April 04, 2005
What's With Google ?
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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About this Issue….

A weekly news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

Welcome to AECWeekly! Google has been in the news recently as many software developers and vendors have taken a new look at Google's lightning fast search engine. The revived interest in Google has generated curiosity as to what is making it so popular. Google's expertise and scalability, their solution for searching large numbers of documents, has become renowned. Read about it in this week's Industry News.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Awards, Appointments, Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Send your comments to me at

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

What's With Google?

By Susan Smith

Google has been in the news recently as many software developers and vendors have taken a new look at Google's lightning fast search engine.

The revived interest in Google has generated curiosity as to what is making it so popular. Google's expertise and scalability, their solution for searching large numbers of documents, has become renowned.

Lately, Google computer programmers have awakened a sleeping giant that has been resident in Web browsers for a long time: Ajax. Ajax is the name given to some software technologies built into Web browsers, such as JavaScript, dynamic HTML, and XMLHTTP. JavaScript is obviously a programming language, HTML is well known as a vehicle for displaying information and XMLHTTP, lesser known but of great importance, is a procedure used by a Web browser to quickly retrieve information from a central server.

Ajax allows browsers to retrieve and display information faster than ever before. Previously, in order to change a small part of a Web page, the whole page had to reload. Ajax retrieves only the part of the Web page that needs changing, and thus less information is being sent from the main server. This means that Web-based programs can be more responsive and faster. For programmers, this is fabulous because Ajax needs only generic free software that exists in every browser.

Of course, Ajax doesn't belong to Google, and other companies are using parts of it too. It's now widely and freely distributed. Google's Toolbar is among the Google offerings that doesn't use Ajax, but Google maps and it's Gmailfree email service are among the offerings that do use it. Google
maps really demonstrates the speed and power of the technology.

Two companies have been instrumental in the creation of Ajax: Microsoft, who developed many of the Ajax technologies in order to battle with Sun over Java. Sun Microsystems, who built its Java programming language to do exactly what Ajax is now doing. Ajax instead uses the unrelated JavaScript, built into every browser and easy to work with. And incidentally, some of the Microsoft programs are built using Ajax technology.


I wrote about Google
maps in an
article for GISWeekly recently, in which the company Telcontar's geospatial software platform is basically credited with providing the speed and responsiveness of the browser. I also wrote about a new version of a
portal powered through partnership with Google for GW that demonstrates the strength of advanced search capability available through specific application.

Another application comes from a company named Wolfram Research, which has developed the Wolfram Notebook Indexer, which is now available as a free public beta. It is a new plug-in for Google Desktop Search that allows users to perform text searches of all Wolfram Notebook (.nb) documents on their local hard drives, including those that are a part of Mathematica's online help system.

The Mathematica Notebook file format is Wolfram's universal document technology. It has an open, structured syntax and active content used for technical documents. Because Notebooks are the basis for all Wolfram products, the Notebook Indexer can also search files created in Wolfram Calculation Center, Publicon, and more than 50 other Mathematica
application packages. However, Wolfram Notebook Indexer does not use or need Mathematica; it instead leverages the syntax of Notebook files to convert them to text easily indexed by the Desktop Search engine.

The Wolfram Notebook Indexer beta is
downloadable , and should be installed after

While once Google was simply a search engine by which every internet user searched by topic, company or name, these new applications demonstrate that the technology can take numerous directions, and potentially may change the shape and scope of software development.


Six CAD industry web sites joined forces to launch the Targeted Advertising Consortium (TAC). By banding together, the TAC's combined audience gives advertisers the opportunity to expand their reach to very a diverse, yet CAD-focused technical audience. The founding members of the Targeted Advertising Consortium are CADwire.net, 3DCADTips.com, EPJournal.com, AECNews.com, MCADcentral.com, and Click4Links.com.

Informative Graphics Corp. (IGC), Web-document and collaboration technology company, announced that it has entered into an IGC Distributor Partner agreement with Consulcad, an enterprise project infrastructure delivery and consulting firm based in Melbourne, to conduct sales and support of IGC's product line in Australia and New Zealand.

TORNADO Technologies, Inc., developer of collaborative 3D visualization and communication software for AEC, process plant and industrial manufacturing enterprises, is pleased to announce the signing of KIWI Software Vertrieb GmbH as a strategic value-added-reseller (VAR) partner. KIWI Software Vertrieb is the exclusive distributor of ProSteel 3D and a premier supplier of engineering IT solutions in Germany for the structural design and steel construction industries.

AnyDWG has recently joined Cadopolis.com to promote its suite of file conversion software solutions. AnyDWG's products focus on the conversion of DWG files to PDF's, DXF's, DWF's. In addition DWG files can also be converted to image files such as TIFF's, JPEG's, BMP's, GIF's, PNG's, TGA's, PCX's, WMF's and EMF's. A unique feature to AnyDWG's software is the ability to convert DXF files to any of the file formats previously mentioned. This versatility allows AnyDWG to handle incompatible file formats efficiently and effectively without the use of any other software. In addition to converting single files, each of the products contains the functionality to convert batches of files.


Fakespace Systems Inc. announced that they have completed the installation of the world's first available 1024 x 768 native resolution active stereoscopic projection technology at the University of California's Davis Campus (UC Davis). The visualization system is located in the Virtual Reality Lab of the Computer Science Department and the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization (IDAV). It is being used for a wide range of applications, including interactive data visualization and collaborative networked environments.

Intergraph Corporation announced that Bjorn Haugland of Det Norkse Veritas, a leading ship classification society, has joined the keynote lineup at the
APEX Shanghai client conference. An executive of the DNV Maritime Development Centre in China, Haugland will address the maritime market outlook, discuss the increasing need for transparency in the shipping industry and explore classification society IT and software directions. The event is scheduled July 11-13 at the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai, China.

Oce announced that it has become a sponsor of the Professional Digital Imaging Association (PDIA), an independent, member-directed organization. Through its sponsorship, Oce will help the PDIA support its mission to help professional and amateur photographer and graphic designer members get more use and satisfaction from their digital printing and finishing equipment.

The Mayor of Scottsdale, AZ announced Resolution 6644 , which requires all new public buildings to be certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System(TM), developed by the USGBC, will provide numerous environmental and economic benefits to the people of Scottsdale. The Resolution is the first city-wide resolution in the country to require LEED Gold.

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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.

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