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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 »

Be Inspired 2011 Press Conference recap

November 7th, 2011 by Susan Smith

At the Be Inspired Conference yesterday, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said that the company’s mission is “to improve quality of life in the world through infrastructure.”

The company Bentley has achieved its initial public rating and while in 2010 the company adjusted for exchange rates and acquisitions, they have regained revenue momentum from the downturn. Bentley made mention that Autodesk, their main competitor, is “ahead but not out of reach, we have sooner regained revenue than they have in 2010.”

He also noted their collaborative relationship with Autodesk: they ship in every Bentley product libraries to read and write Autodesk formats, and some Autodesk products include capability to read/write Bentley products too.

Bentley added that Bentley Systems leads the world in software for road and rail, generative design, construction simulation, energy modeling, water systems, bridges, structural analysis, process plant, 3D city GIS, infrastructure asset operations and more.
While extolling the strengths of the company, Bentley noted which industry sectors had come back (building and plant) and those that weren’t doing as well. It was unclear what the prognosis was for civil and geospatial, yet those two areas would seem to be doing well looking at the finalist projects and the examples that were presented in the four-hour press presentation. With an emphasis mainly on infrastructure and point cloud technology, mapping and GIS takes a different role, with point cloud technology becoming a more vital piece of the infrastructure picture. Traditionally, companies that offered point cloud data were hardware companies that also might offer cameras for shooting aerial or satellite imagery, and like satellite imagery, point cloud data was data intensive – another type of data that was difficult to process and disseminate for wide use.

Three announcements were made that may impact the Geospatial market:

1)      The announcement that Bentley’s i-models which are containers for open infrastructure information exchange will now be able to deliver AECO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations) information mobility in PDF workflows – this accomplished via agreements with Adobe Systems and Bluebeam Software.

2)      Bentley’s acquisition of Pointools Ltd. will result in their integrating integrate point cloud processing into their 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)      Structural Synchronizer for iPad Workflow is 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- turn on layers can be viewed on the new app. You can point the iPad at any type of data and turn on sensor navigation, you can navigate engineering design while you are viewing it. Sensor navigation works on any type of data. With ConstructSim, once you get data into the i-model, users can view all different types of files. Information comes from Bentley Map for cities and GIS data. And because you can use the app for any type of data, the possibilities look limitless for i-models, for the iPad, and much more.

The press conference made it clear that much is changing. Bentley Navigator making it possible to navigate maps on the web by clicking on one to get a 3D immersive environment where by you can navigate on a 2D map and get a 3D view of your map. Data reuse comes from a variety of sources, including photorealistic textures, point clouds, CAD files, that can all be brought together into one seamless environment with immersive capabilities.

According to Greg Bentley, “3D raster will be everywhere, point clouds will be an information model. It is open and scalable. We believe there are use cases for point clouds that we don’t know yet.”

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Category: Bentley

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