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Posts Tagged ‘Pointools’

Point cloud data made usable

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

At Bentley Be Inspired last week, one of the most profound announcements was that of the company’s acquisition of Pointools Ltd. in order to integrate point cloud processing into its entire product portfolio. Bentley plans to merge their code streams with those of Pointools to create a new fundamental data type. Up until now, Bentley has embedded the Pointools Vortex engine into MicroStation, but now they plan to incorporate point cloud processing in their ProjectWise and AssetWise platforms.

This signals an acknowledgement of the importance of Lidar data for various applications, not only for retrofit projects but also for planning and presentation value. The technology has been circling around the AEC industry for awhile but has been hampered until recently by the inability to efficiently get the large amounts of 3D data processed accurately. With great advancements in point cloud processing, it is now being integrated into mainstream CAD products like Bentley’s.

At Be Inspired, many of the winners and finalists were using 3D laser scanning in innovative ways in their projects, for example in the areas of multimedia, water and wastewater, and process manufacturing.

The Pointools/Bentley relationship is not the only evidence of this trend – Autodesk also has announced rather quietly the acquisition of technology assets and and hiring of individuals associated with the Alice Labs technology, according to Michael Oldenburg, manager, Corporate Communications, Autodesk.

The announcement of what Autodesk plans to do with this new acquisition is most likely being saved for Autodesk University, to be held December 28 in Las Vegas.

Another company that has just acquired 3D laser point cloud software is AVEVA, with its recent acquisition of LFM Software. This addition to the AVEVA portfolio offers a comprehensive range of technologies exploiting the power of 3D laser surveying. This technology is said to allow users to import 3D data from various 3D laser scanning formats and export them to plant design systems.

On the path of point cloud processing is ClearEdge 3D, a company that has developed algorithms to identify and extract pipes, walls, structures and other complex building and plant features from point clouds. Their Automated Feature Extraction algorithms are designed to reduce modeling time and eliminate a lot of the manual production associated with 3D models.

This is a topic we will be hearing more about in the near future.

Be Inspired 2011 Press Conference

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A press conference held at the Be Inspired Leadership Conference in Amsterdam yesterday provided an opportunity to showcase upcoming announcements from Bentley Systems. The Leadership Conference drew finalists from 42 countries this year, according to CEO Greg Bentley.

Notable is the fact that Bentley achieved its initial public rating and has regained revenue momentum after the downturn. Bentley said that Autodesk is ahead of Bentley but not out of reach, and that since the downturn, Bentley has regained revenue faster than Autodesk.

Bentley also pointed out that they have a collaborative relationship with Autodesk, shipping in every Bentley product are libraries to read and write their formats. ProjectWise collaboration systems equally support Autodesk products, and there is an i-model plug in for Autodesk products, as well as the fact that Autodesk includes capability to read/write Bentley products as well.
In spite of the obvious advantage of Autodesk the competitor, Bentley claims his company leads the world in software for road and rail, generative design, construction simulation, 3D City GIS, infrastructure asset operations and maintenance.
The 2011 Bentley Infrastructure 500, an elite status added last year, now represent $14.1 trillion value in infrastructure. Bentley has 48 partners now worldwide.
Looking at a “Utilization index,” the industry areas building and plant took the biggest hit but have come back, according to Bentley. The Americas dipped in revenue in 2011 but are coming out of it. Europe, the Middle East and Africa also are doing okay. Asia never had much downturn.
Bentley made a number of announcements including the following:
1) The announcement that Bentley’s i-models which are containers for open infrastructure information exchange will now be able to deliver AECO information mobility in PDF workflows – this accomplished via agreements with Adobe Systems and Bluebeam Software.
2) Bentley acquired Pointools Ltd. In order to integrate point cloud processing into its entire product portfolio. Bentley plans to merge their code streams with those of Pointools to create a new fundamental data type. Up until now, Bentley has embedded the Pointools Vortex engine into MicroStation, but now they plan to incorporate point cloud processing in ProjectWise and AssetWise platforms.
3) Bentley acquired FormSys to expand their SACS offerings which extends their influence in the offshore market. SACS is an integrated finite element structural analysis suite of programs.
4) Bentley made available commercially their new AECOsim Energy Simulator software and in early Q1 2012 the new AECOsim Building Designer Software will be available.
5) A relationship with Microsoft for the Microsoft Azure Platform partner program will make it possible for Bentley to bring a range of Azure-based cloud services to AECO worldwide. One of the key offerings on Azure will be Bentley Transmittal Services, which will allow the tracking and delivery of transmittals through a dashboard portal.
6) Structural Synchronizer for iPad Workflow for the iPad available at iTunes for free at the end of the month – users can export out a very intelligent model to the iPad and see all bracing, beams, concrete and click on the model to pull in more information. Anything that might be needed in an AEC setting onsite such as section type, placement point, even complex elements can be added, layers turned on and off, and viewed in the new app.

Pointools licenses platform to Safe Software

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Pointools, known for its point cloud data transformation software, now extends its reach to GIS with a licensing agreement of Pointools Vortex to Safe Software Inc., a company that specializes in spatial data transformation technology.

From the press release: “Pointools ltd. has licensed Pointools Vortex – its market-leading point cloud software platform – to Safe Software Inc. – the maker of FME and the global leader in spatial data transformation technology – to help GIS professionals and organizations streamline point cloud data transformation and delivery, and overcome point cloud interoperability challenges.”

For more on Pointools, see article in AECWeekly Point Clouds for Every Desktop 

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