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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 Year In Infrastructure 2013 Geospatial Directions

November 4th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2013 kicked off Monday, October 28th in London with a series of keynotes by Bentley executives as well as local luminaries. Antony Oliver, editor of New Civil Engineer in the UK, who is moving into the role of ACE consultant, remarked that “London is the home of infrastructure right now,” and there is a lot going on above and below ground, with Crossrail and Network Rail and other large transportation projects that the UK views as an exemplar of how public transportation will develop in the future. I learned in another conversation that the teams who worked on one were moving over to Crossrail after their stint was finished, bringing their incredible knowledge base with them.

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The Olympic Games were held in London last year, which set a benchmark for what could be delivered in tight times and on budget. A number of big building projects are also in the works, £18 billion of private money spent on infrastructure since privatization. Malcolm Walter, Bentley COO, reinforced Oliver’s message by noting that there are more cranes in London now than in Beijing. He mentioned that the countries with the most Bentley award nominations this year are India, U.S., Australia and China.

Offshore was a topic that came up, because the project teams are almost always “virtual and complex.” Because it is offshore it has to be built somewhere on shore and constructed in a modular format, then floated to its final destination. The use of simulation for these types of environments is critical since onshore resources are beginning to become exhausted.

What is of interest to geospatial readers is the way that geospatial information is integrated into the whole with the Bentley product line. Bentley’s “Information Mobility” allows flexibility between products and connects to the cloud.  Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president of Bentley, said that they are connecting through Cloud Services, not “moving” to the cloud, and it’s about “faster start up, easier collaboration, more efficient execution, and best practice/knowledge management.” “What would it mean to take Cloud Services and add it to the platform?” asks Singh. “It’s a server available all the time, and it allows us to have great visibility across what we’re doing.”

Through Bentley’s new MANAGEservices and SELECTservices users can keep up with innovations, and SELECTserver has been migrated into Microsoft Azure, so that it can reflect back data on how users are using the tools, and provides additional analytical tools.

Adding to this SaaS model is Project Sharing Services, that connects the project integration server to Bentley CONNECT that in turn, connects to other servers being used by the customer. This way data can all reside in one place and provide cross referencing and analytical tools. With “federated information access,” both spatial and multiple data sources are fed through one app. Bentley CONNECT will reach all field devices and apps, within projects, for enterprises across projects, and for performance dashboards.

On Wednesday morning, a keynote featuring Sir John Armitt, chairman, National Express & Former Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, London 2012 was presented about the London 2012 Olympic Games. Armitt talked about the importance of this honor – how every four years the Olympic Committee chooses a city to host the winter and likewise, the summer games. For London, they had a £9.3 billion budget for everything. The Olympic Board team consisted of three companies and everyone was incentivized by the same target: getting the project done on time and on budget. The dual challenge they had was: what do we need to do for the Games, and what do we need to do for the next 50 years?

Many cities have not been able to recover adequately from the expense of hosting the Olympics, and caused the cities great financial hardship. A lot of thought was put into siting and developing either impermanent structures or structures that could be adapted to other uses after the Games.

The site selected for the Olympic Park was in a poorer area of London, the East End, and was heavily contaminated. These are some of the figures for restoration and redevelopment:

  • 75p on every £ spent on long term regeneration of the area
  • 50% of construction materials delivered to the Olympic Park by rail or water
  • 90% demolition materials from the site reclaimed for re-use or recycling
  • 100% timber from sustainable sources
  • 40% potable water reduction
  • £900 million spent to relocate all businesses and travelers who were living in the park.
  • £500-600 million invested in transport around Olympic Park.

Success Factors included:

  • Cross-party political support
  • A fixed deadline
  • Early attention to governance structures
  • A sensible budget
  • Clear client leadership
  • Rigorous approach to program control and change management
  • Strong assurance and risk management

Crossrail Route Map

Crossrail, London’s ambitious rail project that will run 100 km through the city scheduled to open late 2018, and has an estimated budget of £14.8bn, has had an asset registry from the beginning of the project, and is now getting as-built 3D models from its contractors. This is the first time a project linking between 3D models and collaborative Building Information Modeling (BIM). Hybrid modeling, the combination of virtual and physical worlds through point clouds, using products by Bentley Descartes, is also being used by Network Rail, bringing together point clouds, 3D modeling and BIM to view a safe representation. With hybrid modeling large terabytes of data can be combined blending raster and vector, and clash detection can be done through point clouds and vector data. Optioneering was discussed as a way to generate more scenarios, with SiteOps Optimization Technology, an investee in Bentley, providing a simulation environment where you can upload your site characteristics and it works out of your site. They can substantiate an average of $15,000 savings per acre.

Bentley also recounted the interest in the company’s new mobile apps, including Field Supervisor App, Navigator App, that move operations from the site trailer to the field. I-Models, Bentley’s containers for deliverables for information mobility, have been optimized for mobile devices. eB Information Manager tracks changes among information elements that are found in i-models. A new product is Construction Work Package Server (includes ConstructSim) which will help with tracking before a design is completed.

Please see

Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2013 Geospatial Breakout Session for additional Geospatial coverage of this event.

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Categories: Bentley, Big Data, cloud, GPS, LBS, location based services, photogrammetry, spatial data

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