new object and use the Design menu – Convert to Morph command, then adjust the Morph settings to make the edges “Soft”. This will make both the 2D plan view and the 3D window (and Elevation) views much cleaner.


Confessions of a Charrette Junkie

Monday, February 11th, 2013

I’ll come right out and admit it. . . . . I’m a charrette-aholic.

What’s a charrette you ask? Well, the word really means “cart” in French and its relationship to architecture stems from the use of a cart to collect final projects in the design studios at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, but if you look it up on Wikipedia it says:

A charrette (pronounced [shuh-ret]), is often Anglicized to charette and sometimes called a design charrette. . . . In fields of design such as architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, interior design, interaction design, or graphic design, the term charrette may refer to an intense period of work by one person or a group of people prior to a deadline. The period of a charrette typically involves both focused and sustained effort. The word “charrette” may also be used as a verb, as in, for example, “I am charretting” or “I am on charrette [or: en charrette],” simply meaning I am working long nights, intensively toward a deadline.


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