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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 »

Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro Debuts

August 7th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Paul McRoberts, vice president of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Business, talked this week about the company’s announcement today of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, that offers the latest 3D modeling, visualization and cloud-based collaboration technologies to address the estimated $30 trillion gap worldwide between desperately needed infrastructure and the funding required to deliver it.

Although targeted primarily at the architecture, engineering and construction industry, the new solution embodies Autodesk GIS technology, and is available via a quarterly plan, making it a choice for firms to test-drive Autodesk 360 Pro, or use it for short-term project needs.

Those users who have been aware of the Autodesk InfraWorks environment will note that the product goes to the next level with cloud capability and the ability to integrate lots of disparate Big Data. “We are still struggling with how to manage this Big Data world,” said Paul McRoberts. “Things have been focused around the single user, GIS analyst, GIS technician, drafter, a very expert oriented environment. As were building out the InfraWorks 360 environment, we ask how does that environment get us to change?”

InfraWorks 360 enhances BIM workflows by providing desktop software and cloud-based capabilities that enable multi-discipline infrastructure project stakeholders in geographically distant offices to publish, store, collaborate and manage large models centrally in the cloud via desktop or mobile devices. This unified data model will represent data in a real world context. Users will be able to produce proposals by creating and aggregating project information quickly, which can then be viewed within the InfraWorks environment.

GIS data will also be able to be visualized and augmented with CAD, sensor data, population and other data that will be pulled together and presented to people in a way they can understand.

Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro contains breakthrough 3D modeling and visualization technology that goes beyond traditional computer-aided design (CAD) by helping users quickly create compelling simulations and visualizations of design alternatives.  With its ability to import a variety of existing conditions data including GIS, satellite imagery, and point clouds (including those generated by Autodesk ReCap), Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro helps make it possible to design within the context of real site conditions from the start of a project lifecycle.

Newly released capabilities of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro for the desktop software include manipulation of large terrain areas, to help users create and maintain level sites (for planning and conceptual site design for buildings and other equipment) which has always been a difficult area to work in. Faster and higher quality data visualization is available for creating rich proposals in a real world context and presenting those proposals to their customers. Whether on the desktop, web or mobile, users will be able to share information and get it out to facilitators, constructors, stakeholders, so that they will be able to receive and understand it.

To help users access and download the data they need to build site-specific models, a link for direct access to a curated portal comes with Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, enabling customers to access and acquire free or for-purchase geospatial data. In addition, computationally intensive processes, such as analysis, simulation and rendering of high resolution models, can be performed using the cloud.

The technology will be delivered to customers using a term licensing environment based on a quarterly plan. This addresses what has been a concern for AEC professionals for many years, that their projects may be really hot around wastewater one year, and electrical systems the next. They need software to reflect those needs and to be able to adjust accordingly  without making a huge investment in one type of technology that will not be used as much the following year. Other customers deal in phases of a project and need to staff up and gear up technologically for these phases. The service also includes 150 cloud credits with the option to use more. The model is “pay as you go, and pay for what you need”, available anywhere in the world that has electronic download available.

“Millions of users are currently collaborating with Autodesk 360 environments,” said McRoberts. “They are cloud oriented and extend information and collaborate around it, and leverage the computing power of the cloud.”

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Categories: AutoCAD, Autodesk, Big Data, iPhone, LBS, location based services, mobile, remote sensing, satellite imagery, spatial data

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