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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 »

Bentley Be Inspired 2012 videos available

November 20th, 2012 by Susan Smith

Videos of the Bentley Be Inspired 2012 keynotes available here with login:

Dilbert goes high tech

November 16th, 2012 by Susan Smith

You really know when a technology has arrived when it shows up in a Dilbert comic strip! 3D printing gets the spotlight in this strip….

“Innovation in Building” Be Inspired 2012 award winner

November 14th, 2012 by Susan Smith

So many of London’s train stations swept away the awards at Bentley Systems’ Be Inspired 2012 Awards tonight. Crossrail projects were a huge hit, as was the King’s Cross Station Redevelopment by John McAslan + Partners that won in the “Innovation in Building” category.

Read the rest of “Innovation in Building” Be Inspired 2012 award winner

Information Mobility Takes Center Stage at Bentley Be Inspired 2012 Press Day

November 12th, 2012 by Susan Smith

Yesterday’s keynote at the Be Inspired Conference held at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam featured an introduction by COO Malcolm Walters, followed by a keynote by Bentley CEO Greg Bentley.

In attendance were 84 journalists from around the world, whom Walters said reached 3 ½ million readers.

Greg Bentley’s talk was entitled “Working Smarter, Together, and Accelerating Mobility for Data Acquisition.” He talked about how good infrastructure design sustains our economy and reduces our environmental footprint.


A new word was introduced:  “Consumerization,” or, the measure of how much invention is coming our way.  “The products we’re talking about are industrial,” said Bentley. “We don’t have to invent these technologies – we just have to apply them.”

Consumerization refers to a short cycle for products, economical and accessible everywhere.  It is really the first time we have heard Bentley Systems talk about the consumer market, except for the way the mobile market has broadened technology in its aim toward the consumer.

The Bentley Utilization Index shows growth in various industry segments. Asia continues to be a growth area for infrastructure. 2012 has shown reasonable growth widely and unevenly distributed throughout the world, according to Bentley.  47% of application utilization hours are BIM hours.

In a recent report by McGraw Hill, it was determined that there is the expectation in AEC firms that projects will be done in BIM in 2013. Those surveyed believe that ROI in BIM use depends upon the expertise level of those using it.

Bentley introduced the idea of industrial apps from Bentley that will be able to handle huge projects specifically. This takes the form of a ProjectWise or AssetWise passport on any device and gives access to all Bentley apps.

The concept of information mobility (where the information keeps working), vs. information mortality (where information gets stuck where it is and doesn’t get used properly; it is comprised of monolithic data structure, conflicting file formats, opaque information, and enterprise labyrinths) clarifies what can happen to  information that has been housed in building information systems and other information systems.

Information mobility was a phrase used throughout the day.

Information Modeling Innovations

Senior vice president of Bentley Software Bhupinder Singh spoke next on Information Modeling innovations. “Since 2009 we have been delivering compatibility updates through the V8i SELECT Series,” he said. “We are most interested in ease of use from the workflow standpoint, how easy is a product to implement in workflow.”

Ways in which this can be accomplished are through ProjectWise, according to Singh, where ProjectWise can contribute to knowledge sharing and view sharing such as spatial view, dependency view and component view.

There are concerns that the right version be used with mobile devices, when we have several different clouds offered, for example. Leaving ProjectWise behind a firewall can exclude someone outside the firewall who needs to access information.

Bentley CONNECT is designed to reach the consumers outside the firewall and enterprises that would like to share their data through a neutral space. An SAAS environment provides Bentley Connections Space that up until now has been serviced with DropBox.

Integrated Project Innovations

Singh talked about “Integrated Project Innovations” such as “Dynamic Review”  that translates to Bentley Transmittal Services that are built on ProjectWise transmittals. This also includes ProjectWise integration for Revit 2013, ProjectWise integration for Civil 3D 2013, and the new Project Dashboards to be available next year, enabling users to create their own dashboards. With this dashboard users will be able to use industry standards and i-models.

The Bentley product ConstructSim heavily leverages i-models as it is a model -based work package creation. The visualization engine in ConstructSim is Navigator.

For mobile devices Information mobility apps the heavy lifting will take place on a server.

Virtual Word vs. Physical World

Greg Bentley described the “physical world” as that of budgeting systems and scheduling. This is an area that also spans from graphics and engineering data.

The “virtual world” holds things like virtual positioning for ProjectWise, taking advantage of the sensor technology brought into Bentley by companies such as Ivara and Trimble, a picture that will fill out more as this conferences progresses.

Point-Cloud Processing, STMs part of new Bentley Descartes V8i

May 14th, 2012 by Susan Smith

In an interview with Richard Zambuni, Bentley’s Global Marketing Director, Geospatial & Utilities, Benoit Fredericque, Product Manager II (Responsible for Bentley MicroStation/Descartes Point Cloud Product Management and 3D City GIS), and Faraz Ravi, Director of Product Management (Responsible for Pointools), Bentley Descartes 8i new functionality was discussed.

According to the press release, Bentley Descartes V8i (SELECTseries 3) offers 3D modeling that combines point clouds, raster imagery, and geometry. The resulting models enhance the usability of point clouds by supporting hybrid design workflows that deliver “as-operated” 3D models to serve the operations and maintenance needs of owner-operators. By uniquely enabling hypermodeling – the intuitive navigation of as-operated models in 3D context that includes engineering information in any form – Bentley is committed to enhancing infrastructure safety and resilience while increasing owner-operators’ returns on their engineering investments.

Zambuni said that point cloud data is becoming ubiquitous, as gathering data is becoming more cost effective.  “ The challenge has been to bring data into workflows in an efficient way,” Zambuni said. Those who make use of this data include  infrastructure engineering workflows, design, construction, operation or planning and designing.

“Initially, we licensed the Vortex engine from Pointools to allow us to visualize, animate and view point clouds in MicroStation, but then we wanted to make point clouds a fundamental data type which means we can manage them alongside raster and vector.” The questions remained,  how do we support visualization,  animation in MicroStation and how do we deliver the advanced processing of point clouds that people need which we are going to support in Descartes and Pointools? What do you do in extended and enterprise workflows?

“That’s where ProjectWise streaming services come in, where you can literally isolate the elements of the point clouds you want to work with and stream them into a desktop session,” said Zambuni.  “This allows you to get all the advantages you want with ProjectWise and workflow management and getting files aligned with projects. You can really bring point clouds into extended workflows rather than have them sit on thumb drives or hard drives somewhere or fedexing them around, it starts making them manageable in the way you manage DWG and DGN or any other engineering documentation.”

This is not just about individual products, he cautions, but rather about workflows and supporting point clouds in a very connected way across a range of products.

Scalable terrain models (STMs) are slightly different from point clouds as they are so huge and people must slice and dice them to bring them into projects. Often a very large STM can’t be used because it is unmanageable.

“We have made technology that allows you to to bring an STM in,  even if it’s billions of points and to view that, you can work with that single scalable STM at city, regional or country level and you do it quickly and effectively,” said Zambuni.

Fredericque said that with the adoption and growth of our aerial lidar sensors, more and more people use aeril lidar and ask for STMs with a large number of points, increasing the need for this data type. Most products cannot cope with the sheer size of these files.  Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, says  this is part of the big data problem solving for users – the way Bentley can manipulate and process point clouds and bring STMs into engineering worfklows.

“It also is a big plus for geospatial workflows for national mapping agencies where you want to manage large scale geospatial projects,” said Fredericque.

Ravi said that Pointools engine was integrated into MicroStation in 2009 which by extension made it a part of the Bentley platform. Descartes has extra layers of Pointools functionality on top of the engine.

Bentley Descartes V8i (SELECTseries 3) running on MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 3) advances information modeling, in particular for infrastructure assets and 3D cities, through:

  • advanced point-cloud processing
  • the ability to handle extremely large scalable terrain models
  • 3D model texturing functionality
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